Clustering Outside Not Always To Be Depended Upon

The clustering out of the bees I find but a poor criterion to judge

from, further than full hives do swarm--many such do not.


I will detail a few circumstances, that have led to these conclusions.

Some years ago the honey began to fail, when only about one third of my

good stocks had cast swarms; and all at once, the issues began to "be

few and far between." I had previously examined, and found they had

gone into preparations pretty extensively; by having not only

constructed cells, but occupied them with royal eggs and larvae. Now I

examined again, and found five out of six had destroyed them, (at the

same time the bees clustered out extensively). This put an end to all

hopes of swarms here. Some few had finished their cells, and these, I

had some hopes, would send out the swarms; but the dry weather caused

some misgivings. After waiting three or four days and none coming, I

found these sealed cells destroyed also, and had no more swarms that

season. Subsequent observations have fully confirmed these things. One

season some of the hives commenced preparations at two different

periods, and then abandoned them without swarming at all, through the

summer. The first time it was the last of May, the next in July.


The failure of honey was the cause, without any doubt. And who shall

say, these bees were not wise in their conduct? What prudent man would

emigrate with a family, if the prospect of a famine was plainly

indicated, when, by remaining at home, there was enough, at least for

the present? Who can help but admire this wise and beautiful

arrangement? The combs must contain brood; the bees must find honey

during the rearing of the queens. If a swarm were to issue the moment

of obtaining honey, the consequence might be fatal, as there would not

be a numerous brood to hatch out, and replenish the old stock with bees

sufficient to keep out the worms. Were they to issue at any time, as

soon as the bees had increased enough in numbers to spare a swarm,

without regard to the yield of honey, they might starve.

Clustering Bushes Common Cause Of Commencing facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail