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Title: The American Apiculturist. Vol. III. No. 6, June 15, 1885 - A Journal Devoted to Scientific and Practical Beekeeping
Author: Various
Language: English
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  The American Apiculturist.

  A Journal Devoted to Scientific and Practical Beekeeping.


  Published Monthly.      S. M. LOCKE, Publisher & Prop’r.

  VOL. III.      WENHAM, MASS., JUNE 15, 1885.      No. 6.


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All communications should be addressed to S. M. LOCKE & CO., Wenham,



This subject may be regarded from two standpoints--that of the man who,
with income assured from other sources, pursues beekeeping for its
pleasure; and that of the man who, wishing to increase his slender
income, or actually make an income, turns to beekeeping with a view to
profit on the capital and labor to be invested. But, as to the latter
are denied none of the pleasures enjoyed by the former, it is from the
latter standpoint alone that I shall review the subject.

Beekeeping is, strictly speaking, a branch of agriculture, and many a
farmer is to-day getting a greater return from his investment in bees
than that received from any of his other stock; but right here I say
that beekeeping as a pursuit has to-day become a “specialty.” The man
who enters upon this pursuit (leaving the question of capital aside)
must be one endowed with physical and mental ability; a man with open
eyes and ears, one ready for emergencies, prompt to do what is necessary
at once, and one who is not easily discouraged.

The physical ability is required because beekeeping demands real hard
work--yes, back-aching work--not suitable to the sick ladies and
gentlemen so often ill-advised to go into beekeeping. The mental ability
is required to keep the beekeeper abreast of the times and its rapidly
changing conditions. Beekeeping is now a science, a study, and the
conditions which govern one season, or colony of bees, will be
completely changed for the next. Every stage in the life of a colony of
bees requires to be understood. There must be no “guessing,” and this
will bring us to the cultivation of the habit of observation, and a
disposition to hear all that one can upon the special subject.

Emergencies will occur needing heroic treatment, but the beekeeper with
mind and hand trained by experience and thoughtful consideration of his
“specialty,” will rise superior to any occasion, and when discouragement
comes, as it inevitably will, in the words of the immortal Longfellow,
“He will look not mournfully into the past, it comes not back again, but
wisely improve the future for it is his.”

Pleasure and profit go hand in hand, as a rule, in this specialty,
although the former is not unalloyed by a liberal application of the
“business end” of the little busy bee, and the latter by a recurrence of
poor honey seasons. In nature are found both the beautiful and the
sublime; in the hive both are constantly under the beekeeper’s eye,
teaching him to look with amazement from “nature up to nature’s God.” As
he views his hive and sees the city grow, and population increase, the
waxen walls, and stores well filled, the free-born citizen hurrying to
and fro, each with his special task, outside of the thoughts of profit
will come to the most unimpressionable, thoughts of wonder and
admiration for the works of that great Architect of the universe who
said, “Let there be life and there was life.”

The profits of beekeeping are what? To many a one they hold out the
hopes of “the glorious privilege of being independent;” and to obtain
these profits the specialist, gifted with the requisite mental and
physical qualities, must be “the right man in the right place.” He must
have hives of the movable-frame order. Moses Quinby wrote thus, in 1858:
“There is not the least doubt, in my mind, that whoever realizes the
greatest profit from his bees will have to retain the movable combs in
some form;” and who of us will gainsay this to-day? Out of the many
styles of movable-comb hives now in existence, the beekeeper will select
one best fitted for the business in which he means to engage, be it the
production of comb or extracted honey, queen-rearing, bee-selling, or a
combination of all.

The specialist who intends to rear bees for sale will do well to employ
that hive which will take the size and style of frame most in use in the
district in which he resides. Interchangeability of parts is a grand
secret of success, and the beekeeper who can sell a colony of bees, or
buy a colony well knowing that each and every frame is usable in his own
or his neighbors’ hives, has made a step in the right direction. The
main points in a good hive are, “Simplicity of construction, combining
plenty of bee-space with perfect ease of manipulation.”

The race of bees will next engage the specialist’s attention. Study and
experience, and also the actual line of business engaged in, will best
decide this point. The black, the Italian, the Syrian, the Cyprian, and
the Carniolan, alike have their votaries. At present, for all purposes
of sale and honey-gathering, the Ligurian or Italian-Alp bee is the
principal one in demand; but the very best race of bees will afford but
little profit unless the queens are carefully looked after. As fast as
signs of senility appear, these should be removed and their places
supplied by younger and more vigorous queens. The apiarist for profit
should not only rear queens, but know how, when and where to replace
them. He should also know the requisites of a good queen, and how to
judge of her progeny.

Pasture to the beekeeper is everything; if that be poor, his returns
will be poor; hence he should carefully examine his location. Districts
vary greatly in their flora, and by a careful study of this question
before locating, disappointment will be avoided. The beekeeper should be
a walking calendar of the flora of his neighborhood for miles around,
then, as the honey comes pouring in, he can tell its source and label it
accordingly. This knowledge will enable him to build up colonies, and
follow the old advice, “Keep your colonies strong;” so that when the
honey does come, there are bees to gather it in.

The management of bees kept for profit will vary according to the object
of the beekeeper, whether it be the production of honey or the rearing
of bees or queens. In running for honey alone, we have the swarming and
the non-swarming methods. The experiences of good bee-men are so
diversified that one is reminded of the old saying, “when doctors
differ, the patient dies.” The bee-man must strike out his own line of
action suitable to his own special circumstances. In running for
extracted honey, swarming is, to a great extent, controlled, for
“Poverty maketh humble;” but I insist that the good bee-man will know
the condition of each hive, and act accordingly.

The specialist is a man who reads, and although he may not get or use a
single one of the many traps, or patent articles now offered, he should
know all about them; for at any moment, what he has read about these
things may give him an idea, the successful carrying out of which may
help him over a difficulty. The capacity of the beekeeper to attend to a
certain number of colonies, be it greater or less, will have a great
influence on the profits of the pursuit. As a pursuit, beekeeping should
not be entered into without careful thought and consideration as to the
capital required, the location and the suitability of the employment to
one’s temperament. To-day, before embarking in the business, it is
possible for the intending beekeeper to serve an actual and willing
apprenticeship in the yards of well-known and successful bee-masters. I
need dwell not upon the advantages of this plan for they are obvious.

To the enthusiast with but small experience, I would say, “Go slow!”
Read the good bee-literature now so easy to be obtained, and never be
above learning from others. Visit beekeepers wherever you can enjoy the
privilege, attend bee-conventions, and gradually a store of knowledge
will be gathered upon which you will draw with profit later on.

Profitable beekeeping as a pursuit is, to my mind, the outcome of the
union of two great factors--“talent” and “tact;” for “talent is power,
tact is skill; talent is wealth, tact is ready money; talent knows what
to do, tact knows how to do it; talent makes the world wonder that it
gets on no faster, tact excites astonishment that it gets on so fast;
talent may obtain a living, but tact will make one. Talent convinces,
tact converts; talent is an honor to the profession, tact has the knack
of slipping into good places, and keeping them; it seems to know
everything without learning anything: it has no left hand, no deaf ear,
no blind side, with a full knowledge of the Pythagorean doctrine, ‘that
a man ought rather to be silent, or say something better than silence.’”

I submit these remarks to my fellow beekeepers, being painfully
conscious of many shortcomings from the high standard of excellence that
man should attend to who in these days goes into “beekeeping as a

_Germantown, Pa._



To whom does the invention belong? From articles lately appearing in
_Gleanings in Bee Culture_, and editorial comments thereon, I think
there is a misapprehension of what the above invention consists, or what
it really is, and whose property it is. The above-mentioned articles and
editorials are, I feel, doing me an injustice, and have a tendency,
virtually, to rob me of all the benefits, to say nothing of the
“honors,” of the discovery, which I had considered to be _my property_.

As to what constitutes my invention, I will quote from my article in the
_A. B. Journal_, page 57, in reply to Mr. Heddon’s claim to the
invention of the frame illustrated in _Gleanings_, page 104.

“At the annual meeting of the Southeastern Michigan Beekeepers’
Association, held at Adrian, Mich., Jan. 23, 1884, I exhibited samples
of a device for reversing brood-frames, which device, or plan, suspended
the frame by strips of wood, or metal, which strips were pivoted to the
centre of the end-bars, and extended up to the top of the frame, there
forming projecting arms to rest on the rabbets, and allowing the frame
to revolve on these pivots.

In describing the device before the convention, I distinctly claimed as
my invention, the plan of suspending the frame between side-strips
pivoted to the end-bars, as described.”

Previous to the illustration and description of my device, all
reversible-frames had fixtures at both _top_ and _bottom_; see
_Gleanings_ for 1882, page 71, also 1883, page 65, Burgess’ device;
1884, page 155, Baldridge’s device; and 1884, page 332, Hetherington’s
device. These attachments were entirely different in principle from the
“Howes’ Supports.” No one had ever suggested revolving the frames on
“_centre pivots_,” previous to the illustration, and description of my
frame in Gleanings for 1884, page 156.

Soon after I began to manufacture and sell Howes’ Reversible Frame and
Supports,--as advertised in _Gleanings_, for 1884, page 285,--reversing
devices began to appear from all quarters; both men and women joining in
the scramble for the “honor,” if not for the profits of the invention;
each one suspending the frame by “_centre pivots_,” as I had described
them. Several used hoop-iron bent at a right angle to form projecting
arm. (Prof. Cook at the Michigan convention claimed to have tried this
plan, though a lady, I think, first described it in _Gleanings_).

Mr. Root has often, through _Gleanings_, acknowledged that these
different devices are, practically the same thing as the “_Howes’
Support_;” still he does not hesitate to manufacture, advertise and sell
them, as if the invention was common property. (See editorial remarks in
_Gleanings_; page 74, describing Mr. Nuzvinis’ device; then Editorial in
next number, page 104, on the same subject.)

I submit the question, in all seriousness. Does not this state of things
_justify_ anyone, in securing his rights to the labor of his brain, by
a _patent_, as provided by law? If a better device, to secure the
results aimed at, by reversing the brood-combs, shall be discovered, I
shall be glad to adopt it, in my own apiary, and will, willingly, pay
for the privilege. Until then, I request all to “please keep off my

_Adrian, Mich., Feb. 7, 1885._



Which is the most profitable race of bees regarding brooding,
comb-building, honey-gathering disposition and wintering qualities?

I have no desire to injure anyone’s business and wish merely to bring to
notice a few facts which it seems to me to have been overlooked.

Perhaps a few notes founded upon years of experience would not be out of
place, especially as my motives are entirely unselfish.

I commenced beekeeping in 1872 with one colony of gray bees in a box
hive. I purchased this hive of a neighbor whose bees seemed to be very
hardy and gentle. They are of uniform size and as large as any Italians
that I ever have seen, even when the latter were reared in comb of their
own building. I hive all my gray bees without any protection whatever
and the same when looking for queens, etc. With the Italians this would
be perfect madness.[2]

Doubtless some will say “your gentle bees must suffer from being
robbed.” Not so, my friends, they are good protectors of their homes.

I have purchased queens from some of the best breeders in the States
hoping to get the best in the market, and I never have, as yet, seen any
that will hold their own with my gray bees.

In breeding, the Italians commence a trifle earlier in spring, but they
dwindle so badly that when fruit trees bloom they are not as strong as
the gray bees.

For honey-gathering from the white and red clover the Italians and gray
bees are about equal, but when buckwheat is in bloom the grays beat the
Italians by fifty per cent.

I have wintered both races indoors and out of doors. The grays seem to
become dormant not caring to move about, while the Italians are uneasy,
crawling out of their hives and wasting away.

My gray bees have steadily increased by natural swarming[3] from the one
colony to 120, all in the same apiary; giving me, in an average season,
a nice surplus of box honey, and in a very poor season holding their own
without feeding or spring dwindling.

I think that had one-half the pains been taken to improve some of our
native bees that have been devoted to rearing foreign races, beekeeping
of to-day would be in a far better condition. It is the general result
and the general summing up that decide which is the more profitable

Of late years I have wintered my bees in a frost-proof building, and
have found it to be a great saving of honey. At some future time I will
tell your readers, if they wish, how this building is constructed so as
to carry bees safely through five months of as cold winter weather as
ever existed in my section, together with my experience in fruit raising
in connection with beekeeping and how I manage to save my natural swarms
from absconding.

This having swarms decamp to parts unknown is all wrong. I have had more
swarms come to me than I ever had desert, and the idea that bees injure
fruit blossoms is altogether erroneous. Why! we were obliged to prop up
our plum trees last season to prevent them from breaking down with the
load of plums, and of cherries we had a most bountiful crop and this
right in our apiary too.

I should be pleased to give your readers a paper on fruit and bees if it
would be acceptable.[4]

_Hooper, N. Y._



Most beekeepers wish to rear a few queens and must have for such a
purpose a few nucleus colonies.

The following plan for forming them is an easy and simple one. The
nucleus hives should be constructed of light material and about
one-third the width of the large hive, and the covers should be cleated
to prevent splitting and warping. If the hives are painted they will
last many years.

The nucleus colonies should consist of three combs and two quarts of
bees. When ready to form them, place in one of the hives two combs
containing honey and, in the centre, one containing brood, after which
add the bees. Perhaps the better way would be to remove from a full
colony a comb containing brood, together with the adhering bees, being
careful of course not to take the queen with them. In such case there
will be a sufficient number of bees on the comb to care for the brood;
if not, a few more may be brushed from another comb into the hive.

After the combs and bees have been placed in the hive, confine the
latter to the hives for thirty-six hours and release them early on the
morning of the third day.

Do not remove the screen (with which they have been confined) from the
entrance except just before dark or early in the morning; as, if
released in the middle of the day, the bees would rush out and many
would not return.

After having been confined in the hive for thirty-six hours, the bees
will have constructed several queen cells and when released will return
to the new location.

A matured queen cell may be given them at this time; or, when they have
been queenless seventy-two hours, a virgin queen can be introduced

Before releasing the bees the nuclei should be placed some distance from
the stands from which the bees were taken. While the bees are confined
in the hives they should be supplied with water. For such purpose I find
the cone feeder very useful.

If the reader has studied the article in the May number in reference to
the drone trap he is prepared to have his queens purely mated with any
particular strain of drones in the apiary.

_Wenham, Mass._



_R. F. Holterman, Translator._

(Continued from p. 90, Vol. III.)


It is a principle in beekeeping if one desires to derive a benefit from
his bees, to see that one keeps very populous colonies. The mere number
of colonies has nothing to do with amount of value; but their strength,
the number of inhabitants in a hive, is the measure of its worth. One
single populous colony is worth more and will store more honey than four
weak ones. In fourteen days the one will bring in more honey than the
four will in four weeks.

I place a strong colony at 40,000 working bees; of these 13,000 to
16,000 can daily fly out and bring in stores; the remainder stay at home
to care for the brood, to build comb, and to perform such other duties
as may be required of them.[5]

Of four weak colonies, however, each calculated at 12,000 workers, only
4,000 can fly out leaving 8,000 at home. These four colonies together
not only cannot send to the fields as many workers as the one strong
one, but they also labor under many disadvantages.

It may be good weather for eight days and the flow of honey abundant and
the strong colony may in that time gather all its winter stores, but the
weak ones can take only sufficient advantage to gather at most
one-fourth of the required stores. If unfavorable weather should follow,
and the flow of honey cease, the strong colony is supplied and the four
weak ones are lost in the winter if they be not fed, which latter is
associated with much expense, trouble and inconvenience and even then
often fails, not to mention the facts that the weaker ones cannot depend
upon themselves as well against robbers, moths, ants, etc.; and in
winter they cannot maintain the proper warmth as well, are more liable
to be frozen, and are less able to stand the changes in temperature.

They cannot rear brood as early as the strong one and there are many
advantages the strong one has over the weaker, one of the most prominent
of which is that the strong one displays more energy and is more
industrious than the weaker.


As important and well known as the fact now is of having the colonies
strong, one cannot make them so if they are kept in the common, simple
straw basket where one does nothing but destroy in a slovenly way,
especially farmers. In the fall they take the heaviest and lightest
colonies and in a sinful and thoughtless manner kill and smother its
inhabitants thus doing themselves a deliberate injury, as if they
permitted these useful creatures, these patterns of industry, to live,
they would gain far more.

I once saw a beekeeper take a very heavy colony consisting of two
colonies which in swarming clustered together, and smother them, because
he thought that owing to the large number of bees the colony might not
have enough winter stores. Yes! a clown of a fellow actually burned with
straw his young swarms, because they came rather late. But I do not
intend to occupy my time describing the wrong mode of keeping bees, as
through the length and breadth of the land this has been so passionately
spoken of and they will learn, only as matters progress, to adopt a
better mode of beekeeping.


If one wishes to build up populous colonies, one must commence by
controlling swarming: namely, swarming often. To do this, one must
provide roomy dwellings and those that can be enlarged gradually;
without this the object would fail. If one should give the bees a large
dwelling at once they would become discouraged and would not half fill
the hive and there would be many other disadvantages.

The dwelling must also be arranged in such a manner that the bees can be
handled with ease and without damage to the bees, or ever to have to
destroy the latter to enjoy the product of their industry and control
their surplus in honey and wax.

All this is required; but now as to the care of the “magazine.”

As the bees conduct their domestic affairs within a limited space and
they from time to time according to the demands of time, attentions,
etc., are increased or diminished, one generally makes them of straw (at
least I have seen no others) and lathes which are very useful, if not
too large (as they generally are); nevertheless, these straw “storing
cases” have several drawbacks which I have found by observation and
manipulation. Thus, some years ago, I conceived the idea of making, as
far as possible, those that were more complete and convenient; to that
end I made wooden four-cornered hives of boards and put in the same at
least one pane of glass which, although only costing but little, is of
inestimable value.

I improved on these until I found the most useful and convenient to

The samples that I have I not only had myself for several years, but I
also made some for good friends, and others made copies of them and
their great value makes me recommend them unhesitatingly. These hives
are very little more expensive than straw (if they are made plain and
cheap), they last longer, are better and more convenient and can be made
anywhere, while men who can make straw hives are often difficult to get.

One should not allow himself to be frightened into thinking they are too
expensive, when conducting an extensive bee business; or that, if one
begins with them, the profits will soon disappear.

I will just describe their completeness and their general utility and
their advantages over the straw hive, more especially for the purpose of
giving guidance how to make them of the greatest use in beekeeping.

_Rodheim, Germany, July, 1783._

[_To be continued._]



My attention being called to the article headed, “Is Beekeeping
Profitable” (page 64, March No.), I will answer it to the best of my

The answers to questions 1 and 2 depend simply on the annual yield of
honey per colony, and the success attained in wintering. Should a
surplus of 100 lbs. or more be obtained from each colony (spring count),
together with a moderate increase in bees and with little or no loss in
wintering, success would be assured; but, should the average yearly
surplus amount to no more than 40 or 50 lbs. coupled with severe losses
in wintering, the business could not prove otherwise than a financial

No. 3. In this section one man can properly manipulate at least 150
colonies and their increase, make the extra hives, and extract all the
honey from them, excepting possibly, a very few days when honey is
stored more rapidly than usual.

As to tools wearing out with use, I will say that I have extracted
40,000 lbs. (20 tons), in the last two summers with a four frame
“Novice” geared extractor with no appreciable wear, and my honey knives
are as good as when first bought. A well made hive should last a
lifetime, so that the depreciation in value of utensils is more
imaginary than real.

No. 4. Given a _properly arranged hive_ and appropriate tools a man can
extract from 120 to 140 lbs. per hour, say 1200 lbs. per day.

In four successive days last July I extracted and filled into cans 5,200
lbs. of honey, working about eight hours each day extracting and filling
cans from the tanks mornings and evenings. Hives in my apiary average
about 40 lbs. each extracting.

No. 5. In regard to the number of colonies an apiarist could oversee, it
depends more on the talent and genius of the overseer than upon the
number of colonies possessed. While one man can direct and control
hundreds of employés, another cannot even manage his own labor to lead
to the best results.

At some future time I would like to describe, in your Journal, the best
and speediest methods of extracting honey in large apiaries as practised
in this country.

_Santa Paula, Cal_.



There are, properly speaking, two systems of keeping bees: the one
adapted to the needs of the expert and specialist who keeps a large
number of colonies and devotes his entire time and attention to the
pursuit; the other adapted to an apiarist who keeps bees in connection
with some other business, either for the pleasure and recreation, or for
the purpose of adding another source of income.

The latter class constitute the majority of the beekeeping fraternity
and only too often are their needs overlooked by those who write upon
the subject of apiculture.

While we are aware that if one is adapted to beekeeping, and enters into
it properly in a favorable location and masters it that success will
follow; yet, as a rule, we advise keeping bees in connection with some
other vocation, as when one becomes thoroughly familiar with all the
requirements of beekeeping it is an easy matter to enlarge his apiary.
Then, again, a few colonies properly managed will generally give far
better results than can be obtained from a large apiary.

Those who are just commencing should remember that the less they handle
their bees, and yet accomplish what may be required, the better for
their colonies.

If one is naturally nervous, it is best to wear a bee veil at first and
when manipulating the colonies work gently and avoid jarring or fretting

When looking for the queen, blow a little smoke in at the entrance as
this causes the queen to run up on the comb and the bees that may be
running about on the bottom board will fill with honey.

One of the first steps for the beginner is to decide, as far as
possible, to which class he intends to belong, and what amount of
capital he can safely invest.

