To the throng of eager question- ing brothers and sisters in the art of bee culture, in our own and other countries, this work is especially dedicated by The Authors.


ABC and X Y Z



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A Cyclopedia of Everything Pertaining to the Care of the Honey-bee; Bees, Hives, Honey, Implements, Honey-plants, etc. Facts Gleaned from the Experience of Thousands of Beekeepers, and Afterward Veri- fied in Our Apiary.

By A. I. and E. R. Root

146th Thousand



Copyrighted 1913. All rights reserved.

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1877 Preface

Iii preparing this work I have been much indebted to the books of Langstroth, Moses Quinby, Prof. A. J. Cook, King, and some others, as well as to all the bee-journals; but, more than to all these, have I been indebted to the thousands of friends scattered far and wide who have so kindly furnished the fullest particulars in regard to all the new improve- ments as they have come up in our beloved branch of rural industry. Those who ques- tioned me so much a few years ago are now repaying by giving me such long kind letters in answer to any inquiry I may happen to make that I often feel ashamed to think what meager answers I have been obliged to give them under similar circumstances. A great part of this ABC book is really the work of the people ; and the task that devolves on me is to collect, condense, verify, and utilize what has been scattered through thousands of letters for years past. My own apiary has been greatly devoted to testing carefully each new device, invention, or process as it came up. The task has been a very pleasant one; and if the perusal of the following pages affords you as much pleasure I shall feel amply repaid.

November, 1877. A. I. Root.

Preface to the 1913 Edition

A. I. Root was able to revise the first two or three editions of this work; but a rapidly increasing business, and interest in other matters, coupled with failing health, made it necessary for him to transfer the work of revising to his oldest son, the writer, who had just come out of school. At that time, 1885, we' began to assume the management of 21 Gleanings in Bee Culture, which furnishes material for the book. Rut as the years have rolled by, and the scope of the work increased, it has been necessary for us to call in the aid of others those who are specialists along certain lines, for the reviser has felt that the reader of these pages should be given the very best and latest there is on any one particular subject. Among the list of editorial helpers to be mentioned first and foremost is Dr. C. C. Miller, the veteran comb-lioney producer of S2 years a man who bridges the past and the present. He is almost as well known in Europe as in America, and almost the only one left in the United States who can stand alongside of A. I. Root, the original author. We secured also the aid of another Miller, A. C, of Providence, Rhode Island, a banker by profession, but a close student in beekeeping. The latter thoroughly reread the previous edition, making many suggestions and changes here and there before we began work on this edition. A large number of these suggestions were adopted, and the matter incorporated in the text. His other comments, in which he may or may not differ with the author. Avill be found scattered all through this work in the form of footnotes under the initials "A. C. M." In a similar way will be found notes by Dr. C. C. Miller, signed " C. C. M." The unsigned footnotes are by the author and reviser. Mr. A. C. Milller, besides writing the general subject of " Bee Behavior " and " Observatory Hives," also read thoroughly the final proofs of this edition in collaboration with our office reader. Mr. W. P. Root.

At first thought when one glances over the new volume and observes that two4hirds or three-fourths of the matter was written by E. R. Root, he will wonder where A. I. Root


conies in, and whether it is a ease of " Hamlet with Hamlet left out." This is not the case. Some of the best things that A. I. Root ever wrote on bees (and he wrote a good many) still appear in this volume, and always will. It is not so much because his writings have been stricken out of this edition, but because the immense amount of new stuff made neces- sary by the growth of the industry has made A. I. R.'s material seem small in comparison. His familiar style will be recognized, for example, in Absconding Swarms; After-swarms; Anger of Bees; Artificial Heat; Artificial Pasturage; Bee-hunting; Bee-moth; Italian Bees; Queens; Robbing; Stings. What he has written under these heads will always re- main as classic in bee culture. No man had more enthusiasm in the study of bees than A. I. Root, and that enthusiasm is so conspicuous that his writings can usually be picked out of the other matter, even though they have been skillfully interwoven with matter written by others.

For over thirty years the ABC has been kept in standing type, so that it might be easy to keep it abreast with the times by simply changing the matter here and there in places so as to bring the old matter up to date. In 1912 we began the work of revising the present edition. We soon found that we should be compelled to discard the old type on which all previous editions had been printed, both because it was badly worn and because the contemplated changes would add so much new matter that it would not be practicable to continue the standing-type scheme. We purchased, mean time, a new and modern $4000 type-setting machine, or what is known as a model No. 8 book linotype, and reset the entire work. This machine now makes it possible for the publishers to handle their increasing business on other publications than The ABC and X Y Z of Bee Culture and Gleanings in Bee Culture, a semi-monthly illustrated magazine. By having the old matter all reset we were enabled to make a more complete revision than we had ever under- taken before. The new volume is, therefore, new almost from cover to cover. To give the reader an idea of the old subjects entirely rewritten for this edition, the following is a list :

Dandelion ; Foul Brood ; Honey as a Food ; Honeycomb ; Honey-plants ; Locust ; Log- wood; Observatory Hives; Orange; Palmetto; Partridge Pea; Wild Pennyroyal; Phacelia.

The following subjects were either reclassified from their former position, or are entirely new ones that have never before appeared in any edition.

Artificial Swarming; Bee Behavior; Bees Attacking Fruit; Beekeepers and Fruit- growing; Bees and Poultry; Bees and Truck-gardening; Bleaching Comb Honey; Bottling Honey; Development of Bees; Extracting-houses; Feeding Back; Feeding Outdoors; Gallberry; Grading Comb Honey; Granulated Honey; Magnolia; Mangrove, Black; Ob- servatory Hives; Pollination of Flowers; Shipping-cases for Comb Honey; Specialty in Bees; Specific Gravity of Honey; Statistics Concerning the Bee and Honey Business; Sweet Clover; Ti-ti; Tupelo; Wild Cherry; Wild Sunflower; Wintering in the South.

In addition to all these, almost every article has had extensive additions, so that the entire work bears the crisp date of 1912 and 1913.

To assist the reader in finding the numerous cross-references we thought best to reclassify many subjects. For example, under the head of " Diseases of Bees " in the former edition, the two types of foul brood (American and European) in this edition are both comprised under one head Foul Brood, while Diseases of Bees covers the minor maladies that affect our little friends. In the former edition Comb Honey covered the subjects of Bleaching Comb Honey, Grading Comb Honey, and Shipping Cases. The two last mentioned will now be found under their respective heads in their alphabetical order. Again, Extracted Honey comprised the subject of Honey in Liquid Form and Bottling Honey. The last name has now been put under a heading by itself. Under the head of Extracting and Extractors there appeared the general subject of Extractors and Extracting-houses. These for this edition have been put under their own heads. Pollen


is now divided up under the beads of Pollen and Pollination of Flowers; and in the same way Hives, Swarming, and Wintering have been split up under several headings.

The object of reclassifying, as above stated, was to facilitate reference. For instance, in order to find " Shipping Cases " in the former edition the reader was directed to Comb Honey, then after turning over twenty-two pages he would find Shipping Cases. Now he looks for Shipping Cases direct in its regular alphabetical order. In like manner he will find Grading Comb Honey, Pollination of Flowers, Extracting-houses, and so on, in their proper alphabetical order.

An important feature of the 1913 edition is the bee botany, which has been entirely rewritten and revised by John H. Lovell, of Waldoboro, Me., and Prof. Eugene G. Bald- win, of Deland, Fla. Mr. Lovell is an entomologist and a botanist, and last, but not least, he is a beekeeper. He has entirely rewritten the introductory botanical history of every plant mentioned in this work except those prepared by Professor Baldwin. As no single writer is more familiar with the extensive bee flora in Florida, that subject was given to him. Since Mr. Lovell was thoroughly familiar with the subjects of Pollen and the Pollen- ation of Flowers he made large additions to them.

The article on foul brood is nearly three times as long as that in the former edition. It was entirely rewritten, after consulting some of the best authorities on bee diseases in the country, and, after it was written, it was submitted to one of the best foul-brood inspectors in the United States. He wrote back, saying it was comprehensive and orthodox, and that he would like to get copies of it to give out, as he regarded it the most complete on the subject of any thing he had seen.

Comb Honey and Extracted both received large additions. The first of each subject is entirely rewritten.

Hundreds of new engravings have been added, so that, taking every thing into consideration, the reviser believes he is presenting to the public the largest and most comprehensive work on bees that has ever been printed in any language.

