Story: Beekeeping

Proposed container for importing bees

Proposed container for importing bees

In 1839 the Reverend William Cotton published My bee book, a comprehensive account of many aspects of bees and beekeeping. Included was this sketch of a recycled wine barrel converted into a storage chamber to transport bees from England to New Zealand. It was proposed that bees could be put to sleep by cooling the chamber with enough ice to last the journey. Each bee would be wrapped in dairy linen. There is no record of the method’s success.

Using this item

Landcare Research – Manaaki Whenua
Reference: William Charles Cotton, My bee book. London: Rivington, 1842, p. 358

© Copyright image. All rights reserved. Permission from Manaaki Whenua: Landcare Research New Zealand Limited must be obtained before the re-use of this image.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Allan Gillingham, 'Beekeeping - First bees and early beekeeping', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 April 2024)

Story by Allan Gillingham, published 24 Nov 2008