Mr Weeks' Theory Not Satisfactory

Mr. J. M. Weeks, in his work on bees, says, "Two causes and two only

can be assigned why bees ever swarm: the first, the crowded state of

the hive; the second, to avoid the battle of the queens." The first

cause producing first swarms, the other second, third, &c. Mr. Colton's

patent hive, it is said, can be made to swarm "at any time within two

days," merely for want of room. By removing the six boxes attached to

it, the bees are compelled to crowd into the main body of the hive, and

swarm out in consequence. Now, if merely crowding the hive with bees is

the only cause of first swarms, how is it that half or more of mine

refused to swarm, when a great many, for want of room, were crowded

outside for weeks, and great numbers maturing every day to crowd them

still more? To me the reason is plain, that some of the

before-mentioned requisites were wanting. Mr. Weeks further says, when

the first swarm has left, "not a single queen, in any stage of

minority, is left in the old hive; the bees, destitute of a queen, set

about constructing several royal cells, take larvae or eggs and put in

them, and feed with royal jelly, and in a few days have a queen."

Although I had not had much experience at the time of getting his work,

I had some doubts, because I found that all hives that became full and

began to run over, did not swarm, and some others swarmed before being

quite full; it seemed as if something like a preparation beforehand was

requisite. I knew of no means, for a long time, that would decide

_positively_; when it occurred to me, if I examined the old stock

immediately after the first swarm had left, I should find some

preparations if there were any; a thing so simple and easy that I felt

somewhat mortified not to have thought of it before. The first stock I

looked at revealed the secret. I examined it the evening of the day

that a swarm had left; I was gratified by finding two finished cells on

the lower edges of the combs; other cells were in different stages of

progression, from those containing an egg to the full developed larva.

Several more hives showed the same result. I now got bold enough to

examine some previous to swarming, as I have already explained.

Mr Miner Not Correct Mrs Griffith's Hive facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail