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Title: The American Bee-Keeper, Vol. II, Number 3, March, 1892
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  VOL. II.      MARCH, 1892.      NO. 3.

Hints to Beginners in Bee Culture.


This is the month that we should begin to feed and build up our bees,
especially our weak colonies, and to get them ready for the honey
harvest. Commence by giving them one half pint thin sugar syrup each
day; do not feed them in the daytime, feed them at night and they will
have all the feed taken down before the next morning. This will start
them to rearing brood rapidly and by the time the honey harvest arrives
they will be strong and overflowing with bees ready for it. Make but a
limited number of swarms and make them strong and early. Late natural
swarms should be returned to the parent hive, about twenty-four hours
after hiving them. The colonies that work freely on red clover should be
used as breeders in preference to others as the tongues of these bees
are evidently longer.

The old queen always goes with the first swarm unless she is unable to
fly. When making artificial swarms raise your queens and drones from the
best colonies. A queenless colony will raise queens at once if it has
larvae less than three days old and these queens will hatch within 10
to 12 days. If you give your bees a good supply of empty combs before
the beginning of the honey crop and keep them at work they will rarely
swarm. But if they once find themselves crowded and get the swarming
fever, nothing will keep them from swarming. The honey harvest lasts but
a few weeks, so you must be ready for it. “Make hay while the sun
shines.” When hiving a swarm give them a hive full of worker comb, or
comb foundation if possible, or else give them narrow stripes for
guides, but do not give them a hive partly filled with comb, as they
would be sure to build a great deal of drone comb in the remaining


Bee diarrhea in the latter part of winter and early spring is a malady
that effects some apiaries. The bees discharge their excrements over the
hives and combs, producing a dark appearance and offensive odor. The
cause is either fermented honey, improper food, long confinement, or too
warm and poorly ventilated quarters. Give them good capped honey and a
cleansing flight. If too cold for this out-of-doors take them into a
warm room, make a box, with the front and top made of wire cloth, or
mosquito netting, adjust it to the entrance, so that the bees must enter
it on leaving the hive. This will usually prove an effectual remedy.


Foul brood is the rotting of brood in a hive; the caps of the sealed
brood appear indented and shriveled and the larvae and young bees in
unsealed cells become putrid, emitting a disgusting stench or smell.
When the disease has a firm hold, even though it may be possible to cure
it, I would advise the total destruction by fire of the bees, combs,
frames and hives, with everything which might harbor the disease. In its
primary stages it can be cured in this way: With an atomizer spray the
hives, bees, brood, honey and combs with a solution of salicylic acid,
borax and rain water, repeated on the sixth day. Remove the diseased
brood from the hive and give them capped honey, if not too far advanced
this may give relief.

There is another plan, which is as follows: Take a clean new hive with
new, clean frames, fill it with comb foundation, take and run all the
bees out of the diseased hive into the clean one, do this in the evening
and as soon as the bees are all in close the entrance with wire cloth,
keep them confined for forty-eight hours until they have consumed all
the honey in their sacks in building comb. At the end of forty-eight
hours open the entrance and let them fly if they wish, feed them a
little sugar syrup every night for about a week, and if the honey season
is over, or, if this is done during a dearth of honey you should feed
them regularly so as not to let them starve. I had the disease in my
apiary the past season and this is the plan I used to cure it. My bees
are as healthy now as as if they had never had it.

_Sunny Side, Md._

  [The instructions which friend Dewitt gives in the first part of
  the foregoing article will apply this month only to the more
  southern localities. Here in the North the hives in many places
  are still covered with snow and the bees should not be disturbed
  until spring has unmistakably arrived.--ED.]

New Inventions.


The question has been asked “Are we drifting from our moorings.” I used
to think that we should not, but if all bee-keepers anchored to one idea
there would be no improvements. While it is safe to our own pockets to
be conservative, yet no class has done more to advance the interests of
the bee-keepers than those who experiment, and seem not to be satisfied
with their present condition. Had the inventors of the Monitor been
contented with wooden war ships our great American Republic would have
been divided. Had we all been content with stage coaches where would our
railroads have been? Had Edison preferred to sit at his telegraph
instrument we should now be without his master ideas. This onward
impelling force in Americans has sought out so many good things in the
last fifty years that I have not space to tell them. Some rejoice in
real improvements. Well, we can’t grind out out a grist of real
improvements to order. We have many discouragements and losses before
we succeed in turning out one. Many of these inventions must be tested
by bee-keepers before a true verdict can be given, and we should all be
willing to lend a hand to be one of the great jury in the discussion of
these cases as they are brought before us by our leaders; the inventors.
Yet while the tester goes hand and hand with the inventor, each watching
the others movements, each helping the other to discover and rectify
mistakes. It is too true that many good inventions have been swamped and
for years laid dormant when they might have been in use, simply for the
lack of wisdom to guide us to small experiments first. Yes, there seems
to be too much rush, new things can’t be tested in a hurry. To change an
average apiary all at once to some new mode of management, or new style
of hive, even if the hives were given to us, would be unwise. But add
the cost of hives and fixtures which the change involves with the loss
which one is sure to meet with for a time under any new arrangement, and
can we wonder that there is so little confidence placed in inventions or
the inventors. Still had we gone more slowly, tested more carefully, and
on a smaller scale and given ourselves more time to sum up the evidence,
no doubt many times our verdict would bless instead of curse the
inventor. No doubt there are inventors who abuse one’s confidence, but
they too well have but little chance to deceive us if we go slow. We can
change too much, and again too little. I am aware that I have missed
some good opportunities by being a little too set in my ways, and I
have had too little charity for improvements; medium ground is safe
ground on which to stand. We should watch the signs of the times and not
jump conclusions, nor bite at all that takes our fancy, nor kick at all
that we despise, we ought always to review, draw conclusions and watch
very closely what the mass of bee-keepers seem to favor, or decide upon.
If we are good readers of indications we need never get left, and often
can go across lots, thus reaching the head of the procession, but be
sure we know the way across else better we had gone around.

_Ovid, Erie County, Pa._

What I Have Observed, Etc.



In the last article I promised to give some evidence confirming my
conclusions, but before doing so I want to say a word in regard to
“large vs. small hives.” In the discussion of the subject in the
different bee journals from time to time, I neglected to note the size
of the frame used by the advocates of a large hive, but I imagine they
use a deeper frame than the “L,” and if so they are evidently right in
advocating a large hive, for such a hive would be better proportioned,
and would conform nearer to the natural requirements of the bees than a
small hive with shallow frames.

In _Gleanings_ for July 15th, page 553, friend C. J. H. Gravenhurst, in
speaking of “handling hives instead of frames,” hits on the same ideas
given in these articles in regard to the winter problem. He tells us
that the bees winter better in the straw skeps than they do in the
movable frame hives, as made and used at present. This is because the
bees in the skeps have their hives propolished overhead which prevents
upward ventilation and keeps the bees dry. He also says he gets more
honey with less labor and cost; then he shows how he sought to combine
the skeps with the movable frame hive, advocating about the same
advantages that I have given in these articles.

But the most clinching arguments in favor of doing away with the useless
Hill device &c., is found in Ernest R. Root’s review of G. R. Pierce’s
book, “The Winter Problem in Bee-Keeping,” which appeared in _Gleanings_
for December 16, ’91, page 952. Mr. Pierce says the pollen theory is not
the cause of diarrhea; that diarrhea in bees is caused by cold and lack
of stores, and is only intestinal catarrh.

Chaff cushions, or other porous material over a sealed cover are all
right and serve a good purpose.

Mr. Pierce is a thorough advocate of protection and packing around the
bees; but the cover must be sealed down that no heat can escape into the
packing above. In the first of this series of articles I took this same
position. I said “Therefore I have drawn the conclusion that a thin
walled hive, protected by a movable winter case, and packed on all sides
with a cushion made of felt and filled with some non-conducting
material--one that will prevent all radiation of heat will be
best”--and, in substance, that we could remove cases and packing on warm
days and have our hives purified by the sun and air and protect our bees
by wrapping them up with the warm cushions and prevent the radiation of
heat at night. In the second article (See AMERICAN BEE-KEEPER, page 164)
I said the “pollen” theory, and upward ventilation, cut no figure in the
winter problem in my locality. Now if we place a thin board down solid
on the top bars of our brood frames early enough in the fall for the
bees to glue up the crevices and thus prevent all air currents from
passing up through our hives, we again get even with our box hive
brethren, and when we prevent all radiation of heat by placing a cushion
on top of this board, the same as we do the sides. And further, in
spring and early summer, when we give our bees just the ventilation
required by raising this board, we are another long step ahead of them.

In the winter of 1891 I had The W. T. Falconer Manf’g.’ Co. make for me
closed end frames with winter passages through the top bars, and boards
to be sealed down for the purpose of carrying out my plan as given

“Ernest” tells us of his experiments in using thin boards and pieces of
glass imbedded with white lead paste, as it was too cold for the bees to
seal them down with propolis. Under the glass he placed a thermometer,
which, when the weather outside in the wind was ten degrees above zero,
registered 45 to 50, and “_the hive was perfectly dry inside_.” These
are valuable experiments in the right line.

My ideas, as it is plain to be seen, were given to the public before
friend Pierce’s book made its appearance, and before “Ernest” tried any
experiments on this plan.

On page 592 of _Gleanings_, L. Stachelhausen tells us that having found
out the advantages of closed end frames, he will use no other. The
closed end frames have only to be given a fair trial to prove their
superiority over all hanging frames. All the “rattle traps and
nuisances” I have mentioned in these articles will soon give way to
something better and more simple.

Friend Lowry Johnson also is of my way of thinking, as his article in
the AMERICAN BEE-KEEPER for December, ’91, page 182, will show. Also
Brother Quigley of the _Missouri Bee-Keeper_, is advising his readers
that a board sealed down on top of frames is better for wintering than
cushions next to the bees. See his answer to a correspondent to his
paper, page 144.

