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On The Advantages Which Ought To Be Found In An Improved Hive

In this chapter, I shall enumerate certain very desirable, if not

necessary, qualities of a good hive. I have neither the taste nor the

time for the invidious work of disparaging other hives. I prefer

inviting the attention of bee-keepers to the importance of these

requisites; some of which, as I believe, are contained in no hive but my

own. Let them be most carefully examined, and if they commend themselves

to the enl
ghtened judgment and good common sense of cultivators, let

them be employed to test the comparative merits of the various kinds of

hives in common use.

1. A good hive should give the Apiarian a perfect control over all the

combs: so that any of them may be taken out at pleasure; and this,

without cutting them, or enraging the bees.

This advantage is possessed by no hive in use, except my own; and it

forms the very foundation of an improved and profitable system of

bee-culture. Unless the combs are at the entire command of the Apiarian,

he can have no effectual control over his bees. They swarm too much or

too little, just as suits themselves, and their owner is almost entirely

dependent upon their caprice.

2. It ought to afford suitable protection against extremes of heat and

cold, sudden changes of temperature, and the injurious effects of


In winter, the interior of the hive should be dry, and not a particle of

frost should ever find admission; and in summer, the bees should not be

forced to work to disadvantage in a pent and almost suffocating heat.

(See these points discussed in the Chapter on Protection.)

3. It should permit all necessary operations to be performed without

hurting or killing a single bee.

Most hives are so constructed that it is impossible to manage them,

without at times injuring or destroying some of the bees. The mere

destruction of a few bees, would not, except on the score of humanity,

be of much consequence, if it did not very materially increase the

difficulty of managing them. Bees remember injuries done to any of their

number, for some time, and generally find an opportunity to avenge them.

4. It should allow every thing to be done that is necessary in the most

extensive management of bees, without incurring any serious risk of

exciting their anger. (See Chapter on the Anger of Bees.)

5. Not a single unnecessary step or motion ought to be required of a

single bee.

The honey harvest, in most locations, is of short continuance; and all

the arrangements of the hive should facilitate, to the utmost, the work

of the busy gatherers. Tall hives, therefore, and all such as compel

them to travel with their heavy burdens through densely crowded combs,

are very objectionable. The bees in my hive, instead of forcing their

way through thick clusters, can easily pass into the surplus honey

boxes, not only from any comb in the hive, but without traveling over

the combs at all.

6. It should afford suitable facilities for inspecting, at all times,

the condition of the bees.

When the sides of my hive are of glass, as soon as the outer cover is

elevated, the Apiarian has a view of the interior, and can often at a

glance, determine its condition. If the hive is of wood, or if he wishes

to make a more thorough examination, in a few minutes every comb may be

taken out, and separately inspected. In this way, the exact condition of

every colony may always be easily ascertained, and nothing left, as in

the common hives, to mere conjecture. This is an advantage, the

importance of which it would be difficult to over estimate. (See

Chapters on the loss of the queen, and on the Bee Moth.)

7. While the hive is of a size adapted to the natural instincts of the

bee, it should be capable of being readily adjusted to the wants of

small colonies.

If a small swarm is put into a large hive, they will be unable to

concentrate their animal heat, so as to work to the best advantage, and

will often become discouraged, and abandon their hive. If they are put

into a small hive, its limited dimensions will not afford them suitable

accommodations for increase. By means of my movable partition, my hive

can, in a few moments, be adapted to the wants of any colony however

small, and can, with equal facility, be enlarged from time to time, or

at once restored to its full dimensions.

8. It should allow the combs to be removed without any jarring.

Bees manifest the utmost aversion to any sudden jar; for it is in this

way, that their combs are loosened and detached. However firmly fastened

the frames may be in my hive, they can all be loosened in a few moments,

without injuring or exciting the bees.

9. It should allow every good piece of comb to be given to the bees,

instead of being melted into wax. (See Chapter on Comb.)

10. The construction of the hive should induce the bees to build their

combs with great regularity.

A hive which contains a large proportion of irregular comb, can never be

expected to prosper. Such comb is only suitable for storing honey, or

raising drones. This is one reason why so many colonies never flourish.

A glance will often show that a hive contains so much drone comb, as to

be unfit for the purposes of a stock hive.

11. It should furnish the means of procuring comb to be used as a guide

to the bees, in building regular combs in empty hives; and to induce

them more readily to take possession of the surplus honey receptacles.

