J. A. P. Fancher, Beekeeper

The following was written by James Alexander Polk Fancher (apparently 1841-1912) of Fancher’s Mills, Tennessee. This brief article appeared in the The American Bee Journal, Chicago, Vol. 19, No. 16, April 18, 1883, pp. 204-205:

“Bee-Keeping in Tennessee.

“Scientific bee-culture is not known in this country, but a considerable interest is expressed by a few men here. Mr. Wm Anderson keeps 150 colonies, David England has 24, Elija England 150. Dr. O. G. Broyles 25, Geo. Cole 30, Crocket Lowry 30, Frank Cope 20, myself 16. Most of them in some kind of movable frame hives, but none of them are manipulated very much. There are a great many others who keep bees in log gums. No more honey was gathered, last season, than was consumed, and mine consumed 120 lbs. of sugar, extra. Our principle source of honey here, or surplus, is poplar from April 25 to May 15; blackberry from April 22 to May 20; June not giving much; then comes sourwood, a great yielder of honey, clear as crystal, during July. Along our mountain caves, linden or basswood comes in June 20, lasting only a week or ten days; on some farms white clover grows profusely, but in my little experience, not much honey has come from it; it blossoms April 30 to Sept. 30. Last year I kept a record of the time of blossoming and kind of honey yield, of all the different kinds of plants and trees upon which I saw bees at work. The articles of Messrs. Heddon and Doolittle, in the Journal, are just splendid, but they have collided on the building up or stimulating early breeding question.
Fancher’s Mills, Tenn., Mar. 29, 1883.”


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