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HENRY LEWIS JONES, QUEENSLAND'S QUEEN BEE KING

This printed to private order Queensland postcard with the 1d printed stamp has a faint Type 2b 10 bar numeral ‘488' of Goodna, Queensland (14 km east of Ipswich) as well as a routing postmark, T.P.O. S & W RY NO 4/ A 7 OC 95/ QUEENSLAND, and it is addressed to Mr. R.S. Kinnear, The Overflow, Nyngan, N.S.W. (Figure 1).

 

 

The reverse shows an advert for Bee-Keepers’ Supplies, Largest Queen-Raiser in Australia, New Catalog, Free, together with a diagram of a ‘spinning top’, inscribed Always on Top. There is a printed GOODNA, QUEENSLAND AND A MANUSCRIPT DATE of 7/10/95, followed by a manuscript: Dear Sir, I am forwarding your three nice Carne Italiane queens to-day & trust you will receive them in good condition, No. 34. I think you will find an exceptionally fine queen. I am still overwhelmed with orders, but will forward balance of your order shortly. In haste I am, (in print) Yours Respectfully, H.L. JONES. In addition there was a transit postmark of SYDNEY/ OC 8/ U/ 85, which meant another long journey north-west to Nyngan (Figure 2).

 

 

The first members of the Jones family who arrived in Redbank Plains (10 km ESE of Ipswich) were Lewis and Martha who came from Wales in 1864. In 1865, Lewis established a farm of 300 acres, started growing cotton but later turned to grazing, successfully operating a dairy, horse breeding and timber getting. A saw mill was built in Mill Street, Goodna to provide timber for bee boxes, as well as timber for local housing. His son Dan married Bess Josey and they built ‘Oakleigh’, apparently while Dan had aspirations to enter Parliament. However, he carried on with the cotton growing, and became known as Queensland’s ‘Cotton King’. Lewis Jones younger son, Henry Lewis was born at Oakleigh on Christmas Day, 1865.

The house was later owned by his younger brother Henry, who developed the successful ‘Mel Bonum’ apiary. The apiary specialised in breeding queen bees, which along with bee-keeping equipment were able to be transported by mail, for the railway had come to Goodna. H.L. Jones & Sons Pty Ltd were set up in 1898 and they operated a bee-keeping firm which was sold in January 2002 to Barrington Apiaries of Sheffield, Tasmania.

Henry Lewis Jones was the first chairman of the Moreton Shire Council (1917 & 1921-1930) as well as a Councillor of the Purga Shire, and the H.L. Jones Park was named after him. His apiary was said at the time to be the largest queen-bee breeding establishment in the Southern Hemisphere. His name is lso perpetuated in a book ‘Kirkham’s Find’ by Mary Gaunt as follows: “.....she had two Italian queens that had arrived by the post that morning all the way from H.L. Jones’ apiary at Goodna, Queensland, and if they were to do well they ought to be introduced to their new homes this very night.” Descendants of the Jones family still live in the Goodna and Sherwood districts.

A picture of the Italian Apis mellifera ligustica worker, queen and drone are shown, from left to right in Figure 3.

 

 

 

 
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