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Our Letter Box.
Canajoharrie, N. Y., July 17, 1877.-" The weather is warm and quite rainy now. The honey season has been a very ordinary one here."
J. H. NELLIS.
to be fed to keep them from starving. But we hope they will do better soon, as the button willow is about ready to bloom, and the season for honey-dew is at hand. Last year, about the middle of July, I moved my bees to the river. I live out on the plains, where they do best in spring. My 58 stocks produced over 24 tons of honey."
J. F. FLORY.
Cincinnati, O., July 13, 1877.—“Our honey season is now over. The quality is A 1; but we are short in quantity. My crop last year was about 4,000 lbs., from 22 colonies. This year I shall have perhaps 1,200 tbs. from 21 colonies. Our season commenced too late, on account of rains; and in the 2nd week of June, when we should have had the best flow of honey, the nights were cold -a severe check to the honey harvest.
“It may be of importance to some of our friends to know the correct recipe for cure for foul brood. It is: 128 gr. salicylic acid, 128 gr. soda borax, 16 oz. distilled water. Any druggist can put it up."
CHAS. F. MUTH.
* Kane Co., Ill., July 14, 1877.—“Bees are working with a will. Have taken 3 tons of honey to this date; we expect much more if the weather keeps good.
J. OATMAN & Co. Hamilton, Ont., June 26, 1877.—“Bees are knee deep in honey-white clover at that. I have increased from 6 to 10 colonies, and have extracted 200 lbs. so far. I am Italianizing my apiary and about a dozen for my neighbors.
J. A. WATERHOUSE. St. Charles, Mo., July 2, 1877.—“Enclosed please find $1.60; please send me another Bingham standard smoker. Every beekeeper in the country should have one of them. I sold the last one I got from you to a man who has only 1 stand of bees."
A. W. WINDHORST. Napoleon, O., July 18, 1877.—“Bees are doing well thus far, this season; that is what few were left, and not killed by bad management. Most of the bees in Henry Co. were dead this spring. D. Kepler who had 234 stocks, had but 3 left; and others that followed his teaching fared no better.”
G. W. ZIMMERMAN. Hastings, Minn., July 4, 1877.—“Our bees are doing well, but June was a very poor month for bees, the nights were cold and wind heavy. We have an abundance of white clover, and bass wood has now commenced to bloom; also sumac and milkweed. Last season I had over 4,200 fbs. of honey. I shall run for box honey this year."
WM. DYER. Shelbyville, Ky., July 10, 1877.--" The honey crop has been good. Thus far I have taken 3,000 lbs. of comb and extracted honey. I had 40 colonies this spring, some of them very weak. I have 26 in 2-story Langstroth hives. It is in my opinion the hive to use for much honey. The extractor, if well used, will prevent swarming. I now have 52 colonies in excellent condition. I expect to take more honey if the season continues favorable." FRED KRUEGER.
Modesto, Cal., June 26, 1877.—"The longer I use the Barnes' foot-power saw the better I like it. I would not take $100 in gold for it, if I could not get another. I can endorse what Mr. Dadant said about it in the June number of the JOURNAL. It is all-important that those who use this saw should know how to keep it in good cutting order. Everyone should have the 'Lumberman's Hand Book,' by H. Diston & Sons, price 15 cts., and a half-round file, price 20c.; and you will be astonished how much easier it is to keep the saws in order, and how much faster they cut, than by filing with a threecornered file. Since I got the above I can saw 4 faster and not wear the saw down 4 as fast.
“The severe droughts here has cut off all honey supplies, and some of the bees have
Hartford, N. Y., July 6, 1877.—“Noticing the letter of friend Bingham in last number of the JOURNAL, induces me to give the result of my observations upon eggs in queen cells. I think I can tell every time when I see eggs in a queen cell, whether it has been laid there by the queen or deposited by the bees. When deposited by the bees it lays down flat in the bottom of the cell. If laid by the queen it stands nearly on end and in the well known position. Bees generally insert eggs in queen cells when deprived of their queen. "We would now like to see or at least hear from some of those who last season pronounced comb foundation as the greatest humbug of the day. We have given it a thorough trial and the bees work it out in short time, and it is soon filled with brood. We think that instead of denouncing Novice as a blind guide in bee-culture, he should receive some merit of praise, on the foundation question at least. The season here has been unfavorable for box honey; had much cool weather and heavy rains. There is great abundance of white clover, and basswood will soon bloom in great profusion."
J. H. MARTIN.
Lawrence, Ill., July 9, 1877.—“Last Dec. I put 80 stocks of black bees in my cellar, placing them on shelves, one above the other four high. Last spring I sat them all out again, and in fine condition except two, and they are coming out all right. They commenced swarming on June 15, and since that time have had 130 swarms; but I have doubled so many and so many have doubled themselves, that I have only 80 new hives filled as yet. So you see that I have just doubled my bees, and there are more to follow. I believe in keeping my stocks strong, and in so doing I find there is no need of troubling myself about moths, as Italians. I have taken off about 100 lbs. of new honey (white clover) so far. I have stocks less than 10 days old that have stored 15 lbs. of honey in boxes.
4 “I have been interested to-day in reading the report of W. L. Porter to the Michigan Convention, and I am just of his opinion as regards Italian bees. There are some of them kept just over the fence from my with one hand, the bellows worked with the thumb-just as one would use an oilcan in oiling machinery. I use dry, rotten wood in it, and can go to dinner leaving it standing on top of a hive, come back and find it ready for use." JOUN ATKINSON.
blacks, and so far they have proved themselves inferior to mine in every respect. It is with them as with fancy stock generally, Give common stock the same care as is given to fancy stock, and there would be a great improvement in it. Give blacks the same care as Italians, and they will give just as good satisfaction. It is my opinion that when Italian queens are shut out of the mails, that Italian bees will be worth no more than blacks; for I notice that it is those who have queens for sale are the most prominent in lauding the Italians to the skies and kick the others under foot."
J. L. ANDERSON. [Friend Anderson is rather rash in giving his opinion. There are many we know who never sold a bee in their lives that prefer Italians to blacks. But ALL have their opinions, and may freely express them, too, in the A. B. J.-ED.]
Van Buren Co., Mich., June 29, 1877.-“Bees are doing first rate here."
John CROWFOOT. San Louis Rey, Cal., June 18, 1877.—“We had some very hot, dry weather from the 8th to the 13th, during which the thermometer rose to 108, 105°, 103°, etc., while the hygrometer was down to 65° to 70°— showing an unexampled dryness of the air. My bees took up 10 gallons of water every hour while the heat lasted."
G. F. MERRIAM. South Haven, Mich., June 26, 1877.--"My Bingham smoker has given the most unbounded satisfaction. There is nothing in the market in the line of bee smokers that can at all compare with it."
H. A. BURCH.
Jefferson Co., Tenn., July 20, 1877.—"We have had a good season here for honeythe first for several years. Last winter we lost about 60 per cent. of what few bees were left. I had only 7 weak colonies left; which I have increased, mostly by artificial swarming, to 19 strong ones, and have taken 450 lbs. of extracted, and about 60 lbs. of box honey, and have raised 15 extra queens. Honey-dew has been very plentiful this year, which is produced by an insect, or rather by various kinds of insects, which feed on the leaf of the oak and other trees. The sourwood honey harvest has been good here this year. Strong colonies storing from 16 to 40 lbs. from that alone. It is the finest honey that we have, is very thick and as clear as water. It commences to bloom about June 20th, and continues 5 weeks. I, send you sample of the bloom and wish that I could send some of the honey by mail. I think it can't be beat by any other honey."
H. [The sample is received. It is a fine honey-producer and no doubt gave excellent honey.-ED.)
Kennebec Co., Me., July 20, 1877.-" The honey season promised well at the commencement, in the last of May, but our bright skies were soon clouded. We have had a very dry summer, and the flowers produced but little honey, and that has been dark and thick, and of strong flavor. Bees have swarmed' but a little or not at all, and unless we have a good fall honey-harvest, many colonies will not get enough to carry them through winter. I fear this dark. colored honey is not good for wintering on. Will those who have had experience in wintering bees on dark, strong honey please report for the JOURNAL? I have 20 swarms of bees and am in hopes to get them in good condition to winter. Fewer bees are kept in this State than in any other of the Union."
ISAAC F. PLUMMER.
Nelson, Pa., July 4, 1877.—“This is the best season for white clover for several years; frequent showers causing it to last longer than usual. My honey last year was all mixed, but I shall have quite a lot of pure clover honey this year, owing partly to the good season, and partly to about 100 sections of comb that I extracted at the end of last season. These were from unfinished boxes which were filled and some of them partially capped over before the bees built new comb in boxes. For this reason, if for no other, I prefer the sectional boxes for comb honey. So does neighbor Bolt.
“I have used frames of each of the following sizes: 1144x19, 10x19, 10x12, and 13x13 in.; now I am transferring and putting natural swarms into a frame 12x12 outside, or 1144x1144 inside measure, and think I have got through changing frames. Mr. Bolt has been through all the above sizes, and is now using one 12x15, the longest way up and down. I use my 2-story hives with the extractor, or one-story with boxes, as occasion requires; and the 12x12 frame being a sort of medium between tall and shallow, or large and small frames, answers the best, all things considered.
