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Uncertainty In Weight Of Bees

Categories: WAX.
Bee Keeping: Mysteries Of Bee-keeping Explained

A large swarm will probably carry with them some five or six pounds of

honey from the parent stock. I only guess at this, because I am

uncertain what the bees weigh exactly. "I can tell you," some one

exclaims, "I saw some weighed,--so many weigh just eight ounces." Are

you sure there was nothing but bees weighed? Was there no honey,

bee-bread, faeces, or other substance, that might deceive you? "Can't

say; I never tho
ght of that!" Now it is important, if we weigh bees to

know _their_ weight, to be sure we weigh nothing else. It is evident,

that if five thousand weigh three pounds, when nothing is in their

sacks, they would weigh, when filled with honey, several pounds more.

Hence, the fallacy of judging of the size of a swarm by weight, as one

swarm might issue with half the honey of another. Perhaps eight pounds,

for large swarms, might be an average for bees and honey. This honey,

whatever it amounts to, cannot be stored till combs are constructed to

hold it. This principle holds good till the hive is full. That is,

whenever they have more honey than the combs will hold, if there is

room in the hive, they construct more. But they seem to go no farther

than this in comb-making. However large the swarm may be, this

compulsion appears necessary to fill the hive. Drone-cells are seldom

made in the top of the hive, but a part are generally joined on the

worker-cells, a little distance from the top; others near the bottom.

There seems to be no rule about the number of such cells. Some hives

will contain twice the number of others. It may depend on the yield of

honey at the time; when very plenty, more drone-cells, &c. If the hive

be very large, no doubt an unprofitable number would be constructed.

Where the large and small cells join, there will be some cells of

irregular shape; some with four or five angles; the distance from one

angle to the other is also varied. Even where two combs of cells the

same size join, making a straight comb, they are not always perfect.