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AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL,
DEVOTED EXCLUSIVELY TO BEE CULTURE.
CHICAGO, FEBRUARY, 1876.
We most heartly thank our numerous friends for their efforts to extend the already large circulation of THE AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL. We enter upon the work of the year 1876 with excellent prospects.
The "old and reliable" AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL has a reputation and standing the world over, and is alike welcomed, in the North, South, East and West on this American Continent, and in Europe and the "Islands of the Seas,"-making it at once the standard magazine of apiculture for a world. The influx of new subscribers during the past month has been larger than ever before, notwithstanding the general cry of "hard times."
"Excelsior," being our motto, we shall leave no stone unturned to keep and maintain the proud position so long occupied by this, the oldest Journal of apiculture in the world.
Finding our space too limited for the amount of valuable matter prepared each month, on which to regale our readers, we contemplate adding from eight to sixteen pages to each monthly issue, hereafter. The March number will be a gem, and will contain matter of vast importance to bee-keepers everywhere.
Since issuing the January number, we found that we had not enough to meet the requirements of new subscribers, and we have had to reset and republish another edition for that purpose. We can now supply all our new subscribers with that number. PUBLISHER.
A correspondent desires some one in the habit of shipping comb-honey, to give a description through the AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL, of the manner found to be the most successful. Will some one please send us such a description in time for the next number?
A Mine of Sweetness.
Generally, when we hear of rich strikes, it is in the gold or silver line; but this time it turns out to be honey, pure and sweet. A few days since, as the workmen on the tunnel at Čajon Pass were hauling over some rocks, they came across a deposit of honey and took a pole and ran it into the mountain and were surprised to find no bottom. They got a longer pole some twenty feet long, and were unable to touch bottom with that. Upon withdrawing the pole, the honey began to run out, and soon tubs, buckets and two barrels were filled, and still it flowed. Some parties came into town and loaded up with barrels, and propose to make a business of it. They put in a charge of powder and blew off a portion of the rock, which dis closed tons upon tons of honey. Our informant states that after exploring it from below to where the bees were found to enter, it was found to be about onefourth of a mile, and in his opinion, that the whole cavity is filled with honey; he estimates over one hundred tons in sight, and believes that one thousand tons would not be an unfair estimate. This immense deposit cannot be equalled by any ever found. According to the above estimate, it would take every barrel and hogshead in San Bernardino to hold it.
The above is from the San Bernardino Argus. It is a story rich and rare, and is being copied extensively into other journals. If it were true no doubt some of our prominent bee-keepers near that place would have given us a description of it. Will some one in that locality please let us know if there is any truth in it.
Alvin Taylor, of Proctorville, Vt., has taken thirty boxes of honey, 280 fbs., from six swarms of bees the past season, besides leaving enough for the bees to feed on through the winter. He has been keeping bees for twenty-seven years. Within the last eighteen years he has sold over four thousand pounds of honey, which averaged him twenty-five cents per pound.
"AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL:-Mrs. Tupper's 'Management and Culture of Bees,' for which I sent to you a few days ago. came, and has been read. It seems to me, her chapter on transferring, pages 14 and and 15, is calculated to lead the beginner into a fatal mistake. She says, in substance, as I understand her, that when the old gum has been removed, inverted, and the queen, with a majority of the bees, have been drummed into the cap, the cap must be removed to a cool place, the old gum sat upon its original stand until the flying bees enter, then removed to a new location, the new hive is to be placed upon the old stand, and the bees, with the queen in the cap, are to be shaken out in front of the new hive. Mrs. Tupper has written this little book for the guidance of the beginner-the novice-in bee culture. Now how are we, beginners, to know whether the queen passed into the cap with the other bees? How are we to know, but that she is still in her old quarters, with the few bees that may remain therein? If she shall so remain, what is to become of the new colony? They are queenless, and without the means of making_one. For the sake of safety, ought not Mrs. Tupper to have instructed her readers, to give the new colony, a card or two of brood, with eggs, so that in emergency, a queen might be made? Will she "rise and explain?" W. S. R.
We have always so advised, but where could she find a card or two of brood to give the queenless colony at that season? As a rule, it is always safer to give every new colony, whether artificial or natural, a frame of brood when it is hived. But if in the fall a hive be found queenless, it is often impossible to replace the loss.
The little book referred to is condensed information, and in so small a space it is impossible to give every particular. The beginner, however, who follows the advice there given will be safe; for in fortynine cases out of fifty, the queen will go up among the first that leave after the bees have been properly alarmed. We have repeatedly seen her go among the first dozen. If she is not out with them they will not remain in the empty box, but fly out and remain in the air. If these di. rections are followed you will almost invariably succeed. Our idea is that beginners are only confused by a multiplicity of words. They need at first, directions which can be safely followed, without asking the reason why. The reasons can be given in another place. E.S.T.
SWARMING IN DECEMBER.-The Fredonia (N. N.) Express, speaking of the peculiar weather of December, says:
"But we have even more startling testimony to present in regard to the weather. E. H. Darby, of Pomfret, on the last day of December hived a swarm of run-away bees. When Mr. D. tells this story he looks and acts as if he expected to be called a liar. But he states a fact, though it is an event that probably never before occurred in one of the northern States."
MARKETING HONEY.-A correspondent of the Home Journal advises apiarians to sell their honey, as far as possible, direct to the consumer. In that way he gets the advantage of the good quality of his honey, and soon finds that consumers are willing to pay a better price when they know that they get a good article, and not glucose, sugar-syrup, etc. That the true way to increase the consumption is to give a taste of the best. That he has found that those who the first year purchased only a few pounds, the next ordered 50 to 150 pounds.
Parties sending merchandise or papers through the mails with any writing inside or on the wrapper, other than the address to which it is to be sent, subjects the whole to letter postage. Articles for the press must be paid for at letter postage rates. Correspondents should make a note of this.
Particular attention is directed to the notice of the N. E. Bee-keepers' Meeting at Rome, N. Y., on Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 2d and 3d, 1876. The notice was omitted from our January issue by an oversight. Let there be a full attendance.
We call the reader's attention to the new advertisement of C. F. Lane. He offers seeds for honey-plants, at reduced rates. Bee keepers will do well to club together and get a quantity by express, as the rates by mail, as now arranged, are exorbitant. Mr. Lane will do all he adver. tises to do.
Attention is called to the advertise. ment of J. Oatman & Co., who have given their spring price list for queens and colonies of bees. They guarantee satisfaction.
National Bee-Keepers' Association.
The annual meeting of the National Bee-Keeper's Association was held at Toledo, Ohio, Dec. 1, 2. As the Secretary has not furnished us with the detailed report, we glean the following from the Toledo Blade:
The first question discussed was, "What is the best method of preparing bees for winter and spring management; also, how many bees are necessary?"
Captain W. F. Williams, of Liberty Center, Ohio, said he was in favor of plenty of ventilation. Had had a colony of bees for the last eight years that had openings in the hive, so that the little fellows could look out at any time and admire the starry heavens, and those which were thus exposed were always strong and healthy. His motto was to keep strong, full colonies, with plenty of ventilation, dry and quiet. Successful spring management depended upon successful fall and winter management. He had tried double-walled hives, with no better success than those with a single wall.
Mr. B. B. Overmeyer, of Findlay, Ohio, said that his experience had taught him that the best time to begin to prepare bees for winter was about the first of August, and see that they got plenty of stores and young bees until frost came, as the weather became cold, to contract the size of the hive so that there would be, no unnecessary room to keep warm, with plenty of comb to cluster in and over and down two sides of swarms with a little ventilation in the cap, and about one-third summer fly-hole open below, to protect hives from storms of rain and snow, and let the bees rest in peace until spring, then stimulate them and enlarge the room as needed, but no faster.
The next question discussed was, "What Caused the Great Mortality of Bees Throughout the Country last Winter ?" Mr. Jonas Schell, of Connellsville, Indiana, said that in his section starvation was principally caused by bees not being able to get any honey on account of the cold. Mr. Blair thought that bees did not freeze, as a general thing. The good honey season, bees crowded the queen bee out so that the swarms were too small, and in Consequence of the same they froze.
Mr. G. W. Zimmerman thought young bees were wanting according to his idea, and recommended placing in a warm place. frequently to recuperate. President Benedict thought that when there was too much honey it should be extracted in time, and bees should not be too young to Winter. A swarm too small would chill, of course.
The President thought the mortality among bees last Winter was caused by a disease.
The question of what, how and when bees should be fed, was next taken up and discussed.
S. L. Diehl thought sugar syrup was an excellent food for bees, and cited an instance where one bee-keeper had fed over a hundred pounds of sugar and with good success. Mr. Zimmerman wished to know if the bees did not cap over honey, made where sugar was fed. Mr. Diehl replied that they did not. Mr. J. W. Lindley, of Iowa, said he lived where they had honey by the bushel. He had generally taken a sharp shovel, and shoveled off the top of the comb, and given the bees free access to it. The thing worked well in the fall, but he did not know how it would do in winter. Mr. H. R. Boardman had successfully fed bees a composition of two pounds of sugar to a gallon of water, and a pound of flour. This made a food something like honey, and he had been successful in feeding it. The President said it would not do to give bees honey or molasses through the winter as it would occasion dysentery. He fed clarified "A" sugar, eight pints sugar to five pints of water; it made as good food as honey itself.
