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


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.

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