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17 October 2004:
I am a beekeeper who has a special interest in the Stewarton Hive. This was introduced in 1819 by Robert Kerr. This hive was octagonal and used a novel "Stewarton System" in which slides beteeen the top-bars could be manipulated to control development of the colony. Slides could be left in at the centre of the brood area to restrict access by the queen to the honey supers, while slides could be withdrawn at the sides to allow workers to occupy the super, build comb, and store honey. Glass windows covered by wooden slides at the front and back of each box could be used to examine progress and decide when the bees required more space.

My 'Historic Hives' project has built a few replicas of these hives and some are currently in use, rediscovering past methods of beekeeping. I would welcome contact with social historians, family historians, local historians, beekeepers and others who may wish to share information linked to this topic.
- Anonymous

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