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How to Begin Bee Keeping.
(i. \V. Dciimrw, in Kunil World.
I have some letters before me asking
advice as to the best way to begin the
busines of honey producing for a profit,
as well as the best remedy for the
"complaint" known as "bee fever." In
the first place there are a great num
ber of "fevers" along this line. There
is the agricultural fever and the horti
cultural, and the garden truck fevers,
and the bee fever is a clincher when
it takes hold of a fellow that is a "lee
tle" shy of constant work. By perse
vering this "fever" is sure to be cured.
If you succeed in the business the fe
ver "strikes in," and if you fail, the fe
ver "strikes out," and you're cured.
But it is a fact, as far as my observa
tion extends, that a greater number of
persons fitted for the business succeed
in bee culture than in other like pur
I could not give my views as to the
"best plan" for a novice in the business
to pursue, to get a start, better than
to give my own experience as an apia
culturist. When I began modern bee
keeping I was something of a pioneer
in the modern plan of handling bees,
and had to work my way largely by ex
perimentation, as we did not have the
help in the way of modern bee litera
ture, etc., in those days as the beginner
now has. I had kept some colonies of
bees in a blind way, and when I deter
mined to learn something of the natu
ral history and habits of bees so as to
control them intelligently, I procured
a colony of pure Italian bees in a mod
ern Langstroth hive, and equipping
myself with a good bee smoker and a
modern bee hat, I began at the time of
apple bloom to learn how to open up
this hive, to handle the frames with
adhering bees, and how to look up the
queen and distinguish her from the
drones and worker bees.
I observed the developing of the
young bees from the eggs to the ma
ture hatching bees. Later in the sea
son, at swarming time, I learned how
bees start and build queen cells and
rear young queens preparatory to
swarming, or to supersede old worn
One of the important things in con
nection with honey-producing can not
fail to attract the serious attention of
the beginner, and that is the inevitable
fact that rapid increase of colonies
either by artificial means or by natu
ral swarming must be had at the ex
pense of the honey crop. Large in
crease and large honey yield can not go
together. If we must have rapid in
crease we must expect light honey
When an apiary must be built up
rapidly it will pay well to buy up
cheap box hive colonies and transfer
the bees and combs into Langstroth
hives during the season of apple bloom.
These transferred colonies will usual
ly produce average honey yield and of
ten cast a good swarm the same sea
son. Any good standard work on bee
culture will explain the operation
without loss in the way of honey yield.
Let it be kept in mind constantly that
every locality where bees are kept
there are seasons of longer or shorter
periods when the honey flow is on, and
if the bees are not in trim for strong,
rapid work, all is lost to them and to
their keeper for that year. How im
portant it is, then, to have the little in
dustrious harvesters strong and ready.
Putting on Second Super.
The question has been asked as to
whether there is any advantage in
putting on the second super when the
first one is part full, and if so, when it
should be done. Most assuredly there
is a very big advantage in may cases.
Suppose you have a strong colony
working in the super, and honey is
coming in very rapidly. When the su
per is about filled, the bees will be a
comparatively long time in finishing it
up, the bees having no place for the
honey will crowd it into the brood nest
and will thus in many cases be driven
to swarming when otherwise they
RANCH AND RANGE.
would not. Give them a second super,
and they will be strong in that while
finishing up the first. Moreover, in
many cases a single super does not af
ford sufficient room for a strong colo
ny. A strong colony may in a heavy
flow be working in three supers, and
doing good work in all.
When the first super is half filled,
and the prospect is fair for a continua
tion of the flow, put a second super un
der the first. They will begin in it
more promptly than if it is placed over.
But toward the close of the season, or
at any time when you feel uncertain
whether the bees will need more room,
give the added super above. Then
they will not be likely to begin it un
less they really need it.
How shall I italianize my apiary?
This question has been asked and an
swered more than any other relating to
bee culture. If we were going to ital
ianize an apiary of black bees this sea
son, we would buy a choice tested
queen and introduce her in the best
colony of black bees we had and begin
feeding heavily and as soon as we had
a drone brood in the Italian colony we
would take a frame of eggs from it and
place in an empty hive; get about three
frames of sealed brood from a black
colony, with the adhering bees; place
them in the hive with the frame of
eggs, and remove the old colony and
place the new in its place; they keep
taking brood frames from the old colo
ny, until they are about equal; then
kill the black queen and give them a
frame of eggs from any pure queen,
and tear down all cells built on other
frames than this. This would be Ital
ianizing, prohibiting black drones and
dividing at the same time.
C. F. Elwell reports his recent spe
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satisfactory. They were a nice lot
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