Beekeeping

The Reverend Morris is known to have kept bees in the Rectory garden in the late 1800s. This is probably how Joe Morris got his interest in bee keeping. When the Reverend Morris left the Rectory at the turn of the century the bees stayed in Brook and Mr and Mrs Joe kept bees for much of their married life, producing some of the finest honey.

Sue Mears (Stone) remembers how:

The wooden frames would be put into the hives and left for the bees to work. When the honeycomb was ready, it was collected, bulging with honey. The extra honey was scraped away to allow it to fit into the separator and it was then spun to extract the remaining honey which ran down to the bottom section of the separator and by means of a tap flowed into jars.

Joe was generally the one that went out to retrieve a swarm of bees using his smoke puffer to make the bees drowsy; then collected the swarm in his skep to transport them back to an empty hive. The bees were fed on sugar water in winter and the hives covered in old carpet to protect them in the cold weather.

Their son Bert took over the bee-keeping when Mr and Mrs Joe became too old. Bert said that in his opinion, nectar collected from clover was the one that tasted the best. It is commonly thought that bee venom is good for arthritis. Mr and Mrs Joe and Bert Morris were stung many times, but sadly they still all suffered from arthritis in later life!

George Humber inherited the hives from Bert, taking them up to ‘Flackstead’ at the top of Coastguard Lane in the 1960s.