Where one has a limited capital and wishes to become an expert or a
specialist, it is far better to begin on a small scale and gradually
increase his number of colonies making them pay their way and also
furnish funds for new investments.

If your first lessons have been gleaned from flaming advertisements or
reports of enormous yields, or through reading some of the overdrawn
works on apiculture (so written with the purpose of making new
converts), just take some wholesome, practical food for study and
thought, both by securing one or more of the works on practical
apiculture mentioned in this journal, and by visiting some practical and
successful apiarist. In this way, you will be prepared to look at both
sides; and if, after doing this, you enter into beekeeping with a
determination to succeed you are certain to make it pay, provided you
are adapted to the business, and other things are equal.

There is not the slightest reason why nearly every person who has a
fair-sized garden should not keep a few colonies of bees and thus
provide the table with nature’s purest and most healthful sweets.
Success in any vocation always means hard work, together with push,
tact, and energy. Thousands embark each year on the sea of business
enterprise and the shoals and quicksands are strewn with stranded
wrecks, yet there are those who, by rigid economy and shrewd management,
accumulate a competency besides establishing a good remunerative

Our advice to those who wish to engage in beekeeping would as a rule be
this. If at present you have no location, look about you and find a
small place of from one to ten acres according to your means and the

It is better to have the land slope to the south and east if possible
and it should be well protected from the cold north and west winds.
Perhaps you can rent or lease a place adapted to your needs. The
surrounding country should be well supplied with bee pasturage in the
shape of orchards, clover, basswood (if possible), wild flowers or many
others that we might name but which are described in most of the works
on apiculture.

Where one is located in the city or village and means to keep only a few
colonies this advice is unnecessary, but with all others it is
imperative that they locate in a good honey-producing district.

It is also best to learn if there are many bees kept where you wish to
locate; as, while there is no law to prevent your establishing an apiary
by the side of your neighbor, yet the latter has rights which it is
proper and just to respect. This again will not matter without you
intend to build up a large apiary.

One may secure a large yield of honey and yet find a poor market for it;
hence it is always best to take into consideration the advantages for
establishing a good home market. It will pay far better than shipping to
large markets and giving all your profits to commission men.

There are so many items of interest which should serve as an
introduction to these papers that we hardly know where to stop and must
be necessarily brief and even leave many of them until we write again.
In purchasing bees it is best if you want but from one to five colonies
to purchase them of some reliable dealer and always select a standard
frame, and it will pay you well to look into the merits of the various
frames before making your purchase.

While for some reasons we prefer a frame about 10 × 15, yet as the
“Langstroth Standard” is now so largely in use and is no objection as
regards wintering the bees, we deem it best to adopt it in our own

Circumstances must in a great measure control these matters, but
whatever style is adopted it should be adhered to, else much trouble and
expense will result.

We deem the tenement hive the best for all purposes. True, the first
cost is somewhat greater, but in the end it pays.

The hives should be constructed in as simple a manner as possible, and
while if one wants but a few he can make them after obtaining his colony
of bees and estimating the size of the brood chamber; yet it is much
better if he wants five or more hives to purchase them in the flat.

While we prefer for working bees a cross between the Italian and
Holylands (from Syria), yet as a rule we would recommend the Italian as
the _best_ for the average beekeeper. Experience will teach one which is
the best race.

We shall endeavor to give illustrations of different styles of hives in
our next paper but have been too busy to attend to it this month.

Our first advice is “Make haste slowly,” but “stick to it” until you
have either mastered the business or found that you were better adapted
to some other vocation.



(Continued from p. 95, Vol III.)

Solicitous to learn its origin, and conjecturing that it might be
masculine matter, he began to watch the motions of every drone in the
hive, on purpose to seize the moment when it should be received by the

He assures us, that he saw several drones insinuate the posterior part
of the body into the cells for that purpose. After frequent repetition
of the first he entered on a long series of other experiments.

There was something very specious in this explanation: the experiments
on which it was founded seemed correct; and it afforded a satisfactory
reason for the prodigious number of males in a hive. At the same time
the author had neglected to obviate one strong objection: larvæ appear
when there are no drones.

From the month of September until April, hives are generally destitute
of males; yet, notwithstanding their absence, the queen then lays
fertile eggs.

Thus the prolific matter cannot be required for their impregnation,
unless we shall suppose that it is necessary at a certain time of the
year, while at every other season it is useless.

To discover the truth amidst these facts, apparently so contradictory, I
determined to repeat Mr. Debraw’s experiments, and to observe more
precaution than he himself had done. First, I sought for that matter
which he supposes _the prolific_ in cells containing eggs. Several were
actually found with such an appearance, and during the first day of
observation, neither my assistant nor myself doubted the reality of the
discovery. But we afterwards found it an illusion arising from the
reflection of the light for nothing like a fluid was visible except when
the solar rays reached the bottom of the cells. This part is commonly
covered by shining fragments of the cocoons of worms successively
hatched, and the reflection of the light from these when much
illuminated, produces an illusory effect. We proved it by the strictest
examination for no vestiges of a fluid were perceptible when the cells
were detached and cut asunder.

Though the first observation inspired us with some distrust of Mr.
Debraw’s discovery, we repeated his other experiments with the utmost

On the 6th of August, 1787, we immersed a hive, and with scrupulous
attention examined all the bees while in the bath. We ascertained that
there was no male, either large or small, and having examined every comb
we found neither male nymph nor worm. When the bees were dry we replaced
the whole, along with the queen in their habitation, and transported
them into my cabinet. They were allowed full liberty; therefore they
flew about and made their usual collections; but it being necessary that
no male should enter the hive during the experiment, a glass tube was
adapted to the entrance, of such dimensions that two bees only could
pass at once; and we watched the tube attentively during the four or
five days that the experiment continued. We should have instantly
observed, and removed any male appearing, that the result of the
experiment might be undisturbed, and I can positively affirm that not
one was seen.

However, from the first day which was the 6th of August, the queen
deposited fourteen eggs in the workers’ cells; and all these were
hatched on the tenth of the same month.

[_To be continued._]


Doubtless our friends will not take it amiss if we give but a brief
editorial this month. Our new enterprise is receiving such hearty
endorsement from every quarter that we must conclude that we have taken
the right step after all. We only ask that the reader and our customers
bear patiently with us for a while. The season has been so backward that
we are in a rush but shall be amply able to meet all demands.

We have not utilized the question and answer department this month as
the amount of work that we have been obliged to perform has been simply
enormous, but we shall soon have that department in running order again.

We would urge upon our readers the importance of creating a home demand
for honey this season in order that we may not have a glutted honey
market with which to contend.

Work hard at the State conventions to have county associations formed;
these are the educators that will prove the gateway to a home demand.

Prepare to make first-class exhibitions at county fairs next fall: it
will pay. It may seem as though this advice was premature, but we have
none too much time to prepare for these fairs.

Remember that if we ever have a permanent market for our honey the
beekeepers must make it.

We wish our readers to come to us with their experiences, successes and
failures and we shall endeavor to give them such instruction as will
aid them in their work.

Do not fail to send for a few of our “Companions” and distribute them
for us; it will be but little trouble and will aid us wonderfully in
building up our subscription list.

We are preparing to give our readers a large number of illustrations and
as our list increases we shall be able to add many new and interesting
features to our Journal.

