Community Beekeeping

Panorama photo from around 1913 shows Robert Caldwell’s beekeeping set up. It started some time after a similar panorama shot was taken by Robertson Matthews in 1897.

 

from Bolton Beautiful and Bountiful

 

  • In the early 1900s, Robert Caldwell’s beekeeping operation on the west side of Bolton along Glasgow Road covered a significant area of land just below the steep cemetery hill
  • The site held 150 bee colonies which, in 1911, produced 8000 pounds of white honey 1
  • Robert (1853-1941) was the part of the 3rd generation of Caldwell’s to live in Albion.  His grandfather John Caldwell, 1788-1837, (and his wife Catherine Goodfellow, both from County Tyrone) was part of the original group of settlers to Albion Township issued Location Tickets dated October 27, 1819, shortly after Albion Township was opened for settlement.  This group included John’s brothers William Caldwell and James Caldwell and they were located to land at the south end of Albion Township on Concessions 4 and 5 2
  • Robert was born in 1853 in Albion Township to James Caldwell and Elizabeth Goodfellow Caldwell.  His father James, born in Albion in 1821, was one of the earliest births among the settlers in the new township 3
  • Although raised to be a farmer, Robert is described as a builder in the 1911 census and in 1923, he was contracted by the Bolton School Board to build two additional classrooms onto the Albert Street School (Bolton Public School) 4
  • Beekeeping was a seasonal occupation and by 1921, he and a nephew named Robert E. Caldwell, were both involved in the enterprise and are both listed as beekeepers 5
  • In 2021, beekeeping has come full circle and Humber Valley Honey, a local Bolton business,  is producing honey on this same property
  1. Bolton Beautiful and Bountiful p. 9
  2. Township Paper, Albion Township, Region of Peel Archives
  3. Ancestry.ca.  Albion Township Census records
  4. Murray Hesp, Bolton School days, published by the Bolton Enterprise, 1969, p.41
  5. Census 1921: Albion Township