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have never noticed that they were much excited over it. They can't hold a candle to the box elder (the willows, not the bees).
It must be that the air around friend Doolittle is surcharged with honey, judging from the enormous yields he gets from his bees; in fact, every thing he touches or even writes about rains honey. I have 60 colonies packed for winter on summer stands. As I A WORD FOR BLACK (WITH “BANDS” wintered my bees successfully last winter, I had thought to make a report, but have neglected it.
ON THEM) BEES.
I went a long way to see you last fall, friend Root, and spent quite a number of dollars, and I must say I was just a little disappointed in my visit. It was a rainy day, the next day after Garfield's funeral, and everybody felt a little blue, and perhaps I had imagined you to be-well, I don't know what-something as my brother remarked when I introduced him to you; "Good morning, Mr. Root; this young man here has always swallowed whole every thing you have written." Mayhap I have swallowed too much. However, I hope not.
P. S.-The black Tartarian cherry is supposed to have come from one of the territories of Tartary, near the Sea of Japan. It is a seedling, and is propagated from the under branches, which sprout up thickly all around the tree, like the Morellos, and is a rather new one on that account.
Rantoul, Ill., Dec. 8, 1881.
H. M. MORRIS.
Friend M., there is something in your closing remarks that makes me feel very sad indeed. It is, that it is almost beyond my power to give my vast circle of friends the kind treatment and consideration I feel I ought to. To tell the truth, I did not know until this minute that you had ever paid us a call, and quite often some one writes about having made us a visit, whom I would have been very glad to have seen. Perhaps I can explain it to our mutual help. A great part of the season I am shaking hands with new friends almost every day of my life, and unless the name is a very unusual one, although I know you by your letters, I can not recognize you by name. If you introduced yourself as Morris, it would hardly give me any more light than if you said Smith or Jones; but had you said, "I am H. M. Morris, of Rantoul, Ill.," I should have recalled you at once, principally by the rather unusual name of your post office. We in the office almost always name you with your postoffices, or there would never be any chance of our understanding each other. A mau once came into the office and introduced himself as Newman. I shook hands with him, and talked quite a while on bees, supposing him to be Newman of Norwalk, O.; but when I found he was the editor of the A. B. J., I had to shake hands over again and take a fresh start. I want to be courteous; but it often pains me much to be obliged to tell some very good warm friend of mine (whom I have known for years through the letters), when he comes to me, that I can not remember of ever having heard of such a person before. Now let me advise: When you come here, come right up into the office; we never have closed doors, so you need not knock, and the girls will, some of them, be sharp enough to remember you, even if I am not, and they will make it plain to me what friend it is we are entertaining, and, may be, entertain you better than I can, especially
when I am burdened with a load of cares, as is often the case.-May I suggest, that the black Tartarian cherry seems sometimes tolerably hardy, even as far north as we are, and that our young friend who advertises them may not be far out of the way, after all?
ALSO THE OTHER SIDE OF LAST WINTER.
S others send in their report, I do so too. Our best flow of honey was in September from black heart. I had 4 colonies in spring, and took off 4231⁄2 lbs., an average of 105 lbs., and increased to 7. I bought 5 Italians in the spring, of Geo. Grimm, Jefferson, Wis. The 5 gave me 517 lbs., and increased to 13. I used about 12 lbs. fdn. for starters, and I think it pays to use them; an aver age of over 100 lbs. I also had the care of 4 others, belonging to my brother. His gave 385 lbs., an av. erage of 984, and increased to 13. The 13 gave 1323 lbs., all comb honey, an average of over 100 lbs., and increased to 33. My only box hive last winter stood in an open shed, 1 foot from the ground, the bottomboard cracked so the bees went down through, and warped so they came out on the north side, and
more so on the south side than they did at the regu lar entrance on the east side, with three corn cobs under a timothy-chaff pillow as a honey box, with six one-inch holes open down through. This gave me 139 lbs. and 2 swarms. The first new swarm gave 91 lbs. And you say transfer! While the box hives do as this does, I transfer by putting new swarms into sash hives. One hive gave 126% lbs. and 5 swarms, the first swarm giving a big swarm Aug. 1st, and also on the 15th. The one that gave the most honey, 139 lbs., was a black; the one that increased most (5) was a black; the one that gave the least honey, 75 lbs., was a black, and the one that swarmed the least (0), were blacks. From the above, you see the blacks did the best in honey, the best in swarming; also the poorest in the same; both honey and swarming. The blacks here are more or less banded by their own mixing. I bought the above 5 italians partly to introduce new blood.
Limerick, Ill., Nov. 21, 1881.
CULTIVATION OF BUCKWHEAT.
UCKWHEAT is called the lazy man's crop, because, no matter how poor the cultivation, he is pretty sure to get something. But I find there is no crop that responds quicker to good treatment. The cultivation of buckwheat for grain or honey is the same; but in selection of soil, and time of sowing, there is a material difference. To yield honey freely, the soil must be strong enough to produce a good crop of corn or potatoes. A field that, with good cultivation, would produce a fair crop of grain, nine times out of ten would not furnish a pound of honey.
If I were sowing expressly for honey, I should proceed as follows: If the field to be sown were greensward, I would plow it as soon as the frost left the ground in the spring, and let it lie until about the first of June. At that time I would select some very warm day, and go over it several times with a two-horse cultivator. My reason for taking a warm day is, that I would be sure to kill all weeds and
grass. If the field had been cropped the previous season, I would cross-plow in place of cultivating. Buckwheat is such a quick-growing crop, the point is to get the soil loose and light as deep as the roots go, and also have the surface pulverized very fine for a seed-bed. The time for sowing with us is the tenth of June, but would vary according to locality. In average seasons the bees commence storing honey 45 days after sowing; and as there should not be a break between basswood and buckwheat, it would be impossible to fix a date. The seed should be soaked 24 hours, and then rolled in plaster or quicklime; this insures an even catch, and also gives the young plants a start. The quantity of seed for smooth ground would be half a bushel per acre; for rough and uneven ground, double the amount will be required. Most grain, where a small quantity of seed is sown, will send up several stalks from each grain. Buckwheat sends up but one from this main stalk. Side branches are thrown out, on which the bulk of the crop is matured; and unless the surface of the ground is very smooth, the stalk can not be cut below the side branches. When more seed is used per acre, the branches are thrown out nearer the top of the stalk, and there is less trouble in harvesting.
In regard to soil: If I could have just what I want ed, it would be a sandy loam. When grain is the only object, I would sow the fifteenth of July. I have had a good yield of grain when sown early; but on an average, my late sowing does much the better. H. T. BISHOP.
Chenango Bridge, N. Y., Dec., 1881. Thanks, friend B.; but if I am correct, many of our farmers would object to your very rich soil, on the ground that the grain would all fall down in consequence. Very likely you are right in saying that it must have a richer soil to produce honey largely, than for just grain alone. What do the rest of the friends say about the cultivation of buckwheat, especially for the honey?
HOSE who think of entering our ranks as honey-producers always inquire, "Which is the best hive to produce honey? how much can you get from a colony of bees annually?" and a lot of questions like these. Were I out of the business, and contemplated going into it, I would ask myself, or some better posted man, or both, the following: As it is a fact, that honey is bringing a good price now in our markets, do you think we can safely figure on the perpetuation of this state of things? How many pounds of honey, taking the years together, will an area of six or seven miles diameter yield? Can you tell me of a good unoccupied field? How many colonies of bees in proper hives, and properly managed, will I need to collect the amount you mention, getting the greatest proportion of surplus? How much capital do you think it will require, to set up in business? About how much labor annually?
the business grow along with the capital. In this course I have no faith. Why will not the same reasoning and advice apply to carpentering, shoemaking, doctoring, preaching, or the practice of law? I believe our business a hybrid, or cross between the trades and professions, and I believe that, when the man who is going to succeed at it turns his mind to it he will be fit for little else; that it will be found a great waste of time, to be tinkering along with a number of colonies unworthy of the time of the opcrator; also a slow and uncertain method of getting knowledge. Where is the producer of to-day who has grown up in this way, who has not in the past, or got to in the future, throw away hundreds of dollars in the many hives and other fixtures? I believe that in this business, as in all others, the specialist can produce the product the cheapest; that he will be forced to produce it as cheaply as he can, the same as has been the rule with other productions. That will put the business in the bands of specialists; and I believe that there is great wisdom in letting it severely alone, unless you expect to become one. Those who do, will do best by serving a season or two as a student apprentice, with some one in whose success and methods they have confidence, getting as much for their services as they can agree upon. I know of a few cases of this kind, and they point strongly to the wisdom of the course.
I commenced in 1869, and the first thing I lost the capital I began with; took a small start in connection with fruit and vegetables, and crept slowly upward. Honey was high; and could I have traded the fruit and vegetable business off for practical knowledge of apiculture, I would have done much better. Though it is a fact, that the field of apicultural knowledge was considerably smaller than it is to-day, it would have paid me handsomely, and saved me hundreds of dollars had I worked under Adam Grimm, or some such man, a year at least, even if I had got only my board. I know that, when
the honey of the country is produced by a smaller number of well-posted men, who will buy only a few necessities that they can not more economically make, that the supply trade will be much less than as though the same amount of honey were produced by amateurs and persons of other callings, in a smaller way; and this proves the economy of specialty. While the supply trade will no doubt be, even then, in advance of what it is to-day (so much more honey will be produced from fields now unoccupied), it will also be a more agreeable, staple trade, goods and prices being more uniform, dealers and purchasers better acquainted with each other, and our whole system running with less than half the friction and disappointment of to-day.
The above are some of the primary questions that those who are destined to succeed will ask. The man of tact will feel at once that the possibilities, or even probabilities, of one or ten colonies of bees has but little bearing upon his future success as a honeyproducer. Some have urged the purchase of a very few colonies at first, so as to let knowledge of
All honest men, whatever may be their interest, who see it in this light, are anxious to herald the "good time coming." JAMES HEDDon.
Dowagiac, Mich., Dec. 12, 1881.
If one undertakes the bee business because of the money he can make out of it, and for no other reason, I do not know but that I pretty nearly agree with friend Heddon; but if I am correct, a great part of the readers of GLEANINGS have other reasons for keeping bees. The man who makes honey-paifs by the hundred thousand can assuredly make them cheaper than the one who makes them by the dozen; and the man who raises and puts up honey by the ton, can (or at least ought to) furnish it at a less price than the
bee-keeper of a dozen colonies. For all that,
SPEAKING UNKINDLY OF THOSE WE
Grimm. I am sure it would do me good, and, mayhap, it might do GLEANINGS good. What do you think, friends?
HONEY FROM CORN.
BY ONE WHO IS THOROUGHLY WAKED UP IN REGARD
tonguing the corn-tassels. We do not say that bees do not find honey on corn-stalks or corn-tassels. We believe the old German saying, that “in a good year, every bean-pole sweats honey; but in a bad one, no flower secretes any." The sap of plants varies in the quantity of sugar secreted. Some years it is very sweet, and beetles act as "sugar-tree tappers," while bees gather in the sap, etc. "No admittance" seems to be tacked over many departments of Nature's laboratory, and we have not found out all we want to know about honey. Will the A B C class al
low me to say, that when a plant secretes pollen in large quantities, it secrets honey in small quantities? Much pollen supersedes the necessity of much honey. The reverse of this problem is also true--much honey, little pollen. We think that, when bees come from the buckwheat fields heavily laden with pollen, it indicates a meager flow of honey. Small pellets and full sacks; large pellets and empty sacks. Hang this on the basswood-trees anyhow, and then tell us where else, and what you know about it. I offer $50 for one pound of honey from corn-tassels. Any one knowing his bees to be gathering honey from corntassels, will notify me by postal or dispatch. I will at once start for his place. If bees are not gathering honey from corn-tassels, he must pay my expenses. If the honey is produced from corn-tassels, I am to receive the pound, pay $50, and my own ex
JESSE OREN. La Porte City, Black Hawk Co., Ia., Dec. 13, 1881. Although I don't quite like friend Oren's way of bringing out facts, it may be that his letter will bring out what we do not know Can not the partiabout corn from honey. cles of honey in the tassel, if such there be, be found with the microscope?
