Directions For Boring Holes In Full Stocks

_To make holes in the top after the combs are made_,--Mark out the top

as directed for making hives and boxes. A centre bit or an auger bit

with a lip or barb is best, as that cuts down a little faster than the

chip is taken out, leaving it smooth; when nearly through, a pointed

knife can cut the remainder of the chip loose, and it can be taken out;

if it is between the combs, it is well; if directly over the centre of

one, it is a little better; with the knife take out a piece as large as

a walnut; even if honey is in it, no harm will be done. The bees will

then have a passage through from either side of the comb.

After you have opened one hole, very likely the bees will want to see

what is going on over head, and walk out to reconnoitre. To prevent

their interference, use some tobacco-smoke, and send them down out of

your way, till your hole is finished. Now lay over this a small stone

or block of wood, and make the others in the same way. When all are

done, blow in some smoke as you uncover them, and put on your box. This

process is not half so formidable as it appears; I have in this way

bored hundreds. You will remember my hives are not as high as many

others keep them, they are in about as convenient a position as I can

get them. This method saves me the trouble of sticking the guide-combs

in my hives; also, the necessity of covering or stopping the holes. Dr.

Bevan and some others have made a cross-bar hive, instead of nailing on

a top in the usual way; a half-inch board of the right length is cut

into strips, some over an inch wide, and half an inch apart, across the

top. It is plain that in such a hive a bee can pass into the box

whenever it arrives at the top, without difficulty. I will here repeat

the objection to allowing too much room, to pass into the boxes, that

you may see the disadvantages of the extremes of too little and too

much room. In these cross-bar hives, the animal heat rises into the box

from the main hive, making it as warm as below; the queen goes up with

the bees, and finding it warm and convenient for breeding, deposits her

eggs; and young brood as well as honey is found there. When we think it

full, it is then indispensable to return it, if taken off, till they

hatch, (otherwise they spoil it by moulding), which makes the combs

dark, tough, &c. Another objection to such open tops is, that open

bottom boxes must be used, which are not half as neat for market.

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