These articles end here, but I would like the opinion of the reader on
the points taken in them.

_Concord Church, W. Va._

A Talk on Bee Hives--Fixed Races--Honey Crops, Etc.


The production of honey is the principal object that a beginner has in
view when he contemplates starting in the apiarian business. Of course,
he generally buys a few box hives and does the transferring himself;
which I think is a good idea, as he gains considerable knowledge of the
inside of a bee-hive and of handling bees. Before he invests in bees, he
generally buys and reads a couple of bee books and obtains a few
catalogues of leading apiarian manufactures, to see what style of hive
is best. If he is gifted with an average insight into the mystery of
common things, he will quickly choose the hive and system that are most
universally used, and will stick to that system, and nine chances in ten
he will make a success of his bee business. If, however, he is gifted
with a volatile nature, he will not be satisfied until he has eight or
ten different style hives in his apiary at one time, and will spend all
the money he makes in trying new apiarian fixtures, until he finally
gives the bee business up in disgust. I do not mean to say that all new
bee hives are useless--far from it; but generally speaking, there is a
flood of new style bee hives on the market which are miraculously
complicated and contain numerous paraphernalia in the way of wedges,
glass doors, clasps, useless bee spaces and other ornaments not worthy
of mention.

A hive that is too complicated will never come into general use.
Competition in the honey business requires that we use the cheapest
appliances, combined with the greatest excellences. Here in this state
(California) where honey is so cheap, it would be folly to spend $8.00
for a bee-hive, because a $1.50 hive will answer every purpose equally
as well, the hive does not make any difference in the amount of honey
gathered, bees will store as much honey in a box hive as in any frame
hive ever devised; the queen and race of bees make the difference in the
amount of surplus gathered. The simplicity hive, with its various
modifications, is the hive that gives the best satisfaction among
advanced apiarists, and when used with the Hoffman frames it is hard to
beat. To persons who contemplate starting out-apiaries, the Hoffman
frame offers very superior advantages. My opinion is, that bee-keepers
who keep out-apiaries, and who move bees considerably, will in time
settle down to the fixed frame. I shall no doubt experiment considerably
with fixed frames the next few seasons.

In Ventura county this state, the bee-keepers have adopted the
Langstroth as the standard frame, and there is something like 1,600
hives in that county, which produce annually about $60,000 worth of
honey. The one pound section is rapidly gaining favor with the
progressive apiarists of this state, and are fast superseding the old
Harbinson two pound section.

Our honey crop here last season was about one fourth of a crop. In the
upper Sierras, at an elevation of 3,000 feet and upwards, there was a
good crop. Some honey plants yielded well. In all extensively irrigated
districts bees did pretty well because of the abundance of alfalfa
grown. Reports from Antelope Valley state that in that section the honey
crop was far better than usual, 200 to 400 lbs. to the colony for entire
apiaries being the yield.

The Italian race of honey bees I have tried pretty extensively, and
found them to be very good, but I like the Carinolans better. I think
they are a fixed race; the Italians are not.

In an apiary composed of Italian and hybrids if a Carinolan queen be
introduced and the Carinolans then be left to reproduce themselves
naturally they will hold their own for hundreds of generations before
their markings will begin to be eliminated. Place a colony of
Carinolans in an isolated location, and allow natural breeding, and in
ten years they will not deteriorate a single bit; but take a colony of
Italians, and allow natural breeding and in a year or two we have
nothing but common black, or very poor hybrid bees; thus proving
conclusively that the Italians are not a fixed race.

_Grizzly Flats, Cal._

A Few Words to Beginners.


As THE AMERICAN BEE-KEEPER is published in the interest of beginners,
allow me to say to them that the first thing to be learned is the fact
that no set rules can be given to suit everyone under all the varying
conditions of climate, location, etc., and that everyone must use
intelligence and make rules to suit his own individual case--must make a
vigorous use of his own “think shop.” He must thoroughly acquaint
himself with the flora of his location; he must know when the honey flow
is likely to commence and end, and must manipulate his bees to suit that
time. Friend Doolittle’s advice to manipulate our bees at the proper
time cannot be too strongly impressed upon the minds of beginners. In my
locality we have two honey flows each year. The early flow last season
ended on the 24th day of July, the fall flow commenced on the 16th of
September. There was a dearth from July 24th to September 16, of 53
days. A hive full of bees during these 53 days are not only of no use to
me but a positive disadvantage. They are only consumers and not honey
gatherers because there is no honey to be gathered. Reason would dictate
to me that I must use every means in my power to build up my colonies as
strong as possible from early in the spring to within 35 days of the end
of the honey flow, or about the 19th of June, that about this time,
certainly not later than June 25th, I must restrict my queen to as few
frames as possible, so as to have but few bees during the 53 days of
dearth. (I base my calculation upon the fact that 21 days are required
for the egg to hatch and then the bee must be 14 days old before it
becomes a forager.) Now I wish to say emphatically that every one whose
location is similar to mine must practice restriction or his honey crop
will be a failure every time. Again by the 16th of September. I want my
hives as full of bees as possible ready for the fall flow. Then going
back 35 days from September 16th takes me to August 12th, the day on
which the eggs must be laid for the bees to have hatched out, ready for
the beginning of the fall flow. But as the queens could not under any
circumstances fill the hives full of eggs on the 12th day of August, (or
any other one day for that matter,) reason would again tell me that I
must remove the restrictions from my queens two or three weeks before,
or, say July 24th to August 1st, and then stimulate brood rearing. If
the beginner fails to follow this plan he will certainly get no surplus
fall crop. We must also make sure that each colony contains a good
prolific queen.

Brother Demaree’s “Practical hints in Bee Culture” on page 179, AMERICAN
BEE-KEEPER, is timely and should be read and studied until perfectly
familiar with every “hint” he has given. When he speaks of the bees
“crowding the queen” being simply an effort on the part of nature to
assist the bees by curtailing brood rearing during the honey flow he is
certainly correct, yet, by restricting our queens as I have suggested
above we accomplish the same end, provided the restriction is performed
at the right time. When he speaks of giving his colonies, after
swarming, a queen cell instead of a laying queen, as some “innocent bee
men” had written him, he gives a “hint” that should be well and long
remembered. By this plan he also assists the bees in curtailing brood
rearing, when such brood would hatch out bees that would be consumers
instead of honey gatherers.

His article on “Concentration of Forces” in _Bee-Keepers Guide_ for
December, 1891, page 356, is worth the price of that paper for several
years. “Concentration of forces” is his remedy against poor honey
seasons. His plan of “concentrating forces” can be easily carried out in
connection with the suggestions I have given. He says “not a swarm
should be allowed to issue.” He accomplishes this by one single
manipulation, which is simple and easy, and performed “just at the
commencement of the honey season, and before any swarms issue.” All the
colonies strong enough to cast swarms are treated on the following:


“All the combs containing brood are removed from the brood chamber,
except one that contains but a small amount of unsealed brood and eggs.
This is left in the brood chamber with the queen on it. If she is not
found on it she must be hunted up and put upon this comb. The brood
chamber is now filled out with empty combs and a queen excluder is
placed on its top. The combs containing brood are adjusted in a super or
hive body, and if they do not fill it, it is filled out with empty
combs. It now goes on top of the brood chamber with the queen excluder
between. We now have all the brood above the excluder, except what is in
the comb with the queen on it below the excluder. You now have nothing
to do but to “turn up” to suit the season. Treating all colonies in this
way the season will have to be more than usually extended if there is a
single swarm. Colonies treated in this way are the strongest colonies I
ever handled, and I never seen a season so barren of nectar that they
fail to fill the combs above the excluder by the time all the brood they
contain are hatched out, and if the season is a good one they will
surprise the natives and make you uneasy about the safety of your honey
floor, like mine did me the past season, though the season was but an
average one.”

Next month I will give my experiments with two colonies the past season
managed on a plan similar to to Brother Demaree’s, as given above.
Remember, beginner, that if you don’t manage your bees intelligently you
had better never go into the business for you will have no “luck” and
the business will be a failure with you; and you might as well try to
raise corn without seed as to try to raise honey without a scientific
work on bee culture and one or more of the many excellent bee journals.

_Concord Church, W. Va._

(_Concluded next month._)


ED. AM. BEE-KEEPER, Dear Sir: I inclose herewith 50 cents for renewal to
the BEE-KEEPER, and in a month or so you will receive a little order for
supplies from me, but I wish to find out first what I need. There is a
lot of reading in the AMERICAN BEE-KEEPER for beginners, but there are
so many different ideas given that the beginner must have a big head
indeed to remember them. I will take the liberty to tell you how I
began. It was a year ago about Christ Christmas when I resolved to keep
bees. I wrote to the _New York Volkszeitung_, a German newspaper, for
the address of a good bee paper, and I received your address. The same
day I sent 50 cents and received in time the _American Bee-Keeper_, in
which I found the address of Mr. Knickerbocker of Pine Plains, N. Y., to
whom I wrote for a catalogue and price list for bees and queens. The
price of a good colony of Italians was $8.00, and I sent him $16.00 and
got two colonies of bees about the 20th of May, which was after all
fruit trees had blossomed. The bees commenced to work, and the 15th of
July I took out of each hive the surplus case of 28 sections well filled
with white honey. I replaced them with new surplus cases, and about the
12th of October both the hives were as full of honey as they could be
again. I left the hives in this condition for winter so the bees can
consume as much as they please, and if there should be any honey left
this spring it is just as good for me as if I took it out in the fall. I
left them on the summer stands packed up good and warm and will leave
them alone until spring. I do not think much of looking into the hives
every little while. I may be wrong, but I think this would make the bees
swarm earlier next season.

I cannot find any one around here who knows anything about bee-keeping.
I sold 40 sections of honey and 16 I kept for myself. There is at least
35 pounds in the hive yet, and I think I did very well for the first
year. With regards I remain,

  Yours truly,       F. TLEGMAN,

_Seymour, Conn., Feb. 10, 1892_.

  [FRIEND TLEGMAN: We are glad to hear from you and your success the
  first season with bee-keeping. You were unusually fortunate with
  your bees and must not be discouraged if the coming season or the
  one following, you find your bees doing nothing. Evidently you are
  in a good location for keeping bees, and would advise you to go
  into it more extensively. We shall be pleased to hear from you
  again later in the season.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

ED. AM. BEE-KEEPER, Dear Sir: As my subscription has expired, I send you
herewith a postal note for 50 cents, as I cannot do without the
BEE-KEEPER. I think it is the best bee paper for new beginners or old
ones. I put seven colonies in my cellar and left the balance on the
summer stands, so far they have all done well; some that were a little
short I fed up. Last season was a poor season for bees here, so those
that came off late did not gather enough to get through the winter.

My way of feeding bees is to get an empty comb and put it on a thin
board, then put it on the top of the hive and put sugar syrup in it. The
bees will fill themselves and carry it and put it in the empty comb
below. Yours truly,


_Colfax, Ind., Feb. 8, 1892_.

       *       *       *       *       *

ED. AM. BEE-KEEPER, Dear Sir: I have neglected sending in my
subscription but will do so now. You will find inclosed $1.00 to pay
arrearages and also for another year’s subscription. We like the
BEE-KEEPER very much and think every bee-keeper should take it.

The winter of ’90 and ’91 was a hard one in Maine for us bee men. I lost
all but three swarms. Did not get a drop of surplus honey; something
that has not happened before in the forty years we have had bees. Up to
date what few I have appear to be getting through the winter all right.
The weather has been quite mild with but little snow.

  Yours, &c.,       EZRA WITHEE,

_Pittsfield, Me., Feb., 8, 1892_.

       *       *       *       *       *

ED. AM. BEE-KEEPER, Dear Sir: I think the AMERICAN BEE-KEEPER is the
best paper for the novice there is published. It does not publish things
unconcerning bee business, like others, as for instance, in regard to
tobacco, gardening, &c.

I will tell you how I pack my bees for wintering. I had 12 strong
colonies in ten frame simplicity hives about Nov. 20th, I did not molest
them in the brood chamber at all. I just took off the top of the hive
and set on top of the frames a super without any sections in it and
filled it with buckwheat chaff and packed it tight. To be sure the
enameled cloth was on top of the frames under the chaff. There was
enough ventilation between the super and the side of the top of hive or
upper story, as I do not think the caps on the hives were any too light
to prevent the foul air from escaping. I will tell you in the spring
what success I will have had in wintering.

  Yours truly,       OTIS CALLAHAN.

_Wellsboro Pa., Jan. 25, 1892._

       *       *       *       *       *

ED. AM. BEE-KEEPER, Dear Sir: Bees are wintering well in Michigan; at
least mine are wintering well on their summer stands. Had a good flight
February 12th. In looking through them I find they have plenty of
stores. My crop of honey last year from seven colonies was very good. I
increased to twenty colonies and got 450 lbs. of comb honey besides, in
one pound sections. This is my third year in the bee business and I like
it very well and intend to keep at it.


_Belzes, Mich.: Feb._ 20th, ’92.

       *       *       *       *       *

ED. AM. BEE-KEEPER, Dear Sir: We have watched every day for my
BEE-KEEPER because I am anxious to see it. Papa got twenty hives and
1,000 sections from your factory last year. He thinks the outside winter
case is very nice. He can put a warm brick in under the cushions and
feed the bees almost any time in the winter. He has the outside cases
painted red on the sides and ends, and the top is white. He faces them
to the east so the morning sun will warm them up and get the bees up
early in the morning. Yours truly,


_Cortland, O., Feb. 14, 1892._

[Illustration: OUR EXTRACTOR]


The question of wintering is always of interest and for that reason is
always seasonable. In treating the question I do not expect to give any
new points to experts, but many of the readers of this magazine are
beginners, and are looking to this valuable journal for information on
this as well as on all other apicultural matters. Many successful
apiarists of large experience claim that all wintering should be done in
cellars, or other special depositories; with these I have no quarrel,
but never having wintered except on summer stands, I am unable to speak
thereof from personal experience. One objection to this plan of
wintering I can well imagine will force itself into the minds of a large
majority, viz.: the expense required to fit up as it should be fitted,
with regard to ventilation and temperature, such a special depository as
is necessary in order to guarantee success and the objection of itself
will probably prevent that majority from incurring the required expense.

For the benefit of the same majority I will give in detail the plan of
wintering on summer stands, adopted by myself with perfect success, and
which I have made use of for eighteen years or more, and that too on
Langstroth frames, with single walled seventh-eight inch pine hives.

As theories in regard to matters connected with apiculture are of
little consequence when compared with actual facts. I will not attempt
to theorize now, but will detail the facts for the use of any who may
desire to know them.

