ALBERT R. MANN LIBRARY New York State Colleges OF Agriculture and Home Economics AT Cornell University EVERETT FRANKLIN PHILLIPS BEEKEEPING LIBRARY Co...13 downloads 667 Views 1MB Size
ALBERT R. MANN LIBRARY New York
State Colleges OF
EVERETT FRANKLIN PHILLIPS BEEKEEPING LIBRARY
Cornell University Library
Cornell University Library.
There are no known copyright
the United States on the use of the
IRoitb of Scotlanb Collcae of agriculture.
Bulletin No. 26.
The Natural History of the bee. BY
JOHN ANDERSON, LECTURER
M.A., B.Sc, E.B:S.B.A.,
ABERDEEN: MILNE & HUTCHISON 1920
indebted to the Proprietors of
and Mart for
The Bazaar, Exchange
for the facsimile illustrations originally prepared
Bees and J.
THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE BEE. By
M.A., B.Sc, E.BtS.B.A.,
Lecturer in Bee-keeping.
INTRODUCTION. This slight sketch
intended to be merely a simple intro-
.duction to the study of the bee
advised to refer to some larger work, such as
and Bee-keeping," vol. i., by the late Frank R. Cheshire, or to "Langstroth on the Honey Bee," as revised and enlarged, first by the late Charles Dadant, and later by his son, Mr. C. P. Dadant.
the Scottish Bee-keepers' Association
(Secretary, Rev. J. Beveridge, B.D., Gartmore, Stirling)
borrow these manuals from the excellent library of the Association, and this course is recommended in the first instance because the books are somewhat expensive. After perusing volumes borrowed from the library, the serious bee-keeper will decide which and how many of them must find a place in his
without the internal bony skeleton so characterand is provided instead with a It is hard outer crust to which its muscles are attached. classed, therefore, among the Invertebrates or animals without istic
of the higher animals,
All invertebrate animals
limbs are grouped together in the great
that possess jointed
subdivided into Crustaceans (almost
— Arachnids (spider-like creatures), and Insects.
are predominantly active, and very successful in the struggle half of all the animals in the world alone are more numerous than Insects and the are Arthropods, together. all the other animals put
Thoughtless people are in the
and perhaps most people would be quite sure that a spider should be so described. But a spider has eight legs, while an insect has never more nor less than six, and the insect has three well-marked divisions of the body head, thorax and abdomen while the spider has apparently only two divisions. All insects have antennse or feelers on their heads, very few are without wings, and all the higher types display in development a remarkable transformation or animal an
metamorphosis. Insect types are so extraordinarily
numerous that we must
divide the Class into smaller groups or Orders, each consisting
more or less resembling each other. The ButterMoths (Lepidoptera) constitute one such Order, characterised by the possession of four wings covered with beautiful scales. The four wings of the bee are gauzy and of creatures
it is grouped with the Wasps, the Ants, the Saw-Flies, and the Ichneumon-Flies to form the Order of the Hymenoptera or membrane-winged insects.
The Family which
of the Apidaa or
and perhaps even bee-keepers will be surprised to learn that, in addition to the honey bee (Apis), and the very familiar humble bee (Bombus), there are in Britain more than 200 species, ^^'hich belong to the group of Solitary or non-social bees. Of these the burrowers are pollen,
perhaps easiest to discover, for we can find them at work on sandy banks on any fine day in summer. Inside their burrows they make cells of a transparent material, like oiled-ailk or
honey and and then attach their eggs to the insides of the cells. There is no worker caste, and the larval bees have to feed themselves on the store provided. More akin to the hive bees are the Bombi, or humble bees, so well desci'ibed and so beautifully figured in Mr. F. W. L. Sladen's " Humble Bee." These are familiar to all dwellers in the country, but are not so nearly related to the hive bees
gold-beater's skin, provision these with a paste of pollen,
They are social indeed, but the autumn, and only the young queens survive the winter, which they pass in holes in the ground. These queens start new colonies next season, and undertake as
every duty involved in the rearing of the
leaves the nest as soon as he can
shown by the absence
batch of brood.
himself on nectar obtained from flowers. bees working on flowers in late
smaller than the queen, and
Most of the humble will be
found to be
of a sting.
All Apidae, which form colonies
(perennial rather than annual) are grouped together to form
the Genus ^^jis, which includes such species as A. inellifica
common hive bee), A. fasciata (the Egyptian bee), A. dorsata (the giant bee of India), and A. florea (the tiny East Indian bee). (the
Having now defined the
position of the
honey bee in the
relation to other types,
animal world, and indicated in a position to study Apis niellifiva in more its
of the Bee.
The head of the bee bears five eyes, three simple and two The simple eyes are arranged in a triangle on compound. of the head, and are sometimes called "opelli." crown the eyes are larger, and situated on the sides compound The two consist of many thousands of simple eyes, They of the head. hexagonal in shape. The eyelashes are not arranged in two fringes on moveable lids as in the case of the higher animals,
but grow, so to speak,
over the eye-ball, being attached really
Dust that would tend
at the coi'ners of the simple eyes.
obscure the sight of the bee
caught on these
but as this
cannot be winked away, since the bee has no eyelids, a special for cleaning the eyelashes is attached to the first leg of
The head also bears the
characteristic antennae (a),
very slender jointed rods, which are attached to the face of the bee by ball-and-socket joints.
are extremely flexible, and
are the seat probably of several senses.
The bees feel with them,
smell with them, possibly hear with them, and they certainly talk
Worker bees are
apparently talk a good deal, but they do so without making a sound, simply by touching each other's
the bee consists of wliich
which cannot be repaired when injured. In order that the bee, surrounded by this unfeeling envelope, may be able to come in contact with the outside world, it has to develop to an extraordinary extent the sensitive hairs that we see exemplified in the whiskers of the cat. For example, the sensitiveness of the antennae depends on the fine hairs with which they are provided. Dust on these organs would render them less efficient, so the bee has an apparatus on the forelegs for combing the dust otf the hairs of its antennae. Both the comb for the eyelashes and the comb for the antennae have been beautifully figured by Cheshire, who was the best worker on the bee that Britain has produced. The mandibles or jaws ()?i) of the bee work sideways, like typical insect jaws, and are used for making comb, fighting,
HEAD AND TONGUE OF BEE. From
(Magnified 16 times. a,
Autenna, or Feeler m, Mandible, or Outer Jaw g, Gum Flap, or Epipharynx ; mxp. Maxillary Palpus pg, Paraglossa mx, Maxilla, or Inner Jaw Ip, Labial Palpus I, Ligula, or Tongue b, Bouton, or Spoon of the same. ;
9 seizing robbers
by the leg, and removing dead bees and debris They also bear tactile hairs, and these
probably ensure the delicacy of touch necessary in fashioning the wonderful comb. The so-called tongue or proboscis (I) is not really a tongue, but a prolongation of the lower is
the organ which
unfolded and thrust
heart of the flower to reach the nectar.
and covered thickly with hairs, so that it is rather a brush than a tube. The bee does not so much suck up the nectar as mop it up with this brushlike organ.
very narrow white neck connects the head witli the This bears the six legs and the four wings, and the cavity of the thorax is filled mainly with the muscles thorax, or chest.
The thorax is the meaty jart of uway by a wasp, which The w.i ^uts off the head, the has killed a bee for food. abdomen, and Hies away to its nest wings and the legs, the of red meat constituting the tliorax carrying only the lump which work these
the bee, and
the only part carrii^
of the bee.
A second narrow isthmus, the petiole, connects the thorax with the abdomen, which is the largest division of the body. This is in sections, and the sections move in and out a little way
like the joints of a telescope.
the creature breathes.
It is is
enlarged or reduced by
a telescopic action, and air passes in and out, not by the mouth or nose as in the higher animals, but through a series of holes situated along each side of the bee. spiracles, are
of these holes, or
found on the abdomen and some on the thorax,
but none on the head. It is not possible, therefore, to drown a bee by holding its head under water, since the breathing of the bee would go on as usual with the head submerged.
At the extreme
which is a very important organ, for without the bee would long since have become extinct.
It has already been mentioned that the first pair of legs bear combs (C.ei) for the eyelashes, and a very elaborate pair of combs (E.a) for cleaning the antennae. The use of these can be most readily observed on drones. When these issue from the hive on a fine sunny day they pause on the alighting board and put up their forelegs alternately to their heads. The old bee-keepers said they were wiping their eyes. Rather they were combing the dust out of their eyelashes, and securing also that the sensitive hairs of the antennae were leady for use. If one touches the antenna of a bee with a moist finger the bee will immediately put up its foreleg and wipe the contaminated organ. The second pair of legs bear prominent spurs, which are said to be used in removing the pollen pellets from the baskets on the last pair of legs. On the hind legs of the worker bee are the wonderful structures for collecting and carrying home the pollen. These have also been beautifully figured by Cheshire, wlio shows both the outside and inside aspects of the hind leg. The last broad joint which Cheshire has called the planta, or metatarsus, bears on its inside a set of beautiful combs (B.p). On the joint above this, called by Cheshire the tibia, is found the corbicula or pollen basket. The tibia on the outer side is bare of hair, hollow and polished, but along the edges are arranged numerous bristles. These correspond to the framework put on a cart when the load is light and
Collection of Pollen.
we shake a full-blown flower over a sheet of paper on the paper. The micro-
obser\'e a fine dust falling out
scope shows that
not dust at
particle has a definite shape
but that each
depending on the particular flower. In fact, the pollen grains always found in honey as an accidental admixture are the final test for the source of honey. Eucalyptus pollen found in a sample of so-called British honey would be held as a conclusive proof of
adulteration with Australian or other foreign honey.
LEGS OF WORKER-BEE. (Magnified 10 times.
from the body.
showing pollen basket
p, plauta or metatarsus i, tarsus. B, third right leg, side next the body, c, coxa ; v^ velum; 6, brush tr, trochanter wp, pincers. C, front right leg. ci, eye-brush. ;
D, second right a,
F, teeth of
crosa-section of tibia through pollen -basket,
H, antenna in process of cleaning, seotion of leg c, antenna comb.
or pollen. I,
v, velum antenna comb, magnified 200 times. G,
E, joint of first leg,
holding hairs; fa, farina
engaged in gathering pollen alights in the heart and moves around, bringing its hairy body in
of the flower
contact with the anthers. The sticky pollen grains adhere to the webbed hairs of the bee, and, when it has got enough to be worth dealing with, the bee rises from the flower and apparently flies aimlessly about. In reality it has taken to its
order to have the use of
Close observation will
combs are being passed combing out the pollen grains by a motion too quick for the combs are rubbed together and pollen
to the pollen baskets. pellets of
all its legs at once.
show that the hind
legs bearing the
over the under side of the bee, adhering to the hairs. Then,
eye to follow, the two sets of the collected pollen transferred the load
pollen are bean-shaped, of
complete the two
size, and almost one kind of pollen throughout. The beekeeper, standing in front of his hives, sees bee after bee alighting on the boai-d with pollen baskets heavily laden, the burdens being of different colours according to the flowers
visited. They are light yellow from wall-flower; a sober brown from the clover; golden red from the whin, and
blue-black from the poppy.
the bee enters the hive
goes fussing over the
body in a very typical way, apparently looking for a cell in which to deposit the pollen. When this is found it hangs on to the upper wall with its fore legs, inserts its hind legs into the coll, and then pushes off" the pollen with the middle pair of legs. The two pellets fall on the lower walls of the cell, and the pollen carrier pays no more attention to them. Another and younger bee presently comes along, inserts its head into the cell, and moves around for about two minutes. When it comes out of the cell it will be found that the pollen has been packed down firmly and neatly. Honey is mainly a carbo-hydrate, providing energy and heat, but does not contain sufiicient nitrogen to be used in forming tissue. The proteid or nitrogenous element essential for body-building, and specially necessary when brood is being reared, is supplied chiefly by the pollen. In Britain, pollen is so abundant that old combs its
14 Australia it, but in many parts of a deficiency of pollen-bearing plants, and in such bees rapidly die out from what the Australian Bee-
tend to be clogged with there
"Disappearing Sickness." Propolis,
pollen baskets are also used for the carrying
a resinous material that the bees gather mainly off trees.
a treeless country various substitutes, such as tar, wet paint, and varnish, are used for the same purpose. This material is called "propolis,'' of the hive, to
and is used by the bees to varnish the inside up any cracks in the walls, and to fasten
the quilt so as to prevent the escape
collected in quantity
greatly as regards tendency to collect and use propolis.
black bees of Austria,
be used to daub the
as Carniolans, use very little
and consequently produce section honey which is The Caucasian bees are the worst beautifully white. offenders, fastening everything firmly together with propolis so that the whole hive may be lifted by the top crate. The word " propolis " in Greek means " in front of the city," and implies that certain bees build ramparts at the hive door to exclude robbers, and specially to exclude the death's-head moth. Such ramparts are beautifully seen in a nucleus stock of Punic bees which has been provided with too large a door. The whole of such a door will be closed by a curtain of propolis, leaving only two small round holes at the two lower corners, just large enough to admit one bee at a time. The bee-keeper who usee plenty of quilts, and takes care that there are no openings near the top of the hive to permit propolis,
the escape of
usually have little trouble with frequently used to prevent propolisation. It may be smeared on the runners carrjang the lugs of the frames, and on the bearing surfaces of section crates. propolis.
Each of the six feet of the bee is furnished with sharp curved hooks, two large and two small, and with these the bee
can cling securely to any ordinarily rough surface, such as the
On. polished wood or glass there
face of the comb.
hold for the hooks, so the bee folds them out of the
brings into action a soft, white, moist and sticky pad situated
between the hooks. So also the fly walks on the window-pane, and with a lens it is actually possible to see on the glass the footprints of a
or thoughtless bee-keeper
sometimes worries his bees by placing right over their combs a piece of blanket or other rough material. This entangles the hooked feet of the bees, with the result that they rapidly The quilt lose their tempers and sometimes even their lives. placed on the top of the combs should be light and smooth, of
such material as window-blind, bed-ticking, or plain
The bees are
readily slip from under such a quilt, and,
the combs, other and heavier quilts can be
the loss of heat
reduced to a minimum.
The wings of the bee are four in number, two large wings and two smaller hind wings. A single pair of
wings, as in the blue-bottle, would be very effective for flight,
but very much in the way inside the hive, where the bee has to walk about amid the thronging multitude, and even to Before entering the hive the enter the very narrow cells. smaller hind wings of the bee are tucked away underneath the larger front wings, enabling the bee to
in small space.
however, the advantage pertaining
to a single pair of large wings
obtained for the bee by a
device consisting of a set of hooks on the anterior border of
the small hind wing, which engage in a kind of curved ledge
on the posterior border of the larger front wing. Thus the flying bee is apparently provided with a single pair of large wings.
As already mentioned, the bee breathes through a of
apertures on each side of
These apertures or system of tubes, which body. the
In the higher conveying oxygen directly to the tissues. animals the blood is a carrier of oxygen, but the colourless blood of the insect is not a gas carrier, the oxygen being distributed directly through the tubes or " tracheae " to every part of the
To ensure the
free passage of air, each of the
provided with a spiral thread of " chitin," which like acts a coiled spring and prevents the tube from collapsing. One result of having such a multitude of airtubes within its body is that the insect is extremely light tiny tubes
and buoyant, so
exemplitied in the Pond-skaters, which can be seen on a summer day actually walking on the surface of the water in any clear pool.
a secretion produced by eight glands situated on
the under surface of the abdomen.
Bees about to produce
a quantity of honey and then hang in clusters
motionless within the hive.
After several hours the newly
wax oozes like oil from little wax pockets. The
the glands and solidifies in
duced are not unlike fish scales, and are frequently found
numbers among the debris on the floor of the hive. The leaves of a bush on which a swarm has remained overnight are sometimes found glittering with newly made wax in large
about to make comb
picks off the
them to its mouth, and works The comb so produced is them up with its mandibles. white or almost white —although the wax scales are transparent. So snow is white while ice is transparent, and the explanation is the same in both cases. The snow and the honeycomb are full of little caves which reflect the light and scales
produce the be
effect of whiteness.
If the caves in a
with water the whiteness disappears.
one of the wonders of the world.
extraordinary delicacy and beauty, and
so fragile that
can hardly be touched without danger of breaking the
a central mid-rib with sets of
view, because each cell
not evident from an outside
finished off with a thickened rim, it
able to thin
will be seen that the cells are perfectly hexagonal,
the walls are thinner than tissue paper.
retain thin unripened honey.
these outside rims be shaved off with a
not quite horizontal, having a slight
shape and delicacy of the
there should be convexities in one there
be corresponding concavities in the adjacent comb.
are vertical and parallel, but
the bee with
them down with such
one of the things that
Possibly the hairs displayed on the mandibles
be the sensitive mechanism which gives to those horny
tools the necessary delicacy of touch.
In a hive in the summer time there are three well marked There i.s the worker bee, of which we have been It does all the spectacular work of the writing hitherto.
pollen, the carrying of water, the tending of brood, the
building of the comb, the fighting and the stinging.
there is one very important bit of work which it cannot perform. Although the workers are all female and developed from an egg identical with that which produced the queen, yet the essential organs of sex are comparatively undeveloped,
and the worker bee as a rule
incapable of laying eggs.
circumstances a stock that
develop laying workers, that
workers (not one as is generally stated) will start laying eggs in the cells, but these eggs produce only drone bees, and it is not generally believed that a laying worker can ever
become the mother consisting,
a worker bee or queen.
come to an end, because the old bees would die out, and there would be no young worker bees to replace them.
The Queen Bee. The queen or mother bee is
the specialised egg layer.
the state mother whose sole function
to lay eggs.
other activities are limited as far as possible in order that
Her tongue any flower, so that she a garden of plenty. She has no apparatus carrying home pollen. The wax glands are be directed to this one end.
too short to reach the nectary of
for collecting or
entirely wanting, so she could not produce the smallest bit of
actual count, that a queen
thousand eggs in a day.
capable of laying at least three
She does not maintain that rate
throughout the year, her egg-laying being appropriate to the season. She can as a rule continue laying for about three years, so that a stock provided with a young fertile
in a prosperous condition for that period.
the other hand, a stock consisting only of workers would
become extinct in a few months. But the queen will ultimately become exhausted, and will fail in the business of laying eggs. So she must be replaced by a daughter, reared by the workers for this purpose. The young ([ueen, however, is not perfectly fertile unless mated This occurs once in her lifetime in the open air to a drone. on a fine day, and this is why hundreds of drones are produced by every prosperous stock during the summer The drone dies in the act of mating and the queen season. She will not lay any eggs that day, returns to the hive. nor the next, but will start laying on the second day after mating, and will continue to lay eggs, producing either male or female oflspring, for a period of two or three years.
The Drone or Male Bee. The
drone's activities are even
restricted than those of no apparatus for collecting
19 his tongue is even shorter than that of the queen; and he has no sting. An examination of his structure will show that he is specialised for rapid, powerful, and long-
has a great spread of wing, a highly
developed thorax to accommodate the great muscles that
work the wings, a spacious abdomen
to ensure the supply of
oxygen necessary for rapid motion, a magnificent pair of eyes so that he may detect from afar that small dark object, which is the queen in flight. His legs are relatively weak, because they are never in use except inside the hive, and for a few steps on the alighting board on entering and departing. The function of the drone is to be on the wing every fine day during the sunny hours when young queens are likely This is the only duty to come forth for mating purposes. for which drones are fitted, and this they perform with the utmost diligence, their whole time outside the hive being Their
spent in active flight. the drone has been
indeed strenuous, although
lazy by those
expect him to do what he cannot possibly do, namely, gather
To compare a lazy man an injustice to the drone. At the end of the honey harvest, every "queen-right" stock of bees drives forth its drones to perish of cold and want. But the drones may be destroyed at any time if the honey and pollen
like the worker.
to a drone is therefore
stock comes within sight of
the adult pulled
of the cells, then the worker brood is sacrificed, and finally The beethe old worker bees begin to die of starvation.
should take prompt measures to supply food to the stock. When the hive does not contain a fertile queen, the drones
even and the presence of drones in a particular stock at a time when most drones have been killed ofi" indicates that there must be something wrong with will be allowed to live until very late in the season, or until the following spring,
of the Queen.
noticeable thing about the queen
development of the abdomen, which projects beyond wings. It accommodates the huge ovaries, which, in laying season, are extremely active, producing in one more than twice the weight of the queen in eggs. The of life
the queen are highly developed, because she spends her
to describe the laying of the
queen was a Scotch clergyman, the Rev. William Dunbar, Minister of Applegarth, who, in 1840, wrote a beautiful book on the bee, and was so modest that he did not put his name on the title page. When Langstroth, the father of American bee-keeping, published his book in 1851, he was content to quote, with acknowledgment, the Scotch parson's description
During the laying season she
of the laying of the (]ueen.
walks over the surface cell
situated well within the
the comb, examining
and She bends
part of the hive.
her body sharply, inserts her abdomen into the
cell, turns looking downwards and deposits an egg At this period she is waited upon by a number
round until she in the of
their heads towards the queen at all
times and supply her with anything that she requires. It is their duty to see that she does not waste her time looking
for food, or in for the queen,
and thus enable her
to set her
whole mind to
the business of laying eggs.
The queen bee
mating only once in her life, sperm sac in which she can store the sperm received from the drone at her mating. The sperm cells remain alive and ready to become active for Very old queens, however, begin to produce what years. because she has a
or inadvertent drones
drones has been suggested that the sperm has become exhausted, but it is more likely that the
produced in worker
queen has fertilisation.
working the mechanism of
Sometimes a queen
or entire absence of
mate, possibly through the
In such cases she weather permit, she makes frequent flights in search of a drone. At last she seems to give up hope, and commences laying without being mated at all. The eggs develop in the normal way, but produce only drones, whether laid in drone or in worker cells.
remains a virgin queen, and,
Brood Rearing. The egg
is quite unlike a fowl's egg in wider at one end than the other, It is attached slightly curved, and both ends are rounded. by the smaller end to the bottom of the cell, and is just In large enough to be easily detected by the naked eye. the bottom of the cell it looks like a bit of bluish white
by the queen
It is elongated,
Under and is clearly visible to a close observer. normal circumstances the egg hatches in about three days, and the creature that emerges is a tiny white grub It is fed by the with no legs, no wings, and no sting. worker bees on a kind of thin white jelly, which has an acid pungent taste. Its origin is undecided, but there is Royal Jelly " is the that this reason to suppose good in the head of the situated secretion of two glands found in the drone, are worker bee. These glands are not undeveloped in the queen, are shrunken and apparently But they are large and functionless in the old forager bees. apparently active in the younger worker bees, which are thread,
to feed the brood.
raw honey and
later stage it is said that
pollen are added to the ration of the worker
bee and the drone, but queens are fed throughout on " Royal Whatever its origin it must be very nourishing, Jelly." because the little grub grows apace, and in six days has increased more than a thousand times.
day from the hatching of the egg the worker-grub is fully fed, and the bees cover it over with a porous cap composed of pollen and wax, so as to allow the The rest of the development goes young bee to breathe. the sixth
Supersedure of Queens.
Some bee-keepers imagine
that an old queen cannot be
thought will suggest that since the old queen normally accompanies the first swarm, there will come a time when the old queen must be
replaced except by swarming, but a
In such circumstances the
superseded without swarming.
a few queen
usually not more than three,
and generally at the close of the honey harvest. The queen is allowed to emerge, and she may live for weeks in the hive along with the old mother. Sometimes, indeed, both mother and daughter may be laying in the same hive. The supersedure of the queen occurs so quietly that it may be missed even by an observant bee-keeper, and we thus get stories of queens that have been supposed to live to phenomenal ages, the fact being that the old worn-out queen had been quietly replaced by the bees without the knowledge selected
of the bee-keeper.
a natural function which must occur
are not to become extinct lost
by swarming that stocks
by queenlessness, and
Bees about to swarm hive.
so forth, are replaced.
preparation inside and outside the
floor to ceiling as it were.
consists in storing
There must be abundance of bees, brood, honey, and pollen, and, as a rule, the whole available space must be filled with comb. The old home is never left destitute, while those that have helped to gather the stores leave all behind and go out to start the world over again with only as much honej? as can be carried by each
the queen that
go forth with the
swarm. A number of queen cells are started on successive days so as to provide queens that mature on different dates. The normal time for the leaving of a first or top swarm is fixed hive.
by the sealing of the most advanced queen cell in the As a queen takes only seven days to develop after
means that the old hive may have a new queen about seven days after the leaving of the top swarm. In
sealing, this in
about two days more this
new queen will be swarm on
that bee-keepers expect the second
the ninth day
During those two days of waiting one or two of the other queens may be so far developed as to be ready to come out of the cell, but the worker bees will see to it that they are retained in the cell until the first hatched queen has left with the swarm. During the period of detention those imprisoned queens will be fed through a tiny after the first.
hole in the
It is just at this
time that piping can be
most noticeable at dusk when all around is quiet, and thei'e are two distinct sounds. There is the clear note like "peep peep,'' emanating from the queen which is loose on the comb, and a deeper note, like "waa waa," produced by the other queens inside the cells. The hearing of those two sounds means two things to the bee-keeper; (1) that a swarm will issue in a day or two, and (2) that it will be accompanied by a virgin queen. The outside preparation for swarming consists in searching the country round about for a new home. The scouts travel far farther than foragers, and may be observed round hollow trees, going into cracks in roofs, or carefully examining empty hives. They are looking for a new home for the prospective swarm, but, if the owner of the heard.
swarm knows his business, and is able to attend to it, his swarm will never be allowed to take up residence. The actual swarming occurs near the middle of a fine day. fill
Bees pour out of the hive in a continuous stream, and At first they dart a cloud of midges.
the air like
but they soon begin to cluster on a selected spot, very frequently within the garden in which the hive is located, at any rate very rarely more than a short distance away When fully clustered there is a mass of bees about in
clinging closely together.
on a small branch
bends with their weight right
to the ground.
sometimes As soon
begun to form, the scouts go off once more whether the new home is still available, and in due The course they will return to take away the swarm. as the cluster has to see
26 interval of absence
be short or long, but
enough to enable the bee-keeper to secure his swarin and \vhich to remove it from the neighbourhood of the bush on scouts. the by marked duly was which and clustered, is it If it is inconvenient to hive the
other receptacle used to contain
at once, the skep, or
temporarily, ought to be
from the neighbourhood of the bush, so that the scouts not be able to find it on their return.
How It is
Bees find their Hives.
that the bees
a stock range the country
about 2^ miles, s(j that How then do the
in every direction for a distance of
the area covered exceeds 12,000 acres. bees
to find their
has been suggested that bees and homing pigeons and certain other animals possess a special sense sense of direction
represented N'ery poorly,
The practical bee-keeper is awaie, all, bi.'es not need any special extraordinary sense liowever, that do The behaviour of a stock of bees for locating their home. liberated in a new situation is \ery characteristic. They issue in the
cautiously from the hive, fly in front of
obviously observing minutely the appearance of
and the objects
in its iauncdiate neighbourhood.
area of their flight gradually increases until finally tliey are
high up in the air describing great the greater landmarks
— a big
building, a stretch of
a cliurch spire, a prominent
bees which has
been darting about in every direction over a wide area seen to gradually condense and again to enter the hive.
and they are now ready to proceed on a foraging expedition. A stock of bees sent by steamer on a journey, which took three days to complete, was liberated on arrival. Within 4.5 minutes bees with full loads of pollen were seen entering It had taken the strangers just three quarters of the hive. an hour to locate the position of their home, and to find the
27 treasures of
The foraging bee may waiidor
from the hive and find itself in surroundings more or less unfamiliar, but it only requires to rise high in the air to perceive the great landmarks for its home the church spire, big tree, or prominent house, as the case may be. Queens also in preparing for their mating flight carefully locate the
the hive, and, at the final stage, rise by great
position of circles
high in the
It is the observation of this
has given rise to the quite erroneous idea that the mating of the queen takes place in the " blue empyrean, remote
from the haunts of
the ceremony." It is evident that the shifting of a stock of bees without due precaution may lead to groat confusion and the loss of a number of bees. If the hive, for instance, be lifted at
night to another part of the apiary, bees going forth in the
any change, and, returning
the spot where the hive formerly stood, will become greatly perturbed, will either perish on the old stance, or attempt to
enter neighbouring hives.
has been changed
move a stock
when a bee-keeper
Difficulty then arises
If the stock be shifted a distance
or three miles the issuing bees will observe that the
of bees within the area of twelve thousand
which they are acquainted, but it can be readily accomplished if steps are taken to inform the bees that they have been moved. The Americans claim that closing the hive and wheeling it round on a barrow for a certain time
The bees will then take care to mark the which they have been placed.. Another method to transfer the stock towards evening to a temporary box, which the bees can be closed up, when all have entered sufiicient.
position in is
for the night.
of the next day,
are kept confined until the afternoon
and then transferred
makes the bees very cautious
and they proceed to mark carefully the new
a great deal about the natural history' of the
authors have got into the way of copying, without verification, statements that have appeared in the publications of earlier writers, and we are undoubtedly still bee,
many facts about the bee which would be interesting and profitable for us to know. It is noteworthy, also, that most discoveries of first class importance concerning bees have not been made by trained scientific men but by earnest beekeepers, who had no thought of systematic research, but followed knowledge for its own sake, and with a patience which is becoming rare in these days of hustle and haste to be rich. This Bulletin may be concluded, therefore, with the suggestion that the thoughtful and intelligent bee-keeper majr do much to advance our knowledge of the bee, if he will only observe carefully, record methodically, and in due course ignorant of
publish the result of his observations.
Ube IRortb of Scotlanb College of agriculture.
Bulletin No. 27.
JOHN ANDERSON, LECTURER
M.A., B.Sc, E.B:S.B.A. IN BEE-KEEPING.
ABERDEEN: MILNE & HUTCHISON 1920
blocks for Figs.
were kindly lent by Messrs.
which appear J.
and for the use of the other four^'blocks I
indebted to Messrs. Steele
Brodie, Wormit, Fife.
HOW TO HANDLE
M.A., B.Sc, E.B:S.B.A.,
Lecturer in Bee-keeping.
people are afraid to keep bees because they have the
impression that a bee
a creature going about seeking for
somebody to stiug. In reality, a bee is a very inoffensive insect, which never volunteers an attack unless the intruder is quite near the hive and likely to interfere with the private property of the colony. A bee inside a room is anxious only to get out, and a bee at work in the garden attends strictly to the business of the moment. The thoughtful bee-keeper actually grateful that bees have stings, because, if they had not been possessed of some moans of defence the species would long since have become extinct their product is so delectable, and they have so many enemies. is
The handling of
qf live bees
seems to the novice a matter
such extreme difficulty that the expert bee-master
handles bees without veil or gloves
regarded as a kind of
wizard, and receives a great deal of credit to which he entitled.
are frequently told of
such and such a
worked among the bees, and the bees seemed to him, and he never got stung." The suggestion is that the management of bees cannot be acquired, that a bee-master, like a poet, has to be born, and cannot be made. On the contrary, any person of average intelligence, and possessed of an ordinary amount of patience, can easily and quickly "
learn to handle bees.
It is true, also, that all the experts
began by being But there are a few simple principles which must be kept in view by those who would handle bees and receive, in the process, a minimum of stings. will admit,
closely questioned, that they
dreadfully afraid of the bees.
Situation of the Hive. It is a frequent practice to set the bee-hives in a
garden, behind a hedge, or in some other out-of-the-way place,
where the bees are usually out of view. In such a situation, the bees have unpleasant associations connected with the visits of the bee-keeper, and they are likely to attack him on sight. If placed near a dwelling-house, where people are frequently passing, the bees soon get used to the appearance of
as harmless animals.
This proximity to dwellings has the additional advantage that swarms are not so likely to be
about the house
The hives must be
be out of the
bees coming from and going to the
someone in or
so placed that the bee-keeper can get in
behind them, in order that he
almost sure to hear or see them.
should not be set with
close to a wall, or be
placed in one of those low sheds built originally to shelter
shed provided excellent shelter for the
straw hives, and did not interfere with manipulation of these, since a skep has to be turned right over in any case. On
the other hand, a modern hive mu.st be possible,
and the bees should be able
while the bee-keeper
as little as freely,
handling the combs.
Protection for the Bee-keeper. Beginners are frequently so nervous at
that they are
glad to wear both veil and gloves. of
The latter can be obtained sting-proof, and with long sleeves
attached to the gloves (Figure
from stings on the hands. He will soon discover, how-
hamper movements very much, and deprive him of that
ever, that the gloves
touch and deftness in manipulation that is so important in handling bees. His mere clumsiness will irritate delicacy
the bees, and difficulty,
and to help
easy to control.
To meet gloves,
T. Burgess & Son, of Exeter, provide bee gloves which leave the points of the fingers bare, as shown in Figure II. On certain special occasions the experienced bee-keeper J.
may find gloves useful. He may have to take bees out of a hole in a wall, or
from Figure II. some odd corner of a roof or floor, where the use of his bare hands would lead to the receiving of a needless number of stings. Then, during transit, one or more combs might be jerked out of their frames and be found lying on the bottom of the travelling box. With gloves, these could easily be lifted, and, perhaps, most of the brood in them saved. In general, however, it will be found that the gloves are soon thrown aside, never to be used again, except on the very rarest occasions.
in a different category,
writer has no hesitation in affirming that
would make for the comfort of the and for an increase in the honey crop, if expert bee-masters would use the veil more and the smoker less. The moat convenient veil is made of fine black it
net, of a shape that can be readily slipped over the hat or cap, and tucked under
the collar of the coat. netting,
black, interfere of Figure
any other colour except seriously
inconvenient to carry.
In carrying out any operation which involves shaking the bees off their combs, one
find that several bees,
are crawling over the ground.
such as are used by
be found convenient to
prevent those young bees from crawling up the
the bee-keeper has his hands on the combs within
the hive any bees flying upwards are likely to be caught
within the outstanding cuffs of his coat.
These are brought
and are too surprised
to a dead stop very suddenly,
which they are in contact the
to fly out
that the fabric with
like the quilt of the hive,
also suggests the proximity of the cluster of bees.
So those bewildered soon getting in
By and by
hope of the bee-
keeper, while bending his arm, will pinch the exploring bee,
To obviate shown
will be stung.
this danger, gauntlets, as in
be slipped over the sleeve,
turned back Figure IV.
The Smoker. The smoker is the most useful implement available for modern bee-keeper. It consists essentially of a fire-box to contain some fuel, with an attached bellows for pufling the smoke on to the bees. The Clark Cold Blast (Figure V.) the
though very largely used because
very efficient. through the
in this country, is not
difiicult to light
recommended, and is not
In this type the blast of air does not pass The popular Bingham Smoker
of the hot
out" when in use, and has a shield to keep the hands from getting burnt by coming in contact with the fire-box. The Root Standard is a very fine implement indeed, with the one defect, that it
has no shield for the fire-box.
As one can
every detail has been well thought
even to the provision of a hook with which to hang the The Root Junior is a smoker on to the side of the hive. smaller smoker of the same type, but without the front hinge out,
to the nozzle.
For fuel many employ corrugated paper, such as is used It lights very readily, but burns for packing glass-ware.
great heat in proportion to
the smoke produced.
Ordinary brown paper goes out very
has been treated with saltpetre. rotten wood lights easily, and rarely goes out
and corduroy are excellent, but not Very convenient, and usually always readily obtainable. very plentiful, is sacking or burlap. New material may be used, but, frequently, there is more old sacking lying about than the bee-keeper will use in a season. This fuel is not so easy to light as corrugated paper, but it produces abundance consumed.
not easily extinguished.
fuel should be rolled loosely in the
of a size to
form of a
and it The beginner may find
easily inside the barrel of the smoker,
should be lighted at the lower end.
smoker at the fireside, but he will soon acquire the art of lighting up outside, even in windy weather, by holding the lighted match within the barrel of Then, by working the smoker until the fuel has caught fire. the bellows, a powerful cloud of smoke will be produced. it
easier at first to light the
Subduing Effect of Smoke. The question is frequently asked why it is that bees which have been lightly smoked are disinclined to sting. Langstroth, the great American bee-keeper, suggested that it induced the bees to fill their honey-sacs with honey, and made it physicallj? difficult for them to curve the abdomen sharply so as to apply the sting. Another view is that the bee full of honey is like most well-fed animals, full of good humour, In any case, it is a fact and at peace with all the world. that bees brought in contact with smoke seem very rapidly to forget that they ha\'e stings at all.
probably get a more correct view of the efi'ect if we try to imagine what it would have
smoke upon bees meant for them in
their natural habitat, when they dwelt mainly in hollow trees in great forests. There they would be attacked by animal enemies who desired to rob them of their honey. In their effort to burgle the home of the bees, such marauders would necessarily shake the tree and attract
the attention of the bees on the conabs.
behaviour in such circumstances would be to rush out of doors and attack the intruding animal with all the might of thousands of stings. By such prompt action the home and property
Assuming that this inherited by modern it is
that the clumsy manipulator
readily understand so
promptly and severely
punished for any jarring or banging of the hive.
But another enemy of quite a different type might menace home and property of the bees. There might be a forest fire, sweeping all before it, and reducing the great trees to blackened stumps. The bees which survived such a fire, and transmitted the instinct which made for self-preservation, the
behaved exactly as human beings do in similar circumstances. As soon as the clouds of smoke blowing in at their doors indicated the proximity of an enemy against which stings were of no avail, the provident insects rushed to their stores, while there was yet time, and began to fill their honey-sacs with honey. If the worst came to the worst, and the fire spread to their own tree, they could abandon their combs stored full of honey, pollen and brood, and go out with their Every honey-sac being filled queen to find a new home. with honey, the homeless bees would be in the position of a swarm, having enough stores with which to begin the world over again in some hollow tree that the fire had not reached.
When we know what smoke means use
with much greater
It is not necessary
to the bees
stupefy the bees
long as one uses a
smoke now one must avoid,
and again to keep up the suggestion of fire meanwhile, any shaking or jarring of the hive that might suggest an animal robber. The smoker, therefore, when not in actual use, should be set with the nozzle upward, in which position it will draw like a chimney, and be always ready for the moment when the bees show signs of recovering from ;
the notion that they are threatened with
Use of the Smoker. In the case of a stock of
temper, the bee-keeper
be well advised to start by blowing a little smoke in at the door of the hive. This startles the bees stationed near the entrance, who will pass into the interior of the hive, and spread the alarm among the other bees. The operator then will
passes to the back of the hive, and quietly removes the roof. This, when placed upside down beside the hive, provides a
convenient receptacle in which to place the
removed entirely from the
quilt next the bees
quilts, all of
except the lowest, are
rolled gently back, while a little
blown over the tops of the frames, and sometimes between them also. In most cases not a single angry bee will be seen, since all are obsessed with the idea that it is a fire with which they have to deal, and they will be too busy filling up with honey to think of using their stings. In such a frame of mind they will crawl over the bee-keeper's hands and face without making the slightest attempt to sting, unless he is clumsy enough to pinch or otherwise injure them.
smoke in at the With a goodthe honey harvest, this
experts do not approve of blowing
and begin by
lifting off the roof.
tempered stock, or in the height of may be all right, but there is always the chance that the removal of the roof may jar the hive to such an extent that a few bees may rush out of doors in search of the disturber of These have not encountered any smoke, and the their peace. sight of a bee-keeper so close at hand confirms first
a robber they ha^'e to deal with.
menacing him with their stings, and will go with him from hive to hive, annoying him all the time he is in the apiary. If such angry bees are numerous, and it is essential that the bee-keeper should proceed with his work, he will have to apply more smoke to the bees in the hive. These will become so alarmed that in time the panic will be communicated to the bees on the wing. The necessity for such extreme measures should be avoided. will fly at the intruder,
Manipulation of the Combs. It is not advisable to
have a hive completely filled with There should be room for at least one dummy, by the removal of which extra space can be obtained at one side.
The adjacent comb is then gently loosened if propolised— and moved to the centre of the available space. It can then be lifted clear of the hive, without the necessity of brushing the bees against their fellows on the next comb. When fully
examined, this comb
replaced against the side of the hive,
and the next is handled in the same way. When all the combs have been duly examined, the dummy is replaced at the other side of the hive. If at any time during the process the bees are observed to be recovering from the alarm of fire, and to be assembling in a threatening manner on the tops of the combs, a little more smoke should be applied. In accordance with the theory advanced, it will be evident that ease and comfort in handling the bees will depend largely
upon correct construction of the hive. If roofs or lifts fit they will have to be wrenched off, and volumes of smoke may not then suffice to convince the bees that stings are not the best means with which to preserve their property. The dimensions of the inside of the hive must be just right if the combs are to be really movable. If the bee space of a quarter of an inch at the ends of the frames has been exceeded, the bees may build combs joining the frames to the sides of the
if these end-spaces are less than a an inch, the frames may be fastened in with propolis. In either case the combs cannot be removed without some degree of violence, which is sure to arouse anger in the bees. If the half-inch space at the bottom has become reduced through shrinkage of the wood to such an extent that the bees can no longer pass, this narrowed space may be filled with moth-cocoons, which often fasten the bottom bar so firmly to the floor that it is left behind when the frame is
the other hand,
frames have not been nailed through the dovetails at the upper corners, these joints frequently give way, the comb sinks down, and the bottom bar will be found propolised If the
one attempts to remove such a frame in the ordinary way, it often happens that only the top bar is There is no excuse for such unwisdom when bee lifted out.
to the floor.
firms supply special f-in. nails for
those joints secure.
the frames have not been properly wired, or inferior foundation has been used, the consequent irregularity of the combs will make it difficult to remove and replace them Similarly,
without crushing bees and producing undue vibration.
can hardly be laid on the necessity for Under favourable conbees.
especially with pure Italian go right through the combs of a hive without any smoke if the bee-keeper has plenty of patience, and time The bee, like most other insects, moves normally is no object. ditions, it is perfectly possible,
speed, and is scarcely conscious The experienced bee-keeper, as if by
at a high rate of
does everything slowly, so as to avoid attracting the attention This explains why a visitor to the apiary is of the bees.
liable to be
the bee-keeper himself.
visitor is alarmed when bees fly past his face, and indulges in rapid gestures which irritate the bees, and increase the number flying about his head. This induces further movements of the visitor's hands, and these provoke further The result is that the hostility on the part of the bees. novice arrives at two conclusions, both of which are erroneous, (1) that he is peculiarly obnoxious to the bees, and (2) that the bees know the bee-master, and consciously refrain from The fact is that they would sting anybody' stinging him. who was nervous enough to indulge in rapid movements.
may manipulate his first stock may lose them, and it should be
beginner that he
needless handling of. the bees, or
of bees so excessively
impressed on him that
unseasonable times, can only do harm.
the hive at veil is
and stings are
to be avoided, a
to be used, so as to demoralise the bees.
of smoke may have Under these circum-
an examination in the middle of the day, when the fields, might result in great disturbance, and consequent loss of honey. At such a time the bee-
bees are very busy in the
advised to use as
as possible, and to
order to frustrate the attack of the one or two
bees that might become dangerous during the handling process. '
advise opening the hives only in the late afternoon,
when the work
of the bees will be less interfered with, since foraging has largely ceased by that time. Others recommend the very middle of the day, holding that at this time the
mostly in the
the younger and more docile.
The weather and the season have great effect on the temper of the bees. Cold and wet days, and especially showery weather, make the bees very irritable, because it inteiferes with their work in the fields. In the late autumn, when the natural flow of nectar has largely ceased, and robbers are prowling round, the bees appear to have their nerves on edge, and may attack anyone who approaches their hives. At such unfavourable seasons they are much more difiicult to handle,
and more smoke
have to be used.
" black " bees are nervous and irritable, but subdued and reduced to a state of panic. If too much smoke is used, they "boil over" the sides of the hive, pour out at the door, and produce much disturbance and inconvenience. They can be readily shaken off their combs, and will run into a new hive without trouble. This characteristic makes it easy to " drive " or " drum " a skep of black bees. Pure-bred Italians are much more docile, and can frequently be handled without any smoke at all. If a comb of Italians be gently lifted out of the hive, the bees will remain at their work, and the queen will frequently go on laying while the
held in the sunshine.
In similar circumstances, black
workers would be running up and down over the comb, and
She then usually where she can readily pass over to the dark side, through the slot generally found between the edge of the comb and the bottom bar of the frame. Italians are not readily shaken off their combs, are difficult to drive, and, when fully roused by unskilful handling, are more vicious and difficult to subdue than are blacks. the black queen would cease laying at once. retreats to the bottom of the comb,
the Italian bee
crossed with the black, a mongrel
most crosses, is an and resistant to Thej' are also very prolific, but are sometimes disease. Experienced uncertain in temper and difficult to handle. (jv
so-called hj^brid is produced, which, like
excellent worker, very vigorous
extracted honey, but their
not so white as that
produced by blacks.
Manipulation of Bees
and many thousands knowledge of the going on inside his skeps is very
Bee-keepers are a conservative of skeps are
what is meagre indeed, but the expert should be able to handle bees in skeps as readily as those in frame hives. The first step, as with the modern hive, is to create an alarm of fire by blowing smoke in at the door, and more is required than with a frame hive, because tlae interference is bound to be greater. The skep is then lifted bodily from its board, and turned, mouth up\vard, at a little distance from its stance. By this maiiieuvre the operator is less likely to be stung by returning f
comb. It is "
not easy to handle a skep furnished with ekes or it can be done with a little more trouble. The
combs are usually fastened to the eke only to a slight extent, and it is frequently not difficult to lift the straw skep off the eke without breaking any of the combs. In other cases it
may be advisable to keep the eke attached to the skep. A may also be left in position, or it may be more convenient
old skep filled with combs, toughened by the cocoons of several generations of larvss, there is little danger of combs breaking, especially in skeps furnished with cross-
but a skep filled with new combs pretty well filled with honey, even when these are built round sticks, must be
handled with very great care.
While the skep
being examined the
returned in large numbers, and
These should be jerked
the board against the ground. clean,
the skep replaced on
bees will have
be crawling over the
by striking the edge of The board is then scraped and the whole placed back off
on the old stance.
Other Methods of Subduing Bees,
admitted that tobacco smoke
and must be
are smokers frequently use tobacco
bee-smoker, and is
very effectual in creating
But one cannot wear a veil while smoking, and the result is that too much smoke is frequently
useful than the pipe
the subduing cloth,
frequently used alone or in conjunction with a smoker. consists of
a cloth large enough
frames and sprinkled with diluted with water.
some strong-smelling chemical
the disadvantage that
to cover the tops
frequently used, but has
not soluble in water.
being non-corrosive and readily mixible with water, has been convenient to use two
used with success.
It is frequently
cloths, unrolling the
one and rolling up the other, so that only
one or two combs are uncovered at one time.
robbing season this affords considerable protection to a stock that would be very liable to attack
exposed while the defenders were demoralized by smoke. In making use of the cloth it is necessarj', as with the smoker, to intimidate the bees just inside the door of the hive. Placing the cloth in front of the entrance for half a
minute or so will be sufficient. The quilt next the bees is peeled off and replaced in the same action by the subduing cloth, and this may be accomplished so deftly that not a bee will fly up. The bees set up a great humming, and retreat from the "poison gas." In about a minute one edge of the cloth ma}' be
back and the bees handled as usual.
not in use the cloth should be kept in a canister or in
a sponge bag in order to keep Effects
moist as long as possible.
Produced by Stings.
bee can kill another bee only by stinging of
chitinous armour, and a sting so deli\ered
wound crawls out
of such a bee has a typically twisted look,
since the others are frequently paralysed at
bee that has received
the hive, using mainly
persists after death,
and enables the bee-keeper to
examination of the dead bees when fighting has been going
on at a
Applied to the
skin a sting produces a sharp pain,
followed later by characteristic swelling.
that the bee-keeper will never be stung, but
most cases he
receiving a certain at the
persist for s^\'elling
of infliction will still be felt,
but this will not will be
pain of the sting
more than a second or two, and there
certainly due to the development in the blood of
keeper of an antitoxin which neutralizes the sting-poison.
indicated in the Bulletin for Prospecti\'e Bee-keepers,
there are a very few people to
continues to be a serious matter.
even a single sting
In such cases, a sting
of the body produces swelling of the a choking sensation in the throat, and frequently blisters or red spots all over the skin. Those who are affected
should not try to keep bees.
avoid getting their
stings on the face, because such stings
give considerable pain and sometimes cause quite remarkable
Both eyes may be completely closed by a single the hands bee stings are much less serious and quite as effective so far as acquiring immunity is concerned.
Structure and Action of the Sting.
the worker bee working inside a
consists essentially of
frequently, but erroneously, believed to be the sting proper.
These darts get so firmly fixed in the human skin that the bee as a rule is unable to free itself except by tearing the sting and its appurtenances away from its body. An examination of the sting thus detached will show the brown sheath with
hollow point embedded in the skin, the white
muscles which a crystal-clear
with a characteristic aromatic odour.
the sting-poison which
the alternate action of the darts, and which
the pain and the swelling.
incites other bees to sting.
should avoid killing a bee
the odour of
at all possible, for the bee in
extremis always thrusts forth characteristic odour.
thus producing the
this effect, the killing of a
bee causes no concern to her companions.
exposed in the crushed body of the slain bee the others near at
odour a bee-keeper,
will calmly insert their trunks
account of the irritating
has received stings in his coat
find it advisable to
exchange these for others or to
the sting-poison has dried up and become odourless.
For some minutes at
least after the bee has freed itself,
the white muscles of the detached sting will be observed to
twitch rythmically, and close observation will prove that the
more and more poison
deeper into the skin, while being poured into the wound. This itself
removed with all speed, and it must not be simply plucked out by finger and thumb, for this would squeeze the poison-sac and drive more venom The finger-nail or the blade of a knife into the wound, should be placed against the point of the brown sheath just where it enters the skin, and the sting should be scraped out In without any pressure being applied to the poison-sac. order- that stings near the eyes should be quickly removed indicates that the sting should be
advisable that the bee-keeper should carry a tiny pocket
whole host of specifics have been recommended for each being guaranteed to allay the pain Alkalis, such as immediately and to prevent all swelling. ammonia, are frequently recommended, on the ground that bee-stings,
completely neutralized, and, in any small aperture
made by the
sting has completely closed long
before anything can be applied.
just as effectual after its acidity has been
active principle in the
probably a very subtle substance, and the only
bee-keeper that has been frequently stung.
An attempt has been made to explain to the beginner the methods used by the expert in handling bees. In most cases the principles underlying the practice have been discussed at some length so that the bee-keeper may use the various methods with intelligence. perusal of a bulletin
the quickest or best
to handle bees, but a study of the
an occasional revisal as experience
not claimed that
problem beforehand, with is
acquired, should be of
considerable service. It is essential,
however, that the novice should have an bees handled by a competent bee-
Every summer the Lecturer in Bee-keeping conduets number of public demonstrations at various centres throughout the College area, and bee-keepers are always
Craibstone and in Aberdeen City.
who may be
apply to a competent bee-keeper for a lesson or two.
the selection of such a demonstrator the U(jvice should not
who has kept bees for some time must necessarily know how to manage them. Many who have "kept" bees for years are unite unable to handle them, and may be almost entirely ignorant of what is contained On the other in the brood chambers of their own hives. hand, we have in the north of Scotland a large number of bee-keepers who have little to learn in the art of handling bees, and any one of these would be delighted to give a Once the initial diffiprivate demonstration to a beginner. expert will make veiy over, the budding culties have been got
too hastily assume that one
will thus profit
others not so
uiistakes of others as
own, and will crowd into one season the experience that might otherwise have been spread over several well as
SF 523.A547^" ""'""="'""'"'•>' How to handle bees
3 1924 003 070 871