The Project Gutenberg eBook of The American Bee Journal. Volume XVII No. 11, March 1881

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Title: The American Bee Journal. Volume XVII No. 11, March 1881

Author: Various

Editor: Thomas G. Newman

Release date: March 29, 2019 [eBook #59152]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Brian Wilsden and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)





IN 1861

VOL. XVII.    CHICAGO, ILL., MARCH 16, 1881.     No. 11.



IN 1861


Published every Wednesday, by
Editor and Proprietor,


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Pure Liquid Honey in Glass Jars.


Under this heading I find an article from Mr. W. M. Hoge, who says that he has invented a way of preparing liquid honey so that it will not congeal. He adds that this discovery will be beneficial to bee-keepers, and he explains how we will profit by it. The tendency of honey to candy, for all the adulterators of honey, has proved to be a great impediment; while, for the producers, it is a good characteristic, for it is the best stamp that a bee-keeper can put on his product—a stamp that the adulterators are unable to counterfeit.

Now that the consumers at large begin to give their preference to candied honey, the adulterators, seeing their sales decreasing, try to invent some means to stop this result, and incite us to help them to continue their fraudulent practice.

Let us remember that the candying of honey is the best test of purity thus far; that, by preventing honey from candying, we lower it to the level of glucosed honey; and that, as long as liquid honey can be found on our markets, we will be compelled to compete with adulterated honey, for the profit of this adulteration will always tempt the unscrupulous dealers, while we will be unable to compete with them for the price.

A few years ago we could find liquid honey, in glass jars, in every good grocery. Three years ago I produced, at the Western Illinois and Eastern Iowa Convention, held at Burlington, Iowa, one of these bottles, bought in St. Louis, labeled “Pure Extracted Honey, from John Long, New York.” Mr. Hoge, who resided in New York at that time, probably knows “John Long.” This “pure honey” was analyzed by an expert chemist and found mostly glucose. These jars and tumblers are now of slow sale, for the consumers begin to have confidence in candied honey. We are, therefore, in a fair way for selling our product. Let us go on, and turn the cold shoulder to the advice of those who have, so far, caused more prejudice than profit to bee-keepers.

Mr. Hoge, who has visited the old continent, knows, as well as I do, that in Europe liquid honey is unsalable, for the consumers are accustomed to buying candied honey. Let us persist in our efforts to educate the people on this question, and we will drive all spurious honey from our markets.

Hamilton, Ill., Feb. 2, 1881.

For the American Bee Journal.

Colchian Honey.


I see in the Bee Journal, under the above caption, a question from Mr. H. G. Colwell, of Columbus, Ohio, relative to the effects of honey eaten by the Grecian troops, under Xenophon, as they passed through Colchia in their famous retreat homeward. In regard to this, you propose a query, “Why did the ancient Colchian honey cause the above disorder?” I have frequently had my attention turned to this subject in reading Xenophon's Anabasis in the original, from which the extract by Mr. Colwell is taken. From the best sources of information at my command, the following seems to be the most rational.

The honey of Asia Minor in many localities appears to be gathered from the flowers of the order Apocynoceæ, or dog's-bane. Of this order, Prof. Wilson, in his botany, page 588, observes: “These plants possess active, and often suspicious qualities, residing in the white juice with which the order is pervaded, and in the seeds, which are often deadly poisons. The alkaloid strychnine, or strychinea, one of the most violent poisons, is the active principle of the Strychorea Nux-vomica, of India. It is sometimes administered as a medicine, but with doubtful success; a single seed of one species is sufficient to kill 20 persons. The order is generally emetic.”

In corroboration of this, I will give you the opinion of the celebrated Ainsworth, who traveled over the route of the Grecians, and took notes of all the localities and incidents recorded by Xenophon. He observes that “this fact of the honey of Asia Minor being, in certain places, and at certain seasons, of a poisonous nature, was known to all antiquity, and is very common at the present day, so much so, that I have known the peasants to inquire if we would prefer the bitter or the sweet honey, for the honey so qualified has a slight, but not unpleasant, bitterness, and is preferred by many, from producing, when taken in moderate quantities, the effect of slight intoxication. Pliny notices two kinds of honey, one found at Heraclea, in Pontus, and another among the Sanni or Mocrones. The first he supposed to be produced by a plant called Ægolethron, or goatsbane; the second by a species of rhododendron. Dioscorides, Diodorus, Siculus and Aristotle, all notice the honey of Heraclea Pontica. The celebrated botanist, Tournefort, ascertained on the spot, that the honey of bees feeding on the Azalea Pontica, as also on the Rhododendron Ponticum, possessed mischievous properties; but as the bitter and intoxicating honey is found in many parts of Asia Minor, where these plants do not flower, it is extremely probable that these peculiar properties are further derived from the flower of the Nerium Oleander, or common rose-laurel, the leaves of which are known to be acrid and poisonous. The natural family to which the rose-laurel belongs (Apocynaceæ) is distinguished by plants endued with dangerous and fatal properties, and these act on the nerves so as to produce stupefaction. Rhodoraceæ also possesses narcotic properties, but in a less marked degree.”

It appears from this, that the honey gathered by the bees from these poisonous plants, possessed some of the inherent qualities of the plants themselves, and operated like a narcotic or opiate on the nerves, producing stupefaction and intoxication. If you see proper you can give the above a place in the Weekly, with which I am, so far, very well pleased.

Sago, Ohio.

For the American Bee Journal.

Combined Summer and Winter Stand.


The engraving shows a perspective view of a combined winter and summer stand, which I put up to accommodate 12 hives of the standard Langstroth pattern. It is constructed as follows: Put in the ground 9 oak posts 4 × 4 inches, for a frame to nail the 14 foot boards to—3 posts on each side, and 3 between these, set in the ground 18 inches. The ends are 9 feet wide, which I find gives ample room to manipulate the bees between the rows of hives, the operator being in the shade, and not in front of the entrance of the bees, which seldom bother me. The sides front east and west. The ends are open during the summer, and the north end boarded up in winter. We use millet hay for protection, filling in spaces between the hives, and over and under them, almost filling up between the rows, clearing away enough in front of the entrance for the bees to take a flight when the weather permits.

A, A—Ventilation and bee escape.
B—Space to work in and shaded.

This protection keeps them quiet, and storms beat on the shelter and on the millet hay. Of course, this is not a water-proof shelter or cover, and I do not think one is needed. It is advantageous to have an opening in the apex of the roof; this plan of having one roof higher than the other secures it with the least expense. It is curious to notice how the bees fly out of these spaces marked A, A (as both ends are open) while the operators manipulating the hives. Sixteen boards 14 feet long and 1 foot wide cover it, and with the 9 posts and 4 2 × 4 studding to set the hives on, and short pieces to set on top of the posts to nail the roof to, complete the lumber bill.

Hunnewell, Mo.

For the American Bee Journal.

Foul Brood, and Its Causes.


You ask for my observations on foul brood regarding the cases noted in the Bee Journal. There are many who, I know, will disagree with me, but nevertheless, it seemed to come from no other source. The largest case of it was 25 colonies in one apiary. Ever since the year 1873 they had been wintered in the cellar, in a sort of room fitted up especially for them. They were usually put in about Nov. 25, and taken out about April 1st to the 20th, according to the season. This receptacle was directly under the living room, which was kept very warm. The bee-room was generally quite dry, and towards spring would stand from 45° to 50°, which would let the bees have from 60° to 80° in the hive, or perhaps 90°, causing the cluster to spread, and there was always a good supply of brood in the combs when taken from the cellar, and generally a considerable number of young hatched bees. So far everything was as good as could be asked for, and every good bee-keeper will say this could not have anything to do with foul brood; perhaps not.

These same hives, with more space and more surface of comb than a 10 frame Langstroth hive gives, were put into the cellar with all their combs in place, with a box 6 inches deep below the hive, and another above filled with straw, or with a top story filled with rags, old clothes and pieces of carpet or straw. The full complement of combs was left in the hives, regardless of the strength of the colonies, and they were then set on their summer stands without using division boards, or any contraction of combs. After setting out they were generally fed liberally every night to induce breeding, which is a good plan if properly handled, but in this case it helped to breed the disease, and it did do it to the fullest extent. Why? First, a small colony should not be given any more combs than it can cover, either in summer or winter. If the hive is too large, insert a division on one or both sides; if on both sides, let one of them be at least half an inch shallower than the hive, then if the numbers increase, they can crowd outside of it.

Second, if they are wintered indoors, in a hive full of combs, take away all you can before they are set out in the spring, even if you have to feed to prevent starvation.

Third, if you do winter indoors on a full set of combs, do not commence feeding regularly, to induce breeding, as soon as set out, though it be the 25th of April or even the 1st of May.

In the case mentioned the consequences were: In the weak colonies some of the bees died in the combs and [82] contracted some moisture, consequently would mold. Some strong colonies would do the same, but many of the dead bees would be thrown down. The cellar had a drain 100 feet long, with a fall of 5 feet, to keep the cellar dry, and a ventilator 3 feet above the house-sill outside, at the south. The ventilator opened on warm days, consequently a draft of warm air, fire in the room above, temperature in the bee-cellar raised, cluster of bees spread, queen goes to laying, honey consumed, brood reared and old bees wearing out; all of these conditions are the requisites of good, strong, healthy colonies, and they are just as surely the forerunners of first-class cases of foul brood every time.

I know that 99 out of every 100 bee-keepers will differ with me, but go through the colonies with me 10 or 15 days after setting out on the summer stands; suppose in that time we have had 2 or 3 good flying days; the feeding induced the queen to lay more rapidly and forced the cluster to spread; the eggs hatched into larvæ; on the pleasant days the old bees flew out but forgot to fly in again, thus diminishing the cluster; then there came 2 or 3 stormy days in succession, cold and chilling; the cluster contracted as well as diminished in numbers; the minute larvæ starved and dead, and some, perhaps, that are advanced to capping; another flying day, and their numbers are more reduced. The dead bees in the combs putrefy, and you have for your pains a first-class case of foul brood in the near future. Many will shake their heads, but I saw the colonies, and in 3 years I saw the 25 and their increase decreased to 17, the 17 and their increase decreased to 9, the 9 down to 2, and the 2 went, in the spring of 1880, “where the woodbine twineth.”

Woodbury, Conn., Feb. 26, 1881.

For the American Bee Journal.

Early Importations of Italian Bees.


I can probably give, better than any one living, the history of the first efforts made to introduce Italian bees into this country; as I knew well the late Messrs. Samuel Wagner and Richard Colvin, and Messrs. S. B. Parsons and P. G. Mahan, who, with myself, were the first to import them. Messrs. Wagner and Edward Jessop, both residents of York, Penn., received from Dzierzon, in 1856, a colony of Italian bees which had starved on shipboard. Mr. Wagner's letter to me, August, 1856, and given the next spring, in my 2nd edition on bees, is the earliest notice, published in this country, of the Italian race of bees. Messrs. Wagner and Colvin, subsequently, bought a few queens of Dzierzon, which were consigned to the care of the surgeon of a Bremen steamship, who had been carefully taught what precautions to use for their safety. Fearing that the bees might sting his passengers, the captain would not allow them to be put on his vessel.

“In the winter of 1858-59,” (I quote from Mr. Colvin's able article on beekings, in the Report of the Commissioner of Agriculture for 1863, page 530,) “another attempt was made by Mr. Wagner, Rev. L. L. Langstroth, and myself. The order was placed in the hands of the surgeon of the steamer, to whose charge the bees were to have been committed, but in consequence of his determining to leave the ship, the effort failed.[A] Subsequently arrangements were made, in the latter part of that year, and we received 7 living queens. Only two or three young queens were reared by us during that fall and winter, and in the following spring we found that all our imported stock had perished. In conjunction with Mr. Wagner, I determined to make another trial; the queens, however, did not arrive until June, 1860.”


[A] Mr. Colvin, having formed the acquaintance of the German Captain, not only convinced him that the bees could not escape to injure anyone, but inspired him with a strong desire to be the first to bring over in his own vessel, this valuable race of bees. It would require quite a volume to tell, at length, what sacrifices of time were made by Messrs. Wagner and Colvin, to secure these bees.

Our queens, which came in 1859, were in charge of a German resident of Brooklyn, N. Y., who was returning home from a visit to his friends, and to whom Mr. Wagner had given very careful directions how to care for them. This person, learning that Mr. Mahan had expressed the intention of having the honor of landing, in America, the first living Italian bees, and desiring, as he told me, to secure this honor for us, communicated Mr. Mahan's intention to the captain, who, as soon as the gang-way was in place, was the first person to step ashore, proclaiming with a very loud voice: “These are the first Italian bees ever landed on the shores of America!”

In the spring of 1856, Mr. S. B. Parsons, of Flushing, L. I., invited me to visit him, and advise with him as to the best way of managing his Italian bees. On my way, I called upon Mr. Mahan, who was joint owner with me of a large interest in my patent hive. He gave me a very graphic account of his visit to the apiary of the Baron Von Berlepsch, from whom he obtained a queen, and supplied me with a few Italian workers for Prof. Joseph Lidy, that he might determine how the length of proboscis, in that variety, compared with that of the black bee. On arriving at Flushing, Mr. Parsons showed me five hollow logs, or “gums,” placed in an old bee-shed. It was a warm, sun-shiny day, and I saw only an occasional bee flying out from one of the hives. These colonies had been purchased in Italy, carried safely on the backs of mules over the Alpine passes, to Genoa, from which port they were safely shipped to New York; but by a succession of mishaps, four of them died at Flushing. The fifth contained a mere handful of bees, with their queen, which I introduced to a colony of black bees. It is hardly necessary to say that none of these hives were ever in the same vessel with Mr. Mahan.

On the 18th of April, the steamer Argo arrived in New York, after a tedious and stormy voyage. Mr. Herman, a German bee-keeper, and author of a work on the Italian bee, who had been furnished with a large sum of money by Mr. Parsons to buy Italian bees in the best districts of Italy, and who had agreed to bring them over in the original hives, and breed queens for Mr. Parsons, was not on board, but in his place, a young Austrian, by the name of Bodmer. On the 19th, as soon as the bees were allowed to be landed, they were carried to Flushing. The small boxes in which they were put up were in three different packages, one of which was consigned to the U. S. Government, one to Mr. Mahan, and one to Mr. Parsons. As the Austrian said that he knew, by examination on shipboard, that the bees were in a very bad condition, and many of them already dead, and, as the day was very pleasant, they were all examined under my personal supervision, and I can assure Mr. Robinson that every colony consigned to the Government and Mr. Mahan, was dead. A few, only, of those marked for Mr. Parsons, had living queens, some of which soon died, and in a short time he found himself the possessor of only two queens, one of which was the queen found alive upon my arrival at Flushing.

By my advice, Mr. Wm. W. Cary, of Coleraine, Mass., a very skillful bee-keeper, and a thoroughly trustworthy man, was sent for by Mr. Parsons. One of the queens was entrusted to his care, on the premises of Mr. Parsons, and the other to Mr. Bodmer, some distance off, who did not raise queens enough even to pay for the black bees and honey which were purchased for his use; while Mr. Cary Italianized a large apiary for Mr. Parsons, besides filling all his orders for queens.

One hundred and eleven queens were carried to California, by Mr. A. J. Biglow, 108 of which reached there in good condition. This small per cent. of loss was, in part, owing to the skillful supervision of Mr. Biglow, and to the purifying flight which, by my advice, he gave them on the Isthmus of Panama; but all his precautions would have been of no avail but for the judicious way in which they were prepared by Mr. Cary and himself, for so long a voyage. The bees sent to Mr. Parsons were in cigar boxes, into which the combs were merely crowded or wedged: the loosening of the combs on so rough a voyage killed some of the queens, while others were drowned, with their bees, in honey; and others, still, starved from the boxes being over-crowded with bees. It is hardly necessary to contrast Mr. Biglow's success with the heavy losses sustained for years by those who imported bees from Europe. The result of Mr. Parsons' dealings with Herman were, that for $1,200 advanced to him, he had only 2 queens to show. The next season Mr. Bodmer, having learned how to pack bees for a sea voyage, brought over a number of queens in good condition, for Mr. E. W. Rose, but was very unfortunate in the management of them. Herman came, some years after, to this country, and was employed by a friend of mine in Philadelphia, to purchase for him, in Italy, a large number of queens. The return voyage was long and stormy, and every queen died on board the steamer.

Oxford, Ohio, March 5, 1881.

For the American Bee Journal.

A Good Way to Promote Bee-Keeping.


As a sample of what may be done in many parts of the country to diffuse knowledge regarding apiculture, and awaken an interest in bee-keeping as a business, let me give a brief account of a meeting recently held in Shaftesbury Hall, Toronto, under the auspices of the Y. M. C. A. Mr. D. A. Jones, having made the acquaintance of some of the leading spirits in the organization just named, offered to give a free lecture on bee-keeping. The offer was accepted, and a meeting announced to which the members of the Y. M. C. A. were admitted gratis, while the general public were charged a small fee. Mr. Jones invited the writer to be present as a reserve force, in case he should break down, (!) and what enthusiastic bee-keeper would not rally to the rescue when thus appealed to? Unfortunately Mr. J. was not in good trim, having been sick enough to keep his bed most of the day preceding the lecture evening. However, he gathered himself up for the task he had undertaken, and was cheered by the appearance of his ally just as the lecture was about to begin. For a sick man, he did bravely, and spoke for nearly an hour. His remarks were, of course, general, and very different from what they would have been if his audience had been composed of experienced apiarists. He discoursed on bee-keeping as a business, explained the outlines of it, showed that it was profitable, and especially dwelt upon the gain which would accrue to the country if it were more generally engaged in. An interesting sketch of his journey to Cyprus and the Holy Land formed the latter part of his address. The writer supplemented his remarks by a talk of about half an hour, the chief theme of which was advice to intending bee-keepers. There was a far larger audience than might have been expected, considering the prevalent apathy in regard to apicultural pursuits, and considering also that the weather was unpleasantly stormy. Much interest was evidently awakened; a number of questions were asked at the close of the addresses, and many lingered when “meetin' was out” to talk about bee-matters. An immense amount of good might be done if practical bee-keepers would engage in this kind of missionary work. The public is a dull scholar, and needs to be “enthused” by men who have the true apicultural spirit. Among other questions, these were asked:—“What is the best bee journal?” and “What is the best book on bee-keeping?” The American Bee Journal, and Cook's “Manual,” were the replies given. In his counsels to beginners, the writer insisted very strongly, that the first step in practical bee-keeping was to get a good hand-book, and journal of apiculture. So, if you receive orders from Toronto for the American Bee Journal, and “Manual,” you may give Jones' meeting the credit for having inspired them. There are not only Y. M. C. As., but other organizations all over the land that would be glad to have a meeting in the interests of bee-keeping. If 2 or 3 practical bee-keepers would divide the work and responsibility of maintaining such a meeting, it would not be so formidable, as though only one man undertook it. A plain, common-sense talk on a subject of such practical and commercial importance as bee-keeping, would be a welcome change from the elaborate lectures usually delivered before Y. M. C. As., Lyceums, and bodies of that ilk. I hope Jones' enthusiastic zeal will stir others up to emulation and imitation. Reader, if conscious of possessing “the gift of the gab” in any degree, “go thou and do likewise.”

Listowell, Ont., March 7, 1881.

For the American Bee Journal.

Do Bees Injure Fruit?


A prominent wine-grower in this country, told me, about a year ago, that he did not want bees in his neighborhood as he found they injured his grape crop. As I have a small grapery, of about a hundred plants, between the rows of which I find shelter for about 20 colonies of bees, I determined to observe if his theory was correct, for I was loth to give up either. If any fruit crop could be injured by the visit of bees, mine is surely the one. The result of one season's close observation has convinced me: 1st. That bees promote rather than injure the foundations of fruit buds, because the bunches on my vines were full, with better developed berries, than those produced on vines less exposed to their visits, and my peach and cherry trees were as fairly loaded with fruit as they well could be. 2nd. That in the fall bees only visit our ripe berries, that have been sweetened by early frosts, and are very rarely seen on good sound fruit, when the skin is unbroken, and that the loss from this cause is of very little consequence, as the fruit attacked would fall off itself, without the visit of the bees, before gathering. I am wintering 21 colonies, mostly Italians; procured one of Jones' Cyprian queens, but too late in the fall to speak intelligently of the result. They are on summer stands, well sheltered and surrounded with straw, having means of exit, and I think are wintering well, but they have not had a good fly since early in November.

Belle River, Ont., March 5, 1881.

For the American Bee Journal.

Remarkable Tardiness in Fecundity.


One of my Cyprian queens has upset an established doctrine in bee-science, set at naught all the bee-books, and reversed the old adage which says: “hope long deferred maketh the heart sick.” In the latter part of last season I reared some Cyprian queens from eggs and larvæ, obtained from Mr. Root; they were 7 in number, and were hatched on the 6th, 7th, and 8th days of Sept. The weather being warm and fair they were all fertilized (except one, which never returned from her bridal tour) by the 12th of the month, and a few days later they were all laying except one; that being the finest, brightest-looking queen of the lot, stubbornly refused to commence the duties of a good queen. She was in a strong nucleus which was fed regularly and bountifully, till the hive looked as though the occupants were enjoying a bountiful white clover harvest, but “nary an egg would she lay.”

She was provided with a clean empty comb, placed in the center of the colony, and the feeding kept up till winter set in, but no brood appeared. The hive was not opened from the time it was prepared for winter (say Nov. 15) till the middle of Dec., at which time there was not a sign of brood. Then came the long siege of snow and bitter winds which lasted till the 30th of Jan.; on that date our bees enjoyed a good, [83] cleansing flight, and I remembered my non-laying queen and proceeded to look her combs over, and to my surprise, on one of the center combs I found a little patch of brood about half as large as a postal card, some of which was sealed over. It was genuine worker brood, and no mistake. Since which time she has been laying nicely, and now has a nice lot of brood for the time of year.

My bees, 30 colonies with selected queens, have come safely through the winter to the 1st of March, and there is really but little danger of losing bees in this climate after the 1st of this month, unless they are short of stores and shamefully neglected. The bee-man is aware, above all others, that there is “many a slip betwixt the cup and the lip,” however closely he may watch his business. On the 30th of Jan. last, when my bees were flying lively, I noticed that one large colony with a tested Cyprian queen, were not stirring like the others. I proceeded to open the hive and found the bees so nearly starved that they could only show signs of life by a feeble motion of their wings, which produced no sound whatever. Not a bee seemed able to change its position; the fore-runner of death was already present in the form of a cold, damp atmosphere in the brood chamber. I prepared some rich sweetened water, separated the frames gently, and sprinkled the bees thoroughly with the sweetened water, and poured some of it into the empty cells. The frames were then readjusted and a dry woolen quilt spread over the bees and the sun permitted to shine into the hive. In about an hour I raised the quilt and the inmates of the hive were stirring briskly, handing around the good cheer, while some of them showed fight in a most patriotic style. They were provided with stores, and are now a No. 1 colony. So much for bee-science.

What a lesson this teaches! Here was a large colony of bees perishing with famine, as one single individual; so unselfishly had they divided their family stores amongst themselves that when relief did come, though not till their dire extremity, there was no practical loss of life. Before I close I cannot resist the temptation to tell how my bees have been carrying in meal, and prancing gaily on the alighting boards with their white pellets exposed to the best advantage.

Christiansburg, Ky.

For the American Bee Journal.

Honey-Producing in California.


No doubt but by this time many of the Eastern bee-keepers are looking to this far-off “land of milk and honey,” as of late years it has been called. Perhaps the reason is partly because here abundant warm rains have fallen all over the State, and the world-renowned honey region has received its complement of the down-pour; in fact, the inhabitants hardly ever saw so much rain visit that section at the right time.

There are now signs, however, that indicate the sun will shine with its usual brightness; that those delightful spring days, which are so peculiar to this fair land, are about to favor us. Let this be the case and the bees will soon be flying out by thousands, and the willow blossoms will each and all receive a welcome visit from those industrious insects. Their journeyings will not be confined to the banks of the creeks where the willows grow, but the woodland, where the Australian blue-gum (Eucalyptus globulus) has been planted by the hand of man, and which holds out its bounteous chalice for the busy bee to come and sip of nectar deep and sweet.

While the loss in bees will in all probability be great in the States east of the Rocky Mountains, here the loss, if any, will not be quite as bad as it has been other years. Thus it will be seen that our eastern brethren will have to commence the season with greatly reduced forces, while the apiarists in this State will commence operations with more colonies, and, consequently, with more bees. Last season was a good one, and the bees went into winter quarters with abundant stores, which have carried them through the mild winter safely. The bee flora having had ample rains to insure a most thrifty growth, will bloom for a longer period than it has heretofore, and, of course, will insure an enormous yield of honey.