We have already sent out 5,000 “Companions” within the last two weeks,
and the call is so great that we are printing 5,000 more.


On account of the many duties devolving upon us in establishing our bee
farm we have not as yet been able to carry out any of the experiments
that we mean to test for the benefit of our readers.

While for the purpose of experimenting we shall devote some colonies to
the production of honey, both comb and extracted, yet this season’s
operations will be confined almost exclusively to queen-rearing.

We start with about one hundred colonies of the different races of bees.
The season thus far (in this locality) has been unusually backward and
trying, giving us but little warm, pleasant weather and but few days
when the bees could gather honey freely.

Last winter most of our colonies were wintered in the beehouse and were
removed to the summer stands, about the 28th of March, in fine condition
and there seemed to be but little difference between their condition and
that of those wintered on the summer stands. The first work of the
season commenced when the bees were removed from the beehouse. The
hives were cleared (as much as possible without removing the combs) of
dead bees; the honey boards with which the hives were covered during
winter were removed and replaced with mats on the top of which chaff
cushions were placed.

We kept our colonies well packed that they might be snug and warm even
during the sudden changes in temperature and we make it a rule never to
remove such packing until warm weather has “come to stay.”

As soon as the bees could be handled safely the colonies were examined
and all combs outside the cluster were removed. This is an excellent
practice, as by reducing the capacity of the brood chamber to the size
of the cluster we enable the bees to maintain sufficient heat to carry
on brood-rearing much more rapidly than when they are surrounded by a
cold vacant space.

At the time of setting out the bees, the entrances to the hives were all
contracted to about one inch and it is wonderful to see what a help this
is to the bees in keeping the hive warm.

In a few days after being removed from the bee-house the bees were
busily engaged in carrying in the artificial pollen (wheat flour) which
we provided for them placing it near by in the apiary.

Brood-rearing soon commenced and in about four weeks the colonies began
to show marked signs of increase.

Soon we found it necessary to add empty combs wherein the queens might
deposit eggs. While in the hands of the expert this is a safe and sure
method of building up the colonies rapidly, yet it must be conducted
with caution else during a warm spell the queens may utilize more combs
than the bees can cluster and thus neglect the brood in the outside
combs which in such case must perish. Never spread brood faster than it
can be covered and well protected by the bees even during the cool
nights. During the last few days in April the weather was favorable for
honey gathering and a few pounds were stored by each colony from the
soft maple bloom.

Our colonies have been so well protected that they were not troubled
with spring dwindling and soon they became so strong in numbers as to be
in fine condition for queen-rearing.

It is poor policy both for the breeder and for the honey producer to
attempt to rear queens with any but the most populous colonies if they
want first-class queens.

At this date we have between 300 and 400 queen cells in all stages of
construction and quite a large number of queens ready for fertilization.

Our queen-rearing is conducted by the methods given in the _Beekeepers’
Handy Book_; and, indeed, after having practised all the various
methods, we would as soon think of going back to the old box-hive system
of keeping bees as to practise the old unsatisfactory and uncertain
methods of rearing queen bees.

It is a pleasure to examine the nice evenly built and conveniently
spaced rows of cells found in the queen-rearing colonies now under Mr.
Alley’s supervision. It is indeed a most interesting sight and one that
we would be pleased to share with our beekeeping friends to whom we
extend a most cordial invitation to visit us. We shall endeavor to
impart to all our visitors all the information possible regarding
queen-rearing and the general management of the apiary as conducted at
our “bee farm.” At present we have four races of bees from which we are
propagating queens, prominent among which are the orange-yellow
Italians. We confidently assert that we never saw or possessed a more
beautiful or hardy strain of pure Italian bees.

We shall run four separate apiaries situated about three miles apart in
order to keep each race strictly pure.

We have set out one hundred “prickly comfrey” plants, purchased of Mr.
Arthur Todd of Philadelphia, Pa., and shall refer to them again later in
the season. We have also sown one and a half acres of Bokhara clover for
the bees and it will pay our readers to utilize every waste spot (at
least) with either or both of the above. Increase in pasturage means
increase in surplus honey. It is now time to prepare for the coming
honey harvest and indeed in many sections of the country the surplus
boxes have been placed in the hives, or the honey extractor resorted to.
When the colonies that are to be run for section honey become populous
and begin to build white comb along the edges of the top bars, and
perhaps between the combs, it is well to place one set of sections on
the hives but they should have only the amount of surplus room that they
can utilize and other sections should be added as they are needed.

A piece of comb foundation one-half the size of the section, cut in the
shape of a triangle and attached point downward, will be a wonderful
help to the bees and prove a paying investment to the apiarist.

If some colonies seem strong but do not utilize the sections readily,
just exchange their empty sections with partially filled sets (bees and
all) from other colonies. This is a plan practised more than twenty-five
years ago by Mr. Alley and Mr. John J. Gould, formerly of Wenham. Mr. G.
was at one time one of the largest beekeepers in this State.

Mr. Pond, however, credits a beekeeper in Maine with being the
originator of this most excellent plan for inducing the bees to enter
the sections.

There is one disadvantage in connection with this practice that Mr.
Pond and others fail to give.

It often happens that when a colony at work in the sections is
disturbed, the queens will run up into the latter and in the removal may
be lost. To prevent this make as little disturbance in the transferring
as possible and smoke down, into the hive, all the bees that cluster on
the tops of the frames.

The bees removed with the sections will not quarrel with their new

There are many items that would prove interesting to our readers but we
have already devoted more space than we intended to this department and
must await another opportunity.




Your beautiful book, Vols. I and II of the “American Apiculturist,” is
before me and its contents noted. It seems to fill the bill, being
replete with items of importance especially to the more advanced
apiarist. While we cannot forget the labors of a Langstroth, a Quinby,
and a few other dear names, your work fills a more modern want, and if
you keep in view the interest of honey producers, as I do not doubt you
will, you ought to meet with success. I have been in the business of
raising and marketing comb-honey about 35 years. Made a little at it
once, but of late years it hardly pays. The injudicious use of the honey
extractor has been a great damage to us as beekeepers, and it is the
only thing I know of that can injure your success. This engine bee
business is a mistake. Some are clamoring for a large iron extractor,
that will extract not less than four combs in no time. I suppose their
reason for it is that the larvæ will not expire under the operation.
Some do not relish larval honey anyway, and Joseph prefers quality to
quantity, nor does he believe it benefits brood or comb to be violently
whirled in the vortex of death.

They talk about a glutted market. Well! well! honey is down and the
mourners go about the streets. What shall we do? Create a home demand? I
think friend L. C. Root has answered this question on page 48, Vol. II,
“American Apiculturist” when he says “we must devise some means of
producing smaller crops,” and I would add without diminishing our income
that we annihilate the extractor. What other method can we rationally
adopt to curtail the quantity and enhance the quality and thus keep up a
demand at home and abroad? Self interest for one is self interest for
all honey producers. It is better to make a little pay than a good deal
not pay. I am not talking for the supply business; if I were, I should
undoubtedly advocate the extractor, because what bees it does not kill
in the larval state are hastened to an untimely death by a cruel and
barbarous system, which creates a demand for fresh victims, fresh queens
and fresh workers, so that now the supply dealer alone makes anything.