“I have a smoker which I made by attaching a bellows to my old Quinby puffball fumigator, which is simpler in construction than any of the smokers advertised in the JOURNAL, as far as I can judge from the cuts, and I think it is as convenient and as durable as any of them. It is operated
Montcalm Co., Mich., July 22, 1877.-“We have no bass wood honey this season. There was an immense bloom, but a dry scorching sun and high wind destroyed it all. We have had three poor seasons now in succession. The fall flowers may help us some. I send you photograph of niy home apiary: It contains 200 colonies. In the foreground is a field of alsike clover. I keep my farm seeded with it, and consider it the best honey plant. The small building to the left is a store-house for honey. A few rods distant I have a 5-horse power saw mill for cutting hives and frames. Just over the oldest boy's head is a mammoth swarın hanging on the apple tree.”
HIRAM Roop. [ Friend Roop will please accept our thanks for the photo. It will occupy a place in our museum, and be an interesting study to many of our visitors who know him only by name.--Ed.]
Battle Ground, Ind., July 23, 1877.—"I now have 14 apiaries in successful operation, with over 1,500 stocks of bees, doing quite well in the Hicks' hive. I have had over 30 year's experience.” J. M. Hicks.
GLEANED BY FRANK BENTON.
Hastings, Minn., July 25, 1877.--"Our season for basswood honey is over. It has been extremely hot and dry. Bees have been doing very well so far this season. Our great honey harvest has yet to come. From the wild flowers on our bottoms along the river, which usually lasts from Aug. 1st till frost comes, I have had swarms gather over 100 lbs. often this time. One season 2 swarms on Aug. 28 and 29, filled their hives without any assistance, and threw out the first swarms the next season. I am extracting only to give the queen plenty of room.”
Marshall Co., Ind., July 22, 1877.—“I lost 56 out of 86 colonies last winter. Threefourths of all the bees in this part of the country died last winter-some lost all they had. Bees have not done well here since 1874; that was the year I started with 10 swarms of blacks in box hives. I had them transferred to the American hive, and they made so much honey that fall, I thought I could make a fortune with them. They have not more than paid expenses since. Still I think there is money in bees yet-in good seasons. I am a farmer and have not the time to attend to my bees as I should. You know how things pay half attended to. I have the Italian bee, which I think are better than blacks. Have one of Hill's gaspipe extractors. I extracted about 50 galfons last year, but it won't sell well about here. They think it some composition that I make myself. I tell them I will give $20 if they find anything in it but pure honey."
John W. OSBORN.
THE “A. B. J.” IN EUROPE.-Numerous translations from THE AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL are noticeable in the European journals of apiculture.
FOUL BROOD.-Herr A. Lorenz says in Der Bienenvater: "In localities supplied with rich harvests, the bee-keeper knows nothing of foul brood-a strong proof of my conclusion that its cause is to be sought only in a lack of pasturage."
JAVANESE BEES.-Sig. Giuseppe Fiorini, of Monselice, Italy, the proprietor of an apiary containing 500 colonies, has undertaken the importation of the large bee known as apis dorsata, a native of the island of Java, first described by Herr Edward Cori, of Bruex, Bohemia. L'Apicoltore, published in Milan, speaks very highly of Sig. Fiorini and his undertaking.
At last apiculture is to be taught in the Norinal schools. But, o etouffeurs ! don't be alarmed, for it's beyond the seas, that is, in Canada, where this is to take place.-L'Apiculteur, Paris.
FARMERS AND BEE-KEEPERS.- In the course of his opening address before the 21st convention of German and Austrian bee-keepers, Dr. Settegast, the president, said: "He who causes two blades of grass to grow where but one grew before, may be regarded as a benefactor. And every beeculturist is such a benefactor, and should be received with open arms by each farmer near whose property he locates.”
FROM “NostRA BELLA Italia."-L'Apicoltore publishes the programme of the 10th apistic exhibition of the Central Association for the Encouragement of Apiculture in Italy, which is to be held at Milan Dec. 4-9 inclusive, 1877. Liberal premiums for displays of apiarian products and implements are offered. The Italians manifest great interest in the advancement of the real science of apiculture, and, judging from their journals, there must be some skillful apiarists among them.
DISTRIBUTION OF THE HONEY BEE.Our native black bee extends as far north as the northern part of Sweden and Finnland; it is found in Swellen under the parallel of 64° N. latitude, and in Finnland under 60° to 61° N. latitude. In Siberia, bee-culture is carried on as far north as the parallel of 51°. Our bee is to be found on the African contiment in Algiers, Guinea, and at the Cape. It was taken to America and has spread itself over that continent with a rapidity bordering upon the wonderful, even flourishing splendidly in the tropics. The Italian bee was sent to America by Dr. Dzierzon, and to Australia in 1862 by the Englishman, Woodbury.-Elsaessische Bienen-Zuechter.
Secure & Choice Queen. We now renew our offer to send a choice tested Italian queen as a premium to any one will send us four subscribers to THE AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL with $8.00. This premium, giving a good queen for four subscribers, will pay any one for taking some trouble to extend the circulation of the JOURNAL. Premium queens will in every case be tested.
Notes and Queries.
swarming. I feel sure that by early and persistent attention, swarming can be almost wholly controlled, but it requires much skill and experience. If the queen in question was pure, I should advise Mr. Greening to breed from her, and even now recommend that he let her work.-A. J. Cook.)
RUST ON EXTRACTOR. Sumpter Co., Ala., June 18, 1877.-"Will you please tell me through the JOURNAL how to keep the wires in my honey extractor from rusting?” SUBSCRIBER.
[If the extractor is left just as the honey leaves it, there is no danger of rust. The honey will never rust it; but if it is washed, the water will.-ED.)
TULIP AND BASSWOOD. Nevada City, Cal., July 9, 1877.-" Please answer the following questions:
1. How old must a tulip tree be before it blossoms; and how high will it be at the same time?
2. How old, and what size are basswood trees when they blossom?
3. What soil and climate do both tulip and bass wood grow best on?".
R. E. Bush. [We have tulip trees (Liriodendron tulipifera) now 15 years old, that bloom. They are about 20 ft. high.
Basswood will bloom at 8 or 10 years of age, and when not more than as many feet high. Both these trees thrive best in a moist climate. The first flourishes even on quite light sandy soil, while the basswood requires a rich sand or clay loam.-A. J. Cook.]
COMB FOUNDATION. FRIEND NEWMAN:-I wish to ask you a question. Does the foundation remain thick or is it worked out by the bees-the wax in it being used to build the cells?
John Z. CARR. [That question we might answer with both “Yes” and “No.” We have some foundation in this office, the cells of which were lengthened out by the bees, using the wax of the foundation for that purpose. It was only in the hive a few hours, and the samples are in the various stages of building. We also have on our desk a piece of foundation that we cut out of the centre of some excellent white clover honey, as it stood upon our breakfast table this morning. It appears just like other foundation, and is of similar thickness, but shows where the bees had attached the sides of the cells to it. It is evident, therefore, that the bees are not always governed by the same rule. Under some circumstances they use the foundation to attach the cells to; under others, they thin out the wax and make cells from it-when they are not so "busy," perhaps.-ED.)
WHY DO THEY NOT SWARM? Grand Meadow, Minn., July 2, 1877.-“Bees are doing well here now, those that managed to save them through the winter. In this neighborhood many lost all they had. I have 2 swarms that have already sent out 4 swarms each; all in good shape. Have another that was very strong in the spring, and is full of honey, bees and brood, but will not swarm; they have queen cells half built for weeks, but do not put eggs in them. I cut out all drone brood, as they are laybrids and I don't want to mix with my pure Italians. Is that the reason they do not swarm? They work splendidly, and rather than let them hang outside doing nothing I have added two supers, making a 4-story hive, and they are working to the top. Can you solve the question?”
C. F. GREENING. [ The reason why some bees refuse to swarm is obscure. I think cutting out or removing drone brood is not the correct answer. Giving them plenty of room may be the reason, though it will not always answer the question. Something may be done to individual pecularities of bees, though I think there is some law governing the swarming impulse not yet revealed. Sometimes bees in full colonies with little room are slow to swarm; while again, bees with abundance of room seem bent on
QUINBY HIVE-FOUL BROOD-MOTHS. Shelby Co., Mo., July 13, 1877.-“Will you please give a description of Quinby's ponpatented, non-swariner, and tell me where it is for sale?
2. What is meant by foul brood ?
3. When does the moth-miller cease to lay? Should think that one overhauling of the hive after that would insure bees against its ravages for the winter."
E. C. PHILLIPS. [The Quinby hive is for sale by L. C. Root, Mohawk, N.Y. It is the latest invention of the late M. Quinby. The frames stand on the bottom-board and are held upright without support at the upper corners. Top boxes are placed directly on the frames; 16 boxes being arranged on either side, 2 deep, and 4 abreast, with the ends directly against the main combs; no partition being between, except a narrow strip of glass that leaves an opening for the bees to pass immediately from the combs to the guide combs in the boxes.
