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Title: The American Bee Journal, Volume XXXIII, No. 4, January 25, 1894
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The American Bee Journal, Volume XXXIII, No. 4, January 25, 1894" ***

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  1861                IN AMERICA


  Weekly, $1 a Year.}      DEVOTED EXCLUSIVELY      {Sample Copy Free.
                           TO BEE-CULTURE.

  VOL. XXXIII.      CHICAGO, ILL., JAN. 25, 1894.      NO. 4.

[Illustration: EDITORIAL


=Beeswax=, so it is said, is formed by one equivalent of starch
changed into fat by losing one equivalent of carbonic acid and seven
equivalents of oxygen.

=The Ohio Convention= will be omitted this winter. So we are informed
by Miss Dema Bennett, the Secretary of the association. She says that
the Executive Committee has so decided, but will hold one next winter.
Due notice of time and place will be given in the BEE JOURNAL.

=Bro. Geo. W. Brodbeck=, of Los Angeles, Calif., has been appointed
chairman of a committee to secure and put in place the bee and honey
exhibit at the Midwinter Fair now being held in San Francisco.

It is proposed that a "honey pyramid," consisting of comb and extracted
honey, be built, six feet square at the base, and 15 feet high. It is
thought that 1,500 pounds will be required, and that this will exceed
the famous Egyptian pyramids—in sweetness.

California bee-keepers are invited to help make the display, which, no
doubt, they will do in a handsome manner.

=Bro. G. M. Doolittle= is writing a series of semi-political articles
for the _Free Press_ of Skaneateles, N. Y. The first is on "The Tariff
Wrong in Principle." Another will be on "The Tariff for Protection
Wrong;" the next on "The Tariff for Revenue Wrong;" then will come two
articles on "The Liquor Traffic," which will probably be followed by
one on the financial situation of our country. If the reader desires
to see all these articles, send 25 cents to the _Free Press_ for
three months subscription, asking the publisher to begin with Bro.
Doolittle's first article, then you will have them all. For ourselves,
we can say that we are always interested in what Bro. Doolittle may
have to say, whether it be on bee-keeping, or anything else.

☞ Bees never puncture fruit, and unless the skin has been broken by
other insects or birds, they never molest it.—_Newman._

=Basis of Honey-Predictions.=—Finally, we think we have learned upon
what basis certain honey-prophets base their prophecies about honey
crops. It appears to be something like this:

The more rain and snow in November and December, the more honey there
will be the following season; and if there is no rain or snow in the
two months mentioned, there will be no honey.

The predictions are made upon the reports of the State Weather Bureaus,
or the Weather Bureau reports in Washington, D. C. All who wish to test
the reliability of such a basis for a honey-prediction, should get the
weather reports, and begin to foretell for themselves, and thus not be
required to await the movements of some so-called "honey-prophet."

We believe the above rule for prophesying is for linden, sourwood, and
white clover honey.

Who knows but this may be the secret to which the Tennessee
honey-prophet, Sam Wilson, has been so tenaciously hanging on? We
shouldn't be a bit surprised if it should prove to be that very secret.
If so, every bee-keeper can now be his own "honey-prophet"—whether he
gets any honey or not.

=Mr. N. W. McLain=—once in charge of a United States experiment
apiary, and an apicultural writer—has been visiting recently at Mrs.
Atchley's home. Mr. McLain's address is Hinsdale, Ills.

=The Iowa Honey Exhibit= at the World's Fair, we have pleasure in
illustrating and describing this week. No separate appropriation was
made for the exhibit, but the Iowa Columbian Commission, recognizing
bee-culture as one of the many agricultural pursuits of the State,
desired that a creditable exhibit of honey and wax should be made in
connection with their agricultural exhibits, and for that purpose
appointed Bro. E. Kretchmer, of Red Oak, Iowa, on Jan. 14, 1893. This
being too late to secure suitable honey for an exhibit from the crop of
1892, only enough was placed in the case at the beginning of the Fair
to retain the space.

There being no money to buy the honey for a suitable exhibit,
Mr. Kretchmer, by issuing several circulars, and making several
personal visits to prominent apiarists, enlisted the aid of the Iowa
bee-keepers, and nobly did they respond by loaning the honey that was
exhibited in the Iowa case. Believing that much credit is due those who
thus generously loan honey for exhibition purposes, we give the names
of those who aided thus, and also what they contributed:

  E. J. Cronkleton, of Dunlap—100 pounds of nice comb honey.

  F. A. Beals, of Salix—480 pounds of extracted basswood
  honey, and 544 pounds of comb honey.

  R. B. Arnold, of Foster—20 pounds of white clover comb honey.

  T. C. DeClercq, of DeSoto—60 pounds of extracted clover
  honey, 60 pounds of extracted basswood honey, and 105 pounds
  of comb honey.

  L. G. Clute, of Manchester—20 pounds of very nice comb
  honey, and this was honored with an award.

  A. J. Duncan, of Hartford—50 pounds of extracted basswood

  F. Furst, of Adair—40 pounds of comb honey.

  Oliver Foster, of Mt. Vernon—30 pounds of comb honey, and 60
  pounds of extracted honey; which also received an award.

  Thos. O. Hines, of Anamosa—91 pounds of comb honey.

  Thos. Johnson, of Coon Rapids—22 pounds of comb, and 25
  pounds of extracted honey.

[Illustration: _Iowa Exhibit at the World's Fair._]

  Noah Miller, of North English—48 pounds of white clover comb

  J. H. Stanford, of Cherokee—20 pounds of aster honey,
  gathered in October, 1892.

  J. L. Strong of Clarinda—100 pounds of comb honey.

  J. H. Stephens, of Riverton—60 pounds of extracted basswood
  honey, and 43 pounds of comb honey.

  Mont. Wyrick, of Cascade—100 pounds of extracted honey.

  E. Kretchmer, of Red Oak—100 pounds of alfalfa comb honey,
  which received an award; also 200 pounds of extracted clover
  honey, which also received an award, and 175 pounds of clover
  comb honey.

  Wm. Kimble, of DeWitt—77 pounds of comb, and 66 pounds of
  extracted honey, which received an award.

All of the extracted honey was displayed in 18 different vessels,
holding from 4 ounces to 12 pounds each.

The principal display of extracted honey was near the east end of the
case, arranged on cone-shaped shelving. This cone of honey reached a
height of about 6 feet, and was 5 feet in diameter, while near the
west end of the case a pyramid was erected, with extracted honey in
different sized glass jars, with sheets of glass between the several
tiers, and large vase-shaped jars filled with honey were dispersed
within the case.

The arrangement of displaying the comb honey consisted principally
in a bank near the center of the case, about 11 feet long, tapering
from a base nearly 5 feet wide to a crest 6 feet high, surmounted with
extracted honey in ornamental jars.

The front, or west end, display consisted of two columns of comb honey
which supported the words "IOWA HONEY," built of comb honey; over which
was shown a hollow tri-angle of fine comb honey, reaching to the top of
the case.

In the east end of the case was displayed a tri-angle of comb honey in
open sections, the three walls being 3×5 feet each, surmounted with
extracted honey in vessels of various sizes and shapes. Near the edge
of the ceiling of the case were suspended neat glass pails filled with
extracted honey; while nice specimens of bright wax, in ornamental
forms and shapes, were placed in every available nook and corner of the

To the untiring efforts of Bro. Kretchmer belongs the credit of
securing and placing the very tasty exhibit of Iowa honey and wax. Few
men would have undertaken the task, and carried it to as successful
a completion, as he did. On another page of this issue of the BEE
JOURNAL may be found a picture and also biographical sketch of Bro.
Kretchmer—the man to whom Iowa bee-keepers now owe a debt of gratitude.

=Fine Weather= in Texas was reported by Mrs. Atchley on Jan. 12th. They
had had no frost, and everything was green. Cabbage heads weighing
15 pounds were then standing in the gardens. It seems from this that
things down there "stand on their heads," and grow just as well as if
"right side (or end) up." Good for Texas!



In this department will be answered those questions needing IMMEDIATE
attention, and such as are not of sufficient special interest to
require replies from the 20 or more apiarists who help to make "Queries
and Replies" so interesting on another page. In the main, it will
contain questions and answers upon matters that particularly interest

=Feeding Bees in the Cellar.=

What is the best way to feed bees when wintering in the cellar? I
started in 1891 with three colonies, but have had bad luck the last two
winters. I have 13 colonies at the present time—9 outdoors, and 4 in
the cellar.

  M. W.

  Sterling, Ill.

ANSWER.—There is nothing better than to give them frames filled with
honey. Carefully remove two or three of the empty combs till you strike
the brood-nest—that is, till you come to a comb with bees on—then put
in a comb of honey. Be sure that there are bees enough on the comb next
to the honey so that there will be no doubt about their commencing on
the honey right away, for there might be such a thing as their starving
without ever touching it, unless it were pushed right under their
little noses. If the first frame in the brood-nest has too few bees, it
may be best to put the honey between this and the next comb with bees
on. If the temperature of your cellar varies, don't take the time when
it is coldest.

=Bees Dying in the Cellar.=

As I have always had bad luck in wintering bees out-of-doors, I thought
I would winter them in the cellar this winter, so I have followed the
AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL along, and studied closely all that has appeared in it
about wintering bees in the cellar. I finally settled upon the way of
one writer's plan, thinking it perhaps a good way; that is, to raise
the hive from the bottom-board about an inch, by putting blocks under
the corners. I believe he said that the bees would not come out if kept
in the dark—that I have done, and I find every time I go to them, that
the ground is covered with dead bees, and at this rate I think there
will not be any left by spring. Why do my bees come out, if others do

My crop of honey last season was none, as usual, and I have had to feed
to carry the bees through the winter.

  E. H. H.

  St. Johnsbury Center, Vt.

ANSWER.—Whatever may be the cause of your bees dying, you may rely on
it that it is not likely to be caused by the raising of the hive as you
have done. You can keep the bees from troubling the cellar-bottom by
letting the hive down and shutting the bees in with wire cloth, for in
that case the bees cannot get out, but they'll die just as fast as ever
and perhaps a little faster, for if bees find they are fastened in,
they are all the more eager to get out.