The next question debated was, "The Best Mode of Increasing Swarms." Mr. J. W. Lindley had used all styles of hives. His wife said that if he raised bees he must do so naturally. He put the new queen back in the hive and generally had large swarms in two or three months after. Mr. A. Bair said he had read that Quinby remarked that a queen bee introduced to a few bees was equal to a swarm of bees. Mr. Lindley had had a different experience; only a fertile queen put back in the hive, as he had experimented, was equal to a swarm of bees. In twenty-four hours after she was put hack he would have plenty of nurses. Mr. Hill thought that this process was well enough where the object was to make honey, but where increase of stock was desired, he thought that the better plan was to divide up the swarms. He had done so several times, and subdivided them as often as he found queens, and very successfully too. Mr. Lindley always caged the old queen, and had most generally been successful in so doing.
Mr. J. W. Zimmerman had made swarms in August from strong swarms. It was always proper to consider the condition of bees when swarms were made. They should be divided into as many cells as there were swarms desired. He would advise that course more than any other. Mr. A. Bair would advise artificial swarming.
Mr. H. R. Boardman's plan was double the hives one over the other. When they brooded in both hives, and the queen could not lay enough eggs to keep them busy, he separated them and let them fly into either hive.
Mr. Snidley calculated to have about 300 pounds of surplus honey each fall with which to buy swarms. Mr. Schell had given up artificial for natural swarming. A colony previous to swarming were not inclined to worker comb. To increase worker comb, he found nothing like an old swarm being put into an empty hive. The bees would cluster in that hive and if not given comb, would generate wax and fill the comb with honey. Mr. Deihl had found artificial swarming always successful where there had been a division of the swarms. Mr. Bair would prefer natural swarming for honey, but not for in
The Convention seemed about evenly divided in opinion as to the propriety of natural and artificial swarming, both methods having a number of warm supporters. All agreed, however, that artificial swarming should be made as nearly natural as possible.
Mr. Bondman moved that a vote of the Convention be taken. The motion was carried, and the vote showed that 18 were in favor of artificial swarming, six in favor of natural swarming, and 12 were in favor of using both methods, as the case might be.
The next general question, "What is the best method of rearing and introducing queens?" was then taken up. Mr. A. J. Hill, of Mt. Healthy, stated that he was engaged in the raising of queens, and said that he took three nice bees, divided his stock, and put half with the queens and half without. As soon as the queen cells are ready to hatch out he cuts them out and puts them in new frames, and puts the old combs into the former frames, and continues this through the season. Raises all queens in large hives. In introducing queens he takes out the old queen, puts the Italian queen in a wire gauze frame, and places that in the center of the hive, and in a few days it is generally perfectly at home.
Mrs. M. A. Bills wanted to know if it was a common thing for queens to leave their stock, and of their own accord go to queenless hives, and wanted to know how the custom could be kept up, for it was a very desirable one.
It seemed to be the opinion of the majority of the members that the case was of frequent occurrence, but that it was seldom that it occurs as often as was mentioned by Mr.3. Bills.
Mr. Zimmerman was in favor of introducing queens in cages.
Mr. Butler said he got his stock in the best possible condition; then removed the queen, and on the twelfth day divided the stock that had been making queen cells and then after a few days put them together again. Didn't think the queen could be in roduced except by caging, unless it was put in as soon as the queen was taken out.
N. E. Bee-Keepers' Association.
The sixth annual meeting of the Northeastern Bee-Keepers' Association will be held at the Stanwix House, in the city of Rome, N. Y., on the 2d and 3d of February, 1876. The first session will open promptly at 1 o'clock P. M., of the 2d. Papers of value have been promised by some of our most noted and experienced apiarists from abroad. Every effort will be made to sustain the national reputation which this Association has gained. Several members are expected to read essays or prepare addresses. Come prepared to report accurately the season's operations. We wish to know the number of stocks kept, spring and fall; condition, kind of hive, amount of honey produced, box and extracted, wax made, remarks on the value of the honey season, etc.
CAPT. J. E. HETHERINGTON,
J. H. NELLIS, Secretary.
"Novice" writes us that he has enlarged Gleanings, and that the price will be hereafter increased to $1.00, including "Our Homes." We shall still club it with THE AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL at $2.50.
A. H. Hart, Appleton, Wis., writes us that he is giving Lectures on the HoneyBee this winter. Those wishing his services can write him as above.
For the American Bee Journal. Honey-Producing Plants.
As we are constantly receiving letters from various sections of the country asking our opinion of the comparative merits of the different honey-producing plants; their value as a field crop, best mode of culture, etc., we desire to answer such questions as may be of interest to the general reader through the columns of THE AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL.
We will first mention those which are a valuable crop, aside from the honey which they produce:
Buckwheat (polygonum fagopyrum) succeeds best on a dry, rich, sandy loam; it is a valuable crop for family use, farm stock, poultry, etc., and will rapidly enrich the soil, if deeply plowed under while in full bloom. Its yield of honey while in bloom, which is of quite short duration, in a favorable season, compares well with any plant with which we are acquainted, but it is of very inferior quality both in taste and color. The seed should be sown in June, broadcast, using 3 to 5 pecks per acre.
The pure silver hull buckwheat is a very productive and quite early sort; but we have not tested it sufficiently to justify us in speaking of its honey-producing qualities.
Chinese mustard (Sinapsis Chinensis) is about as well adapted to the wants of the bee-keeping farmer as any plant can well be. It is well adapted to most soils, and does not seem to be affected by atmospheric changes. Prof. J. P. Kirtland says of it in "Gleanings" (Vol. III., page 18): "In my belief the true Chinese mustard holds out the best prospects for this purpose (profitable cultivation, C. F. S.) of any plant at present known. * *It produces more than double the quantity of flowers and seed than either the black or white mustard; the species usually cultivated in this State, the last named is too frequently sent out from our seed stores as the Chinese. If patches of ground be sown at suitable intervals of time from early spring till near the close of summer, our bees will be constantly occupied in collecting honey during those periods when they are usually idle for the want of such supplies as will be thus furnished. The seed of this kind is peculiarly adapted for grinding into the popular condiment, always commands a ready sale and good price, and will insure sufficient income to repay for its cultivation."
It is highly prized, when young, as a salad, or as greens; the seed is also eaten by poultry. The honey which it pro
duces is of a very beautiful light yellow color, is of fine flavor, and always commands the highest market price. It may be sown very early in the spring in shal low drills wide enough for the cultivator, using six to ten pounds per acre; or broadcast, using 15 to 25 lbs. per acre. For seed it should not be sown later than the 1st of July. When ripe it does not shell out by the wind, and may be harvested at leisure.
Common mustard (Sinapis Nigra), is a valuable bee-plant, cultivated to some extent for its seed; but it is a bad weed.
Rape (Brassica Napus Oleifera. Fr. Colza. Ger. Raps) is an important plant both as a bee-plant and field crop; and is so well known that no description from us is needed.
Sunflower (Helianthus) has deservedly received much attention during the past few years, for indeed it is as useful a crop as a farmer can raise; the leaves producing an enormous quantity of nutritious forage for stock; and the seeds are eagerly devoured by all kinds of poultry, hogs, etc. They also have a real commercial value, being used in the manufac ture of vegetable oil. It yields a large amount of beautiful yellow honey.
Alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum) and white clover (T. repens) have each been so often described, that we will not occupy your valuable space to reiterate what is already well known.
Lucerne or French clover (Medicago sal iva) is one of the best kinds for sandy soil -it is notable for its long tap roots, which penetrate the soil to a great depth, rendering it capable of withstanding a severe drought, and causing a prodigous growth of fine food for stock, and it is one of the most productive forage plants that can be grown on the above kind of soil, and it is suitable for soiling. Sow seed in the spring using about 8 lbs. per acre. a bee-plant it is nearly equal to Alsike clover.
Italian or scarlet treefoil (T. incarnatum) introduced from Italy, where it is extensively grown; also in France it is a prof itable crop. Its flowers are produced in long heads of bright scarlet and are sought for by the bees from morning until nighi. We recommend this variety for trial to our brother bee-keepers. For a crop it should be sown the same as Alsike clover, for soiling during summer; using from 6 to 10 lbs. per acre.
Yellow treefoil clover (Medicago Lupu lina) is very prolific and perfectly hardy; it grows very rank and produces honey during our severest droughts. Sow in spring 7 lbs. per acre.
Esparcette or sainfoin (Hedysarum Onob. rychis). This plant is an acquisition alike to the stock raiser and bee-keeper, and though usually classed with the clovers, it is a leguminous plant. Its roots, which