A tale from the past

by Derek W. Driver, SE Herts

For many years I have had two main interests, Beekeeping and Tracing my family tree. As a member of several history societies, an article in one of our journals caught my interest.

A lady member searching the Hertford quarter sessions for 1845 found a William Aylett, who was convicted of stealing two beehives from Buckney wood near Thunderidge. The judge sentenced William to 7 years transportation, but he was a kind judge, and because William was only sixteen the judge decided to delay the transportation until William was eighteen! Whether he ever returned we do not know.

Over the years there have been a number of occasions of hives and equipment being stolen or damaged but I don’t recall anyone being caught and I would guess that anyone reporting such a theft would find the police would consider it a very low priority.

Its interesting to note the different attitude to property and live stock that existed then and now, especially when one considers the current cost of a new hive plus bees.

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