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for that matter. I am a carpenter and get $3.00 and board as the lowest price I work for. The statement that "Masons they have no use for, as they don't build brick
stone houses on account of earthquakes," is simply laughable. In San Diego, Los Angeles and San Bernardino, there are plenty of brick houses.
It is true that many of the bee men are living without women, baching it," but many more are not. The majority of settlers here have wives and families, and more would have if they could get them worth having. Good, marriageable white girls, are not very plenty here. G. F. M., has just called in and I read this to him. We had quite a laugh over it. He confessed that he had the blues when writing it and probably wrote as he felt. He called my attention to a communication from M. M. Baldridge, in the July number of the AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL, that bees in Harbison hives could be bought for $2.50 per colony, etc. John Myers, a resident of Los Angeles, while at my house, told me that he was offered a lot of bees for that price in exchange for cows, and made the rest of the statement as I gave it, I supposed it true. It seems that the case was an exception.
One statement more of G. F. M.'s. "They can't raise a thing here, farming," etc. O. Oakes, at Bernardino, raised over 3,000 sacks of wheat and barley and a large quantity of hay, how much I did not enquire. Benus Sikes also raised a large amount, and many others raised grain, this year, and lots of grain is being shipped from San Diego this year, and a great deal was shipped away last year.
We have no starvation here nor have we been eaten out by grasshoppers as they have in Kansas and other western States. Bernardino, Cal. W. J. WHITNEY.
For the American Bee Journal.
A Chapter of Failures.
MR. EDITOR:-Many of your readers, doubtless, remember, that two years ago I wrote an article on the "Bees That Were." Well, to-day I might appropri ately make a similar heading to this, for my entire apiary of seventy-six stocks have again gone to "that bourne from which no traveller returns." The difference is only in the cause of their disease-namely, foul brood.
I wish to give my experience with the disease, hoping that bee-keepers may be benefited thereby, but perhaps, only in a small degree.
The cause of the disease among my bees remains to-day a mystery to me. But perhaps the perusal of this article, by the "head-lights" in bee-culture, may elicit a solution.
The only theory I can find-but I must admit that to me it is quite unsatisfac
tory is this: In the spring of 1874, my bees did not leave their winter quarters in a perfectly healthy condition. They showed signs of dysentery, doubtless, caused by dampness; my clamp was built late in the fall, and hence it did not dry out perfectly before putting in the bees, and the spring being cold and backward, many of them died before the first. honey flow. I being absent, my brother took charge of the bees at that time. Being desirous of increasing the bees as soon as possible, and believing that every pleasant day would be the last of cold weather, it was already late, compared with other seasons, he thought to increase the brood by spreading it, and inserting an empty comb. This, however, proved disastrous, as the next cold snap chilled. the brood, and the result was the very reverse of what was desired-they decreased instead of increased in numbers.
This is my theory, viz. :-that through the chilled brood, at that time, the disease found its way into the hives; although the dead brood was all removed, as far as I know. But the effect of the disease remained unnoticed; for they increased remarkably after warm weather set in; at any rate, I doubled the number of stocks, and obtained an average quantity of honey, the season being hardly an average one. Now, this to me is a query. If the disease came through the source mentioned, why did it not show its disastrous effects?
Last spring my bees wintered excellently, if dryness and a large number of bees are criterions. Out of sixty-one stocks I found but one dead.
The spring was again cold and backward, but having learned a lesson the spring previous, I did not feel disposed to repeat the experiment of enlarging the brood-nest, so I let them alone, except doing such other work about them as was found necessary. I noticed no dead brood. When warm weather began in earnest, I examined them all closely, and found, perhaps, twelve in a rather weak condition. One was queenless. I lost a couple, the rest I assisted from other stocks. They increased nicely, except. three, this was, perhaps, June 1st,-these had a slight sprinkle of dead brood.. Never having seen the disease, "foul brood," I came to the conclusion that, in consequence of the bees being few in number, the brood chilled, the same as the season before. I contracted the broodnest, and inserted a card of hatchingbrood. I was so confident of success in this that I did not look at them for sometime. At my next examination I found that they had not increased, also deadbrood was visible. I then examined the queens, and to my surprise I found two of them crippled. Then my theorizing fell at once upon these queens, but there re
mained still a stumbling-block. There still remained one queen, which, alas! for my theory, was a beautiful young Italian, without any apparent blemish. The thought of foul brood was of all the most distant; it being of such a distinctive nature that I could not believe I could be so unfortunate as to get it; so I experimented anew. I removed the deformed queens, but not having young queens on hand it took some time before brood from the new queens was hatched. The other stand I again assisted from others, and afterward thought I saw a decided improvement in their condition. But with these experiments, time passed rapidly. We were now fully in the swarming season, and my bees swarmed and increased better than ever, except the three mentioned.
During swarming time I was so busy that I did not pay much attention to those. It was now after linden bloom, Aug. 24, when a neighbor, who had purchased six stands of me the fall previous and had two of them affected likewise, had invited two of the prominet bee-keepers in the neighborhood, Messrs. Tenmark and Potter, to call on him, and this was the day of their visit; I also enjoyed their company. Here the condition of our bees was naturally discussed, which finally resulted in an examination of the diseased stands. Mr. Potter, who said he had one similarly affected the season previous, pronounced it "foul brood." This was the first intimation I had of the nature of the disease. I went home, gradually waking up to a very unpleasant discovery. I examined my bees, and nearly all were af fected with the disease; all except the new swarms, of which I had a few, having mostly divided, and a few others.
The linden flow was so abundant that nearly all brood-raising ceased, in spite of extracting. At the examination spoken of, the first lot of brood since linden bloom was hatching; hence it was the first time possible for me to make the unpleasant discovery, as previous to linden bloom no signs of the disease could be seen, except in the three stands spoken of. Now, what was to be done for a remedy? The season was now nearly over; added to this, it rained almost constantly. On the 23d of August we had a frost, which destroyed some of the buckwheat. I immediately ransacked my file of Bee Journals for a cure. I wrote to D. Burbank and others; but the only thing I found recommended as an expedient and sure cure, is that described by M. Quinby
that is, to put the bees in a clean, empty hive, and let them build up anew. But as the season was too late, I could not adopt this cure, not being able to buy sugar to feed them, even if time permit ted. Mr. Dadant sent me a recipe, which has been used in France the past season with great success; it is simply Salicine,
in dry or liquid form; if dry, it is dissolved in water, and with a feather brushed over the comb, removing the worst parts with a knife. I tried it, but discovered no good effects. The only thing left me was to winter my bees, and trust to a cure the coming season, or to sulphur them.
The bees gradually dwindling away from lack of sufficient young bees, and the fall season being a total failure, it left many weak and light in stores. Were I to unite them it would have been necessary to reduce them two-thirds. There were other obstacles in the way which made this plan impracticable; so with a poor grace I concluded to smother them, which accordingly did.
I sold three stocko a party, about the middle of May; they were some of the best I had; these were removed over two miles from my yard. On examining them in the fall, the old stocks and a divided one were found badly affected with the disease, while three swarms were free from it.
During linden bloom I extracted all the stocks, including the first affected; the scraps I placed outside for the bees to clean out. Now, it may be said that this was the means of spreading the disease among my stands; but how did the bees, over two miles distant, get at the scraps? Of course they might have reached them, but it is not probable, as there was an abundance of honey in the field; and why were not the swarms similarly affected? Then they had plenty of storage room.
We have now reached a stage in bee knowledge where it seems that a cure, as regards foul brood, is more easily affected than to prevent the disease, as the cause of it, at least to me, is an unsolved mystery.
I might describe the disease in detail, but I know it has often been done, and as this article is already much longer than I could wish, I will refrain giving a detailed account, unless requested to do so at some future time.
From close observation, I have come to the conclusion that the disease is directly caused by spores,-vegetable growth,which causes putrid fermentation. This theory is confirmed by an illustration in Mr. Dadant's French chromos. I find much of the putrid matter in the cells lies near the top, and by cutting off the caps with my capping-knife, the knife turned black from the acid, which seems to point conclusively in the direction I have indicated.
