Honeybee pioneers on the Oregon Trail

honeybeeEuropean colonists brought the first honeybees to North America in 1622. It was more than 200 years later that the first honeybees crossed the Rocky Mountains and finally reached Oregon.

Oregon trail map

The Oregon Trail

John Davenport is credited with successfully importing the first hive of honeybees. He brought his bees over the Oregon Trail and arrived in the Willamette Valley in the early 1850s where he turned the bees loose on his farm in Marion County.

Calif. honeybeesWithin a few years other hives were brought from California and were sold for the staggering sum of $125 per hive.

If you have enjoyed this moment in Oregon’s history, you can find more tales of the Wild West, including non-fiction biographies and novels, audio books and DVDs– on my website:  Writing the West http://ricksteber.com


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