Langstroth on the Hive and the Honey Bee

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Transcript of Langstroth on the Hive and the Honey Bee

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liiu.iaiKiimtunili

.AViV.V.VV.V.'.V.W'VViV.'V

lUHOJ

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1

ttft }l tt tin

ble colony must remain feeble for a long time, unless they

can

at

numbers.

once be supplied with a considerable accession of Even if there were no moths in existence tQit

trouble such a hive,

would not be able

to rear a large

number ofthatits

bees, until after the best of the honey-barvest:

had passed away

and then

it

would become powerful onlyIf the small colois

increasing numbers might devour the food which the

others had previously stored in the cells.

ny has a considerable number of bees, andand warmat least

able to cover

one comb

in addition to those containing

256

THE beekeeper's MANUAt.

brood which they already have, I take from one ofstocks, a

my

strong

frame containing some three or four thousand or more young bees, which are sealed over in their cells, and are just ready to emerge. These bees which require no

food, and need nothing butin a

warmth

to

develop them, will,

few days, hatch

in

the

new

hive to which they arein the full

given, and thus the requisite

number of workers,

vigor and energy of youth, will be furnished to the

hive,

and the discourageddeposits

queerr, finding at

once a suitable numof simply extrud-

ber of experienced nurses* to take charge of her eggs,

them

in the

proper

cells, instead

ing them, to be devoured by theattackfull

bees.

While bees ofteninto theirall

grown strangers which are introducedgladlyIf to

hive, they never fail to receivethat

the brood

eombweaththe

we

choose

give

them.

they areit,

sufficiently

numerous, they will always cherisher,

and

in

warm

they will

protect

it,

even

if

it

is

laid

against

outside' of their

hive

!

If the bees in the

weak

stock, are

too

much reduced in numbers, to be able to eov&r the brood comb taken from another hive, I give them this eomball

with

the old bees that are clustered

upon

it,

and shut

up the hive, after supplying them with water, until two By this time, most of or three days have passed away.the strange bees will have formed an inviolable attachmentto their

new home, and evenhivej'^^a

if

a portion of them should re-

tarn to the parent

large

number

of the maturing

young

will

have hatched,

to

supply their desertion.

A

little

sugar-water scented with peppermint,kle the bees, at the time that the

may be used to sprin-. comb is introduced, alidispo-.

though

I

have never yet found that they had the leastquarrel with each other.a few days afterit

sitton, to

TheijS

original' settlers^s fully eompetentits

arefgif

*

A bee,

it

is

llatc^^e4,

all its duties, as

ever will be,

at

any subsequent peripd pf

Uf?.

!

ENEMIES OF BEES.only too gladto receive

257to their

such a valuable accession

scanty numbers, and the expatriated bees are too

much

con-

founded with their unexpected emigration,sire for

to

feel

any de-

making a disturbance.

If

a

sufficient

increase of

numbers has not been furnished by one range of comb, the operation may, in the course of a few days, be repeated.Instead of leaving the colony to the discouraging feelinga.

that they are in

large,

empty and

desolate house, a divide?

should be runfinedto

down

into the hive,

and they should be cohtto

a space which they are ablerest of the hive, until

warm andits

defend,

and the

they needall

additional room,If this

should be carefully shut up againstoperationful inis

intruders.

judiciously performed, the bees will be poweris

numbers, long before the weatherwill thus

warm enough

to

develop the bee-moth, and iheyprotected from the hateful pest.

be most eflectually

A very simple change moth would have renderedto protect the beesstitutedits full

init

the

organization of the beeif

almost

not quite impossibleit

from

its

ravages.

If

had been so con-

as to require but a very small

development,

it

amount of heat for would have become very numerouseggs among the combs, without anyseason, not only do the bees at

early in the Spring, and might then have easily entered the

hives and depositedlet or

its

hindrance

;

for at this

night maintain no guard at the enti'ance of their hive, but there are large portions of their

comb

bare of bees, and of

course, entirely unprotected.history of the bee,

How

does every fact in the

when

properly investigated, point with

unerring certainty to the power, wisdom and goodness, of

Him who made

it

If there is reason to

apprehend that the combs which arethoroughly smoked

not occupied "with brood, contain any of the eggs of the

moth, these combs

may be removed, and22*

258

THE BEE keeper's MANUAL.;

with the fumes of burning sulphur

and then,

in

a

fewthey

days, after they have been exposed lo the fresh

air,

may

be returned

to the

hive.

I

hope

I

may

be pardoned

for feeling not the slightest pity for the unfortunate

progeny

of the moth, thus unceremoniously destroyed.Bees, asfrequentlyis

well

known

to every

experienced bee-keeper,

swarm

so often as to expose themselves to great

danger of being destroyed by the moth.too few bees to cover andsidious attacks of protect their

After the depart-

ure of the after-swarms, the parent colony often contains

their wily

weeks must elapse before

the

combs from the inAs a number of brood of the young queen isenemy.

mature, the colony, for a considerable time, at the season

when

the moths are very numerous, are constantly dimin-

ishing in numbers, and before they can begin to replenishthe exhausted hive, the destroyer has

made a

fatal

lodgment.If ar-

In

myit

hives, such calamities are easily prevented.is

tificial

increase

relied

upon

for the multiplication of coloto

nies,

can be so conducted as

give the moth next to no

chanceedto

to fortify itself in the hive.it

No

colonj

is

ever allowit

have more room than;

needs, or

more eombs thanto the hive

can cover and protectcontracted,if

and the entrance

may

be

necessary, so that only a single bee can go in

and

out, at a time,

and yet the beesthey require.is

will have,

from the ven-

tilators, as

much

air as

If

natural

swarming

allowed, after-swarmsall

mayj

be

prevented from issuing, by cutting outbut one, soon after theis

the

queen

cellsit

first

swarm

leaves the hive

or if

desired to have as fast an

increase of slocks, as can pos-

sibly be

obtained from natural swarming, then instead of

leaving the combs in the parent hive to be attacked by the

moth, a certain portion of them

may

be taken out,

when

swarming

is

over, and given to the second and third

swarms,

so as to aid in building

them up

into strong slocks.

ENEMIES OF BEES.Butthelost1

259fruitful

have not yet spoken of the mostthis lossfall

cause of

desolating ravages of the bee-moih.

If

a colony hasit

Us queen, and

cannot be supplied,to

must, as a:

matter of course,

a sacrifice

the

bee-moth

and

I

do not hesitate

to assert that

by far the larger proportion ofit,

colonies which are destroyed bycisely such circumstancesall vi'ho!

are destroyed under prethis

Let

be remembered bylet

have any thing

to

do with bees, and

them undercan betheirall,

stand that unless a

remedy

for the loss of the queen,

provided, they must constantly expect to seebest colonies hopelessly ruined.is

some of

The

crafty moth, after;

not so

much

to

blame, asits

we

are apt to imagine

for a

colony, once deprived of

queen, and possessing no meansif

of securing another, would certainly perish, evenattacked by so deadly an

never

enemy

;

jusi

as the

body of an

animal,

when deprived ofnot, at

life, will

speedily go to decay,

even

if it is

once, devoured by ravenous swarms of

filthy flies

and worms.all

In order to ascertain

the important points connectedI

with the habits of the bee-moth,colonies in

have purposely deprived

some ofall

my

observing hives, of their queen, andto a state of despair, thatI I

have thus reduced themclosely watch

might

their proceedings.

have invariably foundor no resistance to theto

that in this state, they have

made

little

entrance of the bee-moth, but have allowed her

deposit

her eggs, just where she pleased. The worms, after hatching, have always appeared to be even more at home thanthe poor dispirited

bees themselves, and have grown andIn

thrived, in the most luxurious manner.

some

instances,

these colonies, so farintrusions,

from losing

all

spirit to resent

other

were

positively the

most vindictive

set of bees in

mythat

whole Apiary. One especially, assaulted every body came near it, and when reduced in numbers to a mere

handful, seemed as ready for fight as ever.

260

THE BEE KEBPEK'S MANUAL.Utterly useless then, for

How

defending a queenless colo-

ny against the moth, are all the traps and other devices which have been, of late years, so much relied upon. If a single female gains admission, she will lay eggs enough todestroy in a short time, the strongest colony that ever existed, if

once

it

has

lost its

queen, and has no means of proiis

curing another.

