Effect Of Keeping Second-rate Stocks Out Of The Sun

It has been strongly urged, without regard to the strength of the

stock, to keep them all out of the sun; because an occasional warm day

would call out the bees, when they get on the snow, and perish; this is

a loss, to be sure, but there is such a thing as inducing a greater one

by endeavoring to avoid this. I have said in another place that second

rate or poor stocks might occasionally starve, with plenty of stores in

the hive, on account of frosty combs. If the hive is kept from the sun,

in the cold, the periods of temperate weather might not occur as often,

as the bees would exhaust the honey within their circle or cluster. But

on the contrary, when the sun can strike the hive, it warms up the

bees, and melts the frost more frequently. The bees may then go among

their stores and obtain a supply, generally, as often as needed. We

seldom have a winter without sunny days enough for this purpose; but

should such an one occur, stocks of this class should be brought into a

warm room, once in four or five days, for a few hours at a time, to

give them a chance to get at the honey. Stocks much below second-rate

cannot be wintered successfully in this climate; the only place for

them is the warm room. I have known bees thoroughly covered in a

snow-drift, and their owner was at considerable trouble to shovel the

snow away, fearing it would smother them. This is unnecessary, when

protected from the mice and ventilated as just directed; a snow-bank is

about as comfortable a place as they can have, except in the house.

When examined a short time after being so covered, the snow for a space

of about four inches on every side of the hive is found melted, and

none but quite poor stocks would be likely to suffer with this

protection. A little snow around the bottom, without a vent in the side

of the hive, might smother them.

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