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it five months, and all came out in good condition. The one I constructed was modified somewhat from the one Mr. Langstroth described in his work, merely for convenience. Having selected the highest ground, near the bee yard, for the clamp, I measured off 16x16 feet, dug out the soil one foot deep, throwing it out at each side for covering; I then set four posts in the center on a square of, 8 feet and 6 feet high, pining pieces on top of the posts to sustain the inward pressure, after being covered. I covered the top with strong poles, placing them 8 or 10 inches apart, and treating the sides the same, placing the bottom of the side poles on the top of the ground, which would give them an inclination of about 45 degrees. On one side put a door, the jamb being a foot wide, and the same position, or slant, as the sides. It is then ready to cover with straw (hay is better), cover all with earth 1 foot thick, and you have it ready for the bees. Make a cover for the door and place it on the jamb on the outside. Cut a hole in one corner of the door 3x3 inches for ventilation; or ventilating tubes would be better. It is well to let it remain a few days, with the cover off, to dry out before putting in the bees. When they are put in have the hives as dry as possible; give them up. ward ventilation, and disturb them afterwards as little as possible.
M. S. SNOW.
Ono, Wis., Dec. 1, 1875.
For the American Bee Journal. Effects of the Extractor on Brood.
The question of J. W. Dunn, page 267, December number of the JOURNAL, is often asked, and is a very important one. The various opinions on the subject seem to show a lack of careful investigation. This is not as it should be; and the question ought to be settled beyond all perad venture before the next season for extracting has passed.
The results of my careful attention to this subject has taught me:
1st. Eggs can not be thrown out by the use of the extractor.
2nd. Young larvæ are not injured by the extractor unless thrown out.
3rd. Ninety per cent. of the larvæ that are thrown out by my extractor are drone larvæ.
The drone larvæ owing to the larger size of the cells, and their greater weight when several days old, are more easily displaced than worker larvæ.
As very young larvæ and eggs are often removed from the cells, when put into a strange colony, it is necessary to notice whether combs are put into their proper hive or not. I think this the likelist source of error in determining this question.
SEPT. 14. Our apiary numbers 108 hives, of which 50 are storing in boxes, slinging from 15, 41 comb-building, and two have queens not laying.
Since we have Italianized our apiary we are troubled but little by the moth; ants and spiders are worse this year.
Some time since some writer said that the Italians built larger cells than the black bees. A few days since we got a swarm of black bees, and had an opportunity to verify it; their worker comb measured 100 cells in two inches square (or four square inches), and the Italians. only 82 in two inches square. Is this difference in size an improvement or not? Are Italians smaller by being raised in cells by black bees?
We use all good drone comb for guides in surplus boxes. To secure this we are cutting out drone comb, and have our comb-builders fill in with worker comb; for this purpose we employ nuclei and weak swarms, giving them from 2 to 3 full combs of brood and one or two empty frames or combs, from which we have cut drone comb; these we keep strong by crowding with a division-board, and examine once every two or three days, according to the tendency to build drone comb, which is regulated by the amount of honey being gathered, building worker if scarce, and vice versa.
How would I secure the greatest amount of box honey? I would have large hives; if Langstroth frame, 9x17 inches outside measurement; I would have 13 frames.