But not only do the bees of a hive which

hopelessly queenless,

make

little

or no opposition to the en-

trance of the bee-moth, and to the ravages of the

worms, but

by

their forlorn condition, they positively invite the attacks of

their

destroyers.

The moth seemsShe

to

have an instinctiveno art of

knowledge of

the condition of such a hive, andwill pass

man can

ever keep her out.

by other colonies

to get at the

queenless one, for she seems toall

know

that there

she will find

the conditions that are necessary to the pro-

per development of her young.in the insect world,

we

tell

just

There are many mysteries which we have not yet solved nor can how the moth arrives .at so correct a knowledge;

of the condition of the queenless hives in the Apiary.

Thatthefor

such hives, very seldom, maintain a guard about the entrance,is

certain

;

and

that they

do notis

fill

the air with;

pleasant voice of happy industry,

equally certain

evenone,

to

our dull ears, the difference between the

hum

of the

prosperous hive, and the unhappy note of the despairingis

sufficiently obvious.

May

it

not be even

more ob

vious to the acute senses of the provident mother, seeking a

proper place for the development of her young

}

The unerring

sagacity of the moth, closely resembles that

peculiar instinct by

which the vulture and other

birds that

prey upon carrion, are able to single out a diseased animal

from the herd, which they follow withhovering overits

their dismal croakings,

head, or sitting in ill-omened flocks, on theit

surrounding trees, watching

as

its

life

ebbs away, and

stretching out their filthy and naked necks, and opening

and

ENEMIES OF BEES.snapping their blood-thirsty beaks that they

261

maylife

be

all

rea-

dy to uponfatal

tear outits

itsstill

eyes just glazing

in

death, and!

banquet

flesh

warm

with the blood of

Let any

accident befall an animal, andfirst

how

soon will you see

them,

from one quarter of the heavens, and then fromprey,

another, speeding their eager flight to iheir destined

whenI

only a short time before, not a single one could be

seen or heard.

have repeatedly seen powerful colonies speedily devour-

ed by the worms, because of the loss of their queen, when they have stood, side by side with feeble colonies which being in possession of a queen, have beenleft

untouched

!

That the common hives furnish no available remedy for indeed, the owner the loss of the queen, is well known:

cannot, inuntil

many

cases, be sure that his bees areis

queenless,

their destruction

certain,

while not

unfrequently,

after

keeping bees for

manyis

years, he does not even so!

muchin

as believe that there

such a thing as a queen beeI

In the Chapter on the Loss of the Queen,

shall

show

what way

this loss

can be ascertained, and ordinarilyothers, exposes

remedied, and thus the bees be protected from that calamity

which more than

all

them

to destruc-

tion.

Whenif

a colony has becomeits

hopelessly queenless,is

then moth or no moth,

destruction

absolutely certain.in

Evenstores,

the bees retained their

wonted industryin

gathering

andall

their their

usual

energy

defending themselves

against

enemies, their ruin could only be delayedIn

for a short time.

a few months, they would

all

die a

natural death, and

there

being none to replace them, theOccasionally, such in-

hive would be utterly depopulated.

stances occur in which the bees have died, and large stores

of honey have been found untouched in their hives.

This,

however, but seldom happens

:

for they rarely

escape from

262

THE BEE keeper's MANUAL.other colonies, evenif

the assaults of

after the death of

their queen, they

dois

not^fall

a prey to the bee-moth.

A

motherless hivestocks,

almost always assaultedto

which seem

hav* an instinctiveto

by stronger knowledge of itsits

orphanage, and hasten at once,spoils.

take possession ofIfit

(See Eemarks on Eobbing.)it is

escape the Scylla

of these pitiless plunderers,merciless Charybdis,tainedits

soon dashed upon a more

when the miscreant moths have ascerdestitution. Every year, large numbers of hivesby the bee-

are bereft of their queen, and every year, the most of suchhives are either robbed by other bees, or sacked

moth, or

first

robbed, andall

afterwards sacked, while theiris

owner imputesthat thehis

the mischief that

done, to something

else than the realbirds, or

cause.

He

might just as well imagine

the carrion

worms whichsee the

are devouringits

dead horse, were actually the primary cause of

uor

timely end.

How

often

we

same kind of mistake

made bysects

those

who impute

the decay of a tree, to the inits

which are banqueting upon

withering foliage

;

when

often these insects are there, because the disease of the tree

has both furnished them with their proper aliment, and deprived the plant of the vigor necessary to enabletheir attack.it

to resist

The bee keeper canthe

easily gather from these remarks,I

means upon whichfertile

most rely,

to

protect

my

colonies

from the bee-moth.with aselves, in

Knowing

that strong stocks suppliedto take care

queen, are always ableI

of them-

almost any kind qf hive,is

am

careful to keep

them

in

the state whichIf

practically found to be

one of such

security.

they are weak, they must be properly strength-

ened, and confined to only as

much space

as they

can warm

and defend

:

and

if

they are queenless, they must be suptheir loss, or if that can-

plied with the

means of repairing

ENEMIES OF BEES.not be done, they should be at once

263

broken up, (See Remarks on Queenlessness, and Union of Slocks,) and addedto other stocks.It

cannot be too deeply impressed upon the mind of theto

bee-keeper, that a small colony ought alwaysto

be confined

a small space,

if

we wish

the

bees to work with theresistance to their

greatest energy, and to offer the stoutest

numerous enemies. Bees do most unquestionably, " abhor a vacuum," if it is one which they can neither fill, warmnor defend.

Let the prudent bee-master only keep

his

stocks strong, and they will doagainstifall

more

to

defend themselves

intruders, than he can possiblyhis

do

for

them, even

he spendsIt is

whole timethe

in

watching and assisting them.preceding remarks, to

hardly necessary,

after the

say

much upon

various contrivances to which soagainst the bee-moth.

many

resort, as a

safeguarddoors, to

The

idea that

gauze-wire

be shut

daily at

dusk, and openedwill not

again at morning, can exclude the moth,

weighhave

much

with one

who

has seen them flying and seeking admis-

sion, especially in dull weather, long before the bees

given over their work for the day.

Evenit

if

the

moth could

be excluded by such a contrivance,part of those

would require, on thea regularity so sys-

who

rely upon

it,

a regularity almost akin to that

of the heavenly bodies

in their

courses

;

tematic, in short, as either to be impossible, or likely to beattained but

by very few.to

Anto

exceedingly ingenious contrivance,

say the

least,is

remedy

the necessiiy for such close supervision,

that

by which the movable doors of all the hives are governed by a long lever in the shape of a hen-roost, so that the hives

may

all

be closed seasonably and regularly, by the crow-

ing and cackling tribe,

when they gofly

to

bed

at night,

and

opened

at

once when they

from

their perch, to greet the

264merry mom.in

THE BEE keeper's MANUAL.Alas!

that so

much

ingenuity should be

all

Chickens are often sleepy, and wish to retire sometime before the bees feel that they have completedvain!

their full day's

work, and some of them are so much op-

from ill-health, or downright lazi*' moping on their roost, long after the cheerful sun has purpled the glowing East. Even if this device were perfectly successful, it could not save from ruin, a colony which has lost its queen. The truth is, that almostposedto early rising, eithersit

ness, that they

all

the contrivances

upon which we are

instructed to rely,

are just about equivalent to the lock carefully put upon thestable door, after the horse hasto

been stolen

;

or to attempts

prevent corruption from fastening upon the body of anlife

animal, after the breath of

has forever departed.

Are

there then no precautions to

which we may

resort,

except by using hives which give the control over every

combin

?

Certainly there are, andto

I

shall

now describe^themannoyedwith

such a manner as

aid

all

who

find themselves

by the inroads ofthe

the bee-moth.

Let the prudent

bee-master be deeply impressed

very great importance of destroying early in the sea" Prevention is," at all son, the larvee of the bee-moth. " pair of worms that a single better than cure" times,:

are permitted to undergo their changes into the wingedsect,

in-

may

give birth to

some hundreds which beforefill

the

close of the season,their kind.

maymore

the

Apiary with thousands of

The

destruction of a single

worm

early in the

Spring,at

may

thus be

efficacious than that of hundreds,

a later period.

If the

commonin their

hives are used, these

worms

must be sought for;

hiding places, under the

edges of the hive

or the

hive

may

be propped up, on the

two ends, withinch thick;

strips

of wood, about three eighths of an

and a piece of old woolen rag put between the

ENEMIES OP BEES.botlora-board and the back oftlie

265Inio this

hive.

warmits

hid-

ing place, the

full

grown worm

will retreat to spin

cocoon,

and

it

may

then be very easily Caught and effectually dealtslicks, or split joints

with.

Hollow

of caneor,

the hives, so as to elevate them,

may be set under may belaid on the

bottom-board, and

if

they have a few small openings through

which the bees cannot enter, the worms will tuke possessionof them,

and may easily beinaccessible to

destroyed.

Only provide

some hollow,wantto spin,

the bees, but

communicating

with the hive and easily accessible

and

to

yourself

to the worms when they when you want them, and if

the bees are in good health, so that they will not permit the

wormsnearly

to spinall

among

the combs,

you can, with ease, entrapits

of them.

If the hive has lostit,

queen, and thefor

worms haveit

gained possession ofii

you can do nothingas possible,

better than to breakto

up as soon

unless

you

prefer

reserve

it

as a

moth

trap to

devastate your whole

Apiary.I

make

use of blocks of a peculiar construction, in order

both to entrap the worms, and to exclude the moth fromhives.

myjust

The

only place where the moth can enter,in

is

where the bees are goingbe

and out, andthesizeif

this

passage:

maytheto'

contracted so as to suitit

of the colony

very shape offorce

is

such thatis

the

moth attempts

an entrance, she

obliged to travel over a space

which is continually narrowing, and of course, is more and more easily defended by the bees. My traps areslightly elevated, so that

the

heat andout

odor of the

hive

pass ings

underinto

them, and

come

through small

open-

which the moth can enter, butinto like

admitso

her

the the

much

which do not These openings, which are crevices between the common hiveshive.the"

and

their bottom-boards,

moth

will enter, rather than

23

266

THK BEE keeper's MANUAL.

attempt to force her

way

through the guards, and finding

comb and bee-bread, in which her young can flourish, she deposits her eggs in a All this place where they may be reached and destroyed. is on the supposition that the hive has a healthy queen, and that the bees are confined to a space which they can warm and defend. If there are no guards and no resistance, or athere the nibblings and parings ofbest but a very feeble one, shewill not rest in

any outer

chamber, but

will penetrate to the very heart of the citadel,

and there deposit her seeds of mischief.

These same

blocks have also grooves which communicate with the interior of the hives, and which appear to the prowlingin

wormits

search of a comfortable nest, just the very best possible

place, so

warm and snug andits

secure, in which to spin

web, and " bidehas been caught inIf asked

time."it,

Whenit

the hand of the beefeel thatit

master lights upon

doubtless

has reason to

its

ownwill

craftiness.

how muchI

such contrivances help the carelessiota;

bee-man,furnishwill spin

answer, not one

nay, they will positively

him greater

facilities for

destroying his bees.will lay their eggs,:

Wormsunder the

and hatch, and moths

blocks, and he will never

remove them

thus instead of traps

heaid

will

have most beautiful devicesto his

and comfort

enemies.

more effectual Such persons, if they everfor giving

to keep bees on my plans, should use only smooth blocks, which will enable them to control, at

attempt

mywill,

the size of the entrance to the hives, and which are exceedingly

important in

aiding

the

bees to defend themselvesall

against

moths and robbers, and

enemies which seek adthe

mission to their castle.

Let me, however, strongly adviseon

thoroughly and

incorrigibly careless, to have nothing to do with bees, either

my

plan of management, or any other

;

for

they will

ENEMIES OF BEES.findtheir time

267;

and money almost certainly thrown away

unless their mishaps open their eyes to the secret of theirfailure in other things, as well as in bee-keeping.IfI

find that thein

worms, by any means have got

the up-

per handoff the

one of

my

hives,

I

take out the combs, shakerestore the

bees, route:

out the thereis

worms andI

combs

again to the beestain

if

reason to fear that they con-

eggs and small worms,

sulphur, and air them well before they are returned.operations, however, will very seldom be required.vessels containingafter

smoke them thoroughly with SuchShallow

sweetened water, placed on the hivesentrap

sunset, will often

many

of the moths.this

Panspur-

of milk are recommended by some as useful forpose.

So fond are the moths of something sweet, that I have caught them sticking fast to pieces of moist sugar-candy.I cannot deny myself the pleasure of making an extract from an article* from the pen of that accomplished scholar, and well-known enthusiast in bee-culture, Henry K. Oliver, Esq. " We add a few words respecting the enemies of

bees.

The mouse,

the toad, the ant, the stouter spiders, theall

wasp, the death-head moth, (Syhinx atropos,) andvarieties of gallinaceous birds,

the

"a sweet tooth," and like, very well, a dinner of raw bee. But the ravages of all these are but a baby bite to the destruction caused by the bee-moth, (Tinea mellonella.) These nimbleall,

have, each and

footed

little

mischievous vermin

may

be seen, on any eve-

ning, from early

Maythe

to

October, fluttering about the apiary,

or running aboutest bee,

hives, at

a speed

to outstrip the swift-

and endeavoringit

to effect

an entrance into the door

way,

for

is

within the hive that their instinct teaches

them

they must deposit their eggs. * Report on beesto the

You can

hardly find them by

Essex County Agricultural Society, 1851.

268

THE BEE keeper's MANUAL." Theygreybeein-

day, for they are cunning and secrete themselves.love darkness rather thanevil."light,

because

their deeds arelittle

They

are a paltry looking, insignificant

haired

pestilent race

of

wax-and-honey-eating andall

destroying rascals, that have baffled

contrivances that

genuity has devised to conquer or destroy them."

" Your committee would be very glad indeedsuggest any effectual means, by which

to

be able

to

to assist

the honey-

bee and

its

friends, against thefoe,

inroads of

this, its bitterest

and most successful

whose desolating ravages are moreto,

lamented and more despondingly referred

than

those of

any other enemy.and andis

Various contrivances

have

been anfull extent,

nounced, but none have proved efficacious to any

we

are compelled

to

say that there really

is

no security,

except in a veryin a

full,

healthy and vigorous stock of bees,

very close and well made hive, the door of which

of such dimensions of length and height, that the nightlyit.

guards can effectually protectloo high.If too long, the bees

Not

too long a door, norit,

cannot easily guard

and

if

too high, the

moth

will get in

over the heads of the guardslife is

If the guards catching.

one of them, her

not worth insur-

But

if

the moths, in

any numbers,

effect

a lodgment

in the hive,

then the

hiv.e is

not worth insuring.

They

im-

mediatelyin a

commencebutits

laying their eggs, from which comes,caterpillar,

few days, a brownish whiteall

which enclosesThis head, cov-

itself,

head, in a silken cocoon.

ered with an impenetrable coat of scaly mail, which bidsdefiance to the bees,silken enclosure,is

thrust forward, just oijtside of theall

and the gluttonous pest eats

before

it,

wax,

pollen,

and exuviae,

until ruin to the stock is inevitable.

As

says the Prophet Joel, speaking of the ravages of the

locust,

" the land

is

as the garden of

Eden

before them, andout, brethren,

behind them a desolate wilderness."

Look

ENEMIES OF BEES.

269

bee lovers, and have your hives of the best unshaky, unknotty stock, with closefitting joints,

and well covered withshall

three or four coats of paint.in devising the

He who

be successful

means of ridding

the bee world of this de-

structive

and merciless pest, will richly deserve to be crowned " King Bee," in perpetuity, to be entitled to a never-fading wreath of budding honeyfields, all

flowers, from sweetly breathing

murmuring withlife,

bees,

to

be privilegedtheir!)

to

use,

during his naturalthighs," best

" night tapers from

waxenhave an

wax

candles, (two to the pound

to

annual offering from every bee-master, of ten pounds each, of very best virgin honey, and

to

a body guard, for protec-

lion

against

all

foes, of thrice

ten

thousand

workers,

all

armed and equipped,It

Nature's law directs. have these high honors ?"as

Who

shall

might seem highly presumptuousI

for

me,

at this early

date, to lay claim to them, but

beg leave

to enrollI

myself

amongsubmit

the

list

of honorable candidates, and of

cheerfullyintelligent

my

pretensions to the suffrages

all

keepers of bees.In the chapter on Requisites,I

have spoken of the ravages

of the mouse, and

in which That some kinds of birds are fond of bees, every Apiarian knows, to still, I cannot advise that any should, on this achis cost It has been stated to me, by an intellicount, be destroyed. gent observer, that the King-bird, which devours them by

have there described theagainstits

way

my

hives are guarded

intrusion.

