Reasons Of Failure In Dividing Hives

The greatest difficulty with dividing hives, appeared to be here. It

must be constructed with a partition or division to keep the combs in

each apartment separate; otherwise, we make tearing work in the

division. When bees are first put into such hives, unless the swarm is

very large, and honey abundant, one apartment will be filled to the

bottom before a commencement is made in the other.

Mr. A.--"What difference can that make? It is necessary to have the

hive full; if it cannot be all filled at once, why let them fill part."

The difference is this. The first combs built by a swarm are for brood,

and store-combs afterwards, as needed; one apartment will be nearly

filled with all brood-combs, and the other with store-combs and honey.

Now in the two kinds of cells there is a great difference; those for

breeding are near half an inch in length, while those for storing are

sometimes two inches or more; totally unfit for breeding; until the

bees cut them off to the proper length, which they will not do, unless

compelled for want of room, consequently this side of store-combs is

but little used for brood. When such hive is divided, the chances are

not more than one in four, that this apartment will have any young bees

of the proper age from which to raise a queen; if not, and the old

queen is in the part with the brood-comb, where she will be ninety-nine

times in a hundred, one half of the hive is lost for want of a queen.

Mr. A.--"Ah! I think I now understand how I lost one-half of nearly

every hive I divided. I also lost some of them in the winter; there was

plenty of bees as well as honey; can you tell the cause of this?"

I will guess that they starved.

Mr. A.--"Starved! why, I said there was plenty of honey."

I understood it, but nevertheless feel quite sure.

Mr. A.--"I would like to see that made plain; I can't understand how

they could starve when there was honey!"

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