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The Time When It Occurs

Categories: LOSS OF QUEENS.
Bee Keeping: Mysteries Of Bee-keeping Explained

Thus we see that queens are lost on these occasions from some cause,

and part of them by entering the wrong hive, perhaps most of them; if

so, it is another good reason for not packing stocks too close. The

hives are very often nearly alike in color and appearance. The queen

coming out for the first time in her life, is no doubt confused by this


The number of such losses in a season has varied
one year the average

was one in nine, another it was one in thirteen, and another one in

twenty. The time from the first swarm also varies from twelve to twenty

days. The inexperienced reader should not forget that it is the old

stocks which have cast swarms, where these accidents happen; the old

queen having left with the first swarm. Also all after swarms are

liable to the same loss. I would suggest that these have abundant room

given between the hives; if it is necessary to pack close, let it be

the first swarms, where the old queen has no occasion to leave. Having

never seen this matter fully discussed, I wish to be somewhat

particular, and flatter myself that I shall be able to direct the

careful apiarian how to save a few stocks and swarms annually, that is,

if he keeps many. A few years ago, I wrote an article for the Albany

Cultivator. A subscriber of that paper told me a year afterwards that

he saved two stocks the next summer by the information; they were worth

at least five dollars each, enough to pay for his paper ten years or


When a stock casts but one swarm, the queen having no competitors to

interfere with her movements, will leave in about fourteen days, if the

weather is fair; but should an after swarm leave, the oldest of the

young queens will probably go with that, of course: then, it must be

later before the next is ready: it may be twenty days, or even more;

those with after swarms will vary from one to six. It _always must_

occur when no eggs or larvae exist, and no means left to repair this

loss; a loss it is, and a serious one; the bees are in as much trouble

as their owner, and a great deal more, they seeming to understand the

consequences, and he, if he knows nothing of the matter, has no

trouble. Should he now, for the first time, learn the nature of it, he

will at the same time understand the remedy.