Commence in the spring with as many combs as the bees can cover, when honey and pollen is not to be gathered, stimulate by feeding rye-flour and sweetened water; insert between each two combs of brood an empty comb; in this you will need to be guided by the prolificness of the queen, amount of bees and the weather, using a division-board, until you have filled the hive with 13 frames of brood. Have the hives made with a front or entrance at both ends; these you will regulate, keeping them more or less open according to weather and strength of colony. If you use the Langstroth blocks that have slots, put the slotted side up, as they harbor
Be careful not to put any drone comb in the hive, for they will raise a lot of useless consumers and incite them to swarm. Did you ever know a hive to swarm that had no drone-comb? Have all worker-comb full of brood, and the hive crowded with bees, and they will only leave your sweetened water for honey abroad. Put on 12 6-lb. boxes, or better, use a section-box of frames similar to the one used by Clark and Harbison, of California. I make them as follows: Upright side pieces, 1% inches long, 14 inches wide, and 3% inch thick; top piece, 64x14x3-16; this piece is nailed on top of side pieces; bottom piece is1⁄2 inch square and 51⁄2 inches long; this is nailed between the side pieces, with one corner downward; for nailing use lath nails. These frames are held together by a thin strip of wood laid in a 1⁄2inch mortice in the center of the outsides of side pieces, and tacked with cigar tacks in the end sections. A 13-frame Lang.. stroth hive will hold four of these section boxes, of 11 frames each, with a storage capacity of 112 tbs, instead of 72 tbs, in boxes. We put 6x7 glass on each end of the section box with glue, these frames will hold about 21⁄2 lbs, and may be retailed separately. These frames give us the advantage of large boxes (bees will store more in a large box than in small ones), more surplus room, and when partially filled they may be emptied with the slinger and the honey sold, instead of laying by from 1 to 4 lbs per box till next season. The frames will need a thin strip of comb as a guide, which may be fastened to the top piece with glue or beeswax and resin, of equal parts.
About once a month it is well to open hives that are run for box honey, and empty any combs that are filled and return, putting them in the center and those filled with brood to the outside.
The season of 1875 has been very cool with us, as will be seen by the following notes kept: Mar. 30, fahrenheit, 80; April 16 and 17, 20°; remaining cool till May 7, 84; then about ten days warm, then cool till June 20, then cool nights, being about 55 in morning, and up to 80 at
noon. Aug. 22, 5 A. M., 43 : Aug. 23, 5 A. M., 40; at 1 P. M. of same day, 76. Aug. 25, 5 A. M., 70; 1 P. M., 90; continuing warm till Sept. 10, 5 A. M., 55°; then rained every day till Sept. 18, when we had a light frost.
I set out, March 27, 54 hives out of 100 put in cellar. April 6th, gathered pollen; May 7, first drone seen; bass-wood, apple, wild and tame cherry, plumb; white clover, failed to produce any honey; raspberries, mustard, produced some. July 8, bees commenced and gathered considerable from ebow brush; then, Aug. 10, they commenced on buckwheat, of which we had 25 acres within 11⁄2 miles; they left buckwheat, which yielded well, for the Mississippi bottom fall flowers, gathering considerable till frost, when a heavy rain cut the flow of honey short.
On account of cold weather, bees worked but little in boxes, storing it below, crowding the brood to a small space. Ten hives which I run for slung honey kept crowded with bees and brood, and did not swarm, but those storing in boxes had the swarming mania. From Aug. 25 till Sept 10, I increased to 108 hives, but 3 being queenless I united them with others, leaving 105 to try the winter with.
We took 1,000 lbs box honey and 2,000 Ibs slung honey. D. D. PALMER. Eliza, Mercer Co., Ill., Oct. 2, 1875.
For the American Bee Journal. What They Did, and How They Did It.
DEAR JOURNAL:-The summer is ended, the honey harvest is past for the year 1875, and it is now the duty of the bee-keeper to repay the little busy bees for their last season's work, by preparing them carefully to exist during the long and cold winter that we are destined to have in this latitude. It is also the farther duty of every bee-keeper to carefully look over his last season's work and see what he has accomplished—comparing his losses with his success, also carefully reading the AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL and then trying to make next season more of a success than the last. That, I consider the way to make bee-keeping a success. I commenced last spring with 18 stocks, 3 of which were queenless; the spring was unfavorable, but I brought them all through; owing to storms I got only about 100 lbs of linden honey; we have no white clover here, from the middle to the last of July. My queens seemed determined to lay in the upper stories; about the middle of August they commenced to store honey and also to swarm; although I extracted once a week, still they would swarm.
I piled up some of my Quinby hives to three stories; it gave me a good chance to experiment with hiving swarms back into the parent stock, hiving swarms with
weak colonies, etc. I have taken about 2,000 lbs of honey, and have 28 stocks for winter. This makes the third year that I have tried to get box honey; I got about 125 lbs and lost more than I made in the operation, in my opinion; for whenever I tried to confine my bees down to work in boxes, they would invariably swarm when the boxes were about half full, and that would spoil that stock for box honey.
I had hives with 12 frames, the frames 12x16, and a 30 th box on top; still they swarmed; they kept swarming up, until about the 12th of Sept.
If my bees had taken such a swarming fever in June, I do not know where my increase of stocks would have stopped, as it was, I did all I knew how to prevent it. ED WELLINGTON. Riverton, Iowa, Oct. 11, 1875.
For the American Bee Journal.
My Success in 1875.
I have been taking the AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL for 7 years, and I have Langstroth, Quinby, Mitchell, King, and have read nearly all the bee literature in the country, been in company and conversed with some of the best apiarist in our country. I thought I was pretty scientific on that subject, but other business had always prevented any application of my science to the business.
However this season I thought I would apply what knowledge I had, and see if I could perform the various manipulations so essential in bee-keeping, and without the successful performance of which no man could claim to be a successful and scientific apiarist, and possibly I might attain some of those marvellous results. which I had often read of, but had never
I got my bees Italianized last fall, and succeeded partially; I commenced last spring with 13 hives: 8 full bloods, 2 hybrids, 1 black and 2 queenless stocks. First job in order was to supply my queenless stocks with queens, which I did by giving them full frames of brood in all stages from my best Italian stocks. I succeeded finely, and here it would be well enough to state that I use the Lang. stroth hive, and I never have lost a colony of bees while wintering it in a Langstroth hive on its summer stand in Mo.
nearly starved to death, were weaker in bees on the first of July than they were on the first of March, and totally destitute of stores, making their daily food from day to day.
About the 10th of July fair weather and flowers came, and bees began to gain rapidly. In the fore part of the season I had increased seven stocks, part natural, part artificial. On the sixth day of August swarming commenced again in earnest, and from that time till the 18th day of September swarming was an almost daily occurrence. On the morning
of the 18th a severe frost visited this county and the honey season closed, (on the 21st a swarm came off, the latest I ever knew, I put it in a nail keg; it remained a few days, and then decamped, it could make no honey.) My 13 stocks inIcreased to 43. Most of them in good condition for wintering, but such a great increase was detrimental to surplus honey. I got none.
When frost came, on the 18th, my bees were never doing better, and if frost had only held off, as it usually does here, and as it did in the western part of the state till October 18th, an immense yield of honey would have resulted. I never saw such a profusion of flowers in my life, hundreds of acres of aster, golden-rod, heart's-ease, smart weed, and many other kinds nameless to me. The fields in many places looked like seas of gold.
The three best honey plants are aster, golden rod and buckwheat. We have all kinds of fruit blossoms, white clover, basswood, and I believe every plant and flower and shrub common to the western states in this latitude 39 deg. I call this a good bee country. JOHN BARFOOT. Montgomery Co., Mo., Nov. 20, 1875.
For the American Bee Journal.
How it Was Accomplished.
DEAR EDITOR.-I see in the October number of the AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL a request by a correspondent, that those bee men making the largest report of honey, etc., for the season, would give their method of management. It would seem that I am among those referred to. One word in correction; it might be inferred from reading my report that I got my comb honey from the 38 swarms, run with the extractor, but I did not. It was all comb honey, that I got from the balance of my apiary. My mode of operating was with the High Pressure Hive, mentioned in the June nur ber. Breedup in the spring in long low brood chambers to the full capacity of the queen, until I have a stock large enough to divide. I then operate with the extractor, in the low form, or divide into two swarms and run each division with a super and upper tier of frames or cards, or I can lift one
half the low chamber on to the other and start the extractor with the increased swarm. Usually in this form they do not swarm, but this season most of them swarmed. I would state that I had the advantage of between three and four hundred empty cards. I think it is safe to say that I obtained four thousand pounds more honey than I should if I had not had them, thus showing the value of good empty cards to work with. I shall have about the same number to work with another season if all is well. The ten young swarms I spoke of in my report I do not remember whether they were all from those I run with the Extractor or not. I only know that most of them swarmed once, some of them twice but I put back the second swarms. The 38 swarms averaged about 135 lbs each; from one swarm I took three hundred tbs, and three swarms of increase; another 2391⁄2 lbs and two swarms of increase. I suppose it will be borne in mind that I am some nearer the north pole than any other that reported, and in not a very good honey district at that; considering that no honey was extracted after July, I think I did well. I am now preparing my bees for winter quarters, taking off my upper story of cards and can verrify what I said, that I shall get some four or five hundred pounds more when putting up for winter. A. H. HART.
