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Necessity Of Care


As this tumult cannot be seen but a few days at most, it is well--yes,
it is necessary--to make it a duty to glance at the hives at this
period after swarming, _every morning_; a glance is sufficient to tell
you of the fact. Remember to reckon from the date of the first issue;
this occurs when the first royal cells are sealed over, and is the best
criterion as to when the queen will leave. If the first swarm issue and
return, it can make no difference; reckon from their first issuing.


When you discover a loss, first ascertain if there is any after swarm
to be expected from another stock, (by listening for the piping); if
so, wait till it issues, and obtain a queen from that for your stock;
even if there is but one, take it, and let the bees return; they would
be likely to come out again the next day; if not, it is very often no
great loss.

Should no such swarm be indicated, go to a stock that has cast a first
swarm within a week; smoke it and turn it over, as before directed,
find a royal cell, and with a broad knife cut it out, being careful not
to injure it. This must now be secured in the other hive in its natural
position, the lower end free from any obstacle, that would interfere
with the queen leaving it. It will make but little difference whether
at the top or bottom, providing it is secure from falling.

I generally introduce it through a hole in the top, taking care to find
one that will allow the cell to pass down between two combs. It being
largest at the upper end, the combs each side will sustain it, and
leave the lower end free. In a few hours the bees will secure it
permanently to the combs with wax. This operation cannot be performed
in a chamber hive, as it is impossible to see the arrangement of the
combs through the holes. To put it in at the bottom is some more
trouble; the difficulty is, to fasten it, and prevent it resting on the
end. I have done it as follows: Get an _old_ thick piece of dry comb
some three inches square; cut out an inch of the middle. At right
angles with this, in one edge in the centre, make another to intersect
it, just the size of the cell, and have the lower end reach into the
opening. This comb will keep it in the right position, and may rest on
the floor-board. It can now be put in the hive, cutting out a piece of
comb to make room for it if necessary.

Soon after such cell is introduced, the bees are quiet. In a few days
it hatches, and they have a queen as perfect as if it had been one of
their own rearing. This queen of course will be necessitated to leave
the hive, and will be just as liable to be lost, but no more so than
others, and must be watched the same. It is unnecessary to look for a
cell in a stock that has cast its first swarm more than a week before,
as they are generally destroyed by that time, (sometimes short of it,)
unless they intend to send out an after swarm.

Next: Mark The Date Of Swarms On The Hive

Previous: Age Of Bees Indicated

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