When a law is passed by the Legislature against the wicked practice of
extracting honey as now carried on, it will be the happiest day that the
bee, or the beekeeper who keeps bees for profit, has seen. Of course I
do not hope to do justice to this question in so short an article, but
would submit it to your thoughtful consideration as one of the most
important questions touching the interest of the American beekeeper.

    Be gentle with the little bee
    Which toils the summer day,
    To bring its treasures to your home
    From every hidden way.
    The fragile insect needs the care
    And kindness of your heart,
    If you would win his services
    To aid you in a start.

  J. C. CLARK.

_Alden, N. Y., Apr. 15, 1885._



I drop these few lines to you to ascertain whether the “Apiculturist” is
opposed to publishing opinions of beekeepers in regard to certain hives,
in certain localities, their good and bad qualities, etc.

I sent A. I. Root my opinion of the chaff hive, in my locality, how I
lost my bees very nearly all one season, by using them; and I proved the
cause to be the fault of the hive.[7] I must have been right, or he
would certainly have published the article. At least I thought I was,
since he didn’t publish it, which is about two years ago. Now he ought
not to have been opposed to publishing my article, because I have
already read in the _Gleanings_, where he said he was always glad to
have the children write pieces for it, because, as he says, they
generally speak their mind right out, no matter whom it hits.

Now, I am no child, nor am I a professional writer; but I consider that
my article was as well gotten up as any child could get one up, and it
was just as plain spoken too, as any article a child ever wrote for
_Gleanings_, but it must have hit in the wrong place.

Now, Mr. Editor, if the “American Apiculturist” is conducted and run on
such selfish motives, I would rather have my money returned than be
considered a subscriber.

You are at liberty to publish this if you choose.

Sometime since I saw an article in one of the bee journals, in answer to
an inquiry as to the reason why a certain gentleman’s bees tore down
their worker brood and dragged it out.

The answer that he received was this: in case the honey flow ceases
suddenly, the bees will tear down their worker brood and rid themselves
of it to prevent starvation which, so far as my experience goes, I have
never found to be the case, although I have known the honey flow to
cease very suddenly and very often with me.

When the honey flow suddenly ceases it is a very common thing to see the
bees dragging out drone brood; but whenever I see any of my bees
carrying out their worker brood I know that that colony is troubled with
the moth (or wax) worm.

I then open the hive and assist the bees in ridding themselves of the
pests, and I have never yet failed to find the latter travelling along
just under the cappings of the brood, where their presence is easily
detected by white streaks which are easily followed with the head of a
large pin or the point of a knife and the worm removed without injuring
the brood in the least.

I suppose that the bees, in their efforts to secure and remove the
worms, tear out some of the worker brood.


_Pottsville, Pa._



Vols. I and II of the “Api” (bound in one) came to hand in nice shape.
Its make-up is far superior to bound vols. of papers and magazines in
general, being free from advertisements through the body of the book. In
fact one could hardly tell that it was a magazine as it has a strong
appearance of being compiled expressly for book form. The mechanical
part of the work is ahead of any volume on apiculture we know of, and of
course the literary part is _par excellence_, coming as it does from
such men as L. C. Root, A. J. Cook, J. E. Pond, Arthur Todd, etc., etc.

No apiarist who wishes to be up with the times can afford to be without
it. It is an ornament to any library.

The snow is all gone, but with the exception of a few days the weather
has been cold and May 1 and 2 it froze quite hard in the night. The
winter has been severe. The loss in bees in this county is fully 50 per
cent, yet what are left are in fair condition.

Clover appears not to have been killed during the winter and I think we
may look for a fair crop of honey if we can get our stocks strong enough
to swarm in time.

Wishing you success, I remain yours truly,


_Thorn Hill, N. Y., May 4, 1885._



Books, papers and “Apiculturist” received. Thanks.

Owing to the continued cold weather in January and February the orange
bloom is not at its prime yet at this date (March 11), so I will omit
the report of its value as a honey producer until next month.

The temperature for February was yet lower than for January. I have
taken three observations daily for the two months.

For January, at 7 A. M., average for the month 55.° At 1 P. M., in sun
and cloudy weather, highest 78°, at 8 P. M., 54.° Extreme temperature,
hottest, 98,° coolest 34.°

For February, 7 A. M., 47,° 1 P. M. in sun, 79,° 8 P. M., 53.° Highest
above 92,° lowest, 28.°

Greatest variation during seven hours, 58.°

February at 7 A. M., temperature only 7° colder; at 1 P. M. 1° hotter
and at 8 P. M., 1° colder.

January was very foggy and damp and much more uniform in temperature
than February.

Bees work every favorable day but no swarming in this vicinity this


_Sanford, Fla., March 11, 1885._


REV. J. L. ZABRISKIE.[9]--The honey-bee is a remarkably hairy insect. On
the head the hairs are dense, and of various lengths; and they cover
every part, even the compound eyes and the mandibles. The antennæ,
however, are apparently smooth, having only microscopic hairs; and a
path through the long hairs, from each ocellus, or simple eye, directly
outward,--to be described more fully presently,--is practically smooth.

The ocelli are so situated that when the bee is at rest and the face
vertical, they are directly on the top of the head, arranged as an
equilateral triangle, and one ocellus is directed to the front, one to
the right side, and one to the left[10].

Long, branching hairs on the crown of the head stand thick like a
miniature forest, so that an ocellus is scarcely discernible except from
a particular point of view; and then the observer remarks an opening
through the hairs--a cleared pathway, as it were, in such a forest--and
notes that the ocellus, looking like a glittering globe half immersed in
the substance of the head, lies at the inner end of the path. The
opening connected with the front ocellus expands forward from it like a
funnel, with an angle of about fifteen degrees. The side ocelli have
paths more narrow, but opening more vertically; so that the two together
command a field which, though hedged in anteriorly and posteriorly,
embraces, in a plane transverse, of course, to the axis of the insect’s
body, an arc of nearly one hundred and eighty degrees.

These paths through the hairs appear to me to be indications that the
ocelli are intended for distant vision, although the opinion that near
vision is their function is held by eminent opticians.

The ocelli are nearly hemispherical, and the diameter of each is about
fifteen times that of a facet of the compound eye. Such a form of lens
would, I will concede, indicate for these organs a short focus, and
hence, a fitness for near vision.

But if the ocelli are intended for near objects, it is difficult to
understand why they are surrounded by a growth of hair so dense as to
permit unobstructed vision only in a very narrow field, and why they are
so placed on the top of the head as to be debarred from seeing any
objects in the neighborhood of the mandibles and the proboscis, the
ability to see which objects would appear to be very necessary in the
constant and delicate labors of the worker honey-bee among the flowers.

Dr. Zabriskie exhibited the head of the worker honey-bee for the
purpose of illustrating the above remarks. At the conclusion of his
observations, he added: “Besides the worker honey-bee, I have brought
for exhibition the drone and the queen of the same species, and the
queen-cells; the queen of _Bombus Virginicus_, one of our native
humble-bees; the _Melissodes binotata_, male and female; the _Melissodes
pruinosa_, both sexes; the beautiful _Anthophora dispar_, male and
female of Tunis, Africa; and the celebrated little stingless bee of
Abyssinia, the _Trigona Beccarii_, which lives in immense colonies, and
stores large quantities of honey. The _Anthophora dispar_ has a very
long proboscis. The possession of such a proboscis by our own bees would
add millions of dollars annually to the wealth of the United States.”



