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Fall, Winter and Spring
you. Above all, study well the bees. takes, but it is far better that you walls, many colonies actually died It will surprise you to see how many should make them than to depend al- soaked in the moisture produced by questions they can answer. They can together on what others tell you.
the evaporation of their breath tell you better than I can whether it This is a strange but most interest- which became condensed above the is more profitable to produce comb ing and really very wonderful world cluster, much as a man's breath con or extracted honey. They can tell in which we live. Mankind, the high- denses, on his whiskers in a cold day you the value of comb foundation. est of created beings, has to learn to When we recommend absorbents They can tell you better than anyone walk by falling many times; has to for the moisture produced, we do not else whether to winter in a cellar or learn to talk by making many blun- recommend a draft of air, upwards in double-wall hives. They will not ders; learns to read by calling many
however. A current of air would hesitate to tell you which is better, a words wrong; learns to spell, if he chill the cluster. What we want is large or a small brood chamber. They ever does, by making many mistakes. a blanket acting just as will tell you what will stimulate or We learn right from wrong by woolen cover acts upon our bed in a retard swarming. Don't be bashful many early lapses from the right cold night, allowing the moisture to in asking them all sorts of questions. path. And so we must gain strength pass from our bodies without any
Use your own judgment in man- by struggle all the way through deperdition of heat. aging your business. Unless you are life. I don't believe the good Lord In fall, winter or spring, the bee more fortunate than most successful expects us to reach perfection, but need protection, although they may beekeepers, you will make some mis- He does expect us to keep climbing. very well pull through, even in
cold winter, with only the shelte produced by the walls of their hive
I remember seeing a colony in a Protection of Hives
eight-frame Langstroth hive, on th
coldest corner behind some of th By C. P. Dadant.
buildings of the apiary departmen HE ideal protection for colonies, when the temperature is high enough at the Agricultural College of Mir
to melt away the snow and heat the nesota. I enquired as to the reaso temperature pass, in a few hours, hives. If they are confined, the bees of this location of the one hive from a comfortable flying weather, become restless and worry
Professor Jager, the apiarist, replie with the thermometer above 50 de- Thus the methods of packing must that he was simply trying how muc grees in the shade, to 20 or lower be- depend upon the locality and its tem- a colony of bees could stand. He ha low zero, is a shelter in which the perature and we cannot draw a had that colony there for 3 years, bees may keep the temperature of straight rule. But the packing which believe, and had not yet been abl the nest above 50, while able to take keeps the colonies warm and yet per- to kill them by this willful neglec flight on any warm day.
mits their bees to fly whenever the This feat is possible, even in ver The fact that, in northern Canada, weather is suitable is the best.
cold winters, when a colony is ver in Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa, bees Much has been said and written strong in bees and has exceller live and thrive out-of-doors, when concerning moisture absorbents over food. I would not recommend it t they are confined to the hive for the cluster. Some apiarists, seeing any beekeeper who is desirous C three months or more in succession, that bees, in a state of nature, success. shows us that it is possible to pack thoroughly close all issues but their Very strong colonies can stand them so that they will not need any entrance with air-tight propolis, have great deal of bad weather. I remen flights for several months, if they concluded that no moisture absorb- ber having had a colony that was s have good healthy food, which is ents were necessary. Yet, we have full of healthy bees that it was in even more important than packing. seen winters when colonies that were possible to give the least disturban
In our milder regions, such as cen- well protected suffered a great deal in its vicinity without causing som tral Illinois, where flight is possible from the moisture that escaped from of its bees to come to the entranc once a month, or even oftener, pro- their bodies, until in fact they were and show fight, even when t} tection is not so indispensable. How- soaked in it. We had oilcloths for weather was so cold that they wou ever, it is always better than expos- cover over the brood frames. Some be chilled at once if they left th ure. Wind exposure is very objec- of these oilcloths had been gnawed to hive. tionable. We may know this by our pieces by the bees. Wherever the I have often heard beekeepers d own bodies. At the same tempera- defects in those cloths permitted the plore the fact that bees on a war ture, a man exposed to the wind will moisture from the bees to escape day, in snow time, would take flig suffer much more than one who is into the forest leaves placed in the and get lost. My experience is that sheltered from it.
cap, over the cluster, the bees re- is better for the beekeeper to lose For that reason, experienced bee- mained dry and healthy; but few bees than to confine the keepers, of the chilly north, take wherever the cloths were sound and against their will. On such days v great pains to establish windbreaks. air-proof, so that no moisture could scatter straw, ashes, sawdust, or an Mr. Tissot, the successful Ottawa api- escape, the bees suffered immensely. thing convenient, on the snow, arist mentioned in the Journal for As a matter of course, a difficulty front of the hives, so that they ma January, not only packs his hives in of this kind does not present itself be able to arise and return. a double-walled case, but erects a
Usually the moisture tight board fence all around his api- produced by the bees becomes con- A Manitoba Honey Crop ary. The snow falls and covers the densed and runs out at the entrance. hives, to such an extent that they But it is in the very worst seasons One of my colonies gathered are often hidden entirely, but need that this trouble appears.
pounds of honey on July 31st, las no attention till the spring thaw. The call most especially the winter of with total surplus of 496 warmth of the bees melts tunnels un- 1884-5, during which the bees were pounds for the season.
The swar der the snow.
confined a long time and the winds taken from the above colony on Jur In our warmer regions such a were very fierce. In spite of hives
9th, gave a surplus of over 1€ method of management would not with double walls and a lining of 3 pounds. That's Manitoba. do, because we have warm days, inches of sawdust, between these
Wm. D. Wright.
only three small fruits set and those fell before they reached the size of peas.”
With reference to honey from avocado Mr. T. Ralph Robinson, of the Bureau of Plant Industry, in a private letter to the writer, states as follows:
“This spring, when I Homestead (Florida), I was served with honey said to be made from avocado bloom, and where avocado orchards are numerous as at Homestead, there is doubtless an opportunity for producing considerable honey. Each
flower secretes nectar on both first and second opening from a different set of nectaries on each day.”—F. C. P.
In No Man's Land
A Good Moving Device
The picture shows a very practical If you have ever used alcohol- The man behind the mask is Wil- moving device in use by Frank Maag, formalin on combs you will appreci- liamson. Last year, with a home
of Orange, California. Angle iron made solution of formalin, soap and
with slots at each end to catch the ate the comfort of the gas mask in water, he treated several hundred
heads of large screws is used. Where the above picture. Noah Williamson combs, which so far have not shown
the bottoms and moving screens are and Engle, of Sioux City, Iowa, are any second appearance of disease,
nailed directly to the hive or fasto blame for sending this, and al- after being in use by the bees.
tened with wood strips there is more though the photographer was a good says he is entirely satisfied with the or less damage to the hive, as well one, brought out from the city, the results.
as jarring, which irritates the bees, picture is still somewhat hazy. Per- The equipment he uses is simpler,
at the time of preparing them for haps the eye of the camera is also but is in general about the same as
the trip. disturbed by the fumes of the for- that described on page 327 in our
With the device shown, screws are malin. July number.
driven into the bottom with heads
On page 487 of the October Journal, Roy K. Bishop, of California concludes that the avocado is never of much importance as a source of nectar. When the writer visited Mr. Bishop in March of 1925 the avocado was in bloom and the bees were working it in rather a halfhearted manner
as he describes. However, it is quite possible that, under other climatic conditions or in a situation where large areas of the blooms were within reach, its value might be more apparent.
In the report of the Avocado Growers' Association for 1922,23 is an extended paper by Orange L. Clark, of Point Loma, Calif., giving the results of his experiments with bees in the pollination of the blossoms of avocado. From this paper I quote as follows:
“During the last blooming season there were 17 hives of bees in the orchard. Because of drought here, as elsewhere in Southern California, there was less outside bee pasture than usual and bees worked much more abundantly on avocado blossoms here than during any previous season, and produced an abundant
honey harvest. . . There seems
“Frequently bees do not work as
Frank Maags moving device
.Very few in- out, as pictured. Cross pieces to be sects except bees frequent the avo- used above the screens also have cado flowers.
screws with heads out far enough to “Half of one small young Dickin- hold the angle iron. When the hive son tree was covered, but with no cover is removed it is but the work bees under the netting. On the half of an instant to put the screen in of the tree outside the netting great place and put on the device. Benumbers of small fruits set, six of tween the cross pieces is placed a which are growing well and evi- double bolt which is tightened by a dently most of these will mature, long nut which holds it rigid. Much which is a heavy crop for the half of time as wel as labor is saved in a tree of its size and age. Inside the moving by the use of this ingenious netting, where there were no bees, arrangement.
