Reasons For The Opinion





For instance, I had all the bees of a good swarm leave the hive in

March; after flying a time, they united with another good stock, making

double the usual number of bees at this season; enough to keep the

brood sufficiently warm at any time; if other stocks with half or a

quarter of the number could. By the middle of June, the bees were much

reduced, and had not cast a swarm. It was examined, and the brood was

found badly diseased. My best and most populous stocks, in spring, are

just as liable, and I might add more so, than smaller or weaker

families. I have had two large swarms unite, and were hived together,

that were diseased the next autumn. These cases prove strongly, if not

conclusively, that animal heat is not the only requisite. The fact that

when I had pruned out all affected comb from a diseased stock, and left

honey in the top and outside pieces, and the bees constructed new for

breeding, and the brood in such were invariably affected, though only a

few at first, and increasing as the combs were extended; led me to

suppose that it was a contagious disease, and the virus was contained

in the honey. Some of it had been left in these stocks, and very

probably the bees had fed it to the brood. To test this principle still

further, I drove all the bees from such diseased stocks, strained the

honey, and fed it to several young healthy swarms soon after being

hived. When examined a few weeks after, every one, without an

exception, had caught the contagion.



Here then is a clue to the cause of this disease spreading, whether we

have its origin or not. We will now see if we can trace it through, if

there is any consistency in its transfer from one stock to another.





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