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Public Inquiry And Answers


I had so many cases of the kind, that I became somewhat alarmed, and
made inquiry through the Cultivator, (an agricultural paper,) as to a
cause, and remedy, offering a "reward for one that would not fail when
thoroughly tested," &c. Mr. Weeks, in answer, said, "that cold weather
in spring chilling the brood was the cause." (This was several years
prior to his article in the N.E. Farmer.) Another gentleman said, "dead
bees and filth that accumulated during winter, when suffered to remain
in the spring, was the cause." A few years after, another correspondent
appeared in the Cultivator, giving particulars of his experience,
proving very conclusively to himself and many others, that cold was the
cause. Having mislaid the paper containing his article, I will endeavor
to quote correctly from memory. He had "three swarms issue in one day;
the weather during the day changed from very hot to the other extreme,
producing frost in many places the next morning. These swarms had left
but few bees in the old stocks, and the cold forced them up among the
combs for mutual warmth; the brood near the bottom, thus left without
bees to protect it with animal heat, became chilled, and the
consequence was diseased larvae." He then reasoned thus: "If the eggs of
a fowl, at any time near the end of incubation, become chilled from any
cause, it stops all further development. Bees are developed by
continued heat, on the same principle, and a chill produces the same
effect, &c.; afterwards, other swarms issued under precisely similar
circumstances; but these old stocks were covered with a blanket through
the night, which enabled the bees to keep at the bottom of the hive. In
a few days, enough were hatched to render this trouble unnecessary.
These last remained healthy." He further says, that "last spring was
the first time I ever knew them to become diseased before swarming had
thinned the population. The weather was remarkably pleasant through
April. The bees obtained great quantities of pollen and honey, and by
this means extended their brood further than usual at this season.
Subsequent chilly weather in May, caused the bees to desert a portion
of brood, which were destroyed by the chill."

Now this is reasoning from cause to effect very consistently.

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