What we need to know now is-where do the spores come from? I hope the subject will be thoroughly discussed the present winter; perhaps much benefit may be derived from it.
Parties wishing to write me will please notice the change of address.
J. D. KRUSCHKE,
For The American Bee Journal. Wintering.
In writing upon this well-worn subject, we do not propose to repeat old theories, or tell the same stories that others have told. We wish merely to give the results of our observations in apiaries within a radius of twelve miles from our own.
In the fall of 1874, a neighboring beekeeper had 150 swarms of bees in Clark's patent box hive. This apiarist was one of the procrastinating kind, and though he was going to put his bees in a winter repository, the winter was allowed to pass before he was ready. Meantime the long continued cold weather, an exposure to the fierce north wind, and no upward ventilation, killed 140 swarms of his bees. In all the hives we examined, there was a large space of moisture and rotten comb, just under the honey board, the latter was nailed on tight.
Another apiarist put 20 swarms on the south side of a tight board fence, putting a quantity of straw and corn-stalks around the hives, leaving the fronts exposed to the sun; they came out spring poor, and many of them dwindled away before flow. ers came. Still another put his bees in the cellar, they came out in good condition in April, but the month proving very cold with frequent snow storms proved too much for 24 swarms, and only six were left to greet the blooming of flowers. These bees were in large hives that could not be readily moved in and out of the cellar during cold storms, this was evidently the cause of loss, for a neighboring bee-keeper carried his bees carefully in and out of the cellar at least a dozen times, and they all came out strong, and stored an unusual amount of honey. It requires a considerable lugging, and perhaps something of a back-ache, but in this instance it paid for the extra trouble.
Another acquaintance of ours winters his bees about 20 swarms in a 7x9 room, directly in the rear of his kitchen, and there is only a common partition with a sliding door. The kitchen stove is located near this partition and the pipe passes directly through the room; no record was kept of its temperature, but it must have been quite warm at times, as all the cook. ing and other household work was done with the stove. This room has proved successful for three years, and every season his bees make an unusual amount of honey, one swarm making over one hundred pounds of box-honey and casting a swarm. He uses the common box-hive.
Another bee-keeper having eight swarms, commenced wintering them in the cellar, this proving too damp, they were moved up stairs into a dark room, this also not proving satisfactory, they were moved out doors, and set against the west end of the house, and these swarms,
in spite of these frequent removals, came out in good condition, except one hive.
I could give you further examples of successful wintering and of disastrous failures, but from the foregoing examples,. I think, your readers can absorb a few hints that may be of aid to them in wintering.
First of all lessons, learn to be prompt in your dealings with bees; oftentimes they will admit of no excuses from duty..
Bees in winter quarters need but little waiting upon, but when the necessary aid is required the apiarist should be on hand, ready for any emergency.
Our bees are in a cellar, ventilated with a pipe from our sitting room coal stove, a strong draft is pouring up this pipe continually. We make it a point to visit our bees every day, to see if every thing is all right. Our outside door is lined with a thick mat of straw, during mild weather the inner door is opened, and air circulate through this thick mat. The cellar keeps at a uniform temperature of 45°. SCIENTIFIC.
Dec. 13th, 1875.
For The American Bee Journal.
Does the queen bee lay worker eggs or drone eggs at will, or does she simply do so mechanically, and without any study? This is the question which is now being solved by the Society of Bee Culture, of La Gironde.
A discussion took place last season between Messrs. P. Brun and Ch. Dadant on one side, and Mr. E. Drory on the other, in the columns of the journal Le Rucher, an excellent little bee monthly magazine published in the city of Bordeaux by the last named gentleman.
Mr. Drory holds that the queen bee, when depositing her eggs, has a full knowledge of what she is doing, and that she lays drone eggs or worker eggs at will. Therefore, according to this able bee-keeper, the queen bee does not begin to lay drone eggs until she feels that the colony is becoming strong enough to swarm, and then she hunts up the drone cells and lays in them. Mr. Drory holds that if a queen is furnished only with worker cells, she will, at a given time, lay drone eggs in these worker cells, so as to provide the colony with drones. On the other hand, he says that a queen in a hive with nothing but drone comb will lay worker eggs in these drone combs.