On account of the long continuance of the rain, but few flowers have commenced to bloom. Still the plants are growing, and when they do commence, they will be able to do so in a vigorous manner. A few of those now blooming are the willows in variety, Eucalyptus globulus, and it is unusually covered with flowers; wild currant, a pretty fair honey plant, but scarce; wild gooseberry; wild blackberry, just beginning; raspberry, ditto; almond; pear and peach; mignonette; horehound, and a few others. All of which give the bees more than they can do to gather the nectar and pollen.

North Temescal, Cal., Feb. 17, 1881.

For the American Bee Journal.

Bee-Men to the Front.


The present may be called “trying times” to bee-keepers of America. Poor honey seasons, hard winters, and the nefarious warfare against the honey producers of this country in the vile adulteration of honey, is indeed trying, discouraging and diabolical. It appears, by the papers, that these glucose scoundrels are not satisfied with adulterating extracted honey, but according to this article that I clip from one of our papers, The Bushnell Record, they are manufacturing comb honey. It reads as follows:

Many singular discoveries have been made among manufacturers by the census enumerators in the course of their investigations. For instance, it has long been known that dealers are in the habit of adulterating honey with glucose on the plea of thus improving its keeping qualities. In Boston, however, there is a firm doing a large business in making honey entirely from glucose much in the same way as manufacturers elsewhere make butter from suine and oleo-margarine. The comb is molded out of paraffine in excellent imitation of the work of bees; then the cells are filled with clear glucose and sealed by passing a hot iron over them, and the product is sent to Europe as our best honey. The busiest Italian bees couldn't compete with this firm in turning out honey, any more than could a Eurotas-like Jersey breed compete in butter-making with our deft manipulators of lard and tallow.

Now, brother bee-men, I believe the time has arrived when this honey counterfeiting should be stopped; I therefore suggest that the bee-men of this country come up in solid phalanx “to the front,” and with Pres. N. P. Allen and the bee-paper editors as leaders, let us agitate the question, educate the people, stir up the press, wake up the country, and vote or petition to Congress until we secure the passage of a law by Congress against the adulteration of honey, sugar, syrup, or food of any kind. Many of the leading journals of our land are battling for the right in this matter. The Burlington (Iowa) Hawkeye last week expressed itself as follows:

It is time that stringent legislative enactments are passed, making the adulteration of so many articles of food a criminal offense, punishable by severe penalties. If these things must be done to gratify the inordinate greed of some men, let it be made obligatory on them that the packages containing spurious products so proclaim them, under penalty of confiscation when detected, and the fraud further punishable by heavy penalty. No man has any right to sell a compound of honey and glucose as pure honey, nor has he any right, either moral or legal, to place a compound of butter and lard, still further “doctored” with drugs, upon the market as pure butter. If adulterations of food are allowed to go on in this way, unrebuked, there is not an article of food known that will not be counterfeited, and oftentimes with substances very hurtful in character.

I am thankful so many are lending their aid and influence in the cause of justice and humanity, but we want the united efforts of honest bee-keepers, and consumers, and fair dealers, to make a bold front against every adulterator, and to expose him to the world. In this way I believe the problem can be solved and the evil remedied.

Bushnell, Ill.

[So far as it refers to the adulteration of comb honey, it is a false alarm; all bosh! We alluded to this subject more at length on page 44 of the Bee Journal for Feb. 9th. We are glad, however, to see the interest being awakened on the subject of food adulterations, and bee-keepers as well as all other honest producers, cannot be too out-spoken in denouncing it.—Ed.]

For the American Bee Journal.

The In-and-In Breeding of Bees.


Mr. C. Thielmann, in the Bee Journal, says he has bees which are mostly hybrids, and he does not know where they came from, but there are Italians 5 miles from him. Another says he has no black bees, and his queens must be purely mated, &c.; another that a neighbor has had some 10 or 15 colonies so many years, breeding in-and-in, but states he manages to keep his number about the same. Breeding in-and-in with bees, I am fully convinced, is not much done. Bees are free rovers and it seems to be their nature or instinct to mate at some distance from the parent hive.

This question was discussed by one of the speakers at a bee convention in N. Y. some years ago. He claimed that in-and-in breeding had a great deal to do with the failures in bee-keeping, &c. He compared an apiary to a yard of fowls, in this respect, and that they could be bred in-and-in until entirely worthless. This may be done, for fowls are confined to a particular locality, but how is it with prairie chickens? what is the reason they do not degenerate and run out? Because they are rovers, like the bee, and are mated by others from some remote part.

I claim that bees will mix from 5 to 7 miles, and if there are 50 or 100 colonies within that distance the progeny of a certain queen will stand a poor show of mating with drones from its own hive.

To illustrate: While living in N. Y. I obtained one of Mr. Langstroth's $20 tested Italian queens; I reared some 70 queens and introduced them into as many colonies. The next season I had Italian drones by the thousand. My stock of Italian drones were the only ones in the locality, so I had a good chance to test breeding in-and-in. The next season, and even that fall, there were hybrid colonies all over the country, even at the distance of 7 miles, one man had one colony. One man, 5 miles from me, wished me to introduce an Italian queen into one of his colonies. I think he had 6 and I was surprised to see 4 of them hybrids, how they came there he did not know. Others said to me, “I have your kind of bees, but where they came from I cannot tell.”

All breeders of Italian queens find it very difficult to keep their stock up to the standard of purity. I obtained 5 dollar-queens (Italians) from a breeder in N. Y., which when tested proved to be hybrids, showing conclusively that there were black bees in that section.

Osakis, Minn.

For the American Bee Journal.

How to Prevent Robbing.


My location for surplus honey is not as good as some other sections of the State, and from the middle of June to the last of July, from 4 to 6 weeks, there appears to be no honey flow, and the weather being hot and dry, scorches what bloom is left, soon after June comes in. Our last rain is in April, or sometimes late in May, and no more, generally, before October or November. All kinds of stock depending on pasture, especially in the hills, suffer at that time. When bees can gather no honey, Italians especially go about visiting for the purpose of plunder, and woe to the colony that is not strong enough to defend its stores. I have reduced the entrance, covered the entrance with cow-chips, wet hay, brush, and, in fact, tried all remedies that ever I saw in print or heard of, without success. While the robbers were helping themselves, the colony robbed was not discouraged, but appeared to be robbing some other, and the queen was laying eggs, to be starved as they advanced to brood; no bees appeared to be killed at the entrance, as no blacks were about; they were all Italians, and they can rob when they get started.

I exchanged the places of the hives without success, until I thought of changing after dark; so while they were robbing I went to all colonies that appeared to be quiet and minding their own business and placed a single stone on the cover, then on those that were getting robbed the worst, I placed 2 stones. Then when so dark that no bees were flying, I exchanged places and put a strong colony on the stand of a weak one. Sometimes I had to repeat this, but not always. Some of those weak ones filled their hives with golden rod honey and robbing was stopped for that season. It was amusing to see the robbers when those strong colonies had fairly awakened, to know that they had callers; they mustered out at the entrance solid and were ready for business. The robber seemed to think he had made a mistake. The strong colony had not got discouraged; the robbers could not force the entrance and the weak colony not in a fighting humor, received the recruits from the strong one, which were a little too surprised at the change to interfere with the queen and inmates. Most of the old bees would go to their own stand but in the confusion of things they would gradually be at home in their own hive. I found the plan very successful, when closing the entrance did not do. I extracted as late as June 10 to keep down swarming.

Last spring my Italians took the grafting wax from my peach grafts. I also observed them gathering the worm dust from decayed oak wood, and filling their pockets instead of pollen, about Christmas. In the valley 2 miles from here, frost was quite severe, but here the mercury got below 32° only twice; the lowest was 28°. Natural bloom was 2 months behind, owing to early frosts which appeared to drive the sap down to the roots.

Napa, Cal.

For the American Bee Journal.

Bees Killed by Kindness.


I commenced the year 1875 with 12 box hives and engaged my brother to hive the colonies in movable frame hives on shares, but the bees swarmed faster than he had the hives ready—one swarmed 5 times in one week. In the fall I had 16 colonies in movable frame and 20 in box hives. I prepared them for winter by cutting up a light bed-quilt to cover the frames; drove stakes about a foot from the hives all around except in the front, (which faced the south) and packed straw in the spaces and filled the cap with chaff and straw, and covered the hives with straw. In the spring but one colony was living and that was in a box hive. The quilts were laid down flat on the frames, leaving no ventilation. When it became cold the bees died and fell on the bottom board, filling up the spaces between the frames, the moisture fell on the bees and froze solid, closing the entrance so that I could not open it even with an iron rod. In the corners of each hive was a chunk of ice, running half way up the frames. The bees cut holes through the quilts and when they could, had crawled into the straw and died. This was murder, but such was my experience in 1875-6.

Florid, Ill., Mar. 1, 1881.

[We have no doubt your first disasters were attributable altogether to a too rapid increase.—Ed.]

The North Western Wisconsin Bee-keepers Association will meet at Germania Hall, LaCrosse, Wis., on Tuesday, May 10, at 10 a.m. All interested in bee-keeping are requested to be present.

L. H. Pammel, Jr., Sec.

The next meeting of the N. W. Illinois and S. W. Wisconsin Bee-Keepers' Association, will be held at H. W. Lee's, 2 miles n.w. of Pecatonica, Winnebago county, Ills., on the 17th of May, 1881.

J. Stewart, Sec.

On account of unfavorable weather the convention at Monroe Centre, Ill., met on Feb. 8, and there being but few present, adjourned to the same place on March 29, 1881.

A. Rice, Pres.



IN 1861


Editor and Proprietor,

CHICAGO, ILL., MAR. 16, 1881.

Watchman! Tell us of the Night.

Can you not recommend some reliable prophet, who will prophesy good weather soon? The storm is terrible; not a road in the county is passable for half a mile; the drifts are as high as the fences, and the snow full three feet on the level.

Bees are getting uneasy, and must have a flight soon. Many report heavy losses, even now; others complain that all are sick with dysentery. In my home cellar, out of about 275, 4 are slightly affected, the balance are apparently in good condition. My outside apiaries fare worse. Two weeks ago quite a number had the dysentery slightly; I should judge about 8 or 10 per cent. How they now are I cannot tell; certainly, no better. I believe that they can stand it a month longer, and my home apiary 6 weeks, but that is the limit.

We are all afraid that Vennor's prophecy of 11 feet of snow will yet be realized, unless some one can be found to contradict it. Eleven feet of snow now would last us until all our bees had died a natural death from old age. Help us out of our trouble, if you can.

Geo. Grimm.

Jefferson, Wis., March 3, 1881.

It was with much pleasure we noticed, in last Thursday's Associated Press dispatches, evidences of Prof. Vennor's reformation. He undoubtedly has become convinced that the realization of the eleven feet of snow attributed to his prophecies, would not only cause much suffering and privation with the majority of humanity, but work serious and permanent injury to the country itself. He has relented, or probably been bribed by Mr. McColm's liberal offer in the Bee Journal of March 2, page 69, and now promises us better weather in the future. His latest prediction is a reasonably early, warm, dry spring, cool, pleasant summer, and late, dry fall, followed by a mild and pleasant winter. Of course, he promises abundant crops, and a satisfactory and remunerative harvest.

But without any further reference to Prof. Vennor, and without laying any claim to the “spirit of prophecy,” we believe the coming season will be a very satisfactory one to those bee-keepers who may be prepared to profit by it, and who have the industry and intelligence to make the most of it. The winter of 1879-80 was very mild and open, the scarcity of snow left the earth's surface exposed alike to the freezing temperature of night, and the pleasant sunshine of the balmy days; spring-like showers were of frequent occurrence, and heavy rains accompanied with thunder were so numerous that they ceased to create surprise; while the weird spring-music of the frogs was a familiar sound every month, and nearly every week, throughout the winter. The alternating cold and heat “threw out” the roots of the perennial plants, breaking off the long, deep-reaching taps and killing the rootlets; hence the frequent expression, “but little white clover in bloom, and no honey in the blossoms.” The honey-producing annuals have done but little better, owing, we presume, to the germination of the seeds in mid-winter, and the frequent frosting of the tender sprouts before spring set in. Thus, the summer and fall bloom was limited, and no provision having been made to supply the short-comings of nature, bees entered upon an unprecedented winter with a poor supply of good—or a good supply of poor—honey. The many empty hives in the country this spring is the result.

