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To prevent such occurrences as far as possible, ventilate by raising
the hives on little blocks at the corners, and _effectually protect
them from the sun_; and if necessary, wet the outside with _cold_
water. At the time of losing those before mentioned, I kept all the
rest of the young swarms wet through the middle of the day, and I have
no doubt but I saved several by this means. I had some trouble with
such as had only a piece or two come down, and started just honey
enough to attract other bees. It was not safe to close the hive to
prevent the robbers, as this would have made the heat still greater,
and been certain destruction.

The best protection I found, was to put around the bottom of the hive a
few stems of asparagus; this gave a free circulation of air, and at the
same time, made it very difficult for the robbers to approach the
entrance, without first creeping through this hedge and encountering
some bees that belonged to the hive; which, with this assistance, were
enabled to defend themselves till all wasting honey was taken up.

When the hive is nearly full, and but one or two sheets come down, the
lower edge will rest on the floor, and the other combs will keep it in

an upright position, until the bees fasten it again. It is generally as
well to leave such pieces as they are. If the hive is but half full or
little more, and such pieces are not kept perpendicular by the
remaining combs, they are apt to be broken and crushed badly, by
falling so far; and most of the honey will be wasted. To save this, it
will be necessary to remove it, (unless a dish can be made to catch
it). Be careful not to turn the hive on its side, and break the
remaining combs, if any are left. Such combs as contain brood and but
little honey, might be left for the brood to mature. Should the bees be
able to take the honey or not waste much, it might be advisable to
leave it, till the contents were taken up; it would greatly assist in
filling up. But these broken pieces should be removed before they
interfere with the combs extending to the bottom. A part of the bees
are generally destroyed, but the majority will escape; even such as are
covered with honey, (if they are not crushed) will clean it off and
soon be in working order, when others do not interfere officiously,
assisting to remove it. A good yield of honey is the best protection
against this disposition to pillage. After the first year combs become
thicker, and are not so liable to give way.

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Previous: First Indications

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