There must be something wrong with the bees or the cellar, and knowing
nothing about it but that the hive is raised and the bees are dying, it
is hard to make any kind of a guess as to the cause of the trouble. If
the hive is spotted and daubed about the entrance, then diarrhea is at
work. This may come from the quality of the food, or it may come from
the condition of the cellar; 45° seems to be the degree of temperature
that most agree upon as desirable, and if your cellar is much above 50°
it is probably too warm. If below 40°, I would try heating it up, to
see what the effect would be. Anything that quiets the bees down may be
considered a move in the right direction, for undoubtedly bees that are
coming out and dying in large numbers are not quiet.

It may be that the air of the cellar is bad—too close, or poisoned
with decaying vegetables—but there isn't much use in going on
guessing. The most that can be said is to try to have pure air at about
45°, and see whether the trouble continues.

=Increasing an Apiary—Sweet Clover.=

1. I have 12 colonies of bees, and I want to increase them. Would I
better keep the bees confined to the brood-chamber till they swarm, or
would it be best to give them access to one section-case? Or would I
better increase by dividing?

2. Where can I get sweet clover seed, that Mr. Newman recommends so
highly for bee-pasturage?

  J. S.

  Long, W. Va.

ANSWERS.—1. If you are anxious for increase and care little for honey,
you will do well to put on no supers. Or, you might let part of them
have one super each. You may find, however, that it will not make much

If you have had no experience in that line, perhaps it will be best not
to meddle much with dividing colonies, but let the bees swarm at their
own sweet will; still, it will be good practice for you to make a few
colonies by dividing. In any case, be sure to get some good text-book
and study up thoroughly, then you will have a more intelligent idea of
the whole business. Any points that are not clearly understood will
be cheerfully explained in this department, unless you ask too hard

2. Melilot, or sweet clover, seed can be had at any large seed-store.
Many of the supply dealers who advertise in the BEE JOURNAL have it for

=Carrying Out Dead Brood.=

I have a case of dead brood on my hands, which I do not understand.
The bees are in a 10-frame hive that I bought of a neighbor last June.
At this time they have a hive full of honey and young bees; they are
carrying out young brood that is just ready to cap over. It does
not appear to be foul brood, and I do not know what to call it. Any
information on the subject would be appreciated.

  M. F. B.

  Indianapolis, Ind.

ANSWER.—It is possible that worms are at work, and the brood is thrown
out where they have gnawed away the cappings or some part of the cells.
Possibly a cold spell may have made the cluster contract so much as to
leave the brood unprotected, when the brood was chilled and afterward
thrown out.

=Capons and Caponizing=, by Edward Warren Sawyer, M. D., Fanny
Field, and others. It shows in clear language and illustrations
all about caponizing fowls; and thus how to make the most money in
poultry-raising. Every poultry-keeper should have it. Price, postpaid,
30 cents; or clubbed with BEE JOURNAL one year, for $1.10.

[Illustration: BIOGRAPHICAL


No. 66.—Edward Kretchmer.

The subject of our sketch this week is another of the leading
bee-keepers whom we had the pleasure of meeting often during the
World's Fair last summer, and whom it was always a delight to see on
our weekly visits to the apiarian department in the "White City."

[Illustration: _E. KRETCHMER._]

The _Progressive Bee-Keeper_—the paper from which we take the
subjoined sketch—says this of our Iowa friend:

  Mr. Kretchmer is one of the pioneers of Western apiculture, a
  man of whom the bee-keeping fraternity may be proud, and one
  who has received many honors, both from those of his calling,
  and the public at large.

As mentioned on another page, it was Bro. Kretchmer who superintended
the Iowa honey exhibit at the World's Fair, and his successful efforts
are well attested by a glance at the illustration on page 104, and also
by the awards secured. Incidentally, we may say that he is one of the
largest manufacturers and dealers in bee-keepers' supplies west of the
"Mississippi creek."

As we doubtless could add nothing further of interest regarding Bro.
Kretchmer, we are glad to give the sketch referred to before, written
by his 12-year-old daughter, Valencia, who is not only a member of the
Iowa State Bee-Keepers' Association, but also of the North American.
Here is what she writes about "her papa"—and she ought to know him
pretty well:

  Edward Kretchmer was born on the Atlantic ocean in 1844, on
  the American merchant vessel, "Louisiana;" and though of
  German parentage, he is an American by birth. He was brought
  up in Selicia, Prussia. His father was one of the prominent
  bee-keepers of his time, and the originator of the first
  rolls that manufactured "mid-rib," or our earlier form of
  comb foundation; which, by writers, is frequently confounded
  with that of Mehring's, whose invention presented the edge
  of a full thickness of comb, or the beginning of a top-bar.
  Hence the German translation, "foundation."

  Mr. Kretchmer resided about five miles from Dr. Dzierzon, the
  world-renowned author and apiarist, and from whom, during
  a season's stay, he received the first lessons in advanced
  bee-culture. In 1858 he received a colony of Italian bees as
  a birthday present, and since that time, with the exception
  of three years, he has been a breeder of Italian bees.

  He came to the United States, and to the State of Iowa, about
  the year 1859, and in the summer of 1860 purchased the first
  Italian queen that crossed the Mississippi river. In 1861 he
  entered the army. During his absence, his father sold the
  original colony to W. H. Furman, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the
  owner of the Langstroth patent for that State.

  After his discharge from the army, he again engaged in
  bee-culture, and while a visitor at the Iowa State Fair, an
  incident occurred which brought him to public notice, as a
  well-informed bee-keeper. The incident referred to was this:

  An oddly-dressed man, with bees in his hat, was selling
  little vials of scented water as a "bee-charm," taking
  dollars right and left, stating that with it bees were
  rendered peaceable enough to open a hive without being
  stung. Mr. Kretchmer remarked that he could do that
  without the drug. The drug vender promptly challenged the
  youthful-looking German, no doubt expecting him to "back
  down" from his statement, but on the contrary Mr. K.
  secured a little smoke, and promptly opened the colony of
  bees of another exhibitor, quickly found the queen, and
  exhibited the combs, covered with bees, to a multitude
  of spectators, without a sting. He was, in consequence
  thereof, requested by several to communicate his method
  through some of the journals, and he soon became a noted
  writer—writing both in the German and English language. In
  the older files of the AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL, his name may
  be found to numerous articles. He also issued "Winke Fur
  Bienen Zuchter"—"Intimation to Bee-Keepers;" "The Amateur
  Bee-Keepers' Guide," written in 1866, and "The Bee-Keepers'
  Guide-Book," the latter, a neat volume of 256 pages, issued
  in 1872.

  In 1867 he removed from eastern Iowa to Coburg, Iowa, where
  he was postmaster for eight years, mayor of the town, and for
  two terms chairman of the Board of Supervisors for Montgomery
  county; he declining a re-election, and also the nomination
  for State Senator.

  The demand for better shipping facilities induced him to
  remove his entire factory to Red Oak in 1890, which is his
  present residence.

  He is a prominent Odd Fellow, and an enthusiastic Mason,
  being a member of the Blue Lodge, Chapter and Commandery, as
  well as of the Degree of Rebecca, and the Eastern Star, both
  of which he is now the presiding officer.

  On the recommendation of the President of the Iowa
  Bee-Keepers' Association, he was appointed by the Iowa
  Columbian Commission to take charge of the Iowa honey exhibit
  at the World's Fair. This appointment he very reluctantly
  accepted about the middle of last January, 1893, after which
  time he labored for the success of that exhibit, without the
  hope of fee or reward, although a very unfavorable honey
  season made such an undertaking a difficult task. He is
  now conducting various experiments with new implements in


[Illustration: IN SUNNY SOUTHLAND]


=Bee-Keeping and Poultry for Women.=

While I was looking over the index of the BEE JOURNAL for 1893, I came
across the above subject, and as I have not time to turn back and find
what was said on the subject, I wish to add a word more concerning
poultry combined with bees for women.

Now, when we take a right view of our surroundings, and look at human
nature a moment, we will see that but very few people wish to engage in
a business that will give no rest at all, as it will sooner or later,
become a drag, and we become tired, and long for recreation. Well, I
for one do not count idleness recreation; but some other light work
for rest of mind and body is sought for, and for women (and I will say
men, too) I think poultry is first choice to go with bees. I know that
it gives me rest and pleasure when tired of working with the bees, to
get some grain and call up the chicks, and pet them awhile, and see to
their wants—such as good, comfortable nests, roosts, etc.; and this
kind of rest proves to me profitable, as well as rest and pleasure.

I know that too much business of any kind is worse than not enough
business, and I think we should avoid having too many irons in the fire
at one time, but I do believe that to get the best of enjoyment and
pleasure, we should have something else to go with bees, whether it
pays or not; and I believe that nearly all successful bee-keepers are
lovers of flowers and poultry. Am I right?

I have a flock of fine Plymouth Rock chickens, and a bunch of White
Holland turkeys, and, oh! how I do enjoy a rest sometimes among my pet
chickens and turkeys!


       *       *       *       *       *

=Out With a Load of Preachers.=

As I have promised to tell more about southwest Texas, I will proceed
by saying that Charlie has just returned (Dec. 28th) with a wagon load
of preachers that he carried out hunting two weeks ago. I will relate
their success.

They killed 20 wild turkeys, 4 wild geese, and a number of ducks,
squirrels, armadillo, and a lot of other small game, and one deer.
Charles says that of all the lively crowds he ever saw, it is a wagon
load of preachers. They made it a rule that the first man that entered
camp with a loaded gun should cook a day, and soon they had plenty of

Charles says that he and one of the preachers went out one day
together, and they espied a deer off 50 or 75 yards, and the preacher
was to have first shot, then if he missed his aim Charles was to try
it. The preacher's gun snapped, and failed to fire, and then Charles
fired away and missed the deer. The preacher told him that he had
the "buck ague," and so why he missed it. But Charles says that he
was laughing at the hard Sunday-school words the preacher was saying
because his gun failed to fire, so it turned out that neither of them
bagged that deer.

All the preachers got lost, and lay out one night about 15 miles from
camp. They had killed a deer, but could not carry it all. A large
12-spike buck would have weighed 200 pounds. Well, they took off the
hams, and took turns about carrying it, and they got bewildered, and
night overtook them. But about dusk they espied a log-cabin, and went
to it, but found no one at home, and from the best they could make
out, it was the home of one of the "fence-riders," or where one of the
guards lived that looked after the ranch to keep fence cutters and
hunters out. The preachers were so nearly famished and tired that they
remained all night at the cabin, and no owner came that night, but the
preachers found some dried beef and some flour and black molasses, so
they were fixed, and soon filled their empty "bread-baskets," as they
called them.

They would not sleep on the bed, as they found a six shooter under the
pillow, but they laid on the floor, and one kept watch while the others
slept, up until midnight, when all fell asleep. The reason they kept
watch was, that they feared the owner would come home and take them for
robbers, and fire into them without warning. But no owner came, so in
the morning they arose early and ate breakfast, and Charles says the
preachers say they left some money and a note on the table, to show the
owner that they were not robbers, but they longed for a fence-rider to
overtake them, as they had gotten in on forbidden ground, and did not
know how to get out. As there were 170,000 acres in the pasture, you
see they had a hard time of it.

But before night the following day they reached camp O. K., but nearly
worn out, and they said they did not expect to find Charles there, as
none of them would have staid alone at that camp among the wolves,
panthers, wild cats, cougars, bears, etc. But Charles said he made it
all right without any trouble, but the coyote wolves kept him plenty of
company with their howling. However, the preachers made up their minds
that if that 14-year-old boy had remained at the camp ten miles from
anybody all alone, they would each give him a dollar, which they did,
though Charles says he thanked them and offered the money back; but no,
they said that a boy with all that courage justly deserved the money,
and they insisted on his keeping it, which he did.

They then went into conference, and delegated two to go after the
rest of that big fat deer, when lo, and behold, _they_ got lost, and
just barely made it into camp by night, without finding the treasure.
They then called together the "court" and discussed the matter of
adjournment, as most of them had to get home in time to preach the
Christmas sermon at their several churches. Well, they broke camp on
the morning of Dec. 22nd, and Charles started home with his wagon load
of Baptist ministers.

You will remember that I have told you of our bee-wagon being enclosed
with wire-cloth, and resembles a lion's cage. Well, after they got
started on their way home, they concluded to play lion awhile, and one
of them was a little fellow, and Charles says that the larger preachers
tore his clothes nearly all off of him, and when they arrived at the
hotel at Beeville, he wrapped himself up in his overcoat and went in,
and they had to go out and buy some clothes for him. They wanted him
to preach that night in Beeville, but he would not because they had
torn his clothes off.

Charlie says that he has been out with lots of crowds, but the
preachers were the liveliest set he ever saw. He says they had him
promise to haul them out again a year hence, as they were coming if the
Lord was willing, and when they could get as brave a boy as he was they
were sure of success. Charles says they were very prompt, and paid him
$1.00 per day, besides the premium for his bravery, and he will surely
take them out whenever they come.

The preachers killed so many turkeys that they rotted on their hands,
and they agreed to knock the first one down that mentioned turkey in a


       *       *       *       *       *

=How to Draw Brood.=

It will be understood that we keep some out yards to draw brood from to
keep up the nuclei in the queen-rearing yards. We injured some colonies
very much by injudicious drawing of brood. If we do not wish to run the
colonies down to nothing, we should mark X on the top-bars of two or
three brood-frames, and do not take them when we are drawing brood. I
find that two Langstroth frames in the center of the brood-nest will
keep the colony up pretty well, but three are better—that leaves
about three frames to draw on, when 8-frame hives are used, as the two
outside combs seldom have brood, or not as much as the center ones.

The best plan to control an apiary that persists in swarming, is to
draw brood from it and recruit or build nuclei with the brood. It would
likely astonish any one to know how much brood can be drawn from a good
queen during the season. I am satisfied that we have drawn as much as
50 frames of brood from a single colony during one season of eight to
ten months, and then get some honey, and have a fine colony for winter
in the colony we draw from. But if we draw at random, and take any and
all the frames, we are likely to ruin the colonies.


       *       *       *       *       *

=Honey as Food and Medicine= is just the thing to help sell honey, as
it shows the various ways in which honey may be used as a food and as a
medicine. Try 100 copies of it, and see what good "salesmen" they are.
See the third page of this number of the BEE JOURNAL for description
and prices.


Color of Queens Regardless of Mating.

  =Query 907.=—If you were buying Italian queens, what color
  would you expect them to be, regardless of how they are

Yellow.—E. FRANCE.

Yellow, of course.—JAS. A. STONE.

The color of Italian queens.—EUGENE SECOR.

At least three-banded.—J. M. HAMBAUGH.

Any color from yellow to dark leather color.—M. MAHIN.

That depends upon what breeder you are buying from.—P. H. ELWOOD.

I should not anticipate. A leather-colored queen is satisfactory to

Italians vary very much in color. It is hard to tell in a sentence,
what color they should be.—EMERSON T. ABBOTT.

The imported are dark, but American skill has bred them "doubtless
pure" to a very bright yellow to the tip.—J. H. LARRABEE.

I should expect them to be somewhere from light yellow to nearly black,
and should prefer a dark leather color.—C. C. MILLER.

I should certainly expect them to show three well-developed yellow
bands, but would prefer the dark, to the very light yellow queens.—C.

If I "were buying Italian queens," I should _expect_ them to be the
color of Italians. I prefer such as are known as "leather-colored."—A.

The color is not sure proof, but they should have three distinct yellow
bands. They may be brown, light or dark, and still be Italians.—MRS.

Anywhere from a light yellow to a full black, and with all sorts of
shades and markings between. Queens may be bred so as to be nearly
uniform in color and markings, and the same brood, with a little
difference in manipulation, will produce queens several shades
darker.—J. A. GREEN.

We do not care for color, if they have the yellow rings, and their
workers are gentle and stay on the combs when we raise them out of the
hive.—DADANT & SON.

Yellow, or a dark brown color. However, in rare instances I have
seen queens as dark as black queens produce fine 3-banded Italian

If I were buying "Italian queens," and knew nothing of their mating,
I would expect the three yellow bands, with the other Italian
characteristics.—H. D. CUTTING.

I would have to depend on the advertisement of the breeder, and expect
what he promised; it might be light or leather-colored, three or five
banded.—S. I. FREEBORN.

Anywhere from nearly black to a nearly yellow abdomen, just in accord
with their being reared from an imported queen, or the mother of
5-banded bees.—G. M. DOOLITTLE.

Italian queens vary from almost coal-black to almost golden yellow, and
in purchasing many I should expect to get almost all shades of color
between those two extremes.—R. L. TAYLOR.

I should expect them to show a yellow abdomen all except the tip. But
it is said on good authority that some of the imported Italian queens
of undoubted purity are quite dark all over.—G. L. TINKER.

Pure Italian queens vary very much in color from bright yellow to dark.
Imported queens generally average darker than homebred. I have had some
nearly as dark as some black queens.—J. P. H. BROWN.

I should prefer a dark strain, and would expect each worker to be
marked with three yellow bands. I have never found the very bright
yellow bees so good as gatherers, though usually very amiable.—A. J.

Of at least three bands of golden yellow; with legs and lower part of
the abdomen same color—balance, grayish black. The queen should show
nearly the entire abdomen of orange yellow; though the shade varies
greatly.—WILL M. BARNUM.

I would expect them to have yellow or leather-colored abdomens, except
perhaps some dark color at the tip. _Stripes_ around the abdomen is
a sign of black blood. But sometimes pure Italian stock will show
outcroppings of black blood, and this is often seen in nearly black
queens, but such "outcrops" did do it when I reared queens for sale.
Remember, the Italian is a "thoroughbred," not a pure-blood race.—G.

I should not care what the color would be. I have found very black
queens give very light-colored workers, and _vice versa_. Nothing can
be told in this direction from the color of the queen; the mating drone
usually governs the color.—J. E. POND.

[Illustration: CONTRIBUTIONS]

Selling Extracted Honey at Retail.

_Written for the American Bee Journal_


My attention is called to some remarks by Dr. Miller, on page 817 of
the BEE JOURNAL for Dec. 28, 1893, on the subject of selling extracted
honey. Judging from what I see between the lines, I do not think the
Doctor desires any instructions that would insure him 24 cents per
pound, at retail, for extracted honey, nor any other price, in fact,
whether remunerative or otherwise. The reason, perhaps, for this, is
because the Doctor does not produce honey at all in the extracted form,
but confines himself entirely to the production of comb honey.

There seems to be all through the Doctor's remarks, a vein of
_ridicule_, and this may be accounted for by reason of the fact that
certain parties have been, and still are, able to dispose of extracted
honey, at retail, at a higher figure than the Doctor can secure for
that in the comb. The Doctor says he is sure that he could do nothing
of the kind himself, but that should surprise no one, nor should it
discourage others from trying to do so. Not many years ago the Doctor
stated publicly, if my memory is not at fault, that he could not
produce first-grade comb honey under a special classification, whereas
there were others who thought they could. And, judging from what was
shown at the World's Fair honey exhibit last year, it was plain to see
that the Doctor was right in what he thought he could not do in that

Some of the imaginary talk the Doctor gives with that imaginary lady,
plainly shows that he has had no experience, worth copying, in selling
extracted honey. In short, he imagines a talk, which, in some respects,
I have never met with in more than 20 years' experience. An agent,
properly instructed, who could not have silenced that lady's remarks,
would not be worth his salt to me.