It is well known that the presence of comb will induce bees to begin

work much more readily than they otherwise Would: this is especially the

case in glass vessels.

12. It should allow the removal of drone combs from the hive, to prevent

the breeding of too many drones. (See remarks on Drones.)

13. It should enable the Apiarian, when the combs become too old, to

remove them, and supply their place with new ones.

No hive can, in this respect, equal one in which, in a few moments, any

comb can be removed, and the part which is too old, be cut off. The

upper part of a comb, which is generally used for storing honey, will

last without renewal for many years.

14. It ought to furnish the greatest possible security against the

ravages of the Bee-Moth.

Neither before nor after it is occupied, ought there to be any cracks

or crevices in the interior. All such places will be filled by the bees

with propolis or bee-glue; a substance, which is always soft in the

summer heat of the hive, and which forms a most congenial place of

deposit for the eggs of the moth. If the sides of the hive are of glass,

and the corners are run with a melted mixture, three parts rosin, and

one part bees-wax, the bees will waste but little time in gathering

propolis, and the bee-moth will find but little chance for laying her

eggs, even if she should succeed in entering the hive.

My hives are so constructed, that if made of wood, they may be

thoroughly painted inside and outside, without being so smooth as to

annoy the bees; for they travel over the frames to which the combs are

attached; and thus whether the inside surface is glass or wood, it is

not liable to crack, or warp, or absorb moisture, after the hive is

occupied by the bees. If the hives are painted inside, it should be done

sometime before they are used. If the interior of the wooden hive is

brushed with a very hot mixture of the rosin and bees-wax, the hives may

be used immediately.

15. It should furnish some place accessible to the Apiarian, where the

bee-moth can be tempted to deposit her eggs, and the worms, when full

grown, to wind themselves in their cocoons. (See remarks on the


16. It should enable the Apiarian, if the bee-moth ever gains the upper

hand of the bees, to remove the combs, and expel the worms. (See


17. The bottom board should be permanently attached to the hive; for if

this is not done, it will be inconvenient to move the hive when bees are

in it, and next to impossible to prevent the depredations of moths and


Sooner or later, there will be crevices between the bottom board and the

sides of the hive, through which the moths will gain admission, and

under which the worms, when fully grown, will retreat to spin their

webs, and to be changed into moths, to enter in their turn, and lay

their eggs. Movable bottom hoards are a great nuisance in the Apiary,

and the construction of my hive, which enables me entirely to dispense

with them, will furnish a very great protection against the bee-moth.

There is no place where they can get in, except at the entrance for the

bees, and this may be contracted or enlarged, to suit the strength of

the colony; and from its peculiar shape, the bees are enabled to defend

it against intruders, with the greatest advantage.

18. The bottom-board should slant towards the entrance, to assist the

bees in carrying out the dead, and other useless substances; to aid them

in defending themselves against robbers; to carry off all moisture; and

to prevent the rain and snow from beating into the hive. As a farther

precaution against this last evil, the entrance ought to be under a

covered way, which should not, at once lead into the interior.

19. The bottom-board should be so constructed that it may be readily

cleared of dead bees in cold weather, when the bees are unable to attend

to this business themselves.

If suffered to remain, they often become mouldy, and injure the health

of the colony. If the bees drag them out, as they will do, if the

weather moderates, they often fall with them on the snow, and are so

chilled that they never rise again; for a bee generally retains its hold

in flying away with the dead, until both fall to the ground.

20. No part of the interior of the hive should be below the level of the

place of exit.

If this principle is violated, the bees must, at great disadvantage,

drag their dead, and all the refuse of the hive, _up hill_. Such hives

will often have their bottom boards covered with small pieces of comb,

bee-bread, and other impurities, in which the moth delights to lay her

eggs; and which furnished her progeny with a most congenial nourishment,

until they are able to get access to the combs.

21. It should afford facilities for feeding the bees both in warm and

cold weather.

In this respect, my hive has very unusual advantages. Sixty colonies in

warm weather may, in an hour, be fed a quart each, and yet no feeder be

used, and no risk incurred from robbing bees. (See Chapter on Feeding.)

22. It should allow of the easy hiving of a swarm, without injuring any

of the bees, or risking the destruction of the queen. (See Chapter on

Natural Swarming, and Hiving.)

23. It should admit of the safe transportation of the bees to any

distance whatever.

The permanent bottom-board, the firm attachment of the combs, each to a

separate frame, and the facility with which, in my hive, any amount of

air can be given to the bees when shut up, most admirably adapt it to

this purpose.

24. It should furnish the bees with air when the entrance is shut; and

the ventilation for this purpose ought to be unobstructed, even if the

hives should be buried in two or three feet of snow. (See Chapter on


25. A good hive should furnish facilities for enlarging, contracting,

and closing the entrance; so as to protect the bees against robbers, and

the bee-moth; and when the entrance is altered, the bees ought not to

lose valuable time in searching for it, as they must do in most hives.

(See Chapters on Ventilation, and on Robbing.)

26. It should give the bees the means of ventilating their hives,

without enlarging the entrance too much, so as to expose them to moths

and robbers, and to the risk of losing their brood by a chill in sudden

changes of weather. (See Chapter on Ventilation.)

To secure this end, the ventilators must not only be independent of the

entrance, but they must owe their efficiency mainly to the co-operation

of the bees themselves, who thus have a free admission of air only when

they want it. To depend on the opening and shutting of the ventilators

by the bee-keeper, is entirely out of the question.

27. It should furnish facilities for admitting at once, a large body of

air; so that in winter, or early spring, when the weather is at any time

unusually mild, the bees may be tempted to fly out and discharge their

faeces. (See Chapter on Protection.)

If such a free admission of air cannot be given to hives which are

thoroughly protected against the cold, the bees may lose a favorable

opportunity of emptying themselves; and thus be more exposed than they

otherwise would, to suffer from diseases resulting from too long

confinement. A very free admission of air is also desirable when the

weather is exceedingly hot.

28. It should enable the Apiarian to remove the excess of bee-bread from

old stocks.

This article always accumulates in old hives, so that in the course of

time, many of the combs are filled with it, thus unfitting them for the

rearing of brood, and the reception of honey. Young stocks, on the other

hand, will often be so deficient in this important article, that in the

early part of the season, breeding will be seriously interfered with. By

means of my movable frames, the excess of old colonies may be made to

supply the deficiency of young ones, to the mutual benefit of both. (See

Chapter on Pollen.)

29. It should enable the Apiarian, when he has removed the combs from a

common hive, to place them with the bees, brood, honey and bee-bread, in

the improved hive, so that the bees may be able to attach them in their

natural positions. (See directions for transferring bees from an old


30. It should allow of the easy and safe dislodgement of the bees from

the hive.

This requisite is especially important to secure the union of colonies,

when it becomes necessary to break up some of the stocks. (See remarks

on the Union of Stocks.)

31. It should allow the heat and odor of the main hive, as well as the

bees themselves, to pass in the freest manner, to the surplus honey


In this respect, all the hives with which I am acquainted, are more or

less deficient: the bees are forced to work in receptacles difficult of

access, and in which, especially in cool nights, they find it impossible

to keep up the animal heat necessary for comb-building. Bees cannot, in

such hives, work to advantage in glass tumblers, or other small vessels.

One of the most important arrangements of my hive, is that by which the

heat ascends into all the receptacles for storing honey, as naturally

and almost as easily as the warmest air ascends to the top of a heated


32. It should permit the surplus honey to be taken away, in the most

convenient, beautiful and salable forms, at any time, and without any

risk of annoyance from the bees.

In my hives, it may be taken in tumblers, glass boxes, wooden boxes

small or large, earthen jars, flower-pots; in short, in any kind of

receptacle which may suit the fancy, or the convenience of the

bee-keeper. Or all these may be dispensed with, and the honey may be

taken from the interior of the main hive, by removing the frames with

loaded combs, and supplying their place with empty ones.

33. It should admit of the easy removal of all the good honey from the

main hive, that its place may be supplied with an inferior article.

Bee-Keepers who have but few colonies, and who wish to secure the

largest yield, may remove the loaded combs from my hive, slice off the

covers of the cells, drain out the honey, and restore the empty combs,

into which, if the season of gathering is over, they can first pour the

cheap foreign honey for the use of the bees.

34. It should allow, when quantity not quality is the object, the

largest amount of honey to be gathered; so that the surplus of strong

colonies may, in the Fall, be given to those which have not a sufficient


By surmounting my hive with a box of the same dimensions, the combs may

all be transferred to this box, and the bees, when they commence

building, will descend and fill the lower frames, gradually using the

upper box, as the brood is hatched out, for storing honey. In this way,

the largest possible yield of honey may be secured, as the bees always

prefer to continue their work below, rather than above the main hive,

and will never swarm, when allowed in season, ample room in this

direction. The combs in the upper box, containing a large amount of

bee-bread and being of a size adapted to the breeding of workers, will

be all the better for aiding weak colonies.

