Page images

were men on board. Schweinfurt adds that all the flotilla which was following him numbering 16 boats were equally assailed by these revengeful insects.

Egyptian bees are far worse than the races of bees knuwn here and worse than the bad hybrids. Nothing can quiet them when their anger has been aroused. The writer of this article has seen two Egyptian colonies in the apiary of Count Barbo, in Italy. For weeks after their hives had been opened for some operation nobody could go within 15 yards of their hives without being stung.

Every bee-keeper should remember that when a person has received many stings the first thing to do is to remove the stings by slipping the edge of a knife on the skin. Pinching the sting with the fingers would empty the venom bag into the wound. The best way to prevent evil consequences is to envelop entirely the patient in a thick wet cloth and to cover him with blankets in order to stimulate the perspiratory organs. A tablespoonful of common salt should be dissolved in the water to be used, then two or three spoonsfuls of ammonia should be added and mixed. Care should be taken that the patient breathe not too freely the vapors of ammonia. To drink one or two drops of ammonia in a glass of water or tea would greatly prevent the swelling from spreading on the parts of the body that have not been stung. Ch. DADANT.

the error of a system a little in advance?
Is that what some of our apiarian brothers,
who hate a ripple but seem to love the
silent stagnant pool, call growling?
"Let anarchy's broad thunder roll,

And tumult do its worst to thrill,
There is a silence, to the soul

More awful and more startling still."
And here it is, for it tells nothing.

“My beautiful yellow pets have made some surplus (which we all like to eat), and have increased from 5 to 80 colonies. We have not spent much time nor money with them, and, though this is our first year, we know we can make 500 lbs. out of the dear little creatures. Any one who says we can't, is a growler, and very disagreeable. Long may you wave Mr. Editor.

EPHRIHAM DO-EASY." “Light draughts intoxicate the brain,

While drinking largely sobers us again." Time is a quaint old gent, and carries a sharp reaper and mower, (old style) but that he will never sever the goodwill between all brother bee-keepers is the earnest wish of your subscriber. Let us seek the naked truth wherever she may be secreted.

If the black bee has good qualities, let us hear of them occasionally. If it be a fact that movable frames have objections, let us point them out. I am carefully testing 8 lbs. of white and yellow foundation from each of Messrs. Perrine and Root, and am sorry to say, up to this date, they seem to be hunting a seat among the impracticables thrown overboard. Will report in full by and by, and wish to hear from others.

JAMES HEDDON. Dowagiac, Mich., Aug. 4, 1876.

For the American Bee Journal.


Who are growlers? Answer: those who speak against any popular opinion. To speak the opinions of the majority is patriotic. To speak those of the minority is growling. Every grand truth through all the past ages has been held up by the shoulders of the few. Error sweeps over the land like a mighty flame fanned by a thousand breaths. We very much dislike to see in our journals, personalities or quarrels between man and man, but those between mind and principles, plans, etc., are the guide-boards to success.

If to battle, kill, and throw overboard petted plans is growling, A. I. Root is the boss growler. In “Our own Apiary,” for August, "do you find boxes are among the things that were?" No, this was written a few years ago. Novice, do you mean to say that bees will go way up through all these stories of comb and work on top? That's heresy; modern bee-culture says: “ pull off and throw away those honeyboards and set your boxes right down on the frames." Why I thought the house apiary was particularly designed for the extractor. I thought the house apiary, for comb honey was growled out in a back number We growled out what you now say in regard to one and two-story hives, over one year ago at our State convention. Novice, don't you undertake to steal any of our ancient thunder, such as watching our colonies close, and see that they always have room during the honey months. What do you suppose keeps us, simplicity, oldstyle bee-keepers busy from 12 to 15 hours per day? Why may I not as well growl against comb foundations now, as for you to growl against stimulative and all kinds of liquid feeding? Is it a crime to find out

For the American Bee Journal. Controlling Swarming On page 181 "A Beeasticus” says, "Now, this talk about controlling the swarming propensity of bees is all a humbug from beginning to end. If the season is propitious and your bees come out strong and healthy in the spring, they will swarm more or less, and there is no effectual way of preventing it.” Now friend B., I say there is a way and we do it every time. When the swarming time came our bees were very strong, hives chock full of brood and bees. We use a frame 114x1334, 12 to 16 frames to the hive, and have never had a swarm come off since we left the box hives 5 years ago. All around us the swarms have been coming off thick and fast, one man from 10 has run up to 38 at last accounts, and has sold some. Others have had swarms but not in so large a proportion. You may say it's my large hive that does it. No sir, for a friend has 10 of them, wintered the same, etc., and they have swarmed 4 times. I take care of them for him but could not get time enough to keep them from swarming. All I do is to work with them whenever he calls, if I have time. How do I keep them from swarming? Simply, by pinching off the queen cells, not only the large ones, but everything even down to the little cups just started, once in every 5 or 6 days, sometimes let them go a week or ten days. We now have 13 strong stocks and three that will be as strong as any in a short time.

We have had a great deal of rain this season and in consequence bees have done

tinely, hives full of honey, besides what we

For the American Bee Journal. have taken out. White clover covers the ground all around us, and with small

My Bees. patches of catnip and one little . patch of rape, gives the bees plenty to do, though

I went out July 28 and found three more just now it is too cool for them to do much.

natural swarms had been added. Many of “Beeasticus": I am sorry you do not give

the hives were so crammed with honey that your right name, for I think an article ten

the queen had very little room for eggs. fold more interesting if we can know who

On my previous visit I had run out of the writer is.

frames, and had left some of the new Friend Heddon: I agree with you as re

swarms with hives only half filled with gards this trying to get every man, woman,

frames as they were so weak that I thought and child to keep bees. Why in the world

they would need no more for a couple of

weeks, but in this I was mistaken, and in don't you keep bees? Such big profits we make. Well, let us make them and keep it

some of them combs were built from the to ourselves, or only tell it to those who are

quilt. My object was to take just as little already in the business and take the jour

from the bees as possible, for I was more nals, and let the others alone.

anxious to leave them strong than to get Wu. M. KELLOGG,

honey, I had ordered some hive material Oneida, Ill., July 24, 1876.

from Oatman & Sons with some misgivings

as to whether it would be just exactly right, [The matter of controlling swarming is a

but I could not have asked for greater ex

actness, so I tilled all up with frames where very interesting one, especially for those

needed, extracted some of the combs, took who wish to obtain honey in the comb. Do others from the strong and gave to the you work for comb - honey or extracted,

weak, and started 11 more new colonies

which made the total number 84. Where I friend Kellogg? We think it would be

took full frames from a hive I gave in their much easier to keep down the swarming place in most cases frames of foundation. impulse if the extractor is freely used. The I find it works best not to have the founimportant problem with some is to keep the

dation come very near the bottom bar. It

might do in tolerably cool weather or in a bees from swarming while working in

weak colony but in a strong colony the bees boxes. Many cases are reported of Italians will commence work on the whole surface swarming without starting any queen cells.

of the foundation, and the weight of so Is a wet season best for honey? If we re

many bees when the weather is hot enough

to soften the wax, makes it stretch and member rightly, Quinby says the best seas- double over on the bottom bar. Perhaps a on is when a drought is threatened.-En.) depth of 6 inches gives the most satisfactory

results, but in that case the bees will add

some drone comb in some of the frames. For the American Bee Journal.

About a quarter of an inch space at the side Italian vs. Black Bees.

seems to work well. I would suggest to those who have many frames to fill with

foundation, to have the melted wax, or wax This is my third year's experience in bee- and rosin, in something like a kerosene can, keeping at this place. I commenced with 8

so that the constant dipping of the tea stocks of Italian bees. I bought 50 stocks

spoon may be avoided, and the little spout of black bees from different parties, Italian- 1 of the can may be easily directed where the ized about one half the first season. I put melted material shall trickle along the edge on boxes during buckwheat and to my sur- of the foundation. It is quite important prise the black bees were the first to com

that the edge which is cemented to the mence in the boxes and gave by far the best frame shall be cut perfectly true to make yield though the Italians were the strong- qui and easy work. If the foundation is est. The next season I put on the boxes to be used for brood comb rosin and wax early and gave the Italians every advantage may be used for cement; but if for comb but the blacks were the first to commence

honey, wax alone must be used or care be and kept ahead all the season.

taken, in cutting out, that none of the ceThis season I commenced with 65 stocks,

ment be on the comb. B. LUNDERER. about one half Italians and hybrids. Commenced boxing during fruit bloom, but the weather was cold and windy; none com

For the American Bee Journal, menced in boxes until white clover, June 5. The clover season ended July 5, it was the

Can Bees Hear? best I ever knew, while it lasted. My best stock of black bees put up 150 tbs. of white MR. Editor:-My manipulations with Loney in 4 fb boxes, while the best Italians bees for this season are nearly over; and as put up 120 fps. Several stocks of blacks I promised to experiment further in answer went from 100 lbs. to 140 lbs., only one Itali- to the above question, I will now, with your an reached 100 lbs.; yet the stocks were all permission, give the result of my experistrong and in good condition in the spring. ments: After this experience I am forced to the Sound is transmitted by wave-motion conclusion that as box workers the black through the air; the intenser the sound, the bees are the best. Where the extractor is more powerful the wave, so that by their used the Italians are all that is claimed for increased force objects with which they them. I only use the extractor as a neces- come in contract are brought into a tremor, sity. Box honey is my hobby. Bees have and are even broken by their force. just commenced on buckwheat, the pros- Sound always produces a tremor or jar. pect is good for a fine crop.

The finer the structure of the organ for the JOHN VANDERVORT. reception of sound the slighter the sound Wyoming Co., Pa., Aug. 15, 1876.

| may be to be detected by that organ. No

living creature is absolutely deaf or without the power to detect sound.

Some may have no special organ for hearing, yet they feel the effects of sound if sufficiently powerful to jar them.

Entomologists give the bee no organ of sound-at least not to my knowledge-and some treatises do not even theorize whether they can or cannot hear. Whether the fact that they can hear or not will ever, as far as utility is concerned, effect the success of the apiarist remains to be learned. If a little theorizing be in order, I would say that I believe if they can hear we will, after learning the effect a peculiar sound has upon them, be enabled to control many of their movements, among which swarming will be the most prominent; the discarding by intelligent bee-keepers of tin pans, bells, etc., to the contrary notwithstanding.

I regret to say as regards the investigation of this subject, that I have had no exexperience this season with absconding swarms, but such other experiments tried and observations made I will now briefly give. In making nuclei I found, after shaking bees into it and after they had struck up a quick march around the hive and were making the air vocal with the music, by holding a card with adhering bees, taken from the hive I was dividing, directly over them, the bees on the card, though quiet before, would soon “cone in on the chorus” and make their way for the line of march. I also found by going up quietly behind a hive after dark and clapping my hands several times near the hive and out of their sight-supposing they can see after dark-it had the effect of checking the hum produced by ventilating the hive, and for a couple of minutes all was quiet, and the sentinels at the entrance were reconnoitering to learn the cause of the disturbance, when the hum was again resumed. This I tried carefully and am positive as to the result. I also tried the experiment W. W. Lynch suggested, but am not satisfied with the result.

All experiments and observations that give the bees an opportunity of coming in contact with each other cannot be satisfactory evidence that they can hear. My experiments were made to avoid this.

J. D. KRUSCHKE. Beeton, Ont., Aug. 8, 1876.

remarked that robbers are soon deprived of hairs, either because the hairs have been glued by honey or pulled by the bees of the robbed colonies. Everybody knows that some colonies are more inclined to rob than others. Of course some bees in these robbing colonies will look older than in those which have not such robbing propensities. We have hall such in our home apiary. I could more exactly say we have every year • sume colonies which have accustomed to look on the spoils of others as a means of becoming rich.

A few years ago we had a hive, it was number 18, which was a confirmed robber; as soon as some mischief was done, it was by the bees of this colony, and of no other. One of our neighbors came one afternoon saying that our Italians were robbing one of his black hives. It was late in the season, all our colonies seemed quiet. I pointed to him the hive No. 18. "If your bees are robbed by ours it is by this hive." Indeed, this colony was as busy as in a day of full harvest. I closed the entrance and sent my son to stop the robbing. He found that there was neither brood nor queen in the robbed hive and only a few hundred black workers left. He saved the honey, but to convince our neighbor that our Italians had not killed his black bees was not easy; yet as there were no dead bees in the hive and only very few in front of the hive, my son succeeded at last in proving that our bees had robbed the hive when there were not enough bees to defend their stores.

This colony with robbing propensities was always very strong, but it was an annoyance for us and we had to be very careful in order to break up its robbing habits, and we worked to this end for many months; its young bees being taught by the old bees how to rob, it was necessary to have an entire generation passed to obtain this desirable result. So after having given them very little opportunity of finding sweets outside of the nectariums of flowers their robbing propensities disappeared entirely during the honey season of the ensuing year. We have always since remarked that if robbing takes place it is always done by the same colonies. To find these colonies is easy when the robbing is prolonged till night; the robbing colonies working when all the others are quiet.

To my mind it is probable that the colonies where some of these bald bees exist are accustomed to rob. Can some other bee-keeper give any other and better explanation?


An Essay on Bees.


N. Y., JAN. 28, 1876.

For the American Bee Journal, Answer to Mr. McNeil. In the August number of the AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL, Mr. J. W. McNeil says that he thinks that some of his queens are not pure, because some of their workers in a few hives are black behind the yellow rings, their abdomen being deprived of hairs, while in some other hives all the bees seem to be young. Mr. McNeil wants from me and others some explanations on this fact.

As far as my knowledge of the purity of the bees goes, I cannot think these bees impure, especially if they are quiet on the combs when the frames are out of the hives and if the workers show more or less distinctly the three yellow rings. If some workers in a few híves have their abdomen shining Black I am inclined to think that it is because these workers are accustomed to rob other hives. I have at several times

The honey bee from time immemorial has attracted the attention and care of civilized mankind. The scriptural allusions to them are in connection with the highest kind of living. The expressions, “ with honey out of the rock, will I satisfy you?” and, “butter and honey shalt thou eat, thou that sin not;" with many others give an idea of the value the ancients set upon it as an article of food. And when the psalmist says, “eat thou honey for it is good," the most of us will, I think, quite readily agree with him. No farmer's home seems to me complete,

without a few hives of bees. The pleasure of seeing them toil, and in caring for them, (to say nothing of their influence) is with many people far greater than in the care and observation of the habits of any of the animals that are attached to the farmer's house. Yet the knowledge concerning the bee, and its care, is far less general than it should be. A family of bees consists of the queen, who is capable of laying from 2,000 to 3,000 eggs per day, many times her bulk; the workers which are neither male nor female; and the drones, which are male bees. When the family becomes too large the workers take a common worker egg and place it in a queen cell, or enlarge three worker cells into one, and when the egg is developed into a grub, they feed it a different kind of food, and the result is a queen. What that food is I believe is not known. When there is more than one queen, which an experienced ear can detect by the piping sound they give, the bees do not appear to do much else than keep the queens apart, as they will destroy one another, and if there chances to come two or three rainy days in succession, they will destroy one; and when the weather becomes fair raise another.

The old queen goes with the first swarm of the season, and lives a number of years, as I know from one that I had which was disabled. The workers during the busy season do not live on an average of over two months, as once I tested by taking a queen from a black swarm, that had been hived ten days, and introducing an Itatian queen. In ten days the young Italians began to show themselves, and in four weeks there was not a black bee left. Their method of calling each other, with the power to lead where they can get honey, or have found a new home, with many other interesting things, must be omitted for want of time. I have never failed to secure a fair crop, of surplus honey, by following these simple rules: The hive should contain about 1,800 square inches; if larger, saw through comb and all, some cold day, to make smaller.

If the swarms are strong raise them from the stool in winter not less than a halt inch on the side, least exposed to the wind, as it will prevent their freezing to death. The cause of their freezing is, their breath condensing, making the poor things look as if they had come out of water, which is really the truth. Plenty of air will always prevent it. Weak swarms, or those with little honey, should be turned upside down in a cellar. Never use an old hive for a new swarm, without first taking off the top board and planing it; also the inside. If å swarm has not enough of honey to winter through with, feed with good sugar, of which take two pails to one of boiling water; when cool put some empty comb on the top of the hive, covering it with a top box, after putting the liquid on, and opening a hole for the bees to get to it. If bees rob, close the aperture of the hive being robbed, so as to admit of but one bee at a time. The boxes for surplus honey, should be made with four sides of glass; being very easily made, and makes a neat package. Put in the boxes pieces of comb about two inches square; the bees will then have something to start from, and you will have as many combs as you put pieces. Put on the boxes in the spring as soon as they begin to carry

honey, if you would secure much from the old swarms, and on the new swarms about three days after they are hived. Boxes that have been on a hive once must be taken apart and thoroughly cleaned before using, or they will not work in them.* The comb is secured to the boxes by melting a little beeswax and dipping the comb in it. To remove surplus boxes I have found nothing so good as two pieces of heavy sheet iron, 3 in. wide and 7 in. long; * in. of one end turned at right angles with the left; run both under the box, leave one on the hive the other draw off with the box; and not a bee can escape from either, Plug the holes with twisted grass, as it is next to impossible to get anything else out after they have waxed it over.t

Put the box with honey and bees in a dark place letting in just a little light which will enable them to find their way out, and not back which they will try to do. Do not examine them often when they are storing honey, or they will stop. The box covering the honey boxes should be well made, and fitting the hive tight enough to exclude light; but be sure to have them well shaded in hot weather, or you will fail to get much else but swarms, of which there will be plenty. There should be at least two thicknesses of boards over the surplus boxes. In the treatment of them most people have to be protected, so that they can harm and handle them without nervousness and fear, which always makes them worse, or let them severely alone; like many sinful sweets they carry a sting behind; and most of us, as our worthy sece! retary remarked last week, "have a world of respect for a bee's business end," which end he referred to, I do not know; perhaps both, as both are busy ends occasionally. With a yard and a half of mosquito netting thrown over the head, and the sides buttoned under a thin coat, i and a pair of harvest gloves on, they will not attempt any business transactions with you, for they know they cannot.

MARVIN SNELL. [* Unless some filth has accumulated in the boxes, we doubt the necessity of cleaning them, and if the bees have before used them, some bits of comb being left in, they will be used more readily than new boxes.

+ The holes may easily be closed by laying a block or bit of board on them.

1 On a hot day we should rather be excused from being buttoned up in even a thin coat. All the protection needed is a light veil ready to be pulled down whenever the bees show anger, or for a timid person it may be kept down all the time. Gloves are much in the way, and bees will very rarely sting the hands, even when angry enough to sting the face.-ED.]

For the American Bee Journal.

Reply to Friend Roop. There you go, friend Hiram, off the handle again. It was after I thought it strange that you should contract for 10c. (and I am informed you paid the freight clear to Cincinnati and threw in the packages) that I concluded to look the thing fair in the face,

and take 10c. per lb. for my extracted crop, right through, (not 21 barrels of the choicest) nett cash at my door. I did not know there was any asylum at Kalamazoo. Probably, because I never had any friends or relations in it. If your extracted honey only costs you lc. per lb. and you get 10c. for it, you have a business and a conscience that will make a rich man of you. How do you know how much comb honey I can produce? If I should race it with you another season, how in the name of creation am I to know how much nectar you sling out? It may be you can beat yourself 10 to 1, but before you get too uneasy about a few barrels of nectar, try your hand at the yields of comb honey in fancy little boxes, realized by Doolittle, Hetherington and others. I can get far more than half is much comb as of extracted honey, with much less labor, and then get nearly three times the price per pound for it.

Now, if you don't stop such kind of talk, we will get up a surprise party and come up and see you, and perhaps locate in your vicinity, near the "swamps of Michigan,' where the extracted honey slashes down by bucketsful. Hiram, toot your horn some

JAMES HEDDON. Dowagiac, Mich., July 31, 1876.


For the American Bee Journal. Bees Making their Homes in Houses.

I did not know till recently that this was of frequent occurence in this part of the world. But my well known interest in bees makes people tell me now everything relating to them which they think in any way strange or interesting.

A stock of bees have been living in the Woodville bank for 7 or 8 years. I do not know anything of the position they occupy, but they must have had sufficient room as they have never been known to swarm till last year. The people who had charge of them took the honey from the swarm so late in the season that they did not have time to replace it, and starved in consequence. I think more bees are lost from this cause than from any other.

I visited a friend last week in whose house there is a fine colony of bees which have built their combs under the second story floor, between it and the ceiling underneath. They enter through a crack under the eaves of the house. They have been there 8 or 9 years. Last year the lady came to see me and told me about them, and I advised her to take up the floor and get some of the honey-insisting though on its being done early in the season so that the bees would have time to gather more. When I was there the other day she told me that she had taken from them 5 gallons, or more, of nice honey. She did not invade the brood nest and did not see a cell occupied with egg brood or pollen, or any empty comb but all filled with capped honey. She is quite delighted with her little storeroom, but intends trying to get a swarm from it next spring by setting a hive above with a hole bored in it and a corresponding one in the floor immediately beneath it. advised her to insert some of their own unsealed brood with adhering bees in the proposed hive and promised her an Italian queen for the new stock.

I have a friend near Bayou Sara, La., who

has a stock of bees between the walls of an out-house in her yard, which have been there three years, and have supplied the family with some honey each year, though they are not so comfortably situated as the bees mentioned above. The outer boards are thin and there are some cracks so large that you can look through them and see the bees and their stores. The combs are parallel with the boards, so there is only room for two or three, and the poor bees must feel some of our sudden changes of temperature very keenly. These bees are in charge of a very intelligent and interesting little boy. I was there a while since and he was delighted at the prospect of a bee chat, but commenced thinking the grown folks would not give him a chance for it after all, so after a while I proposed to him that we should just have mama and sisters go to the bees and he could ask as many questions as he pleased. He had another stock which he had managed very well. It was in a box hive, but he shaded and fed it and cleaned out the moths as well as he could.

I have still another friend-all of these ladies are widows-who is living in a house that must contain many swarms. They are located in the walls and in the spans above some dormer windows. They supply her with more than enough honey for her table.

A gentleman of my acquaintance has a widowed aunt, in whose house some bees have made themselves a home in a dormer window for many years. The window is kept closed and they have a nice roomy house. She suspends frames and gets them filled. What a pity Novice's house apiary proved a failure! Such a contrivance would put an effectual stop to the stealing of honey from the hives-a desideratum devoutly to be wished here.

Many years ago a colony of bees took up their quarters on the outside of a large tree near Vidalia, opposite Natchez. The manager of the place would never allow them to be disturbed, and they remained there for a number of years. In parts of Texas where trees are scarce I am told bees often locate in the grass, on bushes, or on the outside of their hives when full and can find no better places, and they manage to live and often prosper in these unpromising homes.

In spite of our sweet, bright flowers the year round, I fancy if they could choose, our little pets would take a little of your winter to get away from some of our summer. I think, perhaps, much of their short lives is worn away in trying to keep cool, so I do as much as I can to help mine in this endeavor -shade as much as possible and sprinkle when very hot and the water can be had. Last summer I had an opportunity of learning how much heat one little bee can fan away. I had an immature drone on my finger, which I had just killed, a worker lit on it and commenced fanning, perhaps she hoped to restore it; her wings moved so rapidly that I could not see them, and if my finger had been dipped in ether it would not have felt colder. Twice I have chanced to have bees open when a storm suddenly came up. The behavior of the little creatures was strange, beyond description. They were buzzing as usual when they noticed it and instantly they became as stiil as death. Nothing could have displayed terror more plainly than their demeanor.

Woodville, Miss. ANNA SAUNDERS.

« PreviousContinue »