Appleton, Wis., Oct. 23, 1875.
For the American Bee Jourual. The New Idea Hive.
Under the head of "Notes and Queries" in the July number, Wm. Herring asks how the New Idea Hive is constructed.
I ought, perhaps, to state how mine was made, so that Mr. H., or others, may not be misled by my former communication. Mr. Gallup said his were made double on the sides with one-quarter inch air-space; this being a colder climate than Iowa, I thought it only prudent to make mine a little warmer, so I made it of three thick. nesses on the sides and two on the ends, with quarter inch air-spaces. In preparing for winter take off the honey-boards and cover the frames with cotton cloth; then have a frame three inches deep, with bottom covered with cloth and large enough to cover the top of the hive; fill this frame with saw dust and they are all right. I hold that bees are the best judges of the proper temperature of the hive, and they will maintain that degree of heat, if you will enable them to do so. My hives set quite low and the snow drifts around them, if necessary I bank up the snow some, not caring even if they are completely buried. Bees used to winter in this climate in single-wall hives and did well; why don't they now? I don't believe in the theory of bad honey, cold,
&c. Honey is probably as good as it ever was, and the winters just as variable and no more so. I am one of the many who think that the cause of the bee disease is, that an epidemic has passed over the country imparing the constitution of the bees, and rendering them more liable to disease from causes that did not heretofore affect them.
My bees wintered well, but the cold spring, I thought for a while would ruin them, they run down so in numbers, and before I was aware of it, more than half became queenless. It was late in the season before the loss could be made good. They are all now in fine condition; I have not increased the number of swarms any, and took honey only from one hive, (about one hundred pounds). White clover, the only source this season, lasted about three weeks. B. L. TAYLOR.
For the American Bee Journal. Foul Brood-Artificial Feeding.
Salicylic acid, a new discovered chemical substance has been successfully employed in the extermination of foul brood in Germany. I find the latest report thereon in the July number of the Bienen Zeitung. Mr. Mayer reports that he has conquered the disease in stocks where 80 per cent. of the sealed cells were diseased. The manner in which Mr. Mayer uses the acid is very simple; he sprinkles the combs with the acid diluted with warm water and at the same time washes the sides, top and bottom with a rag moistened with the diluted acid. He likewise feeds the diluted acid in the food in "rather strong doses;" but what he considers a strong dose, or how much he dilutes the acid, Mr. Mayer sayeth not. The year before Mr. Mayer melted down all empty comb to prevent the disease from spreading; he now makes use of them, first sprinkling them with the diluted acid.
Salicylic acid was formerly quite dear, but it is now manufactured in America by a chemical laboratory in Baltimore, so that it can now be obtained for less money.
I also noticed in some of the back num. bers of the German bee magazines that persons have greatly stimulated breeding, and consequently strengthened their stocks, by feeding milk and also eggs to bees. Not having seen any notice of such practice among American apiarists, I take the liberty of adding the following details as to the method employed:
In one litre (a little more than a quart) of boiled milk, dissolve a pound of sugar and feed to bees, in shallow troughs, at any time of day, without fearing robbers, as the sugar does not attract bees. Mr. Hilbert, who has practiced this kind of
feeding most successfully, fed 30 swarms from the 20th of April to the 20th of June with four and a half litres of milk and four and a half pounds of sugar daily.
