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A Test For The Presence Of Queen Doubted


It is further asserted that if a hive loses its queen "no pollen is
collected." Also, "that such quantities are sometimes collected, and
fill so many cells, that too little room is left for brood, and the
stock rapidly dwindles away in consequence." The first of these
assertions has been given as a test to decide whether the hive contains
a queen or not. Now my bees have such a habit of doing things wrong
that the above is no test whatever. It is made to appear very well in
theory, but wants the truth in practice. I will say what I have known
on this point, and perhaps clear up the difficulty of a stock
containing an unusual quantity of bee-bread with the honey, and instead
of being the cause of its having but few bees, it is the effect. Stocks
and sometimes swarms lose their queen in the swarming season, (the
particulars will be given in another place,) when, instead of remaining
idle, the usual quantity of both _pollen and honey is collected_
(unless the family is very small). There being no larvae to consume the
bread, the consequence is, more than half the breeding cells will
contain it; they will be packed about two-thirds full, and finished out
with honey. I have known a large family left under such circumstances,
and about all the cells in the hive would be occupied. Whereas, in a
stock containing a queen and rearing brood, _a portion of the combs
will be used for this purpose until the flowers fail_, and then such
comb will be found empty.

Next: An Extra Quantity Of Pollen Not Always Detrimental

Previous: Are Not Bees An Advantage To Vegetation?

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