We have to report a very heavy loss; at first one-third dead was
supposed to cover the ground, but later reports will probably bring it
nearer 50 per cent. The losses may briefly be accounted for, at least
largely: by the failure of the honey crop after clover; consequent
cessation of breeding and old bees ready for winter quarters; an unusual
consumption of stores in the fall, followed by a severe winter. Men who
stimulated breeding until a proper season, fed sufficient stores of the
right kind and at the proper time, and properly packed their bees
outside or had them in good cellars, were generally successful.
Experienced beekeepers have generally been successful as they know and
are careful about getting the proper conditions for successful

Martin Emyh, of Holbrook, wintered 178 out of 180; one winter he lost
none out of 150 and his success is fully as great in summer management.
He doubtless could give much information of value but we seldom hear of
him in public.

Most parties report bees to have died in March after the severest
weather had passed. Is this not additional proof that loss was caused by
aged bees going into winter quarters and becoming worn out, and
insufficiency of stores? One report before me gives eleven starved out
of thirteen. Bees in some localities are doing remarkably well this
spring. Fresh honey is being stored in abundance, combs having honey
from top to bottom, and here we feel confident some of our colonies,
unless there is a sudden change in the weather, will require extracting
before the end of the week and the prospects are that beekeepers will
reap an abundant harvest.

_Brantford, Ont._


--“Money in Potatoes” is the title of a valuable and instructive little
manual published by the Franklin News Co. of Phila., Pa., which they
kindly sent us for review.

--Mr. A. I. Root of Medina, Ohio, has also sent us a potato book
entitled the A B C of Potato Culture, written by T. B. Terry of Hudson,
Ohio, which is well illustrated and printed in good clear type.

Mr. Henry Alley, of Wenham, Mass., has submitted for review, the proof
sheets of the latest edition of the “Beekeeper’s Handy Book.” Our reason
for not waiting until the work was complete was because it will be
placed on the market at about the same time that our subscribers receive
their journal.

Mr. Alley’s former work was an invaluable addition to bee literature,
giving as it did, not only the most scientific, systematic and practical
method of raising queen bees, but also many other items of interest and
much valuable information, gleaned from an intimate acquaintance with
beekeeping of about twenty-seven years. The present work, however,
surpasses the former in every respect, and no beekeeper can afford to do
without it.

The instructions given have been thoroughly tested by the author who has
made a success of the business, and these instructions are presented to
the reader in a simple matter-of-fact way: They are, in fact, the
concise description of the every-day experiences, for nearly
twenty-seven years, of a thoroughly practical apiarist who has mastered
every branch of the business.

This work contains about 300 pages, and nearly one hundred

While we have other valuable works on Apiculture, yet none of them fill
the position occupied by the “Handy Book,” and no matter what works one
may have this one should be procured, as it will more than return its
cost each season.

The first part contains about 175 pages, is devoted to general subjects
of apiculture, while the second is devoted to queen-rearing.

The author, so to speak, takes the beginner out into his apiary and
gives him just the information needed to enable one who is almost wholly
unacquainted with the bees, to commence this study and continue it with
a surety of success.

He tells the beginner “how to start an apiary,” how and when to select,
pack and remove their bees, when to place the section-boxes on, how to
prevent bees from deserting surplus boxes on cool nights, and how to
strengthen weak colonies.

His description of swarming and the proper care and management of
swarms is excellent, while that pertaining to queenless colonies and
their care is very important and valuable.

The subject of comb-foundation and its manufacture is complete and
exhaustive, and is written by one of the best manufacturers of
comb-foundation in the country.

The chapter on beehives, their construction, etc., is entirely a new
departure, and original with this work. A large number of the best are
illustrated and described, also their valuable features, as claimed by
their originators.

The work also contains a brief, but interesting, description (with fine
illustrations) of the various honey producing plants, and also the
enemies of bees.

The second part, which is devoted to queen-rearing, has been revised and
corrected, and many new and valuable illustrations and items of
instruction have been added.

It is a work that we can heartily endorse and recommend as indispensable
to every beekeeper.


--Mr. J. M. Shuck who a short time since suffered a severe loss in the
burning up of his beehive stock, has just sent us his neat and
attractive circular stating that he is again prepared for business.

--We have just received from Mr. Pryal of Temescal, Cal., a complete
file of the _California Apiculturist_, which we are pleased to add to
our collection. Mr. Pryal will please accept our thanks for the same.

--We shall issue our Journal from June to December on the 15th of the

--Those who are so strictly orthodox in their opinions, especially when
criticising others, should remember that their first duty is to practise
what they preach, as their teachings will then be productive of good.

--We shall continue to issue our Journal from the Salem Press office,
but all communications should be addressed to Wenham, Mass., and when
sending money do not forget to make all postal notes or money orders
payable on Salem, Mass., post office.

--We have just received a circular and price list from Mr. B----, who is
now in Europe dealing in foreign queens and bees. The character of the
language and criticisms contained therein will not warrant us in giving
it a favorable notice. Manly criticism or counsel and advice, or one’s
opinion expressed in kindly language, always demands respect; but since
Mr. B---- has engaged in the sale of the eastern bees and queens he has
introduced some finely drawn lines of distinction between the names
given to the different races of bees from the Holy Land.

Until lately we had no trouble in understanding what was meant by the
terms Holy Land bees, Syrian bees or Palestine bees, and in order that
we may be set at rights again will some one _capable of judging_ kindly
tell us what countries are included within the boundaries of the Holy
Land (not Holy Land proper.)

Mr. B---- is not even contented to establish names of his own but makes
it a point to abuse all those who differ from him.

We trust that he may yet learn to allow others the same freedom in
expressing their opinions that he wishes himself and then abstain from
abusing them for so doing.

--We have just received from F. D. Wellcome of Poland, Maine, the
finest lot of red raspberry plants that we ever saw, they certainly do
him credit.

--As we are now publishing 5,000 copies per month of our Journal,
advertisers will do well to give it a trial.

--Use every effort to work up a home demand for your honey this season
as in most cases it will pay much better than sending it to city

--Read all our club offers for this month carefully and if you should
receive more than one copy of our Journal kindly hand the other to your
neighbor. It may do him some good and it will help us.

Better chances were never offered to secure first-class goods cheap than
will be found in our club list.

--Mr. J. C. Clark submits his communication to us for consideration, and
we would state that while the extractor in the hands of an inexperienced
apiarist or by injudicious use will doubtless prove a great injury, yet
we consider it one of the most valuable implements in a well conducted

The trouble with the “glutted” honey market comes, not from the use of
the honey extractor, or the over-production of honey, but from a lack of
proper knowledge and means of creating a demand. As a rule we do not
consider it best to extract honey from combs containing unsealed larvæ,
but one must be governed by his knowledge of and experience in this

We could not be hired to do without the extractor for many reasons.

We should be pleased to hear from Mr. Dadant on this subject, as he uses
the extractor extensively.

A few days since while we were busy at the desk, Mr. Alley called us out
into the apiary to witness a swarm of bees issuing from a hive that was
provided with one of his drone traps. It was very amusing and
interesting to watch the honey-laden bees rush pell-mell out through the
perforated metal entrance giving conclusive evidence that the
perforations were amply large to freely admit a worker bee laden either
with pollen or honey.

