Beekeeping On The Move (NFSA Video 1947)

I was doing some bee research today (on written history of the WSP sizing) and came across this video posted by the National Film & Sound Archive which I am sure many may have already seen.

I’ve watched it a couple of times, and these look to be 8 frame WSP sized boxes/supers and the WSP depth is used for both brood and supers. What makes this interesting is that the video is from the Bega region and the timing suggests the woodware likely came from Maitland (Pender Bros) which is where the WSP size originated. Anyone else want to take a look and verify this? The boxes definitely look shallow and the frames are ‘short’ in the cages of the extractor.

Other interesting items (to a beekeeper) in the video:

  • Hive tool design… the ‘tail’ looks different to modern hive tools
  • The additional ‘gauze’ box that is placed on the hive for ventilation during transport that looks to be about 100-120mm deep (possibly half depth)
  • The method used to strap the hive appears to be using fencing wire, no emlock/strapping
  • The focus / importance that is put on the landing boards when first configuring configuring the hives
  • The manual lifting!

There is also an excellent follow up article here where they have identified the men in the video:

Hey Sam,

thanks for finding and sharing this great video, a snapshot from the past. Yes mate they are certainly WSP depth all round for both the brood boxes and the Supers, go figure they are still a very popular depth hive regardless of those that argue full depth is the only way to go.

WSP depth boxes are still the 2nd most popular depth boxes in Australia, all be it that in some states & territories they are less or more popular for reasons that can never be truly understood. I have always assumed that their popularity stems from those that have hands on experience with them vs. those that have not, simple as that.

Anyway, great find, keep them coming!!