Messrs. P. Brun and Ch. Dadant hold that the queen does not know whether she lays drone or worker eggs, but that she has more pleasure in laying worker eggs than drone eggs, and that she will only lay drone eggs when she has no longer any worker cells within reach. They hold that if a queen is placed in a hive
containing no drone cells she will lay only worker eggs, and that if a drone comb only be given her she will lay drone eggs in the cells. They hold that a queen can be made to lay drone eggs early in the spring by giving her some drone comb in the middle of the brood chamber, but that she will lay drone eggs only when she cannot do otherwise.
This discussion was brought before the Society of Bee Culture of La Gironde, and a commission of three members was elected by the society to make experiments on this subject. An empty hive was furnished with five combs containing drone cells only, one of which was full of honey. A colony was placed in it with a queen newly fertilized. The queen was very prolific. The hive was put in the cellar on the 7th of September, and left there ten days. The queen had not yet laid any eggs. On the 24th of September, i. e., one week after, she had laid about 100 eggs in a part of the hive where there were about twenty worker cells. On Oct. 1st the hive was opened again, and it was ascertained that the brood was partly sealed, and that all of the caps were flat. Several of the drone cells were then opened, and it was ascertained that they contained worker chrysalis; that these workers were well formed; that they had all the characteristics of worker bees; that these bees did not occupy all of the space in the cells, and that in none of the cells had the walls been thickened or the -cell made narrower. On Oct. 8th the hive was opened again, and it was found that a certain number of bees had hatched; that they were all worker bees; that the bees, when hatching, made an opening in the cell of the exact size of their body, and that the remnant of the cap remains around the rim of the cell. No chrysalis of drone was found.
This seems quite conclusive. Still Mr. Dadant says, that as the drone comb was dark and old, he would like to see the experiment tried again with new combs. He thinks that the drone cell may have become narrow from age and use.
We will keep our readers informed of the future experiments of this commission. C. P. DADANT.
The Michigan Bee-Keepers' Association.
KALAMAZOO, Mich., Dec. 1, 1875. The Ninth Annual Session of the Michigan Bee-Keepers' Association convened in Corporation Hall, at 2 P. M., VicePresident A. C. BALCH in the chair. A large number of the leading apiarists of this and adjoining states were present; and but for untoward circumstances, the number would have been much greater.
The annual session of the National Society at Toledo, O., which commenced today, prevented many from meeting with us, while business engagements compelled the absence of several of our most active workers, among the number being President BIDWELL, Prof. Cook and Mr. F. F. BINGHAM. But the enthusiasm of those present compensated for the lack of numbers, resulting in one of the most valuable gatherings we ever held.
President BALCH stated that as this was an annual meeting, the regular business of the Association would be transacted before taking up the programme of the convention. The Secretary read the minutes of the May convention, which were approved. The Treasurer's report exhibited a handsome balance in the treasury, evidencing a healthful monetary condition. The Secretary then read a detailed report of his work for the Association for the past year. He stated that our Association enjoyed the reputation of being the oldest existing organization in America, and that he had received evidence from various sections of the country that our proceedings were looked for with even greater interest by the masses of apiculturists, than those of the National Society.
Notices of the meeting were widely circulated, and an extensive correspondence instituted with a view of obtaining as many essays on practical and scientific topics of interest to bee-culturists.as possible; many good promises were obtained, but very few papers were received. He also stated that many complaints had been received because the convention was held at the same time as the Toledo meeting. In explanation he cited the convention to the fact that when we adjourned last May, it was the general impression of those in attendance that the Toledo meeting would occur the week previous to our own, as their reports stated it would be held in November. From this it would readily be seen that we entertained no desire to interfere with that body, and that if any charge of interference was to be sustained, it lay at the door of the management of the National Society. After the transaction of other business, the programme of the convention was taken up by the reading of a paper by J. P. MOORE, Binghamton, N. Y., entitled "The House Apiary," by the Secretary; in introducing the first topic: "Will the introduction and general use of the House Apiary' be advisable?"
