« AnteriorContinuar »
oats were unloaded from the railroad, and that the seeds must have been in the oats. What do you think it is?
Stettlersville, Pa., July 24,
[Unless we are greatly mistaken this plant is the white sweet clover.-ED.]
DO BEES LOSE THEIR STINGS WHEN THEY STING OTHER BEES?
BY L. P. HOLMES
An expression in the footnote to Dr. Miller's Straw, p. 540, struck me with surprise. It is that "worker bees sacrifice themselves as well as the drones" if they sting them. I thought it was an established fact that bees, in stinging others, do not lose their stings, consequently do not endanger their own lives. I ask now, for my own information, has any one ever seen the sting of one bee attached to another that has been stung to death? I never have. Among all the bees stung to death in robbing, and among queens that have been stung to death by other queens or by workers, I have never seen the sting of another bee attached to a dead one. I have seen a virgin queen, upon being introduced to
a stranger colony, seize three workers in succession and sting them to death, still retaining her sting. My observation of the process of stinging another bee has shown me in every instance that the point of attack aimed at is the small aperture in the thorax through which the viscera is connected with the abdomen. Unless this point can be penetrated by the sting, the attacked bee is apparently safe from harm.
It seems to be necessary for success that the attacking bee should get upon the victim's back. I have watched two queens fighting, and noticed that, when they clinch face to face, the hinder and middle legs are used very effectively to push away the opponent's sting, while using every effort to reach the vulnerable point at the waist. I once watched them fighting in this way for what seemed to me to be 15 minutes (I did not time them by my watch). They fought until exhausted, and quit for a rest. After a time they tried again with no result. In the third round one got upon the other's back, and the fight was at an end. If I am right on this point, a worker would run no risk to herself in stinging a drone.
Still, I incline to the belief expressed by the editor and Dr. Miller that the action of the workers toward the drones is in most cases, at least, a bluff. I have never, so far as I can remember, seen the drones curl up as the workers do when stung. Frankfort, Kan.
[The sting of a queen is a little different from that of a worker, and it is probable that it is more easily withdrawn. It máy be that workers are able to withdraw their stings when they sting other bees; but, nevertheless, there have been plenty of dead workers found with stings in their bodies. This, however, does not prove that the workers always lose their stings when stinging other bees. In fact, it is quite probable that they frequently do withdraw them. We should like to hear from others. -ED.]
AN AVERAGE OF 103 POUNDS OF SUMAC COMB HONEY IN 14 DAYS
BY W. S. BASIM
The engraving shows a part of my beeyard (ground is too rough to get all colonies). This picture was taken July 4, 1911, at 4 P. M., when the honey-flow was nearly done. The tall hive holds a small colony guarding combs of honey.
My average yield was a fraction less than 103 lbs. of honey in 4x5 sections. The best yield ever before was 67 lbs. We had no clover last year, and this honey was almost all gathered in 14 days from sumac. I never had such a honey-flow since I have been in the bee business. No colony got the swarming fever.
I have been asked which I prefer the light Italians or the dark. My experience leads me to believe that there is no comparison. I think the dark leather-colored are as much ahead of the light goldens as a draft horse is ahead of a saddle back for plowing purposes.
Many years ago, when I first started beekeeping, somewhere about the time A. I. R. used to tell us all about Blue Eyes in GLEANINGS, I started to breed a race of utility bees based on dark leather-colored stock. After ten or twelve years of breeding from only those queens whose progeny showed marked ability to get honey, I had a breed of bees which I can since see
were superlatively good. I did not appreciate just how good these bees were until the last few years. I got splendid crops, and my hives used to be always boiling over with bees. I did not care how dark a queen was as long as the markings on her progeny were even; but she
had to have certain qualities. First, her progeny had to be exceptionally good honey-getters; then she herself had to be large and well proportioned. She had to lay good plump eggs, and all in the same position in the cells. I get letters like this every now and then from old cus
Send me another leather-colored queen. The last I had was a great honey-getter, and her daughters are just as good.
I have to return the money and tell them I have lost the breed. My output got so big that I started a bottling business in Sydney, and I had to leave the care of my bees to some one else.
Then the craze came in for golden Italians. I wish I had never seen them. I got some, and between carelessness on the
art of my beekeeper, and breeding from golden stock, my choice breed of leathercolored bees was a thing of the past, almost before I recognized the fact. I have got back to the bees myself since, and I have tried many times to get a new start on dark leather-colored stock; but I have never succeeded. I have got leathercolored (?) queens from breeders many times, but they were all too light. It seems to me there are no leather-colored bees left: no one seems to have any. I do not know a single apiary where there are any of the old stock. I have walked through every apiary I know of, looking for the old sort, and have never found them. I have had beekeepers offer me any queen I liked in the apiary for nothing; and after looking at all the "golden beauties," I have come away without any. Now you will, perhaps, say that I am prejudiced. I am not. I am a man who cares nothing for looks, and that is all I think the goldens
ed to breed "for feather," and they bred all the ability out of it, so that now as a breed it is completely ruined. My fixed opinion is that the same has been done for bees. It has been color, color, color, all along, and the business side has been lost sight of.