The past winter, whatever else may be said of it, has been propitious for the honey plants. Cool weather in this latitude set in during October; vegetation was checked in the perennials and biennials; the ground was frozen in November, and it was overspread with a mantle of snow quite early in the season, which has constantly held the roots of the perennials in position, and prevented the seeds of the annuals from unseasonable germination. The stand of white clover last fall was good, and mostly of quite recent growth, which should bloom profusely this season, and will only need heat and favorable sunshine to develop the nectar. The causes enumerated will also tend to confine the vitality of the linden trees to the roots, to be drawn out in profuse foliage and bloom by the genial rays of the summer sun. The numerous variety of flowers we believe will gratify the eye of every lover of the beautiful in nature, and well reward the labors of the painstaking bee-keeper. That the price of honey will be remunerative next fall no one can doubt, in view of the lessened competition, owing to the heavy losses the past winter and the many who will utilize the bees they have left to refilling their empty hives.

It would take more space than we can give a single article, to explain why we have much confidence in Prof. Vennor's latest prediction, referred to above—though perhaps “the wish is father to the thought.” We feel confident many of our readers will cordially unite with us in welcoming the better time coming.

Migratory Bee-Keeping.

Why do not the enterprising bee-keepers of these parts go South with their bees, and wait till the March “blizzards” are over? Seems to me the bees and honey saved would about pay the expenses of the trip. How much does a colony need in those parts to winter on? Would there be any prospect of obtaining any surplus down there before the season opens here? These and a dozen other questions I am vainly speculating upon. Are Messrs. Bingham and Perrine the only ones that have tried the migratory plan? I believe neither of them was successful; at any rate, they have abandoned it. Probably they could not give it the necessary attention. The loss of larvæ in shipping seems but trifling compared to the gain in young bees. Considerable damage may be done by combs breaking down, but wired frames would obviate that difficulty. Is not wired foundation (wired in frames) the only kind that can be depended on under all circumstances? You report in the October number, 1880, page 468, that the Northwestern Convention disapproved of wired foundation. There were but few present that had given wired foundation a fair trial, and if I am not mistaken, they were strongly in favor of it.

H. W. Funk.

Bloomington, Ill., March 5, 1881.

The first question is difficult to answer, as enterprising bee-keepers, like the balance of humanity, are generally governed by motives of convenience or profit. There are very few but have other business connected with bee-keeping, and this would suffer if close attention was given the migratory system. The amount of honey required to winter in the South is much less than in the North, but the quantity is governed by contingencies, as would be the question, How much honey will a colony obtain in the South in a season? Usually bees obtain considerable surplus in April and May, in some localities. Mr. Bingham, we believe, abandoned the migratory system on account of excessive freights, while Mr. Perrine met with a series of disasters from the first which would have discouraged any one. Mr. W. O. Abbott was engaged last season with a floating apiary on the Mississippi river, from which large returns were anticipated; but as nothing definite has been made public since the close of the season, we suppose it was not a success. Others have tried Southern wintering, but we have no data upon which to base conclusions, except the fact of its abandonment. The trouble has not been so much from destruction of combs, as the expense attending the removal.

A private letter from a gentleman with several hundred colonies of bees, located a short distance below Memphis, Tenn., dated March 5, says: “My colonies are mostly very strong; they are bringing in 5 kinds of pollen; many are clustering in front of their hives; most of them had large quantities of honey left over, and I could extract an average of 15 lbs. per colony with profit to the bees. Bees here are given no attention in the fall, but are left on the summer stands, sometimes with the second story over them, and often with only a honey-board. Frequently there are entrances at front and rear, and wide cracks in the sides from which bees pour out, but disaster never overtakes them except from starvation.”

If a necessity exists for wires in foundation, then perhaps the wired frames are best. That but few of those in attendance at the Northwestern Convention “had given wired foundation a fair trial,” was undoubtedly owing to the fact that the great majority of those present had never experienced the necessity for using wires; and it might be difficult to convince a considerable minority of the bee-keepers in the country that wired foundation is even desirable for general use. Of course, for special purposes, such as migratory bee-keeping, shipping in summer, etc., where not to be transferred from the frames, wired-frames might be very desirable.

Interesting Letter from Ceylon.

Through the courtesy of Mr. D. A. Jones, we are permitted to publish the following letter. Anything relating to the peregrinations of Mr. Benton in the far East, and any discoveries of new races of bees he may effect, will possess a great attraction for our readers. His next letter, from Singapore, will be awaited with interest.

I found on examination that every queen was alive upon my arrival in Pointe de Galle, though some of the nuclei were greatly depopulated, owing to the death of many bees, and would not have lived to reach Java had I not gotten off in Ceylon. By the next steamer I go to Singapore. I have made every effort to secure bees here, but none are kept in hives in those ports I have visited, and I do not think in any port of the Island.

Of those found in trees few can be secured, because the trees are valuable cocoanut palms, and the entrance holes are in the trunk of course, and are very small. I have obtained three hives only of the small bees, having also spent some time fixing up the bees I brought with me, and trying to find the large bees, to say nothing of searching for some place where bees could be purchased in hives or pots. The natives are far worse than Cypriotes to get along with and accomplish anything. They seem to tell lies simply for the sake of giving an answer, where no pecuniary gain could come to them. Again, they seem to wish to avoid saying “I do not know,” when the Lord knows it would be the most appropriate thing for them to say in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred. The result is that it is hard work to sift the statements made by the natives, and Europeans—nearly all English—know absolutely nothing of value to us.

The new bees, which I think are also found in India and many of the East India Islands (in which case East India bees would seem to me an appropriate name), are real beauties. The workers are 3/8 of an inch long, and build worker comb 5/8 of an inch thick, 36 cells to the square inch. The drone comb is exactly the size, and like worker comb made by the bees already in Europe and America. The workers are brown with a very ringed abdomen, the bands to the tip of the body being broadly marked with yellow, and thorax very fuzzy, with a large shield between the wings; the drones are black, inclining to a blue-black, and are ½ of an inch long; the queens are leather-colored, and large compared with the workers. These bees are very active, wonderful breeders, regular little beauties, and can be handled without the least smoke, scarcely ever offering to sting. It is a pity I cannot get more of them during my stay.

I am determined to find out whether Apis dorsata is to be found here, if time will permit, and if two more races I have heard of here really do exist. I am now where a few shillings of railway fare will bring me to the interior of the Island. More by next mail, with samples of bees and comb.

I have had a horrible time getting stung with large hornets while in the jungles. It laid me up for one whole day. These are fearful fellows, worse than those in Cyprus.

F. Benton.

Colombo, Ceylon, Jan. 24, 1881.

There are five Wednesdays in March—hence, the next number sent to Semi-Monthly subscribers will be No. 14.

We can supply but a few more of the back numbers to new subscribers. If any want them, they must be sent for soon.

One letter sometimes makes quite a difference in the meaning of a sentence. Mr. L. James calls attention to an error in his article on page 34, in the 4th line from the bottom—the word hiving is there given as “hiding.” As the sense indicated the word required, perhaps it was not generally noticed.

The past week has been noted for snow storms, not only in America but also in Europe, where a winter of unusual severity is reported, with deep snows and steady frosts for months together. This winter will have a place in history, as being among the most severe as well as of the longest duration. Not alone have the bees suffered by it, but cattle, sheep, hogs, etc., have perished by the thousand from the prevalence of blizzards and deep snows.

Several bee-keepers in this vicinity are considering the feasibility of holding a convention in Detroit this spring. The law in regard to foul brood, which is about to be passed, makes an organization necessary. It is desirable to know how many would favor the enterprise. Will such please send me their address.

A. B. Weed.

No. 75 Bagg street, Detroit, Mich.



Wintered Well—I have wintered 40 colonies of Italians on the summer stands; they have wintered well.

James H. Davis.

New Holland, Pa., March 8, 1881.

Mortality Reports.—It seems to me that the only way of profiting by the experience of bee-keepers throughout the country, this exceptionally severe winter, is to reduce their reports to a tabular statement. If they could be induced to send in these reports, in the form of brief answers, to questions like the following, we could read the history of the past winter on a single page of the Bee Journal, and learn from it lessons of scientific value. I mean such questions as these:

1. How many colonies did you winter?

2. Where? (out doors or in cellar.)

3. What hive did you use?

4. How did you prepare it?

5. What entrance was left open, bottom, top, or both?

6. How late did the bees breed?

7. How many lbs. of honey were they allowed to keep?

8. When did they have their first flight?

9. How many colonies did you lose?

C. F. Kroeh.

Hoboken, N. J., Mar. 5, 1881.

[It would be difficult to get up a reliable report of this kind for many reasons, chiefly, perhaps, the following: 1st. Spring does not open simultaneously all over the country, and by the time the last were heard from, the table would have lost its interest; 2d. Many are sensitive, and prefer not to give their experience; 3d. Many have partially reported already, and would scarcely care to do so again. We agree with Mr. Kroeh, a table of that description would be invaluable for reference; but it is difficult to obtain.— Ed.]

Nineteen Weeks' Confinement.—Bees have at last had a purifying flight after 19 weeks' confinement. I find 28 dead from 153, I packed in chaff. Temperature has been below zero 7 times, and as low as 17° below, this winter. A few of the remaining colonies are weak and may die yet, but nearly all are strong for this season of the year. One has had dysentery since Dec. 15, but is alive yet, with a fair prospect of getting through.

H. D. Burrell.

Bangor, Mich., March 10, 1881.

Wintered Safely.—We had a very poor season last year and the winter has been very severe. I began the last season with 18 colonies, increased to 34 and obtained about 500 lbs. of surplus. I wintered in the cellar, and lost 3 colonies with dysentery. My bees had a cleansing flight about 2 weeks ago and I think we will have no more losses this winter. There are quite a number of bee-keepers in this vicinity, but most of them report very heavy losses, some having over 100 colonies and losing nearly all. We are very much pleased with the Weekly Bee Journal, and think it far superior to any Monthly.

L. E. Welch.

Linden, Mich., March 8, 1881.

A Slim Living.—I prepared 21 colonies on Dec. 1st, for wintering on summer stands. Hives were sitting on 4 inch blocks, and the colonies were all strong. I placed woolen blankets over the tops of the frames, then the honey-boards and covers, and left them for the winter—my usual way. Always heretofore they have come out bright. Feb. 22nd I felt uneasy about them, and being a bright day, I opened the hives to find 11 dead out or 21 colonies, and the remaining 10 weak. The hives were filled with frost and ice, and blankets wet with water; 5 out of the 11 dead had Italian queens, which I purchased from Mr. A. H. Newman last summer. I am not discouraged. If I had to make a living from bees it would be slim. I can learn more in 1 week about taking care of bees from the Bee Journal, than I could in 1 year without it.

Edmund DeLair.

Oketo, Kan., March 1, 1881.

Honey Sections.—In the Bee Journal of March 2d Mr. Heddon says he prefers a section that he can press to any angle and have it solid, but I fail to see that any other angle than square is of any advantage. Again, Mr. H. asks, “Is it not better to wait and see which goes into general use?” Perhaps the following figures may show which has gone into general use, at least with our customers. I make any kind that are wanted, and therefore the figures will show which are the most desirable. In 1879, the first year that the one piece sections were put upon the market, and at a higher price than other kinds, my sales were:

104,578 one piece sections.
124,058 dovetailed.
38,270 nailed.

In 1880, the following are the figures:

233,898 one-piece sections.
47,980 dovetailed.
50,950 nailed.

According to Mr. Heddon's test, therefore, the one-piece sections are the most desirable, because they have gone into general use.

G. B. Lewis.

Watertown, Wis., March 8, 1881.

Bees in Good Condition.—The Weekly Bee Journal is a welcome visitor and is the first paper I read when I return home on Friday evening. It is a friend that introduces me to my fellow bee-keepers, and their manner of manipulating our pets. My bees are in good spirits, yet they had but 2 flights this winter. I have them packed in a shed in new Langstroth hives, manipulating sides. They are 6 inches apart and packed all around with straw, excepting the fronts. They face the south, with a division board on each side of the frames, leaving a dead air space.

John W. Sturwold.

Haymond, Ind., Feb. 7, 1881.

Wintered Without Loss.—I have kept bees for 7 years and my greatest trouble has been wintering them, but I think I have that perfect now. I winter on summer stands packed in chaff. Last fall I had 72 colonies, and on Feb. 9 all were right. I think I shall have to feed them. Last fall some had 15 lbs. and others 25 lbs of honey; that is if bees and comb weighed 10 lbs. The combs were all new, and it may be that 10 lbs. was allowing too much.

George Wickwire.

Weston Mills, N. Y., March 4, 1881.

Mourning for the Bees.—It is lamentable to hear the reports throughout this country. Some have lost all; others all but 1 or 2. I think about four-fifths of the bees are dead through this country; as nearly all left their bees unprotected, they had to suffer losses. But I think the present winter will in part decide the best methods of wintering. I started last spring with 4 colonies, increased to 6, but obtained no surplus. In Sept. I bought 2 Italian colonies which are doing well. I packed 2 in chaff and 6 I put into the cellar, but 2 of these died, 1 starved, and the other had the dysentery. Those packed in chaff had a good flight on Feb. 26. Those in the cellar had no flight since Nov. 1. The weather is now breaking up, the snow has nearly all gone, and the roads are muddy. I am highly pleased with the Weekly Bee Journal. I could not be persuaded to do without it.

H. Cripe.

North Manchester, Ind., Mar., 8, 1881.

Wintering.—My experience of over 25 years in trying all modes of wintering is as follows: On summer stands, and in the cellar for 10 years; I then built a house to winter in, used that 2 years and then abandoned it. The last 3 years I have been using the chaff hive and winter on summer stands, with the least loss of any way I have tried. My bees had a splendid fly on the 11th, it being the first chance for them since the 8th of Nov. I think they will go through all right now unless we have a very late spring. I prepared 148 colonies for winter, (123 in chaff hives and 25 in the common box hive.) I have lost but one in chaff hive yet, and 10 in the box hive already, and doubt if one-half of what are left will see the middle of April. I wish to congratulate our editor on the success of the Bee Journal. I have received it regular since assuming its new form, and think it just splendid, and if I had but 1 colony of bees I would try to take the Weekly Bee Journal to aid me to make a success of that 1. I hope the editor may be liberally supported by the bee-keepers of America, for I believe with his experience and that of his able contributors, he can give us a paper that we cannot afford to do without.

J. M. France.

Auburn, Pa. Feb. 24, 1881.

Vexatious to Sell Honey.—I only realized $300 last year from my bees. I put 50 colonies in winter quarters in the fall of 1879; lost none, but doubled up on account of queenlessness, weakness, etc., to 45, all in first class order. I bought 50 colonies in old-fashioned Langstroth hives; they were wintered in a good cellar, and were, with a few exceptions, weak in bees, combs in bad order, short of stores, and badly managed the preceding season. I united them down to 27 before I moved them. At the beginning of honey harvest (basswood bloom) I doubled up to 15, so that when the honey season opened I had 60 first class colonies, and obtained 3,500 lbs. of summer honey. I extracted only once. I increased by natural swarming to 88, and at the close of the season doubled up to 74. I have lost 1 this winter through my own fault. I winter out-doors, but would winter indoors if I had a proper place. I sell nearly all my honey to the consumers, but confess this is a vexatious way of disposing of it; it is the most annoying part of the business; in fact, I feel disgusted when I think of it. People cry fraud, fraud, when there is no fraud; but when a spurious article is offered, they swallow it as quietly as desired.

George W. Horner.

Dubuque, Iowa, Feb. 15, 1881.

Prospects Better.—This has been a fine day; my bees had a cleansing flight to-day. They are all alive and strong, and seem to be in splendid condition, with plenty of honey and perfectly dry. I think all the danger is over with them now. I am in favor of double-walled hives, but not packed with chaff, for I have noticed that where there is chaff there is frost on the inside wall. I prefer a dead air space, for then it is always dry. What is the use of changing black bees for Italians, if Mr. Loucks, of California, can get so much honey from the black bees, they surely must be the “boss” bees? I think we had better take our bees to California, where milk and honey flows.

David Hohenshell.

Collins, Ill., March 6, 1881.

All Alive.—My bees are all alive and in fine condition. They were wintered out of doors, in shed, packed around with straw, but open to the east.

J. R. Mead.

Wichita, Kas., March 7, 1881.

Winter yet in Kentucky.—Bees are wintering very badly here, and 2 of my neighbors have lost all they had. The ground is covered with snow, and looks as much like winter as it did a month ago.

A. E. Foster.

Covington, Ky., March 5, 1881.

No Surplus nor Increase.—This has been a hard winter on the bees. I think all that were not protected and those partially protected will die. There was no surplus nor increase here worth mentioning, last summer.

James Nipe.

Spring Prairie, Wis., Feb. 26, 1881.

Great Loss of Bees.—The bees in McDonough county that were wintered on the summer stands are nearly all dead. Those in double-walled hives, and those packed in straw, dying the same as those in single-walled hives. My loss is about 95 out of 100.

S. H. Black.

Sciota, Ill., March 5, 1881.

Bees in Prime Condition.—I have 110 colonies in the cellar in prime condition. Nearly all bees out-doors are dead.

C. H. Dibbern.

Milan, Ill., Mar. 9, 1881.

Paris Green.—It is not very good for bees, as I had an opportunity last spring to find out. I have in my garden a 10 year old plum tree that never perfected any fruit and knowing that Paris green would kill bugs I thought it might also kill the “little turk,” or Curculio. Acting upon the suggestion I mixed some Paris green in a watering can and put up through the branches of the tree a long ladder, from the top of which I sprinkled the whole top of the tree just before dark, and a day or 2 before the bloom went off. Next day afternoon as I was passing through my bee yard I was very much surprised to see on the ground a good many bees in a dying condition which I could not account for. I came at last, however, to the conclusion that they had gone to the plum tree in the morning before it was dry and partaken of the poison. I lost a good many bees but I have learned this lesson, “never to put Paris green on trees when in bloom;” still I am satisfied that by sprinkling or syringing 2 or 3 times, when the plum is in its incipient state, it will insure a crop. Who will try this spring and report?

Geo. Thompson.

Geneva, Ill.

Making Progress.—Although behind some other States, yet we have made some progress. Bees seem to do best in the newer counties, where the timber has not been cut off. It might be supposed that the northern portion of this State was not favorable for bees, but Aroostook county, in the extreme north, produces nearly as much honey as all the other 15 counties, and the honey is put up in the most marketable shape; but I fear the bees are not protected as they should be in this northern climate. We have had a cold winter, and the loss has been very great. I winter my bees in the cellar with success, and obtain much pleasure, as well as profit, from the time I devote to them. The Weekly Bee Journal is my constant companion.

Isaac F. Plummer.

Augusta, Maine.

Not Discouraged.—Should I be persuaded to give up the business of keeping bees for profit, I do not know what I could find that would pay better. I have 25 colonies in good condition and every one in this town wants honey, and I shall try to supply it to them.

Charles Follett.

Osage, Iowa.

Lost but 4 out of 273.—My bees are wintering well; I have lost but 4 out of 273 colonies, wintered on the summer stands, packed with sawdust and planer shavings. It has paid me to advertise in the Weekly Bee Journal. I have all the work I can do.

A. E. Manum.

Bristol, Vt., March 9, 1881.

Dead Bees in the Cells.—I took 6 combs out of 2 hives in which the bees died, that had plenty of honey in the 2 outside frames. In every cell of the 3 middle frames is a dead bee. I tried to pick them out with a pin, but gave it up for a bad job. Is there a way to clean them? Can I use the combs again next spring? Please let me know in next Journal.

John W. Sturwold.

Haymond, Ind., March 11, 1881.

[You will find our method given in answer to Mr. Phillips, page 86 of this number. The combs can be used again this spring.—Ed.]

Progressing.—My bees are getting along well. I have lost 3 weak colonies that were left unprotected; but it was my own fault. A hive peddler was in this section this winter selling hives without frames. I showed him my hives, similar to the Langstroth, and he took the measure of it, and said I was “well fixed” for bee-keeping. He never said a word about selling his hive to me. I do not know how many he sold.

John Boerstler.

Gilead, Ill., Feb. 26, 1881.


Moldy Combs, Etc.—Having lost a few colonies of bees the past winter, I wish to make the best use of the combs left, as they are mostly new. Some are moldy, what shall I do with them? Some of the cells are full of dead bees, how shall I get them out? How can I keep the moths out of the combs until I can use them? An answer to these questions through the Weekly, at an early day, will no doubt benefit many new beginners.

O. Phillips.

Emporia, Kans., March 2, 1881.

[When your colonies are strong in the spring, give the moldy combs; they will soon utilize them, if not given too fast. The combs with dead bees should be kept in a dry place, and after the bees have become dried and shrunken, you can easily shake them out of the cells. If moths get in the combs, treat them in the manner suggested by Mr. Doolittle, page 74, Bee Journal of March 9th. One pound of sulphur, however, to each 100 cubic feet, seems a large amount; this would require 10 lbs. for a room 10 feet square. We have had no experience in sulphuring combs, but think 1 lb. would be sufficient for 1,000 cubic feet, in a close room.—Ed.]

Palestine Bees.—We are having a hard winter on bees: they have not had a fly since last Oct. 28. Bees that were here kept in old-style boxes are nearly all dead, many that were packed in chaff are dead or have the dysentery, and are flying out on our coldest days, and of course never return. My bees that are in chaff tenement hives are in the best condition of any I have seen. My Palestine bees are standing the lonely confinement in the hives better than the Italians; they are quieter, and do not fly out so much and get lost on the snow. I much like the Weekly Bee Journal, and when I got the Journal of Feb. 2d out of the office I felt like grasping the hand of the Editor, and having a shake, but alas it was not flesh and blood, but a very good likeness. Many thanks for giving us a chance to view it.

I. R. Good.

Napanee, Ind., Feb. 2, 1881.

Honey as Medicine.—I wish to compile for publication an exhibit of the medicinal qualities of the various kinds of honey, and I shall be obliged for any facts sent me on the subject. Chaff-packing seems to be ahead here this winter, but I notice a great difference in the wintering capacity of several colonies. All of mine which were devoted to the production of honey are doing well, but I have lost by excessive early breeding, and some that were used to rear queens. They had no flight for 4 months.

T. L. Von Dorn.

S Ave., Omaha, Neb., March 9, 1881.

Gathering Pollen.—Last season proved a splendid one for bees. Each colony averaged 72 lbs. of surplus sweet honey, and from 20 to 40 lbs. of bitter. My bees are blacks, and to-day are out gathering pollen and some honey.

E. P. Massey.

Waco, Texas., March 1, 1881.

Anxious for Spring.—The Monthly was good, but a more frequent visitor, in the shape of the Weekly, is better. It brings fresh news, ready for use. I spent an hour in my cellar, last evening, examining my bees. I was heart-sick at the condition in which I found them. I had about 40 colonies in the fall; at least one-half of them are dead. I have an excellent cellar, especially for my bees, and have not lost a colony before for 5 or 6 years. I began to think that losing bees in winter was an unnecessary thing, but I see that I was mistaken, for my bees did not lack for care in any particular. The death of mine is from dysentery. The small amount of honey collected in this vicinity last year was a very poor quality, as is seen from the fact that it has not candied during the winter. I extracted about 300lbs, and put it away in glass jars, and it looks like so much New Orleans molasses. My friend, Mr. Bischoff, had about 40 colonies in the fall; all are now dead but 6. They were left on their summer stands. Mr. B. is lonesome and wants my bees put in his apiary next summer to keep him company, but it remains yet to be seen if I will have any left to keep up a humming in my own apiary. I met Mr. Gardener, of this city, the other day, and he reports all of his 16 colonies dead. Several other bee-men have told me that but few, if any, of their bees are alive. Winter still holds on with an iron grasp. Our bees so much need a cleansing flight. I am anxiously waiting for some warm days.

I. P. Wilson.

Burlington, Iowa, March 4, 1881.

Died of Disease.—I have lost about all the bees I had, yet I love to hear of others' success in the bee business, and read of others' way of management; but I am convinced that my bees died of some disease, the same as Mr. Carver reported from Greencastle, Indiana, although bees have not died so universally throughout this country as mine have. I have the hives and combs left, with lots of honey in them; these I can sell for something, perhaps, or melt them into wax, or get a few colonies of bees to begin anew, but it is very poor encouragement to put much stock in bees, the way it looks now.

D. W. Fletcher.

Lansingville, N. Y., Mar. 4, 1881.

Cyprians Ahead.—Bees doing well; they are commencing to work on plum-bloom; they have brood in all stages. In an average of over 30 colonies of Cyprians, they are farther ahead in brood-rearing than the Italians. The latter have had the same chance as the former. Am very busy now, preparing for queen-rearing.

J. H. P. Brown.

Augusta, Ga., March 2, 1881.

