Directions For Uniting Two Families

The hive to receive the bees is inverted, the other set over it right

end up, all crevices stopped to prevent the escape of the smoke. Now

insert the end of the fumigator into a hole in the side of the hive

(which if not made before will need to be now); blow into the other

end, this forces the smoke into the hive; in two minutes you may hear

the bees begin to fall. Both hives should be smoked; the upper one the

most, as we want all the bees out of that. The other only needs enough

to make the scent of the bees similar to those introduced. At the end

of eight or ten minutes, the upper hive may be raised, and any bees

sticking between the combs brushed down with a quill. The two queens in

this case are of course together; one will be destroyed, and no

difficulty arise. But if either of them is a young one, and you have

been convinced by some "bee-doctor" that such are much more prolific,

and happen to know which hive contains her, and wish that one to be

preserved, you can do so by varying the process a little. Instead of

inverting one hive, set them both on a cloth right side up, and smoke

the bees; the queens are easily found, while they are all paralyzed;

then put the bees all together. The hive should now have a thin cloth

tied over the bottom, to prevent the escape of the bees. Before they

are fully recovered, they seem rather bewildered, and some of them get

away. Set the hive right end up, and raise it an inch; the bees drop on

the cloth, and fresh air passing under soon revives them. In from

twelve to twenty-four hours, they may be let out.

Families put together in this way will seldom quarrel (not more than

one in twenty), but remain together, defending themselves against

intruders as one swarm.

I once had a stock nearly destitute of bees, with abundant stores for

wintering a large family. I had let it down on the floor-board, and was

on the lookout for an attack. The other bees soon discovered this

weakness, and commenced carrying off the honey. I had brought home a

swarm to reinforce them only the day before, and immediately united

them by means of the fumigator. The next morning I let them out,

allowing them to issue only at the hole in the side of the hive. It was

amusing to witness the apparent consternation of the robbers that were

on hand for more plunder; they had been there only the day before, and

had been allowed to enter and depart without even being questioned. But

lo! a change had come over the matter. Instead of open doors and a free

passage, the first bee that touched the hive was seized and very rudely

handled, and at last dispatched with a sting. A few others receiving

similar treatment, they began to exercise a little caution, then tried

to find admission on the back side, and other places; and attempted one

or two others on either side, perhaps thinking they were mistaken in

the hive; but these being strong, repulsed them, and they finally gave

it up. I mention this to show how easy it is, with a little care, to

prevent robberies at this season. Too many complaints are made about

bees being robbed; it is very disagreeable. Suppose that _none were

plundered through carelessness_; this complaint would soon be a rare


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