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ders, cockroaches, crickets, moths, canker and cut worms, and grasshoppers, all of which I have often seen them catch.
At the apiary, in the mountains, near the town of Chatsworth, it being a somewhat desertlike locality, spiders are scarce, I suppose because flies are scarce. There is one representative, however, and this of an unusual size, being about § or of an inch in length. It spins webs like a bunch of cotton, only to hide in. It approaches its prey stealthily, and springs upon it unawares. If it were not for lizards these spiders might become a formidable enemy to bees.
At Florence, forty miles away, and in the damper coast atmosphere, we are troubled by at least three varieties of spiders. Our hive-covers being of the ventilated kind, in the spaces two kinds of spiders establish their homes. The small one is not more than inch long, and lives on flies; but it often spins its webs before the entrances of the hives, and entangles the bees; but its webs not being strong the bees usually kick themselves free. The other spider is about
inch long, and has a bright-red spot on its thorax. This one makes a business of eating bees, and a bee seldom gets out of its net if once entangled. I often find its web before the entrance, so as to make it almost impossible for a bee to enter. It also constructs a mass of webs like a small bunch of cotton, with an entrance on one side, in which it hides from its enemies. I have seen lizards pull at one of these nests until the spider ran out and then catch it.
which they devour, together with bees, flies, and other insects. During the following night they arrange more webs. I have often found five or six bees in the web of a single spider. Those which are caught are the earliest and most industrious bees, as one or two hours of sunshine dries the stickiness out of the webs so that they are entirely harmless.
There are several buildings adjacent to the apiary; and, after an absence of a month, I have found more than a hundred of these big fat spiders located about them, but never one below the eaves within reach of the lizards. Lizards regard them as such a rare delicacy that they are taken before they are half grown. I go at the high fellows with a board about four inches wide, and a handle on one end, and land a good number clear over into the street or against another building "on the fly." The greater part of them can be crushed in their hiding-places in daytime; but a few secrete themselves in inaccessible places, which can be poisoned by dusting a small amount of Paris green on a captured insect or on a moist web.
But last of all is the worst spider of all. This one is brown all over, and its body is about inch in diameter when full grown, and has a small thorax, and head attached to one side. This spider does not spin a web to hide in, but seeludes itself by creeping closely into a corner and depending upon its resemblance to the surrounding material. Thus on a dark surface it may be of a dark-gray brown; on redwood, the exact color of the wood, while on a brick its back would be a red brown. As soon as night comes, this spider begins by casting a web from the eaves of the building under which it is secreted all day, to the branch of a tree-often from the ridge-board or chimney-to other parts of the house. In my apiary were 150 grapevine-trellises, eight feet high, and rows of trees around the outside, making good facilities for attaching their webs. They do not weave a net, but cast five or six threads near by, with one or two extending to a distant object. These webs are strong, and very sticky. When an insect strikes a single strand its fate is fixed. They will hold a bee by a single foot or the end of a wing, and it is only a few seconds until several feet and wings are caught. As the bee struggles, the single strand separates into several fine strands which have the quality of finally inclosing a bee so thoroughly that it is difficult to determine whether it is a bee or some other insect. The spiders remain secluded until about sunset, and then draw in the webs,
At one time these spiders became so numerous, and were so persistent, that I began to despair of maintaining the apiary in that location. Before my courage entirely failed we sold the chickens, and the old cat died, which allowed the lizards to increase so that the spiders have hardly needed any of my attention during the past summer. Chatsworth, Cal., Nov. 10.
HOFFMAN FRAME AND FOLLOWER DEFENDED.
How the Frame Should be Used.
BY M. A. GILL.
I have watched with a great deal of interest the criticisms upon the Hoffman frame during the past year, and am wondering if the words of condemnation heaped upon it by the so-called experts would cause the manufacturers to stop making them and take a step backward by again offering to the trade that old nuisance the finger-spaced frame. As one who is handling 1000 colonies in Hoffman frames and about 200 with the old finger-spaced frames, I can not understand how any one can claim that the latter can be handled with more ease and speed. Three of us go over this amount of bees every six days during the swarming season, controlling all swarming by the shaking plan; and I know we could not do it with the old loose hanging frames, nor do I believe any other three people can if they will agree to keep their combs as straight as we do with the Hoffman frame.
Now, this may sound harsh; but I think if some of the people who are so severe in their criticisms of the Hoffman frame could attend your correspondence school for a year and learn how to have combs built in Hoffman frames, and how to manipulate them
after they are built, they would cease their criticisms. I know of one bee-keeper who says he prefers the Hoffman frame, but prefers to leave out the follower, and then spaces the frames clear across the hive. Could any thing be imagined more ridiculous?
Another prefers to push the follower and half of the frame to one side of the hive and allow the bees to build one thick comb in the center to enable the operator to have one place of easy access.
Still another prefers to leave out the followers and allow the bees to build a thick comb at the side of the hive; but they generally build in a one-sided slab of honey that is attached to the side of the hive and then bridged across.
You see in every case they entirely lose the Hoffman feature. Many people have a great deal of trouble with the hive-follower, and some entirely condemn it.
Because the ten-frame hive as put upon the market is made so a follower can not be used, is that any thing against the follower? Because some people push the follower over against the side of the hive and allow the bees to glue it fast there, is that any thing against the follower? In the one case it's because the manufacturer does not allow enough room to use a follower, and in the other case the operator doesn't know how to use a good thing when he has it.
I know of many bee-keepers who work for comb honey, and it matters not what kind of hive or frame they have; if you want to examine one of their colonies you need a kit of burglar tools and the patience of Job to get into one of them at all.
Why do not bee-keepers, it matters not whether they are large or small producers, put their fixtures, their whole plant, it may be called, in working order at least once a year? What would be thought of a manufacturer who would allow the sawdust, bark, and edgings to fill up among his belts and wheels and stay there year after year? or the railroad companies who would allow the brakes on the cars to go dragging, and grass and weeds to grow across the tracks? There is a difference between fussiness and good order; but every bee-keeper should put his whole fixtures in good working order every spring.
There is one way and only one way to have Hoffman frames satisfactory - that is, to have the combs built with the follower properly adjusted, and the hive sitting level; then, ever afterward, properly adjust the frames and follower after each and every manipulation so as to retain the Hoffman feature, which is, accurate spacing.
[As I remember, Mr. J. A. Green and the others who have criticised the Hoffman frame have not complained of it because the principle was not right, but because, in the hands of the inexperienced or careless, it was not handled properly, and therefore was not so good a frame as the ordinary unspaced frame of the Langstroth type.
You emphasize very clearly that there is a right way and a wrong way to handle the Hoffman frame, and certainly three-fourths of the trouble with the follower may be eliminated if it is left up against the frame and not against the side of the hive.
It is difficult to make a really good thing fool-proof; but I have always felt that the Hoffman frames came nearer to that desideratum than any loose, unspaced frame that was ever devised. It can not be spaced too close, although it may be spaced too wide. In the ten-frame hive there can not be much variation. It must come pretty nearly right. In the eight-frame it will be spaced equally correct providing a follower is used. It can not be any other way. My observation has always been that the inexperienced and careless would space the unspaced frames too close together, with the result that nearly half the capacity of the brood-nest was put out of commission.
I have long since learned that we of the common herd can not get what we want by trying to influence manufacturers; but if I were on a committee to change the Hoffman frame I would only suggest making the endbars square on both edges, and would insist The fact is, upon retaining the short rest. bee-keepers need fixing over much more than does the Hoffman frame. El Dorado Spring, Mo.
We are giving our customers this year the option on a square or V edge; and we expect this year to make more of the square edge than of the V. The square edge will make the Hoffman more fool-proof than ever, because it will not make any difference how the end-bars are put on. They must go right every time. -ED.
"THE HOFFMAN FRAME COME TO STAY." "Its Special Adaptation to Incompetent Help in the Apiary."
BY T. F. BINGHAM.
Being greatly pleased with the above heading, and more pleased and instructed with the management of it, and the indisputable facts brought out by Mr. Editor, I beg a few inches of space in your journal to explain some small points which may not have been very clearly shown.
Mr. Hyde makes his estimates on 1200 colonies of bees, which is a fair number for a yearly experiment. He states that a man can clean from 25 to 50 per day, and ought to get wax enough to pay for his labor. His heading indicates that incompetent labor may have been employed; but as such work was done in the spring, so as to have easy manipulation during the rush season, it would not be unreasonable, considering that the incompetent help should use an incompetent smoker and receive rheumatic hypodermic injections sufficient for a lifetime, added to that perennial pleasure every bee-keeper appreciates, namely, the simple fact that a honey-bee can do it but once.
It would not be unreasonable to estimate such labor at $2.00 per day, and that 25 col
onies so cleaned would be a fair day's work. Eight pounds of wax obtained would have a cash value of $2.00. It would further represent 160 lbs. of choice honey used in making it, worth 10 cts. per lb., or $16.00. Now add this $16.00 and the $2.00 together, and the result is, the incompetent help cost the man who employed him $18.00 per day, and spent 48 days in getting wax out of the hive and off from the frames, so as to be able to use said hives and the frames that would stay unless so cleaned every spring. It may be a comfort to realize that the wax in the hives pays for the work in cleaning the hives, and that the hives are in order for the busy season, even though it cost $96.00 to do it; but the estimated consumption of 20 lbs. of choice honey to produce 1 lb. of wax calls us back to figures again.
The whole amount of wax from the 1200 hives would be 384 lbs., which, multiplied by 20, the number of pounds of nicest honey (as this extra, which had to be cut out, was stored in the section-honey run) would represent 7680 lbs. While the wax would have been worth $96.00 at 25 cts. per lb., the honey would, at 10 cts. per lb., have been worth $768. Now add the $96.00 that the labor of cleaning represents, and we have $864 net loss for the privilege and pleasure of using a loose or hanging frame, on the outside of which bees, as Mr. Hyde states, store honey. No bee-keeper who has used hanging frames of the Hoffman or other makes will for a moment question Mr. H.'s statements. They are incontrovertible.
In the years between 1862 and 1865 your correspondent had the pleasure and experience of handling about 300 colonies of Italian bees in the original Langstroth hives. Italian bees were worse about building up into the sections or boxes then than now. The extractor had not become generally known, neither comb foundation; and Italian bees, true to their instincts, persisted in doing just what Mr. Hyde vividly portrays.
This not remarkable instinct of bees led your correspondent to construct a hive in 1865 securing the practical advantages of movable combs, and at the same time securing all the honey and combs within the frames and sections, instead of part of it on the outside. Farwell, Mich.
But Mr. Hyde uses a thin top-bar to all his Hoffmans-the very kind of bar that invites all kinds of burr-combs. If he used the regular top-bar he would have far less of wax and scraping. - ED.]
[The amount of honey to make a pound of wax used to be estimated at 20 lbs. ; but later and more reliable experiments where bees have access to the open air show that this figure is altogether too high. Between 4 and 7 lbs. were the figures that were seeured, if I remember correctly, so that your estimate ought to be one-fourth as large for the actual amount of honey. Even then you apparently have the best of the argument, providing that Mr. Hyde does not show that your system of shallow frames requiring extra handling of combs piles up the cost in his favor. I do not quite see how your topbars should be cleaner than those on the thick top-bar of the regular Hoffman frame.
FOOD COMMISSIONERS AND ADULTERATED HONEY.
How the Innocent May Suffer for the Guilty.
BY L. L. TRAVIS.
It appears to me that Wm. A. Selser strikes a note of timely warning to bee-keepers on page 1063, Nov. 15. According to his theory, and I am of the opinion that he is right in every particular, both honey producers and dealers are running considerable risk in labeling honey "pure. I produce extracted honey exclusively, and have sold tons to the grocery trade in pails and cans, and this fall have put up some in bags. Every package ever sold by me has been labeled " pure, and my warrant was back of it. I have always had the faith to believe that, as long as I put out honey just as it came from the bees, of good body and quality, I was doing an honorable and safe business; but Bro. Selser's article sets me to wondering where I am at. Is it not possible that I have innocently made myself liable to a fine, and also endangered my friends the grocers?
I cite you to a clipping from my county paper to show how the pure-food laws are working in this section:
The firm of Colt & McNamara is among the many hundreds of dealers who have been caught between the dishonest manufactures and the pure-food agent. Some time ago an agent of the pure-food commission was here and purchased some maple syrup of this firm, and, after an analysis, they sent notice that the maple syrup was not all maple, and that there was a fine of $50. Mr. McNamara was at Tunkhannock Tuesday, and settled the matter by paying the fine. While this may be a good law it is a rank injustice to Messrs. Colt & McNamara who conduct their store by honest dealing and good goods, and who were assured by the manufacturer that the syrup was the best on the market. There should be some means whereby the maker should suffer instead of the retailer, for impure product.