An Early Season.—I see from reports in our new Weekly Journal that bees are dying throughout the north and west more than usual, from short stores and intense cold. I may say that we have had an unprecedented cold winter here, the thermometer at one time ranged, for a few hours, as low as 18° above zero, but soon struggled back to about 2∙5° below. Last fall our bees gathered a full supply of fall honey, and none will die from cold or starve out that are worth saving. The winter being wet, white clover is coming out very thick over the ground; maple, elm, plum and wild cherry are now in bloom, as well as heads of white clover that are pushing out their lovely forms to the genial sun. Bees usually work on white clover here by the 10th of this month; but this year our honey season will be much later. May the “new departure” prosper and lead us forward to perfection.

J. W. Winder.

Thibodaux, La., Feb. 10, 1881.

[Mr. Winder enclosed us some white clover blossoms of this year's growth. The sight of the modest flowers is refreshing, while from our office windows the earth looks bleak and gloomy with its deep mantle of snow.—Ed.]

Gone back on him.—I had 30 colonies of bees—most of them Italians—last fall, in Langstroth hives, packed in this way: The ends of my hives are double-walled, and the sides are made double in winter by the use of division boards, in place of 2 frames, leaving but 8 frames. I then use a crate made of laths, which sets down around the hive so is to leave a space of about 8 inches for packing between it and the hive on the sides and back end. This space I fill with a packing of fine straw and leaves mixed, and packed hard when just a little damp. Then strips of board are fitted so as to protect the top of the straw from rain or snow; next a blanket over the frames and 6 inches of chaff over that, protected by the cap, in which are openings, so as to give free circulation of air above the chaff. The entrance is kept open enough for a good supply of air. In this way I have heretofore had good success in wintering on summer stands; but this winter it has gone back on me. Until last Saturday, the 5th inst., there has been no day warm enough for bees to fly for some months. Many did come out, even on the coldest days, but of course could live but a few moments out of the hive. I let them entirely alone, except to see that the entrances were free, until day before yesterday, when it was warm enough for bees to fly. I looked them over and found only twelve of them alive; only 4 of these are in good condition, the others are weak and the hives a good deal soiled. Now, what puzzles me is this. They were all, apparently, very nearly alike last October, and now 4 of them are in perfect condition while all the others were bad. Now, why the four exceptions out of 30? I am glad for them, but would like to understand the reason. Can you tell us, Mr. Editor? They have evidently not been cold, and have had plenty of honey. In the dead ones I have examined I find brood in a hatching state, with half or more of the cells empty, indicating that young bees had hatched. I attribute the disaster to long confinement, but why the 4 exceptions? I say amen to all the compliments you publish from your subscribers for the Bee Journal.

D. K. Boutelle.

Lake City, Minn., March 7, 1881.

[Probably during some of the milder days of winter the bees became scattered in their hives, the weather suddenly changed, and they perished before they could form their cluster on honey, and thus starved.—Ed.]

From Florida.—The Bee Journal is at hand; we do not know how we could do without it. The past has been a very good honey season here. We have 255 colonies of bees in Langstroth hives. Some are Italians—we like them as honey-gatherers, but they are crosser than our natives. We obtained 850 gals. honey, and 500 lbs. wax. The latter we obtained from about 90 hives which we transferred. We think apiculture will pay here with good management. We extracted from one colony 32 Langstroth frames well filled with honey. Our apiary is located on a “gum” swamp, 5 or 6 miles wide and 15 or 20 miles long, which is our main honey source, and blooms from April 15 till May 15; we also have many other honey producing flowers. We have a vine which grows in the swamps and yields a great deal of amber-colored honey. We inclose a sprig—please give the name.

Alderman & Roberts.

Wewahitchka, Fla.

[The vine you send is commonly known as snow vine, and is quite abundant in several of the Southern States.—Ed.]

Bee Feeding.—I have thus far used the “bag feeder,” of our friend Prof. Cook, with this addition: I have a long tin tube, shaped like the handle to a water-dipper, long enough to reach through the bag of chaff and empty into the bag; then, with the aid of a funnel, I can daily place the warm food within reach of the bees without disturbing them or letting out the heat—so precious in early spring to a depleted colony. Have never tried the Professor's “Perfection”—thought I saw objections to it. If any of our more experienced bee-keepers have devised a “better way,” please tell me through “our” Journal.

E. M. R.

Flint, Mich., March 4, 1881.

Introduced a Queen.—Bad luck to bees in this valley of the Ohio. Of 32 colonies in Langstroth hives, 18 now remain, and the 4th day of March a perfect “blizzard” all day, so I fear I will lose more from spring dwindling. I found, one day in February, all the bees dead but two, and the queen nearly gone, in one hive, but plenty of honey. I had a queenless colony, and laid these 3 bees on the frames to see if they would come to life; they became warm and crept down among the bees. The next warm spell I looked, and the yellow queen was safe among the black bees. A novel way to introduce a queen in February.

G. W. Ashby.

Valley Station, Ky., March 5, 1881.

Loss 88 per cent.—The loss of bees in Wayne and Randolph counties is heavy—about 88 per cent. Our bees had a fly Feb. 26th, the first for 111 days. We have reports from 1400 colonies (November count) and March 1st finds them all dead but 171. The Italians have come through better than the blacks. Those packed in chaff on summer stands have wintered better than any other mode in this locality. There is a great call for bees here by parties that are wanting to start again. Our loss is 4 out of 15 colonies, all in chaff hives.

M. G. Reynolds.

Williamsburg, Ind., March 7, 1881.

First Year's Experience.—Bees done poorly here last season. There was an abundance of bloom, but too much rain. I sowed 1 acre of buckwheat; while this lasted my bees stored more honey than at any other time in the season; I think it an excellent honey plant. Pumpkin blossoms yield considerable honey; would it pay to plant them all over a field of corn? My bees are packed in chaff, and they are all in good condition at present. They have not had a flight since the 1st of Nov. Success to the Weekly Bee Journal; I like it better than the Monthly.

Wm. Hagan.

Holly, Mich., Jan. 18, 1881.

[Pumpkin blossoms yield a rich, but strongly flavored honey; we think the pumpkins would be remunerative for their cultivation to feed to stock, and that the honey obtained from the blossoms would be a net profit.—Ed.]

Summer a long way off.—This winter has been, so far, the most severe known for many years in this part of the State. Snow-storm has followed snow-storm, and cold spell has followed cold spell, until now there is more snow on the ground than we have had altogether for 6 or 7 years. And the poor bees! how have they fared through all the snow and cold? Badly, I fear from the reports I hear every few days; but so far as heard from, where they were properly cared for, either in cellar or on summer stands, they are doing quite well; but summer is a long way off.

Harry G. Burnet.

Blairstown, Iowa, March 5, 1881.

A Little Discouraged.—I am a little discouraged this spring. I put 54 colonies into winter quarters last fall and now have but 23, and some of them are weak. Those in my bee-house suffered the worst. I had 20 colonies on the summer stands, packed with cut straw, and lost 6 of them by dysentery and starvation. If bees are strong in numbers and have plenty of honey, I can see that there is no danger of loss. Last season it was so dry here that the white clover dried up, and the bees could get but little honey, and what they did gather was very dark. I am glad to receive the Bee Journal weekly now; the news comes and seems so fresh. I hope it will be well supported.

J. W. Rikie.

Mont Clair, N. J., March 6, 1881.

Why Did They Die?—Last fall I put my bees into a dry cellar; some of them had 75 lbs. of honey, and in 4 or 5 weeks there were many dead bees. I cleaned them up but in a few weeks more they all died; what was the cause of this? Over 80 per cent. of all the bees in this vicinity are dead.

R. L. Holman.

Springfield, Ohio, Feb. 19, 1881.

[Your colonies were strong, had a large quantity of honey, and the cellar was too warm; they commenced breeding, became uneasy, and left their hives from disquietude.—Ed.]

Wintered Without Loss.—I packed 41 colonies and they are now all living, and nearly all appear to be in good condition. My bees are flying to-day. Many bee-keepers in this country have lost heavily, and are much disheartened. I hope to be able to make a good showing when I report again, say about May 1.

J. J. Roe.

Buchanan, Mich., March 9, 1881.



Champlain Valley, Vt., Convention.

This Association held its winter meeting at Brandon, Vt., on Jan. 20, 21, 1881. Pres. Crane in the chair. Col. H. H. Merritt gave an address of welcome, to which Pres. Crane replied, stating the object of the meeting and giving a brief narration of the ancient history of the honey bee, and of its improved management in the present age.

Mr. A. E. Manum said success depended on the man and circumstances. The bee-keeper should be a person of even temperament—not easily excited—should be somewhat acquainted with botany; and recommended small section boxes, to hold not more than 2 lbs. Everything should be kept ready and in order. He gave an estimate of produce in a good season with Italian bees, and also a poor season like the past.

Mr. O. C. Wait, of Georgia, said that experience had shown that bee-keeping was no mystery or sleight of hand, but a clear, plain, practical science. Bee-keepers were an intelligent, enterprising class of men; men of progress. No intelligent man would destroy his bees.

After some discussion Mr. Manum exhibited some of his honey boxes, and explained their uses and advantages.

Bees were advantageous in the orchard, and to the buckwheat crop, as he had satisfactorily demonstrated. Some doubts had been expressed to the value of the red clover blossom on account of the inability of the bee to reach the nectary; Italians have the advantage over black bees, because they are provided with greater length of proboscis.

Pres. Crane said he had noticed bees working in red clover early and late in the season; bees will not work where they get no honey.

In the evening, after a few preliminaries, Mr. E. A. Hasseltine read a sensible and witty poem on “Prospects and Retrospects,” which was well received by the audience.

The talk on Sweets, by Prof. Seely, was a learned dissertation on the chemical properties and qualities of the various kinds of sweets that are offered in our markets. He exhibited over 20 different kinds of sugar; spoke of the various substances from which sugar was extracted, as trees, plants, roots and fruits; some specimens would solidify sooner than others; sugar from cane, corn, beets and maple, were all of the same chemical formation.

J. E. Crane spoke on the Individuality of Bees; there was a marked difference in the character of colonies, some were industrious, others not so; some prefer some kinds of flowers, others reject them; Italians dislike buckwheat, while black bees work well on it. Every colony has some peculiar character. He showed several samples of honey from different flowers, and explained their various qualities, and also exhibited specimens of bees from the Holy Land.

Dr. F. Bond said that the Creator had placed the sweets in flowers to attract the bee, to carry out nature's laws, by carrying the fertilizing pollen to the unfertile flower, and thus showing a wise and beneficent Providence.

On Friday, Jan. 21, after some preliminary business, the following were elected officers for the ensuing year: President, J. E. Crane; Vice-Presidents, H. L. Leonard, E. P. Wolcott, E. A. Hasseltine; Secretary and Treasurer, Hon. T. Brookins.

Mr. O. C. Wait spoke of the bad condition he found honey in the Boston market, and of the manner of awarding premiums at fairs.

Mr. Manum remarked that it was important to have good queens, he advised all to raise their own; old queens were best to rear queens from, say 2 years old or more; it is best to rear queens in warm weather, when honey is plenty.

The question “how to prevent bees from dwindling” Mr. Leonard answered thus: In this case as in all other ills to which bee-keepers are heir to, keep the colony strong and healthy. Mr. Leonard read an essay on “Bee-culture for Women,” giving instances of marked success. He said women in Vermont were as capable and had as good facilities as in any part of the country, and would succeed as well, if attended to.

Adjourned to meet at Bristol, Vt., in May next.

T. Brookins, Sec.

Local Convention Directory.

1881.   Time and Place of Meeting.
April 2 — S. W. Iowa, at Corning, Iowa.
  5 — Central Kentucky, at Winchester, Ky.
        Wm. Williamson, Sec., Lexington, Ky.
  7 — Union Association, at Eminence, Ky.
        E. Drane, Sec. pro tem., Eminence, Ky.
  7 — N. W. Ohio, at Delta, Ohio.
  13— N. W. Missouri, at St. Joseph, Mo.
        D. G. Parker, Pres., St. Joseph, Mo.
May 4 — Tuscarawas and Muskingum Valley, at Cambridge, Guernsey Co., O.
        J. A. Bucklew, Sec., Clarks, O.
  5 — Central Michigan, at Lansing, Mich.
  10— Cortland Union, at Cortland, N. Y.
        C. M. Bean, Sec., McGrawville, N. Y.
  11— S. W. Wisconsin, at Darlington, Wis.
        N. E. France, Sec., Platteville, Wis.
Sept. — — National, at Lexington, Ky.
  — — Kentucky State, at Louisville, Ky.
Oct. 18— Ky. State, in Exposition B'd'g, Louisville, Ky.
        W. Williamson, Sec., Lexington, Ky.

In order to have this Table complete, Secretaries are requested to forward full particulars of time and place of future meetings.—Ed.


We supply the Weekly American Bee Journal and any of the following periodicals, for 1881, at the prices quoted in the last column of figures. The first column gives the regular price of both:

  Publishers' Price. Club.
The Weekly Bee Journal (T. G. Newman)         $2 00
and Gleanings in Bee-Culture (A. I. Root)       3 00     2 75
Bee-Keepers' Magazine (A. J. King) 3 00 2 60
Bee-Keepers' Exchange (J. H. Nellis) 2 75 2 50
The 4 above-named papers 4 75 3 75
Bee-Keepers' Instructor (W. Thomas) 2 50 2 35
Bee-Keepers' Guide (A. G. Hill) 2 50 2 35
The 6 above-named papers 5 75 5 00
Prof. Cook's Manual (bound in cloth) 3 25 3 00
Bee-Culture (T. G. Newman) 2 40 2 25

For Semi-monthly Bee Journal, $1.00 less.
For Monthly Bee Journal, $1.50 less.

Honey and Beeswax Market.



HONEY.—The market is plentifully supplied with honey, and sales are slow at weak, easy prices. Quotable at 18@20c. for strictly choice white comb in 1 and 2 lb. boxes; at 14@16c. for fair to good in large packages, and at 10@12c. for common dark-colored and broken lots.—Chicago Times.

BEESWAX.—Choice yellow, 20@24c; dark, 15@17c.


HONEY.—Best white comb honey, small neat packages, 17@18c.; fair do., 15@16c.; dark do., 12@13c.; large boxes sell for about 2c. under above. White extracted, 9@10c.; dark, 7@8c.; southern strained, 80@85c.

BEESWAX.—Prime quality, 20@23c.


HONEY.—The market for extracted clover honey is very good, and in demand at 11c. for the best, and 8@9c. for basswood and dark honey. Comb honey is of slow sale at 16c. for the best.

BEESWAX.—18@24c.            C. F. Muth.


HONEY.—Extracted is in large supply for the season, and purchasers for round lots difficult to find, except at extremely low prices. We quote white comb, 12@15c.; dark to good, 10@11c. Extracted, choice to extra white, 6@6½c.; dark and candied, 5@5½c.

BEESWAX.—21@22½c., as to color.

Stearns & Smith, 423 Front Street.
San Francisco, Cal., March 4, 1881.


Constitutions and By-Laws for local Associations $2 per 100. The name of the Association printed in the blanks for 50 cents extra.

“What is the meaning of ‘Dec. 81’ after my name on the direction-label of my paper?” This question has been asked by several, and to save answering each one, let us here say: It means that you have paid for the full year, or until “Dec. 31, 1881.” “June 81” means that the first half of the year is paid for, up to “July 1st.” Any other month, the same.

We will send sample copies to any who feel disposed to make up clubs for 1881. There are persons keeping bees in every neighborhood who would be benefited by reading the Journal, and by using a little of the personal influence possessed by almost every one, a club can be gotten up in every neighborhood in America. Farmers have had large crops, high prices, and a good demand for all the products of the farm, therefore can well afford to add the Bee Journal to their list of papers for 1881.

Hundreds of Men, Women and Children rescued from beds of pain, sickness and almost death and made strong and hearty by Parker's Ginger Tonic are the best evidences in the world of its sterling worth. You can find these in every community.—Post. See advertisement. 9w4t

When changing a post office address, mention the old address as well as the new one.

We have prepared Ribbon Badges for bee-keepers, on which are printed a large bee in gold. Price 10 cents each, or $8.00 per hundred.

The Volume of the Bee Journal for 1880, bound in stiff paper covers, will be sent by mail, for $1.50.

Notices and advertisements intended for the Weekly Bee Journal must reach this office by Friday of the week previous.

Instead of sending silver money in letters, procure 1, 2 or 3 cent stamps. We can use them, and it is safer to send such than silver.

Ladies who Appreciate Elegance and purity are using Parker's Hair Balsam. It is the best article sold for restoring gray hair to its original color and beauty.

The date following the name on the wrapper label of this paper indicates the time to which you have paid. In making remittances, always send by postal order, registered letter, or by draft on Chicago or New York. Drafts on other cities, and local checks, are not taken by the banks in this city except at a discount of 25c., to pay expense of collecting them.

Premiums.—For a club of 2, weekly we will give a copy of “Bee-Culture;” for a club of 5, weekly, we will give a copy of “Cook's Manual,” bound in cloth; for a club of 6, we give a copy of the Journal for a year free. Do not forget that it will pay to devote a few hours to the Bee Journal.

Sample copies of the Weekly Bee Journal will be sent free to any names that may be sent in. Any one intending to get up a club can have sample copies sent to the persons they desire to interview, by sending the names to this office.

Any one desiring to get a copy of the Constitution and By-Laws of the National Society, can do so by sending a stamp to this office to pay postage. If they desire to become members, a fee of $1.00 should accompany it, and the name will be duly recorded. This notice is given at the request of the Executive Committee.

It would save us much trouble, if all would be particular to give their P.O. address and name, when writing to this office. We have several letters (some inclosing money) that have no name. Many others having no Postoffice, County or State. Also, if you live near one post office and get your mail at another, be sure to give the address we have on our list.

At the Chicago meeting of the National Society we were requested to get photographs of the leading apiarists, to sell to those who wanted them. We can now supply the following at 25 cents each: Dzierzon, the Baron of Berlepsch, and Langstroth. The likeness of Mr. Langstroth we have copied, is one furnished by his daughter, who says, “it is the only one ever taken when he was in good health and spirits.” We are glad to be able to secure one of such a satisfactory nature.

We have filled orders for quite a number of Binders for the Weekly Bee Journal. We put the price low, 30 per cent. less than any one else could afford to sell them, for we get them by the quantity at wholesale and sell them at just enough to cover the cost and postage, the latter being 21 to 23 cents, on each. We do this to induce as many as possible to get them, and preserve their Weekly numbers. They are exceedingly convenient; the Journal being always bound and handy for reference. The directions for binding are sent with each one.

Books for Bee-Keepers.

Cook's Manual of the Apiary.—Entirely rewritten, greatly enlarged and elegantly illustrated, and is fully up with the times on every conceivable subject that interests the apiarist. It is not only instructive, but intensely interesting and thoroughly practical. The book is a masterly production, and one that no bee-keeper, however limited his means, can afford to do without. Cloth, $1.25; paper covers, =$1.00=, postpaid. Per dozen, by express, cloth, $12.; paper, $9.50.

Quinby's New Bee-Keeping, by L. C. Root.—The author has treated the subject of bee-keeping in a manner that cannot fall to interest all. Its style is plain and forcible, making all its readers sensible of the fact that the author is really the master of the subject. Price, $1.50.

Novice's A B C of Bee-Culture, by A. I. Root.— This embraces “everything pertaining to the care of the honey-bee,” and is valuable to beginners and those more advanced. Cloth, $1.25; paper, $1.00.

King's Bee-Keepers' Text-Book, by A. J. King.—This edition is revised and brought down to the present time. Cloth, $1.00; paper, 75c.

Langstroth on the Hive and Honey Bee. This is a standard scientific work. Price, $2.00.

Blessed Bees, by John Allen.—A romance of bee-keeping, full of practical information and contagious enthusiasm. Cloth, $1.00.

Bee-Culture; or Successful Management of the Apiary, by Thomas G. Newman.—This pamphlet embraces the following subjects: The Location of the Apiary—Honey Plants—Queen Rearing— Feeding—Swarming—Dividing— Transferring—Italianizing—Introducing Queens—Extracting—Quieting and Handling Bees—The Newest Method of Preparing Honey for Market, etc. It is published in English and German. Price for either edition, 40 cents, postpaid, or $3.00 per dozen.

Food Adulteration; What we eat and should not eat. This book should be in every family, where it ought to create a sentiment against the adulteration of food products, and demand a law to protect consumers against the many health-destroying adulterations offered as food. 200 pages. Paper, 50c.

The Dzierzon Theory;—presents the fundamental principles of bee-culture, and furnishes a condensed statement of the facts and arguments by which they are demonstrated. Price, 15 cents.

Honey, as Food and Medicine, by Thomas G. Newman.—This is a pamphlet of 24 pages, discoursing upon the Ancient History of Bees and Honey; the nature, quality, sources, and preparation of Honey for the Market; Honey as an article of food, giving recipes for making Honey Cakes, Cookies, Puddings, Foam, Wines, &c.; and Honey as Medicine, followed by many useful Recipes. It is intended for consumers, and should be scattered by thousands all over the country, and thus assist in creating a demand for honey. Published in English and German. Price for either edition, 6c.; per dozen, 5Oc.

Wintering Bees.—This pamphlet contains all the Prize Essays on this important subject that were read before the Centennial Bee-Keepers' Association. The Prize—$25 in gold—was awarded to Prof. Cook's Essay, which is given in full. Price, 10c.

Bees and their Management. This pamphlet was issued by the Italian Bee Company, and has had a large circulation. The price has been reduced from 20 cents to 10 cents.

The Hive I Use.—Being a description of the hive used by G. M. Doolittle. Price, 5c.

Kendall's Horse Book.—No book can be more useful to horse owners. It has 35 engravings, illustrating positions of sick horses, and treats all diseases in a plain and comprehensive manner. It has a large number of good recipes, a table of doses, and much other valuable horse information. Paper, 25c.

Chicken Cholera, by A. J. Hill.—A treatise on its cause, symptoms and cure. Price, 25c.

Moore's Universal Assistant contains information on every conceivable subject, as well as receipts for almost everything that could be desired. We doubt if any one could be induced to do without it, after having spent a few hours in looking it through. It contains 480 pages, and 500 engravings. Cloth, $2.50.

Ropp's Easy Calculator.—These are handy tables for all kinds of merchandise and interest. It is really a lightning calculator, nicely bound, with slate and pocket for papers. In cloth, $1.00; Morocco, $1.50. Cheap edition, without slate, 50c.

Sent by mail on receipt of price, by


974 West Madison Street, Chicago, Ill.

Binders for the Bee Journal



Binders for the Weekly Bee Journal, of 1881, cloth and paper, postpaid, 85 cents.

We can furnish Emerson's Binders, gilt lettered on the back, for American Bee Journal for 1890, at the following prices, postage paid:

Cloth and paper, each     50c.
Leather and cloth 75c.

We can also furnish the Binder for any Paper or Magazine desired.


974 West Madison Street, Chicago, Ill.

HONEY WANTED.—I desire to purchase several barrels of dark extracted honey, and a few of light; also, Comb Honey. Those having any for sale are invited to correspond, giving particulars.


972 West Madison street, CHICAGO ILL.


The British Bee Journal is published monthly at $1.75, and contains the best practical information for the time being, showing what to do, and when and how to do it.

C. N. ABBOTT, Bee Master.

School of Apiculture, Fairlawn, Southall, London.



IN 1861



A line will contain about eight words; fourteen lines will occupy one inch of space.

One to three weeks,   each insertion, 20 cts. per line.
Four " or more " " 18   " "
Eight " " " " 15   " "
Thirteen " " " " 12   " "
Twenty-six " " " " 10   " "
Fifty-two " " " "   8   " "

Special Notices, 50 cents per line.

Advertisements withdrawn before the expiration of the contract, will be charged the full rate for the time the advertisement is inserted.

Transient Advertisements payable in advance.—Yearly Contracts payable quarterly, in advance.

The American Bee Journal is the oldest Bee Paper in America, and has a large circulation in every State, Territory and Province, among farmers, mechanics, professional and business men, and is therefore the best advertising medium for reliable dealers. Cases of real imposition will be exposed.


974 West Madison Street, Chicago, Ill.

Contents of this Number.


