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Reasons For The Opinion


For instance, I had all the bees of a good swarm leave the hive in
March; after flying a time, they united with another good stock, making
double the usual number of bees at this season; enough to keep the
brood sufficiently warm at any time; if other stocks with half or a
quarter of the number could. By the middle of June, the bees were much
reduced, and had not cast a swarm. It was examined, and the brood was
found badly diseased. My best and most populous stocks, in spring, are
just as liable, and I might add more so, than smaller or weaker
families. I have had two large swarms unite, and were hived together,
that were diseased the next autumn. These cases prove strongly, if not
conclusively, that animal heat is not the only requisite. The fact that
when I had pruned out all affected comb from a diseased stock, and left
honey in the top and outside pieces, and the bees constructed new for
breeding, and the brood in such were invariably affected, though only a
few at first, and increasing as the combs were extended; led me to
suppose that it was a contagious disease, and the virus was contained
in the honey. Some of it had been left in these stocks, and very
probably the bees had fed it to the brood. To test this principle still
further, I drove all the bees from such diseased stocks, strained the
honey, and fed it to several young healthy swarms soon after being
hived. When examined a few weeks after, every one, without an
exception, had caught the contagion.

Here then is a clue to the cause of this disease spreading, whether we
have its origin or not. We will now see if we can trace it through, if
there is any consistency in its transfer from one stock to another.

Next: Cause Of Its Spreading

Previous: A Cause Suggested

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