I know from experience, not theory nor imagination, that any lady or
gentleman competent to sell books, can be instructed to sell extracted
honey in thousands of cities and villages, and at remunerative prices.
But the agent must have proper instructions, and then must follow them.
But I never attempt to give those instructions to any one who has no
desire to know them. I have now had in my employ three agents who have
always sold extracted honey at my prices, and profitably, by following
my instructions. One of these agents was a lady—the other two young

No, Doctor, I do not live in a mountainous country, nor where the
people I trade with live miles away from groceries, nor where
honey-producers are unknown. The country where I live is just about
as level as where the Doctor resides, and groceries are just about as
convenient and numerous. I presume the people are just about as wealthy
and intelligent, with possibly one or two exceptions, as those in the
Doctor's neighborhood This being the case, the Doctor does not seem to
understand why my customers do not find out that they can buy honey at
a lower price than they pay me. Why, doctor, they do know they can buy
comb honey, in wooden sections, at about the price you mention, but
they have intelligence enough to know that when they pay for a section
of wood and honey they do not get, on an average, to exceed 12 ounces
of honey. And, with some assistance, they reason thus: If they have to
pay 20, or even 18, cents for three-fourths of a pound of honey, they
might as well pay my price, or 24 cents, and get 16 ounces, or a full

Again: Neither Melbee nor his agents, when soliciting orders for
honey, have ever yet been found guilty of carrying around with them
a bee-paper of any description, for the express purpose of showing to
would-be purchasers the market reports, as prepared and manipulated by
commission merchants, nor do they ever intend to be guilty of doing
so. On the other hand, the Doctor perhaps would not approve of such an
un-business-like procedure. I presume the Doctor would carry a sample
of honey in one hand, and a sample of one of those market reports in
the other, and then call the special attention of his patrons to both
samples. That, of course, would be just like the Doctor!

The Doctor seems to think that Melbee might be a wealthy man if he
would only set a score or so of agents to work selling honey for him
on his terms and at his prices. Perhaps the Doctor is right for once.
On the other hand, the Doctor perhaps might have been also wealthy, if
he had stuck to the music trade at a salary of—say $2,500 per year.
But as he did not do so, perhaps we have a right to infer that he has
become exceedingly wealthy from the sale of his honey crops.

The Doctor attempts to make it appear that the difference between 7
cents wholesale, and 24 cents retail, is all profit. A novice might
think so, but a bee-keeper of Dr. Miller's experience should know
better. Evidently the Doctor has had no experience as to the expense
connected with the sale of extracted honey, by the plan pursued by
myself and my agents, or else he desires to misrepresent the profits
we obtain. I am frank to confess that we do get a good profit, but no
larger than thousands of others might secure by knowing how.

To conclude: Melbee desires it to be distinctly understood that he does
not follow the honey-trade simply for health and pleasure, but mainly
for dollars and cents.

  Honeyville, Beeland.

Positive Prevention of After-Swarming.

_Written for the American Bee Journal_


James Heddon, I believe, was the first to give us a practical method
for the control of after-swarming; however, the method could not be
absolutely depended upon to do the work, but was a grand step in
the right direction. Who knows, to a certainty, just when the first
queen-cell will hatch in the old hive—whether it will be 5 days or 15
days? A second swarm might issue before the old hive was ever moved to
its permanent stand, and again after it had been moved, on account of
the first cell hatching so late.

It was when I was busy making hay, when an occasional swarm would leave
me, causing much vexation in my mind, and many hours of deep study,
how I should overcome this difficulty; and it came, to my mind that a
bee-escape might do the work, so I attached one to a hive, at the first
opportunity. A 1½-inch hole was bored in the center of one side near
the bottom edge, and a wire-screen cone fitted in the hole, and the
entrance entirely closed; the newly-hived swarm was placed close by its
side, with the entrance just under the above prepared cone, and every
bee that left the old hive became an occupant of the new hive.

In three days an examination was made in the old hive, for I was afraid
that too many bees would leave the brood, and destruction be the
result. But, oh, how I was delighted! All was lovely still. In three
days more another examination was made, with like results, and still
another three days later, making nine days. Then I began boring holes
in other hives, and treating them as above, with the same results,
until all (60 colonies) that swarmed were in the same condition.

Some of the old hives were moved to their new stands in 12, others in
13, 14 and 16 days, the last being rather too long a time—14 days is
about right in my location. Then these old colonies can be given a ripe
queen-cell, or a queen, or the entrance be opened and left so until all
the young bees are hatched, when the entrance can be again closed, and
it will unite with the new swarm, and the combs will be empty. In fact,
you may have full control of the matter, as to managing against second

The first two years I used the bored holes, covering them over when
through, with a piece of section tacked over them; but since then an
escape has been used at the entrance; however, at times the latter
would get clogged, causing some annoyance, and I now think the bored
hole at the side is best.

If the reader will carefully look over the back numbers of the BEE
JOURNAL, it will be seen that I have touched upon this point before,
but dare not recommend it as being entirely practicable. But I hesitate
no longer, but advise all who stand in need, to try and be convinced
how this plan lessens labor, cost and vexation of after-swarms; and
in my location greatly increases a crop of comb honey, and of finer
quality than it otherwise would have been.

Fear not that the new swarms will be overcrowded in numbers, and swarm
again, but furnish each new hive with starters below and full sheets of
comb foundation in all the sections above, and you will soon begin to
wonder whether it is best to "prevent swarming" or not. It is nice to
have wood-zinc queen-excluders, then all can be arranged at the time
of hiving—such as moving the partly-finished sections from the parent
colony immediately to the newly-hived swarm, and not have to wait two
or three days for the queen to establish her brood-nest below.

  Welton, Iowa.

Making Sugar Syrup for Feeding Bees.

_Written for the American Bee Journal_


The following has come to hand from some one who forgot to sign his or
her name, so I will answer through the BEE JOURNAL, as requested.

"Will you tell us through the columns of the AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL just
how you make sugar syrup for feeding bees, as I have some bees which
will need feeding before long? I think you have given this before, but
I cannot find where it is. If I remember rightly, you use honey to a
certain extent, and, if so, is there no danger of getting foul brood,
where one may have to buy honey for this purpose?"

In answering the above, it may be well, and interesting to the reader,
to know just how I came to hit on the formula for sugar syrup, which I
have given several times before in the different bee-papers, as hinted
at by our correspondent.

Some years ago, after a poor season, I found that all of my
queen-rearing colonies would have to be fed, as well as some of the
others, so I set about looking up recipes for making the feed, as I had
no surplus combs of honey. I found plenty of recipes telling how to
make it, using vinegar, cream-of-tartar and tartaric acid in greater or
less quantities to keep the syrup from candying or crystallizing. When
about concluding to use one of these, I ran across one that said all
that was necessary to do was to pour boiling water on the granulated
sugar, stirring both together as long as the water would dissolve any
more sugar. As this seemed so simple I concluded to use this.

Having the syrup made and the feeders in the hive, I proceeded to feed,
all going well the first feed. When I came to feed the second night, I
found the feed skimmed over with a crust of sugar which had formed on
the surface during the 24 hours it had been standing. I also found that
it had granulated on the bottom and sides of the can, and upon going
to the hives I found a little on the bottom and sides of the feeders.
However, I persisted in feeding it, as the one giving the plan said
nothing was needed to keep the syrup from crystallizing, as the bees
put acid enough into it in manipulating to keep it a liquid.

After a few days, I noticed bees out at the entrance of the hive of
each colony fed, having little grains of sugar on their wings and
bodies, trying to fly, but most of them had so much on them that they
could only hop around, making a purring sound with their wings. I
next looked inside of the hive, when I found that fully one-fifth of
the bees had more or less of these sugar crystals on them, while the
inside of the feeders was all covered with crystals. Upon looking
into the cells containing the syrup, I found that in many of them
crystallization had commenced to such an extent that the crystals were
easily seen. I said this would not answer, so when the next batch of
syrup was made, I put vinegar in the water before stirring in the
sugar. While the vinegar helped about the crystals, it also gave a
taste to the syrup which I did not like, so in the next I tried cream
of tartar, and then tartaric acid; but in spite of them all, the syrup
would crystallize some, unless I added so much that a disagreeable
taste was given the syrup.

It now came to me, how in early years I had used, owing to scarcity of
honey at our house, honey and sugar mixed, on the table, in which case
neither the honey nor sugar granulated, so the next batch of syrup was
made as follows:

Fifteen pounds of water was put into a large tin dish and brought to a
boil, when 30 pounds of granulated sugar was poured in and stirred for
a moment till it had mostly dissolved, when it was left over the fire
till it boiled again. Upon taking from the fire, five pounds of honey
was poured in, and the whole stirred enough to mix thoroughly. I found
in this a syrup of about the consistency of honey, which remained a
liquid from day to day—a syrup that any bee-keeper could easily make,
and one which would not crystallize on the bees, feeders or in the
cells. I have kept this syrup standing in an open dish for months at a
time without its crystallizing or souring.

It has now been some 10 or 12 years since the experiments above given
were tried, and during all that time I have never found how I could
improve on this food for feeding bees for winter stores. For spring
feeding, I would use 25 pounds of water to the same amount of sugar
and honey, as this gives better results in brood-rearing than does the
thicker syrup.

As to there being any danger, should it so happen that honey from a
foul-broody colony was used, I would say that there need be no fears,
for if the honey is stirred in as above given, it will all be scalded,
and the scalding of honey anything else having the germs of foul brood
about or in it, effectually kills these germs. However, care should be
used in handling honey which may have come from a foul-broody hive, as
the least bit of it carelessly left where the bees can get it, while
in its raw state, will carry with it the seeds of foul brood, just as
surely as corn grows from seed corn.

There is one other item I wish to notice before closing, and that is
where our correspondent hints at its being necessary to feed his bees
before long. If, as I suspect, the correspondent lives in the North,
he should have fed the bees in October what they needed to carry them
through the winter. This is a duty he not only owes to himself, but to
the bees also, for, while bees often do come through the winter when
fed during cold weather, yet the chances are that a loss of colonies
will not only waste the bees, but the syrup fed as well.

  Borodino, N. Y.

Bees in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

_Written for the American Bee Journal_


The honey season, the past year, was above the average, and bees have
paid well. The last, two or three seasons I have not kept so many bees
as I formerly did. I took up a piece of land here in the upper Sierras,
and have been improving it. I have started in the nursery business, and
I find that this goes splendidly with the bee-business. From now on, I
shall increase my bees up, and go into the business extensively again.
I shall place all my hives in a straight row, and build a car track
behind them, and I can easily run all my honey into the extracting
house. This will facilitate things greatly. The past summer I had my
hives set on stumps, and I tell you it was a job to carry the combs to
the house where I extracted.

Some will ask, why I kept my bees on stumps. Well, I had no other place
to put them. This country is heavily timbered with yellow pine, sugar
pine, incense cedar, cypress, spruce, fir, madrona, oaks, etc.; and it
is extremely hard to clean, but after the land is once cleaned, it is
very valuable.

Land that was one year ago covered with pine stumps, is now covered
with strawberry plants, fruit trees, and ornamental plants, and they
look splendidly, too. It took an immense amount of work, but it pays

The bee-hive that I use, and the one that I expect to use for a long
time, takes frames about 7x14 inches; the hive is about 14 inches wide;
two stories comprise a hive, which is about 16 inches high. I tier up
several stories high in the honey season. I find that I can handle bees
very rapidly; can shake the bees from the combs without even breaking
the comb loose from the frame; with the Langstroth hive, or frame,
rather, the combs will give way occasionally in hot weather, if not

I think that I shall always run for extracted honey at this apiary.
In Placerville, Calif., where I used to rear bees for sale, I had
a decided preference for Carniolan bees. I think that I shall rear
them largely. The so-called Golden Italian bees—if I can prove to
my satisfaction that they will equal the Carniolans, I will insert a
number of queens.

When I was extensively engaged in rearing queen-bees, the call was for
the leather-colored Italians—and very few of the light-colored queens
were called for; now it seems to be the reverse, all queen-breeders are
advertising the Golden Italian bees and queens.

The Holy Land and Cyprian bees seem to have gone out of fashion; so
also the Albino. I see that the Carniolan race is not much advertised
in the bee-papers any more. Well, I shall pin my faith to them for
awhile yet, until I find something better.

A cross between the Carniolan and Italian race of honey-bees, makes
wonderfully energetic bees; they protect their hives well, and are
marvelous honey-gatherers.

There has been a greater interest manifested in bees this season than
for a long time, and I contemplate, from now on, that a great many will
engage in this industry in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

I am pleased to see that the AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL is improving so
steadily. Later on I shall give you some bee-notes for its columns.

  Grizzly Flats, Calif.

Danger in Climbing for Swarms, Etc.

_Written for the American Bee Journal_


As a caution to my brother bee-keepers, I will say: Don't climb unless
you are sure of your footing. On the 26th of last May, I was called
on to hive a swarm of bees that had settled high up in an apple tree.
Having been a great climber from childhood's days, I bounded up to the
top of the tree, and sawed off the limb containing the swarm while I
stood on a limb below. The additional weight of the bees and limb split
off the one on which I stood, and down came Smith, bees and all—a
distance of 22 feet. That it did not kill me I am humbly thankful to
Him who holds us in the hollow of his hand. For nearly two days I was
partly paralyzed, and was finally relieved by the application of an
electric battery, and other means applied by two eminent physicians who
were unremitting in their attentions day and night.

Do we sufficiently appreciate the arduous labors of those men of
science, working day and night with both mind and body, taxing every
energy, and enlisting every sympathy of their being? Is it wonderful
that they wear out, break down, and die suddenly? Whenever I think
of those terrible hours of suffering, when my digestive system was
completely paralyzed, and my life was wavering in the balance, my heart
goes out in thanksgiving to a merciful Providence, and I treasure the
faithful ministrations of my physicians and friends.


Let me add one suggestion to the instructions to F. M. L., on page 716
of the BEE JOURNAL for Dec. 7, 1893, relative to drumming bees out
of a hive with cross combs, into a box above. If he will go to some
hive having nice, straight comb, and get a frame or two with unsealed
brood, and put in the upper box or hive, I am of the opinion his bees
will go up more readily, and stay better contented. Then, too, it will
be much easier to find the queen if he desires to supersede her.


From 66 colonies, spring count, some of them nuclei, my crop of section
honey was between 400 and 500 pounds. This surplus was stored by a few
extra-good colonies—one of them filling 78 sections, and not swarming.
The queen of this colony was reared in 1892 from an imported Italian

Another that did well, was a cross between the Italian and Carniolan
stock. On the whole, I find the Carniolans much less desirable than
the Italians. It may be that my Carniolans were not pure, but they
are extra-good fighters, vindictive, and often pounce on me without
provocation. So I've been superseding the queens for two years.

  Gainesboro, Tenn.

Brace-Combs—Cause and Prevention.

_Written for the American Bee Journal_


Brace-combs and bees must be studied in connection, in order to arrive
at correct conclusions about brace-combs. I think I will be able to
convince every well-informed bee-keeper—one who has well learned the
nature, habits and instincts of the bee—that there is some truth in my
theory, or at least it will cause him to do a little thinking, and that
is healthful.

We all know how irritable the bee is, especially by a jar—the least
little jar will bring a response from every bee in the hive. Well,
suppose it does, what of that? Well, nothing particular, only we learn
something by it. Suppose the frames are loose at their bearings,
resting on metal bearings for your convenience, and a perfect torment
to the bees—torment because they cannot glue them down at the ends,
and their walking over the combs causes them to tremble, and a bee
cannot stand that—it is a constant annoyance. What is the result? Why,
brace-combs are the inevitable result? They go right at it, and brace
up and strengthen those combs, just as long as there is the least jar
or tremble about them.

Years ago, when I was taking my first lessons in the art of
bee-culture, I had but few brace-combs; but the metal-bearing craze
was sprung on me. I had considerable trouble prying the frames loose
from their bearings, so I thought this will be nice—I can just pick
the combs out—it will be a pleasure indeed. The result was just as
fine a lot of brace-combs as any one ever saw. The bees literally
filled the spaces between the top-bars up, only leaving here and there
a hole to pass through to the section.

Well, I looked at them as I examined hive after hive, and I thought I
was undone entirely. It looked very much as though my elegant scheme
had miscarried, while the bees had made a perfect success of theirs,
though I, at that time, had not the remotest idea what caused the bees
to interlace the combs in that manner.

I could easily see that I would better fall back on first principles,
which I did, and brace-combs have disappeared ever since, with me,
in proportion to the pains that I have taken to have the combs well
fastened in the hives. I have no scheme for fastening the frames, just
so they will not tremble and shake when the bees travel over them.

Mr. Heddon's thumb-screw business would be just the thing. The Hoffman
frame can be used to advantage. Suit yourselves, and use your own
judgment, and your own resources.

I have said nothing about burr-combs, from the fact that I am not
certain that I know anything about them. I see a difference, but I
think their mission is the same.

Try this, and I am satisfied you will see that I am right for once.

  Dunlap, Iowa.

Convention Notices.

  WISCONSIN.—The Wisconsin Bee-Keepers' Association will meet
  in Madison, Wis., on Feb. 7 and 8, 1894. An interesting
  meeting is expected. It is earnestly hoped there may be a
  full attendance.

  J. W. VANCE, Cor. Sec.

  Madison. Wis.

  KANSAS.—There will be a meeting of the Southeastern Kansas
  Bee-Keepers' Association on March 10, 1894, at the apiaries
  of Thomas Willett, 5 miles northeast of Bronson, Bourbon Co.,
  Kansas. All are invited to come.

  J. C. BALCH, Sec.

  Bronson, Kans.

       *       *       *       *       *

=A Binder= for holding a year's numbers of the BEE JOURNAL we mail for
only 50 cents; or clubbed with the JOURNAL for $1.40.

[Illustration: CONVENTION


The Michigan State Convention.

_Reported for the "American Bee Journal"_


The Michigan Bee-Keepers' Association held their 28th annual convention
on Jan. 2 and 3, 1894, in the Common Council Chambers in the city of
Flint. The convention was called to order by President Taylor, and the
following members paid their dues:

  M. H. Hunt, Bell Branch.
  L. A. Aspinwall, Jackson.
  Hon. R. L. Taylor, Lapeer.
  Wm. Anderson, Imlay City.
  H. D. Cutting, Tecumseh.
  W. Z. Hutchinson, Flint.
  August Koeppen, Flint.
  Earl Post, Atlas.
  E. M. Miller, Swartz Creek.
  M. S. West, Flint.
  H. Webster, Byron.
  H. L. Hutchinson, Mayville.
  E. G. Grimes, Vernon.
  Byron Walker, Evart.
  Chas. Koeppen, Flint.
  Andre Torry, Flint.
  M. McWain, Grand Blanc.
  L. H. Root, Prattville.
  Jas. Cowe, Imlay City.
  Jno. Cowe, Imlay City.

Pres. Taylor then read the following essay, entitled,

=Apicultural Work at Experiment Stations.=

If I appear to any to go into devious paths in a brief treatment of the
topic assigned me, it is owing to the latitude which the topic itself
gives me.

And first I ask, do bee-keepers want it? that is, do they want that
sort of work at the stations? I am sometimes in doubt about it. I judge
somewhat from the course of my own feelings in the matter. Before I
became connected with the work and began to study into it, I was not
inclined to esteem it over highly, but now if I were to express my
thoughts and feelings freely, you would no doubt think me on the verge
of the domain whose inhabitants are called cranks. Such is the effect
of contact and acquaintance. Now, while the great body of bee-keepers
has not the enthusiasm which close contemplation begets, yet if called
upon they would vote pretty unanimously in favor of the work.

Then the question suggests itself, why would they vote for it?
Provision has been made by the general government by which the
agricultural college of each State is to receive annually a certain sum
of money to be devoted to the support of an experiment station in the
interest of agriculture and kindred pursuits generally. This sum was
to be in the first instance, as I understand it, $15,000, and after
that to be increased by the sum of $1,000 each year until the amount of
$250,000 is reached, which is then to remain fixed at that point. That
is, that is to be the course of affairs, unless the ideas of economy
of the present administration at Washington require that this money be
kept in the general treasury. This is a considerable sum of money, and
apiculture is equitably entitled to all and more than it is now getting
in this State.

Now is it simply because they are equitably entitled to it, that the
bee-keepers would claim a just share to be devoted to apicultural work,
like a school-boy unwilling that his fellow should use his sled whether
he wants it himself or not? Or is it because they feel it is not only
their right, but to their advantage? Have they such a lively faith in
the probable value of results that they will scrutinize and study them?
That bee-keepers should have an active interest in these matters is of
the utmost importance if the work is to go on. Those in authority are
generally quite ready to be directed by the will of those they serve,
if they can learn certainly what that will is.

Can the work be made of real value? Take one item. For myself, I have
become more and more impressed with the importance of a thorough
knowledge of foundations designed for use in sections for the
production of comb honey. Much has been guessed, but so far as I can
learn little is yet _known_ on this subject. In the experiment of
which I recently gave an account, one of the objects aimed at was to
determine, if possible, if there was a difference among them, and, if
so, what kind was of such a nature as to enable the bees to work it
down most nearly to the thinness and character of natural comb. To
me the results were very satisfactory and encouraging, and this not
because one kind was shown to be better than another, but because it
appeared that a method had been hit upon by which the relative value of
foundations could be practically determined.

But this, it seems, is only a beginning. Now that a door is open, many
other questions come up at the very threshold and press for a solution.
What makes the difference among foundations? Is it the character of
the machine used in making, or the character of the wax? or is it the
method of dealing with the wax? Then, if comb from foundation is made
as thin as the natural comb, is it still more tenacious, or is it
equally friable and tender?

Again, it is well understood that the natural comb is not composed
entirely of wax, but that other substances are combined with the wax.
Can anything be done to imitate the natural comb in this, and so make
foundation even less subject to the charge of being an adulteration
than it is at present? This suggests the matter of economy of wax in
the use of foundation thus: What is the per cent. of wax wasted, not to
say worse than wasted, when so made into foundation that the septa of
comb resulting is 60 per cent. thicker than the septa of natural comb?
or, to put it in another way, if foundation whose septa the bees will
work down to a thinness of 90/10,000 of an inch is worth 60 cents, what
is that worth whose septa the bees will work down to a thickness of
60/10,000 of an inch? Probably from 25 to 40 per cent. more. If a man
uses much foundation, this should touch him at the tenderest point.

I try not to be carried off my feet by enthusiasm, perhaps,
nevertheless, I may be. What do bee-keepers who stand off at arm's
length think of the value of such investigation?

It will not do to say it is better not to agitate these and such like
questions, it will only call the attention of consumers to the defects
of comb honey as now produced, and injure its sale. It can hardly
injure the sale of honey for consumers to know that we are trying
earnestly to improve its quality, but if on eating it a heavy wad of
wax forms in the mouth, that will do the work though the eater may
hardly know exactly why. Nothing finds so ready a market as goods that
give a fine sensation to the palate in every particular. We are bound
to make our comb honey equal in every respect to that produced by the
bees unaided by foundation, if we can.

I can think of nothing that would have a greater tendency to popularize
the work of the station, and to excite the interest of the bee-keeping
fraternity in it, than to enlist as many as possible in the matter
of making suggestions as to subjects and methods of experiment, but
more especially as to _methods_. Subjects are plentiful and easily
discovered, but simple and satisfactory methods are often slow to
suggest themselves. I meditated upon the matter all summer before
a practical plan for the comparison of combs made from different
foundations presented itself; to another mind the first thought would
have been the right one.

Now, I am at work endeavoring to discover a method of procedure for
determining the cause of the wintering trouble. I want it to be so
plain that every one will recognize it as the right one, and be
compelled to accept its utterances as final. It is hardly necessary to
say that it is still undiscovered, but perhaps our own journal, the
_Review_, might furnish us the key by means of a symposium of numerous
brief articles addressed to this one point.

Finally, as a closing paragraph, I want to take this opportunity to
make a suggestion to the apicultural journals of the country. I am no
journalist—I make no professions of knowing how to conduct a journal,
and, I am not going to offer any advice on that point, but I wonder if
some of them without detriment to themselves could not give a little
more active assistance in sustaining the work by an effort to create a
more general interest in its behalf. For that purpose, probably nothing
could be better than candid criticism.


       *       *       *       *       *

At the close of the essay Pres. Taylor remarked: "I suppose it is known
that no appropriation has been made to continue this work for more
than one year, and whether it is to be continued will depend somewhat
upon the action taken by this meeting. It would also be well to have a
committee appointed to decide in regard to the line of experiments that
are to be conducted."

M. H. Hunt—In regard to the experiments of foundation, I would suggest
that there is a great difference in wax, and this alone might account
for much of the difference reported.

Pres. Taylor—I know that there is a difference in wax, but I could
have all of the foundation made from the same batch. I could make some
from it, and then send some to you, some to Dadant, and to others.

Wm. Anderson—There is a great need of experiments in regard to
wintering. There is no drawback so great as this, here in the North.

L. A. Aspinwall—I have experimented for 20 years with machinery, and
the profits for the last five years have paid for all the experiments.
If we could learn how to successfully winter our bees, there would be a
saving of thousands of dollars.

Upon motion of Mr. Hunt a committee of three (W. Z. Hutchinson, L.
A. Aspinwall and Wm. Anderson) was appointed to draft a resolution
expressing the views of the convention, in regard to the desirability
of having the experimental work continued, the selection of a man to do
the work, and the appointment of a committee to decide in regard to the
line of work to be done.

Next came an essay from the Hon. Geo. E. Hilton, on the

=Advantages of Northern Michigan for Honey-Production.=

That Northern Michigan has advantages over the southern or older
portions of the State, none familiar with the productions of honey can
deny. But to know the advantages of any locality one must be familiar
with the flora. The first advantage to be derived from these newer
localities is the early flow. In springs following winters of deep
snows our bees are bringing in pollen and some from the willows before
the snow is all gone. The soft maples soon follow, then the hard or
sugar maple, from which we get large quantities of honey. I have said
that I believed were the bees in as good condition to store honey as
during the basswood flow, it would come in nearly as fast. The honey
very much resembles maple syrup. I think, however, that it gets its
color from the mixture of dandelion that comes in at the same time. As
I prefer to have this all used in the brood-nest, I do not put on the
surplus cases until the raspberry bloom opens, but I have extracted
from the stronger colonies' brood-nests to give the queen room, and
fed to the weaker ones, and if you have never tried it you would be
surprised at the results with the weak colony.

From what I have already written, you will readily see that our bees
are in the very best possible condition to store surplus at the opening
of the raspberry bloom. The blackberry comes before this is gone, and
lasts until clover, and clover lasts until basswood, so you see it
gives a continuous flow of white honey from berry bloom to close of

Some years ago one of the oldest honey-producers in the State (one
who lives in the village where they keep the insane and raise celery,
and who wintered his bees in a damp cellar, and brought them out in
the spring reeking with mold, and declared they wintered splendidly),
came to make me a visit during the berry bloom, before clover was in
blossom. We went into the yard, and he remarked that my bees _seemed_
strong. "Oh, yes," I said, "they are doing very nicely."

I raised the cover to one of my chaff hives—"What!" he said, "_got
surplus cases on?_" "Oh, yes," I said; and stepping to the next hive I
showed him one tiered up, and the top one nearly finished.

"Well, if that don't beat me! Why, I had not thought of putting on a
super yet," he further remarked. On looking further, he admitted there
were more bees in one of my hives than in any three of his.

That year I took 1,500 pounds of berry bloom honey from 65 colonies,
but I never knew blackberry to produce so much honey as in that year.
My average, that year, was 80 pounds per colony, comb honey.

Two years ago last September, I was sick the entire month. As soon
as I could safely get out, I commenced a trip among the bee-keepers,
partially for a visit, but principally to buy honey. The most promising
fields I found were in Mecosta, Clare, Isabella, Montcalm, Osceola
and Lake counties, and the honey I found, as a whole, was of the best
quality I ever bought. At Martiney, in Mecosta county, I found a fine
lot produced by a young lady. In Clare county I found nice lots,
also in Osceola county. In all these counties they get their honey
principally from raspberry and willow-herb. The willow-herb coming soon
after the berry bloom, and lasting until frost. In all these counties
I did not see a section of dark honey, and here comes the sequel to
their successful wintering—the brood-chambers are well filled with
this white, well-ripened honey, and very little pollen (the willow-herb
produces but little pollen); the bees breed up so fast, and the hives
are teeming full of good, healthy bees.

In these counties, in the spring and early summer, there are thousands
of acres of wild berries, and in the latter part of the summer and
fall just as many of the willow-herb.

In Lake county there was less timber, and the golden-rod predominates
in the fall, and there is not so much willow-herb. From Baldwin north
there are acres and acres of golden-rod, that resemble fields of wheat.
If I could be with you, I could tell you much more about this country
than I can write, and it is the first time, I think, in 14 years, that
I have missed a State convention.

I wish you all a pleasant and profitable time, which I know you will


       *       *       *       *       *

Byron Walker—I have been in the locality of the willow-herb one year,
and it did not yield honey that year. I believe it is considered a sure
producer of honey. In Clare county there are many asters, and bees have
died in the winter. Perhaps the yield was light.

Chas. Koeppen—I believe that more depends upon ventilation than upon
the stores. The foul air and moisture must be carried off. I have two
apiaries—in one there was a good yield, and in the other but little.

H. L. Hutchinson—I have not had a failure with golden-rod in ten years.

E. G. Grimes—Alsike furnishes the most honey in my locality.

Mr. Koeppen—Alsike is like other plants. Sometimes it furnishes honey,
and sometimes not.

H. Webster asked if there was any foundation in the assertion that some
bees gathered honey from red clover while others did not.

W. Z. Hutchinson—I one year had 1,000 pounds of honey from red clover.
It was the result of a drouth that shortened the tubes of the blossoms.
I had blacks, hybrids and Italians in the yard, and they all gathered
honey from red clover.

August Koeppen said that it would pay to move bees to some other
locality only when there was nothing that could be gathered at home.
Migratory bee-keeping is largely practiced in Germany.

  (Continued next week.)