Soon the queen unable to force her way through at the entrance passed
into the trap. As soon as the majority of the bees had passed out we
removed the drone trap, fastened it to the end of a long pole and rested
it against a small tree near by. In a short time the bees, discovering
their queen in the trap, clustered upon it.

When the bees had become quiet we removed the trap to a convenient shady
spot near by and laying it on its side placed over it one of the
swarming boxes, covering the box with a board so as to cover the wire
cloth and make it dark within the box.

We then left the swarm in that condition for about six hours in order to
experiment with it and learn whether the queen would force her way out.

In the early evening we examined the swarm and found that the queen was
out among the bees in the swarming box, and found that as the trap was
laid on its side the bees that filled the trap formed a bridge over
which the queen could pass through the wire tube through which she
passed into the trap.

This is a valuable feature of the trap because if one cannot always be
at hand to attend to the swarms, the queen after about six hours will
find her way back into the hive again, thus preventing either her loss
or that of the bees.

We have had considerable experience with hiving swarms, but never
performed the task with such ease or so speedily as we can with the
drone trap. We can heartily endorse it as invaluable to the beekeeper
even for this one purpose alone.

We shall experiment further with the trap and give the results.

--Mr. J. D. Goodrich of East Hardwick, Vermont, has sent us some most
excellent comb foundation. The thin for sections was especially fine.

--For $3.00 cash we will send the “American Apiculturist” one year and
one of our fertilizing hives containing four combs with brood and
one-half pound of bees and a choice selected queen--the hive will also
be supplied with one of our cone feeders. With this small nucleus colony
one can rear a number of queens during the season and it will be a great
help in learning queen-rearing.

--Advertisers will please notice the change in our rates, 15 cents per
line each insertion. There are about seven words to the line, and twelve
lines to the inch. In sending copy always write it on one side of a
separate sheet of paper and be very particular to have the names,
addresses, etc., very plain.

Parties unknown to us must send cash with the order.

All copy for advertisements and manuscript must reach us by the first of
the month, if they are to appear in the following number which we shall
issue on the 15th of the month until December.


  _Des Moines, Ia._


Am in receipt of Vols. 1 & 2 of the “American Apiculturist” handsomely
bound in cloth with an enormous golden bee on the front cover. Happy
bee! to thus repose upon a production that has sprung up under the skies
of Quinby, Carey, Parsons, Elwood, Alley, Hetherington, Doolittle, L. C.
Root, and a host of northeastern beekeepers who have honored the

The attractiveness of the book and its practical teaching should find
for it a ready sale.

  J. M. SHUCK.

  _Willamina, Yarnhill Co., Ore_.
  _April 22, 1885._


I have just received your first and second volumes bound together in
cloth, and must say that it exceeds my greatest expectations. Every
beekeeper should have it.


Pres. of the Willamette Valley B. A.

  _Oxford, Butler Co., Ohio._


Vols. 1 & 2 of the “Apiculturist” received, and after carefully
examining its contents, I have no hesitancy in pronouncing it fully up
to any bee journal published. Its contributors are first-class, and show
by their articles that they are men of ability. I highly approve of your
treatment and condemnation of fraud in every shape. I am pleased to meet
with the familiar face of our old friend Mr. Langstroth in Vol. 2. He
lives within 200 yards of me, and is one of the dearest old men I ever
knew. A person has only to know him to appreciate his worth.


_Battle Ground, Ind., April 13, 1885._

_Dear Sir_:

The “Am. Apiculturist” came safe to hand, and having examined its
contents, or rather the headings of the major part of the book, I
pronounce it _ne plus ultra_. It should be in the hands of every
respectable beekeeper of our broad land, it being complete and full of
most useful knowledge. With many thanks I am, sir, very truly yours in
fraternal bonds of apiculture.

P. S. I truly wish you success, in all that is good and honorable, and
shall try to furnish an occasional article for the Am. Apiculturist.
Please find this my second contribution to same. If acceptable you are
at liberty to publish. Trusting the “Apiculturist” may live long and
prosper, I am as ever,

  J. M. HICKS.

  _Brantford, June 4, 1885._


I see by the last number of the “Apiculturist” much new and valuable
information from England and Germany. Last fall I learned through a
German journal that the poison of the honey bee was utilized in curing

A thought suggested itself to me which I hoped ere now I should have
been in a position to practically test, but circumstances have been
unfavorable and perhaps you know of some one who would take an interest
in the matter.

I intended taking a strong colony and feeding them, say 3 lbs. of syrup
per day and allow the bees to seal this and extract with great care.
Then feed the same colony 25 lbs. in a day of twenty-four hours (and it
can be done) and after it has been sealed extract as before, during hot
weather, and again later in the season, giving four distinct
experiments, and then test the various syrups for difference, if any, of
quantity of poison contained in stores. If a marked difference occurred
after repeated experimenting the matter might be worthy of consideration
and thus one reason why stores put in late are not as good as those
given earlier.

I must say a man must be too much of an enthusiast if he considers, as
many appear to, that any one condition, if fulfilled, will insure
perfect success in wintering. Doubtless much is to be learned in
wintering, and theories advanced will often be another step towards
success. If we only acted thoroughly up to our present knowledge and
were more careful, the percentage of loss would doubtless be wonderfully

  Your brother beekeeper,

We are pleased with Mr Holterman’s suggestions, and, if possible, will
make some tests, as this matter is of more vital importance to
beekeepers than they are aware. We shall refer to this again in the near

Mr. Holterman has touched the right key; we must have more careful
experimenting with a view to solving some of the mysteries that now
surround apiculture, and we trust that others of our readers and
beekeeping friends will offer like suggestions and also assist us in
making the tests. It will pay you well to do so, and we can by this
means help each other very much.--ED.]


[1] Read at the Beekeepers’ Congress, at New Orleans.

[2] If our friend will visit us we will show him colonies of Italians
that can be examined without fear of stings, and this with neither smoke
nor protection.--ED.

[3] When working for comb honey, I return all of my swarms so that I get
no increase that season.--D. F. L.

[4] Doubtless our readers would be pleased to hear from friend Lashier
again, and we trust that he will favor us with the article.--ED.

[5] Nature has wisely ordered it that generally only one-third of the
bees in a colony fly out to the fields, so that the colony would not
perish even if all the absent bees were lost through some mishap.

[6] Literally magazine or wave house hive.--R. F. H.

[7] We are unable to decide to what extent the “Chaff Hive” was liable
for the loss of our friend’s bees, as quite frequently the lack of a
thorough knowledge of beekeeping will result in loss of queens or bees
which is attributed to the hive or dealer.

Our friend certainly has a right to speak and the columns of the
“Apiculturist” are always open to those who wish to express opinions, so
long as they do so in a fair, manly way.--ED.

[8] By mistake this communication, which should have appeared in our
last, was overlooked and as it contains valuable items we give it in
this number.--ED.

[9] This paper was read at a meeting of the New York Microscopical
Society, March 6, 1885.

[10] The ocelli are simple eyes or lenses, set between the compound
eyes, as additional organs of vision. These organs are possessed by all
insects which have compound eyes.--ED.

[Transcriber’s Note:

Obvious printer errors corrected silently.

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation are as in the original.]

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