;

scores, confines himself always,to those fat

in

the seasonI

of drones,

and lazy gentlemen of

leisure.

fear however,

is too good news to be true," and that not only the industrious portion of the busy community fall a prey to his fatal snap, but that the luxurious gourmand can distinguish perfectly well, between an empty

that this, as the children say, "

23*

270

THE BEE keeper's MANUAL.is

bee in search of food, and one wbiehtoits

returning

full

ladenthe

fragranttit-bit,

home, and whose honey-bag sweetensas the crushed unfortunate,all

delicious

ready sugared, have nevfondness

glides daintily

down

his voracious

maw

I

Still, I

er yet been willing to destroy a bird, because offor bees;.

its

and

I advise all

lovers of bees to have nothing to

we can check among inhuman custom of destroying so wantonly, on any pretence, and often on nonedo with such foolish practices.our, people, the stupid,

Unless

as well as

at

all,

the

insectivorous birds,

we

shall soon, not only be

deprived of their aerial melody,

amongfields

the leafy branches,

but shall lament over the ever increasing horde of destructive insects,,

which ravage ourus.

and desolate our

or-

chards, and from whose successful inroads, nothing but thebirds

can ever protect

Think of

it,

ye who can enfall

joy no music

made by

these winged choristers of the skies,

except that of their agonizing screams, as they

before

your well-aimed weapons, andbefore your heartless gaze!

flutter

out their innocent lives

Drive

awayif

as fast and as farlittle

as you please, from your cruel premises, all thethat

birds

you cannot destroy, and thenwill

fjnd,

you can, thoseand insects!

whoof

sympathize with you, when the caterpillars weave

their destroyingall

webs over your

leafless trees,

kinds

riot in glee,

upon your blasted harvests

I

hope

that

such a healthy public opinon will soon prevail, that theor boy

man

who

is

will be scouted

from

armed with a gun all humane and

to shoot the little birds,

civilized society,

and

if

he should be caught about such contemptible business, willbe tooface.

much ashamed evenI

to lookto

an honest

man

in the

shall close

what

I

have

say about the birds, withold

the

following beautiful translation of anto the

Greek

poet's

address

swallow.

" Attic maiden, honey fed, Chirping warbler, bear'st away.

DISEASES OF BEES.Thou the bnsy buzzing bee, To thy callow brood a prey ?Warbler, thou a warbler seize? Winged, one with lovely wings? Guest thyself, by Summer brought, Yellow guest whom Summer brings? Wilt not quickly let it drop ? 'T is not fair, indeed 't is wrong, That the ceaseless warbler should Die by mouth of ceaseless song.''

271

MerivaWsI

Translation.

have not the space:

to

speak

at

length of the other eneis it

mies of the honied racethe Apiarian only

nor indeedin

at all necessary. his

If

succeeds

keeping

stocks strong,if

they will be their own best protectors, and

he does notif

succeed

in

this,

they would be ofvigilant, to

little

value, evenfor their

they

had no enemies ever

watch

halting,

Nations which are both rich and feeble, invite attack, aswell as unfit themselves for vigorousresistance.

Just so

with the commonwealth of bees.

Unless amply guarded bydefence,it

thousandsto fallall

readyto

to

die

in

itsits

is

ever liableareis

a prey

some one ofone opinion,

many enemies, whichleast, that stolen

agreed

in this

at

honey

much more sweetindustry.

than the slow accumulations of patient

In

the Chapters on Protection andfatal effects

Ventilation,

I

have

spoken of thebee-keeper.

of dysentery.

This disease can

always be prevented by proper caution on the part of the

Let him be careful not

to

feed his bees, late in

the season, on liquidlet

honey, (see Chapter on Feeding,) and

him keep them in dry and thoroughly protected hives. If damp, and there is danger that water will -settle under his Protector, let him build it entirely abote ground ; otherwise it may be as bad as a damp cellar, andhis situation is at all

incomparably worse than nothing

at all.

one disease, called by the Germans, " foul brood," of which I know nothing, by my own observation.

There

is

272but whichis,

THE BBK keeper's MANtJAt.ofall others,

the most fatal in

its

effects.

The

brood appear

to die

in the cells, after

th^y are sealed over

by theease

bees, and the stench from their decaying bodies in-

and seems to paralyze the bees. This distwo instances, attributed by Dzierzon, to feeding bees on " American Honey," or, as we call it, Southern Honey, which is brought from Cuba, and other West India Islands. That such honey is not ordinarily poisonous, isfects the hive,is,

in

well

known

:

probably that used by him, was taken fromItis

diseased colonies.

well

knownin

that ifthis

any honey orpestilencetoia

combs are taken from a hiveraging,it

which

will

most surely infect the colonies

which theytested.

may

be given.

No

foreign honey ought therefore to be exits

tensively u.sed, until

quality has

been thoroughly

The extremethefact, that

violence of this disease

mayat

be inferred from

Dzierzon

in

one season,

lost

by

it,

betweenif

four and five hundred colonies!

As

present advised,

my

colonies were attacked by

it, I

should burn np the bees,;

combs, honey, frames, and

all, from every diseased hive and then thoroughly scald and smoke with sulphur, all such hives, and replenish them with bees from a healthy stock.

There is a peculiar kind of dysentery which does not seem to affect a whole colony, but confines its ravages to a small number of the bees. In the early stages of this disease, those attacked are excessively irritable, and willat-

tempt

to sting

any one who comes near

the hives.

If dis-

sected, their stomachs are found to be already discolored by

the disease.

In the latter stages of this complaint, they not

only lose

all their irascibility,

but

seem very

stupid,

and mayTheir

often be seen crawling upon the ground unable to

fly.

abdomens are now unnaturally swollen, and of a much lighter color than usual, owing to their being filled with ayellow matter exceedingly offensiveto

the smell.

I

have

not yet ascertained the cause of this disease.

CHAPTER

XII.

LOSS OE THE QUEEN.

That

the

queen of

a hive is often lost,

and

that the ruin

of the whole colony soon

follows, unlessfacts

suchto

a loss

is

seasonably remedied,

are

which ought

be well

known to every observing Some queens appear to a time when there are no

bee-keeper.die of old

age or disease, and

at

worker-eggs, or larvse of a suitaIt is evi-

ble age, to enable the bees to supply their loss.

dent, however, that no very large proportion of the qweens

which

perish, are lost

under such circumstances.

Either

the bees are aware of the approaching end of their aged

mother, and take seasonable precautionsor else shedies

to

rear a successor;

very suddenly, so asIt is

to

leave

behind her,in

'brood of a suitable age.thatis

seldom that a queen

a hive

strong in numbers and stores, dies either at a period

of the year

be reared, or

when there is no brood from which another can when there are no drones to impregnate theher place.In speaking of the age of bees,

one rearedit

in

has already been stated that queens

commonlyto

die in their

fourth year, while none of the workers liveold.

be a yearthan the

Not onlylife,

is

the

queen much longerdisease

lived

other bees, but she seems to be possessed of greater tenacity of

so that

she

is

usually

when any among the last

overtakes the colony,

to perish,

By

a most admira-

ble provision, their death ordinarily takes place

under

cir-

274

THE BEE keeper's MANUAL.to their

cumstances the most favorableit

bereaved family.