It seems to
me this would settle it.
WOULD IT BE AN HONEST TRANSACTION?
I notice the following editorial remarks in Gleanings for Oct., page 496:
The Holy-Land bees certainly have some strong points of difference that promise well. We often send them out to fill orders, and I have never yet heard them called any thing else than nice Italians. The bees would please almost anybody in appearance, and we have never had a complaint of their being cross, like some of the Cyprians."'
Now, are we to understand by the above that, should we order from Mr. Root an Italian queen, he R. EDITOR:-We desire to provoke thought, is to send us just what he chooses, and it is all right rather than convey information. We would so long as we do not know the difference? That is on a par with the dairyman who would ship a cusprefer to convey information, if we possess-tomer a tub of oleomargarine, and would console ed the facts. "Will bees gather honey from corn?" himself that the customer would not know the difference between that and good butter. This is asked on page 595 of GLEANINGS. The anRockland, N. Y. swer given by "one," as friend Doolittle had it, is,
Yes, and lots of it, sometimes." Now, I do not be
lieve that honey is ever gathered from the tassels, or
male organs of corn, or from the pollen-producing organs of any plant. Honey, I regard as a sort of menstrua of the female organs of plants, designed by nature to entangle the pollen for impregnating purposes. In most plants these organs are in immediate proximity. The honey secreted by the pumpkin is at the apex of the embryo pumpkin, and immediately under the pollen, etc. Now, corn is an exception to this general rule. The silk of the corn is the natural location from which honey should flow. But, bees do not visit the silk, in this section of Iowa; and we have not been able to find our bees
W. CAIRNS. be kind o' half way civil and decent, even Whatever ails you, friend C.? Can't you I haven't said a word about queens in any though you may be writing for the A. B. J.? thing you have quoted - I only said bees. In our parts" we sell bees by the pound bushels and bushels of them. Folks buy queens, and then we send some bees along with them, and the Holy-Land bees are very pretty Italians. Do you suppose the bees sent with a queen are going to spoil her purity? And, by the way, friends, is it just, kind, and civil, for a brother-editor to publish such things about one you all know as you do me?
Heads of Grain,
From Different Fields.
Why, friends, it looks almost as if we were going to swing around to the original air space above the frames, invented by our good old friend Mr. Langstroth, pretty well toward 30 years ago. I have before spoken of the fact, that a number of our neighbors who use the old-style Langstroth hives with honey-boards, winter, year after year, with but very few losses comparatively.
"OUT OF THE WOODS."
WINTER PASSAGES OVER THE COMBS. HE practice of giving winter passages over the combs is one of my hobbies about wintering. I have practiced it for the past three winters, and have not lost a colony when so prepared and chaff packed. I formerly used corn cobs, the same as Mr Shane did; but I have thrown them aside, and use now in their stead a new, clean, well-seasoned pine shingle, nine or ten inches wide, with a cleat one-half inch square on each end. I think it has some advantage over Mr. Hill's device, as illustrated in November GLEANINGS. It is easier made by persons not having the use of machinery. It prevents the fine dust from rattling through the burlap directly among the bees, and I think retains the warmth of the cluster much better than burlap and chaff alone. The moisture will pass off at the sides of the shingle as well as if not there. I have examMr. Root, if you remember, you told us last spring ined a number of colonies so arranged to-day, and not to crow until we got out of the woods. I think I find the bees clustered close up against the shingle have got out now. Our honey is not all weighed yet, in all of them. I consider the cleated shingle of but I will crow about 1000 lbs., all comb honey, and equal value for cellar wintering. I winter half my 48 good swarms of bees. This is my second summer with bees. bees in cellar; the other half outdoors packed in I worked in the tannery every day 10 chaff; so far with about equal success. To sum up hours except 1% days with my bees. I have a wife, with, if it were not for the trouble, I would use a and twin boys 10 years old. They would come to the board similar to the old-fashioned honey-board, fit-tannery to tell me when the bees swarmed; and I ting close around the side of the hive, and glued on, have one girl, 13 years old. I sent to H. Alley; got 3 with a half-inch space above the frames- the board queens, Hungarian, Cyprian, and Holy-Land. I into have from four to eight one-inch auger-holes, actroduced them all right, and raised two queens from cording to the strength of the colony; those to be the Cyprians. I like GLEANINGS (you can put me covered with burlap, and the whole well protected down for one year more), and I like your advice; with chaff. L. D. GALE. but I don't like those fault-finding letters that you sometimes receive. I gave Mother Robins one swarm Stedman, Chaut. Co., N. Y., Nov. 14, 1881. of bees the 17th of June; they made 75 lbs. of surplus honey. F. ROULO. Portville, Catt. Co., N. Y., Oct. 12, 1881.
