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Title: The American Bee Journal, Vol. VI, No. 4, October 1870
Author: Various
Language: English
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  VOL. VI.      OCTOBER, 1870.      No. 4.

  [Translated for the American Bee Journal.]

Origin of Honey Dew.

In No. 11 of the Bienenzeitung for 1870, the Baron of Berlepsch urges
bee-keepers to make diligent observations, to ascertain the origin of
honey dew. I have for many years given special attention to the subject,
as it is one of great interest, not only to bee-keepers, but also to
pomologists. My observations fully corroborate the remark of the Baron,
that honey dew occurs, in most cases, independently as a vegetable
excretion, and only occasionally as the product of aphides. On last
Sunday, June 19th, I had an opportunity to assure myself definitely of
the correctness of this position. On that day, as early as seven o’clock
in the morning, I received a visit from Mr. Heuser, of Westom, one of
the intelligent apiarians who compose the Ahrweiler Association for
Bee-culture. While we sat conversing about bees, a lad came to inform us
that he had, the evening before, seen a fine swarm clustered on a large
pear tree. We naturally hastened to the spot, but found that the swarm
had already decamped. A loud humming among the branches, however, led us
to suppose there might be a hollow limb somewhere, into which the bees
had retreated, and friend Heuser was induced to climb up in search of
it. He found none, but observed a multitude of bees busily engaged
licking up the honey dew with which the leaves of the tree were
covered--being evidently an exudation, for on the most careful
examination we could not find a single aphis, though on the morning of
the next day thousands of aphides were observable there.

It remains for me to mention the state of the weather at the time, for
according to my observations this chiefly conditions the production of
honey dew. On Saturday, June 18th, the weather was oppressively hot.
Towards evening the wind began to blow from the northwest; and the night
was cool, though without dew on the grass. This necessarily checked the
circulation of sap, which I regard as the primary cause of honey dew,
for I may state explicitly that I never saw any, except when hot days
were followed by a sudden and great reduction of temperature. The same
observation was made, many years ago, by an aged bee-keeper in
Niederheckenbach, who, whenever he notices in summer a sudden change of
weather, at night, from great heat to cold, will rise at three or four
o’clock in the morning and close the entrances of his hives; as he is
firmly persuaded that the honey dew certain to come, will be injurious
to his bees. I must confess that honey dew has not always proved
beneficial to our bees. In some cases they seemed to be sickened by it,
and to remain so for nearly a week, as indicated by their inability to
fly. This was more especially the case at an apiary which I had in an
oak forest, where bark was largely stripped and dried for tanners’ use.
I am unable to account for the occurrence, and must leave chemists to
determine whether the consumption of _tannin_ had aught to do with it.
Whenever honey dew occurs in my neighborhood again I will strip leaves
from various trees affected by it, and send them for examination to Dr.
Keermrodt, of Bonn, the chemist of the Agricultural Experimental Union
of the Rhine province.

great practical account in bee-culture, I am not prepared to endorse.
During the summer of 1869 I was a student in the Pomological Institute
at Reutlingen, and very seldom saw a bee on any twig covered with
aphides, yet we were there sorely annoyed by those parasites. Even now,
I am compelled to use soapsuds, &c., to rid my plants of these unwelcome
visitors, yet I have never seen a bee among them.

Your readers will probably be interested in learning the views of two of
the most eminent pomologists, regarding the origin of honey dew.

Court-gardener Jager, of Eisenach, writes as follows to Regel’s
Garden-Flora:--“According to my observations, honey dew is much more
regard honey dew, in many cases, as _a segregation of the saccharine
portion of the juices of plants, which these are then no longer able to
excrete out of their organism by means of the blossoms_. I was led to
adopt this view by repeatedly observing that linden trees so kept under
by pruning that they never blossom, excrete such a superabundance of
honey dew that such as is not gathered by insects, drips from the leaves
to the ground, and is often collected on boards and bottled. Linden
trees which are allowed to blossom, do indeed likewise produce honey
dew; but I have never seen it on trees that bloomed profusely, and as I
live in the midst of lindens, I have the best opportunities for

  Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870, by Samuel
  Wagner, in the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

Next, my own respected teacher, Dr. Lucas, of Reutlingen, remarks, in a
note on the foregoing passage--

“This observation of our esteemed friend Jager certainly deserves
attention. Whether he is entirely right or not, is to me not altogether
clear. I have seen honey dew indiscriminately on young trees and on old
of various kinds; but always only after we had several successive hot
and dry days, followed by dewless nights. It is very probable that then
the juices of plants become more concentrated, and thus more highly
charged with saccharine, in so much that drops of liquid sweet may exude
through the pores of the leaves, and that then the aphides will quickly
resort to the tables thus ready decked for them, and multiply with
almost incredible rapidity, is a natural phenomenon observable in the
case of other insects also. But that the aphides are the originators of
the honey dew, as many foresters and others maintain, can certainly not
be accepted as correct and true.”

Allow me, in conclusion, to request bee-keepers and pomologists to watch
for the appearance of honey dew on the occurrence of such weather and
temperature as above indicated, and to communicate the result of their


  _Travelling Lecturer of the Agricultural Union,
  Province of the Rhine_.

_Löhndorf_, June 22, 1870.

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

Profitable Bee-keeping.--Letter from England.

The following account shows the very great advantage in keeping bees on
the humane and improved system, over the old and barbarous practice of
the brimstone match, so clearly, that I send it for your readers to go
and do likewise.

In the autumn of 1865, I was at the seaside on the Lancashire coast, and
found bees kept in that neighborhood in the most primitive and bad way I
ever met with in any country. It was the system there to put the swarm
in a large brown wicker basket, and at night to plaster a thin coating
of cowdung over the outside, and leave it in this way all summer. I have
frequently seen the bees coming out of holes all over the hive, from top
to bottom, not being able to fill up all the nicks with propolis, and
giving it up as a bad job; and if it was not a good district for honey,
they would give up the ghost altogether.

When the bees give over working, the owner plasters the hive with
mortar, for the winter. The entrance is made three or four inches high
from the cold slate or flag on which they place the basket. When they
take the honey, they suffocate the bees with brimstone. Wasps often
destroy the stock.

In my perambulations I called upon a person who had kept bees for a
number of years in the old way; but they had all died off except one
stock. After talking with him for some time on the humane and profitable
management of his bees, and showing him the great loss that he sustained
by murdering his poor bees, to say nothing of the ingratitude or sin in
killing them after they had been laboring for him early and late all the
summer, and proved to him the very great advantage the modern bar-frame
(thanks to the Rev. L. L. Langstroth, the inventor) from which the honey
could be taken without killing a bee, and swarms made or prevented, as
we liked. I showed him that in fact, with these hives, he had the full
control over his bees, and could make them do almost anything he liked.

He asked me to get the man that makes my improved bar-frame hives, to
send him some; and I afterwards sent him information he wrote for in
several letters.

When I called on him last October, I found twenty stocks of bees in his
garden, all very strong, with plenty of honey to last them over the
winter; and he had sold nearly _three hundred weight of honey_, all of
which he had taken that year, _without killing a bee_. He has now got
his stock up to the number he intends to keep, so this year he will work
for honey; and if it is a favorable season, his bees will collect for
him an immense store and make him a nice addition to his income.

The same year that I called upon him, I called upon his neighbor, a
person much better off than the other, and he then had three stocks of
bees. I advised him to adopt the more profitable and humane system of
management; but he did not; and when I called on him again last October,
I found three weak stocks of bees in his garden, and he said he had
taken _no honey_ that year and got very little the year before. I turned
his hives over and found an accumulation of wet filth and dirt, nearly
an inch thick on the slate floors on which his hives were placed, and
the bottoms of the combs all mouldy.

I told him if he had done as well as his neighbor, he should now have
sixty stocks of bees in his garden and have taken more than a thousand
weight of honey that year. He is now, with others in that district going
to adopt the humane system of management, and I hope bee-murder has
forever disappeared in that locality, as I always find, when they see
the loss to their own pockets, it is the most convincing argument that
can be used.


_Newton Heath, near Manchester, England._

       *       *       *       *       *

Bees sometimes abandon their hives very early in the spring or late in
the summer or fall. They exhibit all the appearance of natural swarming;
but they leave not because the population is crowded, but because it is
either so small, or the hive so destitute of supplies that they are
discouraged or driven to desperation. I once knew a colony to leave a
hive under such circumstances, on a spring-like day in December! They
seem to have a presentiment that they must perish if they stay, and
instead of awaiting the sure approach of famine, they sally out to see
if something cannot be done to better their condition.--_Langstroth._

  [From the Western Farmer.]

About Patents.

A student in the Michigan Agricultural College has invented a gate
latch, for which he has received $10,000.

We find the above item in our exchanges. Assuming it to be true, we
commend the good sense of the student. If the usual results follow, the
purchaser will either lose money by the operation, or will speedily sell
“rights” to parties who will lose money. We have no wish to discourage
inventors, for they certainly are entitled to full reward for any
improvements or discoveries they give the world. But we think it is
clearly true that the great mass of inventors--especially those whose
inventions relate to “little things,” or articles in common use--place
too high an estimate on the value of their patent right, often holding
it, waiting for better offers from manufacturers or purchasers of
“territory,” until some one patents a better device for the same
purpose, when the first becomes useless or nearly so.

There are certain inventions of very great value, because they supply a
want universally felt. But even in such cases it is rare that the
original inventor secures so high a degree of excellence that some one
else cannot improve on his device. He may, however, succeed in patenting
something which subsequent inventors will have to use, and for which
privilege they must pay him. To illustrate: the plow is of almost
universal use, yet there are objections to the best plow that has been
or will be constructed. Suppose some one should invent an implement that
would obviate all these objections, and do the work of preparing the
soil for seeds better than any plow can, and do this work quickly and
cheaply. Such an invention would be of almost incalculable value, and
the inventor might well expect to become very wealthy. Yet it would be
strange if some one did not improve on this invention, and thus divide
the profits--perhaps take the larger share. Hundreds of men have
suggested improvements of more or less value in reapers, after the main
principle had been given to the public.

In case of such an invention as a gate latch, it must be remembered that
there are already very good ones in existence, and probably a still
better one may soon be invented; and so we say that, in all ordinary
cases, it is better to sell the patent if any such price as $10,000 is
offered for it. However useful such an invention may really be, the
inventor as well as the intending purchaser of a “right” should
carefully avoid forming extravagant opinions as to “the money there is
in it.” The farmer or other business man who gives up his regular
business to engage in the sale of patents, in the great majority of
cases, does a very foolish thing.

We write this, because we have noticed in many cases the high
anticipations of inventors or of purchasers of “territory” for some
patent, and the disappointment and loss that followed. If any of our
readers have invented anything they are convinced is of value, we say
patent it by all means; but do not think of leaving your farm or other
business to engage in its sale, or dream of sudden wealth to come from

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

Hurrah for 1870, and the Honey-slinger.

The best honey season on record, and the most useful invention! Long
live our German friend, who gave it to us without a patent!

The battle is past, and we can look back and see if the generalship has
been, like that of the Prussians, well managed--or, like that of the
French, left to manage itself.

I had two stocks last spring, and the empty combs from two hives that
died about the first of March. The first swarm was hived on the 18th of
June, and the honey-gathering on bass-wood closed July 26th--so that
none of the young bees in new hives were then old enough to gather

I have taken one hundred and eighty-seven (187) pounds with the machine,
and on the 26th of July had from five hives, 228 lbs., or forty-five
pounds each. They had gained forty pounds each, in thirteen days, on
bass-wood blossoms. The best stock gained, 52 lbs. 8 oz. A queenless
stock gained 33 lbs. 10 oz. The best day’s work, 7 lbs., Aug. 16. The
best day’s work in June was Saturday and Sunday, the 25th and 26th--a
gain of 21 lbs. 6 oz. on red raspberry blossoms, or 10 lbs. 11 oz. per
day. I see that NOVICE reports 43 lbs. in three days, 25th, 26th, and
27th of June. As he reports bass-wood at its best July 6th, the flowers
must be ten or twelve days earlier than at this place. So his best yield
of honey, on the same days as mine, at 600 miles distance, was perhaps
on account of the weather, or some electrical state of the atmosphere.

In June I took from my stocks what honey they had above twenty pounds
each. While bass-wood was in blossom, I tried to take what they had
above forty pounds each. The honey-emptier appeared to take away all
disposition to raise a lot of drones in July. When I depended on box
honey, the hive was crowded with honey before the bees would work in

As it took two pounds per month in winter to support a colony of bees,
at this rate the twelve ounces of honey required to rear a thousand
drones would keep a thousand workers four and a half months. I believe
drones usually live about two months. So when NOVICE shaves off the
heads of drone brood sealed over, he has already lost two-thirds of what
it would cost to let them live; and the presence of drones might perhaps
prevent the raising of more drone brood.

I would like to have NOVICE answer one question through the BEE JOURNAL,
and that is--Do light queens make better honey-gathering stocks than
dark queens from the same parents?


_Washington Harbor, Wis._

       *       *       *       *       *

A charlatan is an impostor who lives by the folly of those who are
imposed upon.

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

Comments on Querist No. 7.

On page 83, Vol. V., of your most valuable journal, Querist seems to be
at variance with our position in an article on page 55, of the same
volume, where we assumed, as we yet maintain, that “the first and
highest law of nature in insects is self-preservation in caring for
offspring, &c. The honey bee seems to be endowed with this instinct for
the purpose of preserving the brood in the hive.” Querist asks--“Now, is
this statement correct? If the preservation of offspring is the
strongest instinct that governs the honey bee, then why does she remove
unsealed larvæ from the cells, to make room for a rich honey harvest?
Mr. Otis, of Wisconsin, claims that the strongest instinct of the
working bee is the love of storing honey. So it seems the position
assumed by Mr. Seay, is at variance with that of Mr. Otis, and one or
the other must of necessity be wrong.”

As to being at variance with some eminent _bee_ologist, we have not a
doubt that it is so, but you know, Mr. Editor, great men will differ. I
deny emphatically that the workers will destroy the unsealed larvæ for
the purpose of storing honey. I have never seen any evidence of it among
my bees, and should be pleased if some correspondent (if he thinks such
is the case) would take the affirmative and give the evidence.

To satisfy himself, that the first and highest law of nature in the
honey bee is self preservation and the perpetuation of the species,
Querist need only have a fair open contest with a hive of bees. Why do
they sting? For self-preservation and the defence or preservation of
their colony (species). Injure a single bee in the hive, and the whole
colony is instantly exasperated. Cause the honey to run out without
injury to any of the bees, and the effect is somewhat different. Tear
the comb containing sealed brood, and the bees are at once enraged. And
for what purpose? For self-preservation as a colony, in caring for the
offspring. Why do they gather honey? For self-preservation and
perpetuation of the species.

Is there nothing in all this to demonstrate the fact that the first and
highest law of nature in the honey bee is self-preservation and the
perpetuation of the species?

If this principle did not pervade the universe, everything would be
chaos and confusion. It enters into and becomes the fundamental
principle upon which the human family, the animal creation, and the
vegetable kingdom have their existence. What causes the mother to care
for her infant? It can be nothing less than this. If Querist were hemmed
in some corner by an assassin who sought to take his life, and he had
power to save himself by killing his antagonist, would he not do it?
What causes the animal to care for its young, as the cow for her calf,
or the sow for her pigs, or the birds for their unfledged young? What
causes the bee to sting when the hive is improperly treated, or the
smallest pismire to bite when its tenement is disturbed? You may pass
from the human family down through the entire animal creation to the
smallest animalculæ, and this (as it were) immutable principle pervades
the whole series. Every once living thing that has become extinct as a
species upon this earth, failed from some unknown cause, to comply with
this grand fundamental principle--_self-preservation and perpetuation of

Querist next says--“Again, is it not a fact that the self-preservation
of the matured bees, is far stronger than the love of offspring?
Witness, for instance, the destruction of drones during a dearth in the
honey harvest?” I do not know whether I understand him here. When I say,
honey harvest, I mean a time when there is plenty of honey to be found
by the bees in flowers, honey dews, &c. Webster’s unabridged gives the
meaning of dearth as “scarcity, want, need, famine.” These two terms
then stand in direct opposition to each other. A honey dearth within a
honey harvest is an utter impossibility. It implies two distinct terms,
not both existing at one time, as a man within a man, or a horse within
a horse. Language seems here to have betrayed Querist over to my side of
the argument. It is true that the workers do destroy the unhatched drone
brood in time of dearth. But why do they do it? It is in strict
obedience and conformity to this alleged first law of nature.

Does Querist not know why his bees are so slow about entering their
honey boxes, for the purpose of building combs? It is simply this grand
fundamental principle that prompts. It is only because there are
supernumerary bees in the hive that a portion of the workers leave the
brood and enter the out of-the-way receptacle. The temperature required
to produce brood is 70° to 80° Fahrenheit; and the amount of brood
produced is governed by the number of mature bees in the hive. If the
greatest instinct in workers be to gather honey, why do they not abandon
the brood _en masse_, go into the honey boxes, and begin comb-breeding,
when the grand flow of honey is to be found in the flowers? Because they
would thereby doom the colony to inevitable destruction. Why do not bees
enter honey boxes of their own accord, without waiting to be coaxed (as
is generally the case) by placing therein small pieces of empty comb?
Because their numbers will not permit them to leave the brood. And the
same law of instinct, steps in and tells them that the brooding
department must be run, whether combs are built and honey collected, or
not. Why do they not build combs as readily in honey boxes above the
combs containing brood, as they will in an open space below? Because
they can thus produce the required temperature of 70° to 80°, and the
heat generated below will ascend through the brood combs and bring about
the same temperature above also (among the brood), thus accomplishing a
double purpose, by virtue of the natural tendency of heat to ascend.

Querist says--“Mr. Seay has much to say about brood chilling.” This is
true, and I have still more to say about it. It is this--it is brood
just hatched, or not more than four days old, that is so easily chilled.
This brood is very hard to see in the cells, and bee-keepers are not
looking for it to be chilled; but when it becomes so and is lost,
without having been seen in that state by the inattentive observer, its
destruction is not the less attributable to that cause. Querist says
where he lives, “sealed brood is not very likely to become chilled
during June and July--the swarming months, and but few bees are
necessary to keep it at the proper temperature to mature.” We do not
know where Querist lives, but we do know that in Iowa in the months of
July and August, on replacing our frames after handling them for some
time, when the temperature was rather low for those months, we have
frequently designated the place in the combs where young brood existed,
by piercing the combs in a circle around it, with short stems of timothy
grass, and left them there for a day or two that I might be sure to find
the exact place and cells again; and, in many cases, on re-examination,
I found no brood in those cells. I have repeatedly made swarms in the
Langstroth hive, and afterwards found that the brood, in what I call the
first stage, was gone.

  J. W. SEAY.

_Monroe, Iowa._

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

Report of Apiary in 1870.

THE FIELD. The farmers cultivate their fields for produce for the city.
They are so frequently broken up that white clover has a poor
opportunity for an abundant crop. But little buckwheat is sown. This
season none of any consequence within three miles. Fruit blossoms in the
spring were unusually abundant.

THE SEASON. The early part of the season was favorable for gathering
honey. The breeding apartment of the hives was well stored with brood
and honey at the commencement of the white clover harvest. This harvest
was, however, shortened by the drouth, and no honey was stored in boxes
after the middle of July; and in some cases honey was removed from boxes
partly filled.

NUMBER OF COLONIES. I set upon the stand in the spring twenty-three
colonies. Of these, three were in old box hives which were broken up
when they cast the first swarm, and the hives converted to kindling
wood. One of the remaining twenty, from loss of queen or other cause,
failed entirely; and a new swarm was introduced to occupy its place.
This left nineteen of the old colonies, for giving swarms and surplus

SURPLUS HONEY IN BOXES. I find on adding up the product from my hives,
they have given me one thousand and eighty (1,080) pounds of surplus.
Perhaps in an ordinary field and poor season I should be content with
this; but I think, with the experience of this season and some
improvements in my hives, I could do better tried over again.

Of this 1,080 (or to be exact, 1,080½) pounds, five colonies give 625½
pounds, an average of 125 lbs., and 74¾ lbs. more than half of the whole
surplus. One of the five best gave one hundred and ninety-eight and a
half (198½) pounds.

I attribute this success of my best colonies to the following causes:

1. A full force of workers at the commencement of the season. To secure
this, I fed them two or three pounds of syrup, when first placed upon
the stand early in March.

2. This gave them from one to three weeks start of the others, in
commencing work in the surplus boxes.

3. I think, further, one cause of such force of workers was a most
prolific queen. Twelve boxes of six pounds capacity are now almost full
of bees, though without honey or comb, except one or two.

4. But this great number of workers, and early filling the hives with
bees, would not have given the surplus had they not been satisfied not
to swarm. With the purpose to swarm and preparation for it, they would
have given an early swarm, followed by one, two, or three after-swarms
probably; and the 198 lbs. of surplus have been placed in other hives in
the shape of arrangements and stores for wintering one, two, or three
new colonies of bees.

In my experiments with bees, I have generally found a loss of two weeks
time in preparation for swarming, in which little or no surplus honey is
stored--the great body of the workers clustering out in idleness. Or if
boxes were furnished them and filled with bees, I have been disappointed
on the swarm leaving the box empty of bees, to find it entirely
destitute of honey.

Although my advanced age and infirmities moderate my ambition in the new
business of bee-keeping, and so limit my experiments that I have never
tried to increase my stock by artificial swarming, I have no doubt but
the greatest success in the business can only be secured by the use of
non-swarming hives and artificial swarming. Overstocking the honey-field
is, in my settled conviction, the great obstacle in the way of
satisfactory success. This makes it necessary to have the entire control
of the increase of colonies, to limit their number to the capacity of
the field. I hope to do better another season, from knowledge gained by
the experiments of the past.


_Albany, N.Y._, Aug. 12, 1870.

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

Four-Banded Bees.

Mr. Alley says, in the last number of the Journal, that Mr. Briggs “may
bet a high figure that no worker bee in this country ever showed four
bands.” I beg respectfully to differ from him, having a queen now in my
possession which produces bees that plainly show _four_ bands, when
filled with honey.

I noticed this before seeing anything about four banded Italians, in any
publication. It is true, that the Baroness Von Berlepsch wrote me early
in the spring that Dzierzon was selling such queens, but that was the
only time that I had heard of them. The queen mentioned above was raised
by me last season, and is not purely fertilized, as many of her bees
show only _one_ band.


_St. Dennis, Md._, Sept. 5, 1870.

       *       *       *       *       *

A bee-hive is a school of loyalty and filial love.

  [For the American Bee Journal.]


DEAR BEE JOURNAL:--Just hear the good news,--our bees are again at work!
Not, indeed, at the rate of ten or fifteen pounds per day, as in June
last; but they are really at work at this date, September 9th.

We had been building some more “air castles,” and had talked of another
yield of honey in August and September. After waiting some time, and
watching and weighing a hive without any increase, we at last began to
perceive a gain in weight, first of half a pound, then a whole one, and
yesterday a stock of _Italians_ gained two pounds and a half, which was
enough to make us toss up our hat and almost embrace the little yellow
pets (with judicious gentleness, of course).

A neighbor says the way we follow the bees across fields and through
woods, and delve into the subject and remove obstructions, it is no
wonder they get honey if it be on the face of the earth--and perhaps
that is so.

But, look here, my dear reader, did you understand us to say that our
bees were building _combs_? Not at all; “nary” comb will they build,
with a few exceptions, and certainly none in those old-fashioned traps
called boxes. It is this way. Where there are empty combs right above
the brood, they will fill them with honey; as, for instance, in the
upper story of the Langstroth hive. But they seldom put any honey in
combs very far to one side; and hives that are full, or nearly so, do
not increase in weight at all. So you see it all depends on having
plenty of _empty_ combs. We really think a few more just now would be
worth a dollar apiece to us. A little feeding given just right will
induce comb building, but _we_ think not so as to pay.

The one stock that we weighed all through the season has now given us
three hundred and thirty (330) pounds; and had it not been for replacing
their queen, they would have done much better. Their new queen is nearly
a black one, and so, also, are her workers; and, by the way, Mr. Editor,
here lies a trouble. In slicing the heads off of all our drone brood
this summer, we increased our yield of honey, which was all right. But
we increased the yield also of new queens that produce black workers, or
at least so nearly black that we have resolved to purchase twenty-five
pure queens, to replace all that are not fully up to our ideas. It is
true we might raise them, but at the prices at which they are now
offered, we begin to think we had rather raise honey, and let some one
who has more time or likes the bother better, raise queens. In making
new swarms we have no trouble; but in raising surplus queens to replace
others, etc., we have not made it go to suit us. We have made some
experiments in artificial fertilization this fall, but have not
succeeded. Queen nurseries and hatching queens in cages have also been
an “unsuccessful bother” to us. We know we are but a poor novice, and
should not expect to succeed always, but it does seem as if queens that
do not lay, are rather a risky property to meddle with.

But there is one thing we do like, and find it a real pleasure, namely,
to keep a _record_. Thus, we found sixty-five stocks too many to
remember all about, so we got a blank book with 150 pages (bear in mind
it is a good idea to have a few extra pages, even if you are sure you
_never will_ want to use them). No. 1 hive is on page 1, No. 2 on page
2, and so on to the end of the chapter. Each page tells when the queen
of the hive it refers to was hatched, whether pure or not, prolific or
not; if weighed, how much honey produced; if queen to be replaced, how
and when; and, in short, all about the hive.

Our hives, bees, and combs weigh about thirty pounds each, and before
putting them into the house in November, we are going to make every one
weigh over fifty pounds, and not more than fifty-five. Some might call
twenty five pounds sealed honey (or nearly all sealed) not as well as
more; but, as we winter them, we think more would be detrimental, and
with us all the rest goes into the melextractor. Were it not for that
same melextractor, we fear, or rather _feel sure_, we should not get any
surplus honey at all now.

In our last article it read that we had sold all our honey at thirty
cents a pound, which was a mistake that crept in somewhere. The honey
was sold for thirty cents per pound retail; but the commission, freight,
leakage, cost of boxes, labor, etc., made quite a hole in the thirty
cents. In regard to saleableness, we have just shipped the last of our
three tons, and think that we could sell almost any quantity.

As respects the source of the honey we get now, it is mainly from the
same white-flowering plants sent you last fall, which are even thicker
here this season than they were then. And, Mr. Editor, we really think
that the more bees there are kept, the more honey plants will grow; for
every blossom is most surely fertilized, and the result must be more and
better seed.

For the first four years that we kept bees, we never found the hives to
gain in weight after the first of August; and then we had only from four
or five to twenty stocks. Sixty-five colonies is certainly nothing like
overstocking, and we have no fear that one hundred would be in any
danger if _well taken care of_.

We have found our bees also working so briskly, on what we call fireweed
and common golden rod, that we have labelled the honey from


It is dark and thick, but has a very pleasant flavor, something like
humble-bee honey, as we mentioned last fall, and very different from
either clover or basswood honey.

We have had no buckwheat nearer than two and a half miles, and we
followed the bees one morning all the way there, as our wild flowers
were not then in blossom. We think we can afford, next year, to give
farmers within one and a half miles of us, a dollar per acre to raise
buckwheat. It is true it might prove a failure, but we are used to
failures occasionally.

Many thanks to Mr. Tillinghast, on page 63, and also to yourself, Mr.
Editor. When we commenced here with bees, our locality certainly was
called poor. Bees had ceased to pay, and were dying out; and had we not
been so much discouraged by what bee-keepers told us, we should
probably have commenced sooner. One man purchased a hundred stocks, but
utterly played out the first year. Black bees are now increasing around
us at quite a brisk rate; but that is about all they do.

Mr. Tillinghast says that amount of honey (5,000), in the time, in his
locality, “is simply impossible.” We think he would have done better to
have said, _in his opinion_. We poor mortals very often have a very
imperfect idea of what is possible. After the account was given in our
county paper, that our bees were bringing in two hundred pounds of honey
per day, and that one stock alone gathered forty-three pounds in three
days, it was pronounced utterly impossible; and that if those who told
it would consider, they would see that _it could not be_! And we were
obliged to invite them publicly to come down and sit by one of our hives
all day, weighing it at intervals, if nothing else would convince them,
before they were still.

Counting the number of flower heads that a bee visits is a new idea to
us; but we cannot think our bees visit more than a dozen certainly. One
day in June, when we examined the red clover, we should think a bee
would get a fair load from a single blossom; and many of them were
working in the red clover at the time. The number stated seems as though
the printer had made a mistake with the figures. Nearly ten blossoms in
a minute for a whole hour, and not more than a load then! We agree that
must be poor pasturage.

Nearly every year since we have kept bees has been called, by more or
less unsuccessful ones, the “poorest” season ever known; yet, so far as
honey is concerned, all _we_ ask is--more _just like them_.

The only plant we have ever cultivated for bees is the Alsike clover, of
which we have about half an acre, sown last spring on the snow, and
which has bloomed quite profusely for the last six weeks, but is now
nearly gone. We think our bees kept at least one sentinel to the _square
foot_ of it, to watch for the honey as it collected.

We had a visitor the other day (in fact, we have visitors by the score,
and we are ashamed to say, to our sorrow sometimes). Well, this one for
a while did not think proper to inform us whether he kept bees on the
“brimstone plan” and came to convince us it was the best way, or whether
he was the Editor of the BEE JOURNAL himself (of the latter we were very
sure, as we think we should know _him_ anywhere); but eventually he
taught us some things, and we hope he learned some things from us. His
visit did not last quite twenty-four hours, but he really made us feel
quite lonely, for more than that length of time after he was gone. One
simple thing, that Gallup has often said before, but we did not believe
it, our visitor convinced us of--namely, that rotten wood is ahead of
all tobacco, rags, or anything else, for subduing bees, especially
hybrids, who will sometimes “fight till death” when tobacco is used, but
would turn around and go down between the frames “without ever a word”
under the influence of rotten wood smoke. But don’t do as we did next
day after he left us, and drop fire into the saw-dust. We burnt up a
heavy two-story Langstroth of Italians before we discovered the muss,
and the stream of melted wax and smoking honey that ran out in lava-like
channels was a warning to all Novices.

And then we had some robbing at OUR house. We got about half a dozen
frames of empty comb hastily put in a new hive, and removed the burnt
one, and got the bees to bringing in the honey that had run out (they
wouldn’t eat melted wax); but before they had got it all done, there
arose an “_on_pleasantness” as to _ownership_ that finally mixed itself
into a grand jubilee, in spite of Novice. The burnt hive is patched up,
and the combs and bees are back into it, minus their queen, about forty
pounds of honey, and ten frames of comb of such evenness and beauty,
that some one (who wanted to pick a fuss) said we thought more of them
than of our wife and family.

Our visitor aforementioned says he has never written but one article on
bees, and we think that so richly deserves a place in the Journal, that
we mail it to you.

And now, Mr. Editor, we would say before closing, that in our humble
opinion, the results we have achieved this year, are no nearer what _may
be_ done in scientific bee-culture, than the old brimstone way is to our
present method, and humbly beg to be still considered a


  [For the American Bee Journal.]

Bee-Culture in Cities.

MR. EDITOR:--According to promise I will try to answer the queries so
often put in the JOURNAL:--“Are bees profitable?” and “Can bees be kept
in cities?”

I have kept bees for the last three years on the roof of a two-story
house in the city of Cincinnati, having kept bees before, when living on
a farm. We did then about as well with them, as our neighbors did who
also kept bees; but we were without the aid of the BEE JOURNAL, and kept
our bees in common box hives--hence our doings could hardly be called

Three years ago we took to the city the last hive which the moths had
left us, built a platform on the roof of the house, and placed the hive
thereon. It threw off a swarm in June following, and gave us some honey.
In the fall I introduced an Italian queen in each colony. Two years ago
I subscribed for the AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL, and transferred my bees into
Langstroth hives. A year ago last spring I entered on the campaign with
five colonies of bees--the two Italians in Langstroth hives, and three
in Townley hives, having bought the latter. They produced during the
season nearly five hundred pounds of honey, all in small frames weighing
from one pound to one and a half pounds each; and the fall found me in
possession of fifteen strong stands of bees, most of them Italians. On
the fourth of June, 1869, I hived two second swarms, clustered together,
from two of the Townley hives. After giving them an Italian queen and a
full set of empty combs, they produced for me 138 lbs. of honey, the
same season.

Last spring I had a first-rate honey slinger made by a brother
bee-keeper in this city, and commenced the season with twenty
colonies--fourteen of which were Italians or hybrid. As the bees
commenced storing honey very early, my expectations were quite
flattering, though I did not obtain as much honey as I anticipated.
Several mistakes which I happened to make, account for this, in part;
but my honey-harvest is respectable still. Here is a statement of it:

    384 lbs. of honey in frames.
  1,350    ”    machine strained honey.
     23    ”    beeswax.

As beeswax sells at the same price here that honey does, we may count it
with the rest, and thus we have 1,757 lbs. as the product of twenty
hives of bees in the city of Cincinnati. This certainly speaks well for
our Italian bees, and for bee-keeping in a large city. My black bees
have done well, but I think my Italians have given me nearly twice as
much honey. Every one of my twenty colonies is now strong.

I was induced last month to make four more swarms, by taking from each
hive about two frames with brood, honey, and adhering bees, and giving
an Italian queen to each swarm. I have thus twenty-four Italian stands
of bees, in a No. 1 condition.

Last year I wintered my bees on their summer stands, by leaving the
honey board in its proper place and covering it with about half a dozen
coffee bags or pieces of old carpet. I placed a smooth bag next to the
board, to cover well the openings. This plan did very well. I did not
lose a single colony, and intend to winter them the same way this year.
In the earlier part of the winter I lost a great many bees, for the
reason that I had neglected to cut winter passages through the combs.
This having been done afterward, on the first mild day we had, my bees
then got along first-rate. Before this was done, I sometimes found
hundreds of bees dead in the cells on the outside of combs which
separated them from the cluster--showing clearly the necessity of winter
passages. Most of those parts of combs had already a putrid smell, and I
thought it best to cut them out.

I have seen it stated several times that bees get irritated by tobacco
smoke, and are more apt to sting for several days afterwards. This may
be true of the black bees. They will bother me sometimes, in spite of my
cigar. But I think those assertions are only made by non-smokers. All I
want is a cigar, and I will open every one of my hives, take out every
frame, and replace it every day for a week successively, without finding
my bees any more angry at the end than they were at the beginning.

I learned how to open a hive from Mr. Gallup, through one of the numbers
of our BEE JOURNAL. I hardly blow any smoke at the bees, but over them;
and I keep my cigar in the mouth, while Mr. Gallup keeps his pan with
sawdust by his side, until the proper time arrives for the application
of a little smoke. I think there are no more peaceable hives than mine
in the country.

Now, Mr. Editor, I do not want to exhaust your patience, and wish you to
make use of this, or of such portions only, as you may think proper.


_Cincinnati, Ohio_, August 16, 1870.

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

The Looking Glass Again.

On page 67 of the last number of the BEE JOURNAL, Ignoramus criticises
my article on page 34 in regard to the looking glass, and says the glass
has been tried three times this year to his knowledge, and three swarms
of bees secured. But he gives us the particulars in only one case, and
then guesses at my reply, which is perhaps correct; or the swarm may
have had two or more young queens, and a small portion with one queen
settled on one tree, while two or more queens with the larger portion of
the swarm settled on another. After a few minutes, all these latter
queens may have been simultaneously killed, and then the bees went to
the other tree and joined the small portion with the one queen. As to
the bees coming down to the ground, that is often the case. When a swarm
issues, the bees are so full of honey that it is difficult for them to
fly, and they often light to rest. I have often had swarms to settle in
three or four places, though they had but one queen, remain for ten or
fifteen minutes, and then all join the cluster with the queen. Just so
with the old woman’s bees. They may have just been in the act of going
to join the cluster with the queen, when she saw them.

Ignoramus also tells us how to secure swarms with a _knot_. Well, sir, I
have never tried the _knot_, but I have tried the _mullein_ tops tied in
a bunch and attached to a pole, &c., and also a piece of old black comb
attached to the under side of an inverted bottom board swung to a pole,
with cord and pulley, to raise and lower, as the bees would rise or
fall. But after trying both for a whole season, when I had more than a
hundred swarms to issue without a bee lighting on either, I gave it up
as a failure. I think it likely his knot theory will answer very well in
a prairie country, or any place where there is nothing for the bees to
light on. But where they are surrounded with as many shady fruit trees
as mine are, they will mostly select a leafy branch to settle on. When I
allowed my bees to swarm naturally, I had two-thirds of the swarms, or
more, to settle on the under side of my grape arbor; which proves that
they prefer a cool shady place to a bare pole with a knot on it.

Ignoramus says I remind him of an old Dutch lady, &c. Well, sir, I am
like the Dutch in _one_ respect; that is, I am in favor of progress; but
I am not like the old Dutch lady you refer to, for I was persuaded by
your suggestion to look again into the glass and well. Yesterday was a
clear, bright sunshiny day. I took a glass some fifteen inches square,
and just as Ignoramus said, I saw different from what I did on the other
occasion. I saw the water in the well and my own _pretty_ face in the
glass--nothing more. I am now ready to try any other experiment that
Ignoramus may suggest; but my opinion is, the better plan will be to
throw aside the glass and make artificial swarms. Then there is no
danger of any going off, besides being the fastest way of increasing
bees, when the operator understands the principle well. But had I been
wholly like the Dutch lady, I should never have succeeded in making
artificial swarms. In my first efforts, I ruined dozens of swarms before
I succeeded.

I am aware there is much yet to learn about bees, and my motto is to try
and try again. So come along, Mr. Ignoramus, with your suggestions. If
you do not teach me anything, you perhaps instruct somebody else, as
there are many new beginners that read the Journal; and the Journal is
the place to receive and impart bee knowledge.


_Cynthiana, Ky._, Sept. 6, 1870.

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

Great Number of Queen Cells and Queens Secured from One Hive.

MR. EDITOR:--In volume 2, number 9, of the American Bee Journal, Mr. A.
Grimm gives a case, under the above caption, of forty-three queen cells
on one frame of comb. I have had two similar cases this season. The
first one had twenty-eight cells on one frame; the other had forty-seven
cells on one, and five on an adjoining frame--making fifty-two cells at
one time, in one hive.

Early in the spring I experienced the greatest difficulty in getting my
bees to start queen cells in full stocks. Having an extra choice queen,
which I intended to raise from exclusively for the present; and not
being willing to risk the loss of her in moving her from one stock to
another, I adopted a different course. (By the way, I always start queen
cells in full stocks--never in small nuclei.) I removed the hybrid
queens from three strong stocks in succession, and in five days after
their removal, I cut all the cells then started, and gave each stand a
frame of brood and eggs from the choice stock. On opening those stands a
few days after, to see what number of queen cells they had started, I
was doomed to disappointment. The first one had only three cells, and
two of these were built too close together to be separated. The other
two stands did very little better. Getting tired of this slow process, I
removed the queen from another strong hybrid stock; then exchanged the
whole of the brood combs with the choice stock, brushing off the bees
into their own hive. In this way I got some sixteen cells.

On the 6th of June two very large swarms got together. I divided and
equalised them, and thinking each had a queen, I left them and went to
other work. One of the queen’s wings being cropped, I had put her on the
cluster before the other swarm issued--the two stands sat about a rod
apart. About an hour after this one of the stands became restless, the
bees flying out and in, but neither going back to the old stand, nor to
the one I had just separated them from; nor settling, either, except on
the tops of the weeds and grass, two rods below the two stands, and
under the limb they had swarmed on. It then occurred to me that the
cropped queen might have dropped in the grass, and I started to look for
her. But what a sight presented itself to my eyes--a great, big, long
snake! No, not a snake, but a bee procession, a rod long and from three
to five inches wide, travelling on foot, through the grass and weeds, to
the nearest stand, headed by her majesty--who just entered the hive
before I could seize and secure her. This was the stand from which I had
just separated them an hour before. I then had my work to do over again,
which I did in a few minutes, but got both queens in one hive, though I
did not then know it. I had watched closely, and saw only one queen
enter. By this time other swarms claimed my attention, so that I hastily
took a frame of brood from another stand, and gave it to the one I was
not certain had a queen--intending to give them one as soon as I
ascertained it needed one. They went to work, as though all was right;
and I paid no more attention to them till the second day after, when I
opened the hive to examine. I found they were building straight and nice
worker comb. I did not then raise the frame of brood, as the nice worker
comb satisfied me that they had a queen; that is, according to the
authority of book authors and others, that bees will never build worker
comb without the presence of a queen. But here is an exception; and I
have in my practice come across many exceptions to general rules, where
bees are concerned. On the 19th this stand swarmed, and taking advantage
of my dislike to work on Sundays, went to parts unknown, though I saw
them go. I was then engaged in hiving four others, and they refused to
await their turn to be waited on. Next morning early, I raised the brood
comb already mentioned, and secured seventeen fine queens, counting
twenty-eight perfect cells in all! The hive was about filled with comb,
but only about one-third was drone comb--the rest being worker comb.
Nothing ever puzzled me more than this case. I cannot account for it
without going counter to the established rules, that bees without a
queen will build drone comb exclusively. But, as I said above, this
swarm was extra large, and having a frame of brood given them at the
start, may have taken a notion to divide again, and so built worker comb
while raising the queen cells. Or, will some one say the old queen was
present. Well, if she was, why did the bees build about one-third drone
comb? Will some one give us a similar case--such as a newly hived large
swarm starting queen cells at once, while they have a queen. I am almost
positively certain that they had no queen; yet there is much about the
case that bothers or puzzles me. _A good job_ for Gallup!

On the 27th of July, I removed a queen from a strong nucleus, to send
her off. The nucleus hive was 12 × 12 × 18 inches, with three frames and
partition board. It had been started with two frames, but an empty frame
was afterward inserted in the middle, to give the bees more room to
work. This frame they had filled out to within two inches of the bottom.
I had disturbed the nucleus a few days before, to stimulate the queen to
lay before removing her. In six days after her removal, on opening the
nucleus, I found and counted forty-seven perfect cells, but saw none on
either of the other frames; yet, while removing the cells on the 10th
day, I found five more on one of the adjoining frames--making fifty-two
(52) in all!

In conclusion, let me add that this has been a poor season here. I will
get only about 500 pounds of honey, to Novice’s 5,000. Hope he has
filled his cistern by this time. But here I must close, as I have
already wearied the patience of your readers.

  R. M. ARGO.

_Lowell, Ky._, Aug. 12, 1870.

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

Bees in Iowa.

When the spring opened, it found me well prepared with _very_ large
colonies; but while they seemed to be doing all they could and working
hard all the time, they used up all their stores, and I had to give the
larger ones honey in the comb stored last year. Then while the fruit
trees bloomed profusely, and when white clover had been in blossom a
month, my bees had not capped--even in the largest colonies--a pound of
honey, much less built any comb. Otherwise they did well.

In the winter I had thirty-five stocks. In January I smothered one, and
in April three proved queenless, and two others were robbed; thus
leaving me with twenty-nine. Since then I killed a drone layer, and in
another hive the queen died and the bees had mostly _gone up_ before I
discovered their loss. I gave them queen cells, and as they hatched out
a week ago, tomorrow I shall examine all my new swarms and see if any
failed to secure a fertile queen or lost theirs. Thus you see I was
reduced virtually to only twenty-seven stocks. Now, I have thirty-eight,
and, with the exception of one, all are very populous.

As we have not had any rain here this spring, except one or two slight
sprinklings, we are now threatened with drouth. Heavy dews and a clouded
sky have saved us so far, but have kept the bees from flying a great
deal. I shall not increase my stock any more till it rains, or honey
becomes plenty again. From the hive that I have raising queen cells, I
secured fifty in three weeks.

On the 11th of this month (June) I received an Italian queen from Mr.
Charles Dadant. I was disappointed when I first saw her, as I had formed
the opinion that the Italians were a larger bee than the blacks; yet
there is not a worker in my hives that is not larger than those that
came with the queen, and I am positive that I have black queens that are
almost three times as heavy or large as the Italian queen I received.
But the Italian is quicker than lightning and the workers are on guard
the first in the morning and the last at night. I introduced her to the
colony raising queen cells last Monday morning, giving the black queen
to a queenless colony. I examined the hive containing the Italian this
morning, and find that the swarming impulse is still on them, though the
introduced queen is of this year’s raising, as Mr. Dadant says, “she
was born this year, 1870.” On examination, I found twenty-five queen
cells in the hive, ready for the egg, if the eggs are not already in
them. It was too early and still too dark, being “before sun rise,” for
me to make out if any eggs were laid in the cells. When I removed the
black queen, I destroyed even the old queen cell foundations, so you see
my mode is not theory but fact. As fast as the queen cells are capped, I
shall remove a black queen from a colony and give it two queen cells, to
make sure of one, till all have been changed to Italians. Next year,
when I shall have none but Italian drones, I will easily secure pure
Italian stock.

  J. M. PRICE.

_Buffalo Grove, Iowa_, June 20.

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

The Honey Season in Jasper County, Iowa.

MR. EDITOR:--This has been a somewhat poor honey season in this
locality, owing to the dry weather. The month of March was pleasant and
warm for the season. At the close of the month there was brood in the
combs in most colonies. April was less favorable. The month was cold,
and at its close there was less brood in many colonies, than there was
at its commencement. May was warmer again, and the bees commenced
gathering pollen early in the month. Breeding was extensively resumed,
and towards the last of the month, the bees stored some honey. Most of
the hives were strong and apparently in good condition to be divided;
yet a division at this time, or in fact at any time during the season,
would have proved injurious to many, if not entirely ruinous to some of
the divided colonies. Honey gathering ceased with the failure of the
fruit blossoms. No more honey was gathered until the last of June.
Through the middle of that month most stocks were nearly destitute of
honey, and the drones in most colonies were killed off. The slaughter
was pretty general. About the last of June the bees commenced gathering
honey again, and for nearly three weeks it was stored quite freely.
Towards the end of July the honey harvest ceased, and from that time
till within the last few days bees gathered no honey.

As a whole, the season has been a poor one. Very few stocks
swarmed--especially of natives. The Italians have done better, those at
least that were rightly managed. In the spring I placed twenty-eight
(28) colonies on their stands, all of which had been wintered in a dark
cellar. These I have doubled by artificial swarming, except three
natural ones.

I drew and started up twenty-five (25) nuclei, for queen raising
purposes, and _kept them up_. This I have done, while my neighbors did
not get either swarms or honey; yet I do not think I have any colonies
but what will be in good condition for wintering, at the close of the

Enclosed please find four dollars, for which send two copies of your
valuable Journal, addressed as below. Success to the Journal.

  J. W. SEAY.

_Monroe, Iowa._

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

Introduction of Unimpregnated Queens.

That the introduction of unfecundated queens should be so often spoken
of, and that too by some of our experienced bee-keepers, as a matter of
much difficulty, is a question to me almost incomprehensible. In the
hands of the inexperienced, or of those ignorant of the first principles
of success, a few failures ought not to be wondered at. But for those
having a knowledge of the prerequisites for the acceptance of a stranger
queen by a colony of bees, to talk of the safe introduction of
unimpregnated queens, as an act of uncertainty, induces me to believe
that they have either not experimented at all on this part of practical
bee-culture, or else did so to little profit.

If it be true, as has been asserted time and again in the BEE JOURNAL,
that the only means the bees have of recognizing strangers, is by the
sense of smell, it stands to reason that, if a stranger queen be
confined in a hive long enough to acquire the scent of the hive, the
bees will immediately accept her as their own, especially if they have
no young queens in process of rearing.

Acting upon this principle the past summer, I confined my young queens
in small wire cages, and inserted them as near as I could in the centre
of the hive; at the same time taking the precaution to provide them with
food during their confinement. The result was that out of a goodly
number of unimpregnated queens, introduced in swarming time, not one was
lost. We have also succeeded admirably in introducing them, by scenting
both queen and bees with some liquid having a peculiar scent. By either
method, we regard the safe introduction of a queen bee, whether fertile
or not, as a matter of certainty: where the queens themselves are kept
from starving by proper feeding.

We permitted natural swarming to some extent this summer, in order to
get hardy and prolific queens. As we will break up a number of
after-swarms this fall, which were unfortunate in coming late, we shall
be able to furnish some who prefer tested queens to all others, with a
number of finely colored queens raised in natural swarms, cheap for


_Richmond, Jeff. Co., Ohio._

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

Introducing Queens.

As an introducer of queens I have not been always successful. In several
cases, after two or three days caging, the queen has been accepted all
right, and within twenty-four hours rejected. I watched one of these
cases, in which the queen, when liberated from the cage, was caressed by
the bees, until by and by one of a different mind (and of a different
body, too; for I have noticed the first to attack a queen are the
small-bodied fellows) assailed her, and very shortly was joined by
others, until a mass imprisoned her.

With Mrs. Tupper’s favorite method I have sometimes succeeded, and
sometimes failed; but then the fault may have been all my own. I have
half drowned bees, queen and all, with diluted honey strongly scented
with peppermint, and had the pleasure of seeing the drunken fools fondle
her as if they had always known her; and then some one of the number,
not fully saturated, would attack her.

Latterly, I have taken a different plan, and one which, according to all
the authorities ought uniformly to fail; but which, so far, has
uniformly succeeded here. It is simply this:

Wait until the bees have started queen cells. Then, without any
preparation whatever, put any queen, fertile or unfertile, directly on
the comb, among the bees. That is all.

It may be that I shall fail the very next time; but, until I do fail, I
shall continue to practice this plan. I give it to the Journal, in hopes
that some one else, having a queen or queens of no value, will give it a
trial. I have not tried it long enough to consider it a settled thing;
but shall report to the Journal the first case of failure. Let me relate
a case of success:

August 1st, I put into an empty hive, No. 15, one frame containing some
honey and a very few cells of _sealed_ brood. I put into this hive a
young queen that had just commenced laying, and set the hive in place of
one containing a strong colony. Of course the empty hive received all
the flying force of the strong colony. On the next day they had
destroyed the queen. I then took a queen two or three years old, covered
her with honey completely, and dropped her on the frames. She was
received all right. Next day, August 3d, I killed this queen and
introduced a _young_ one in exactly the same manner. She was promptly
imprisoned, and I released and caged her. August 5th, this queen having
been caged two days, is still refused. August 6th, she is caressed by
some of the bees, but others imprison her. I then gave her to a full
colony, No. 1, which was queenless and had queen cells started, some of
which were sealed. Placing her directly on the comb, without caging, she
was kindly received and soon commenced laying. I then took from No. 1,
the frame with queen cells, and gave it to No. 13. Three days later,
August 9th, I gave to No. 15, an unfertile queen three days old, placing
her directly on the comb. On the same day I gave another full colony,
having queen cells only a day or two old, an unfertile queen three days
old. Being out of the State I did not see them again till August 22d,
when I found both queens laying.


_Marengo, Ill._, Aug. 30, 1870.

       *       *       *       *       *

The smell of their own poison produces a very irritating effect upon
bees. A small portion offered to them on a stick, will excite their

       *       *       *       *       *

After a swarm of bees is once lodged in their new hive, they ought by
all means be allowed to carry on their operations, for some time,
without interruption.

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

Bee-culture, Honey Products, Honey Markets, &c.

MR. EDITOR:--I herewith send you two dollars as a further fee of
incorporation in the bee family. I have profited well by it this year. I
was absent on a tour in Europe last spring. On my return I found my bees
in poor condition. Two colonies had died from dysentery or the warmth of
the bee cellar; and of the remaining sixteen stocks, two were very weak,
with some others in prime order. I had but two Italian stocks left. As
far as my experience goes, I must give three cheers for the Italians.
The earliest natural swarm I got here from blacks was on the 17th of
June. This year my first Italian swarm came off on the 13th of May. The
parent stock was a good one, though I cannot set it down as my best in
number of bees. I had black colonies that were more populous. As for
this Italian, it yielded me fourteen natural swarms, four of which left
for the woods and the remaining ten are in extra condition for
wintering. The parent hive and the first swarm are the heaviest stocks
in my apiary. I shall Italianize all my colonies this fall. No man will
ever persuade me that black bees are as good. I shall always consider
such men as jealous or prejudiced. The advantages derived from Italian
bees are well worth paying for--their early swarming and their rapid
breeding are sufficient compensation. The color of the queen, too, is a
great advantage when looking for her in the crowd on the comb, and her
superior fertility is an unquestionable fact. The fourth swarm came off
in May. It was small; but as it had a beautiful Italian queen, I put it
in a box hive, and today it has nearly filled a twenty pound box. The
season from the beginning of May to the middle of July was very good. My
hives were so full of honey that no empty cells were to be seen. I have
brought up the number of my colonies to forty-five, and four swarms left
for the woods; and thus far I have sold seven hundred (700) pounds of

According to the Report of the Commissioner of Agriculture, there are
between 70,000 and 100,000 bee-keepers in this country. If so, the
number who subscribe for the BEE JOURNAL is comparatively small. Why is
this so? According to my observation and experience there are two
reasons. First, because the population of this republic is largely
composed of emigrants from all nations, and although they and their
immediate descendants may speak and understand English, yet they are not
able to read or write it readily. Every one sticks more or less to his
native language, and prefers reading newspapers printed in that
language, because he understands it best. The second reason or cause is
jealousy. It is a fact well known to every bee-keeper away from large
cities, that the sale of honey is very slow in small cities and towns;
and it is often impossible to sell at a remunerating price. Thus, for
instance, Green Bay is a city of 8,000 inhabitants; yet one bee-keeper
with 100 hives can fully supply the annual market of that city in a good
year. It is of vastly more importance to write on this subject and
induce an extension of the market demand for honey, than to teach
fertilization by one or more drones. Bee keeping is now very
profitable--more so than is acknowledged in print; but men have a
disposition to keep the thing to themselves. It is very often the case
that a bee-keeper instructs his neighbors in the art of managing bees
successfully and profitably, and as soon as these are well posted in the
business, they become a source of annoyance, contempt, and jealousy to
their instructors. This makes it the more necessary to make more
extensively known the best honey markets that are now to be found, and
any additional outlets and uses for honey that may be opened or devised.
In France enormous quantities of honey are used in the fabrication of
honey bread, called _pain d’epice_. I wish our friend C. Dadant would
give us a receipt how to make the best kind. This might become an
American institution as well as a French one. The reputation of this
delicacy is world-wide, as well as that of the French wines so much
liked here. Vinegar also is said to be of superior quality, when made in
a perfect way from honey. I should be glad to obtain some reliable
information as to the _best_ kind of it. Much honey is spoiled, as many
other things are also, by using it when not properly prepared. Let us
have the true results of experience. Another matter, not less important,
is the preparation of good mead. A bottle of good mead is equal to the
best wine; women in confinement use it in preference to wine, and with
far more benefit. I think mead can be made as cheap as, or cheaper than
whiskey. Good fermented mead ought to be sold in all wine stores for
medicinal purposes and other uses. It is used in Belgium extensively as
a summer drink.


I am going to build me a bee house of cedar logs, twenty feet by sixteen
inside, stuffed with one foot of saw-dust; and I wish to know how I can
give the greatest amount of ventilation in winter, without light. I want
the largest amount of ventilation, combined with the largest amount of
darkness; and desire to know where and how to place the ventilators, and
of what material these should be made--whether of wood, iron, or lead?
If possible, let us have a sketch or side view. Did I not fear that
NOVICE was drowned in honey, I would ask him to have the kindness to
furnish the information according to his experience. Perhaps we should
send in contributions to the editor to offer a premium for a design for
the best bee-wintering house, to contain a hundred hives as described
above. Bee-wintering is one of the most important points in bee-culture
now, and bee-keepers could well afford to contribute towards procuring
the best plan of a house.

Now, dear editor, although a passenger in the sleeping car, I am for
progress. Thirteen swarms from one--say one brought up to fourteen, is a
true American fact. If I had set the fourteen in four hives, with ample
space for boxes, it would have been a pity for my blacks to compare
results. I drummed out my old hive and first swarm, and cut three pails
of honey out of them. Then I returned the bees, and the gaps are again
nearly closed. I wish now to say


Last year I made me three Price hives according to Vol. IV., page 87. On
inspecting my hives, after the bees had been put in, I found in the
first one all its frames lodged on one side. To obviate this, I drove
small tack-nails on top sidewards, to hold the frames at proper distance
apart; but this does not do. In lifting out the frames I slightly
damaged brood and honey. The second hive was in order, but the combs
very uneven. The third had its combs straight every time, impossible to
be otherwise down to the middle; but from the middle corners down to the
lower corner they were fastened together and all gone astray. Further,
the crushing of bees by the honey-board annoyed me much. They are so
very heavy and troublesome to handle, that I have broken up the whole

Now, I have constructed a hive on the Gallup pattern, say one foot
square, and use twelve frames in it. This is what I like. My combs are
as straight as a piece of board, and very easy to handle. I shall stick
to it. But, dear editor, I fear I have infringed on some one’s patent,
and I do not like others to do the thinking, and myself to reap the
harvest--which is about as criminal as stealing another man’s brains.
The question is: whom have I to pay? My frames are made thus:


  --|       |--
    |       |
    |       |
    |       |

They hang on a rabbet, suspended by half an inch of iron wire, the
thickness of an ordinary lead pencil. They are very easy to take out,
and are never gummed fast. Now, do you not think I have infringed the
Langstroth principle? If so, please inform me. My frames are
three-quarters of an inch thick, and are very strong. I have had much
trouble with frames as commonly made, when filled with honey. They are
then too weak.