If

were otherwise, the number of colonies which would annually perish, would be very much greater than it now is ; for as a number of superannuated queens must die every year, many, or even most of them might die at a season when their loss would necessarily involve the ruin of theirwhole colony.in

In non-swarming which queens were reared, not

hives, I

have found

cells

to lead out a

new swarm,

but to supply the place ofin the hive. in

the old one which had died There are a few well authenticated instances, which a young queen has been matured before the death

of the old one, but after she had become quite aged andso suddenly as to leave no

where old queens die, either young brood behind them, or at a season when there are no drones to impregnate the younginfirm.Still,

there are cases

queens,'

That queens occasionallyincapable of laying workerfact.

live to

such an age as

to

become

eggs-, is

now ait

well established

The

seminal reservoir sometimes becomes exhausted,is

before the queen dies of old age, and as

never replen-

ished, (see p. 44,) she can only lay unimpregnated eggs, or

such as produce drones instead of workers.additional confirmation of the

This

is

an

theory

first

propounded by1852, Count

Dzierzon.facts.

I

amthe

indebted to Mr.

Wagner

for the following

" In

Bienenzeitung, for August,

Stosch gives us the case of a colony examined by himself,

with the aid of an experienced Apiarian, on the 14th ofApril, previous.healthy.

and

built

The worker-brood was then found to be May following, the bees worked industriously, new comb. Soon afterwards they ceased to build,Indispirited;

and appeared

and when,

in

the

beginning of

June, he examined the colony again, he found plenty of

drone brood in worker cells

!

The queen appeared weak

LOSS OF THE QUEEN.and languid.herin the hive.

275left;

He

confined her

in

a queen cage, and

The

bees clustered around Ihe cage

but

next morning the queen was found to be dead.

Here weweeks."

seem

to

have the commencement, progress and terminal ionall in

of super-annuation,

the space of five or six

In the Spring of the year, as soon as thefly, if their

bees begin to

motions are carefully watched, the Apiarian

may

even

in

the

common

hives, generally ascertainin

from their

actions,

whether they are

possession of a fertile queen.

If they are seen to bring in bee-bread with great eagerness,it

follows, as a matter of course, that they haveits

brood, andIf

are anxious to obtain fresh food for

nourishment.

anyan

hive does not industriously gather pollen, or accept the ryeflour

upon which the others are

feasting, thenit

there

is

almost absolute certainty either thatthat sheis

has not a queen, oris

not fertile, or that the hiveit

seriously infested

with worms, or that

is

on the very verge of starvation.

An

experienced eye will decide upon the queenlessness, (to

use the

German

term,) of a hive, from the restless appear-

ance of the bees.first

At

this

period of the yearloss,

when

they

realize thein

magnitude of their

and before theyit,

have become

a manner either reconciled to

or indiffer-

ent to their fate, they roam in an inquiring manner, in

and out of the hive, and over and plainly manifestthem.that

its

outside as well as inside,

something calamitous has befallenfields, instead

Often those that return from the

of

entering the hive with that dispatchful haste so characteristic

of a bee returning well stored

to a

prosperous home, linger

about the entrance with an idle and very dissatisfied appearance, and ihe colonyquiet.is restless,

long after the other stocks are

Their home,

like that

of the

man whois

is

cursed rather:

than blessed in his domestic relations,

a melancholy place

and they only enter

it

with reluctant and slow-moving steps

!

276

THE BEE keeper's MANtAIi.friendly

If I could address a

word of adviceall that

to

every

married woman,

I

would say, "

Do

you can

to

make

your husband's home a place of attraction. When absent from it, let his heart glow at the very thought of returningto its

dear enjoyments

;

and

let his

countenance involuntarily " heart

put on a more cheerful look, and his joy-quickened steps

proclaim, as he

is

approaching, that he feelsis

in

his

of hearts," that " there

no place

like

home."let

Let herher be

whom

he has chosen as a wife and-companion, be the happyin his cheerful

and honored Queenrevolve.

habitation

:

the center and soul about which his best affections shall everI

knowall

that there are

brutes in the guise of

men,

uponwife,

whombut

the

winning attractions of a prudent, virtuousAlas thatit

so

I

make little who canwoman,of

or no impression.tell

should be

how many, even

of the most hopeless

cases, have been saved for two worlds,

virtuous

in

by a union with a whose " tongue was the law of kindit

ness," and

whom

could be said, " the heart of her

husband doth safelyand notevil, all the

trust in her," for

" she

will

do him good

days of her

life."

Said a man of large experience, " I scarcely know a woman who hastin intemperate husband, who did not either marry a man whose habits were already bad, or who did notdrive

her husband

to evil

courses, (often

when such a

ca-

lamitous result was the furthest possible from her thoughtsor wishes,)

home."husbands

by making him feel Think of it, ye who findto

that that

he had no happy

home

is

not

full

of

dear delights, as well!

yourselves, as to your affectionate

virtue there may be in winning happy smiles, and the cheerful discharge of household duties, and prove the utmost possible efficacy of

Try how much

words and

love and faith and prayer, before those words of agony are extorted from your despairing lips.

fearful

;

LOSS OF TUB QUEEN." Anywhere, anywhere Out of the world ;"

277

when amid tears and sighs of inexpressible agony, you settle down into the heart-breaking conviction that you can have no home until you have passed into that habitation not fashioned by human hands, or inhabited by human hearts Is there any husband who can resist all the sweet attractions of a lovely wife ? who does not set a priceless value upon the very gem of his life ?1

" If such there be, go

mark him

well

High thoughThe

his titles, proud his fame, Boundless his wealth as wish can claim,

wretch, concentered all in self. Living, shall forfeit fair renown, And doubly dying, shall go down To the vile dust from whence he sprang

Unwept, unhonored, and unsung."I trust

Scott.

my

readers,

remembering

my

profession, will par-

don

this

long digression to which

I felt

myselfin the

irresistibly

impelled.

When

the bees

commence

their

work

Spring, theyis

give, as previously stated, reliable evidence either that all

well, or that ruin lurks within.er,it

In the

common

hives howev-

is

not always easy to decideall

upon

their real condition.

Thefit

queenless ones do not, in

cases, disclose their mis-

fortune,to:

any more thanfullis

all

unhappy husbands or wives seein the little

proclaim thethere

extent of their domestic wretched-

ness

a vast

amount of seeming even

world of the bee-hive.constructionis that I;

One

great advantage into

my mode

of

am

never obliged

leave anything to

vague conjecture but I can, in a few moments, open the interior, and know precisely what is the real condition of thebees.

On one

occasion

I

found that a colony which had been

queenless for a considerable time, utterly refused to raise24

278

THE BEE KEEPER'S MANUAL,all!

another, and devoured

the eggs

which were given

to

them

for

that

purpose

This colony was afterwards supto

plied with

an unimpregnated queen, but they refusedfertile

accept of her, anddeath.I

attempted at once to smother her to queen, but she met with

then gave them a

no better treatment.

Facts of a similar kind:

have been

noticed, by other observers

thus

it

seems

that bees

may

not

Only become reconciled, aser,'

it

were,

to living

without a moth-

but

may

pass into such an unnatural state as not only to

decline to provide themselves with another, but actually torefuse to accept of one by

whose agency they might be!

res-

cued from impending ruin

Before expressing toolet

much

astonishment at such foolish conduct,ifit

us seriously inquire

has not often an exact parallel in our obstinate rejection

of the provisions which

God has madeto rear

in the

Gospel for

our moral and religious welfare.If a

colony which refusestoit

another queen, has a

range of comb given

containing

maturing brood,

these poor motherless innocents, as soon as they are ableto

work, perceive their

loss,

and will proceedit!

at once, if

they have the means, to supply

They have

not yet

grown

so hardened by habit to unnatural and ruinous courses, as notto feel thatis

something absolutely indispensablein their hive. to

to their safely

wanting

A

word

theto

young who may read

this treatise.in

Al-

though enjoinedreligious duties,

" remember your Creatorto to procrastinate their

the days of

your youth," you are constantly tempted

neglect youruntil

and

performancein

some more convenientgetful of the ruin

season.

Like the old bees

a hive

without a queen, that seek only their present enjoyment, for-

mayliave

find that

when manhood andto

which must surely overtake them, so you old age arrive, you willlove and serve the Lord than

even

less disposition

LOSS OP THE QUEEN.

279to sinful habits

you now have.will

The

fetters

which bind youuntil

have strengthened with years andability to

you

find

both the

inclination

break them continually decreasing.

