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Water Necessary To Comb-making

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

Whenever bees are engaged making comb, a supply of water is absolutely

necessary. Some think it requisite in rearing brood. It may be needed

for that, or it may be required for both purposes; but yet I have

doubts if a particle is given to the young bee, besides what the honey

contains. June, and first part of July, and most part of August (the

season of buckwheat,) are periods of extensive comb-making; they then

use m
st water; breeding is carried on from March till October, and as

extensively in May, perhaps more so, than in August, yet not a tenth

part of the water is used in May.

I have known stocks repeatedly to mature brood from the egg to the

perfect bee, when shut in a dark room for months, when it was

impossible to obtain a drop; also stocks that stand in the cold, (if

good,) will mature some brood whether the bees can leave the hive or

not. These facts prove that some are reared without water. As they get

sufficient honey to require more comb to store it, they will at the

same time have a brood; and it is easy to guess they need it for brood

as comb, without a little investigation. This much is certain, that

they use water at such times for some purpose, and when no pond, brook,

spring, or other source is within convenient distance, the apiarian

would find it economy to place some within their reach, as it would

save much valuable time, if they would otherwise have to go a great

distance, when they might be more profitably employed; it always

happens in a season of honey. It should be so situated that the bees

may obtain it without jeopardizing their lives;--a barrel or pail has

sides so steep that a great many will slip off and drown. A trough made

very shallow, with a good broad strip around the edge to afford an

alighting place, should be provided. The middle should contain a float,

or a handful of shavings spread in the water with a few small stones

laid on them to prevent their being blown away when the water is out,

is very convenient. A tin dish an inch or so in depth, will do very

well. The quantity needed may be ascertained by what is used--only give

them enough, and change it daily. I have no trouble of this kind, as

there is a stream of water within a few rods of the hives; but I have

an opportunity to witness something of the number engaged in carrying

it. Thousands may be seen (in June and August) filling their sacks,

while a continual stream is on the wing, going and returning.