Established by Samuel Wagner in 1861.
Entered as second-class matter at the Postoffice at Hamilton, Illinois.
Handling Bees for Show
A friend made the assertion to us that there is a secre
in the handling of bees for show, putting them in one In the United States, Canada and Mexico, $1.60 per year; three
clothes, etc. He says there is some preparation used fo years, $8.00. Other foreign countries, postage 26 cents extra per this. Many years ago, a man by the name of Lewi year. All subscriptions are stopped at expiration. Date of expira- Twining came to our vicinity and remained until he has tion is printed on wrapper label.
worn out his welcome and his credit. His specialty was handling bees, even putting them in his mouth. He would
offer to handle the crossest stock of bees and would do How Many Pounds to the Acre?
it. But when the bees were very ill-humored he woul
smoke them a little at the entrance and carry the hiv The above question is asked too many times for the away, a few steps, before opening it. After that the bee peace of mind of the editor. It always reminds me of would be easy to handle. Dr. Miller's cute way of replying to an inquirer who asked What was the reason of this action? By carrying awa how many pounds of honey could be harvested from a the hive he would lose all the active field bees, and i basswood tree. He replied: "That depends upon the size is the field bees which are cross. When the hive wa of the tree.” Yes, and it depends also on the weather opened any field bees that came out of it would at onc during bloom, on the amount of blooming of the bass- notice that the home was not in its usual location, an wood in that particular season, on the locality, which may the result was that those old bees would go back to thbe more or less favorable to the production of basswood spot and hunt around. None but young bees were lef honey, etc.
for the wonder man to handle, and those young bees ar In the same way, the amount of honey to be expected never cross. If you will watch those who do the handlin from an acre of some particular kind of plant depends of bees for show, you will notice that they always carr: upon the stand of that plant to the acre, on its fitness the hive away a few steps, under some excuse or other to honey production in that particular soil, on the possi- But that is the real reason. There is no other secre bility of suitable weather; but it depends also on the needed. Of course there are bees that do not need this number of bees that work upon it. If you have an apiary as they are peaceable ,but with this method almost an within reach of that particular acre, it may be also within colony may be handled safely. reach of hundreds of acres of the same bloom. The bees may go a short distance or a long distance; for the flight of bees for honey has been variously estimated all the way from a mile to seven miles, the latter being Doo Misunderstandings little's estimate. Alfalfa yields heavily in Colorado and little in Illinois Basswood yields some seasons heavily
Copyright, 1925, by The New York Times Co. and some seasons not at all. Again, there may be a dozen
Special Cable to The New York Times. different kinds of plants in bloom at the same time, as,
London, Nov. 12.-France has been stung by insisting that bee
be delivered to her as a part of reparations. German bees we for instance, persicarias, boneset and Spanish needles in
working hard and living contented lives on the Luneburger heat low lands, with button bush and a dozen other plants, at The climate was right and the flowers delicious in this north Ge the same time, in the same vicinity.
man garden. But France insisted that 30,000 colonies be trans
ported to France in lieu of those destroyed by the German armie If the country is all in one kind of honey-yielding bloom, as happens in the orange region, one might take
Though the protest at being transplanted caused loud buzzing
the transfer was made. After the first inspection of their ne an average, if one knew how many acres of orange trees
homes the workers struck, then declared a hunger strike. TH and how many colonies of bees and how far the bees
queens refused to lay the required thousands of eggs and no few. With all these "ifs" one would probably miss it, France has 30,000 empty hives and Germany a receipt for th
portion of the reparations bill.—(Newspaper Clipping.) as the crop might be nil or several hundred pounds per colony, according to the season and the care that was Why continue the silly stories that were current durin taken of the trees, and of the bees.
the Great War? Our American people deplore the mi So, please, you who ask questions of the editor, ask understandings existing between the nations of Europ him something difficult, but don't ask this kind of ques- But they never fail to accept an opportunity of repro tion, unless you want to get an “I don't know” answer, ducing something unpleasant. If we want peace betwee such as Dr. Miller so often made, when he could manage nations, why not try to smooth things over? It is quit to suggest the proper reply, but was not sure of its cor- probable that there was some dissatisfaction over th rectness.
shipment of 30,000 hives of bees. Could it have bee otherwise? Why take pleasure in reviving ill-feelings
If we only try to “love our neighbors,” the Locarn Maple Sugar In Quebec
treaty may bring some desirable results. The honey industry and that of maple sugar are allied, in Quebec, and the same man is at the head of both.
Death of Leading European Beekeeper We are in receipt of a little bulletin upon maple sugar and maple syrup, which contains accounts of the develop- We are in receipt of the announcement of the deat ment of the maple sugar industry, how maple sugar is of Professor N. P. Kunnen, of Ettelbruck, Luxemburg made, its sale and adulteration, the qualities of a good at 72 years of age. Mr. Kunnen was one of the leader product, and a number of recipes from the Women's In
of European progressive beekeeping. Our editor me stitutes of the Province of Quebec. It is very neat and him at Paris in 1900, where he was one of the vice-pres attractive and may probably be had by addressing Mr. dents of the International Convention of Beekeepers. H C. Vaillancourt, who is also at the head of the Apiary had been a representative in the Luxemburg Hous Department, at the Ministry of Agriculture of Quebec. mayor or burgomaster of Ettelbruck, held a number a
According to this bulletin, the production of maple positions of trust, besides being an officer in five differen sugar in Quebec in 1920 was in excess of thirty-one mil- honorary orders both in his own country, Luxemburg lion pounds, with some 20,000 people interested in it. and in Belgium. He left no descendants.
Upper Absorbents Over the Cluster
Don't Disturb Them We are told that nature has taught bees to close and Our text books on beekeeping are unanimous in recseal up all openings above the cluster and that, there- ommending to leave the colonies undisturbed during the fore, it is a mistake to place porous coverings over them. cold days, whether they are in the cellar or exposed to Well, nature has taught them a great many things that the weather. The reason is obvious. Whenever we we do not respect. We take away some of their surplus disturb them, some bees leave the cluster, get out of honey; we give them additional room above the brood reach of its warmth and perish. The cluster itself is combs, when the crop is on; we increase the size of their more or less disturbed, the bees that are "imbricated” entrance and give them additional shade; we move them lose their cohesion, and there is loss of heat, which has into the cellar when the weather is cold and keep them to be made up by more consumption of stores. Greater there for months. We change the arrangements of nature consumption leads to greater accumulation of residues because we have the bees under domestication, so to in their bowels, with more difficulty in staying home speak.
quietly during the long winter confinement. This applies I have often told how we found out that upper absorb- as well to cellar wintered bees as to outdoor hives. ents, without a real air draft, are good in winter. Let I have little patience with the man who worries about me tell it again in a few words: In the terrible winter the possibility of colonies suffering and who, in his of 1884-5, we had our bees, as usual, packed for winter, anxiety, examines them every few days to see how they but without removing the oilcloth, which made an air- fare. I have still less with a beginner who will carry tight covering over the cluster. The caps were full of a colony out of the cellar to give it a fight when the dry leaves. At the end of winter we found that there weather is perhaps hardly warm enough for the bees were some hives perfectly healthy, while others had all to fly and those that do fly may get lost because the hive the combs wet, the bees more or less soaked with their is not in its accustomed place and they do not recognize own moisture and in very bad condition. Many of the their bearings. Don't disturb them in winter. latter died. The cause of the difference was that, in some cases, the oilcloth that covered the combs had holes in them, made by the bees during the summer, and which we had neglected to change. Those having an
A Brazilian Bee Book escape for the moisture, from the cluster into the leaves, were perfectly dry; the leaves were soaked wet. The “Der Brazilianische Bienezuchter,” by Emil Schenk, others, retaining the moisture on the combs, had suffered is not in the language of Spanish America, but in Gerfrom it. The greater the opening, the healthier the bees.
