This Honey is Not Made For Mr. Volstead

There's a lot of history and 'lore' behind bourbon so discuss both here.

Moderator: Squire

This Honey is Not Made For Mr. Volstead

Unread postby bottlebee » Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:11 pm


A great passion of mine is American history and how the average person lived during the 19 c till the early 20 c. As a beekeeper, I started a web email list where I research and republish old bee related articles from the beekeeping historical record, and post them on a list for others to read. Especially, enjoyable are the bee articles from prohibition era which there are many.

To understand what role the bee played Reformist era, we need to go back to mid-evil Europe, where for centuries the Bee was held as an example for youth to follow, and well as a model for society to follow. “Be like the worker bee, industrious and active, the worker bee; an emblem of skill, industry and morality.” “Be NOT like the drone, idle and sloth, for idle hands find mischief and the evils of Satin.”

During the Progressive Era, the Reformists exemplified the bee as a model for society to follow as well as conduct for the individual to adhere to. The reformist type bee articles began to appear in news print during the decade or so prior to 1890, and continued with a growing momentum to see the passing of the `Opium Exclusion Act' in 1909, and the National Prohibition Act in 1920.

Here are a couple of my favorite Progressive Era bee articles:

The Allen County Democrat
Saturday, August 11, 1883 Lima, Ohio

A woman died in a Tennessee town
the other day from the effects of the
sting of a bee upon the nose. There
are many men in the country upon
whose nose the sting of a bee would
have but very little effect. There is
whisky enough in the noses which loom
up on the faces of some men to counteract
act the poison from the sting of a whole
swarm of bees

Next is an article of an incident in “Clatsop county. which a few years ago gave the world an account of how
bees fed on mash from illicit stills and flavored their honey with whiskey” (Quote from the San Mateo Times San Mateo, California 1926)

Appleton Post-Crescent
Friday, June 09, 1922 Appleton, Wisconsin

This Honey is Not Made For Mr. Volstead

By Associated Press
Astoria, Oregon—Bee bootleggers
that manufacture alcohol flavored
honey, are the latest violators of the
Volstead act in Clatsop county, according
to county agricultural Agent
Mc Mindes.

He says that on account of the
large number of stills which have
been operated in the county, quantities
of fermented mash have been
dumped in isolated spots. The bees in
their search for materials for honey
making, have discovered these mash
piles, and as a result, the contents of
some of the hives are highly flavored.

Many other prohibition era articles are about the ‘Scofflaw Bees’ which I am sure the whisky folks here are already familiar with.

Best Wishes,
Registered User
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:47 pm

Return to Bourbon Lore

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests