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who learn the science and become familiar with its application will be likely to succeed. As in all other avocations, especially rural pursuits, the unskillful and unscientific will fail to realize their expectations. Franklin Co., Vt.
0. C. WAIT.
Surplus Honey and Care of Bees.
EXTRACT FROM AN ESSAY READ BY MR. J. A. CRANE BEFORE THE BOARD OF
AGRICULTURE OF VERMONT.
time, and found her imprisoned in a knot of workers. I then rescued her and caged her and returned her to her own hive, and in two or three days I released them both the same as introducing a strange queen, and both were received all right. This proved to me beyond a doubt, that the cold weather had the influence on them to take revenge on something, but why they want to take the life of their queen is more than I can understand, when they seem to realize that their very existence depends on their queen, and will put forth every effort to rear others as soon as one is lost !
Some apiarists seem to think that bees destroy their queens by being in a different part of the hive a considerable length of time, getting a different scent from the other part of the colony, and when they pass over the workers will destroy them: but it is readily seen that this is a mistake, for they will destroy their queens when overhauled in disagreeable weather, when we know by the brood nest that they have been in all parts of the hives every day, for weeks.
As for virgin queens the case is different. I never yet have had a virgin queen commence laying, though I have never tried the the experiment in the fall. I have had them hatch in the spring in advance of the drones -or rather before drones were of any useand nearly every one that was not impregnated in a reasonable length of time, was destroyed without disturbance. Palo, Mich.
S. K. MARSH.
For the American Bee Journal, Is Bee-Keeping Unreliable ? Yes; but not more so than farm products generally. The wheat crop, for instance, is no more reliable, and when it is a good crop the prices are liable to run down so low that a fair estimate of the use of land, manure, labor, seed, interest, taxes, etc., will equal or exceed the market value of the entire crop through the State. So it is with the corn crop, while an average honey crop intelligently managed will sell at a fair price, and although the original stock has not dimished in value, the receipts will pay full 100 per cent. on all investments.
We are often reminded of the obstacles in the way of prosperity in bee-keeping, such as millers, moths, robbing, going to the woods, etc. These are all imaginary, and if properly managed need not be feared. Really the greatest obstacle in the way of progress is ignorance, followed (as the swordfish and shark swiftly follow the wounded whale) by swindling impostors who live and feed on ignorance and who have bled and nearly devoured our beekeeping interests. Just in proportion as bee-keepers, or any other class, are informed, they cease to be easy game for sharpers and knaves, whether they be venders of complicated non-swarming bee hives, with moth traps, or whether they vend morus multicaulis, Chinese yams, wine plant, branching corn, with the ears nicely glued in, or choice varieties of apple trees, grafted on miserable crab roots, sold at double the usual price, to double the sales and quadruple the profits. The rule holds good, apply it where you will.
Bee-keeping is now reduced to a science and though in its infancy has its main principles ascertained and fixed. Only those
As fast as boxes are filled and capped they should be removed, and replaced by new or empty ones if the harvest will warrant it, and as soon as the harvest fails, all should be removed, as the combs become soiled by the bees, if they remain very long in the hive after being filled. And just here I want to say a few words about boxes. For market, they should be with glass sides and ends, with top and bottom of wood, and of a size that when filled will weigh about 4 pounds. I make mine 674 inches long by 4/4 in. wide, and 5% in. high outside. Two nice, white pieces of comb should be attached to the top before the box is nailed together, to induce the bees to commence, and guide them in building straight combs lengthwise of the box; such combs being the most suitable size for the table. When ready to ship to market these boxes should be made tidy in appearance by removing all propolis, and if the glass side of a box is badly soiled it should be removed and replaced by a cleaner one. Cases should be made with open sides, that the quality of the honey may be seen at a glance, and large enough to hold 12 boxes. In these carefully pack the boxes, three in width and four in length, and on one end mark the net weight, with the owner's initial letters. October and November are the best months to ship to market.
After the honey harvest is past and all the boxes removed, the bee-keeper should again go over his hives to see that all have abundance of honey for winter. If any hive is found that is lacking in food it should at once be supplied, or else the stock must be broken up later in the season and united with some other colony. If there is a deficiency of bees in any hive, they must be supplied with brood from hives that can spare it, or else they must be stimulated by feeding to rear young bees, or two or more such united. Also at this inspection the age of every queen should be noticed. If any queen is found that is three years or nearly, it should be destroyed and replaced by a young queen. A queen three years of age may winter well, būt is apt to fail early the next spring, which is very injurious to the prosperity of the colony. I prefer after the harvest to destroy all old queens over two years of age, and give the colony a young one instead. If a hive contains a young, fertile queen,an abundance of young bees hatched out the last of the summer, and plenty of honey, it possesses the most essential requisites for successful wintering. Comb two or three years old is preferable to new comb, as it is warmer.
Please look over “Our Clubbing List” before subscribing for any paper. It will pay you to avail yourself of the advantages there offered.
For the American Bee Journal.
My Report for the Season.
ting stung, and protect themselves against moth with proper attention, as well as any imported stock and they have always given me more box honey than the Italians or hybrids.
I always bury my bees on three sides with straw and dirt and give an open front for flight in the Fall, winter, or Spring. I set my hives on wide boards, two inches from the ground, in a row with an east front; about six inches apart; fill in between the hives with hay or straw and place on the west side, hay one foot thick, and then cover with wide boards to keep dry, and my bees come out all right in the Spring. I also have a wide loose board set up in front of the hive for a wind-break, and whenever it snows I brush away the snow with a broom. I also use woolen cloths on the top of frames and pack the cap or top of hive full of dry hay in order to give upward ventilation and to absorb all moisture accruing from the breath of the bees.
W. N. W. Wayne Co., Iowa.
For the American Bee Journal.
How to Successfully Winter Bees.
MR. EDITOR:-Now that the honey harvest is ended for another year, it seems eminently proper that we state what has been the conditions with each other and what the results.
My 25 stocks came out of winter quarters strong-never have lost any in wintering or springing. I have always prepared my hives for winter by stuffing dry leaves or fine cut straw around the sides and on the tops of the frames, having first placed a woolen cloth on the top, and contracting boards at the sides; placed them in the cellar some warm day, about the 20th of Nov., and taken them out somewhere from the 10th to the 20th of March. This year I have made rye straw mats-straw unthrashed, nice, straight and unbroken-have not only put them on top of the frames, but also at the ends or sides, using them instead of .contracting boards and shutting them in nice and warm. Shall use cut straw and leaves as before.
My hives when placed in the cellar are heavy with honey, and I cannot conceive a state of things, either as regards man, beast or insect, wherein they may have too much of a good thing, the surroundings being all right. I do not wish to discuss this matter now, and would simply say that when I use the extractor with box honey, it is the last of spring or first of summer, never in the fall.
The season here for honey has been short, but tolerably good while it lasted, closing with the white clover, excepting, perhaps, 10 to 15 days of blue vervain. The latter not yielding honey as last year, though there was abundance of it growing here. It has been warm and wet, a bad year for the swarming fever, yet I have only increased my stocks to 28—three increases. Yet they bothered me exceedingly and gave me such an experience as I never had before. What that experience was, it would be a waste of time to tell. Almost “very one who has had bees, thinks he has some singular experiences; and in all candor, let me say, I think it very likely; tell the biggest yarn on swarming, and if I don't endorse it, I can tell one that I would not have believed one year ago, and the best, or worst, of it is, it would be true. I know what the trouble was now, and I thought what the trouble was then, and the only difference between now and then is: I've thought what the trouble is now and know what the trouble was then-I hadn't a non-swarming hive.
In closing, let me say that the results of the year has been 2,500 lbs. of nice box honey.
R. H. MELLEN. Amboy, Ills., Oct. 15, 1876.
That is a problemi quite difficult to solve, and one, too, that has puzzled the best apiarists of this country for years. Opinions and theories as to the causes, and the means of prevention, were plenty enough and seemingly plausible, but when put into practice they would not invariably work as expected. Bees would die when surrounded by the most favorable conditions, apparently, and bees would prosper and come out all right in the spring under what appeared to be extremely unfavorable conditions. The question is not settled yet, but a majority of bee-keepers, after trying all methods, have decided that cellar wintering is the best.
But all does not depend upon the place of wintering, Much depends upon the condition of colonies at the commencement of winter. They must be populous-full of young bees-which condition can always be secured by commencing in time. They must have honey enough to winter on--not less than twenty pounds to the hive. The honey must be pure and sweet. If it has soured in the cells, as it frequently does, substitute sweet honey, or white sugar syrup. There must be empty space in the central combs for the bees to cluster in. This can be secured by removing a frame and putting the rest farther apart. Winter passages through the combs are a great convenience for the bees, as it saves them from traveling up over the frames.
Before putting into winter quarters, lay small sticks on the top of the frames, and on these lay a piece of carpet or quilt. This will make a passage for the bees over the frames, under the quilt. The quilt will preserve the heat, but allow the moisture to pass off. Having all these conditions filled, wait for a fine day in November, when the bees fly freely, and then put them in the cellar. Put them where they are to stay, contract the entrances, keep the cellar perfectly dark, and on no account disturb the bees till spring. If the cellar is dry, dark, quiet, and properly ventilated, you have done all you can, and must wait for the result in the spring. J. H. W. PRYNER.
Butler Co., 0,
For the American Bee Journal. Black Bees-Wintering. I have had black bees, Italians and hybrids, and at this time only have the common native black bee. Some may wish to know my reasons for discarding the Italians and hybrids, and I will give them. First, the native black bee will stand cold weather better, work better in boxes, start brood earlier in the Spring or later part of Winter and are just as easy to handle without get
From the Country Gentleman.
Feeding Bees. The feeding of bees is a matter in which the inventive genius of man may profitably be exercised in discovering a method that shall be perfectly satisfactory under all circumstances. It is the general custom to feed them in the hive, by placing the food in the supers in a manner that will attract the bees to it. For instance, a colony of bees is found in October to be short of honey, a fact that every skillful bee-keeper may ascertain by lifting the hive, or even by raising one side of it; or if he has movable comb hives, he may examine the combs. These bees may be fed on honey in the comb, strained honey, or on a syrup made of white sugar, four pounds to a quart of water, heated to the boiling point and skimmed.
If honey in the comb be used, first lay down small sticks, about half an inch thick, directly upon the frames, or when common hives are used with supers, upon sticks laid between the holes through which the bees pass up into boxes in the supers, but now removed. You lay down a piece of comb, scatter a little honey near the holes, rap on the hive, and the bees come to the holes immediately to see what is wanted, and finding the honey, they will, if very short of honey, soon carry it all down into the lower section of the hive. But in some cases they will cluster on the comnl), cement it to the hive, and leave it where it is, not knowing that it will be impossible to come up and get the honey in cold weather. It is best, therefore to uncap the cells with a sharp knife, and then the bees will carry all the honey down.
Feeding in some climates should never be delayed beyond September, but in warmer latitudes it may be done in October, and in some localities it may be done all winter. The novice in bee-keeping may ask, “Why not feed the bees outside, in front of their hives?” This would be feeding the entire apiary-those colonies that already have enough, or too much, as well as those that need feeding-and when the honey had all disappeared, the strong colonies would in many cases commence robbing the weak ones, being highly excited over the spoils.
I have spoken of comb honey to feed to bees; but strained honey and sugar syrup are better, sugar being found about as good as honey. There are different methods of feeding these. Some "patent" feeders have been introduced based on putting the honey or syrup into a vessel with cotton cloth at the bottom, through which the bees take the honey; but it is useless to buy such a feeder, as anybody can make one if wanted. Let a tinman make a cylinder about the size of a quart measure with both ends open, then attach three legs, to be soldered on about an inch from the bottom, which space will allow the muslin to be tied over it. The legs should come down about an inch below the lower edge of the feeder; and when the cloth is tied on, and the feeder filled with honey, the cloth will, or should, sag down in the center, so that the bees can reach it; and they will soon cover the cloth, and in one night they will empty the feeder, if the cloth is not too thick. If the feed is too thin it will run through the cloth_too fast, and if too thick not fast enough. The tinman should make
a cover to the feeder, or the bees will enter it at the top, and get stuck fast in the honey. If strained honey be fed it should be slightly thinned, by adding a little water, and heating it to the boiling point.
Another way to feed bees in the caps of their hives, is to put the liquid feed into a tin cup with perpendicular sides, and quite shallow, say from three to four inches deep, and to hold a quart. Fill this cup, nearly full, and then cover the honey with floats made as follows: Take rods three-eights of an inch square, saw them off with a finetooth saw in pieces a half an inch long, then with a sharp penknife cut off the edges to the center of each piece, and you have the best float ever invented, and originating with the writer. You take a handful of these floats (made of dry white pine) and spread as many upon the surface of the feed as you can, without putting one upon another; you then place the cup in the hive, and tole the bees up to the feed by letting a few drops of honey run down on the outside of the feeder in several places; or a piece of honey comb filled with the feed may be placed against the feeder, and reaching to the top of it. As soon as the bees have found the feed, in one night they will empty a quart feeder, taking every particle of it, and not a single bee will be killed by getting into the honey. It was a mere accident that I learned the value of these floats, the principal point being in cutting them down to octagons.
When an entire apiary requires feeding, which may happen in a bad season for gathering honey, the bees may be fed outside in several large feeders; but great care must be taken that the strong colonies do not rob the weak ones, as soon as the honey in the feeders is gone. Sugar syrup does not cause robberies as much as honey; but honey may be fed outside to fifty or more colonies, and no robberies take place, if you contract the entrances to the hives of your weak colonies, as soon as the bees have carried in the last of the feed, so that but one or two bees can pass in and out at the same time. If the robbing has commenced, all you can do is to contract the entrance immediately; or you may close them entirely, giving ventilation by raising the hive a little, and slipping in thin wedges at the corners. Keep the hive closed an hour, then open it, and rap on it to cause thé robbers imprisoned to go out, then close again till after sundown, then open it long enough to let out any remaining, robbers, and to let in the outside bees that belong to the hive, then close again, and so leave the hive till all robbers cease to try to enter, which will be in 48 hours, then open again with the passage-way contracted, and your bees will be safe, if the hive contains enough to be of any value.
An important consideration in out-door feeding is, whose bees you are feeding. You may be feeding your neighbors' bees, as well as your own; consequently you should feed on a warm sunny day, give your bees a copious supply, and not repeat the feeding for some days. By so doing, the operation will be over perhaps before your neighbors' bees have scented the honey.
But all this kind of feeding can be dispensed with, if you have movable frame hives, a few to be fed, and as many colonies that have more honey than they need. You merely exchange the empty combs in hives short of honey for full ones taken from colonies that can spare them. This can be more safely done in the spring than in the fall. A populous colony ought to have in October at least 25 tbs. of honey, in order to be sure of a winter supply. Sugar will winter bees as well as honey; but either ought to be fed early enough to allow the bees time to seal over the cells before cold weather comes. In feeding in the caps of the hives, it is best to feed about sundown, so that the bees of your other hives will not be attracted. If you begin early, a pound a day is enough to give them. Always feed in mild weather, when the bees will not be chilled by remaining in the supers all night. In using new tin feeders, I recommend rubbing some melted beeswax upon their outsides, as the bees often find it difficult to walk upon the slippery tin. A very little wax suffices.
What bee-keepers now need is a feeder that can be placed directly in front of the entrance of a hive; admit the bees freely to it at any season of the year when they fly out; not obstruct their passage in and out at all, and not attract the bees of other hives in the apiary to the feed. Such a feeder would save a great deal of labor, in opening hives, lifting off their roofs, etc., besides enabling one to feed his bees in the winter season, in mild weather, if standing out, which could not be done in the supers, as they would (or should) be covered by some winter protection.
T. B. MINER.
Maury Co. (Tenn.) B. K. Society.
The above society held their regular annual meeting on Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Recorder's office, Columbia, Tenn.
l'resent: W. S. Rainey, President; C. C. Vaughan, Vice-President; Wm. J. Andrews, Secretary and Treasurer. S. D. McLean, Travis McLean, T. J. Perry, J. C. Moore, E. C. Overton, D. Staples, J. M. Byers, R. H. Caskey, J. J. Jones, A. Bowen, and others.
The minutes of the last meeting were read and adopted.
The President stated that before proceeding to the regular business he would be pleased to have an expression of the views of the members on the propriety of feeding sorghum molasses.
S. D. McLean-Had no experience in feeding sorghum, but was of the opinion that they would not take it very readily.
W. J. Andrews-Had fed some to his bees, but did not regard that which he had been feeding as a good article. It was very dark, and he thought slightly scorched in making; Some of his colonies partook of it very freely while others would not take it at all. He had mixed some with honey,and when so mixed they partook of it very freely. What the result would be from it he could not say:
C. C. Vaughan-Had also fed it mixed with honey, and they took it freely.
W. S. Rainey-Had fed it, and noticed that at times they partook of it freely, and that at other times they would not touch it.
R. H. Caskey-Thought that when they partook of it they were unable to gather honey; but when able to find honey in the fields that they would not touch it. He had fed honey, and at times they would not touch it, and he attributed it to that cause.
D. Staples-They will take it, and they will not starve as long as they can get it. He thought that the reason they took it at one time and refused it at others, was owing to the weather; that when the weather was cool it became too thick. That if fed to them warm they would partake of it freely. He thought equal parts of honey and sorghụm made a good feed. Did not think it advisable to feed much of it when they were contined to the hive for a long time; but in our latitude, where they are able to have a fly every few days, did not think there would be any bad results from feeding it.
W. J. Andrews-If exciting to a robbing mood they would take it hurriedly.
C. C. Vaughan-Thought they might be induced to take it by feeding on honey for a while; but would not advise the feeding of sorghum.
R. H. Caskey-Had fed a colony on sor. ghum last spring, but did not think it did them any good.
J. M. Byers-Had a swarm to come out that was entirely destitute of supplies. He fed them sorghum from a bottle; they were slow to take it at first, but did so. He fed them nothing else. It stimulated them,and they soon commenced gathering honey. He was told that the queen was the easiest killed by food that would not agree with them. In this case the queen was not killed from eating it, and she had nothing else to subsist on.
J. J. Jones-Thought to make a thorough test of the matter, they should be fed on it when it was impossible for them to get anything else.
W.J. Andrews-Moved that the next experiment be "Feeding Sorghum," adopted; and the President appointed A. Bowen, J. J. Jones and C. C. Vaughan as the committee to make the experiment.
W.J. Andrews-Had the question recently put to him as to the quality of honey gathered from pea blooms, and would like to know if any of the members could give any information concerning it. None knew anything of it.
Mr. J.J. Jones then read the following essay: Mr. President and Fellow BeeKeepers:-At the June eeting of this society, it conferred on me the duty of addressing you on the snbject of honey,
HONEY PLANTS. We have a vast number of plants in our locality that yields honey-some more and some less-the poplar and the linden being the source from which we get our greatest yields of honey.
GATHERING HONEY. Bees gather, but do not make honey, as many suppose; hence the great variety of honey-each variety unerringly telling the expert from what plant it was gathered.
HONEY Webster says that honey is composed of mucilage, sugar and acid-mucilage the adhesive part, sugar the sweet part, and acid the sour part of honey. Some honey have more and some less acid in it. For instance, I think our linden honey has more acid in it than any other kind of honey we can get; and owing to this fact the uneducated are sometimes led into error.
For instance, a sick man sent to me one time for some honey, and I sent him what 1 thought to be as fine linden honey as I what age
ever saw. An intelligent young man, whose opinion should justly be represented, was visiting this sick man and tasted some of this honey, and said that it was sour honey; that it was extracted too soon. Now if he had known that this acid taste was peculiar to the linden honey, I know that he never would have said that it had soured.
EXTRACTING HONEY It has been my practice for years to extract honey just after the bees have commenced capping. After this time there is but little uncapping to do, and it makes less work for the bees in repairing the combs. I use a large barrel with one head out and well waxed inside; into which I put my honey as I extract, and until it is full; after which I let it stand a few hours, and then draw the honey off into another barrel, always leaving a few gallons in the former barrel. This will save skimming, and will give you nice pure honey in your barrels.
SELLING HONEY. This is the most important point in beekeeping. We know that ours is a good locality for bees, and we know that they will gather large quantities of honey, but how to turn our honey into cash at a fair price is a questiou for our consideration,
We may dispose of a few hundred pounds of honey at home in the way of barter, but get very little cash.
From the little experience I have in shipping honey, I cannot make a very favorable report. Although we have been selling our honey at 25 cents per pound, the expenses have been so great that I do not think that we have realized more than ten cents per pound for our honey. But I think if our bee-keepers society could agree and get up some kind of a co-operative arrangement to sell our honey, we would do much better than this.
PREJUDICE, There is much prejudice by the uninformed against extracted honey. Some saying that it is not as good as comb honey; and others say that we bee-keepers extract our honey to soon, or before it gets thick enough, and the consequence is that it sours, and some go so far as to say that extracted honey will sour any way. And when we go into the city to sell honey we find that there are but few who will buy extracted honeythat is in the granulated state; they say and believe that it is artificial honey:
Now while these notions of clever people may be amusing to intelligent bee-keepers-still these notions are an injury to us, and we have to meet them the best we can.
HONEY AS FOOD. Almost everybody is fond of honey, and the number who are not is very small. Honey has been used as food by man from the earliest ages of the world down to the present time. And some of the wisest men that the world has ever produced have said that honey was good.
Samson on his way to get married took honey from a colony of bees in a frame hive of his on the way and ate and gave it to his partner and mother, and they did eat.
One of the Prophets said of Christ, “Butter and Honey shall he eat, that he may know how to refuse the evil and choose the good.”
The last food Christ ate on earth, and that was just after his resurrection and before his ascension was honey.
On motion the appointment of Mr. M. G. Grigsby to read an essay at this meeting was continued until the next.
S. D. McLean--as one of the committee to experiment on
the larva passes the stage of being reared into a queen” submitted the following report:
I deprived a colony of bees of their queen on the 25th of September, and on the 7th 1 destroyed all cells. 1 again destroyed all cells on the 9th; on the 11th I destroyed three inore, after which time there was no more coustructed.
W. J. Andrews-of the same committee reported that he made a colony queenless July 5th; on the 8th he cut out thrie cells; on the 4th one cell; on the 10th one cell; on the 12th two cells; on the 13th one cell; on the 14th four cells; on the 15th and 16th he found no more ceils, and inserted more brood on the 16th.
S. D. McLean-thought that the experiment was conducted at the wrong season of the year, that it ought to have been in the Spring.
J. J. Jones-Had had queens of the same sitting to hatch some as early as the 11th, and others as late as the 16th day.
D. Staples-Had had them to hatch from 9 to 19 days.
C.C. Vaughan-Had them to hatch this season on the 10th day from the egg.
S. D. McLean-Thought that bees worked from instinct altogether, and never do anything wrong:
The President-If that be true, then why do they eat sorghum, which you think will probably do them injury?
S. D. McLean-I am inot sure that it does injure them, as I stated at the outset, I have no experience in that way.
After considerable discussion, it was agreed that it would be about ten days before eggs and larva would pass the stage of being converted into a queen.
The Secretary then submitted his annual report, showing the receipts and disbursements, which was received, accepted and ordered to be spread on the minutes.
The Society then proceeded to the election of officers for the ensuing year.
J.J. Jones moved that all the officers be re-elected by acclamation. Adopted.
S. D. McLean moved that C. C. Vaughan, D. Staples, R. II. Caskey be elected as Executive Committee by acclamation. Adopted.
On motion the Secretary was instructed to secure a permanent place of meeting.
It was moved by S. D. McLean and adopted that the President be requested to de liver an address in January.
S. D. McLean moved that the Secretary address a communication to prominent beekeepers requesting them to write essays to be read at our meetings. Adopted.
It was moved and adopted that the Secretary prepare a suitable blank for annual reports to be made in April of each year, and furnish the saine to the members to be filled up. Adopted,
S. D. McLean moved that in view of the fact that our Secretary contemplated visite ing the Centennial-he be requested to at tend the meeting of the National Bee keepers' Association to be held in Philadelphia, and that the President give him a letter to said society, requesting them to extend to him such courtesies as they can consistently, &c. Adopted.
WM. J. ANDREWS, Secy. and Treas.