2. Foul brood is a disease that depopulates the colony—the brood seems to putrefy, becomes black and gives an offensive odor. For its treatment, see friend Muth's article on page 196 (June No.).
3. Moths may be seen every month from April till winter. If bees are kept strong there need be no fear of moths. Some syrup in vessels near the hives at night will be the means of destroying many.-ED.]
MELILOT CLOVER. Star, Ind., July 20, 1877. - 6. Enclosed please find a plant which we call sweet clover; please answer through the JOURNAL whether it is melilot clover or not, as my bees do not seem to work upon it. Bumble bees work freely on it. The ground ivy is one of the best and earliest honey plants we have here. I find the garden radish one of the best for bees, by planting every 2 weeks.”
C. A. GING. (The plant is the melilot or sweet cloverMelilotus Alba. I have found the bees on ours almost constantly, and the honey is just splendid. The bloom lasts a long time, and were this clover an annual instead of a biennial, I should rank it as one of the first. -A. J. Cook.]
This is a most disastrous year for the bee-men of California, as we have had scarcely any rain. Bees in a great many localities are simply starving, and owners may consider themselves lucky if they save their bees alive without thinking of any income from them. My bees seem very industrious and work as hard as last year when they were bringing in immense quantities of honey. I have watched a strong hive that seemed to be doing its level best, and on examination found very little honey stored. What are they doing? I always thought when there is a scarcity of honey in the flowers, bees hang around the outside of hive with hands in pockets and a most dejected expression on their faces."
HAMILTON HURNARD. [I am not able to speak authoritatively for California, but should suppose that rape, the mustards, and perhaps the mints, might stand the drough. I suppose our friend could easily test the question.
I should suppose extracted honey would be the cheapest bee feed in California. Such years as 1876, when honey was so abundant, a supply might be kept for time of need.
Bees in warm, sunny days are ever on the alert to gather, even though unable. This is why the apiarist should keep his bees in the cellar, in our cold climates, till flowers come. Else they wear out in their fruitless quests, and we are vexed with spring dwindling.-A. J. COOK.)
HOW TO ITALIANIZE. Lee Co., III., July 2, 1877.—"I have 60 colonies of hybrids. They are at work on clover. I wish to Italianize them. How shall I do it?"
J. L. GREY. [To Italianize a colony it is only necessary to procure and introduce a tested Italian queen. In order to do this find and destroy the old queen. Wind a strip of wire-cloth, 3% inches wide, around your finger, in order to make a cage. The cloth should be about 15 meshes to the inch. Put a cork or plug of wood in one end, or pinch it together, and after putting in the queen plug the other end with a piece of comb honey or cork of some kind, and put the cage between two combs. After 48 hours, smoke the hive and cage thoroughly, opening the cage at one end. Watch the bees to see if they attack the queen. If so, again cage her for another 48 hours. It is a good plan to let some honey drop on the queen, when opening the cage; it will familiarize the bees with the queen, while they are cleansing her of the honey. From such a colony you can Italianize your whole apiary.-Ed.)
BUCKWHEAT FOR A LATE SECOND CROP.-Our friend Jesse Hobson wishes to remind our readers that a good crop of buckwheat can be grown on irrigated soil, sown as late as August. Indeed he prefers to sow it late, as it comes to maturity as the cold weather commences, and makes a better crop than early sown, which fills in_hot weather and is apt to blight. Late sown gets the advantage of cool and damp weather, which is best adapted to its growth. Mr. H. says that he has grown heavy crops of buckwheat, as a second crop, on good soil, sown as late as the middle of August. It makes excellent bee pasturage, besides producing heavily of grain, and pays betier than any other field crop, on an average.-California Agriculturist and Artisan.
es Subscribers will please notice the date upen their subscription labels and see that they are "up with the times."
BEST BEE PLANT AND CHEAPEST FEED.
Los Angeles, June 27, 1877.-"Please answer the following questions. Is there any bee-plant that would pay to plant in this climate where we do not have rain between March and Nov.? Which is the best to withstand drought ?
What is the cheapest bee feed? The price of sugar here is 7 tbs. for $1, which is the cheapest kind. Is molasses good enougli, as there are very few days in the year that bees cannot fly?
WARTS REMOVED. A positive cure. Painless and stainless. Price $1. Order from Dr. Quincy A. Scott, 278 Penn. Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa., or through any druggist. A liberal discount to dealers. Circular free.