       *       *       *       *       *

   "=The Honey-Bee=: Its Natural History, Anatomy and
  Physiology," is the title of the book written by Thos. Wm.
  Cowan, editor of the _British Bee Journal_. It is bound in
  cloth, beautifully illustrated, and very interesting. Price,
  $1.00, postpaid; or we club it with the BEE JOURNAL one year
  for $1.65. We have only three of these books left.

[Illustration: RANDOM STINGS]


    The "Stinger's" a poet,
    Knows a sheep from a goa-et,
  And he stings at random all day;
    He thinks he's a honey,
    Because he's so funny—
  For reference see A. B. J.
                —_Progressive Bee-Keeper_

    No, I'm not a poet,
    Neither did I know-et,
  Nor do I sting all the livelong day;
    Once a week I've some fun
    Making you folks jump and run—
  So, what more do you wish me to say?

       *       *       *       *       *

A certain editor reckoned without his host when he tried to heap more
accomplishments upon Editor York than the latter was entitled too.
Though Mr. York is a hard working man in the office of the BEE JOURNAL,
he is saved the task of doing the stinging; which is, at times, hard
work, for some of the people and things that "The Stinger" has to
punctuate are pretty tough.

       *       *       *       *       *

I think the reason why Editor York is not a "Stinger" is because he
has not had much to do with the Punics. If he knew from practical
demonstrations what those bees were, he would probably become a
stinger, too. This is not intended as a joke on somebody's bees.

       *       *       *       *       *

Rambler was hurt at last. For a time he was confined to the hospital,
where I send all those who have been hit with my darts. He announced
his injury in the BEE JOURNAL for Dec. 7, 1893, page 730, and he
thought the wound inflicted by me must have been produced by a ramrod
out of my gun. If he had been hurt as badly as he admitted he was, I am
surprised. When my sting penetrated his thick hide he must have seen
stars, consequently, at the same time, he had no trouble in magnifying
a sting into the proportions of a ramrod. I would say in a fatherly
way: My dear Rambler, keep your nose from rambling around in the loose
way that you have been letting it stray about, and there will be little
danger of its running up against the sting of The Stinger.

       *       *       *       *       *

Rambler says he smiled a "smole" when his nose came in contact with
my "stinger." Stings seem to have the same effect upon him that
laughing-gas has upon a patient in a dentist's chair. Rambler, beware,
for have you not heard that "laughing often comes to crying?" The next
time we may hear from you, you may be sitting in a corner crying,
because the sting got into your nose a little below the tip, and it is
hurting you in a way that a sting never troubled you before.

       *       *       *       *       *

The mission of The Stinger is to reform the bee-keeping world. (Did I
hear you say that that is impossible, dear reader?) There is no man
in the world that needs reforming more than the Rambler, and so his
threats to expose me if I do not cease troubling him, fall upon me as
uselessly as if he had never uttered them. For shame, on you, Rambler!
to intimate that you will silence my pen. You might as well try to melt
the snow on the tops of the high mountains away back of where you live,
with that genial smile of yours, as to keep The Stinger from performing
his mission. Rambler, beware of the day when I shall meet you in battle

       *       *       *       *       *

Some one has sent me a copy of the December number of the _California
Cultivator and Poultry Keeper_. It is a nice publication, but I do not
see how it manages to live under such a load of a name. As it has a
well edited apiary department, I imagine that the publisher will some
day add _Bee-Keeper_ to the already long title.

       *       *       *       *       *

A correspondent writes to know if The Stinger is a woman; she says
she thinks The Stinger must be a female, because males do not sting.
I would inform the fair writer, and all other persons who have doubts
as to the sex of The Stinger, that he is a male; this male stings, if
other males do not.

       *       *       *       *       *

What is the difference between a swarm of bees and a sewing bee?

None, as far as buzzing is concerned.—_Ex._

       *       *       *       *       *

Charlie—"Papa, why is it that honey, money and funny rhyme?"

"I don't know, unless that it is often very funny to get honey out of a
bee-hive when the bees are all about your head, and because it is worth
all the money one gets for it to get the honey from the bees. I heard a
man say that he would not take honey from bees at any price."

Charlie—"Well, that's funny."

       *       *       *       *       *

Student in apicultural class at agricultural college—"Professor, why
is it dangerous for a person with the blues to go into an apiary?"

Professor (perplexed)—"I do not know; the text-books do not say
anything on the subject."

Student (with much glee)—Because bees are said to have a preference
for blue!

       *       *       *       *       *

"To be or not to be stung," might have been written by Shakespeare
instead of all that stuff about shuffling off this mortal coil, that
school boys are so fond of spouting on declamation days. If he had said
that about the bees, and a little more too, we might now be classing
the Bard of Avon as something of a bee-keeper; and perhaps we would be
having a peep into his immortal works through the pages of our friend,

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. Maybee—I have read that a professor in one of our agricultural
colleges says that there is considerable difference between the sting
of a wasp and that of a bee.

Mrs. M.—I am not willing to take that learned man's word for it, as I
was stung by both, and did not see the difference; both are too hot for


  [For years, bee-keepers have felt that they owed the Rev. L.
  L. Langstroth—the Father of American bee-culture—a debt
  that they can never very well pay, for his invention of
  the Movable-Frame Hive which so completely revolutionized
  bee-keeping throughout all the world. In order that his few
  remaining years may be made as happy and as comfortable as
  possible, we feel that we should undertake a plan by which
  those bee-keepers who consider it a privilege as well as
  a duty, might have an opportunity to contribute something
  toward a fund that should be gathered and forwarded to
  Father Langstroth as a slight token of their appreciation,
  and regard felt for him by bee-keepers everywhere. No amount
  above $1.00 is expected from any person at one time—but any
  sum, however large or small, we will of course receive and
  turn over to Father L. All receipts will be acknowledged

List of Contributors.

  Previously Reported              $79 95
  Margaret Swain, Pendleton, Ind.      50
  Ed. Weidner, Earlville, Ills.      1 00
  Scott LaMont, Jarrett, Minn.         90
  Wm. Kittinger, Caledonia, Wis.     1 00
    Total                          $83 35


=We Club= the _American Bee Journal_ for a year, with any of the
following papers at the club prices quoted in the =LAST= column.
The regular price of both is given in the first column. One year's
subscription for the American Bee Journal must be sent with each order
for another paper:

                            _Price of both._   _Club._
  The American Bee Journal       $1 00

  and Gleanings in Bee-Culture    2 00       1 75
      Bee-Keepers' Review         2 00       1 75
      Canadian Bee Journal        2 00       1 75
      The Apiculturist            1 75       1 65
      Progressive Bee-Keeper      1 50       1 30
      American Bee-Keeper         1 50       1 40
      Nebraska Bee-Keeper         1 50       1 35
  The 8 above-named papers        6 25       5 25

       *       *       *       *       *

=Have You Read= page 101 yet?

[Illustration: OUR



  ☞ Do not write anything for publication on the same sheet
  of paper with business matters, unless it can be torn apart
  without interfering with either part of the letter.

=The "Bee Journal" a Great Help.=

There is so much valuable information in the BEE JOURNAL that I cannot
afford to destroy them, but will bind them and keep them as a book of
reference. Really, I don't see how I could do without the BEE JOURNAL,
or some other bee-paper that would come up to its standard. Last year I
produced 1,500 pounds of comb honey, while in former years I never got
over 400 pounds. Of course the extra flow last year accounts for much
of my better success, but I also attribute very much of it to the "Old

Myself and son have now 55 colonies in winter quarters, all apparently
doing well except one colony that I think is queenless. Our success
last year would have been much greater had the dry weather not cut the
basswood flow short.


  Huntington, Ind., Jan. 5, 1894.

=Had Plenty of Good Flights.=

I had 5 colonies, spring count, and increased to 11. They did very
well the forepart of the season, but it was too dry to grow buckwheat,
or any other honey-plant. The bees went into winter quarters in good
condition, and are all right up to date. They have had plenty of good
flights so far, but the worst is to come yet. In the spring, if the
weather stays warm, they consume more than when it is cold. Bees were
rather scarce last spring.

  W. F. RINCK.

  West Alexandria, O., Jan. 1, 1894.

=A Good Report—Bee Management.=

My 18 colonies of bees came through the winter in good condition last
spring. They gave me a surplus of 2,000 pounds of white and sweet
clover honey, 1,400 pounds of extracted, and 600 pounds of comb honey.
The former sold here at $1.00 a gallon, and the latter at 13 cents a
pound. I run 5 colonies a different way for extracted honey, and those
5 gave a surplus of 800 pounds. It was done as follows:

I watch until they prepare to swarm, and the honey-flow is close. I
take out all frames from the brood-chamber, except the one the queen
is on, which I put in the center, and fill the chamber with new frames
of full sheets of comb foundation. I then take a full sheet of Root's
perforated zinc, with ¼-inch bee-space between the frames and zinc,
and put it over the brood-chamber. I then put a chamber on top of the
zinc, and put the frames with the bees and brood in this top chamber,
and cover it up. Now I have a laying queen and lots of room for brood
below, and as fast as the brood hatches above, they fill it with honey
if the flow is here. It was here this year, for they filled the top
chamber, after the first extracting, in four days—6 frames two-thirds

My increase is from 18 to 25 colonies, which are in double-walled
hives, and in as good condition for winter as I ever had them.


  Defiance, O., Jan. 1, 1894.

=Uses of Perforated Zinc.=

In reading the short item by Mrs. Jennie Atchley, in regard to the
different uses of Dr. Tinker's perforated zinc, I thought I would add a
little of my experience to those already given.

1st. In hiving young swarms, I have found it to be excellent to place
over the entrance to keep them from leaving or returning to the home

2nd. When four or six swarms issue at the same time, and cluster
together, I have found it to be of the greatest value to me. I look the
bees over, find my queens, and place them in separate hives, and put
on the zinc over the entrance; then I take a large dipper and dip the
bees from the place where they alighted, putting them in front of the
different hives, when the bees will separate, each swarm going into its
own hive.

In using the zinc, some might misunderstand me. I only leave the zinc
on the entrance from two to four days; if the queens are young, I only
leave it on two days, so as to give them a flight. With old queens I
leave it on longer.


  Canaseraga, N. Y.

=Something from Central California.=

Being a Californian, and having not as yet crossed the State line, it
is with great pleasure that I read the reports from other States or
localities throughout the United States. I was pleased to see in the
BEE JOURNAL a report from Kern county—a county joining Tulare county
on the south—of my neighbor realizing nearly 300 pounds per colony.
Now I have reasons to believe that bees will produce a great deal of
honey per colony in Kern county, as I own a small ranch containing 685
acres down there, and am quite familiar with the country. We have the
largest alfalfa fields in the world in Kern county, Calif. We have a
man in Kern county who owns in one body almost 1,000,000 acres of land.

I have seen the time that all the counties in the San Joaquin valley,
consisting of Kern, Tulare, Kings, Fresno, Modara, Merced, and
Modesto—all were joined in large tracts, and had their herds after
herds of bellowing cattle roaming over its one level plain, as the San
Joaquin valley is level, not one elevation 50 feet high in a valley
that is 75×200 miles in size.

Our Senator, Tom Fowler, who owned cattle all along the coast from San
Francisco to Los Angeles, used to say: "I own the cattle that roam on
a thousand hills." I am the same old 76. Tom and all of his bellowing
herds are no more. The "76 ranch," which is located in Tulare county,
was Tom's head-quarters. It has been cut up into small farms, all the
way from 20 up to 2,000 acres, and there are thousands of happy and
beautiful homes, school houses, churches and towns, instead of the
mustang and its master.

Our part of the State is not generally known, as this is central
California, and the cities north and south try to claim us as theirs.


  Traver, Calif.

=A Little Experience with Bees.=

Bee-keeping has about "gone to seed" in this part of the country. If a
person undertakes to keep bees on modern principles, he is considered
a crank. They think "pa" knew it all. "Pa" kept 15 or 20 colonies, and
would get 20 or 25 pounds of honey from one colony. "Pa" would take
care of his bees; he would put little blocks or nails under each corner
of the hive, and then moths would not bother them!

I have read Quinby's book, "A B C of Bee-Culture," _Gleanings_ for two
years, the BEE JOURNAL for one year, also "Bees and Honey," and with my
practical experience, I feel that I am just beginning to learn my A B

My experience is not very extensive. I ran one colony this year for
increase, and made 10 colonies from it, and they only cast one natural
swarm. I got the idea of artificial increase from "Bees and Honey."
That alone has been worth ten times the price of the BEE JOURNAL to me.
Those 10 colonies of bees could not be bought for $20. People will say
"times are too hard—I can't spare the money."

I can't close without telling how much I enjoy "In Sunny Southland."
That alone is worth the price of the paper. Long live the AMERICAN BEE

  C. L. DOYLE.

  Fayette Corners, Tenn.

=Half a Crop—Golden Italians, Etc.=

The common verdict regarding the honey season in this locality is but
half a crop. A cold, wet and late spring left the colonies in such a
weak condition, that were they not stimulated, they would have been in
no condition at all when the honey-flow came. We had a splendid flow
from honey-locust, although there were such high winds and continual
rains during the bloom, that the bees could work scarcely a day at a

Right here I want to say one good thing for those golden 5-banded
Italians, which race almost every one wishes to condemn. They were
working almost every day, while the others did not dare venture
out. This shows them to be very strong on the wing, but as to their
superiority as everyday honey-gatherers, over the leather-colored
variety, I am not prepared to say. For a hardy strain, long livers,
and a business class of bees, give me uniformly marked leather-colored
Italians, every time.

To return to our honey-resources: White clover was almost a total
failure, as a severe drouth existed during the bloom, and it did not
secrete much nectar. Smartweed was our main stand-by, with golden-rod a
close second. They yield an excellent honey.

My style of marketing is three one-pound sections in a frame, for which
I had no trouble in obtaining 60 cents. Extracted brings 12½ cents,
although there is complaint of adulteration in our market.

Our bees are in fine condition for winter, and we have hopes for a
better season next year.


  Evansville, Ind., Dec. 17, 1893.

=Good Season in 1893, Etc.=

A queer winter we are having thus far. The forepart of December was
cold, the mercury reaching zero a number of times, with very little
snow. The middle of December it warmed up, the snow all disappeared,
and on the 22nd it was 70 degrees in the shade; on the 25th it was 60
degrees, and I let my bees have a flight. They were not as thick as in

The last season was a good one in this locality. I never saw white
clover so thick before. We had a heavy wind and hail storm in buckwheat
bloom, which was a complete stop to the buckwheat flow, which started
in well. Golden-rod and asters did not yield much. There were a good
many runaway swarms the past season, quite a number being found on the
lake shore. I got four. The lake takes off one-half, or nearly that, of
my pasture (being situated on the shore). We have about 8 inches of ice
now, and have had very good ice-boating so far.


  Cicero Centre, N. Y., Jan. 8, 1894.

=Won't Winter on Sorghum.=

On page 559, of the BEE JOURNAL for 1893, there is an item concerning
sorghum for wintering bees. Mrs. Atchley suggests that I try it and
report, which I will do with pleasure.

I can only report failure. Mrs. Atchley reports that she could not get
her bees to take hold of sorghum. I had 5 colonies which I fed on it
last October, sufficient to carry them through the winter. They are
now all dead but one colony, and that one is reduced in numbers to a
mere handful of bees. They all had plenty of sealed stores when they
died, and fell down on the bottom-board. All of my other colonies are
wintering well, that have honey stores.

Now, if Mrs. Atchley wants to try sorghum next winter, I think if
she will go to some of her colonies of bees in warm, dry weather in
October—some that have plenty of bees and not much honey—and raise
the front end of the hive a little higher than the back, and pour in
the pure sorghum just a little for one or two evenings, to get them
started to eating it, then increase a little more, feeding every
evening, I think in a week or so her bees will have plenty of sealed
stores to last them through the winter—if they should live that long.
But I don't think they would.

I don't wish Mrs. Atchley to feed her bees on sorghum, nor any one
else, unless you want to lose your bees, for that you will do if they
are fed on pure sorghum.

Some Northern bee-keepers may think there is a disease among my bees,
but such is not the case. There never was any disease among bees in
this country, that I know of.


  Decatur, Miss., Dec. 23, 1893.

=Getting Statistics on Bee-Culture.=

I notice on page 743 of the BEE JOURNAL for 1893, under heading of
"Comb Honey in the United States," a request for all manufacturers of
honey-sections to report all sales of sections to Dr. Miller, for the
purpose of ascertaining the amount of honey produced, etc. That would
be one way to guess at the amount, but I don't think it would be very
much of a guess.

It appears to me that there is but one way to get at the amount of
honey produced in the United States. Every assessor has a long list
of questions provided on purpose to get at the statistics of the
country. When these statistics are finally compiled, they are sent out
all over the country, and we can see at a glance just how much wheat,
oats, corn, etc., each State has produced the previous season. Now, I
don't think it would require very much persuasion on the part of the
bee-fraternity to secure the placing of two or three more questions on
that list, viz.:

1. How many colonies of bees did you have, spring count, on June 1st,
last year?

2. How many pounds of comb honey did you produce?

3. How many pounds of extracted honey?

This would bring out a full report of the amount of honey produced in
the United States. It would also show the number of colonies of bees
kept by the States.

  C. H. POND.

  Kasson, Minn.

=Value of Bee Papers and Books.=

There is little use trying to keep bees, either for pleasure or profit,
without at least one live bee-paper to awaken interest and enthusiasm,
and keep the apiarist abreast of the times. When we see an apiary
that shows neatness, taste and prosperity, we need not be told that
the owner or manager has access to bee papers and books; and when
we find a bee-yard with hives huddled together regardless of order,
distance or taste, with many of the colonies dead and dying, we are
sure that the knowledge, skill and enterprise that come from the study
of apiarian literature, have never reached that desolate and forlorn
spot. Of course the bees are black, but no darker than much of the
filthy comb and honey inside the hives. By neglect, much of the worker
comb has become unfit for brood-rearing, and hence drones are reared in
superabundance, and these deteriorated male bees fill the air for miles
in all directions, to vitiate the pure blood of all well-kept apiaries.

But the intelligent, careful, painstaking apiarist will find
encouragement in the assurance that all bees kept by such slipshod
methods are doomed, and on the principle of "the survival of the
fittest" must go, and the sooner the better for all concerned.

Bees in this section did well last season, and went into winter
quarters in excellent condition. The recent warm spell gave them a fine
airing (those on the summer stands), and now they should winter with
but little loss.

  S. S. BUTTS.

  Wyalusing, Pa., Dec. 28, 1893.

=The Season of 1893, Etc.=

I read the BEE JOURNAL with much pleasure, for my bees are almost all
the comfort that I have left, as I have no family now. My wife died
last February. I have two daughters, but they were married years ago. I
have a comfortable home, and enough of this world's goods to live on,
but what matters that, when the ties of love are forever broken?

Well, the last season was not very good for the bee-man in this part
of the State. The dry weather set in just as the basswood came into
bloom, and cut it short. It was just a little cool for white clover, so
our crop was short. I have always worked for comb honey, and for that
reason I have never had very heavy returns.

My bees came out of the cellar in fair condition last spring. I put
away 20 colonies, and lost 4 through my neglect (the breaking up of my
family unnerved me for business). The bees increased to 30 colonies,
which are now in the cellar, as that is my method of keeping them. They
are heavy with winter stores, and so far are doing well. They were put
in on Nov. 22nd.

I want to say a few words in favor of the yellow bee, as I have both.
They stored nearly all the surplus. In a good season the blacks will do
just as well, but when the crop is short, the yellow bees are the best
for me.

I have sold 500 pounds of honey, and have 100 or more of uncapped honey


  Viola, Iowa, Dec. 19, 1893.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Great Premium= on page 101!

       *       *       *       *       *


  1. Silently corrected simple spelling, grammar, and typographical
  2. Retained anachronistic and non-standard spellings as printed.

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