At the village of Hamme, in Westphalia, a most singular wager has been made and won. In the sporting records of Europe there has been no such race, and its result will open for us quite a new chapter on relative speed.
Everyone knows the rate at which pigeons fly, and almost a king’s ransom has changed hands on the issue of their speed. The other day, the race was between pigeons and bees.
A pigeon fancier and a bee master each backed his favourite racer. The course was three miles and a half – the distance between two villages of Rhynern and Hamme, and a dovecot, which happened to be a hive, was the selected winning post.
The race was intended to be level, but in effect the bees were handicapped. It was very difficult to identify them, and though rolling them in flour before they started on their course made them easily recognisable on their arrival, it must have somewhat retarded their flight.
Nearly everyone backed the pigeons, and there was great excitement in the ring which assembled around the winning post.
The first bee came in twenty-five seconds before the first pigeon and three other bees before the second. The others were not classed.
The Illustrated Police News, October 25, 1890