Last but not least, this edition has a complete index at the close of the work. The former index comprised only eight pages, while the new one covers thirteen pages.

All told, there are between three and four thousand references to aid the reader in finding just the information he desires.

These extensive changes and additions now make the present volume 750 double- column pages, which is just 150 pages more than appeared in the previous edition. The increased size of the present work has made it necessary to charge $2.00 instead of $1.50, as before. Ordinarily a volume of this size, containing the amount of matter that this does, is sold for $5.00; but as Ave have always maintained a popular price, we continue to do so now, preferring to make a small riofit on a large sale rather than a big profit on a small sale.

So extensive has been the demand for it that it is now to be had in French and Ger- man, and large portions of it have been published in Russian and Spanish; and it is hoped, before two more years roll by, that there will be a complete edition of it in Spanish.

The reviser offers no apology for any lack of literary style, for much of the work of revision and the writing of new articles has been done under the pressure of other work. But he has endeavored to use the plainest and simplest language possible to describe each process, device, or method.

In order that the reader may trace out the authorship of the various articles, a list of them is appended on the next page, written by A. I. Root, those by the writer, those by A. I. and E. R. conjointly, those by W. K. Morrison, Dr. E. F. Phillips, Dr. C. C. Miller, John H. Lovell, and others.

May 1. 1913. E. R. Root.


Authorship of Articles in This Work


Age of Bees; Catnip; Milkweed; Rocky Mountain Bee-plant; Sourwood; Whitewood.


Alfalfa; Apiary; Artificial Fertilization; Artificial Swarming ; Barrels; Basswood; Bee-space; Bees Attacking Fruit; Beekeeping and Fruit-growing; Bees and Poultry; Bees and Truck Gardening; Bees as a Nuisance; Bees on Shares; Bee-bread; Beginning with Bees; Bleaching Comb Honey; Bottling Honey; Box Hives; Buckwheat; Canada Thistle; Catclaw; Clover; Comb Foundation; Comb Honey; Contraction: Diseases of Bees; Dividing; Entrances to Hives; Extracting; Extracting-houses ; Feeding and Feeders; Feeding Back; Feeding Outdoors; Foul Brood; Frames, Self-spacing; Frames, to Manipulate; Fruit- blossoms; Gloves for Handling Bees; Grading Comb Honey; Granulated Honey; Heartsease; Hermaphro- dite Bees; Hibernation of Bees; Hive-making; Hives; Honey-dew; House-apiary; Honey Exhibits; Honey, Bottling; Huajilla ; Increase; Introducing; Italianizing; Locality; Marigold; Migratory Beekeeping; Moving Bees; Nucleus; Organizations of Beekeepers; Overstocking; Poisonous Honey; Profits in Bees; Propolis; Queen-rearing ; Record-keeping of Hives ; Reversing ; Rats ; Sage ; Scale Hive ; Shipping Cases ; Spreading Brood; Spring Dwindling; Spring Management; Statistics of Bees and the Honey Business; Sweet Clover; Transferring; Veils; Ventilation; Vinegar; Weight of Bees; Willow-herb; Wintering; Wintering in the South.


Absconding Swarms; After-swarming; Anger of Bees; Ants; Artificial Heat; Artificial Pasturage; Asters; Bee-hunting; Bee-moth; Bees; Drones; Enemies of Bees; Extracted Honey; Hybrids; Italian Bees; Horsemint; Laying Workers; Queens; Raspberries; Robbing; Stings; Swarming; Uniting; Water.


Eucalyptus; Goldenrod; Honey -plants ; Horehound; Inkberry ; Locust; Mesauite; Mustard; Partridge Pea; Phacelia; Sumac; Sunflower; also the botanical history of most of the other plants.


Gallberry; Magnolia; Mangrove, Black; Orange; Palmetto; Partridge Pea; Pennyroyal; Tupelo; Ti-ti; Wild Cherry.

Adulteration of Honey; Cane Sugar; Glucose; Honey; Sugar. Prof. A. Hugh Bryan, Bureau of Chemistry, Washington, D. C.

Anatomy of the Bee. Dr. R. E. Snodgrass, Bureau of Entomology, Washington. D. C.

Ants in the South; Bees, Stingless; Carpet Grass; Hives, Evolution of; Honey and its Colors; Nectar.

W. K. Morrison.

Bee Behavior; Observatory Hives. Arthur C. Miller.

Beekeeping for Women. Anna B. Comstock, Entomologist, Cornell University. Campanula. Leslie Burr. Cotton. Louis H. Scholl.

Development of Bees. Dr. Jas. A. Nelson, Bureau of Entomology, Washington, D. C. Eye, Compound; Parthenogenesis; Scent of Bees. Dr. E. F. Phillips, Bureau of Entomology, Washing- ton, D. C.

Glossary, by W. K. Morrison and Dr. C. C. Miller. Honey as a Food. Dr. C. C. Miller and H. H. Root. Honeycomb. Dr. C. C. Miller and A. I. Root. Logwood. Rev. George W. Phillips, formerly of Jamaica. Out-apiaries. Dr. C. C. Miller and E. R. Root.

Pollen and Pollination of Flowers. A. I. Root, John H. Lovell, and E. R. Root. Smoke and Smokers; Wax. E. R. and H. H. Root. The Picture Gallery. W. P. Root.

Introduction to the First Edition


About the year 1865, during the month of August, a swarm of bees passed overhead where we were at work, and my fellow-workman, in answer to some of my inquiries re- specting their habits, asked what I would give for them. I, not dreaming he could by any means call them down, offered him a dollar, and he started after them. To my astonish- ment, he, in a short time, returned with them hived in a rough box he had hastily picked up," and, at that moment, I commenced learning my A B C in bee culture. Before night I had questioned not only the bees but every one I knew, who could tell me any thing about these strange new acquaintances of mine. Our books and papers were overhauled that evening; but the little that I found only puzzled me the more, and kindled anew the desire to explore and follow out this new hobby of mine ; for, dear reader. I have been all my life much given to hobbies and new projects.

Farmers who had kept bees assured me that they once paid, when the country was new, but of late years they were no profit, and everybody was abandoning the business. I had some headstrong views in the matter, and in a few days T visited Cleveland, ostensi- bly on other business, but I had really little interest in any thing until I could visit the bookstores and look over the books on bees. I found but two, and I very quickly chose Langstroth. May God reward and for ever bless Mr. Langstroth for the kind and pleasant way in which he unfolds to his readers the truths and wonders of creation to be found in- side the bee-hive.

What a gold-mine that book seemed to me as I looked it over on my journey home! Never was romance so enticing no, not even Robinson Crusoe; and, best of all, right at my own home I could live out and verify all the wonderful things told therein. Late as it was, I yet made an observatory hive and raised queens from worker eggs before winter, and wound up by purchasing a queen of Mr. Langstroth for $20.00. I should, in fact, have wound up the whole business, queen and all. most effectually, had it not been for some timely advice toward Christmas, from a plain practical farmer near by. With his assist- ance, and by the purchase of some more bees. I brought all safely through the winter. Through Mr. Langstroth I learned of Mr. Wagner, who, shortly afterward, was induced to recommence the publication of theAmerican Bee Journal, and through this I gave accounts monthly of my blunders and occasional successes.

Tn 1867, news came across the ocean from Germany, of the honey-extractor ; and by the aid of a simple home-made machine I took 1000 lbs. of honey from 20 stocks, and in- creased them to 35. This made quite a sensation, and numbers embarked in the new busi- ness; but when I lost all but 11 of the 35 the next winter, many said, "There! I told you how it would turn out."

I said nothing, but went to work quietly and increased the 11 to 48 during the one sea- son, not using the extractor at all. The 18 were wintered entirely without loss, and I think it was mainly because I took care and pains with each individual colony. From the 48 I secured 6162 lbs. of extracted honey, and sold almost the entire crop for 25 cents per lb. This capped the climax, and inquiries in regard to the new industry began to come in from all sides. Beginners were eager to know what hives to adopt, and where to get honey- extractors. As the hives in use seemed very poorly adapted to the use of the extractor, and as the machines offered for sale were heavy and poorly adapted to the purpose, besides being "patented." there really seemed to be no other way before me than to manufacture


these implements. Unless I did this I should be compelled to undertake a correspondence that would occupy a great part of my time without affording any compensation of any ac- count. The fullest directions I knew how to give for making plain simple hives, etc.,. were from time to time published in the American Bee Journal; but the demand for fur- ther particulars was such that a circular was printed, and, shortly after, a second edition ;. then another, and another. These were intended to answer the greater part of the queries ; and from the cheering words received in regard to them it seemed that the idea was a. happy one.

Until 1873 all these circulars were sent out gratuitously; but at that time it was deemed best to issue a quarterly at 25 cents per year, for the purpose of answering these inquiries. The very first number was received with such favor that it Avas immediately changed to a monthly at 75 cents. The name given it was Gleanings in Bee Culture, and it was gradual- ly enlarged until, in 1876, the price was changed to $1.00. During all this time it -has. served the purpose excellently of answering questions as they came up, both old and new ; and even if some new subscriber should ask in regard to something that had been discussed at length but a short time before, it is an easy matter to refer him to it or send him the number containing the subject in question.

When Gleanings was about commencing its fifth year, inquirers began to dislike being referred to something that was published half a dozen years before. Besides, the decisions that were then arrived at perhaps needed to be considerably modified to meet present wants. Now you can see whence the necessity for this ABC book, its office, and the place> we propose to have it fill.

December, 1878. A. I. Root.

Introduction to the 1913 Edition

The Development of Bee Culture in the United States BY E. R. ROOT.

Before the reader plunges into the subject-matter of this work he may be interested in knowing something of the early beginnings and the phenomenal growth of bee culture to its present stage of development. It will not be necessary to trace the early history of apiculture in foreign lands any more than to state that it was not until the invention of movable combs, handled in a very crude way, that the science of bee culture began to take any step forward; and it was not until a little later that the perfected frame of our own Father Langstroth was brought out that bee culture may be said to have assumed any commercial importance in this country.

In the early '50's bees were kept only in box hives, and in a very small and primitive way. A yield of ten or fifteen pounds of dirty chunk honey per skep was considered a good yield ; but after the Langstroth invention, by which the brood-nest of the colony could be investigated and manipulated, yields of anywhere from thirty-five to seventy-five pounds per colony of beautiful honey were common averages, and one hundred or two hundred pounds of extracted nothing extraordinary; indeed, a single colony in a good locality has been known to furnish anywhere from four hundred to seven hundred pounds. While such an output per hive is extraordinary, it goes to show what was made possible through the Langstroth invention. So important was it that it may be truthfully said that the art of keeping bees was almost entirely revolutionized, not only in this country but in many parts of Europe as well.

In the early '60's the honey-extractor and comb foundation were brought out. These, together with the invention of the movable frame, lifted bee culture up to a plane where there was "money in it." Very soon a large number were keeping anywhere from fifty to one hundred colonies. Others began to have a series of out-apiaries running anywhere from five hundred to three thousand colonies. In the meantime bee-supply factories sprang up all over the United States. Thousands and thousands of queen-bees were reared and sent through the mails, to improve stock. Periodicals on bees came into existence; the old American Bee Journal, edited by the lamented Samuel Wagner, a contemporary of Langstroth, did much to expound the new principles in the early days of modern bee cul- ture. Shortly after, Gleanings in Bee Culture, edited by A. I. Root, came into existence. A devoted follower of Langstroth, he threw his whole soul into the keeping of bees. So ardent was his enthusiasm that his little quarterly, and shortly after a monthly, grew amazingly ; and, even after the editorial management Avas transferred from father to sons,, as noted in the preface, it continued to grow until it now has a circulation of thirty thousand copies. It has passed from the stage of a small monthly to a dignified illustrated magazine issued twice a month.

The honey business continued to develop from small beginnings so that there was a total aggregate of from ore hundred and fifty to one hundred and seventy-five million pounds of honey produced and marketed annually in the United States. These figures can scarcely be comprehended; but if this amount were all loaded into freight-cars it would make a solid trainload, without a break, something like fifty miles long. Some States, in good years, notably California, have been known to produce as much as five and even six hundred cars in a season. Other States will produce anywhere from one hundred to two


hundred ; but in most of the Eastern States the amount produced is sold locally, so that it does not show up in carloads as it does in some of the Western States, particularly those in the alfalfa and mountain-sage districts; and it may be said that the amount of honey that is annually produced at the present time in the arid and mountainous districts is very small in comparison with what probably will be produced in years to come. The new ir- rigation projects, both State and national, will make room for immense acreages of alfalfa, and this will doubtless mean in the near future a trebling of the amount of this beautiful honey.

In addition to the large amount of literature on bees that is being distributed, there are numerous local and State bee-keepers' societies that hold bee conventions in various parts of the country, and some of these are affiliated with the National Bee-keepers' Asso- ciation.

Besides these different organizations there have been held various field-day exhibitions in different parts of the country. A few years ago one held in Jenkintown, near Philadel- phia, at the apiary belonging to the authors of this work, over a thousand people interested in bee culture were present to witness the various operations in the handling of bees.

But this is not all. So great has been the growth of the bee-keeping industry that even our national government is giving substantial recognition to the business. The Bureau of ,5 Entomology of the United States Department of Agriculture sets aside fifteen thousand dollars per annum for the study of apiculture. Some five or six trained experts are devot- ing their whole time to the study of bees, including one bacteriologist, who is giving his entire attention to the investigation of bee diseases. In addition to all tins, many State agricultural colleges and experiment stations are giving more or less attention to the sub- ject— so much so that bee culture has come to be recognized as one of the great national industries.

Honey is now found on the tables of nearly all of our best families. A large percent- age of the cakes and cookies now manufactured by some of the extensive baking com- panies contain honey, for it has been found that honey is not only a sweetener but a preservative as well. As an indication of the large amount of honey used for the purpose, it may be interesting to note in this connection that the National Biscuit Company is said to have placed an order for one hundred cars of honey. We have also been informed that the independent bakers have formed an association to buy honey and other supplies. This organization buys for its members anywhere from ten to tAventy-five carloads of honey at a time. Honey is also used in a large way by the makers of soft drinks. They require a sweet that has plenty of flavor, and honey fills the bill.

Beeswax, of which there are now annually hundreds of tons produced, is now used in the arts and sciences as it never was before; and while paraffine and ceresine have to a limited extent taken its place, yet there is a peculiar quality about the product from the hives that makes it far superior to these mineral waxes. The very fact that it can com- mand two or three times the price of its inferior competitors gives some idea of its value.

But there is an ethical as well as a commercial side to bee culture that should be men- tioned. Thousands of people all over the world have found health and happiness in the keeping of bees; for, be it noted, they may be kept in any back yard in any climate, and yield not only a large amount of pleasure but profit as well. Many thousands more make bee-keeping a side issue in connection with some other business or profession, and who, by such work as this, are enabled to increase their already modest income, thus making a comfortable living.

In acldition to all this, the study of bees opens up a new world and a new science. The professional and business man finds that he can give his fagged brain a rest and a respite from the cares of the day. It is ng^great wonder, then, that the A B C of 1877, of 200


pages in the early days, should now be the ABC and X Y Z of Bee Culture of 750 pages. This edition now reaches the number of 146,000 copies.

If there was ever a rural pursuit that made greater progress in half a century in this country than bee culture the writer does not know it ; and yet many are so optimistic that they believe the industry is only in its infancy.

May 1, 1913.


[Note. Strangely enough, some of our ABC scholars have attempted to take up each subject m this work in its consecutive order. As this is a cyclopedia on bee culture it should no more be read in this manner than a dictionary or cyclopedia. As a guide to the beginner we would suggest that he take for his course of reading the subjects in the following order: Beginning with Bees; Apiary; Profits in Bees ; Hives ; Frames, How to Manip- ulate; Anger of Bees; Stings; Robbing; Bee Behavior; Nucleus; Feeding; Swarming; Arti- ficial Swarming; Absconding Swarms; Comb Honey; Extracted Honey; Queens; Queen- rearing; Uniting; Transferring; Spring Man- agement; Wintering. Other subjects may be taken up as deemed best, for then the learner will be able to read airy thing in the book understand- ingly.]

ABSCONDING SWARMS. No part of animated creation exhibits a greater love of home than does the honey-bee. No mat- ter how humble or uninviting the surround- ings bees seem very much attached to their home; and as they parade in front of their doorway after a hard day's work, plainly indicate that they have a keen idea of the rights of ownership and exhibit a willing- ness to give their lives freely, if need be, in defense of their hard-earned stores. It is difficult to understand how they can ever be willing to abandon it altogether, and with such sudden impulse and common consent. No matter if they have never seen or heard of such a thing as a hollow tree, but have for innumerable bee generations been do- mesticated in hives made by human hands, none the less have they that instinctive long- ing that prompts them to seek the forest as soon as they get loose from the chains of domestication. It is probable that the bees as they go out foraging keep an eye out for desirable places for starting new homes. Indeed, we positively know that they gen- erally have the hollow trees picked out some time before deciding to leave. Many incidents have been reported that prove this beyond any question.

We once found our bees working strongly on a particular locality about a mile and a half from the apiary, where the white clo- ver was blooming with most unusual luxu- riance. Very soon after, a colony swarm- ed, and the bees, after pouring out of the hive, took a direct line for a tree in this 1

clover-held, without so much as making any attempt to cluster at all. Did they not fig- ure out the advantage of having only a few rods instead of over a mile to carry their honey, after having patiently gathered it from the blossoms, little by little?

Perhaps it will be well to remark here, that it is very unusual for a swarm to go to the woods without clustering; the bees usu- ally hang from 15 minutes to an hour, and many times several hours; in fact, we have known them to hang over night, and some- times stay and build comb; but perhaps it would be well to take care of them inside of 15 or 20 minutes if we would make sure of them. Long before swarming-time, hives should all be in readiness, and they should also be located near where the new colony is to stand. If one is going to have a model apiary, he should not think of waiting until the bees swarm before he lays it out, but take time by the forelock, and with careful deliberation decide where every hive shall be before it is peopled with bees, if he would keep ahead and prevent his bees from taking "French leave."

But they sometimes leave, even after they have been carefully hived in modern hives on frames of foundation. If the swarming mania gets under way in a bee- yard, a swarm is more apt to come out the second time, even when hived in a new loca- tion in a different hive, than where there is only a very little swarming. It was once thought that giving a frame of unsealed brood to these second-time absconders would hold them. While this, no doubt, acts as a restrainer, yet when a swarm leaves its new quarters we would recapture it, hive it back into the hive, and then carry hive, baes, and all down cellar and keep them there several days until they get over their mania. They may then be set out on their permanent summer stands.

How are we to avoid losing the occa- sional swarm that goes off without cluster- ing at all? or the quite frequent cases of coming out unobserved, or when no one is



at home? There is a very certain and safe remedy for all cases of first swarming, in having the wings of the queen clipped, or using an Alley trap, so she can not fly. Wing clipping is in very general use, and answers excellently for all first swarms; but, alas! the after swarms are the very ones that are most apt to abscond, and we can not clip the wings of their queens, because they have not yet taken their wedding flight. What shall we do? In the first place, sec- ond or after swarms should not be allowed. If the parent hive, after it has cast its first swarm, is treated as recommended under the head of After Swarming, there will be no further swarming from that colony for that season. We recommend the Heddon method, given at the close of After Swarming.

Clipping the wings of the queen or put- ting on drone traps (see Drones) will pre- vent losing first swarms by absconding, it is true; but it does not always prevent los- ing the queen. She goes out with the bees as usual, and, after hopping about in front of the hive, sometimes gets ready to go back at about the same time that the bees do, after having discovered she is not in the crowd. Even if she gets some little distance from the hive, the loud hum they make as they return will guide her home many times; but unless the apiarist is at hand at such times to look after affairs, many queens will be lost, and the bees will rear a lot of young queens and go into after swarming in good earnest, making even the first swarm an "after swarm." A German friend, who knows little of bee culture, once told us our bees were swarming, and if we did not ring the bells, etc., they would cer- tainly go to the woods. As we quietly picked up the queen in passing the hive, we told him if they started to go away we would call them back. Sure enough they did start for the woods, and had gone so far that we really began to be frightened ourselves, when, away in the distance, we saw them suddenly wheel about, and then return to the hive at our very feet. While he gave us the credit of having some super- natural power over bees, we felt extremely glad we had taken precautions to clip all our queens' wings but a few days before. After this we felt a little proud of our con- trol over these wayward insects, until a fine swarm of Italians started off under similar

circumstances, and despite our very com- placent, positive remarks, to the effect that they would soon come home, they went off and stayed "off." In a humbler, and, we dare say, wiser frame of mind, we investi- gated, and found they had joined with a very small third swarm of black bees tha\ had just come from one of the neighbor's hives. We tried to "explain," but it re- quired a five-clollar bill to make matters so clear that we could carry back our rousing swarm of yellow bees, and sort out the black unfertile queen, that they might be made to accept their own.