CANDY FEEDING IN WINTER NOT INJURIOUS.
I see on p. 490 of Oct. GLEANINGS, that friend Hubbard claims that the "honey-board, or substitute thereof," should not be loosened too late in the season for the bees to wax all up tight again before cold weather; and that you agree with him. That, I
will not question; but I will give some facts on the
subject, from the experience of the past winter. As
above stated, the season of 1880 was very dry. There being no fall pasturage, I had to feed my bees for winter supply, which was done in October. Freezing weather set in the latter part of October, and continued all winter with but few days during which snow would melt. Now for the facts: About the first of January I found that one colony was dead. They continued dying until I had lost four-starved, as I supposed, by being unable to get to the honey in the outside frames. With the mercury standing below the freezing point, and the ground covered with snow, I opened every hive I had, and put in cakes of candy, made as you direct, on top of the frames. Thus I continued feeding those in the
weakest condition, always, of course, selecting the
Since you mention it, friend R, I recall to mind that I have done the same thing, through pretty severe winters too, and now I am inclined to think disturbance does harm only when the bees are confined to natural stores, or stores not easily assimilated when they can not fly. If given pure sugar candy, disturbance in winter, or at any other time, is not necessarily detrimental; if confined to natural stores, and threatened with dysentery, it may, as in your case, prove quite the contrary.
HONEY AT 25C. A PAILFUL.
On page 570, Nov. No. of GLEANINGS, you say that
1%-lb. tin pails of ext. honey sell readily for an even 25c. Is that the wholesale or retail price? If the
latter, it is not enough; for no one can expect to retail a large lot of honey. I can not get grocers to handle a package of extracted honey for less than 10c.; deducting this and price of pail, leaves 10c. for
honey, label, and putting up. Ten cents for the gro
cer, I know, is too much; but what are we to do?
ELEVEN INCREASED TO 20, AND 1100 LBS. OF HONEY. Here is my report for 1881: In the spring I had 11 colonies, mostly weak, and all in box hives; they are black bees, with just a trace of Italian blood. I transferred 4 into Simplicity hives. These 4 gave us no swarms, but they increased so as to fill three 1story hives, and made 600 lbs. of surplus honey. The
others all swarmed, and now I have 20. Fourteen are in Simplicity hives, and 6 in box. I have taken, in all, 1100 lbs. of honey-1000 extracted, and 100 of comb. Just after basswood bloom they gathered a quantity of very thick dark honey which tasted more like molasses than honey. I think it must have been honey-dew. I was surprised to find how large some swarms become when they have plenty of room; before, I had always supposed they had room to do their best in box hives containing 2000 cubic inches. I had one case of two queens in one hive. I acci dentally killed one of them, and the bees very soon started queen-cells, but tore them down as soon as they were sealed up. Bees are now in the cellar. Bloomington, Minn., Nov. 29, 1881. G. H. POND.
WILLOWS AND BLUE THISTLE AS HONEY-PLANTS. I have been looking over A B C respecting beeplants, or honey-producing plants. What have you to say on willows? I herewith send you some cuttings of the Holy - Land willow, from Sunnyside. They come into blossom early the very first to make its appearance in this State, and they are full of bees from morn to night when weather will permit bees to work them. You will see they already show signs of budding. It is the most valuable carly honey and pollen producing shrub I am acquainted with. I will send you specimens of full flowers this season. Now another thing I wish to correct you on: Blue thistle is no thistle, and does not belong to that class. It is Borago grandiflora, and is a perennial, and you will find a few plants with the willows. It is a great honey-producing plant, and remains in bloom to this date, Dec. 1, in sheltered positions. My bees are bringing pollen to-day, and I can find nothing else in bloom, and I see a few bees on this plant.