Now, I believe Messrs Colt & McNamara to be innocent of knowingly selling adulterated goods; but you can see what happened to them. I have always believed that I was putting out pure honey; but since reading Bro. Selser's article there is a question in my mind whether I have or not. Although my honey may seem, both to myself and the consumer, to be all right, is there not a possibility (and I might say a probability) that the bees have put in enough honey-dew or the juice of fruit to condemn it in the eyes of the pure-food officers, and put my customers in the same predicament that Messrs. Colt & McNamara are in?
I dislike to offer any thing for sale that I dare not warrant as strictly pure; but this is a danger that we ordinary bee-keepers can ill afford to assume; and as we are not all of us chemist enough to analyze honey, what shall we do-go to the expense of hav
ing an expert analyze all our honey, or change our labels?
West Nicholson, Pa., Nov. 28.
[It is true that a hardship is sometimes put on an innocent person who may unwittingly buy honey that has been adulterated by some one else; but if the law were broad enough to allow the seller to escape, the actual adulterator could hide under cover, and keep on with his nefarious business by having a second party dispose of his product. If that second party could escape the clutches of the law by saying that he did not know the honey was adulterated (and he might swear to that on the witness stand), it would leave a great wide gap for fraud. It were better for the innocent to suffer occasionally, in order that the pure-food law should be effective, than to have a law on the statute-books with so wide a loop-hole in it that the intent of it would be entirely nullified.
We came near being held up during the past summer because some honey we sold to some one else had been adulterated after it left our hands. The party who sold the goods averred that he bought them originally of the Root Co. We both received notice from the pure-food commissioner not to sell any more of these goods. We insisted that the honey, when it left us was pure, and proved it finally, but not till after a long string of correspondence had passed between us and the food commissioner. As the purefood laws stand in the various States, it is incumbent on the purchaser of any honey to make very sure that such honey is pure when it leaves his hands. This puts a double check on the aulterator.
I would not leave out the word "Pure" on labels under any consideration. - ED.]
Pleads of Grain from different fields
SHAKEN SWARMING A SUCCESS, AND WHEN.
Is "shook" swarming a success in case a man can not be with his bees at swarming? Will the old hive, when removed, stay? and how are the queens fertilized? As I understand, they are fertilized in the air. WALTER S. BELL.
Mena, Ark., Nov. 6.
[As Dr. Miller has had more experience in handling swarms than we have had here at Medina, I turned this inquiry over to him and he replies:- ED.]
watch for swarms. Indeed, it may be called anticipatory swarming, the bee-keeper taking the matter into his own hands, and putting the bees in the condition of a swarm before they actually take that step themselves. And yet, having tried it in a number of cases in an out-apiary, I am hardly prepared to say that it is just as easy to get along with in all respects as natural swarming; so if you try it, be on the lookout, for a time, to see whether it exactly fits your
The plan of shaking swarms, so far as it is at all successful, is especially adapted to meet the wants of those who can not have, or do not wish to have, any one on hand to
FEEDING BEES IN THE CELLAR, ETC.
In wintering bees in a cellar, and their stores being rather scarce, would it be advisable to try to feed them sugar syrup with a division-board feeder between now and spring? In storing them in the cellar, which would be the better-to leave an empty super on to give them plenty of air, or to take it off and put the cover down, closing the brood-frames, allowing a bee-space between them? A. I. NEFF. McPherson, Pa., Dec. 12, 1904.
[Sugar syrup may be given to bees in the cellar with the regular division-board feeder of the Doolittle type. It would be advisable, as you suggest, to put the feeder in the middle of the brood-nest; but a better way would be to give the bees cakes of hard candy. The candy should be made by boiling granulated-sugar syrup, with a little honey in it, so that, when cool, it will form into a hard translucent cake. A two or three pound brick of this when put on top of the brood-frames will be enough to take care of any colony short of stores.
The question as to whether the empty super should be put on top will depend largely on the size of the entrance. If it is one inch by the width of the hive, take off the super and put the cover on top next to the frames. If the entrance is only inch deep it may be advisable to leave the super on, putting in a chaff cushion. In this case the cover should be left off. In the absence of the cushion any old carpeting may do as well. - ED.]