When the honey season ends, which with myself is about the 10th of
September, I examine the condition of every colony, crowd each colony on
to seven frames I intend they shall all be strong enough to cover fully
that number and see that each frame is at least filled with sealed
stores in its upper half the whole length. Later on when I get ready to
back for winter I extract if necessary from those combs that are more
than two-thirds filled with stores and combs throughout the brood
chamber are equalized and placed in a position where the colony can at
times get at them if desired. When the temperature falls so low that the
colony begins to cluster closely I force the cluster to one side or
other of the brood chamber, which can easily be done, by moving the
frames on which the cluster is formed. Prior to this, however, I have
stimulated the queen by feeding regularly each day a small amount of
sugar syrup, and thus kept the colony rearing brood as long as possible.

After the cluster is forced to the side of the hive I place a “Hill’s
Device,” or some substitute therefor, over the frames, and cover the
bees with a light porous blanket. Burlap or cotton duck is as good as
anything for this purpose. The “Hill’s Device” under the blanket forms a
means of communication for the bees with every frame in the hive, and
that too without danger of becoming chilled. As the hive in use is wide
enough for ten frames I use one and a half inch division board in each
side of the hive, which allows the seven frames to be spread apart a
little more than desirable for summer use. After covering the frames in
closely so that not a bee can show his head outside, I put on an upper
story and fill it one-third full of forest leaves pressed lightly down,
and use a cover with one and a half inch hole bored in each end for

I give a large entrance, using a bridge about four inches wide for the
bees to crawl under, which prevents the easy access of sudden draughts
into the hive. The only other protection than that prescribed above,
found in my apiary is a close osage hedge, six feet high on the north
and west sides. With the above means of protection my bees have
withstood the rigors of our eastern winters for years, with a
temperature varying from 20 degrees above to 20 degrees below zero, and
some seasons without a purifying flight from middle of November to
middle of the following February. Many mornings with the thermometer
below zero in January I have found a warm current of air being forced
out from the entrance, so strong as to be perceptibly felt upon the back
of the hand. I know not and care not whether others may agree with me or
not, I state the facts as I find them, and have no hesitation whatever
in advising every beginner to follow the methods outlined above.--_J. E.
P. in B. K. M._, (_Mass._)


Under the modern system of bee culture we obtain two kinds of honey,
known as comb and extracted. Comb honey is brought before the consumer
just as it was stored by the bees, while extracted honey is the pure
honey emptied from the comb by means of the honey extractor. If not
adulterated by middlemen both are equally healthful and nutritious.

Honey is not a luxury, but a necessary addition to our food, it being
the pure sweet as secreted by the flowers from which it is gathered by
the bees, being healthful and much safer than the poisonous confections
sold under the name of “candy.”

Comb honey is preferred by many on account of its fine appearance. It
must be placed in the market in good shape, indicating that it is
intended for food and not simply as a luxury, a sweet morsel to be
tasted by the children. Some of our writers on bee culture (but I am
happy to say only a few) went wild some time ago advocating one-half
pound frames. They argue that it can be sold at a higher price, but all
bee-keepers know that forcing bees into such small combs greatly reduces
the crop, and if such a course could be pursued by our bee men it would
at once convey the idea that honey was only a substitute for candy or
chewing gum. My advice to the bee-loving readers of this magazine is to
let them severely alone in their craze. A season or two will abolish
such small things. The man whose soul is so small and his ideas so
contracted, and his business principles so mean as to place a half pound
honey package upon the market for the purpose of extorting a half penny
or so from his fellow man deserves to be classed with--you may draw your
own comparison.

Anything smaller than a one pound section or frame is a loss to the
producer as well as the consumer. A one pound comb makes a nice package,
and such frames can be nicely crated and safely shipped.

Comb honey should be removed from the hive as soon as all the cells are
sealed over. If left to remain it becomes darker by the bees passing
over it. When taken from the hive it should be placed in a dark room
until sold or shipped to market. Some writers advise smoking it with
sulphur to kill the wax worm. I never found this necessary, as I never
have found worms on my comb honey. Honey should be nicely graded, and
the finest shipped or sold in separate lots. My frames hold two pound
each, of these I place six in a crate having glass at each end showing
quality of honey. These crates suit the retail as well as the wholesale
dealers and consumers generally buy a whole crate--12 to 13 pounds. Many
of my customers in adjoining towns buy from three to six crates.
Unfinished or partly sealed combs can be emptied with the extractor and
put away for next season.

Extracted honey should be placed in nice, clean, attractive packages.
For home trade self-sealing jars do very well. For shipping, kegs are
found to be the best.

Just here I would give a word of warning. Do not extract before your
honey is sealed, if you do it is not ripe and too thin and will sour,
thus spoiling your reputation as a honey producer. Don’t be too eager to
obtain a large quantity, let the quality be good and you will have no
trouble to find plenty of buyers. It is only the poor, unripe article
that cannot be sold, and which gives some of our writers in the bee
papers so much trouble to find a way to dispose of their honey.

  (_Penna._)       H. H. FLACK.


In a village in Germany, where the number of bees kept was regulated by
law, a bad season had proved that the place was overstocked, from the
great weakness of all the colonies in the neighborhood. There was but
one exception, that of an old man who was generally set down as being no
wiser than his neighbors. The honey harvest came round, and when he had
stored away double the quantity that any of the rest had saved, he
called his friends and neighbors together, took them into his garden,
and said: “If you had been more charitable in your opinions, I would
have told you my secret before,” and he pointed to the facing of his
hives--one degree more to the east than was generally adopted. The sun
came upon his hives an hour or two sooner by the movement, and his bees
were up and stirring, and had secured a large share of the morning’s
honey before his neighbors’ bees had roused themselves for the day.


The heavy fall of snow which we have just had is very favorable for
outdoor wintering, and we would advise our readers not to shovel it away
from the hives, but if you have time put a little more on with a snow
shovel. We would much rather have ten feet of snow over hives than none
at all.

A friend of ours once told us how he had made a great mistake by digging
away the snow from some of his hives, but at the same time learned a
valuable lesson. His apiary was situated in somewhat of a valley, and
one morning after a heavy fall of snow which had been considerably
drifted, he looked out and was dismayed to see his entire apiary buried
beneath the fleecy flakes. One portion, however, was much worse than the
other--that at the north end being buried in some places ten feet deep.
The south end was not so bad, and so he determined to clear what he
could and leave the rest to perish, as he supposed. After considerable
shoveling he got about 25 colonies pretty well cleared off, and by dint
of hard work managed to keep them clear till spring. When warm weather
came these 25 colonies were flying in and out, while the snow was still
lying upon the other portion. Thinking the latter were dead he paid no
attention to them till quite late in the spring, when the tops of some
of them began to show above the snow, and what was his surprise and
delight to discover every colony in splendid condition, some of them
filled with brood, and all ready for a good season’s work, while at the
same time they had not consumed nearly so much stores as those he kept
clear of snow! Upon investigation he discovered that the heat from the
bees had melted spaces about the hives varying in size from a square
foot to a square yard, and the air from the hives became purified by
contact with the snow, while at the same time the temperature was kept
so even and was so little affected by the cold breezes of winter that
very little stores were consumed.

The method of purifying air is one which is taken advantage of by some
of our native animals. We have often amused ourselves by watching the
otter who will stay underneath the ice for hours together engaged in
fishing, and when finding it necessary to breathe will place his nose
against the ice, expel the air from his lungs when it forms a bubble
between ice and water, and then inhale it again.--_C. B. J._ (_Canada._)


(From Western Garden, Oct. ’91.

To-day’s mail brings a fine specimen plant of the New Wonder Strawberry
from J. B. Alexander, of Hartford City, Ind. It is a strong plant, and
the peculiarity about it is that it has three ripe and fourteen green
berries on it, besides quite a number of blossoms. Our readers should
try a few plants of this wonder. See Golden Rule Nursery “ad.”

       *       *       *       *       *

Some women cannot keep bees, any more than some men; but many can, and
to their great profit. Often a farmer’s wife or daughter welcomes an
occupation for the sake of its novelty, something to break up the
routine of cooking, washing and sewing; and bee-keeping, even if it
brings only a few pounds of honey for the table, is undertaken and
carried through with pleasure and delight.--_Ex._

       *       *       *       *       *

Let it be remembered, says Julia Allyn, that the more bees there are on
farms the greater will be the product of the farms; for the bees
distribute pollen and fertilize flowers more thoroughly than they can be
fertilized otherwise.

The American Bee-Keeper,




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Some of our readers being beginners, are often perplexed to know just
what methods of the many different ones advocated by our contributors
will be the best for their individual needs. Now, there are many methods
of manipulating bees and hives, any one of which followed out will bring
success. Take “Wintering” for instance. Some of the most successful
bee-keepers winter out-doors. Others in-doors. Some with chaff hives;
hives with air spaces or with outside winter cases. Some winter in
cellars, and others in special depositories or in bee houses. Each
method has its strong supporters.

About the only thing to be considered in adopting either method is the
climatic location. For instance, bees in the Southern states will not
winter well in cellars, nor are chaff hives necessary, while in the
Northern states, outside cases packed, dead air spaces, chaff hives or
in-door wintering is a necessity.

A great many letters of complaint have been received from persons to
whom we have been sending the BEE-KEEPER, because we asked them to pay
for it. Many of them say they never subscribed and do not think they
should be compelled to pay. We do not send this magazine to anyone
unless ordered to do so, excepting to the former subscribers of the
_Advance Bee-Hive_ and _Bee World_, whose subscription lists we have
purchased, and we have continued after their original subscriptions have
expired, excepting when ordered to stop doing so by the subscribers
themselves. We have frequently mentioned the necessity of ordering us to
stop if the magazine was not wanted, and have sent postal card notices
to to those whose subscriptions have expired six months back or more.
Now, we do not wish any one to take this magazine against their wishes,
nor pay for it either, but we do wish you would notify us on a postal
card or otherwise, if you want it stopped when your subscription

       *       *       *       *       *

The Paddock Pure Food Bill now before the United States Senate is one in
which every bee-keeper should be interested. The bill provides for the
prevention, by government inspection, of the mis-branding or
mis-labelling of all articles of food and drugs. In other words, if a
can containing honey is marked “Pure Honey,” it will necessarily be
exactly what the name implies, and not an adulteration.

