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Mr Weeks' Theory Not Satisfactory

Category: SWARMING.

Mr. J. M. Weeks, in his work on bees, says, "Two causes and two only
can be assigned why bees ever swarm: the first, the crowded state of
the hive; the second, to avoid the battle of the queens." The first
cause producing first swarms, the other second, third, &c. Mr. Colton's
patent hive, it is said, can be made to swarm "at any time within two
days," merely for want of room. By removing the six boxes attached to
it, the bees are compelled to crowd into the main body of the hive, and
swarm out in consequence. Now, if merely crowding the hive with bees is
the only cause of first swarms, how is it that half or more of mine
refused to swarm, when a great many, for want of room, were crowded
outside for weeks, and great numbers maturing every day to crowd them
still more? To me the reason is plain, that some of the
before-mentioned requisites were wanting. Mr. Weeks further says, when
the first swarm has left, "not a single queen, in any stage of
minority, is left in the old hive; the bees, destitute of a queen, set
about constructing several royal cells, take larvae or eggs and put in
them, and feed with royal jelly, and in a few days have a queen."
Although I had not had much experience at the time of getting his work,
I had some doubts, because I found that all hives that became full and
began to run over, did not swarm, and some others swarmed before being
quite full; it seemed as if something like a preparation beforehand was
requisite. I knew of no means, for a long time, that would decide
_positively_; when it occurred to me, if I examined the old stock
immediately after the first swarm had left, I should find some
preparations if there were any; a thing so simple and easy that I felt
somewhat mortified not to have thought of it before. The first stock I
looked at revealed the secret. I examined it the evening of the day
that a swarm had left; I was gratified by finding two finished cells on
the lower edges of the combs; other cells were in different stages of
progression, from those containing an egg to the full developed larva.
Several more hives showed the same result. I now got bold enough to
examine some previous to swarming, as I have already explained.

Next: Mr Miner Not Correct

Previous: Evidence Of The Old Queen's Leaving

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