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Their Manner Of Attack

Bee Keeping: Mysteries Of Bee-keeping Explained

I must disagree with any one who says we always have warning before

being stung. I have been stung _a few times_ myself. Two-thirds of them

were received without the least notice--the first intimation was the

"blow." At other times, when fully determined on vengeance, I have had

them strike my hat and remain a moment endeavoring to effect their

object. In this case, I have warning to hold down my face to protect it

the next attempt, which is quite sure to follow. As they fly

horizontally, the face held in that position is not so liable to be

attacked. When they are not so thoroughly charged with anger, they

often approach in merely a threatening attitude, buzzing around very

provokingly for several minutes in close proximity to our ears and

face, apparently to ascertain our intentions. If nothing hostile or

displeasing is perceived, they will generally leave; but should a quick

motion or offensive breath offend them, the dreaded result is almost

sure to follow. Too many people are apt to take these threatening

manifestations as positive intentions to sting. When these things can

be quietly endured, and at the same time leave their vicinity, it

generally ends peaceably. They never make an attack while away from

their home in quest of honey, or on their return, until they have

entered the hive. It is only in the hive and its vicinity that we

expect to meet this irascible temperament, which should not be allowed,

or at least may be subdued in a great measure, if not entirely, by

doing things in a quiet manner, and, by the use of tobacco smoke. Any

person having the care of bees should go armed with this powerful

weapon. As bees are not much affected with smoke, while flying in the

air, but will have their own way, we must take them in the hive as the

place to teach _them_ a proper deportment!

Those who are accustomed to smoking will find a pipe or segar very

convenient here. But such as are not would do better, perhaps, not to

learn a bad habit. I will therefore give a simple substitute.