Learn more HERE. Ever the entrepreneur, Frederick Grabbe began work as a beekeeper, using imported Italian and hybrid bees for his aviary. He sold the honey in Chicago on Kinzie Street.
As the bees stopped production of honey in the midwest's cooling fall season, he hit upon a unique solution to produce honey year round: he put his beehives on a large flat board boat and floated his aviary south on the Mississippi River. The bees would continue to produce honey in the winter months as he traveled south. By day, the bees would leave the boat's hives and seek the southern flowers. At dusk, they returned to their hives on the boat prior to nightfall. The boat traveled further south at night time with the bees safely in their hives on board the vessel.