The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

In referring to bee trees Mr. Mart Herrean said that he found great numbers of them from time to time but none of them were very rich in honey. "But I recollect," said he, "of finding a colony of bees in the hollow of a large black oak tree on the head of Cane Hollow that flows into Big Creek that the honeycomb was nine feet in length and one foot wide. This tree only yeilded five gallons of strained honey."

In speaking of a bee tree that proved to be rich, Tom McCollough informed the writer that one day in 1845 his father, Pleasant McCollough, and Levi Barnette while hunting together in the hills of Little North Fork and while near the mouth of Little Creek discovered a hive of bees in a black oak tree that went in and out at the ground. The cavity in the tree was large and was filled with rich honeycomb which was over ten feet in length. This tree yielded eleven gallons of nice strained honey.

Mr. Herrean’s tree was just on the line in Taney Co. Mo. Mr. McCollough’s was in Ozark County.

Mr. Abraham Cole informed the writer that while he lived on Big Creek in Taney County, he and family found six bee tree in one day once which gave up a fine supply of wild honey. "I remember on another occasion," said Mr. Cole, "that I and wife and two of my children—John and Martha— of locating two bee trees within 100 yards apart, both of which were rich in delicious honey. Both these swarms were in post oak trees and Lewis Clarkstone assisted me to fell the trees and extract the honey from the hollow trees. The combined amount of honey taken from both these trees was 18 after it was strained."

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