Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bee Division

In my ongoing desire to hasten the arrival of spring, I went looking for a springlike image in the AHS archival collection. I came upon this image of a group of people gathered around bee hives in the Sidney Payne collection. While the image may have been taken later in the season, I mentally associate bees with apple blossoms and the arrival of warm weather. As I listen to the wind howling outside my window, I am happy for any excuse to think of warm weather.

The writing on the side of the truck reads "Bee Division". Based on the photographer's career with the Dominion Entomology Laboratory, I would assume that this is some sort of consultation or inspection of the hives. The role of this group in improving crops and agricultural produce can be seen in the slogan on the back end of the truck which reads "Produce more Honey". The people, including a woman in a very stylish cloche hat, are examining one of the frames the bees with honey. What appears to be a smoke canister, used to control the bees, is sitting on top of the hive. I would hope that it was an active smoke canister since I am not sure that either a cloche hat or a fedora are adequate protection should the bees take exception to the interference with their hive.

This image was taken by Sidney Payne (1882 - 1964) who worked at the previously mentioned Dominion Entomology Laboratory on Grange Street in Annapolis Royal. This was housed in the building that has since been used as a library and is currently operated as a spa. While I am having trouble exactly placing the location of this image, it appears to be near the area now used as the duck ponds at the French Basin Trail. The community of Granville Ferry can be seen in the background.

All for now,


  1. I was thinking it was taken somewhere in the area in a field behind the Baptist Church/Alden Hubley Drive

  2. It was very interesting to see the picture and comments about beekeeping and springtime! There is a very good possibility that the man with the hat on is Harvey Greatorex Payne, my grandfather, who was appointed provincial apiarist in 1928, and known as the "Bee Man" of Nova Scotia. His family resided in Granville Ferry, seen in the background.As soon as the roads were passable in the spring,my grandfather could be seen driving around in his little blue truck, known to many as the "Bee Bus", to visit the thousands of colonies of bees scattered over the province.

    Marilyn Payne Cuffari,
    Ottawa, Ontario