The breeding of bees is an ancient practice that developed in the 19th century, whether from wild swarms or from breeding. This traditional activity, requiring little capital, produced not only honey but also wax processed by the wax and candle industry.

This activity was structured in 1897 with the creation of the first beekeeping company in the Dordogne department under the name: « Le Rucher du Périgord ». Several establishments or apiaries with hundreds of hives existed at the beginning of the 20th century in Périgord.

The hives or los bornats evolved from fixed-comb hives to hives with mobile frames to allow the hive capacity to be modulated according to the season.

Illustrations :

– Postcard of the beehives in Léguillac de l’Auche of the beekeeping establishment L. Crozier de Périgueux around 1910. (© SHAP’s icon library)

– Postcard of the apiary of E. Clausure de Saint Victor near Montagrier. (© Icon library of the SHAP)

– Engraving of a straw beehive, The first year of agriculture, Armand Collin & Cie, ca 1920 (©Musée André Voulgre)

– honey store in Mussidan