When Feeding Should Be Done For Stock Hives





In some sections of country the _honey_ is more frequently wanting than

bees, or comb, and some seasons in this; in such cases, it will be

found an advantage to feed, until enough is stored for winter. This

should be done in September or October. But if they lack comb as well

as honey, and you wish to try feeding, (which I seldom do lately,) it

should be done if possible in warm weather, as they cannot work combs

to advantage in the cold. While feeding bees, it requires a great deal

of caution to prevent others from scenting the honey, and their

contentions about it. The safest place is on the top of the hive, with

a good cap over; but they will not work quite as fast, especially if

the weather is cool. The next best place is under the bottom in the

manner described in Chapter IX.



Setting out honey to feed all at once, I condemn wholly. These

disadvantages attend it: strong stocks that do not need an ounce, will

get two or three pounds, while those weaker ones, needing it more, will

not get one. Nearly every stock, in a short time, will be fighting.

Probably the first bee that comes home with a load, will inform a

number of its fellows that a treasure is close at hand. A number will

sally out immediately, without waiting for particular directions for

finding it; and mistaking other hives for the place, alight there, are

seized and probably dispatched. As soon as the honey given them is

gone, the tumult is greatly increased, and great numbers are destroyed.

If any of your neighbors near you have bees, you must expect to divide

with them.



If the honey to be fed is in the comb, and your hives are not full, and

they are to be wintered in the house, bottom up, it may be done at any

time through the winter, merely by laying pieces with honey on those in

the hive. The bees readily remove the contents into their own combs;

when empty, remove them and put in more until they have a full supply.

They will join such pieces of comb to their own; yet there will be no

harm in breaking them loose. The principal objection to feeding in this

way, will be found in the tendency to make them uneasy and disposed to

leave the hive, when we want them as quiet as possible, A thin muslin

cloth, or other means, will be necessary to confine them to the hive.



I have now given directions to avoid killing any family of bees worth

saving, if we choose.



When such as need feeding have been fed, and all weak families made

strong by additions, etc., but little more fall work is needed in the

apiary. It is only when you have weak stocks, unfit to winter, that it

is necessary to be on the lookout every warm day to prevent pillage.





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