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The speaker is a 76-year-old White woman with a grade school education from Henderson, Kentucky; she was recorded in 1970.



County: Henderson
State: KY

Commentary:
Once the home of naturalist and painter John James Audubon, Henderson sits among picturesque red bluffs on the Ohio River, in the northwestern corner of Kentucky. In the mid-nineteenth century, the city was a major producer of tobacco, from which many made their fortunes. In this segment the speaker talks about beekeeping.
Inf: Had tame bees and we had the hives there, and he???d, uh, build hives for ???em, you know. And uh, then next, and they get a lot of young ???uns in there, and get too many, they the h-, the older ones???d swarm off. Then you???d have to fix another hive for ???em, and catch that swarm. And settle down. And that???s the way you do, just keep???

FW: Do you remember how you went out and caught the swarms?

Inf: Uh-huh. Yeah. Sure.

FW: Tell me. I???m, I???m curious. I want to learn about the bees.

Inf: Uh, well ah, when I would hear ???em swar-, why-, when I???m hearin???, the-, you could hear ???em. They???d go a-roaring, you know, and then we???d, the noise of the bees you know. Well, we???d run out and get our dishpans and pans, anything to make a noise. Enough to drown out the old, uh, king. And when they be-, just beat you know, you know sometimes you just had to beat like everything before you could settle ???em down ???cause they???d make a noise and he couldn???t hear it. But whenever you get them to hearing all this noise, why he???d, they???d stop and then they???d go to settling. On limbs in the tr-, on the trees, you know. And we???d just cut the limb off and bring ???em in and set their hive up. Pappy???d always raise it up a little bit and tilt it, and then we???d beat on the top of that and they???d just come right on in. This whole, that in-, that limb in front of the hive, you know. And just beat on the top of it.

FW: And they would follow the noise?

Inf: And follow the noise. Mm-hmm.

FW: Was the king the leader of the swarm?

Inf: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. King bee, we called him. He???s the leader. And the queen, king and the queen, we call ???em. They were the leaders, you see, and these others would follow ???em. And when they???d take a notion to take off, why they???d take off, big swarm, you know. [Laughter] And boy sometimes you???ll have a time getting ???em settled, but then if you make a, get your noise loud enough for ???em and follow ???em close, you know, why they???ll settle. We???ve had ???em go right more peaceful to get ???em settled. But we usually catch ???em somewhere in the orchard most of the time, though, on a limb, they go settle.

FW: Mh-hmm. Looking for a new home.

Inf: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

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