Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » We Are the Beehive Girls, 1918

We Are the Beehive Girls, 1918

By: Ardis E. Parshall - September 06, 2009

Ever wonder why we don’t have photo features about Mia Maids or Laurels (under those or some other names) from the early 20th century? That’s because the Beehive program was the entire girls’ program in its earliest years: Girls remained the responsibility of the Primary until they were 14. The Beehive program was a three-year program, which took the girls to 17. Then they could become “senior” Beehives if they wished, helping to direct the younger girls in the same way that older boys assumed leadership positions in the Scouting program. By the time girls were 18 or 19, presumably they were focusing on marriage prospects and domestic duties.

So, when we speak of the Beehive Girls in 1918, we’re really talking about all the young women of the church — and in 1918, they were engaged in learning, recreation, and service, as shown by these photographs:

Tremonton, Utah, raising potatoes for wartime relief

Tremonton, Utah, in the potato fields

Trenton, Utah, gleaning wheat for the Relief Society

Riverside Ward, Blackfoot Stake, Idaho

LaVerkin, Utah, drying apples

Lewisville, Idaho

Loa, Utah

Los Angeles, California

Orangeville, Utah

Pocatello, Idaho

Taber, Alberta

Thayne, Wyoming

Tremonton, Utah

Tremonton, Utah, entertaining their parents

Poplar Grove, Salt Lake City

St. Johns, Arizona

Alamo, Nevada, practicing first aid!

Box Elder Stake, Utah

Draper, Utah

Duncan, Arizona

Glendale, Idaho, on canyon ride

Holden, Utah



  1. These pictures are so cool. They really show a variety of activities for the MIA girls. Thank you for sharing them with us.

    Comment by Maurine — September 6, 2009 @ 3:38 pm

  2. I am rather prejudiced about this selection of photos. My clear favorite is the picture of the St. Johns Beehives; the girl on the left is my grandmother’s mother and the woman on the right is my grandfather’s grandmother.

    Thanks for posting this, Ardis. I have a scanned copy of the original on my blog and wasn’t aware that it showed up in a church magazine.

    Here’s a link to a copy of the original.

    I unfortunately don’t know the identity of any of the nine girls or women in-between Jessie and Maggie.

    Comment by Amy T — September 6, 2009 @ 5:04 pm

  3. I love these. Plus, it is a great way to broaden my daughter’s view of the world. OK, I give up. What are they doing in Loa, Utah?

    Comment by Bruce Crow — September 6, 2009 @ 5:11 pm

  4. It looks like they’re growing rice.

    Any other ideas?

    Comment by Amy T — September 6, 2009 @ 5:23 pm

  5. Hunting tadpoles? Looking for their teacher’s lost wedding ring? Or seeing as how it’s Loa, maybe they’ve just never seen water before.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 6, 2009 @ 5:47 pm

  6. Does anyone have the old list of the Beehive requirements? My Grandmother was Beehive leader for over 25 years in Lehi, Utah. And she had a really fun list of things the girls had to do to earn their awards.

    Comment by Allene Cooper — September 6, 2009 @ 6:08 pm

  7. Allene, those requirements really were fun, judging from the written descriptions! I have intended, but not yet gotten around, to outlining the full Beehive program from those early times. Okay, you’ve given me the incentive. It’ll have to be a series of posts — trying to do it all in one post would be like trying to outline all the Scout merit badge requirements in one post!

    What time period was your grandmother a Beekeeper? The program changed over time, and I want to be sure to cover your grandmother’s era.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 6, 2009 @ 6:11 pm

  8. I’ve seen “people who know” planting rice, and if those lovely ladies of Loa were planting rice, the gods of the rice harvest would not have been pleased.

    My guess is that they were practicing walking on water. With the water just 6 inches deep, there wasn’t much risk if they failed.

    Comment by Mark B. — September 6, 2009 @ 7:11 pm

  9. I don’t think I have ever had more fun than the day I helped plant a rice paddy, little frogs jumping around and everything…

    Comment by Mark D. — September 7, 2009 @ 12:27 am

  10. I’m loving the fact that the Beehives used to practice mummification. We need to bring that back.

    Comment by Tracy M — September 7, 2009 @ 4:35 am

  11. I wish I had these pictures last year (2008) when we did “New Beginnings 1916”. They would have been perfect. Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by Stephanie — September 7, 2009 @ 9:59 pm