Two hockey historians have self-published a book about what was undoubtedly the ultimate hockey promotion. Don Pillar of Port McNicoll and Aubrey Ferguson of Oakville are life-time collectors of Bee Hive hockey pictures who started seven years ago to pool their knowledge and put together a book that includes pictures of all 1025 Bee Hive photos that were issued along with over 400 other pictures of player lists, advertisements, packaging, other promotional items and competitive activity from such brands as Quaker Oats, Crown Brand and O Pee Chee.
The St. Lawrence Starch Company of Port Credit Ontario issued these 5” X 8” black and white pictures in exchange for a token from a package of Bee Hive Golden Corn Syrup. The promotion catapulted the brand into market leadership within five years and the company stayed with the successful promotion for another three decades until cost pressures and declining corn syrup consumption caused the promotion to go the way of the Montreal Maroons and the New York Americans. Gone but not forgotten.
Details of the book are available at their website Home - THE GOLDEN YEARS and orders can be placed there as well. The book is only available through the website and is not available elsewhere online or in stores. While on the website, don’t forget to look for the bonus content that did not make it to the book: a downloadable, interactive checklist of every picture offered in three useful sorts.
Another way to learn about the merits of the book is to read what others are saying about it. Writing for nhl.com, Montreal journalist and writer Dave Stubbs had this to say about it:
Bee Hive hockey photos that inspired Howe, Hull celebrated in new book