In the Spring, as soon as the vifeatherpleasant,I

carefully

examine

all

the hives

becomes sufficiently which do not presmall,

sent theIf a

most unmistakable evidences of health and vigor.is

queenit

wanting,

I

at once,

if

the colonyIf

is

breakof

up, and add the bees to another stock.I

however,it

the colony should be very large,

sometimes

join toIt

onebe

my

small stocks which has a healthy queen.

may

asked

why

not supply the queenless stock with the?

means of

raising anotherto

Simply because there would be no dronesin

impregnate her,

season

;

and the whole operationfailure.

would thereforedeavor thento

result in

an entireuntil

Whyit is

not en-

preseve

it,

the?

season for drones ap-

proaches, and then give

it

a queen

Because

in

dan-

ger of being robbed or destroyed by the moth, while thebees,if

added

to

another stock, can doif left

me

far

more

ser-

vice thanIt

they could,

toI

idleness in their old hive.

must be remembered thatfeeble as

am

not like the bee-keepersto save

on the old plan, extremely anxious

every colony,

however

:

I

can, atfar

the proper season, form asless trouble

many

as I want,to

and with

and expense thandiscouraged

are requiredstocks.If

make anythingcolonies arein

out

of such

any ofbutto

myyet

found to be

feeble in the

Spring,

possession of a healthy queen, I helpin the

them

combs containing maturing brood,In short,I

manner

already described.

ascertain, at the opening ofall

the season, the exact condition of

my

stock, and applyto

such remedies asturing

I find to

be needed, giving

some, maall

brood, to others honey, and breaking upIf

whose

condition appears to admit of no remedy.

however, the

!

280

THE BEE keeper's MANUAL.

bees have not been multiplied too rapidly, and proper care

was takenbutwillIlittle

to

winter none but strong stocks, they will need

assistance in the

Spring

;

and nearly

all

of them

show

indubitable signs of health

and

vigor.

strongly

recommend every prudent bee-keeper whothemall

uses

my

hives, to give

a most thorough over-hauling

and

cleansing, soon

after the bees

begin to work in the

Spring.all

The

bees of any stock may, with their combs, &c.,in

be transferred,

a few minutes,

to

a clean hive

;

and

their hive, after being thoroughly cleansed,

may

be used for

another transferred stockhive, the bees

;

and

in this

way, with one spare

may

all

be lodged in habitations from which

every speck of

dirt

has been removed.possibility,

They

will thus

have hives which can by nofree from

harbor any of the

eggs, or larvEB of the moth, and whichfectly

may

be made per-

the least smell of must or

mould or anyIn

thing offeesive to the delicate senses of the bees.this

makingwill

thorough cleansing of

all

the hives,

the Apiarian

necessarily gain an exact knowledge of the true condition

of each stock, and

will:

know which havein short,

sparein

honey,of

and which require foodto lend a helping

which areIf

need

help in any respect, and which have the requisite strength

hand

to others.

any hive needsit is

re-

pairing, again.

it

may

be put into perfect order, beforein this fashion, if the roofs

used

Hives managed

and out-

side covers are occasionally painted anew, will last for generations,

andin

will be

found, on

the score of

cheapness,

But I beg pardon of the Genius of American cheapness, who so kindly presides over the making of most of our manufactures, and under whose shrewd tuition we are fast bepreferable,the

long run, to any other kind.

pught

to

ginning to believe thatcheapnessin theis

first

cost of an article,

the

main point

to

which our

attention should be directed

;

LOSS OF THE QUEEN.Let USstruction,let

281in the cost

to

be sure, save

all that

we canin the

of con-

by the greatest economy

use of materials

compel every minute to yield the greatest possible practical result, by the employment of the most skillful workmen and the most ingenious machinery but do let us learn that slighting an article, so as to get up a mere sham,us;

having

all

theis

appearance of

reality,

with none of the

substance,

the poorest possible

kind of pretended econo-

my

;

to

say nothing of the tendency of such a system, toinall

encourage

the pursuits of

life,

the narrow and selfish

policy of doing nothing thoroughly, but everything with reference to mere outside show, or the urgent necessities of the

present moment.V\''e

have yet

to

describe

far the larger proportion of hives,

under what circumstances, by become queenless. After

the

first

swarm has goneall

out with the old mother, then boththe subsequent

the parent stock and

swarms,

will

have

each a young queen which must always leave the hive in It sometimes happens that the order to be impregnated.

wings of the young female are, from herthat she either refuses to sally out, oris

birth, so

imperfect

unable to return to

the

hive, if she

ventures abroad.toits

In

either case, the oldperish.

stock must,

if loft

own

resources, speedily

Queens,

in their contests

with each other, are sometimes so

much

crippled as to unfit them for flight, and sometimes they

are disabled by the rude treatment of the bees,

whowhen

insist

on driving themiority,

away from

the royal cells.lost,

Theperish

great

ma.they

however, of queens which are

leave the hive in search of the drones.slower flight

Their extra size andto the birds,;

make them a most tempting preyin

ever on the watchinthis

the vicinity of the hives

and many

way,

perish.

Others are destroyed by sudden gusts

of winds, which dash them against some hard object, or21*

282

THE BEE KEEPBK'S MANtTAL.

blow them into the water ; for queens are by no means, exempt from the misfortunes common to the humblest oftheir race.

Veryit,

frequently, in spite of

all

their caution in

noticing the position and appearance of their habitation, before they left

they

make

a fatal mistake on their return,to

and are imprisoned and destroyed as they attemptthe

enter

wrong

hive.

The

precautions which should be used, toIf

prevent such a calamity, have been already described.these are neglected, thosesize

who

build their hives of uniform

and appearance,

will find

themselves losing

many more

queens than the person who uses the old-fashioned boxes,hardly any two of which look just alike.

The bees seem

to

me,

to have, as

it

were, an instinctive

perception of the dangers which await their

new queen

when

she makes her excursionher,

in

search of the drones, and

often gather around

and confine her, as though they!

could not bearticed

to

have her leavealthoughit.

I

have repeatedly no-

them doing

this,

I

cannot affirm with positiveare usually excessively

certainly,

why

they dothe

They

queen leaves, and often exhibit all the appearance of swarming. If the queen of an old stock is lost in this way, her colony will gradually dwindle away.agitated

when

If the

queen of an afler-swarm

fails to return, the

bees very;

speedily

come

to .nothing, if they

remain

in the hive

as a

general rule, however, they soon leave and attempt to add

themselves fo other colonies.

would be highly interesting to ascertain in what way become informed of the toss of their queen. When she is taken from them under such circumstances as to excite the whole colony, then we can easily see how theyIt

the bees

find out

that she

is

gone

;

for

when

greatly excited, they;

j^lways seek

first to

assure themselves of her safety

just as

a tender mother in time of danger forgets herself in

her

LOSS OP THE QUEEN.anxiety for her helpless childrenis!

283

If

however, the queenis

carefully removed, so that the colony

not disturbed,

it

is

sometimes a day, or even more, before they realize their loss. How do they first become aware of it ? Perhaps

someits

dutiful

bee feels that

it is

a long time since

it

has seendiligent

mother, and anxious to embrace her, makes!

search for her through the hive

The

intelligence that she

cannot anywhere be found,

is

soon noised abroad, and the

whole community areantennae, they

at

once alarmed.

At such

times, in-

stead of calmly conversing by merely touching each other's

may

be seen violently striking as

it

were,

their antennte together,

and by the most impassioned demon-

strations manifesting their

agony and despair.

I

once

re-

moved a queen in such a manner as to cause the bees to take wing and fill the air in search of her. She was returned in a few minutes, and yet, on examining the colony, two days after, I found that they had actually commencedthe building of royal cells, in order to raise another!