Mr. MOORE stated that after three years experience with the House Apiary he could say but little in its praise; that it gave no better results in honey; the bees would swarm even worse than out of doors; and that it was ever so much more work to manage bees in the House Apiary than out of it.
The next topic, "Winter Bee-Keeping," was introduced by a paper on that subject from Rev. A. SALISBURY, Camargo, Ill. Mr. S. considered the philosophy of hibernation at considerable length, the discoveries and teachings of science and their application to the subject so as to secure uniform and complete success in this particularly hazardous field of modern apiculture.
Pres. BALCH-Though I may ride a hobby in the frequent repititions of my views on this subject, yet I will again repeat them by saying that my experience has been-the less ventilation of the hive during the winter months, the better. Nature guides the bees to seal up the hive perfectly tight as the fall months approach. This is the result of instinct implanted in the bees by their Creator, who is wiser than we. Upward and lower ventilation produces a draft of air through the hive. This disturbs the bees; those on the outside are constantly trying to get inside the cluster. This causes them to eat, and the result is dysentery. 'Tis true that a little moisture may accumulate in the hive, but no mould will collect that will not vanish during the first week of warm weather in spring. I never disturb bees so late in the season that they cannot again seal the hive up tight.
H. A. BURCH-Mr. Sailsbury's success is certainly a point in favor of his theory and practice. Success is the measure of the value of any method.
Pres. BALCH-While this is quite true, they might have wintered even better with no ventilation at all.___Try it and see.
JAMES HEDDON-Has any one made a careful series of experiments with a view of testing this ventilation business?
Dr. W. B. SOUTHARD-I have done so; but it wasn't last winter when my bees
all died. Some years ago I gave nearly all of my bees an abundance of both upward and lower ventilation; they wintered well but consumed lots of honey. This winter I removed all honey boards, placed a piece of sacking on top of the frames and covered it with two inches of bran. By using a double thickness, found the lower one 10 the warmer. Wheat bran is an excellent non-conductor, and absorbent of moisture. Very little moisture has accumulated in my hives thus far. With upward ventilation large amounts of honey are consumed-three times as much as with none at all. 'Tis impossible to keep an even temperature in the winter repository; but we should approximate it as nearly as we can. Bees winter more safely in box hives than in movable combs.
JAMES HEDDON-In the winter of 1871 and 1872 two of my neighbors had sixty. five and eighty-five stocks respectively. In the following spring they had but one apiece left. All the other bees kept in the vicinity died. These bees had increased from small beginnings and had been wintered with no loss in previous years, under precisely the same treatment. All were wintered on their summer stands in box hives. Where this bee-disease prevails our bees will die-saltpeter won't save them-which renders the business extremely precarious.
Dr. SOUTHARD-By keeping the hives tight at the top you keep the bees warmer.
H. A. BURCH-And foul air accumu. lates in the hive.
Pres. BALCH-Will our medical brethren please state whether the air is more foul in a tight room at the ceiling than at the floor.
Dr. SOUTHARD-In the absence of a direct experiment, could not say, though doubtless at the floor. Ventilation at the bottom of the hive will eliminate the foul air.
A. S. RANNY-The air at the bottom of a perfectly tight living room, is the most destructive of life.
Dr. A. S. HASKINS-The above is in accordance with the teaching of science and is doubtless true.
JAMES HEDDON-In younger years I supposed there were certain fixed facts applicable to everything, but have found it is a mistake. For generations back it has been supposed that loading a gun heavily will scatter shot; but such is not the case, even though our grandfathers did believe it, and many of the people of to-day believe it still. Years ago everybody recommended upward ventilation; it was all the go from Langstroth down. Mr. Langstroth relates an instance in his book of a friend wintering seventeen stocks on their summer stands, only one having upward ventilation. The mercury went fourteen clapboards below zero, and the bees all died save the one that was all