Monday, August 10, 2020

Mail-Order Bees Part II by Kimberly Grist

 From the beginning of beekeeping in the 1600s until the 1800s honey was an article of local trade. Many farmers and villagers kept colonies of bees to supply their own needs and for friends, relatives, and neighbors.

While researching I ran across some fun facts about the history of beekeeping and found that bee-hives were among the popular products of foraging during the Civil War. The article below tells of a time when such foraging was part of at least one practical joke. 

"Bee-hives were among the most popular products of foraging. The soldiers tramped many a mile by night in quest of depositories of sweets. I recall an incident occurring in the Tenth Vermont Regiment - once brigaded with my company- when some of the foragers, who had been out on a tramp, brought a hive of bees into camp, after the men wrapped themselves in the blankets, and by the way of a joke, set it down stealthily on the stomach of the captain of one of the companies, making business quite lively in that neighborhood shortly afterwards."


Source: Image and Article from;

Hardtack and Coffee; Or, The Unwritten Story of Army Life: Page 246, By John Davis Billings 1887

Commercial Beekeeping 

The 19th century saw the revolution in beekeeping practice completed through the perfection of the movable comb hive by Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth. Langstroth designed a series of wooden frames with a rectangular hive box. 

This invention enables the beekeeper to inspect and remove honey without destroying the comb. The emptied honey combs could then be returned to the bees intact for refilling.

Other beekeepers used his methods and began producing honey on a commercial scale. By the late 19th century the price of a box of bees could be as much as sold for the same amount as a calf or sheep, more than a hog. 

New Release:

In my new release, A Beekeeper for Christmas, she's whimsical and fun-loving, he's gruff and likes to keep things simple. Has the matchmaking agency made an error in judgment? Can affection soften two stubborn, opinionated individuals forging a relationship of the romantic kind?

Here's a snippet:

Twenty-nine-year-old Moses Montgomery pulled the wagon in front of his parents’ Gothic Revival-style house with its pointed arches and window shapes. He passed the reins to his brother, Matthew. “I don’t mind telling you I’d rather be mucking out horse stalls than heading into the house to see what our mother wants.”

“Not just Mama. I overheard our brothers’ wives talking about an upcoming women’s auxiliary group meeting. The ladies in town are working harder than ever with the matchmaking service out of Tennessee. Their goal is to marry us all off.” Matthew grinned and motioned with his thumb toward the gray wooden structure trimmed in white. “Fair warning, our sister-in-law, Memphis, has a friend she wants to match you up with back at the orphanage where she grew up.”

“Not some kid, I hope.” Moses pushed his hat to the back of his head and scowled.

“I didn’t ask her age. But Memphis knows you well enough not to try and introduce you to some silly miss. Just hear her out. You can always decline.”

“I’m not opposed to the idea. We order things all the time from a catalog, so why not a wife?”

About Kimberly Grist:

Kim has enjoyed writing since she was a young girl. However, she began writing her first novel in 2017, "I wear so many hats working inside and outside the home. I work hard, try harder, and then begin again the next day. Despite my best efforts, sometimes life just stinks. Bad things happen. I need and want an outlet, an opportunity to relax and escape to a place where obstacles are met and overcome." 

Fans of historical romance set in the late 19th -century will enjoy stories combining, History, Humor, and Romance with an emphasis on Faith, Friends, and Good Clean Fun. 

Connect with Kimberly:


  1. Your book sounds like such a Great read Kim, I also love the book cover. Thank you for sharing about the Beekeepers also. Have a Great week.

  2. Thanks for the reply Alicia. I've taken up the hobby of beekeeping and am finding it so much fun. No stings yet. My husband has not been so lucky.