Finally, I have constructed


according to Mr. Hubbard’s description. I had not the slightest trouble
in making it. My can of zinc, eighteen inches in diameter and twenty
inches high; cost three dollars. The iron wire cost one dollar, but I
had more than enough. The whole cost was less than five dollars. I used
the crank of a fanning-mill, to see what effect it would have, but found
it too long. I was compelled to turn it with a peg half way down, which
is just the thing. I can turn it as rapidly as wanted--so rapid, indeed,
that the larvæ would be thrown out. I shall use no gearing. I found the
machine all that could be desired, and only regret that I had it not in
June. The queens might have produced some thousands of pets more, if
empty cells had been provided for them. Now, something about


NOVICE says if we are well-rooted anywhere it is in _strong stocks_.
This, I find, is a very indefinite saying. I wish some one would give me
a clear idea of what is meant by the expression _strong stocks_. Is it a
large, prime swarm, or a first and a second swarm united, or any swarm
well wintered and built up by spring feeding on Gallup’s system?

Ah, indeed, N. Woodworth, of Rochester, Wisconsin, on page 47, Vol. VI.,
has thrown a skunk in the face of the bee family. A skunk cannot stink
more than that statement. Surely, he designs to see what effect it will
have. Well, the best way is to let the skunk alone. The meanest bee-gum
bee-keeper who manages to winter his bees so that they do not all die,
has to acknowledge that bee-keeping pays; how much more can one
accomplish who knows how to employ skilfully scientific means and


_Rousseau, Wis._, August 26.

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

Queen-Breeding for Improvement of Race.

MR. EDITOR:--In the September number of your excellent Journal, page 58,
Mr. Alley accuses the writer of “pitching into him.” But I find he can
still hold up his head and “pitch” back, as well as raise cheap queens;
so he is not badly wounded. But, to be serious, I most sincerely regret
that any sentence in my article, in the August number, was so worded
that it was thought to be personal. It has been a favorite project with
me to see the honey bee improved to its highest possible extent. And
even Mr. Alley concedes the principle for which I contend. For, says he,
“_I pay the highest prices for my breeding queens, and now have queens
of my own raising that I would not sell for fifty dollars._” This is a
higher price than I proposed for such queens, five or six times over. He
says he will take my whole lot at my figures, if I have such queens as I
describe. I would not like to spare them, Mr. Alley, for I value them as
highly as you do _your_ best queens!

I do not doubt that every man who gets a queen from Mr. Alley, or from
any other man who sends the genuine breed, gets the worth of his money;
but what I did mean to say, was, that if a man wishes to get the highest
grade of Italians, let him get one that has been raised from the best
selected stock, under the eye of an experienced apiarian, and thoroughly
tested before she is used as a breeder. Then the buyer will know what he
is getting, and would find his purchase cheap at twenty dollars--rather
than one that was untested and raised at haphazard, at two dollars and a

I repeat--Let the Queen-Raising Brotherhood unite to state these facts
fairly and squarely before the world; and let men who believe in sharp
practice keep such things out of sight.

I, too, if ever I go into the business again, will sell queens at
$2.50, sending them out as soon as they begin to lay eggs, to any number
ordered, guaranteeing that all the workers shall show three yellow
bands, when filled with honey. But, if tested and guaranteed as
breeders, I would ask ten dollars each. If I was going to commence
Italianizing an apiary, I would send to some responsible man, such as
Langstroth, Colvin, Quinby, Gallup, Mrs. Tupper, or Mr. Alley; and in
the room of sending $2.50, I would say, “fix your own price, but send me
the best queen you can select!” for I would rather have such a one than
four of average untested queens. And putting the seller upon his honor,
I think I should get the _best_, where all were good.

Others may differ from me in opinion, yet I have given the public my
views honestly.

Mr. George C. Silsby has my thanks for his courteous criticism of my
article. Mr. J. E. Pond likewise, though he misapprehends my intention
to attack any one but sharpers, who sell for pure Italians what no one,
qualified to judge, would call even a good hybrid. I know nothing of Mr.
Alley only through his advertisement, and of course knew nothing of the
quality of his bees. But while I know nothing of him, I do know men who
sent to where it was most convenient and cheapest, and straightway they
became queen-breeders, and supplied the country round, in turn, with
_genuine queens_. It would take an expert often, to detect a particle of
Italian breed in many such colonies that I know of.

In such cases, often, the queen-breeder himself did not know that he was
selling a spurious article. I may have been foolish, but I did send to
Italy for stock that cost me twenty dollars each, when I could have
procured stock from Mr. Langstroth for five dollars each. The same year
I procured a queen from Mr. Colvin for fifteen dollars, tested, in
preference; and the very next year I sent fifteen dollars to Mr.
Langstroth, for a tested and superior queen, when he would have sold me
an untested one for half the money. I think still that the money was
well invested.

Two years ago I left the personal supervision of queen raising, and a
gentleman by the name of J. L. Strong is now conducting the same apiary,
at Mount Pleasant, Iowa. He has not been able to supply all his orders
this season. My articles were dated from that place; but my residence is
at Ottumwa, Iowa, where I am trying to fill the place of pastor of one
of the Methodist Episcopal Churches of that city. I have raised just
_four_ queens this season, one of which was a hybrid. These I have used
in making new swarms. I have five colonies here, which still interest me
greatly, although there are not many dollars and cents, as income, in
the enterprise, and I take all the profits in honey for my table. So you
see I am not a very formidable rival in the trade.

But, in common with the brotherhood, “_bee on the brain_,” is a chronic
complaint with me, and I never shall recover from it; and every man who
talks _bees_, or writes _bees_, or _raises queen bees for $2.50_, or any
other price, has traits that make me regard him as a _brother_. And if I
write an occasional article, don’t think I am “pitching into” some one,
or writing to “show off.” Then, further, if you find my articles only
half as interesting to you, as yours are to me, I shall be content. In
the meantime let us raise no false expectations; but so write that we
can put in the hands of the cottager, occupying a few square roods, the
means of keeping, in an intelligent manner, from twenty to one hundred
colonies that shall bring him as much profit as the owner of a farm
reaps from his broad acres.


_Ottumwa, Iowa._

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

The Economic Hive, and Gallup’s.

MR. EDITOR (and some one says that means everybody):--As I receive many
letters asking what I think of the Economic Hive, mentioned and
described in several numbers of the last volume of the Journal, suppose
you allow me to answer them at once through the pages of the Journal. It
will save me much trouble, and obviate the necessity of replying to the
same questions asked over and over again, by different inquirers.
Another matter I would like to speak about. I receive a great many
inquiries somewhat like this--“Mr. Gallup, I am a new subscriber to the
American Bee Journal.” &c., &c., and asking me for information about
such and such articles, or what does such or such a writer mean, &c.
Now, gentlemen, I am perfectly willing to answer your questions, but it
appears to me that your very best plan would be to send the money to the
publisher, and get the back numbers of the Journal. You would certainly
get the worth of your money; and then you can understand what the
writers mean, better than I can tell you in one short letter.

Well, here I am off the track, as sure as fate. To return; in the first
place, the Economic Hive and the hive I use, are (with slight variation)
substantially the same. Both can be used in the same manner, in every
respect. I have used them with from ten to fifteen frames, but for
general use, twelve are sufficient. All it needs is to make the hive
wider or narrower, to accommodate more or less frames. In using my hive
two story, I make the second story the same depth as the first. My
frames hang on small three-cornered cleats instead of on rabbetings; and
to make any hive into a second story box, draw the small finishing nails
out of the cleats and nail them on again, low enough down to allow
one-fourth of an inch space between the upper frames and the lower,
without the honey-board. Now, all that is necessary to convert this into
two hives, is to move those cleats back to their former places again. In
placing this top box on and lowering the cleats, it leaves an inch and a
quarter space between the top of the lower frames and the honey-board.
Now drive four finishing nails into the sides of the hive, inside,
leaving the heads project one-fourth of an inch above the frames. Then
fit in an inch board and let it rest on those projecting nails. This
will fill up so much of the vacant space under the honey-board.--In
putting on the third story, I make my boxes so as to fit inside the
hive, _on the frames_, and do not use the honey-board between the boxes
and hive in any case. This third story is only used with very strong

Once more, I will say that this hive suits me, and can be used for every
purpose, in forming nuclei. You can raise four queens in it, as Mr.
Truesdell says, and by inserting three division boards you can make it
into four small hives. The entrance on the four sides of the hive are
all in the bottom board. It can be accommodated to any size of swarm,
simply by using the division boards, or not, as the case requires. In
short, read what Mr. Truesdell says about the hive, and also what I have
previously said about it; and then read what I say in the “Annals of
Bee-culture for 1870” (when it comes out) about the best method of
having honey stored in combs for market--decidedly the best, in my
opinion; better than any glass boxes I ever saw. In such a hive you have
one adapted either to a poor honey district, or to a good one. It will
accommodate the largest, as well as the smallest swarm you ever saw. It
is cheap and simple. Understand, I am not cracking up this hive to make
money out of it, for it is not patented, and I have no time to make any
to sell.


_Orchard, Iowa._

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

The Gallup Hive.

I wonder sometimes how many bee-keepers have tried the Gallup Hive,
there being so many other hives that are so highly recommended. I have
made and used, now for two seasons, more than a dozen of the Gallup form
of hive; and thus far I think it is good for all that Gallup claims for
it. Simple in its construction, easily and cheaply made, and for one, I
cannot conceive how any hive could be better adapted or more convenient
to form nuclei with full sized combs, to raise queens, to equalize bees
and stores, build up stocks, exchange combs promiscuously from hive to
hive, &c., &c. No trouble about the frames hanging true, and I think I
can handle a set of frames in the Gallup form of hive in as short a time
as I can in the Langstroth standard; and I am using both. If the several
parts of the Gallup hive are correctly made and put in place, it is
almost air-tight; and yet any amount of air, whether much or little, can
be given and regulated, even to the extent of suspending the hive in
mid-air, with top and bottom off, if it were necessary. Its surplus
honey arrangement can be made to suit location or fancy. I do not
suppose that Novice or Grimm, or some others, would do any better by
using the Gallup hive; but my circumstances are very different from
theirs. And as it is of the utmost importance to me to use only one kind
of hive, I intend to use the Gallup form exclusively as soon as I can,
without material loss.


_Lake P. O., O._, Sept. 7, 1870.

       *       *       *       *       *

Those that boast most, fail most, for deeds are tongue-tied.

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

Palmer Brothers and the Thomas Hive.

It is due to myself and to Palmer Brothers to say that their article, so
greatly in favor of my hive, was written without my knowledge and
entirely upon their own responsibility.

While I feel grateful to them for their high opinion of my hive, and the
impartial manner in which they have spoken of it, I may be allowed to
correct two or three items in the description thereof. They have
purchased the territory for these hives before the alterations of which
I am about to speak were made.

“_Advantage 8th_” (see BEE JOURNAL, Vol. VI., No. 2, Aug. 1870.) “There
is a passage through the bottom board, covered with wire cloth, through
which the bees receive air,” &c. After five years’ experience and
experimenting with the hive and the best method of ventilating, I now
make the bottom board without any hole through it, preferring instead to
put a hole through the rear end board of the hive, about one inch from
the bottom, and covered with wire cloth. The hole is an inch and a half
in diameter, and allows a circulation of air from front to rear. I
consider this the best method of ventilating a hive, and in most, if not
all cases, quite sufficient, and especially so with an entrance such as
I use in my hive, and with which Palmer Brothers were not acquainted for
reasons already stated. I will just say the entrance is so constructed,
with a double zinc gauge, that it can be enlarged in a moment of time to
half an inch deep and the full width of the hive, and contracted in the
same time to half an inch square.

“_Advantage 16th._ The bottom slants to the front.” It may be made
inclined or level, as desired by the builder.

“_Advantage 18th._ One, two, or four boxes may be used.” Six square
boxes, suitable for market, may be used.

“_Disadvantage 3d._ The improvements are worse than useless, to one who
will not properly use them.” This is true of all frame hives. If a
bee-keeper intends to let his bees die, with no attention on his part,
he certainly will save the expense of improvements by setting them in a
hollow log.

To those parties who may purchase territory I will send a sample hive,
paying all charges to the line. See advertisement, and make an offer.


_Brooklin, Ontario._

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

Bee Cholera.

MR. EDITOR:--I see that many persons have lost their bees by what is
called Bee Cholera. I have had some bees die with the same disease. I
then took a colony after one half the bees were dead, ventilated the
hive well, and carried it into the stove room, and kept it there the
space of eight days. It is now a strong colony. I suppose the heat of
the room evaporated some of the water in the honey.


_Tyrone, Pa._

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

Hive for Nuclei.

The experience of a single season satisfies me well with a hive for
nuclei, made by simply taking the ordinary Langstroth hive, separating
it into six compartments, and making the entrances face in different
directions, in this manner:


Nos. 1 and 6 have the entrances at the back end of the sides, at the
upper corner. Nos. 2 and 5 have a hole bored through the bottom, and the
bottom board channelled, making the entrances come out underneath the
front end of the sides at the _lower_ corner. The entrance of No. 3 is
in front, at the regular entrance; and No. 4 has an entrance at the back

“But will not the queens enter the wrong compartment, on returning from
their excursions?” I have raised fifteen or twenty in a hive of this
kind, and have never lost any.

Instead of a honey board, a strip of board covers each division
separately, so that each nucleus can be examined without disturbing the

The ordinary frame is used, and the principal advantage of the hive
consists in the mutual warmth gained.

I think it pays to keep reserve queens constantly on hand; and I mean to
try whether I cannot winter a few queens in this way.