The

queen was unhurt and thethis

cells

were not tenanted.she was safe

Wasit

work begun by some

that

refused for a long time to?

believe the others,

when

told that

Or was

begun from the apprehension

that she

might again be re-

moved ? Every colony which hasin

a

order that the Apiarianloss.

new queen, should be watched, may be seasonably apprised of

her

The

restless

conduct of the bees, on the eveningreturn, will at once inform the

of the day that she

fails to

experienced bee-master of the accident which has befallenhis hive.If the bees cannot be supplied with another

queen,it

or with the

means ofit

raising one, if

an old swarmto

must;

be broken up, and the bees addeda

another stockit

if

new swarm

must always be broken up, unless

can be

supplied with a queen nearly mature, or else they will build

284combs

THE BEE keeper's MANUAL.unfit for the rearing of workers.all

By

the use of

my

movable comb hives,formed.If

these operations can be easily perlost

any hives have

their

young queen, theyplanis

may

be supplied, either with the means of raising another,

or with sealed queens from other hives, or, (if the

found

to

answer,) with mature ones from the " Nursery."I

As

a matter of precaution,

generally give to

all

my

stocks that are raising

young queens, or which haveto

unira-

pregnated ones, a range of comb containing brood and eggs,so that they

may,once,

into

case of any accident

.

their queen,

proceed

at

supply their

loss.

In this

way,

I

pre-

vent them from being so dissatisfied as to leave the hive.

About a weekamineall

after the

young queens have hatched,

I

ex-

the hives

which contain them,

lifting out usually,

some of

the largest combs, andIf I find a

those which ought to con-

tain brood.

comb which has eggsa fertile

or larvse,

I

am;

satisfied that they

havefind

queen, and shut up the hive

unless

I

wishp.

to

her, inI

order to deprive her of hersatisfyI

wings, (seeor

203.)Iflost,

can thus oftenis

myself

in

one

two minutes.

no broodor that she

found,

suspect that the

queen has been

has some defect which hasIf the

prevented her from leaving the hive.

brood-combroyal

whichcells,

II

put into the hive, contains any newly-formed

know, without any further examination, that thelost.

queen has beenor the colonyis

If the

weather has been unfavorable,is

quite

weak, the young queenthis

sometimes

not impregnated as early as usual, and an allowance of a

few days must be rnade onleaves, the

account.

If the

weather

is

favorable, and the colony a good

one, the queen usually

In about

day after she finds herself mistress of a family. two days more, she begins to lay her eggs. By

waiting about a

week

before the examinationis

is

made, am-

ple allowance, in

most cases,

made.

LOSS OF THE QUEEN.Earlyin the

285all

month of September,

I

examine carefully

myter

hives, so as to see that in every respect, they are in suita-

ble condition for wintering. If

on Feeding,) they are fed

at this time.to

any need feeding, (See ChapIf any have morehave,I I

vacant room than they ought

partition off that part

of the hive which they do not need.

always expect

to find

somehiveI

i)rood in everyfind none,it

healthy hive at this time, andit

if in

any

and ascertain thatifit it

is

queenless,

I

either atit

once breakever, are

up, or

is

strong in numbers supplyfeebler stock.at

vi'ith

a queen, by adding to

some

If bees,

howtheir

properly attended

to,it

the season

when

young queens are impregnated,renceto find

will

be a very rare occur-

a queenless colony

in the Fall.

Thehives,all, is

practical bee-keeper without further directions, will

readily perceiveis

how any

operation, which in theit

common

performed with

difficulty, if

can be performed at

reducedIf

to simplicity

and certainty, by the control of

the combs.

however, bee-keepers will be negligent andpossible

ignorant,If

no hive can they belong to theall

make them veryof " no eyes,"

successful.

fraternity

who haveis

kept bees

their lives,

and do not know that there

a

queen, they will probably derive no special pleasure from

being compelled to believe what they have always deridedas

humbugto

or book-knowledge

;

although

I

have seen some

bee-keepers very intelligent on most matters,

who never

seem

have learned the

first

rudiments

in

the natural his-

tory of the bee.

Those who cannot,

or will not learn for

who have not the leisure or disposition to manage iheir own bees, may yet with my hives, entrust their care to suitable persons who may, at the proper time, attend to all their wants. Practical gardeners may find the management of bees for their employers, to be quite a luthemselves, orcrative part of their profession.

"With but

little

extra labor

;

286and withdoall

THK beekeeper's manual.great certainty,

they

may, from time;

to

time,

that

the prosperity

of the bees require

carefully

over-hauling them in the Spring, makingthesuitable

new

colonies, at

any are wanted, giving them their surplus honey receptacles, and removing them when full and on the approach of Winter, putting all the coloniesperiod, ifinto

proper condition,,

to resist

its

rigors.

The

business of

the practical Apiarian

and

that of the

Gardener, seem very

naturally to go together, and one great advantage of

my

hive and

mode of management

is

the ease with which they

that has been said, may still have doubts whether the young queens leave the hive for

may be .successfully united. Some Apiarians after allimpregnation;

or

may

think that the old ones occasionally

leave, even

when they do not go out to lead a swarm. Such persons may, if they choose, easily convince themselves by

thefollowing experiments of the accuracy of

my statements.

About a week after hiving a second swarm, or after the birth of a young queen in a hive, and after she has begun to lay eggs, open the hive and remove her carry her a few rods:

in front

of the Apiary, and

let

her

fly

;

she will at once enpreviously leftshort time after

terit.

herIf,

own

hive and thus

showis

that she has

however, an old queen

removed a

hiving the swarm, she will not be able to distinguish herhive from any other, and will thusit,

own

show

that she has not left

since the swarm was hived. If this experiment is performed upon an old queen, in a hive in which she was put the year before, when unimpregnated, the same result will

follow

;

for as she

neverof

leftits

it

after that event, she will

haveary.

lost all recollection

relative

position

in the

Api-

The

first

of these experiments has been suggested by

Dgier^on,

"

.

CHAPTER

XIII.

UNION OF STOCKS.

MON HIVE.Frequentto

TRANSFERRING BEES FROM THE COMSTARTING AN APIARY.have been madeto

allusions

the importance,

for various reasons, of breaking

up stocks and uniting themColonies which in the

other families

in

the

Apiary.

early Spring, are found to be queenless, ought at once to be

managed

in this

way,

for

even

if

not speedily destroyed bystores

their enemies, they are only

consumers of the

whichto

they gathered

in their

happier days.

The same

treatment

should also be extended

to all that in the

Fall, are found

be

in a similar condition.

As

small colonies, even thoughto

possessed of a healthy

queen, are never able

winter as advantageously as large

ones, the bees from several such colonies ought to be puttogether, to enable

them by keeping up

the necessary sup-

ply of heat, to survive the Winter on a smaller supply offood.

A

certa:inin

quantity of animal heat must be

main-

tained

by bees,

order to live at

all,

and

if their

numberswill

are too small, they can only keep

it

up, by eating small

more thanthus

they would otherwise require.not unfrequently, consume asing two or three

A

swarm

times

as

much honey as one containmany bees. These are factstested

which have been most thoroughlyscale. If a

on a very largeto

hundred persons arc requiredis

occupy, with

comfort, a church that

capable of accommodating a thou-

288sand, as

THE BEE keeper's MANUAL. much fuel or even more will be number as the large one.required, to

warm

the small

which are to be wintered, are in the comcondemned ones must be drummed out of their old encampment, sprinkled with sugar-water scented with peppermint, or some other pleasant odor, and added toIf the- stocks

mon

hives, the

the others, (see

p.

212.)

The

colonies which

are to

be

united ought if possible, to stand side by side,

some timewould not

before this process

is

attempted.

This can almost alwaysfor whileit

be effected by abe safe toto the

little

management,all

move

a

colony

at

once, even a few yards toflight

right or left of the

line

of

in

which the beeshives are near,)little

sally out to

the fields,

(especially if other

they

may

be moved a slight distance one day, and a

more

the next, and so on, until

we have them

at last in the

desired place.

Asthe

persons rnay sometimes be obliged to

move

their

Apiaries, during the

working season,

I will

here describe

way by whichI

I

was

able to accomplish such a removal,

so as to benefit, instead of injuring

my

bees.

Selecting a

pleasant day,

moved, early

in

the

morning, a portion of

my

very best stocks.

A considerable

number of bees fromtime, in search of

these colonies, returned in the course of the day to thefamiliar spot;

after flying about for

some

their hives, (if the

weather had been chilly many of themat length

would have perished,) theynextto their old

entered those standing

homes.

More of:

the strongestthisleft

ed, on the next pleasant day

and

processin the

were removwas repeatold Apiary.to the

ed, until at last only one hive

was

This was then removed, and only a few bees returnedold spot.'I

moving a number of hives, than I should have lost in moving one and I conducted the process in such a way, as to strengthen some ofin:

thus lost no

more bees,

UNION OF STOCKS.