I was through the apiary some years ago of (I believe) the best queen-breeder in Australia, and he showed me 26 hives of his very choicest and best-bred bees. They were as gentle as so many flies; they were as golden as sovereigns; all the bees were evenly marked; but they were the laziest bees and the poorest honey-getters in the whole yard. He bred for color, and got his bees into the condition I told him he would, some years earlier. He had bred all the utility out in trying to breed color
You have something to say in the issue of June 1, p. 327, on five-banded stock. Of course, your remarks are right, to the extent that, if a man advertises five-banded stock, he should not send out four; but why do the people want five-banded stock? Would a ten-banded bee be any better than the old three-banded bees of the old Ligurian strain? My experience is that they are not half as good. I notice the gentleman eulogizes his golden drones. I never had any bee disease, or much, in my apiaries until I got golden drones. I have never had such big crops as before I got them. I believe the American breeders have done the industry a lot of harm, weakened the race of bees, and made them more liable to disease, and destroyed their honeygathering qualities by the craze for color. The trouble is not irreparable. Go back to scratch and start fresh. Breed for the big dark three-banded fellows we used to have
before the yellow craze came along, and all will be well.
Mororo, N. S. Wales, Australia.
[It is hardly necessary for us to state that Major Shallard almost echoes our experience. Some day the craze for color will give place to honey-gathering qualities.-ED.]
A COMBINED NURSERY AND INTRODUCING FRAME
BY W. H. WILSON
The photo shows my queen nursery, which I find very useful in saving young queens. I also use it as an introducing medium. The young queens hatch out in the different apartments, where they find plenty of candy; and when I want to introduce one I simply open the port opening into the desired queen, and let the bees eat out the honey and release her. Byesville, O.
[Queen nurseries are very convenient to have, especially if a lot of cells are ripe at the same time and there are not enough nuclei to go around. Under such circumstances the nursery acts as an overflow receptacle.-ED.]
WHY DID THE EUROPEAN FOUL BROOD DISAPPEAR?
Did the Change of Feed Cure the Disease?
BY CHAS. S. SHARP
Late last summer I opened three of my hives with a hive-tool that I had used the day before in inspecting several colonies that were afflicted with European foul brood. I did not use the same hive-tool through ignorance, but through thoughtlessness. Two weeks later I thought I de
tected symptoms of European foul brood. A week later my suspicions were confirmed. The disease did not become extremely bad, owing to the honey-flow from goldenrod and aster; but it was very noticeable on all the combs of each of the three hives. About the first of October I extracted every drop of honey from those hives ard started to feed a little sugar syrup for a few nights until I could get some cut loaf sugar from down town. I put a super on top of the hive and dumped in ten pounds. of cut loaf sugar all over the top of the frames, placed a piece of burlap on top of the sugar, and filled the super with sawdust. This spring, as soon as they would take syrup, I commenced to feed them and took off the cube sugar that remained (about three pounds each). These colonies are strong and vigorous, and up to date do not show a sign or symptom of European foul brood.
The point I wish to raise is this: Is this method or plan a cure for the disease when it is contracted too late in the season to attempt to cure by shaking? As I haven't any afflicted colonies I am unable to carry the experiment any further this year, and I am very certain I do not intend to procure any diseased colonies to satisfy my curiosity.
I wish three or four of the older beekeepers would try this plan, and let us hear the result next spring; but I would caution the beginner not to try it, for the mere fact that it appears in GLEANINGS does not prove it is a sure cure.
Newark, N. J., Sept. 7.
[We question whether your procedure in the above case cured the disease. European foul brood is an elusive trouble which sometimes disappears during a honey-flow without any treatment whatever. Perhaps when you extracted all the honey and commenced feeding the sugar syrup you imitated a honey-flow and encouraged the bees to "clean house." Getting rid of the honey would seem to be a good thing, although enough of it would remain in the cells, probably, to transmit the disease were the conditions favorable. And there are some plans for treating European foul brood in which the honey is not taken away at all, such as the Alexander plan for instance. We are not saying that the disease in your case would have disappeared of itself, but we merely wish to make the point that it often does, so that beekeepers are sometimes deceived in supposing that some manipulation accounts for the disappearance, when in reality the bees merely clean house themselves.-ED.]