The book contains some 250 pages and gives True, this does not happen often; that is probably why good account of progressive beekeeping, though it still those who have never had it to happen are sure that it recommends the foundation cast, which is considered is a mistake to have porous coverings. But those who unsatisfactory in most countries, and a few other things have had my experience, in very bad seasons, are sure of considered as out of date in most progressive countries. the fact that moisture is usually bad in cold weather. It goes into details, however, and even describes the dif"Facts are stubborn things.'
ference in results between the 138 inch spacing of combs and the 142 inch. It is well illustrated, with over 150 en
gravings. Mr. Schenk is Professor of Apiculture at the California Activity
Ministry of Agriculture of Brazil, at Porte Alegre,
Brazil. Prof. G. H. Vansell of the University of California is very active in behalf of the beekeepers. Numerous publications from his pen have appeared during recent Double Shift months. His “Survey of Beekeeping in California" printed in the October and November issues of Western
The “New Zealand Fruit Grower and Apiarist” pubHoneybee gives a comprehensive review of beekeeping
lishes the statement that a Mr. James Ballantyne is conditions in the Golden State.
trying the experiment of transporting bees from Canada California is fortunate in having had more careful to New Zealand in the fall, t otake advantage of the attention paid to the sources of nectar than has been summer of the South Hemisphere, which begins as our the case elsewhere. Some years ago a bulletin prepared
summer ends. So the bees would get two bee seasons by M. C. Richter was issued by the University and later in a year, and no winter. Those queens ought to need a series of articles dealing with the subject written by replacing often, if they are to have two laying seasons George M. Coleman were published in the Western
in a year.
Whether it will pay to carry the bees to the Honeybee. Vansell is continuing this line of investiga
antipodes remains to be seen. The colony brought for tion, and his article on buckeye poisoning of bees pub- the experiment was landed at Auckland, November 16, lished in the December American Bee Journal is of 1925. interest to beekeepers far beyond the borders of California. Much work remains to be done in the field of nectar secretion, and every encouragement should be
The Irish Visiting the Scotch offered to those who are prepared to undertake such investigations.
The Irish Bee Journal, in its November edition, contains the account of a visit to the meeting of the East of
Scotland Beekeepers' Association that makes one wish Carniolan Bees
he could have been there. Under the title “Dundee De
lectable,” with the photos of three Scots, C. M. Fulton, W. J. Sheppard, of Nelson, B. C., in "Country Life in Henry Crombie and our old acquaintance, John AnderBritish Columbia," writes of the Carniolan bees. His son, the writer describes his visit, in two interesting experience appears to tally with ours. The bees are pages: “Scotland is the land of honey; give us large pretty, when young, because “ the segments of their ab- hives and we will make it the land for money also_from domen are encircled with comparatively wide silver-grey bees.” Wish I had been there! bands. After a time the grey pubescence wears off to a great extent, so that the old bees become darker and are then sometimes hard to distinguish from black bees. Are Poppies Poisonous To Bees? As long as the queens did not get fertilized by black drones, the bees were the quietest and best tempered W. A. Goodacre, in the Agricultural Gazette of New imaginable. But when crossed with the black, there was South Wales, tells of experiments made upon bees found quite another tale to tell.”
working on poppy blossoms. He found that bees could Of course, it is the same with Italians. When they be fed upon pollen harvested from the poppy without inare pure they are gentle. When crossed they are ill- jurious results and explains that what gave rise to the tempered. But the tendency to swarm excessively is impression that poppies are injurious is the fact that the noticed also by Mr. Sheppard, who harvested as many poppies are in bloom at the period of “spring dwindling" as eight swarms from one colony. That is the main ob- and the poppy was mistrusted on account of its being jection we have to the Carniolans.
the opium-producing plant.