289

myto

feeble stocks, instead of very seriously diminishing theirI

scanty numbers.resultin

have

known

the

most serious losses

manner

from the removal of on Apiary, conducted in the which a change of location is usually made.in

Thesimple.led, be

process of uniting colonies

my

hive,

is

exceedingly

The combs may,at

after the

two colonies are sprinkis

once

lifted

out from the one whichall

to

be bro-

ken up, and put withthe other hive.his

the bees

upon them,it

directly into

If the Apiarian judges

best to saveto

any of

very small colonies, he can confine themthird

one half or

one

of the

central

part of the hive,

empty ends with

straw, shavings, or

Any

one oftoit

my

frames, can, in

and fill the two any good non-conductor. a few minutes, by having

tacked

a ihin piece of board or paste-board, or even an oldintoit

newspaper, be fashionedwill

a divider, which will answeris

all

praciical purposes, and ifit

stuffed with cotton waste, &c.,If

keep the bees uncommonly warm.is to

a very small

colony

be preserved over Winter, the queen must be

confined, in the Fall, in a queen cage, to prevent the colony

from deserting the hive,I

shall

now show hownumber

the bee-keeper

who wishesso,

only to

keep a given number of stocks, may do fromthatIf his bees are kept in

and yet secure

the largest quantity of surplus honey.

non-swarming

hives,

he may unbeeit

doubtedly, reap a bounteous harvest from the avails of theirindustry.I

do not however, recommend:

this

mode of

keeping as the best

still

there are

many

so situated that

may

be

much

the best for them.

ray hives, can

pursue the

Such persons, by using non-swarming plan to the besttaking off the

advantage.

They can byto

wings

of their

queens, be sure that their colonies will not suddenly leave

them

;

a casualty

which;

all

other non-swarming

hivesin

are sometimes liable

and by taking away the honey

25

290small

THE BEE keeper's MANUAL.quantities, they

will

always give the bees plenty of

spare room for storage, and yet avoid discouraging Ihem, asis

so

often

done

when

large boxes are taken from them.

(See Chapter on Honey.)

By removingof their

frora time to time, the old queens, the colo-

nies can all be kept in possession of queens, at the heightfertility,

and

in

this

wayit

a very

serious objec-

tion to the

non-swarming, or as

is

frequently called, theIfat

storifyjng system,

may

be avoided.

colonies

are

wanted, they

may

be

made

any time, new in the manneris

already described.

Tn ^districts

where the honey harvest

of very short continuance, the non-swarming plan

may

be

found to yield the largest quantity of honey, and in case theseason should prove unfavorable for the gathering of honey,it

will usually secure the largest returnsI

from a given num-

ber of stocks.

therefore prefer to

keep a considerable

number of my colonies, onthe the

the storifying plan, and

am

confi-

dent of securing from them, a good yield of honey, even in

most unfavorable seasons.

If bee-keepers will pursue

same system, theyto

will not only be

on the safeit

side, but

will be able to determine

which method

will be best for

them

adopt, in order to

makein.

the most from their bees.

As

a general rule, the Apiarian

whop.

increases the

number

of his colonies, one third

a season, making one very211,) will have moreobtained

powerful

swarm fromto

two, (See

surplus honey from the three, than he could have

from the two,swarms.If,

say

nothing

of the

value

of his

newunite

at

the approach of Winter, he wishes to re-

duce

his stocksin the

down

to the

Spring number, he

may

them

mannerfor the

described, appropriating

all

the goodall their

honey of those which he breaks up, and saving

empty comb

new

colonies of the next season.;

Thewill

bees in the doubled stock will winter most admirably

fNION OF STOCKS.consume butandwillItlitlle

291

honey,

in

proportion to their numbers,

be in most excellent condition

when

the Spring

opens.

must

not,

however, be forgotten,little;

that although

they eat comparatively

in the

Winter, they must be

well supplied in the Springlarge

as they will then have a veryfeed, to

number of mouths

to

say nothing of theIf

thousands of young bees bred

in the hive.

any

old-fash-

ioned bee-keeper wishes, he can thus pursue the old plan,with onlythe bees inhisthis

modification

;

that

he preserves theto take

lives

of

the hives

which he wishes

up

;

secures

honey without any fumes of sulphur, and saves the empty comb to make it worth nearly ten times as much toit

himself, as

would be,

if

melted into wax.is

Let no humane

bee-keeper ever feel that thereso managing his bees as to

the slightest necessity for

make

the comparison of Shake-

speare always apposite

:

" "When like the Bee, tolling from every flower The virtuous sweets Our thighs packed with wax, our mouths, with honey, bring it to the hive ; and like the bees, Are murdered for our pains.";

We

Whilesingle

I

am

an advocate

for

breaking upI

all

stocks which

cannot be wintered advantageously,

never advise that ahumanity,

bee should be

killed.

Self interest and

alike forbid the unnecessary sacrifice.

Teansfekring Bees from the Common Hive to the Movable Comb Hive,

Theto

construction of

myis

hive

is

such, as to permit

methe

transfer

bees from the

season that the weatherfly;

common hives, warm enough to

during

all

permit them to

and yet

to

be able

to

guarantee that they will receive

no serious damage by the change.

On

the

lOih of November, 1852, in the latitude of North-

292

THE BEE keeper's MANUAL.

em Massachusetts, I transferred a colony which wintered in good health, and which now. May, 1853, promises to make an excellent stock. The day was warm, but after the operation

was completed, the weather suddenly became

cold,

and

as the bees were not able to leave the hive in order to obtain the

water necessary for repairing their comb, they were

supplied with that indispensable article.

They went

to

work

very busily, and

in a. short

time mended* up their combs and

attached them firmly to the frames.

The

transfer

mayis

be made of any healthy colony, andis

if

they are strong in numbers, and the hive

well provisioned,is at-

and the weather

not too cool

when

the operationIf the

tempted, they will scarcely feel the change.er should be too chilly,it

weath-

will

be found almost impossible to

make aout,

colony leave

its

old hive, and if the

combs are cutbe unableto

and the bees removed upon them, large numbers ofwill take

them

wing, and becoming chilled,

will

join their companions,

and so will perish.

The

process of transferring bees to

my

hives,

is

performed

as follows.

Let the old hive be shut up and well drummed*if possible,

and the bees,will

be driven into an upper box.

If

they will not leave the hive of theirfill

own

accord,

they

themselves, andif

when

it is

ascertained that they are

determined,

they can help

it,

not to be tenants at will,

the upper box must be removed, and the bees genlly sprinkled, so

that they

may

all

be sure

to

have nothing done

to

them on an empty stomach.

If possible,

an end of the oldoff,

box parallel with the combs, must be pried

so that they

mayas a

be easily cutsheet, inis

out.

An

old hive or box should stand

upon a

place of the removed stock, and as fastit,

comb

cut out, the bees should be shaken from

* Instead of using sticks, I much prefer to with the open palms of my hands.

make

the

drumming

TKANSFERRING BEES.Upon the sheetservicein;

293be ofthey

a wing or anythingoff the

soft, will often

brushinghurt.

bees.is

Kemember

that

must not betakento

If the

weather

so pleasant that

many

bees from other hives, are on the wing, great care must beprevent them from robbing.

As

fast

therefore as

the bees are shaken from the combs, these should be put into an empty hive or box, and covered with a cloth, or

some place where they will not be disturbed. As all the combs have been removed, the Apiarian should proceed to select and arrange them for his new hive. If the transfer is made late in the season, care must be taken, of course, to give the bees combs containing a generoussetin

soon as

allowance of honey for their winter supplies

;

together with

such combs as have brood, or are bestof workers.All

fitted for the

rearing

coarse

combs except such

as contain the

honey which they need, should be rejected. Lay a frame upon a piece of comb, and mark it so as to be able to cut larger, so that it will just crowd into the frame, to it a trifle remain in its place until the bees have time to attach it. Ifthe size of the

combsfit,

is

such, that

some of them cannot bethe best advantage, and

cut so as toafter putting

"then cut

them

to

them

into the frames,

wind some thread around

the upper and lower slats

of the frame, so as to hold theth