Feeding eggs is managed as follows: The eggs (both yolk and white) are well beaten together, after the tread has been removed. One part of eggs is then added to two parts of cold sugar syrup, made by boiling seven pounds of sugar in four pounds of water, care being taken to skim the same. Hilbert feeds about six eggs weekly to one swarm, feeding the quantity mixed with two eggs every other day. When this or any other stimulating feeding has been commenced, it must be continued to the end, that is until the bees are in every way able to take care of themselves, as the sudden lack of food would seriously interfere with brood-raising. JOHN P. BRUCK. Los Angeles, Cal., Dec. 14, 1875.
For the American Bee Journal. Bees in California.
In the AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL for September, 1875, I noticed a communication over the signature of "G. F. M;" a few of the false statements of which, I wish to contradict. When I wrote the first letter to the AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL I made a simple statement of facts as to the income of bee-keeping. I stated nothing as to the out go, as I had not enquired into the matter at all. I made no pretention to a knowledge of beekeeping. Neither did I write the letter with any intention of inducing any person in the world to come here. In due time after the publication of that letter, I began to receive letters of enquiry as to locations, and chances for bee ranches, cost of hives, lumber, hauling, prices of groceries, flour, etc., etc., all of which I answered correctly. I now wish to show up some of the inconsistencies and contradictions of the communication of "J" who received a letter from a "prominent Kansas bee-keeper." By way of parenthesis, I will state that G. F. M., is focated on one of the prettiest claims in the county of San Diego just six miles from mine and it is not a "desert" by any means. I am at a loss to understand how a man can state in his letter, that a country is a "desert" and in the same letter state the fact that the country is " overrun with swifts, horned-toads, snakes, ground squirrels, gophers, rabbits and quails." Query. What do they live on? I always supposed that sheep and cattle had to have grass, etc., to live on, and that thousands of sheep and cattle do live here and live fat too. This, G. F. M., cannot with truth deny.
Now as to some more of "J's" facts. "Some 500 or 600 miles" etc. It is 480 miles by sea from San Francisco to
San Diego. I have traveled that whole distance overland on horse back on purpose to see the country. 50 miles south of San Francisco is San Jose. The plain or valley surrounding which, 20 years ago, was thought by novices like G. F. M., to be a 66 desert." Now it can not be bought for less than from $200 to $1,000 per acre,. it now being under a high state of culti vation and covered with vineyards and orchards and fruits of all kinds; and in the fall of 1868, I saw hundreds of bushels of apples rotting on the ground, there being no market for them. 30 miles south of San Jose is Gilroy, with a rich farming country surrounding it. 20 miles south of that is Hollister, with the same. Between Gilroy and Hollister lies Soap lake,. out of which flows the Pajaro river, which. "reaches the Ocean" all the year round. 30 miles south of Hollister is the valley of the Salinas River which for a portion of the year at least, "reaches the Ocean " in something besides a "dribble," perhaps. (?) "J" knows more about that, than I do.
The valley is a rich farming country and not a desert, "J" to the contrary, notwithstanding. Next comes San Louis Obispo, with some more good farmingcountry, the people of which, would not thank "J" for publishing their county as a desert." Next comes Santa Barbara, the same. Then comes Ventura Co., with just as good farming land as a man need live on. Next comes Los Angeles with her thousands of acres of orange, lemon, lime, peach, pear, apricot, plum and prune orchards; as fine as any in the world. Also her thousands of acres of vineyards producing vast quantities of grapes, wine, etc. Not much of a desert. The average corn crop of Los Nietos, Anaheim, Santa Ana, and San Bernardino, is from 80 to 100, bushels per acre.
When I refer to fruits and harvest fields I don't mean a portion of the State 500 or 600 miles north from where I live, but I mean right here in San Diego Co. Yester-. day I saw a white turkey fig tree threeyears old, without a drop of water put on it since it was set out, and not a thing done to it in the way of cultivation since the first season. This was frozen to the ground the first winter, and on it I saw 113. figs.
Men who plant and sow here, and do it when and how it should be done, get just as good returns for their labor as in any of the western States, where they are as far from market as we are here. Good men get just as good wages and as steady employment here as in any country I ever lived in, and I have lived in Pa., N. Y., Ohio, Ind., Iowa and Missouri; and today, I would not trade my little 160 acres. for the best farm in either of those States and be compelled to go there and live on it and work it myself, or hire it worked