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Advantage Of Proper Arrangement


Two inches being nearly the right distance, each one will be so made
that a bee arriving at the top of the hive between any two sheets will
be able to find a passage into the box, without the task of a long
search for it; which I can imagine to be the case when only one hole
for a passage is made, or when the row of holes is parallel with the
combs. A hive might contain eight or ten sheets of comb, and a bee
desirous of entering the box might go up between any two, many times,
before it found the passage. It has been urged that every bee soon
learns all passages and places about the hive, and consequently will
know the direct road to the box. This may be true, but when we
recollect that all within the hive is perfect darkness--that this path
must be found by the sense of feeling alone--that this sense must be
its guide in all its future travels--that perhaps a thousand or two
young workers are added every week, and these have to learn by the same
means--it would seem, if we studied our own interest, we would give
them all the facility possible for entering the boxes. What way so easy
for them as to have a passage, when they get to the top, between each
comb? That bees do not know all roads about the hive, can be partially
proved by opening the door of a glass hive. Most of the bees about
leaving, instead of going to the bottom for their exit, where they have
departed many times, seem to know nothing of the way, but vainly try to
get out through the glass, whenever light is admitted.

I am so well convinced of this, that I take some pains to accommodate
them with a passage between each comb; they will then at least lose no
time by mistakes between the wrong combs, crowding and elbowing their
way back through a dense mass of bees which impede every step, until
again at the top perhaps between the same combs, perhaps right, perhaps
farther off than at first; when I suppose they try it again; as boxes
are filled sometimes under just such circumstances.

To assist them as much as possible, when new hives are used for swarms,
I wait till the hive is nearly filled before making the holes to
ascertain the direction of the combs. We all know it is uncertain which
way the combs will be built, when the swarm is put in, unless
guide-combs are used.[15] When holes are made before the bees are put
in, guide-combs as directed for boxes should be put in; (of course they
should cross at right angles the row of holes).

[15] Perhaps Miner's cross-bar hive would do it.

Next: Directions For Boring Holes In Full Stocks

Previous: Making Holes After The Hive Is Full

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