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Purchasing Stock And Transporting Bees


If the reader has no bees, and yet has had interest or patience to
follow me thus far, it is presumptive evidence that he would possess
the requisite perseverance to take charge of them. It would be well,
however, to remember the anxieties, perplexities, and time necessary to
take the proper care, as well as the advantages and profit.

But if you are disposed to try the experiment, very likely some
directions for a commencement would be acceptable.


There has been so much uncertainty in stock of this kind, that the word
_luck_ has been made to express too much. Some have been successful,
while others have failed entirely; this has suggested the idea that
_luck_ depended on the manner that the stocks were obtained; and here
again there seems to be a variety of opinions, as is the case always,
when a thing is guessed at. One will assert that the "fickle dame" is
charmed into favor by stealing a stock or two to begin with, and
returning them after a start. Another, (a little more conscientious,
perhaps) that you must take them without _liberty_, to be sure, but
leave an equivalent in money on the stand. Another, that the only way
to get up an effectual charm, is to exchange sheep for them; and still
another says, that _bees must always be a gift_. I have had all these
methods offered me gratis, with gravity, suitable to make an
impression. And, finally, there has yet another method been found out,
and that is, when you want a few stocks of bees go and buy them, yes,
and pay for them too, in dollars and cents, or take them for a share of
the increase for a time, if it suits your pecuniary resources best. And
you need not depend on any _charm_ or mystic power for your success--if
you do, I cannot avoid the unfavorable prediction of a failure. It is
true that a few have accidentally prospered for a few years; I say
accidentally, because when they have no true principles of management,
it must be the result of accident. It is a saying with some, that "one
man can't have luck but few years at once," and others none at all,
although he tries the whole routine of charms. Nearly twenty years ago,
when my respected neighbor predicted a "turn in my luck, because it was
always so," I could not understand the force of this reasoning, unless
it belonged to the nature of bees to deteriorate, and consequently run
out. I at once determined to ascertain this point. I could understand
how a farmer would often fail to raise a crop, if he depended on chance
or luck for success, instead of fixed natural principles. It was
possible that bees might be similar. I found that in good seasons the
majority of people had luck, but in poor seasons, the reverse, and when
two or three occurred in succession, then was the time to lose their
luck. It was evident, then, if I could pass in safety the poor seasons
by any means, I should do well enough in good ones.[21] The result has
given me but little reason to complain. My advice therefore is, that
reliance should be placed on proper management, instead of luck,
arising from the manner the first stock was obtained. Should any one
feel disposed to make you a present of a stock or two of bees, I would
advise you to accept the offer and be thankful, discarding all
apprehension of a failure on that account. Or if any one is willing you
should take some on shares, this is a cheap way to get a start, and you
have no risk of loss in the old stock. Yet if bees prosper, the
interest on the money that stocks cost is a mere trifle in comparison
to the value of increase, and you have the same trouble. On the other
hand, the owner of bees can afford to take care of a few hives more,
for half the profits, which he has to give if another takes them; this
is apt to be the case, especially, with such as have no faith in charms.

[21] There are sections of country where the difference in
seasons is less than in this.

Next: Rule In Taking Bees For A Share

Previous: Getting Out Wax Different Methods

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