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They Are Poor Dependence


Therefore I would recommend getting a royal cell whenever it is
practical. There is yet another advantage; you will have a queen ready
to lay eggs two or three weeks earlier, than when they are compelled to
commence with the egg. I have put such piece of brood-comb in a small
glass box on the top of the hive instead of the bottom, because it was
less trouble, but in this case the eggs were all removed in a short
time; whether a queen was reared in the hive or not I cannot say; but
this I know, I never obtained a prolific queen, after repeated
experiments in this way.

It would appear that I have been more unfortunate with queens reared in
this way, than most experimenters. I have no difficulty to get them
formed to all appearance perfect, but lose them afterwards. Now whether
this arose from some lack of physical development, by taking grubs too
far advanced to make a perfect change, or whether they were reared so
late in the season, that most of the drones were destroyed, and the
queen to meet one had to repeat her excursions till lost, I am yet
unable to _fully_ determine. To test the first of these questions, I
have a few times removed all the larvae from the comb; leaving nothing
but eggs, that all the food given them might be "royal pap," from the
commencement, and had no better success so far. Yet occasionally
prolific queens have been reared when I could account for their origin
in no other way but from worker eggs. But you will find they are not to
be depended upon generally.

Sometimes, after all our endeavors, a stock or two will remain
destitute of a queen. These, if they escape the worms, will generally
store honey enough in this section to winter a good family. This will
have to be introduced, of course, from another hive, containing a
queen; but this belongs to Fall management.

As respects the time that elapses from the impregnation of the queen
till the commencement of egg laying, I cannot tell, but guess it might
be about two or three days. I have driven out the bees twenty-one days
after the first swarm, when no second swarm had issued--the young queen
came out on the fourteenth day. I found eggs and some very young larvae.
When it is remembered that eggs remain three days before they hatch, it
shows that the first of these must have been deposited some four or
five days. When writers tell us the exact time to an hour (46 or 48)
from impregnation to laying, I am willing to admit the thing in this
case, but feel just as if I would like to ask how they managed to find
out the fact; by what sign they knew when a queen returned from an
excursion, whether she had been successful or not, in her amours; or,
whether another effort would have to be made; and then, how they
managed to know exactly when the first egg was laid.

Occasionally a queen is lost at other than the swarming season,
averaging about one in forty. It is most frequent in spring; at least
it is generally discovered then. The queen may die in the winter, and
the bees not give us any indications till they come out in spring.
(Occasionally they may all desert the hive, and join another.) If we
expect to ascertain when a queen is lost at this season, we must notice
them just before dark on the first warm days--because the mornings are
apt to be too cool for any bees to be outside--any unusual stir, or
commotion, similar to what has been described, shows the loss. This is
the worst time in the year to provide the remedy, unless there should
happen to be some very poor stock containing a queen, that we might
lose any way--then it might be advisable to sacrifice it to save the
other, especially if the last contained all the requisites of a good
stock except a queen. Some eight or ten, that I have managed in this
way, have given me full satisfaction. I have at other times let them go
till the swarming season, and then procured a queen, or introduced a
small swarm; at which time they are so reduced as to be worth but
little, even when not affected by the worms. To obviate this loss in
this way, it might be an advantage to transfer the bees to the next
stock, if it was not too full already; or the bees of the next stock to
this. Let the age and condition of the combs, quantity of stores, &c.,

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Previous: Obtaining A Queen From Worker Brood

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