Friday, July 25, 2014
The Apiary in Middle Amana was important for beekeeping in communal days of the Colonies' lives, but each village had its aviary. They did not realize that domestic bees can weather winter outdoors, so bee boxes were hauled into aviary basements for cold months and brought out in sunny spring to the orchard and gardens. Beekeepers tended the hives. Honey was collected and distributed equally among the homes. This apiary was built in 1915 in clapboard wood and used for the storage of beekeeping equipment and hives. the 1-2 story bee houses were built in the larger villages. Middle Amana beekeeper, August Koch, had this 2-story bee house that cost 900 dollars, a lot then, but in 1917 due to WWI, the price of sugar and honey rose. Koch's bees produced well so the excess honey brought extra money and all were happy with his costs. This is a very rare and unique Building.