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Evils Of Winterings In The Open Air Considered


As a great many bee-keepers will find it inconvenient, or be unable to
avail themselves of my method of wintering, it will be well enough to
see how far the evils of the open air, which we have already glanced
at, may be successfully avoided. I am told by those who have tried
wintering them in straw hives, that in this respect they are much safer
than those made of boards; probably the straw will absorb the moisture.
But as these hives are more trouble to construct, and their shape will
prevent the use of suitable boxes for surplus honey, this one advantage
will hardly balance the loss. They are said also to be more liable to
injury from the moth. We want a hive that will unite advantageously as
many points as possible.

It should be remembered that bees always need air, especially in the
cold.[19] With this in view, we will try to dispose of the vapor or
frost. If the hive is raised sufficient to let it out, it will let in
the mice; to prevent which, it should be raised only about one-fourth
of an inch. The hole in the side should be nearly covered with wire
cloth to keep out the mice; but give a passage for the bees; otherwise
they collect here, endeavoring to get out, and remain till chilled, and
thus perish by hundreds. The boxes on the top must be removed, but not
the cap or cover; the holes all opened, to let the vapor pass up into
the chamber; if this is made with perfectly close joints, so that no
air escapes, it should be raised a very little; otherwise not. The
moisture will condense on the sides and top, when it melts will follow
the sides to the bottom, and pass out; the rabbeting around the top of
the hive will prevent its getting to the holes, and down among the
bees. It will be easily comprehended, that a hole between each two
combs at the top, (as mentioned in the subject of putting on the
boxes,) will ventilate the hive much better than where there is but one
or two, or where there is a row of several, and all are between two

[19] It is presumed that the inexperienced will soon learn to
distinguish such bees, as die from old age or natural causes,
from those affected by the cold.

Next: But Little Risk With Good Stocks

Previous: The Next Best Place For Wintering Bees

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