Other Difficulties





Should they escape starving, there is another difficulty often

attending them in continued cold weather. I said that small families

exhaled but little. Let us see if we can explain the effect.



There is not sufficient animal heat generated to exhale the aqueous

portion of their food. The philosophy that explains why a man in warm

blood and in profuse perspiration would throw off or exhale more

moisture than in a quiet state, will illustrate this. The bees in these

circumstances must retain the water with the excrementitious part,

which soon distends their bodies to the utmost, rendering them unable

to endure it long. Their cleanly habits, that ordinarily save the combs

from being soiled, is not a sure protection now, and they are compelled

to leave the mass very often in the severest weather, to expel this

unnatural accumulation of faeces. It is frequently discharged even

before leaving the comb, but most of it at the entrance; also some

scattered on the front side of the hive, and a short distance from it.

In a moderately warm day, more bees will issue from a hive in this

condition than from others; it appears that a part of them are unable

to discharge their burden--their weight prevents their flying--they get

down and are lost. When cold weather is too long continued, they cannot

wait for warm days to leave, but continue to come out at any time; and

not one of such can then return. The cluster inside the hive is thus

reduced in numbers till they are unable to generate heat sufficient to

keep from freezing. With the indications attendant upon such losses, my

own observation has made me somewhat familiar, as the following

conversation will illustrate.





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