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Wintering Bees

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Parent Issue
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OCR Text

Two points are ssential to the high3st success in wintering b( es; namely, in abundance of food and a uniform temperature but little above the freezing point. The quantity of honey necessary to maintain a colony throughthe winter is f rom twenty to thirty pounds, according to latitude and other conditions, the latter quantity being the safer. If honey is lacking it wiJl in most cabes be best to destroy the bees and save vvhat honey the hives may contain, as feeding, .during cold weather, is a difflcult operation. Should there be a spell of moderate weather the supplies may be replenished by feeding syrup made from pure white sugar in shallow disnea set in place of the honey boxes on top of the hive, and furnished wiih floats to prevent the bees from diowning. To inaintain the uniform temperoture needed f or the best resulta, is a still more difflcult matter. Prof. A. J. Cook, of the Michigan Agricultural College, than whom ia no better authority, claims that wintering in cellarshas with him given the best results. The essentials tor a bee cellar are perfect dryness, darkness, and the exclusión oí the external air, both in warm and in severely cold weather. The matter of sufflcient dryness is one difficult to Bdjust, as if the cellar is too moist the combs will mold, while if it be warm as well as nioist, the honey will sour. Another plan of wintering has been to bury the bees in a cave or pit. This is also open to the objection of danger from moisture, and is only advisable when an exceptionally dry hülside - pref erably a north slope - can be seeured for the operation. A third method whieh we have practiced vvith more satisfactory resulta thau either of the abore, is to leave the bees on their summer stands, opening the holes in the tops of the hives to give ventilation, but stoppLug all oatside holes with wire cloth to exclude the miee, and stacking corn lodder around the hive. The advantages of this method are that tb ere is no risk of exeessive moisture, while the corn fodder serves the doublé purpose of ing the forcé of the cold winds in severe weather, and of shading the hiTe duriug warmer days, when the bees are Hable to be tempted out by the bright aunshiue before the air is warm enough for their flight, thus causing them to become chilled and lost. We would advise those who have cellars promising to i'ulöll the requirements indicated above, to try part of their bees in them this winter, and to protect the remainder on their aumtner stands in the way we have indicated. -


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat