Happy Birthday George Washington!

Posted by Eva Andrews on

George WashingtonBorn on February 11, but celebrated on February 22, 1732, ~ George Washington was a Beekeeper ~Beekeeping Superstition in Appalachia Related to His Birthday. 

Via Historical Honeybee Articles - Beekeeping History 

George Washington was a beekeeper: There are two brief mentions in George Washington’s papers indicating that bees were raised by him at Mount Vernon. 

In 1787 George Washington, then President, had a 'bee house' built on the grounds of Mount Vernon, a replica with three straw skeps was built in 1947. 

Members of the old gum fraternity in the highlands of Appalachia say, "that if you expect your bees to do well, you must always salt them on Washington's Birthday." - Bee-keeper's magazine. October - 1880, page 215

The beekeepers in Appalachia, held the belief that gums must be moved an inch or two on Washington's birthday (February 22), "else calamity will follow" and "the bees will all die." When asked how many gums they have, they don't know, If the visitor proceeds to count, he is stopped immediately, and told "there are about so many" -for to count the colonies and know the exact number would invite calamity; and so common superstition seems to have gotten hold of these splendid highlanders, the purest of the pure descendants of our forefathers.- Gleanings in bee Culture, Volume 44, April - 1916, page 250. and The ABC and XYZ of bee culture Amos Ives Root, Ernest Rob Root, circa. 1917.

Mount Vernon is Abuzz with BeesMount Vernon is Abuzz with Bees! It’s always Mount Vernon’s goal to keep the estate as true to original form as possible. That’s why we jumped at the chance to get our own apiary, where several hives of bees will produce honey, just like in George Washington’s day.  

"I hope you've enjoyed this little history of our first President of the United States and his honey bees. Now I'm headed out to the apiary to 'salt my bees.'" ~ Bill Lewis, Bill's Bees

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