Of Swarms That Lose Their Queen

Swarms that lose their queen the first few hours after being hived,

generally return to the parent stock; with the exception that they

sometimes unite with some other. If much time has elapsed before the

loss, they remain, unless standing on the same bench with another. On a

separate stand they continue their labor, but a large swarm diminishes

rapidly, and seldom fills an ordinary-sized hive. One singular

circumstance attends a swarm that is constructing combs without a

queen. I have never seen it noticed by any one, and may not always be

the case, but _every_ instance that has come under my notice, I have so

found it. That is, four-fifths of the combs are drone-cells; why they

thus construct them is another subject for speculation, from which I

will endeavor in this instance to refrain.


It has been suggested as a profitable speculation, "to hive a large

swarm without a queen, and give them a piece of brood-comb containing

eggs, to rear one, and then as soon as it is matured, deprive them of

it, giving them another piece of comb, and continue it throughout the

summer, putting on boxes for surplus honey. The bees having no young

brood to consume any honey, no time will be lost, or taken to nurse

them, and as a consequence they will be enabled to store large

quantities of surplus honey."

This appears very plausible, and to a person without experience

somewhat conclusive. If success depended on some animal whose lease of

life was a little longer, it would answer better to calculate in this

way. But as a bee seldom sees the anniversary of its birthday, and most

of them perish the first few months of their existence, it is bad

economy. It will be found that the largest amount of our surplus honey

is obtained from our prolific stocks. Therefore it is all-important

that every swarm and stock has a queen to repair this constant loss.

Obtaining A Queen From Worker Brood Old Breeding Cells Will Last A Long Time facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail