« PreviousContinue »
The trees were planted to protect the apiary from the hot rays of the summer sun.
"How doth the busy little bee
Since the foregoing lines were written the only feature of bee-keeping that has remained unchanged is the bee's industry. Whereas only a few decades ago the bees used to store up their honey in rough boxes, hollow trees, or straw hives, necessitating their own destruction with brimstone fumes before the owner could obtain the sweets, now they make their homes in machine-prepared hives, store their honey in machine-made frames, build their combs on machine-made bases of wax, prepared to save them work, and, if they are kept for the production of "strained" honey, are robbed regularly of the combs, which are emptied of honey in an extractor, a metal invention of machinists of recent years. "Hand
made honey," according to the old standards, is a thing of the past.
Constant improvement in the management of bees is being made. Before the introduction of the movable comb honey was cut out in chunks, after being produced in an old box placed on top of the body of the hive. Practically all hives now are of the same general construction, the lower part being box-like, about twenty inches long, fifteen inches wide, and eleven inches high, with a movable bottom projecting as an alighting board for the bees. In this box are hung eight frames, on which the bees build their combs. A frame from one hive may be placed in any other.
The equipment for securing comb honey for sale consists of a box set on top of the body of the hive and containing twenty-four sections or frames four and one-fourth inches square, in which the combs are built. Each of these will contain a pound of honey. Rows of four each are set lengthwise of the hive, in racks, and to secure straight combs wooden partition hoards—a recent invention—having holes as doorways for the bees, are put between each row.
The most important invention, which has increased the yield of first-class honey at least one-half, is "comb foundation," which now is used by almost every apiarist. This consists of thin sheets of wax run between steel die rollers, which stamp upon them the bases of the cells and make them of the same thickness, shape, etc., as the base of the comb built by the bees themselves. The labor expended by the bees in making a pound of wax for comb has been found to equal that which would be required in producing thirty pounds of honey, so the supplying of this foundation to the bees saves them an immense amount of labor. Pieces of this prepared beeswax, which is so delicate that a pound contains fifteen square feet, are attached to the inside of the sections or boxes for comb honey, and are called "starters." The bees extend the bases of the cells and the foundation insures straight combs.
In handling the bees their owner uses several other recent inventions, among them the "smoker." With a silk veil over his face and armed with the "smoker," the apiarist can overcome the most pugnacious colony of bees which ever has
Ready For Swarm.
Side of hive is removed, showing construction.
existed. The smoker consists of a tin firepot with a nozzle, attached to a bellows. The apparatus is about eighteen inches long and is arranged so that whenever the bellows is pressed a stream of smoke issues from the nozzle. Rags, corncobs, and the like are used for fuel, and when the smoke is blown into the entrance of the hive the bees immediately are terror-stricken and begin to gorge themselves with honey. Their idea, it is supposed, is that they will be driven out of their home and that they must provision themselves for their wanderings; at any rate, while they are eating they cannot sting, and, come what will, they will not stop eating.
Queens may be grown at will—through recent inventions and discoveries — and thousands are sent by mail from apiaries to bee-keepers who wish to improve their stock, for there are thoroughbred bees as well as horses or cattle,, and a fine queen of the Italian variety, coming from a strain whose ancestors made 200 pounds of honey per hive per annum, was sold last summer for $100. Fortunes have been made in queen rearing.
owners place between the body and the upper part of the hive a zinc screen of sufficient mesh to allow the workers to enter, but which excludes the queen.
Another invention, and one of the most valuable, is the honey extractor. Before it was devised "strained honey" used to be produced by cutting out the combs, and melting them or squeezing the honey out of them. In either case the honey was mixed with impurities and the comb, which required so much labor on the part of the bees, was destroyed. Now the apiarists take the frames from the hives, cut the cappings from the combs, and place the combs in a centrifugal machine whose whirling motion drives all the honey from the cells, but leaves the comb uninjured, ready to be filled again. Under this system the bees often fill each comb ds many as half a dozen times in a
latter per pound would be greater than that of the comb honey.
In the old clays the bee-keeper used to stay away from church on the ground that he "expected his bees would swarm" and had to be there to watch them. He need not deprive himself of spiritual instruction longer on that score, as for ten years automatic swarm hivers have been in successful operation everywhere—almost—that bees are kept. These consist of a trap or box made of zinc with meshes large enough to prevent the queen from passing out when the trap is placed at the entrance to the hive, but allowing the workers to pass freely. The swarm will issue as usual, but soon will discover the loss of its queen. Contrary to general belief the queen does not lead the swarm, but is almost the last to leave. When the bees discover they have broken
tories, one of them employing 400 men, are kept busy the year round turning out supplies for bee-keepers. The last government census estimates the value of the honey crop at $20,000,000 a year, with 300,000 apiarists—in round numbers—sharing in the fortune. There are enough bees in the United States to sting to death every inhabitant, for each hive contains from 30,000 to 50,000 of them— a peck to a half bushel in a colony. The life of the swarm is the queen, for she alone lays eggs, her output often being 20,000 a day. The worker bees, which constitute the bulk of the swarm, are less developed females, and in the summer each colony has a few hundred drones or males. Fifteen dollars is sufficient to buy the amateur a colony of bees, a couple of extra hives for new swarms, 500 boxes for comb honey, a pound of comb foundation, a smoker, and other supplies desirable in securing a start in bee-keeping. ^p^pp^^<3UTTING Gordian knots to f f' N solve problems, or cutting ( mP^rfc? across 'ots to reach obV V • (^'twJ? jecl'ves» are considered /SoSi>*>l American prerogatives in these days. As such they appealed forcibly to a quiet little Quaker gentleman who not long ago passed to his reward leaving a lasting monument to this tendency to break away from beaten tracks. It takes the shape of a free school in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, for the training of young men in mechanical trades. The school is built, endowed and already turning out young men fully equipped to restore the American mechanic to his lost place as the peer of the workmen of the world.
Bequest to American Boys
By H. D. Joraes
The founder of this school. Isaiah V. Williamson, was so impressed with the wisdom of leaving his millions to the es
coat, the soiling of his dainty hands or the damaging of his carefully manicured finger nails. Mr. Williamson embodied this sentiment in the foundation deed of the school, when he wrote:
"I desire to have impressed upon every scholar and inmate of the school the one great lesson that in this country every able-bodied, healthy young man who has learned a good mechanical trade and is truthful, honest, frugal, temperate and industrious, is certain to succeed in life and to become a useful and respected" member of society."
Among the trades that the founder suggested should be taught at this school were those of baker, blacksmith, bricklayer,butcher, cabinet-maker, car-builder, carpenter, carriage-maker, coppersmith, the crafts of constructing, managing and repairing electrical appliances and appa
tablishment of a trade school that he selected the building as his tomb and there he is buried, beneath the main entrance of the administration edifice.
The air is full just now of remonstrances from far-seeing Americans against the tendency of the young man of the period to refrain from any kind of work that necessitates the removal of his
ratus, foundryman, gas-fitter, goldbeater, harness-maker, hatter, locksmith, machinist, marble-mason, molder, painter, paper-hanger, pattern-maker, plas terer, plumber, printer, saddler, shoemaker, steam engineer, slater, stone-cutter, stonemason, tailor, tiler, tinsmith, turner, and wheelwright. It was impossible to give instruction in all these