Desert Messenger

July 7, 2010

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P��� 10 Voices from the Past The Desert Messenger is proud to feature excerpts from Rosalee Wheeler’s “In the Shadow of Saguaros.” Volume I, circa 1540 to 1839, begins with the first recorded history in Southwestern Arizona; Coronado and the Conquistadors searching for the Seven Cities of Cibola. Volume II covers local history from 1840 to 1939. Volume III will feature stories from 1940 to the present. Her books are available at the Tyson Well’s Stage Station Museum, Reader’s Oasis Bookstore, and the Quartzsite Library. ���.D�����M��������.��� Excerpts from of Saguaros” By Rosalee Oldham Wheeler “In the Shadow and liked his space. He was the first known beekeeper in Quartzsite. He found wild swarms of bees and began his bee business in 1916, continuing the venture until 1926. My home place on Oldham Lane Women Came West Too - Part 2.) George Hutson was a man who needed (Previous story: Mesquite Bean Patch George Hutson’s is the same property where George Hutson started his bee business. The property was later acquired by Charles R. Mott, who grew George Hutson’s bee business to 125 colonies. In 1939 we purchased the by then expanded little cabin and bee business and were beekeepers for an additional sixty years. The delicate flowers that carpet the desert floor in the spring yield a mild and delicious nectar. Our Arizona Desert Honey became known world- wide. Year after year many customers would order or come by and pick up their long-standing order of “the finest honey I’ve ever tasted”. the bees were in hibernation, George Hutson prospected for gold. He had three white albino burros that carried supplies to his various mining claims up in the New Water Mountains from which he found enough gold to keep his burros and himself in grub. George, like many others, dreamed that some day he would strike it rich. He knew he was in the right mountains because his fellow miners would come into Quartzsite with the gold they had found, some with nuggets as big as their thumb. One winter night as During the winters of the 1920s, while moving, the bees stayed in the hives. After reaching his campsite, where he his burros and the honeybees would spend the summer, he unloaded the “bee boxes.” The next day Mr. Hutson went back down to Quartzsite to prepare another load of his bees. After several trips he had all of his “bee boxes” up on Hutson’s Mesa in time for the bees to gather nectar from the blossoms of the JULY 7, 2010 Benefiting Quartzsite’s No Kill Animal Shelter See our newly remodeled gift shop & boutique Check out our new designer jewelry! 455 E. Main St. Quartzsite Open 7 days 9-2 951-764-6072 he sat by his campfire old George Hutson had a brilliant idea. He decided he would pack his bees on the burros and move them to the mountains next summer and avoid the sweltering desert heat. He reasoned that he would be near both his bees and his mining operation. In the spring he would let the bees work the tiny flowers and the early-blooming trees on the desert floor then, when the desert would begin to heat up, he would pack up the “bee boxes” and head for the mountains where the bees would find flowers from different plants and gather a second crop of honey. The following spring George’s plan went into action after the Palo Verde, mesquite, and ironwood trees had finished blooming along the Tyson Wash. He carefully packed the “bees boxes” onto the burros. The trip took from early in the morning until a little after dark. As long as the burros were George Hutson and his white burros Palo Verde, mesquites, and saguaros. George’s campfire idea from the winter before worked out very well. He, the burros and the bees enjoyed the cooler summer. Even the wild deer, coyotes, bighorn sheep, rabbits, squirrels, and birds benefited from the bees spending the summer on Hutson’s Mesa. With the many honeybees flying from blossom to blossom, the mesquites were heavily pollinated thus producing a bumper crop of mesquite beans, a staple and delicacy of the local wildlife. Then in the fall, George and his white burros made the trip back to Quartzsite for the winter. (The next story will be: “The Hi Jolly 4-H Club.”) Pattie’s RV Park OPEN YEAR-ROUND ~ LARGE LOTS 455 E. Main St., Quartzsite ~ Walk to shopping! ~ Propane Sales ~ Laundromat ~ RO Water ~ Thrift Shop Pets & Children Welcome! 928-927-4223 Animal Refuge Thrift Shop

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