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Stocks Pruned Now Are Better For Winter


Besides the advantage of saving a large brood by pruning at this
season, such stocks will usually refill before fall, and are much
better for wintering, which is not the case when it is done later. We
must of necessity then waste the brood, and have a large space
unoccupied with combs through the winter. But few combs can then be
made, and those few must be at the expense of their winter stores,
unless we resort to feeding.

These objections apply with greater force to pruning in March or April.
The loss of brood is of much more consequence now, than in mid-summer,
or even later, and a space to be filled with combs is a serious
disadvantage. It is important that the bees should devote their whole
attention now to rearing brood, and be ready to cast their swarms as
early as possible. One _early_ swarm is worth two late ones. Suppose a
stock, instead of collecting food and nursing its young, is compelled
to expend its honey and labor in secreting wax and constructing combs
before it can proceed with breeding advantageously, it _must of
necessity_ be some weeks later.

Further, I have always found it best to have the bees out of the way,
during this operation. It will be found much more difficult to drive
the bees out of a hive in the cool weather of March or April, than in
summer, as they seem unwilling to shift their warm quarters and go into
a cold hive.

It is presumed the reader will bear in mind the disadvantages already
given of too frequently renewing combs; the little value of combs for
storing honey, _for our use_, after being once used for breeding; the
necessity of the bees using them as long as they possibly will answer;
and not compel them to be filling the hive, when they might be storing
honey of the purest quality in boxes, &c.

Next: Not Generally Understood

Previous: Objection To Pruning

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