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Is Candied Honey Injurious?






Category: DESTRUCTION OF WORMS.

There has an idea been advanced, that candied honey is injurious to
bees, even said to be fatal. I never could discover any thing further,
than it was a perfect waste, while in this state. When boiled, and a
little water added, it appears to be just as good as any. Nearly every
stock will have more or less of it on hand at this season; but as warm
weather approaches, and the bees increase to warm the hive, it seems to
get liquified, from this cause alone. The bees, when compelled to use
honey from these cells, thus candied, waste a large portion; a part is
liquid, and the rest is grained like sugar, which may be seen on the
bottom-board, as the bees work it out very often. Another object in
feeding bees, is to give inferior honey, mixed with sugar and flavored
to suit the taste, to the bees, and let them store it in boxes for
market. Now, I have no faith in honey undergoing any chemical change in
the stomach of the bee,[14] and cannot recommend this as the honest
course. Neither do I think it would be very profitable, feeding to this
extent, under any circumstances. I have a few times had some boxes
nearly finished and fit for market at the end of the honey season; a
little more added would make them answer. I have then fed a few pounds
of good honey, but always found that several pounds had to be given the
bees to get one in the boxes.

[14] Mr. Gillman's patent for feeding bees, is based on the
principle of a chemical change. It is said that the food he gives
to the bees, when poured into the cells, becomes honey of the
first quality. This appears extremely mysterious; for it is well
understood that when a bee has filled its sack it will go to the
hive, deposit its load, and return immediately for more; and will
continue its labor throughout the day, or until the supply fails;
each load occupying but few minutes. The time in going from the
feeder to the hive is so short that a change so important is not
at all probable. The nature of bees seems to be to _collect_
honey, not _make_ it; hence we find, when bees are gathering from
clover, they store quite a different article than when from
buckwheat,--or when we feed West India honey, in quantities
sufficient to have it stored _pure_ in the boxes, we find that it
has lost none of its bad taste in passing through the sacks of
our northern bees.

It appears most probable that, if Southern honey and cheap sugar
form the basis of his food, (which it is said to,) that it is
flavored with something to disguise the disagreeable qualities of
the compound. Should this be the secret, it would seem like a
waste to feed it to bees--a portion would be given to the brood,
and possibly the old bees might not always refrain from sipping a
little of the tempting nectar. Why not, when the compound was
ready,--instead of wasting it by this process,--put it directly
in market? Or, is it necessary to have it in the combs to help
psychologize the consumer into the belief that it is honey of a
pure quality?





Next: Destruction Of Worms

Previous: What May Be Fed



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