       *       *       *       *       *

We have been making an extensive inquiry as to the styles of hives in
most general use throughout the country, especially in the Eastern and
Middle states, and we wish our friends would send in their views in
regard to the advantages of the Simplicity or Langstroth style of hives
over the old style box hives. Send it to us either as a regular
contribution or correspondence for publication.

       *       *       *       *       *

We notice in _Gleanings_, _The Review_, _Progressive Bee-Keeper_ and
other journals the “ad.” of the “Chicago Bee-Keeper’s Supply Company,”
in which they state their office as being 68-70 South Canal Street.,
Chicago. Parties interested have endeavored to find such a concern at
this street number but they have failed to do so. A man by the name of
Kline, claiming to be the secretary of the company, offered this
magazine a very liberal “ad.” some months ago, but as our information
regarding the concern was not satisfactory we declined to accept the
“ad.” All bee-keepers will do well to deal only with old established
manufacturers and dealers.

       *       *       *       *       *

Hereafter we will put the name of the state in which they are written at
the end of all articles, so that our readers will know that a method or
system advanced by a bee-keeper in Georgia, for instance, will not be of
much use to any one in this state, especially if it relates to handling

       *       *       *       *       *

C. H. Dibbern is not satisfied with his bee escape invented the latter
part of last season, and claims now that he has another almost perfected
which will beat anything yet. A great man on bee escapes is our friend
Dibbern. By the way, M. E. Hastings has recently invented an escape
something on the principle of the Porter, which appears to be about
perfect. We will endeavor to give an illustration and description of it
next month.

       *       *       *       *       *

Edward R. Newcomb, formerly of Pleasant Valley, N. Y., has moved to
Chicago and has given up his supply business; also the manufacture of
the Stanley Automatic Extractor.

       *       *       *       *       *

Everyone whose subscription has expired, or is about to expire, will do
well to take advantage of our seed offer given in another column; a
$1.50 box of seeds, &c., for only 25 cents.

       *       *       *       *       *

The ever-increasing migration to the Tropics from American ports will
probably receive a fresh stimulus from the article on the Highlands of
Jamaica, which Lady Blake, the wife of the Governor of Jamaica,
contributes to the March number of the _North American Review_.

       *       *       *       *       *


This week’s issue of _Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper_ being the
colored number, contains a beautiful page of portraits of the handsome
women of Chili, a sleighing scene in Chicago, character sketches from
the tenth annual dinner of the famous Clover Club of Philadelphia,
illustration of the Young Women’s Christian Association and Margaret
Louisa Home of New York City, and of the “Captain Prat,” the formidable
Chilian ironclad. The Children’s Department contains a beautiful story
entitled “Majorie’s Valentine,” and the Graphological Department is full
of interest, while the fashion letter and editorial pages, together with
the beautiful colored front page, make this number the handsomest that
the Arkell Weekly Company has ever published. Price only 10 cents; 12
numbers $1.00, with flower premiums catalogued at $1.25 by Messrs. Peter
Henderson & Co., $1.25.

       *       *       *       *       *

The complete novel in _Lippincott’s Magazine_ for March, “A Soldier’s
Secret,” is by Captain Charles King, who alone among living Americans
has the secret of the military tale. What he does not know about army
life in the West is not worth knowing, and what he knows he can impart
with unsurpassed and unfailing charm. The post, the bivouac, the
battlefield,--whatever goes on at these he makes to live again before
us; for he has been a part of it all, and his heart is with the cavalry
still. His last story has a very recent theme; the Sioux war of
1890,--and will be found equal to any of his previous work.

       *       *       *       *       *


We are in want of bees wax and will pay 25 to 27 cents per pound cash,
or 28 to 30 cents in trade for good to choice pure bees wax delivered at
Falconer, N. Y. If you have any, box it up and ship it to us by freight
or express, (which ever is cheapest). Be sure and send it to us at
Falconer, N. Y., and write your name also on the package so we will know
from whom it comes, also write us at the time you ship.

       *       *       *       *       *

COLORED AND CULL SECTIONS very cheap. We have several thousand 4¼ × 4¼ ×
1⅞ and 1 15-16 sections which are not first class, some being very poor
and others good; altogether they are a fair lot and very cheap at $1.50
per thousand, which is the price at which we will sell them.

       *       *       *       *       *

ALSIKE CLOVER SEED is considerably higher price now than quoted on page
27 of our catalogue. We can now supply a limited quantity at 25 cents
per pound, $3.00 per peck or $11.00 per bu. Postage 9 cents per lb. if
by mail. Price subject to change without notice.

       *       *       *       *       *

We wish to call attention to the fact that we can furnish the _Hastings
Feeders_ to anyone wanting them. They are first class, and in some ways
much better than any other in use. The price is 30 cents each; $3.00 per
dozen. Postage 13 cents each extra.

[Transcriber’s Note:

Obvious printer errors corrected silently.

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation are as in the original.]

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