C. H. LAKE.
Sunnyside, Baltimore, Md., Dec. 1, 1881.
INTRODUCING BY MAKING A NEW COLONY FROM TWO OLD ONES.
Noticing in the Dec. No. of GLEANINGS, p. 601, an article in which a method of "introducing" a new
queen to a colony of bees without being obliged to
hunt up the old one is described, the writer seems to leave a part of the problem unsolved, or at least does not carry his description far enough to cover all requirements of the case. He writes, "Opened No. 1, took out five frames heaviest with brood; brushed all the bees from them, put the frames of brood into an empty hive with queen caged on one of the combs; removed swarm No. 2 a rod or so from its old stand, when bees were flying briskly; put cage containing queen and brood in the place from whence I removed No. 2." Now, from this transaction the influence seems to be that the bees which are absent from No. 2 at the time of the opera
tion and removal of their hive, will, on returning to their old stand, enter the nucleus placed there by the operator, as it occupies the place of their former home. But as there are bees in No. 2 at the time of its removal, how will they conduct themselves on their return from their first trip to the fields, from their new position? It seems that the old bees, and, in fact, all those properly belonging to No. 2, in gathering, would invariably return to their old stand; leaving only the nurse bees, or those very young, with the old queen in the old hive, at the new position, making the whole performance no more nor less than the establishing of a new colony by dividing two others; viz., by supplying brood from one, and bees from another the queen being furnished by the operator. If every thing would work favorably by the employment of such means, there seems to be but little chance for objection to d viding in this way. The impression derived from the description seems to favor the idea that there would be no unfavorable result; but, before attempting its practice, a further assurance seems necessary to establish a perfect confidence in the modus operandi. Has the method been practiced heretofore? If so, can we not have a few words of admonition through GLEANINGS, from the editor, or some of its numerous veteran bee-keeping correspondents?
JAS. F. LATHAM.
I did not mention willows among the honey-producing plants, because it did not seem to me that anybody would set out any plant so hard to eradicate, for honey alone. I did not at that time know that our fence willows were honey-producing in some lo calities. In a recent back number we have been told something of the difficulty of erad-est icating willows. It has also been mentioned that blue thistle is not a thistle; but still, some of our friends who "got a going could not well stop; and to keep peace in the family I took blue-thistle seed out of the price list.
Cumberland, Maine, Dec. 7, 1881. The method has been practiced to a considerable extent, when queens are to be introduced, and the number of stocks increased at the same time. I know of no objection, except the one friend Hasty alludes to in his article on page 25. The queen should from the old hive have pretty nearly stopped be kept caged about 48 hours, or until bees coming in.
HOW FAR BEES FLY FOR HONEY.
I find in Dec. No. of GLEANINGS, page 596, “3% miles is as far as we have been able to find Italians working from their hives, when the first ones were brought to our county." Now, when the first Italfans were brought to this county (Monroe) they were found working on the flowers 7 miles from the nearhives. Of this there can be no doubt, for it was before there could have been any of them in the woods; and although I did not see them, yet I have the fact from the parties who did, and who are entirely reliable. As we may not soon again have an opportunity, at least so good a one, of testing the flight of bees for honey as we had when the Italians were introduced, I think it is well enough to record all the facts we can get on so interesting a subject. HUGH MARLIN.
Bloomington, Ind., Dec. 10, 1881. item. What has been the experience of Very good, friend M., and thanks for the
OUT OF "BLASTED HOPES" INTO 66 SMILERY." I believe I was in the wrong pew anyhow, don't you? Although I had been sick all winter, and lost all my 24 colonies of bees but one weak and queen. less stock, my hopes were not blasted; 'twas only the bees; for I went right to work and bought a hybrid queen for the little swarm I had left, and bought another weak swarm with hybrid queen, and from those two weak swarms I now have nine, all in good trim for winter. But I got no honey-didn't expect any; worked for increase altogether. It was a very