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Bees Cannot Under Any Circumstances Resist The Temptation To Fill Themselves With Liquid Sweets




It would be quite as easy for an inveterate miser to look with
indifference upon a golden shower of double eagles, falling at his feet
and soliciting his appropriation. If then we can contrive a way to call
their attention to a treat of running sweets, when we wish to perform
any operation which might provoke them, we may be sure they will accept
it, and under its genial influence, allow us without molestation, to do
what we please.

We must always be particularly careful not to handle them roughly, for
they will never allow themselves to be pinched or hurt without thrusting
out their sting to resent such an indignity. I always keep a small
watering-pot or sprinkler, in my Apiary, and whenever I wish to operate
upon a hive, as soon as the cover is taken off, and the bees exposed, I
sprinkle them gently with water sweetened with sugar. They help
themselves with the greatest eagerness, and in a few moments, are in a
perfectly manageable state. The truth is, that bees managed on this plan
are always glad to see visitors, and you cannot look in upon them too
often, for they expect at every call, to receive a sugared treat by way
of a peace-offering.

I can superintend a large number of hives, performing every operation
that is necessary for pleasure or profit, and yet not run the risks of
being stung, which must frequently be incurred in attempting to manage,
in the simplest way, the common hives. Those who are timid may, at
first, use a bee-dress; though they will soon discard every thing of the
kind, unless they are of the number of those to whom the bees have a
special aversion. Such unfortunates are sure to be stung whenever they
show themselves in the vicinity of a bee-hive, and they will do well to
give the bees a very wide berth.

Apiarians have, for many years, employed the smoke of tobacco for
subduing their bees. It deprives them, at once, of all disposition to
sting, but it ought never to be used for such a purpose. If the
construction of the hives will not permit the bees to be sprinkled with
sugar water, the smoke of burning paper or rags will answer every
purpose, and the bees will not be likely to resent it; whereas when they
recover from the effect of the tobacco, they not unfrequently remember,
and in no very gentle way, the operator who administered the nauseous
dose.

Let all your motions about your hives be gentle and slow. Accustom your
bees to your presence; never crush or injure them in any operation;
acquaint yourself fully with the principles of management detailed in
this treatise, and you will find that you have but little more reason to
dread the sting of a bee, than the horns of your favorite cow, or the
heels of your faithful horse.





Next: The Queen Or Mother-bee The Drones And The Workers; With Various Highly Important Facts In Their Natural History

Previous: A Honey Bee Never Volunteers An Attack Or Acts On The Offensive When It Is Gorged Or Filled With Honey



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