35. It should compel, when desired, the force of the colony to be mainly

directed to raising young bees; so that brood may be on hand to form new

colonies, and strengthen feeble stocks. (See Chapter on Artificial


36. It ought, while well protected from the weather, to be so

constructed, that in warm, sunny days in early spring, the influence of

the sun may be allowed to penetrate and warm up the hive, so as to

encourage early breeding. (See Chapter on Protection.)

37. The hive should be equally well adapted to be used as a swarmer, or


In my hives bees may be allowed, if their owner chooses, to swarm just

as they do in common hives, and be managed in the usual way. Even on

this plan, the great protection against the weather which it affords,

and the command over all the combs, will be found to afford great

advantages. (See Natural Swarming.)

Non-swarming hives managed in the ordinary way are liable, in spite of

all precautions, to swarm very unexpectedly, and if not closely watched,

the swarm is lost, and with it the profit of that season. By having the

command of the combs, the queen in my hives can always be caught and

deprived of her wings; thus she cannot go off with a swarm, and they

will not leave without her.

38. It should enable the Apiarian, if he allows his bees to swarm, and

wishes to secure surplus honey, to prevent them from throwing more than

one swarm in a season.

Second and third swarms must be returned to the old stock, if the

largest quantities of surplus honey are to be realized. It is

troublesome to watch them, deprive them of their queens, and restore

them to the parent hive. They often issue with new queens again and

again; and waste, in this way, both their own time, and that of their

keeper. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." In my hives,

as soon as the first swarm has issued, and been hived, all the queen

cells except one, in the hive from which it came, may be cut out, and

thus all after-swarming will very easily and effectually be prevented.

(See Chapter on Artificial Swarming, for the use to which these

supernumerary queens may be put.) When the old stock is left with but

one queen, she runs no risk of being killed or crippled in a contest

with rivals. By such contests, a colony is often left without a queen,

or in possession of one which is too much maimed to be of any service.

(See Chapter on the Loss of the Queen.)

39. A good hive should enable the Apiarian, if he relies on natural

swarming, and wishes to multiply his colonies as fast as possible, to

make vigorous stocks of all his small after-swarms.

Such swarms contain a young queen, and if they can be judiciously

strengthened, usually make the best stock hives. If hived in a common

hive, and left to themselves, unless very early, or in very favorable

seasons, they seldom thrive. They generally desert their hives, or

perish in the winter. If they are small, they cannot be made powerful,

even by the most generous feeding. There are too few bees to build comb,

and take care of the eggs which a healthy queen can lay; and when fed,

they are apt to fill with honey, the cells in which young bees ought to

be raised; thus making the kindness of their owner serve only to hasten

their destruction. My hives enable me to supply all such swarms at once

with combs containing bee-bread, honey and brood almost mature. They are

thus made strong, and flourish as well, nay, often better than the first

swarms which have an old queen, whose fertility is generally not so

great as that of a young one.

40. It should enable the Apiarian to multiply his colonies with a

certainty and rapidity which are entirely out of the question, if he

depends upon natural swarming. (See Chapter on Artificial Swarming.)

41. It should enable the Apiarian to supply destitute colonies with the

means of obtaining a new queen.

Every Apiarian would find it, for this reason, if for no other, to his

advantage to possess, at least, one such hive. (See Chapters on

Physiology, and loss of Queen.)

42. It should enable him to catch the queen, for any purpose; especially

to remove an old one whose fertility is impaired by age, that her place

may be supplied with a young one. (See Chapter on Artificial Swarming.)

43. While a good hive is adapted to the wants of those who desire to

enter upon bee-keeping on a large scale, or at least to manage their

colonies on the most improved plans, it ought to be suited to the wants

of those who are too timid, too ignorant, or for any reason indisposed,

to manage them in any other than the common way.

44. It should enable a single individual to superintend the colonies of

many different persons.

Many would like to keep bees, if they could have them taken care of, by

those who would undertake their management, just as a gardener does the

gardens and grounds of his employers. No person can agree to do this

with the common hives. If the bees are allowed to swarm, he may be

called in a dozen different directions, and if any accident, such as the

loss of a queen, happens to the colonies of his customers, he can apply

no remedy. If the bees are in non-swarming hives, he cannot multiply the

stocks when this is desired.

On my plan, gentlemen who desire it, may have the pleasure of witnessing

the industry and sagacity of this wonderful insect, and of gratifying

their palates with its delicious stores, harvested on their own

premises, without incurring either trouble or risk of injury.

45. All the joints of the hive should be water-tight, and there should

be no doors or slides which are liable to shrink, swell, or get out of


The importance of this will be sufficiently obvious to any one who has

had the ordinary share of vexatious experience in the use of such


46. It should enable the bee-keeper entirely to dispense with sheds, and

costly Apiaries; as each hive when properly placed, should alike defy,

heat or cold, rain or snow. (See Chapter on Protection.)

47. It should allow the contents of a hive, bees, combs and all, to be

taken out; so that any necessary repairs may be made.

This may be done, with my hives, in a few minutes. "A stitch in time

saves nine." Hives which can be thoroughly overhauled and repaired, from

time to time, if properly attended to, will last for generations.

48. The hive and fixtures should present a neat and attractive

appearance, and should admit, when desired, of being made highly


49. The hives ought not to be liable to be blown down in high winds.

My hives, being very low in proportion to their other dimensions, it

would require almost a hurricane to upset them.

50. It should enable an Apiarian who lives in the neighborhood of human

pilferers, to lock up the precious contents of his hives, in some cheap,

simple and convenient way.

A couple of padlocks with some cheap fixtures, will suffice to secure a

long range of hives.

51. A good hive should be protected against the destructive ravages of

mice in winter.

It seems almost incredible that so puny an animal should dare to invade

a hive of bees; and yet not unfrequently they slip in when the bees are

compelled by the cold to retreat from the entrance. Having once found

admission, they build themselves a nest in their comfortable abode, eat

up the honey, and such bees as are too much chilled to make any

resistance; and fill the premises with such an abominable stench, that

on the approach of warm weather, the bees often in a body abandon their

desecrated home. As soon as the cold weather approaches, all my hives

may have their entrances either entirely closed, or so contracted that

a mouse cannot gain admission.

52. A good hive should have its alighting board constructed so as to

shelter the bees against wind and wet, and thus to facilitate to the

utmost their entrance when they come home with their heavy burdens.

If this precaution is neglected, much valuable time and many lives will

be sacrificed, as the colony cannot be encouraged to use to the best

advantage the unpromising days which so often occur in the working


I have succeeded in arranging my alighting board in such a manner that

the bees are sheltered against wind and wet, and are able to enter the

hive with the least possible loss of time.

53. A well constructed hive ought to admit of being shut up in winter,

so as to consign the bees to darkness and repose.

Nothing can be more hazardous than to shut up closely an ill protected

hive. Even if the bees have an abundance of air, it will not answer to

prevent them from flying out, if they are so disposed. As soon as the

warmth penetrating their thin hives tempts them to fly, they crowd to

the entrance, and if it is shut, multitudes worry themselves to death in

trying to get out, and the whole colony is liable to become diseased.

In my hives as soon as the bees are shut up for Winter, they are most

effectually protected against all atmospheric changes, and never

_desire_ to leave their hives until the entrances are again opened, on

the return of suitable weather. Thus they pass the Winter in a state of

almost absolute repose; they eat much less honey[12] than when wintered

on the ordinary plan; a much smaller number die in the hives; none are

lost upon the snow, and they are more healthy, and commence breeding

much earlier than they do in the common hives. As some of the holes into

the Protector are left open in Winter, any bee that is diseased and

wishes to leave the hive can do so. Bees when diseased have a strange

propensity to leave their hives, just as animals when sick seek to

retreat from their companions; and in Summer such bees may often be seen

forsaking their home to perish on the ground. If all egress from the

hive in Winter is prevented, the diseased bees will not be able to

comply with an instinct which urges them "To leave their country for

their country's good."

54. It should possess all these requisites without being too costly for

common bee-keepers, or too complicated to be constructed by any one who

can handle simple tools: and they should be so combined that the result

is a simple hive, which any one can manage who has ordinary intelligence

on the subject of bees.

I suppose that the very natural conclusion from reading this long list

of desirables, would be that no single hive can combine them all,

without being exceedingly complicated and expensive. On the contrary,

the simplicity and cheapness with which my hive secures all these

results, is one of its most striking peculiarities, the attainment of

which has cost me more study than all the other points besides. As far

as the bees are concerned, they can work in this hive with even greater

facility than in the simple old-fashioned box, as the frames are left

rough by the saw, and thus give an admirable support to the bees when

building their combs; and they can enter the spare honey boxes, with

even more ease than if they were merely continuations of the main hive.