I have raised some queens by letting the nucleus have brood to start
queen cells from; but they have been slow coming to maturity; and after
they have laid a few eggs, they are sometimes discarded and a young
queen raised from the brood. The trouble seems to be that where queen
cells are started by a small cluster of bees, they do not feed the grubs
plentifully enough, and when the queen hatches out not a particle of
royal jelly is found in the cell. Whereas, when a strong colony raises a
queen, the cell will contain a large quantity of jelly after the young
queen emerges. To obtain good queens, I take the following plan. I take
a frame containing only eggs laid by my best queen, and put it into an
empty hive, and set this in the place of a strong colony. Cells will be
started and the grubs liberally fed, and as soon as they are sealed
over, I cut them out and give them to the nuclei. I then give the hive a
laying queen, and two or more frames of sealed brood, according to the
time of year, and have a good colony.

I am waiting patiently for NOVICE to invent a machine for making
straight worker comb; for as yet I have found no way of securing all
worker comb, except to have it built by a weak colony. My bees build
some drone comb of very strong, even if their queen is not a month old;
and they will build worker comb, _whilst raising queens_, if WEAK


_Marengo, Ill._, Aug. 30, 1870.

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

Around among Apiaries.

MR. EDITOR:--As I have been visiting among bee-keeping friends, I will
give you a few lines that may interest some of your readers. The season
here has been very variable in the yield of honey from the clover
blossoms and also from honey dew.

I made a short visit to Hess & Co.’s apiary, some ten miles from Fulton,
on the Iowa side of the Mississippi, who have about one hundred and
eighty colonies. Their bees did not yield much white clover or basswood
honey, but did well on honey dew. The honey from the latter is very dark
and sticky, and to most persons is of poor flavor. Their bees did not
swarm much this season, though they are surrounded with all the early
flowering trees, such as soft maple and hard elm, willow, and all other
kinds natural to our soil, alike on the islands, bottoms, and uplands.

I next visited Marvin & Bros., of St. Charles, Ill. Their apiary numbers
one hundred and seventy-five to two hundred stocks. Their bees have not
done anything to speak of, and from appearance and prospects, they will
have to be fed to go through the winter. There was hardly any rain here
from the last of March to the last of June. White clover blossomed very
little, and Alsike was almost a failure from the drouth. It did not grow
tall enough to be cut for seed, where it did come into bloom. But
Messrs. Marvin are not discouraged. They think there is a good time
coming yet for bees, though it be not this season. They have some of the
great Rocky Mountain bee plant growing, but it has not done anything for
them since they have had it. It is now in full bloom, yet very seldom a
bee lights on it.

I also made a brief call on M. M. Baldridge, the secretary of the great
National Bee Hive Company, at St. Charles. His bees will likewise have
to be fed, to go safely through the winter, if fall pasturage do not
supply sufficient honey for their need. Mr. Baldridge is doing a
considerable business in manufacturing honey emptying machines, now that
the demand for beehives is over for this year.

I next visited Mr. Thompson, of Geneva. He is young in the bee business,
but quite enthusiastic. Although he lost all his bees last winter, he
was not discouraged, but tried again this season. Like most new
beginners, he increased his stock rather too rapidly, especially in so
poor a season as this has proved to be in that section generally. Bees,
however, did somewhat better at Geneva than at St. Charles, only two
miles away. At Batavia, the same distance below, the bees have done
moderately well. Let me remark here that the rains, throughout the West,
for the most part went in narrow streaks this season, especially in
June, sometimes not over half a mile wide. This accounts for the
difference in the condition of colonies in apiaries only a few miles

I called on Mr. Way, at Batavia, and took a look at his bees and honey.
He has a good supply of surplus white clover honey on hand, having been
fortunate enough to be within the range of one of the seasonable rain
streaks. The most of his colonies have honey enough to pass the winter
safely, if they should not be able to gather any more. I was told that
the good people of Batavia tried to get friend Way’s bees expelled from
the city limits, as a nuisance, for fear they might possibly sting


I do not think that the largest honey dealer in Chicago is doing the
fair thing by his patrons--that is, if he wishes to do a permanent
business and retain his best customers. He would rather buy honey in
large boxes and frames, and then cut it into three or four small strips,
put it in glass jars, and fill up the jars with inferior strained or
Cuba honey. At the same time he discourages the bee-keepers from taking
their honey from the combs with the melextractor, for the simple reason,
I suppose, that he can make more money by straining the honey himself,
as I was told he had a nice steam apparatus for fixing over strained

As to the commission men, there are not many of them to be trusted, as
it is seldom that honey is handled with the care it ought to receive;
and when it gets to leaking, they sell it for any price they can get, in
order to be rid of it.

There is a great fault, too, in the manner of shipping it, to have it go
through in good shape, as the railroad men do not handle things very
carefully. To get the best price from honest dealers, the box honey must
be put up in neat, small boxes, weighing not over seven pounds gross;
and to get a market established for extracted honey, it should be
shipped to some reliable man; and the jars must be labelled with the
quality of the honey and the name of the producer. Then the agent can
recommend it to his customers, and warrant it pure; and all you have
should be shipped exclusively to him. When properly put up, I do not
think there is much to be feared from adulteration.


_Fulton, Ill._, Sept. 5, 1870.

       *       *       *       *       *

A good swarm of bees, put in a diminutive hive, in a good season, may be
compared to a powerful team of horses harnessed to a baby wagon, or a
noble fall of water wasted in turning a petty

       *       *       *       *       *

Narrow minds think nothing right that is above their own capacity.

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

Queen Raising.--Experience and Observations.

Too early last spring, I commenced by artificial means to raise queen
bees. Using only about a pint of bees, they became chilled during the
night, and would cluster in the corner or top of the hive, deserting the
larvæ and the unhatched young. This was in March. During the latter part
of the month of April, however, I succeeded admirably in hatching them;
but two-thirds were lost on their wedding tours.

I had as many as six queen cells which were _to hatch_ on a certain day.
I was not at home on that day, but returned late in the evening, and on
examining No. 1 (a full colony), I found the queen had just emerged, the
cap or end of the cell still clinging by a small particle of wax, and
the queen on the same frame within a few inches of the cell. No. 2 had
also hatched during the day, appearing to be a few hours older. No. 3
was then visited, which was in a nucleus, and I found only two worker
bees in the hive,--the queen cell being still perfect. I had the evening
before given this nucleus some strained honey, in a bungling manner, and
did not contract the entrance of the hive as I should have done, and
they were robbed. My wife, early in the morning, noticed unusual
activity at this hive. The little family, I suppose, had helped to
remove their limited stores to the hives of the robbers, and taken up
their abode there, as usually occurs in such cases. But, to return to
our queen cell, I removed it carefully and opened the end of it, when,
to my surprise, out crawled the queen on my hand. Some honey was given
to her, and in a few minutes she was quite lively. She was then
introduced to a queenless colony, and was well received; but was lost on
going out on the eighth day. No. 4 was not examined until the next day,
when a nice Italian queen was moving amongst the workers; with as much
dignity as belongs to one not yet having attained her majority. After an
interval of about three days, I examined the hive and saw the queen
every day until about the eighth, when late in the evening, after
sunset, on examination I found she was gone. On closing the hive the
bees came running out and showed all the signs of having recently lost
their queen, such as are often seen; and kept up that distressing search
by crawling over the hive and on the ground in its immediate vicinity
until after dark. The hive was again examined with great scrutiny on the
following morning, and she was not there. At eleven o’clock a natural
first swarm issued from a hive of native brown bees in the apiary, and
after flying around five minutes, clustered on the stem and at the root
of a cherry tree. I proceeded to hive them, and when half the swarm had
passed into the hive, I saw the black queen march in. Only a few minutes
more elapsed before all the bees had gone in, except a little ball or
lump the size of a partridge egg near the root of the tree. I stirred
them up with a stick, thinking they were not cognizant of the fact that
their queen had gone in and the house was prepared and ready for them;
but they had no disposition to disengage themselves. Taking the ball of
bees in my hand, I examined them and found they were clumped around my
lost Italian queen. I dropped them in a pan of water, when every one let
go its hold, and the queen was free and apparently unharmed. I returned
her from whence she came, and in a few minutes the grieved family were
buzzing their joyful wings at her return. In a subsequent examination on
that day, she was crushed between two frames. The question arises, how
she came to be with this native colony? I have my surmises, but will
leave others to judge for themselves.

My experience has been that more Italian queens get lost in their
attempts to meet the drones, than native black or brown queens. Of the
superiority of the Italian or Ligurian workers, of their disposition, as
well as that of the hybrids, I will speak at some other time. Did it
ever occur to you, if the yellow-bearded Italians were natives of our
country, and we had been used to looking at them all our lives, and the
black were now just discovered and introduced, what praises would be
heaped upon the _dub_ tails? Campbell uttered a truism when he
said--“’Tis distance lends enchantment to the view.” But do not set me
down as against the yellow-jackets. I have been giving them a fair trial
for two years--or, rather, an unfair one, for I have tried their
strength and weakness, in dividing and subdividing; and when they are
reduced to almost a handful, they work with a heroism really

And right here I wish to say that I think if the Rev. Mr. Briggs, whose
article appeared in a former number of the Journal, alludes to queens
sent out by Mr. Alley, of Massachusetts, and deems them not reliable by
reason of their low price, he is mistaken. I ordered one from Mr. Alley,
and through mistake he sent me two, either one of which, or their
workers, will compare favorably with those of anybody. They are not,
indeed, as long or as large as your index finger; but I have queens in
my yard from various sources, and among them these are the prettiest.
Time only will prove the working qualities of the laborers they produce.


_Murfreesboro, Tenn._, Aug. 31, 1870.

  [NOTE: The Italian queens are, from the brightness of their color,
  a much more “shining mark” when on the wing, than black queens.
  Hence, when out on their excursions, they are more liable to be
  “snapped up” by birds, and doubtless many are thus lost every
  year. Southern bee-keepers probably suffer more from this
  circumstance than their northern confreres, as insectivorous birds
  are more abundant with them.

  In some portions of Italy the Ligurian bees were cultivated for
  centuries, side by side with the common or black bees; yet the
  difference between them, as regards color or quality, seems to
  have attracted no attention. But it must be borne in mind that
  bee-culture fell into decay there, after the fall of the Roman
  Empire, passing into the hands of a rude and ignorant peasantry.
  Whereas the superiority of the Ligurians and Cecropians was well
  known and appreciated in the classic period of the nominal
  republic. Since the revival of the bee business in Italy (to which
  it has largely contributed) the Ligurian bee has measurably
  recovered its pristine favor, and is getting to be preferred

       *       *       *       *       *

The yield of honey by various plants and trees depends not only on the
character of the season, but on the kind of soil on which they grow.

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

The Queen Nursery.

As the readers of the AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL are somewhat anxious to hear
about the Queen Nursery, invented by Dr. Jewell Davis, of Charleston,
Illinois, I will say that it is a perfect success. I have, since the
first of June, kept mine running to its full capacity (twelve cages). I
have allowed the queens to remain in the cages six or eight days after
hatching. I now have his fertilizing attachment, but have not yet tested
it. Young, unimpregnated queens can be introduced by Alley’s process, to
any queenless colony. I will give a fuller report, and how to use it,
this fall or winter. I consider it quite an advantage to save all
natural queen cells, and hatch them out in the Nursery; and it is no
disadvantage certainly to have a supply of young queens on hand, at so
small an expense, to give to a natural or artificial swarm, at swarming
time, even if they are not fertilized. When you can draw on your nursery
for a queen, at any time at sight, it is quite an advantage; at least I
consider it so. It is a positive fact that queens perish in their cells
by the thousand, in the natural state, in extremely hot weather. In
using the Nursery we can control this matter; for if the weather is
extra hot, we place the Nursery in a small colony; and in a large strong
one, if the weather is cool. Thus you will see that we have the hatching
entirely under our own control, and it is not left to chance. The queen
breeder can readily see the advantage of separating all his queen cells
as soon as sealed over, and having them perfectly safe. I have kept my
Nursery in a medium swarm, where they had a perfect queen breeding at
the same time. As I said before, queens can be kept in the Nursery any
length of time, with perfect safety. I place a small piece of comb
containing honey in the cage, between the tins, then place the cell in
the cage in a natural position and fasten it with a pin. A very slight
fastening answers, as the bees cannot get at it to gnaw it down.


_Orchard, Iowa_, July 15, 1870.

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

Paper Hives and Z. C. Fairbanks.

MR. EDITOR:--Don’t you think that Mr. Fairbanks seems a little cross as
well as sharp. He says I assert in my first article what I contradict in
my second on paper hives; and, worst of all, says I am to be numbered
with the gentiles, whom Dr. Cox gulled to the tune of heavy sums. I deny
the charge, and demand proof; though I will say for the benefit of
brother Fairbanks, that I think the Doctor a _little_ too smooth for
_profit_. But, to explain, we call the paper hive, of whatever form, Dr.
Cox’s hive; and so should we call all movable frame hives, the Farmer’s
box with Langstroth frames therein.


_Dowagiac, Mich._

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

The Looking-glass Again.

MR. EDITOR:--I have used the looking-glass often for arresting swarms,
rarely failing; but _I have always used it in conjunction with the
shotgun_. Used thus, it seems to induce in the bees the idea of an
approaching storm, and that they ought to be securing a place of safety
as quick as possible.

Out of a number of examples, I give the following:

A second swarm proved to be bent on emigrating, for on six consecutive
days it left as many different hives. Each time it was brought to anchor
by the looking-glass, &c. The last time the bees fell as if shot dead,
at the flash and report. And for aught I know and saw, they might have
kept trying to this day.

In some rare cases, however, I have failed to bring the swarm to settle.

My bees have swarmed heavily this year, and for a rarity seemed to
select the tops of the highest trees to settle on, and then would often
leave for the woods after hiving. Query, was there any connection
between the two facts?

The early season, here, was superior for honey, up to the blooming of
the white clover, which was very scarce, and almost devoid of honey. The
weather has been hot and dry, and no honey since.

There has been no honey-dew since the war near me; whilst a large piece
of woods, three miles off, seemed, two years ago, to be literally
flowing with honey-dew, and alive with bees. The tract was three miles
wide and five miles long, and alive with bees, throughout its whole
extent, every day for several weeks. Did the bees of the country gather

Your paper is read with intense interest. Long may it live to contribute
to the pleasure and profit of bee-keepers.


_Red Hill Depot, Albemarle Co., Va._

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

The Drouth, Bee Pasturage, and Queens.

The honey season has not been good, in this section of country, since
the middle of June, in consequence of continued hot and dry weather. Two
timely showers served to make a fair crop of corn, but did not much
increase the secretion of honey--hence the bees have not gathered more
in that period of time than to supply their daily consumption, and keep
them brooding. These points I have watched closely. The white clover
bloomed nearly two weeks earlier this year, than usual here; and,
therefore, by the time the colonies had brooded up to the point of
swarming, the chief honey harvest was gone. Hence, but few natural
swarms came off, and most of these came near starving to death, and will
require doubling up for wintering.

I made a number of artificial swarms, by taking a comb of brood, honey,
and bees, from six full hives and putting them together into a new
hive--using empty frames to fill the vacancy made in the old hives. The
swarms thus made have done well, compared with natural ones, and will be
in fair condition for winter.

It continues so dry yet that we cannot look for a large yield of honey,
either from buckwheat or other flowers; nor, if we could, can we expect
much honey to be stored in boxes, where comb has to be built to receive
it, as the nights are becoming too cool for comb-building.

I have seen the bees work incessantly for two or three weeks, this
season, upon the plant known as Carpenter’s Square, (SCROPHULAREA NODOSA
MARILANDICA, _Nodose Scrophularia_, _Figwort_,) and also, as usual, on
the Purple Polynesia, which appears to yield honey remarkably in hot and
dry weather. In this vicinity, also, both the black and the Italian bees
have worked on the red clover, during the last weeks of August. But,
more than all this, our bees this season seemed compelled to visit the
groceries for sugar and other sweets, to supply the lack of honey in the
flowers, and have perished by thousands in their demoralized eagerness
to obtain them.

From all this we have learned again the _necessity_ of cultivating more
extensively some crops or plants that will yield honey in the usual
barren interval between the failing of the white clover and the Alsike
and the coming in of the buckwheat and fall flowers. The linden trees
supply this in some localities, but not in ours--being too remote from
them. Buckwheat sown about the first of June, will often fill this
interval, and that sown a month later will make the fall pasturage.
Thus, by a proper disposition of crops, we may, with favorable weather,
make a continued honey harvest all the summer months; and, in
unfavorable weather, secure at least a partial supply for the same
period of time--thereby saving millions of bees from the demoralizing
effects of visiting groceries, and the consequent loss of their lives.

This summer my bees have not been disposed to start as many queen cells
as I desired; and, hence, after supplying all my colonies with queens,
have not had as many as I wished, to experiment with in the various
proposed methods of fertilization in confinement. But I have had enough
to show me that under our present knowledge of these processes, none of
them are as successful as is desirable for the purposes of the
intelligent queen-raiser. I have learned, moreover, that by most of the
methods employed the queens and drones become so excited, that, without
fostering the disposition for mating (the purpose for which they are
confined) they worry themselves to death in a very short time. To remedy
this, I have made cages on the same plan of my Queen Nursery cages, but
larger every way, with the covered way at one end converted into an
_ante-chamber_ for the introduction of the drones at the proper season,
without disturbing either the workers or the queen in the queen’s
_parlor_. In this parlor we put two square inches of comb, filled with
mature brood, and, over this, three inches square of comb filled with
honey for feed; and in the vacant part of it, we suspend a queen cell
sealed over. Then, after closing the door, place the cage in a populous
stock of bees, for the queen and workers to hatch. Thus, by the time
the queen hatches, she will have nearly a hundred workers in the cage
with her, and will not become uneasy or excited to get out of the cage.
She will thus remain quiet on the comb, until she is old enough to leave
it and go in search of the drones. Near this hour the drones can be
introduced by the little tin door at the bottom of the ante-chamber,
that door closed again and the tin slide carefully removed. The drones
and queen are thus let together, without excitement or disturbance. This
cage may be made six inches long, by four inches deep, and one and a
half inches wide. Then, by placing the comb in the middle, at the back
end of the parlor, with the capped cells facing the wire sides, the bees
can emerge from the cells and pass all around the comb.

From various experiments I am led to conclude that the above arrangement
will approach nearer to the thing wanted, than any of the plans yet made
public. I am, also, further convinced that much attention must be paid
to the age of the young queen, and to the state of the weather, in order
to secure fertilization in confinement. In fact, we must approach as
near as possible to the natural state of the circumstances that govern
the mating of queens and drones. I may say, in addition, that it is
evident some queens will mate earlier than others, if not hindered by
bad weather. The meeting of the queens and drones must not be attended
by any circumstances calculated to cause either of them to become
alarmed and seek release from confinement; for if thus alarmed or
excited, they will worry themselves to death in a few hours, or forget
all their natural instinct for mating or fertilization. On the plan
above described the queen feels at home where she was hatched, with her
hundred associates around her, and under careful management, not liable
to become excited. The drones alone are liable to be in any degree
alarmed under this method; and I find this is quickly removed by letting
them into the presence of a few workers, as in the above case. If done
quietly, little excitement need occur.


_Charlestown, Ill._, Sept. 5, 1870.

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

Bee-keeping Advancing.

MR. EDITOR:--We are doing a fine thing in the bee business here this
season. We (my brother and I) are creating quite an interest in
bee-culture around here, by the use of our Hruschka. The way we sling
the honey out is a caution. We have obtained six hundred and twenty-five
(625) pounds of extracted honey, and six hundred and fifty (650) pounds
of box honey from eight colonies of bees, and have increased them to
twenty-two; and all the hives are full of honey now--the result of
scientific bee-culture.

Old fogy bee-keepers begin to open their eyes, and think that
bee-keeping is not all mere _luck_. The light begins to shine, and
bee-keeping is advancing.

The Italian bees are more and more approved, and taking the place of
the black bees; and I am in hopes we shall in a short time have none but
Italians around here.

We have tried friend Alley’s plan of introducing queens with tobacco
smoke, and failed several times, simply because we did not smoke the
bees enough. We introduce now successfully with tobacco by smoking them
till they are nearly stupefied, and then they will receive the queen
without fail. We find the Italians will receive a queen quicker or more
readily than the black bees, without any smoking. The Italians are
better every way than the blacks. They are as much in advance of the
latter as the mowing machine is in advance of the scythe.


_West Groton, N. Y._

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

A Visit to Palmer Bros’ Apiary, and What I Saw There.

I lately went to visit the apiary of Palmer Bros., at New Boston, in
Mercer county. When I came near the house I saw a lot of beehives nicely
arranged in rows, north and south, and east and west. They were some
eighty in number, I think. The inmates of the house were two very
pleasant, clever young men, keeping bachelor’s hall. My team was put up
and cared for, and we had an interesting talk about bees, beehives, and
raising queens.

After dinner the honey-slinger was brought out. It is one of their own
getting up, and does well the work it is intended for. A hive was
opened, some frames removed, and about twenty pounds of very nice honey
slung out in ten minutes.

On returning home and having a good night’s sleep, I went into my own
apiary next morning with new spirits.


_Eliza, Ill._, Aug. 3, 1870.

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

MR. EDITOR:--You may remember that in the Bee Journal for September,
1869, Mr. George P. Kellogg, of Waukegan, Ill., gave out a very broad
challenge to bee-keepers. In the October number, I accepted his
challenge; but since that time we have not heard from Mr. Kellogg,
through the Journal. Now it is due that he should withdraw his
proposition, or meet us at the State Fair, in Michigan, and take an
oyster supper, and pay the printer; or cry “_peccavi!_” and I will pay
the printer. What say you, brother Kellogg?

We have had an excellent honey season in northern Wisconsin, so far,
this summer; with a prospect of its continuing until frost comes.
Success to the enterprise, and the Journal.

  A. A. HART.

_Appleton, Wis._, Aug. 6, 1870.

       *       *       *       *       *

In bee-culture the chief factor is intelligence, and not capital. The
former must produce the latter.


Washington, Oct., 1870.

👉 We have on hand, and unused, numerous favors from correspondents, as
most of them having been received too late for this issue. The present
arrangements for printing the Journal render it necessary that articles
intended for its pages should reach us not later than the 10th of the
month, to be in season for the ensuing number.

       *       *       *       *       *

👉 We have received copies of “OLD AND NEW,” “EVERY SATURDAY,” “GOOD
HEALTH,” and several other periodicals and publications, which we
purposed noticing this month, but are prevented by want of room.

       *       *       *       *       *

👉 The August number of this Journal contains an article on “_Pure
Fertilization Controllable_,” translated by the editor from the
“Bienenzeitung.” It appeared in that sterling and standard periodical,
as a communication from the Rev. A. Semlitsch, who is pastor of a
congregation and a member of the Ecclesiastical Council at Gratz, in the
Austrian province of Stiria. He has been a prominent correspondent of
the Bienenzeitung for a quarter of a century, and was previously known
as one among the five chief contributors to Vitzthum’s “_Monatsblatt für
Bienenzucht_,” the precursor of the Bienenzeitung. He has always been
distinguished for eminent zeal and efficient labor in striving to
advance intelligent and scientific bee-culture; and published in 1856,
at Gratz, a very excellent practical treatise in aid of the cause. No
man in Europe ever questioned his truthfulness, or impeached his honor.

       *       *       *       *       *

👉 We have copyrighted this Journal, not to prevent or prohibit any of
our exchanges from copying articles from its pages, but that those who
do copy may see the propriety of giving credit to the AMERICAN BEE
JOURNAL, so fully and plainly that there can be no mistake or
misapprehension about it. Some have heretofore appropriated such
articles bodily and boldly, without giving any credit whatever; some
thought they had “_somewhere read_,” so and so, &c.; others simply
credited “_Ex._,” leaving the whereabouts of the said Ex. to be guessed
at; others again, extending their liberality a link or two, credit “_Bee
Journal_,” vaguely and indefinitely. We have borne this hitherto without
murmur or complaint, “note or comment,” but do not intend to be so
forbearing hereafter. If articles are worth copying, their source is
worth acknowledging; and those who fail in doing this in future, may
expect to have to pay for copyright. We punctiliously give credit
ourselves, and may properly ask to receive it.

    “Hanc veniam damus petimusque vicissim.”

Great waste occurs in feeding meal, in early spring, as a substitute for
pollen, and many bees are lost while endeavoring to supply themselves,
being chilled by a sudden change of temperature. To prevent this German
bee-keepers do the feeding within the hive; and Mr. Kanitz of East
Prussia, gives the following as the best mode of doing so: Take fine
wheat flour, rye or oat meal, and stir it gradually into lukewarm liquid
honey till it forms a pretty stiff paste or mass. In the evening spread
a few ounces of this on an empty comb, insert it in a hive, and it will
be carried up by the bees in the course of the night. Not more of the
paste should be prepared on any occasion, than can be immediately fed.
The substitute for pollen thus fed, it is said, greatly promotes


RICHMOND, OHIO, August 18, 1870.--I have put off writing till harvest is
over, and will now have a short talk with you on different subjects.
This summer has been a very pleasant one in this part of the country,
with good crops of all kinds except fruit, of which there will be a
small yield. We have been favored with plenty of rain and consequently
good pasture for stock, and plenty of flowers for the bees which the
latter did not fail to enjoy, for they gathered large stores of honey
and multiplied more generally than they have done for a number of years.

I have been keeping bees all my life as my father did before me, but
never made it a study until about two years ago. Since then I have been
trying to put my bees in movable comb hives. These I think every
bee-keeper must and will have ere long, as also the Italian bees, which
I think are much better then the natives, except that they are inclined
to rob the blacks. But I would keep them for their beauty, if they had
no other good qualities. I wish some one would give us a general test of
their purity as known in Italy. This should be known throughout this
country, as nearly every queen breeder has a test of his own. My bees
have four bands, counting all; two broad ones next to the middle, and
two narrow ones behind those. If this is not enough, then I will go for
better and purer ones, as I want the best and none others.

The time of year is coming to think of wintering bees, and I want to
build a wooden house large enough to accommodate one hundred hives. I
wish some of the knowing ones would give us, through the Journal, proper
directions for building such a house.

Now, a few words in conclusion. Inclosed you will find my subscription
for the Journal for this year; and please accept my thanks for the
valuable instruction I have received from the American Bee Journal, and
my best wishes for its success. May its contributors and readers grow
wiser and sweeter every year.--J. W. TAYLOR.

BROOKLIN, ONTARIO, August 20.--Bees have done exceedingly well in this
Province, this season; better than they have done for several years.
Though the loss was fearful last year, it has nearly been made up. This
Province is not abundant in forage for bees, and we never expect to
realize the figures of _Novice_; yet some have taken from my hive four
boxes of virgin honey, eighty (80) pounds; and one hundred and forty-two
(142) from the body of the hive, with the Extractor--making _two hundred
and twenty-two_ (222) pounds from one colony. Another writes me he has
taken this season over two thousand (2,000) pounds in boxes, and five
hundred (500) pounds with the Extractor.--J. H. THOMAS.

GHENT, OHIO, August 22.--I have read and re-read every number of the
Journal, and find it instructive and profitable. My bees wintered well,
last winter, in my house as described in Vol. V. page 100, of the
Journal. Last winter was with us mild and nice for wintering on summer
stands. I have realized two hundred and fifty (250) dollars from thirty
hives this season, and have two hundred (200) pounds of honey on hand.
It was all box honey. The increase was twenty-five (25) good strong
natural swarms. They are all black bees except one, a hybrid queen sent
to me last fall, as pure, from an Eastern queen breeder. They are not
very sociable. The season was all one could wish for. Bees have done
well. The spring opened just right, and continued favorable throughout.
Success to you and the readers and columns of the Bee Journal.--T.

ELIZA, ILLS., August 22.--Bees have done well here this season up to
this time. I have some in Langstroth hives that have stored one hundred
and twenty-five (125) pounds of honey to the hive. I enclose two dollars
for the Bee Journal, as I cannot do without it.--J. BOGART.

LEROY, ILLS., August 23.--This is the first year that I have kept bees,
and find it a very pleasant business. Bees did not swarm here until
August, and then but little. I divided my old stocks in June, all of
which, both old and new, are doing finely. I should like to have some
older head than mine give me his opinion as to the plan of reducing the
number of my stock to one-half this fall, in order to have them stronger
and to have plenty of spare comb to commence with in the spring. And,
again,--as I am asking favors--I should like to have the plan given on
page 109, Vol. IV., B. J., for out-door wintering republished, for the
benefit of new beginners generally as well as myself. The August number
came just in time for me to try the new plan of controlling the
fertilization of queens. I succeeded in every thing but having the queen
mate in the wire case. Will some one else give us his experience? I say
three cheers for the American Bee Journal, for I take time to read and
re-read every article in it, and find it, together with Mr. Langstroth’s
valuable book, to be the staff for new beginners to lean upon for
apiarian knowledge.--P. YOUNG.

