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Directions For Making Glass Hive

Category: BREEDING.

My method of making them is as follows: The top is like those for other
hives, fifteen inches square, adapted to boxes and cover. This hive we
want to be as profitable as any, giving us surplus honey, and swarms
like others. Four posts are then got out, two inches square, and
thirteen in length; care should be taken to have the ends perfectly

A frame is then to be made, just fourteen inches square outside, for
the bottom; the pieces are one inch thick, by two in width, halved
together at the corners. A guage-mark is then made around the under
side of the top, half an inch from the edge, a post is then set inside
of each corner of this mark, and thoroughly nailed, the bottom is
nailed on with the posts even with the outside corners. Four pieces an
inch thick, and an inch and a half wide, are fitted between the posts,
even with the guage-mark on the top. Sixteen strips, about one quarter
by half an inch, are got out, eight to be ten, and eight twelve inches

A gauge-mark one inch from posts, bottom, &c., is the place to nail
these strips; very small nails or tacks will hold them. The panes of
glass are to rest against them, which are held in their places by small
pieces of tin, or brads. The doors are the size of the glass, 10x12,
about three-fourths of an inch thick; these doors are cut a little too
short, and the pieces, to prevent warping, are nailed on the ends;
these are hung to a post on one side, and secured by a button on the
other. On two opposite sides inside the posts, half way up, two strips,
half an inch by three quarters, are nailed, with holes in them for the
cross-sticks; one way is enough if you have guide-combs for a start,
like those recommended for boxes, so that the sheets will be at right
angles with them; otherwise, let the sticks cross both ways, about
three each way will be needed, as the glass at the edges is not so good
a support as wood.

The cap can be made of half inch boards; the top to project over like
the hive, or let it be a little more than half an inch, it will admit a
heavier moulding, which should surround it here, as well as at the top
of the hive, or if it is prefered, dentals can be used, and look
equally well--when no ornament is wanted, omit it. But painting seems
necessary for such hives, to prevent warping, and the swelling of the
doors in wet weather; these want to open and shut without rubbing or
sticking, otherwise we disturb the bees every time a door is stirred.
Putty should not be used to hold the glass, as the bees in the course
of a few years will cover it with propolis; it is then necessary to
take it out, and scrape, clean, and return it, when, if fastened with
putty, it would be difficult; cold weather is the time for this
operation. I am aware that a hive can be more substantially made than
the one here described; but I have endeavored to make one as cheap as
possible, and if properly made, will answer. The cost will be much less
than many patents, and the satisfaction much more, at least, with many.
When our hive contains a swarm of bees, and they are thoroughly in
operation, we must not let them pass out at the bottom on every side,
as they are frequently allowed to do from other hives; because, should
one come out a little excited in consequence of a slight jar,
accidentally given the hive, on opening the door or some other way, and
should find our face within a foot of their house, peering in the
window among their works, it would be very likely to give us _a gentle
hint_ that it was a mark of low breeding, that we were not wanted there
at all, and that it was none of our business what they were doing. To
prevent this as far as possible, a bottom-board, somewhat different
from the common one, is needed. Four posts of chestnut or other lasting
wood, about two inches square, are driven into the earth in the form of
a square, far enough apart to come under the corners of the
bottom-board, (fifteen inches,) and high enough for convenience when
looking into the hive. The ends of these posts are to be perfectly
level, and to which the bottom is to be nailed fast. As the hive is to
sit perfectly close to the board, a passage must be made through it, as
well as means for ventilation in hot weather, without raising the hive
for that purpose. It requires a board about fifteen inches square,
planed smooth, the ends clamped to prevent warping or splitting; a
portion of the centre is taken out, say six inches by ten, and wire
cloth nailed over, four-ounce tacks will hold it, fasten it just enough
to keep the bees from getting through; very likely it will want to be
taken off occasionally and cleaned from the propolis that will be
spread over it. It is easiest done in freezing weather.

Take an edge in each hand, and rock the wires a few times out of
square, and it will readily crumble and fall out. In warm weather it
must be scalded or burnt off. To close this space, a moving slide is
fixed in grooves under-side, fastened to the posts or board. The slide
is to be moved in accordance with the weather, when cold, close it,
when hot, withdraw it, and give the bees as much air as possible,
without raising the hive, the whole of such space is as much
ventilation as ordinary hives raised an inch. (Wire cloth is needed for
other purposes, it is best to procure some, even at considerable
trouble and expense.) On the side of the board intended for the front,
two inches from the edge of the wire cloth, a passage is cut for the
bees, three-eights of an inch wide, by eleven in length. "But how is
the bees to get to this place, so inconvenient, something is needed to
assist them?" Certainly, Sir; an alighting board, eleven inches wide,
and about two feet long, (not planed), is placed at an angle of
forty-five degrees, between the two front posts of your stand, the
upper end passing under the bottom, far enough back; to be just even
with the back-side of the passage for the bees. The bees alight on this
board, and walk up into the hive without difficulty. When the bees are
at work pretty freely, and a door of this hive is opened, those that
are about departing will be very likely to get on the glass, instead of
through the opening at the bottom; seeing the light through the glass,
they endeavor to escape by the nearest route. When so many gather here
as to prevent a good view, and you wish to observe further, shut the
door a moment and they will leave through their own passage, when you
can open your door again, for a short time. After the hive is filled
with combs, the number attracted to the glass on opening a door will be
much less.

The plate on the preceding page represents a glass hive, cover, and
stand. The common hive can be made equally ornamental, if you choose;
this kind of stand is unnecessary for them. I use such as are
recommended on page 138.

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