HOW TO WASH OUT SECOND-HAND KEROSENECANS SO AS TO BE SUITABLE FOR HONEY. Please tell us how to clean coal-oil cans so that we can use them for honey. Most of
the oil here is sold in five-gallon cans; and, when empty, we can get them for 10c ts. each, good as new, hundreds of them. PAYETTE VALLEY BEE Co. Payette, Ida., Dec. 5.
[Second-hand kerosene-cans have been cleaned with strong lye or a solution of caustic potash. The cleaning mixture should be boiling hot when poured into the can. The cans should be shaken violently, emptied out, and then rinsed thoroughly with boiling hot water. We never had any experience ourselves, and therefore feel a little hesitation about recommending second-hand kerosenecans. Some of our subscribers have tried them to their sorrow. It seems to be very difficult to remove the kerosene odor; as honey is very susceptible to foreign odors, the least trace of kerosene taste or smell practically ruins it for the market, especially if it be fine table honey. After the cans are washed out they should be left out in the sun unstoppered as long as possible before filling them again with honey, for the purpose of letting any kerosene odors that may be in the cans escape.
I think one of our subscribers recommended washing-soda; but whether using soda, caustic potash, or strong lye, one should remember that after a certain number have been washed it is advisable to make an entirely new solution, for the reason that the washing mixture will become impregnated very strongly with kerosene, making a sort of soap. -ED.]
PAINT FOR HIVES - WHAT COLOR TO USE.
Part of my hives are painted white and part light blue. I am going to paint them again. Will it make any difference if I paint them all white? Will it embarrass the bees any in finding their own hives if I change the color of them at this time of the year? JAMES PARKER, SR. Wabuska, Nev., Dec. 8, 1904.
[It will make no practical difference if you paint all your hives white, even though some of them may now be blue. While there can be no question but that bees recognize color to a very great extent, yet the individual surroundings of a hive would probably be sufficient to enable each bee to recognize its hive, even if the color did change. -ED.]
DOES THE USE OF THE PERFORATED ZINC HONEY-BOARD REDUCE THE AMOUMT OF HONEY STORED?
Can we get as much honey if we use the honey-board on the brood-hive all the time? Corona, Cal., Nov. 21. L. NEWTON.
through which the bees can pass, they ought to store as much with the board on as without. - ED.]
[By "honey-board" I presume you mean perforated zinc. No; there is no proof as yet that the use of this device in any way curtails the amount of surplus honey. Why should it? True, it puts up a slight obstruction; but with the number of perforations
INFORMATION WANTED BY THE EDITOR OF ST. NICHOLAS.
For some time I have been endeavoring to advance the claims of honey-bees as an educational (“Nature Study") topic. It seems to me that they are more available, more interesting, and more practical for the schoolroom, and for teachers and pupils outside of the schoolroom, than certain other branches of entomology that have been more talked about and studied by teachers and pupils.
I desire to obtain information of experiences with bees by teachers who have kept bees especially from the "Nature Study standpoint. Also will young people under eighteen years of age who have personally cared for bees please write me of their experiences?
Any suggestions from veteran bee-keepers for interesting teachers and pupils in bees will be much appreciated.
EDWARD F. BIGELOW, Lecturer at Teachers' Institutes, and "Nature and Science" Editor of the St. Nicholas Magazine.
[If you followed the McEvoy method carefully the disease ought not to reappear. It is my opinion that in administering the treatment you failed to disinfect the smokers and tools, and possibly your own person. Unless the treatment is thorough, every thing disinfected, the disease is quite liable to reappear. In some cases it may be advisable, after giving the treatment, or, rather, before giving it, to burn out the inside of the old hive by holding it momentarily over a bonfire. This will thoroughly disinfect it so that the hive can be given back without any fear of its infecting the bees. In your case I would advise scorching out all the hives as an additional precaution. - ED.]
NOISES ABOVE A BEE-CELLAR.
What is your opinion as to the sound of an organ? How will it affect the bees wintering in the cellar under it, only one-inch floor between? J. BAILEY.
Bracebridge, Ont., Dec. 6.
[Noises above winter repositories do little or no harm. The organ would not interfere in the least.-ED.]