RISING SUN, IND., August 26.--We have a neighbor at Vevay, Mr. W.
Faulkoner, who has had great success this season, with his bees. I
called on him last week, and had the pleasure of seeing 3,500 lbs. of
white clover honey, which with 1,500 lbs. that he has already sold,
makes _five thousand_ (5,000) _pounds_ for this year. He had but
forty-eight stands in the spring, so that his hives have averaged over
one hundred pounds each. His increase is fifteen stands, making now
sixty-three, which is as many as he wants to manage. His hives are a
modification of the Langstroth, allowing the use of surplus boxes on the
sides of the frames.--N. H. SHAW.

SHREVE, OHIO, August 26.--As I have seen no communication from this
place, I have concluded to write and let the readers of the Bee Journal
hear of my success in the bee business. I commenced four years ago with
the old black bee in the old fashioned way. For a few years I made only
slow progress, till of late I have taken more interest in it, and have
now increased my stock to seventy-six colonies, all Italians, in good

I was surprised when I read Novice’s report of honey this season; but
when I came to think over how much I had taken from a few hives with
the honey-emptying machine, and as the season was, I think I too could
have had a right smart crop, if I had attended to the bees as I should
have done in the honey season. As it is, I shall probably not get much
over one thousand (1,000) pounds, principally box honey. I will just
state, for the benefit of the bee-keeping public, that I have tried a
Peabody machine, which works to perfection, and is what every bee-keeper
that uses movable frames needs. As far as the different hives are
concerned, there is not so much difference as some suppose. I think a
plain frame in a simple hive of convenient form is all that any one
needs. As far as reliable queen raisers are concerned, I will just state
that I have dealt with a good many, and have found Adam Grimm, of
Jefferson, (Wis.,) perfectly reliable and prompt in filling orders. I
have got quite a number of queens from him this season by mail, post
paid. I inclose a photograph of my apiary, and if any of the readers of
the Journal wish one, I will send it on receipt of forty cents, or send
one on receiving one for exchange. In conclusion I wish the Journal
success, and all its readers good luck and much pleasure in the pursuit
of so profitable a business as bee-culture.--G. W. STINEBRING.

EDGEFIELD JUNCTION, TENN., August 29.--This season, thus far, has been
the poorest, both for swarming and honey, of any for more than
twenty-four years that I have been in this State. We had a drouth in
May, followed by frequent and severe cold rains for more than three
weeks, by which time our clover harvest for bees was nearly past. As a
general thing July and August do not furnish much forage for bees, but
we have every prospect for honey this fall. The last two seasons we had
a honey harvest from almost the first of April till late in the fall;
and on both occasions, late in the fall my hives were so filled with
honey that in many of them there were not a hundred empty cells. I
removed from one to three frames of honey, placing the remaining frames
half an inch or more apart for winter. By doing this, and protecting my
hives from the cold winds, I saved them all--one hundred and sixty-four
in number last year, and sixty-eight the year before. This season being
a poor one, I have not increased stock so much, though I have made
fifty-one good colonies. In July I had to feed a few colonies, and found
it difficult to keep up my nuclei.--T. B. HAMLIN.

WEST GROTON, N. Y., August 31.--The honey season has been very good
here, and scientific bee-culture is progressing. Old fashioned
bee-keepers are amazed when they see the large quantity of honey we got
from eight colonies of bees--over eight hundred and seventy-five (875)

I like the American Bee Journal very much. We should not have had near
as much honey, if we had not had the Journal to read and study.--D. H.

FULTON, ILLS., September 3.--Bees are doing very well here now, though
the forepart of the season was not generally favorable on account of the
drouth. Buckwheat is not yielding much honey. The second crop of red
clover is in full bloom, and the bees are working on it very busily.
This is the first season that I have seen bees do much on red clover, in
this section, as the blossom is usually too large; but this year, owing
to the drouth the heads are smaller. The different varieties of the
golden rod are just coming into bloom, as also the wild aster; and the
prospect is that the bees will do well until after we have hard frosts.
Light frosts do not affect the aster. If acceptable, I will try to
furnish some account of the doings, of the bees in this section, at the
close of the season.--R. R. MURPHY.

GENOA, ILLS., September 9.--Please excuse my being thus dilatory in not
making an earlier remittance for the Journal. This little amount I could
have turned to very good account in other directions; yet, as I am
circumstanced, I think that one volume of the American Bee Journal is
worth three or four times as much to me as the same sum laid out in any
other way at home. For had it not been for the Journal, I should long
since have been as many of my neighbors are--“_one that_ USED _to keep
bees_.” I am aware that my location is not naturally favorable for
bee-keeping, as we sometimes have two or three seasons in succession
that are hard on the bee business; yet I am not inclined to give it up
so. In 1868, I put twenty swarms into my kitchen cellar. Most of them
had not one pound of honey on the first of January; but I made up my
mind to try the winter feeding to my full satisfaction. I took off caps,
cut a hole two inches by five through the honey board, which was half an
inch thick; fastened cotton cloth upon the under side, which made a box
large enough to hold all the food I wished to put in at a time. The food
was syrup of good refined sugar. I took care that they were all
ventilated according to the size of the stock; and as the temperature
would change in a measure with that outside, I would regulate
ventilation accordingly; and by constant attention they come out in the
spring with the loss of only two swarms, besides two that became
queenless. No more bees died than usual in wintering; and although the
season last year was wet and cold, they managed to procure sufficient to
carry them through the winter in tolerably good condition. But this
spring and summer the drouth seemed to threaten them with starvation. We
had no rain from the last of March till the first of July, with the
exception of two slight showers that did not, either of them, wet the
ground more than an inch deep. Notwithstanding, with the white clover,
which put out some small blossoms and in moist places where not
pastured, continued fresh, and some wild flowers, the bees kept along
till the rains came in July. Then the clover and other blossoms came out
quite fresh; so for a few weeks the bees gained a little and afforded
some surplus honey. Now the buckwheat is in full bloom, and the bees
seem to be taking time by the foretop, by improving each hour, shine or
no shine. The hybrid bees, as well as the pure-blooded, appear to be
exerting themselves to vindicate the superior merits of their ancestors;
and although it may seem cruel, I stand ready, with open and greedy
hands to receive their hard-earned stores, and furnish them with
store-room to enable them to continue on another willing task. My
eighteen acres of Alsike and two of melilot clover are entirely killed
by the drouth. For three years I have not only had to contend with
adverse seasons, but have been a target for friends and neighbors to pop
their jokes at, for my persistence in such unprofitable business. But I
had made up my mind to fight it out on this line; and by the assistance
of the American Bee Journal, with its able and generous contributors, am
confident that eventually I will come out all right. Though the season
has been a hard one, I have now taken out honey enough to pay for all
the sugar I have used and for the four volumes of the Journal, and have
added one-third to the number of my stocks this season--while many old
fogies of my acquaintance, who laugh at the idea of using patent hives
or paying the trifling sum for the Journal, have lost some nearly all,
and others quite all of their bees.--A. STILES.

SPARTA CENTER, MICH., September 7.--I cannot think of getting along
without the Journal. I supposed that I was doing extremely well in the
bee business, until I read Novice’s reports, which are surprising. I
have kept bees four years, commencing with nine colonies in box hives.
At the end of the first season, I had fourteen, all told. I buried them
according to the plan recommended in Langstroth’s “Hive and Honey Bee,”
and lost two. The second summer I had fourteen new swarms, making my
stock twenty-six in the fall; but, as the season was a poor one, I had
no surplus honey. I buried them in clumps, as before, and in the spring
found three were _non est_. This was the spring of 1869. During the
ensuing summer, I had twenty-four new swarms and nine hundred (900)
pounds of surplus honey, and began to know something of the habits, &c.,
of bees. In the fall of 1869, I built a bee house for wintering, 10 feet
by 20, outside measure, 8 feet by 18 inside. The walls were made by
using two rows of studding, boarded up outside and inside of each row,
leaving an air space between the walls, and filling between the studding
with saw dust. This spring I had forty-six good stocks, and have
obtained 2,194 pounds of No. 1 honey. I have now one hundred and ten
(110) colonies, all but three or four in good condition for wintering. I
have no Italian bees, as I wished to learn to manage and handle the
blacks, before trying any that might require more skill. I use
Langstroth’s “shallow things.” All except five of my swarms are in frame
hives, and every comb is straight with not over sixteen square inches of
drone comb to a hive. Sixty-nine of my queens are of the present season.
All my new colonies were made artificially, except six. I made them by
starting nuclei, and building up by taking comb, honey, and brood from
strong stocks. I fed each colony a little syrup every alternate day from
April 1 to June 1. Nearly all the surplus honey of this year is made
from or _gathered_ from white clover blossoms. Last year it was from
linden or basswood.--I should like to know if Novice or others using the
melextractor, have had any trouble with the honey fermenting after being
canned. I have had several cans spoil. It assumed a reddish hue and
became watery in appearance. I should like to know how to avoid losing
any in future.--A. B. CHENEY.

WINCHESTER, VA., September 10.--This has been a good season for honey,
but few swarms. I started in the spring with sixty-four colonies and
have had twenty-one swarms. They will make a fine lot of honey. I use
the Langstroth hive. Some of my neighbors that have ten or twelve
old-fashioned box hives, think the Langstroth hive costs too much, but
come to me every fall to buy honey. I have seven colonies of Italian
bees. I think they are superior to the black bee, both for swarming and
making honey. I obtained my queens of Mr. Henry Alley. I think he
deserves great credit for sending pure queens and acting honorably with
his patrons. My bees are not making any honey now, as there was no
buckwheat sown in this part of the country. The most that we have to
depend on in this country is white clover and blue thistle. We sowed one
pound of Alsike clover seed in April, 1869, and mowed it for seed July
25, 1870. I thought it a humbug, but am agreeably disappointed. My bees
worked on it from early morn till late at night. The farmers are much
pleased with it, both for hay and pasture.--B. F. MONTGOMERY.

       *       *       *       *       *

It cannot be too deeply impressed on the mind of the bee-keeper, that a
small colony should be confined to a small space, if we wish the bees to
work with the greatest energy, and offer the stoutest resistance to
their numerous enemies.--_Langstroth._

  [For The American Bee Journal.]

Two Queens in One Hive.

When removing some honey boxes on the 25th of July last, I found that a
large strong stock had two queens. I see in Vol. V., No. 8, of the
Journal, that Mr. E. M. Johnson discovered two queens in one of his
hives in January. Before movable comb hives were used to any great
extent, such a thing was considered impossible; but we hear of such
cases frequently, now that we have easy access to the interior of our

After removing the boxes, I placed them in my cellar, to have the bees
go back to their hives; which they all did, except those in one box,
which I found contained the queen that I had saved about a fortnight
before, a few days after they had swarmed. In removing a frame of brood
to give to a weak stock, when brushing off the bees in front of the
hive, I saw there was a fine looking queen with them. She went into the
hive and was received by the bees. Now, why was this queen in a box
containing sealed honey? I should judge both queens were fertile. The
bees had killed off their drones a number of days before, so that they
did not think of swarming.

Now can we say positively that two queens are not tolerated in one hive?
Is it not possible that the workers cluster around them, and keep them

The next day, I returned the queen, after smoking both queen and bees.
She was well received, and was all right the next time I opened the
hive; and for all I know, they have two queens still. If other
bee-keepers have such cases, I should be pleased to hear from them
through the Journal.


_Amesbury, Mass._, Aug. 15, 1870.

  [For The American Bee Journal.]

Bee Houses.

MR. EDITOR:--It is now admitted that bee houses are requisite for
bee-keepers in this climate.

I have recently seen that “concrete buildings” are “cheap and
substantial. For dwellings, all hollow walls and lathing are dispensed
with,” and they are “found to be as dry as wooden houses.” It is also
said--“The heat would be so long retained in the walls, that the saving
in fuel would be no inconsiderable item.”

It appears to me that this is just what is wanted in those localities
where the material can easily be had.

Will some of your correspondents, acquainted with the subject, give an
opinion as to their adaptability, and mode of construction?


_Ontario, Canada._

       *       *       *       *       *

The blossoms of onions abound in honey, the odor of which, when first
gathered, is very offensive; but before it is sealed over, this

  [For the American Bee Journal.]

Bees in Hancock County, Indiana.

MR. EDITOR:--Having been raised in the mountains of Virginia, I had not
much chance for schooling and do not expect to write anything smart; but
in my blundering manner will try to tell you how I am getting along in
the bee business.

In the fall of 1868, I had twelve stands of black bees in log and box
hives. All seemed to be in nice order and doing well. But they became
subject to dysentery, flux, or whatever you may please to call it. The
disease did its work, and next spring I had one colony left, with not
over a quart of bees. But 1869 was a good season for bees. My one colony
cast five swarms, and the first swarm cast one also--making seven in
all. All wintered well on their summer stands.

This spring I bought Langstroth hives, and on the 27th of May got a man
that understood the business to come and help me transfer and divide
them. We put them in fourteen hives, and all are doing well. We took
away the black queens and gave them Italian queens--one of which died or
was killed before commencing to lay, for which my man sent me another in
her place. Another either died or was killed, nine days after she was
introduced, but left plenty of young brood; and they have not less than
fifteen queen cells capped and nearly ready to hatch. Query, would it be
better to divide them as they are very strong, and then have their
queens fertilized by black drones, as I have no Italian drones yet? Or
should I let them alone, and let them swarm or kill off all their queens
but one, as they see fit?

I intend to divide all my bees as soon as Italian drones are plenty.
Mine are the only Italian bees in this settlement, and the woods are
full of black bees. I shall be troubled with hybrids, but intend to keep
on in the good work until I have them all pure Italians.

Our country is almost covered--that is, pastures and meadow--with white
clover. Even the lanes and highways are white with its bloom, and bees
have a good time gathering honey.

I am well pleased with the JOURNAL, and add the names of some
bee-keepers, who perhaps do not yet take it. I think you would do well
to send them specimen numbers.


_Willow Branch, Ind._

       *       *       *       *       *

BEES ALOFT.--About two years ago, a swarm of bees was discovered in the
steeple of the Congregational Church in Gilsum, N. H., where they have
since remained. As a result, fifty-six pounds of honey were recently
obtained from the sacred edifice.--_Boston Journal._

       *       *       *       *       *

Light colonies, deficient in honey, should be fed in the latter part of
September or early in October. If feeding is begun early, in seasons
where late forage is abundant, there will be a great waste of

[Transcriber’s Note:

Obvious printer errors corrected silently.

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation are as in the original.]

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