There are a few desirables to which my hive makes not the slightest

pretensions! It promises no splendid results to those who purchase it,

and yet are too ignorant, or too careless to be entrusted with the

management of bees. In bee-keeping, as in other things, a man must first

understand his business, and then proceed on the good old maxim, that

"the hand of the diligent maketh rich."

It possesses no talismanic influence by which it can convert a bad

situation for honey, into a good one; or give the Apiarian an abundant

harvest whether the season is productive or otherwise.

It cannot enable the cultivator rapidly to multiply his stocks, and yet

to secure, the same season, surplus honey from his bees. As well might

the breeder of poultry pretend that he can, in the same year, both raise

the greatest number of chickens, and sell the largest number of eggs.

Worse than all, it cannot furnish the many advantages enumerated, and

yet be made in as little time, or quite as cheap as a hive which proves,

in the end, to be a very dear bargain.

I have not constructed my hive in accordance with crude theories, or

mere conjectures, and then insisted that the bees must flourish in such

a fanciful contrivance; but I have studied, for many years, most

carefully, the nature of the honey-bee; and have diligently compared my

observations with those of writers and practical cultivators, who have

spent their lives in extending the sphere of Apiarian knowledge; and as

the result, have endeavored to adapt my hive to the actual wants and

habits of the bee; and to remedy the many difficulties with which I have

found its successful culture to be beset. And more than this, I have

actually tested by experiments long continued and on a large scale, the

merits of this hive, that I might not deceive both myself and others,

and add another to the many useless contrivances which have deluded and

disgusted a credulous public. I would, however, most earnestly repudiate

all claims to having devised a "perfect bee-hive." Perfection can belong

only to the works of the great Creator, to whose Omniscient eye, all

causes and effects with all their relations, were present, when he

spake, and from nothing formed the universe and all its glorious

wonders. For man to stamp upon any of his own works, the label of

perfection, is to show both his folly and presumption.

It must be confessed that the culture of bees is at a very low ebb in

our country, when thousands can be induced to purchase hives which are

in most glaring opposition not only to the true principles of Apiarian

knowledge, but often, to the plainest dictates of simple common sense.

Such have been the losses and disappointments of deluded purchasers,

that it is no wonder that they turn from everything offered in the shape

of a patent bee-hive, as a miserable humbug, if not a most bare-faced


I do not hesitate to say that those old-fashioned bee-keepers, who have

most steadily refused to meddle with any novelties, and who have used

hives of the very simplest construction, or at least such as are only

one remove from the old straw hive, or wooden box, have, as a general

thing, realized by far the largest profits in the management of bees.

They have lost neither time, money nor bees, in the vain hope of

obtaining any unusual results from hives, which, in the very nature of

the case, can secure nothing really in advance of what can be

accomplished by a simple box-hive with an upper chamber.

_A hive of the simplest possible construction_, is only a close

imitation of the abode of bees in a state of nature; being a mere hollow

receptacle in which they are protected from the weather, and where they

can lay up their stores.

_An improved hive_ is one which contains, in addition, a separate

apartment in which the bees can be induced to lay up the surplus portion

of their stores, for the use of their owner. All the various hives in

common use, are only modifications of this latter hive, and, as a

general rule, they are bad, exactly in proportion as they depart from

it. Not one of them offers any remedy for the loss of the queen, or

indeed for most of the casualties to which bees are exposed: they form

no reliable basis for any new system of management; and hence the

cultivation of bees, is substantially where it was, fifty years ago, and

the Apiarian as entirely dependent as ever, upon all the whims and

caprices of an insect which may be made completely subject to his


No hive which does not furnish a thorough control over every comb, can

be considered as any substantial advance on the simple improved or

chamber hive. Of all such hives, the one which with the least expense,

gives the greatest amount of protection, and the readiest access to the

spare honey boxes, is the best.

Having thus enumerated the tests to which all hives ought to be

subjected, and by which they should stand or fall, I submit them to the

candid examination of practical, common sense bee-keepers, who have had

the largest experience in the management of bees, and are most

conversant with the evils of the present system; and who are therefore

best fitted to apply them to an invention, which, if I may be pardoned

for using the enthusiastic language of an experienced Apiarian on

examining its practical workings, "introduces, not simply an

_improvement_, but a _revolution_ in bee-keeping."