Pure Liquid Honey in Glass Jars 81
Colchian Honey 81
Combined Winter and Summer Stands 81
Foul Brood and Its Causes 81
History of the Early Importation of Italian Bees       82
Good Way to Promote Bee-Keeping 82
Do Bees Injure Fruit? 82
Remarkable Tardiness in Fecundity 82
Honey-Producing in California 83
Bee Men to the Front—Adulteration 83
How to Prevent Robbing 83
The In-and-In-Breeding of Bees 83
Killed by Kindness 83


Editorial Items 84
Watchman! Tell us of the Night       84
Migratory Bee-Keeping 84
Interesting Letter from Ceylon 84

Selections from Our Letter Box:

Bees Wintered Well 85
Mortality Reports 85
Nineteen Weeks' Confinement        85
Wintered Safely 85
A Slim Living 85
Honey Sections 85
Bees in Good Condition 85
Wintered Without Loss 85
Mourning for the Bees 85
Wintering 85
Selling Honey, Vexatious 85
Prospects Better 85
Bees All Alive 85
Winter Yet in Kentucky 85
No Surplus nor Increase 85
Great Loss of Bees 85
Dead Bees in the Cells 85
Making Progress 85
Not Discouraged 85
Paris Green 85
Bees in Prime Condition 85
Progressing 85
Lost but 4 out of 283 85
Moldy Combs, etc 86
Palestine Bees 86
Honey as Medicine 86
Gathering Pollen 86
Anxious for Spring 86
Bees Died of Disease 86
Cyprian Bees Ahead 86
An Early Season 86
Bees Gone Back on Him 86
Snow Vine as a Honey Plant 86
Feeding Bees 86
Introducing a Queen 86
Loss of Bees 88 per cent. 86
First Year's Experience 86
Summer a Long Way Off 86
A Little Discouraged 86
Why Did the Bees Die? 86
Wintered Without Loss 86


Champlain Valley, Vt., Convention       87

15 One-Cent Stamps

Will pay for our exhaustive pamphlet on raising,
handling and marketing extracted honey.

Imported Cyprian and Italian Queens,
Of our own Importation,

Our Comb Foundation was awarded the diploma
at the North-Eastern Bee-Keepers' Convention held
in February.

Smokers, Knives, Extractors, &c.

Price List, with 3 samples of Comb Foundation, free.


9smtf                     Hamilton, Hancock Co., Ill.


Agricultural Weekly


This practical journal is now in its Third Year, and meeting with immense success. The low price of its subscription ($1.00 per year) in its new and improved form (16 pages 13½ x 10½, folded and pasted) makes it very popular. Its editors are all practical men. It is the Best Advertising Medium in Canada. Sample copies sent free to any address.

11w26tx                      N. B. COLCOCK, Welland, Ont.

Inventor and Sole Manufacturer of the




New Circular and Samples free.


1sm6m                      DEPERE, BROWN CO., WIS.


high side-walls, 4 to 16 square feet to
the pound. Circular and samples free.

Sole Manufacturers,
11tf                      Sprout Brook, Mont. Co., N. Y.


1 to 8 feet in height, nursery grown. The 2 best

10w4t                      A. BATTLES, Girard, Pa.

Foot-Power Machinery

                 SCROLL SAWS

Hand, Circular Rip Saws for general heavy and light ripping. Lathes, &c. These machines are especially adapted to Hive Making. It will pay every bee-keeper to send for our 48 page Illustrated Catalogue.

Rockford, Winnebago Co., Ill.


Given's Foundation Press.

The latest improvement in Foundation. Our thin
and common Foundation is not surpassed. The only
invention to make Foundation in the wired frame.
All Presses warranted to give satisfaction. Send for
Catalogue and Samples.

1wly                      D. S. GIVEN, Hoopeston, Ill.


To send a postal card for our Illustrated Catalogue of Apiarian Supplies before purchasing elsewhere. It contains illustrations and descriptions of everything new and valuable needed in an apiary, at the lowest prices. Italian, Cyprian and Holy Land Queens and Bees.

J. C. & H. P. SAYLES,

2eow15t                      Hartford, Wis.


Wilbor's Cod-Liver Oil and Lime.—Persons who have been taking Cod-Liver Oil will be pleased to learn that Dr. Wilbor has succeeded, from directions of several Professional gentlemen, in combining the pure Oil and Lime in such a manner that it is pleasant to the taste, and its effects in Lung complaints are truly wonderful. Very many persons whose cases were pronounced hopeless, and who had taken the clear Oil for a long time without marked effect, have been entirely cured by using this preparation. Be sure and get the genuine. Manufactured only by A. B. Wilbor, Chemist, Boston. Sold by all druggists.


A full variety of all kinds, including Melilot, Alsike and White Clover, Mammoth Mignonette, &c. For prices and instructions for planting see my Illustrated Catalogue,—sent free upon application.


972 West Madison St.,                      Chicago, Ill.

Now is the time to make preparations
for Spring Feeding.

Shuck's Feeder may be placed at the entrance of the hive, any time of the day, without danger from robbers; feed much or little as may be desired; feed can only be reached by the bees from the inside of the hive. Price, by mail, postpaid, 30 cents. By express, 25 cents each, or $2.40 per dozen. Special rates on large quantities.

Novice's Simplicity Feeder is made in two sizes, at the following prices: 5c. for the pint and 10c. for the quart feeder, or per dozen, 50c. for the small and $1.00 for the large, by express. If sent by mail, twice the above prices.

Kretchmer's, by mail ..... 35c.
Van Deusen's, by mail .... 75c.

I will mail my Illustrated Catalogue and Price List FREE, upon application, to any address. All orders for Bee-Keepers' Supplies will be promptly filled.


972 West Madison St.,                      Chicago, Ill.


Patented Jan. 9, 1878, and May, 1879; Re-issued
July 9, 1878.

If you buy a Bingham Smoker, or a Bingham & Hetherington Honey Knife you are sure of the best and cheapest, and not liable to prosecution for their use and sale. The largest bee-keepers use them exclusively. Twenty thousand in use—not one ever returned, or letter of complaint received. Our original patent Smokers and Honey Knives were the only ones on exhibition at the last National Bee-Keepers' Convention, 1880. Time sifts the wheat from the chaff. Pretensions are short-lived.

The Large and Extra Standard have extra wide shields to prevent burning the fingers and bellows. A real Improvement.

Send postal card for testimonials.

Bingham & Hetherington Honey Knife 2 in., $1 00
Large Bingham Smoker " 1 50
Extra Standard Bingham Smoker 2 " 1 25
Plain Standard Bingham Smoker 2 " 1 00
Little Wonder Bingham Smoker " 75

If to be sent by mail, or singly by express, add 25c. each, to prepay postage or express charges.

To sell again, apply for dozen or half-dozen rates.



9wtf                      OTSEGO, MICH.


We wish to obtain 25,000 New Subscribers to


during the next few months, and we propose
to give to every reader of this paper

50c. worth of Choice Flower Seed.

Our offer is to send Free of Cost, 50 cents' worth of Choice Flower Seeds to each and every one who will send us 25 two cent postage stamps for the FLORAL MONTHLY one year. Seeds sent free by return mail. Specimen copies free. Address.

615 Congress Street, Portland, Me.

Natural Flowers preserved to last for years.

It will Pay you

To read our forty page Catalogue of Apiarian Supplies. It gives the latest information about the best appliances and methods pertaining to

Profitable Bee Culture

Sent free to all who send us their names and addresses, plainly written, upon a postal card. Address

H. A. BURCH & CO.,

9wtf                      South Haven, Mich.


Successor to Conner, Burnett & Co.,

165 South Water Street, Chicago, Ill.,



We ask you to correspond with us before disposing of your HONEY CROP, as we can be of much service, having constant intelligence from all parts of the country. We would refer to James Heddon, Dowagiac, Mich., and J. Oatman & Sons, Dundee, Ill.



& Electrotypers

167 Dearborn St.


Rev. A. Salisbury.   1881.    J. V. Caldwell.


Camargo, Douglas County. Ill.

Warranted Italian Queens, $1.00; Tested Italian Queens, $2.00; Cyprian Queens, $2.00; Tested Cyprian Queens, $4.00; 1 frame Nucleus, Italians, $4.00; 1 frame Nucleus, Cyprians, $5.00; Colony of Italians, 8 frames, $5.00; Colony of Cyprians, 8 frames, $10.00. Wax worked 10c. per lb. Pure Comb Foundation, on Dunham Machine, 25 lbs. or over, 35c. per lb.
☞ Send for Circular.


Florida Land—640 Acres.


Description.—Sec. 4, township 7, south range 7 west, Franklin county, Florida, situated about 50 miles south of the Georgia line, 25 miles west of the city of Tallahassee, the capital of the State, and about 25 miles northeast of the city of Apalachicola, a seaport on the Gulf of Mexico, and within 2 sections (5 and 6) of the Apalachicola river; the soil is a rich, sandy loam, covered with timber.

It was conveyed on Dec. 31st, 1875, by Col. Alexander McDonald, who owned 6 sections, including the above, to J. M. Murphy, for $3,200, and on Sept. 5th, 1877, by him conveyed to the undersigned for $3,000. The title is perfect, and it is unincumbered, as shown by an abstract from the Records of the county, duly attested by the County Clerk; the taxes are all paid and the receipts are in my possession.

I will sell the above at a bargain for cash, or trade for a small farm, or other desirable property. An offer for it is respectfully solicited. Address,


974 West Madison Street, CHICAGO, ILL.

FOR 1881.

It is to every person's interest, when they wish to purchase anything, to go where they can get the most for their money. State on a postal card just what you want, and we will let you know by return mail what we will furnish it for. No Circulars. Address,

2wtf                      HIRAM ROOP, Carson City, Mich.


The Horse


A TREATISE giving an index of diseases, and the symptoms; cause and treatment of each, a table giving all the principal drugs used for the horse, with the ordinary dose, effects and antidote when a poison; a table with an engraving of the horse's teeth at different ages, with rules for telling the age of the horse; a valuable collection of recipes, and much valuable information.

Price 25 cents.—Sent on receipt of price, by


974 West Madison Street, CHICAGO, ILL.


Ginger, Bucha, Mandrake, Stillingia and many other of the best medicines known are combined so skillfully in Parker's Ginger Tonic as to make it the greatest Blood Purifier and the Best Health and Strength Restorer ever used.

It cures Dyspepsia, Rheumatism, Neuralgia, Sleeplessness, and all diseases of the Stomach, Bowels, Lungs, Liver, Kidneys, Urinary Organs and all Female Complaints.

If you are wasting away with Consumption or any disease, use the Tonic to-day. No matter what your symptoms may be, it will surely help you.

Remember! This Tonic cures drunkenness, is the Best Family Medicine ever made, entirely different from Bitters, Ginger Preparations and other Tonics, and combines the best curative properties of all. Buy a 50c. bottle off your druggist. None genuine without our signature on outside wrapper.

Hiscox & Co., Chemists, New York.

PARKER'S HAIR BALSAM     The best and most economical
                             Hair Dressing

ITALIAN QUEENS. Full Colonies, Nuclei and Bee Hives specialties. Our new Illustrated Catalogue of Bees, Supplies, Fine Poultry, Small Fruits, &c., Free. Send for it and save money.

J. T. SCOTT & BRO., Crawfish Springs, Ga.     2w82tx

The American
Poultry Journal.

Is a 32-page, beautifully Illustrated Monthly Magazine
devoted to


It has the largest corps of practical breeders as editors
of any journal of its class in America, and is


Volume 12 begins January 1891. SUBSCRIPTION:—$1.00
per year. Specimen Copy, 10 cents.

C. J. WARD, Editor and Proprietor.



1. Colchian Honey.

  This letter includes a quotation from Professor Wilson's botany.
  The copy of this quotation contains many errors.
  These are listed below and have been corrected in this eBook.
    Apochynoceæ, should read Apocynaceæ.
    dog-bones, should read dog's-bane.
    astychine, should read strychnine.
    strychinea, should read strychnia.
    Strychorea, should read Strychnos.
    Heroclea, should read Heraclea.
    Æglatherem, should read Ægolethron.
    Liculus, should read Siculus.
    Tournefoil, should read Tournefort.
    mischevous, should read mischievous.
    Neriun, should read Nerium.
    (apocyhnaceæ), should read Apocynaceæ.
    Rhodaraceæ, should read Rhodoraceæ.
    narctoic, should read narcotic.

2. J. W. Winder.
  Thibodaux, La., Feb. 10, 1881.
    “as well as heads of white clover are
    pushing out their lovely forms to the...”
    The word ‘that’ has been added.
    “as well as heads of white clover that are
    pushing out their lovely forms to the...”

3. From Florida.—The BEE JOURNAL
    is at hand; we do not know how we could do without it.
    The past [time-period missing. Year/Month/Season?] has been a
    very good honey season here. Left as original.

4. “Everything should be kept ready and in
    order. He gave an estimate of produce in...”
    Word ‘an’ inserted.

5. “We can furnish Emerson's Binders, gilt lettered on
    the back, for American Bee Journal for =1890=,...”.
    This looks like an error. This issue is for March, 1881.
    Left as original.

6. Silently corrected simple spelling, grammar, and typographical errors.

7. Retained anachronistic and non-standard spellings as printed.