Perhaps bees oftener desert their hives because they are short of stores than from any other cause; and many times, in the spring, they seemed to desert because they were nearly out. They issue from the hive, and alight in a tree very much like a normal swarm during the swarming season. The remedy, or, rather, preventive, for this state of affairs, is so plain we hardly need discuss it. After they have swarmed out, and are put back into the hive, give a heavy comb of sealed stores; if that can not be obtained, feed them a little at a time, until they have plenty, and be sure that they have brood in the combs. If necessary, give them a comb of unsealed larvae from some other hive, and then feed them until they have a great abundance of food. One should be ashamed of having bees abscond for want of food.


A very small nucleus if it contains no more than a couple of hundred bees is liable to swarm out. Queen-breeders, in at- tempting to mate queens in baby nuclei containing only one or two section boxes, had considerable trouble in keeping the bees in the hive, especially when the young queen went out to mate. Accordingly it was found necessary to make the baby hives much larger, with frames 5%x8 inches, and two nuclei to a hive. See Queen Rearing.

With these there is not much trouble from swarming out, providing that they are well supplied with bees, some brood, and honey.


There is still another kind of absconding that seems to be for no other reason than



that the bees are displeased with their hive, or its surroundings, and, at times, it seems rather difficult to assign any good reason for their having suddenly deserted. We have known a colony to swarm out and de- sert their hive because it was too cold and open, and we have known them to desert because the combs were soiled and filthy from dysentery in the spring. They very often swarm out because they are out of stores, and this generally happens about the first day in spring that is sufficiently warm and sunny. We have known them to swarm out because their entrance was too large, and, if we are not mistaken, because it was too small.

We have also known them to swarm out because they were so "pestered" with a neighboring ant-hill see Ants that they evidently thought patience ceased to be a virtue.


They often swarm out in the spring where no other cause can be assigned than that they are weak and discouraged, and in such cases they usually try to make their way into other colonies. While it may not always be possible to assign a reason for such behavior with medium or fair colo- nies, we may rest assured that good strong colonies, with ample supplies of sealed stores, seldom, if ever, go into any such foolishness.

It seems to occur just at a time when we can ill afford to lose a single bee: and, worse still, only when our stocks are, gen- erally, rather weak, so that we dislike the idea of losing any of them. In this case they do not, as a general thing, seem to care particularly for going to the woods, but rather take a fancy to pushing their way into some of the adjoining hives, and, at times, a whole apiary will seem so crazy with the idea as to become utterly demoral- ized.

A neighbor, who made a hobby of small hives— less than half the usual size— one fine April day had as many as 40 colonies leave their hives and cluster together in all sorts of promiscuous combinations. To say that their owner was perplexed, would be stating the matter very mildly.

Similar cases, though perhaps not as bad, have been reported from time to time, ever since novices commenced to learn the sci-

ence of bee culture; and although cases of swarming out in the spring were known once in a great while before the recent im- provements, they are nothing like the mania that has seemed to possess entire apiaries small ones since the time of artificial swarming, honey extractors, etc. We would by no means discourage these improvements, but only warn beginners against making too much haste to be rich. We would not commence dividing our bees until they are abundantly strong. They should go into winter quarters with an abundance of sealed honey in tough old combs as far as may be; and should have hives with walls thick and warm, of some porous material, such as chaff or straw, with a good thickness of the same above, then we shall have little cause to fear any trouble from bees absconding in the spring.


By way of summing up, it may be well to say: If you would not lose your bees by natural swarming, clip the wings of all queens as soon as the}* commence laying; then look to them often, but not necessarily into them, and know what is going on in the* apiary every day during the swarming sea- son. If you would not have runaway swarms in the spring, and while queens are being fertilized, confine your experiments to pecks of bees instead of pints.

ACTIVITIES OF BEES. See Bee Be- havior.

ADULTERATION OF HONEY. Until the passage of the national pure-food bill by Congress, June 30, 1906, liquid or ex- bracted honey was quite often adulterated, it being safe to buy only comb honey; but with the passage of the bill, and the careful work of the Department of Agriculture in- spectors, besides the work of the individual State food commissions, this has been brought to a minimum. The label on the bottle must tell the composition of the con- tents. Honey can bear that label only when it is pure, but if