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When Feeding Should Be Done For Stock Hives


In some sections of country the _honey_ is more frequently wanting than
bees, or comb, and some seasons in this; in such cases, it will be
found an advantage to feed, until enough is stored for winter. This
should be done in September or October. But if they lack comb as well
as honey, and you wish to try feeding, (which I seldom do lately,) it
should be done if possible in warm weather, as they cannot work combs
to advantage in the cold. While feeding bees, it requires a great deal
of caution to prevent others from scenting the honey, and their
contentions about it. The safest place is on the top of the hive, with
a good cap over; but they will not work quite as fast, especially if
the weather is cool. The next best place is under the bottom in the
manner described in Chapter IX.

Setting out honey to feed all at once, I condemn wholly. These
disadvantages attend it: strong stocks that do not need an ounce, will
get two or three pounds, while those weaker ones, needing it more, will
not get one. Nearly every stock, in a short time, will be fighting.
Probably the first bee that comes home with a load, will inform a
number of its fellows that a treasure is close at hand. A number will
sally out immediately, without waiting for particular directions for
finding it; and mistaking other hives for the place, alight there, are
seized and probably dispatched. As soon as the honey given them is
gone, the tumult is greatly increased, and great numbers are destroyed.
If any of your neighbors near you have bees, you must expect to divide
with them.

If the honey to be fed is in the comb, and your hives are not full, and
they are to be wintered in the house, bottom up, it may be done at any
time through the winter, merely by laying pieces with honey on those in
the hive. The bees readily remove the contents into their own combs;
when empty, remove them and put in more until they have a full supply.
They will join such pieces of comb to their own; yet there will be no
harm in breaking them loose. The principal objection to feeding in this
way, will be found in the tendency to make them uneasy and disposed to
leave the hive, when we want them as quiet as possible, A thin muslin
cloth, or other means, will be necessary to confine them to the hive.

I have now given directions to avoid killing any family of bees worth
saving, if we choose.

When such as need feeding have been fed, and all weak families made
strong by additions, etc., but little more fall work is needed in the
apiary. It is only when you have weak stocks, unfit to winter, that it
is necessary to be on the lookout every warm day to prevent pillage.

Next: Different Methods Have Been Adopted

Previous: Uniting Comb And Honey As Well As Bees

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