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SCIENTinC OUEEN-REARIIB 



IDOOX-.ITTIE 



ALBERT R. MANN 
LIBRARY 

New York State Colleges 

OF 

Agriclltuke and Home Economics 

AT 

Cornell University 




EVERETT FRANKLIN PHILLIPS 
BEEKEEPING LIBRARY 


















GEORGE oYDiffiY DEl-UTH 

March 2, 1871 - March 2, 1934 

Teacher, Apiary Inspector 
Investigator, Editor 

This book was his personal property 
and is presented as a memorial by 
his wife, Mrs. Belva Myers Demuth, 
Medina, Ohio, jiarch, 1948. 

This book is not to be rejuoved from 
the room in which it is stored. A 
duplic'-te book of this edition is 
available for unrestricted use. 






)} 



r# 



1 




The original of tliis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924003263724 




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SOIENTIPIO 

Queen-Rearing 

AS 

PRACTICALLY APPLIED; 

BEING 

A Method by which the Best of Queen-Bees 

are Reared 'in Perfect Accord with 

Kature'^s Ways. 



BY 

G. M. POOLITTLE, 

Author of "The Hive I Use," and "Rearing Queens." 



FOR THE AMATEUR AND VETERAN 



CHICAGO, ILLS.: 

THOMAS G. NEWMAN & SON, 

9S:! & 925 West Madison Street. 
1889. 



300022 



THIS BOOK 

IS 

AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED 

TO 

|>|r. Eliiha ^allup, 

sir TEACHER IX BEE-KEEPING, 

FROM "W'HOSI I LEABSED MT FIRST LESSONS IN QUEEN- 
REARING, AND WHO TErTHFULLT CLAIMED, 
THAT AROUND THE QUEEN CENTERED 
ALL THERE 'WAS IX APICULTCRE. 



PREFACE 



For many years I have been urged to write a book on bee- 
keeping, and almost scolded because I did not do so. My 
excuse for not doing so has been, that there were many ex- 
haustive treatises on this subject already before the public, 
written by Messrs. Langstroth, Quinby, King, Cook, Root 
and others — hence there was no reason for thrusting more 
books upon the world, which had nothing for their subject- 
matter but the general outlines of bee-keeping. 

To be sure, there are two little books in pamphlet form 
bearing my name, viz.: "The Hive I Use," and "Reaiing 
Queens," which have been published, but these are only a 
compilation from articles which I have written for the dif- 
ferent bee-papers. 

As all bee-keepers of to-day are aware, I have given all 
of my best thoughts, on the subject which the desired book 
would cover, free to the world through our many bee- 
papers, so, had I complied with the request made, the mat- 
ter in the book would have been mainly that which I had 
written before ; and owing to this self-same cause, the reader 
will perhaps find some fault with the present work. 

Finally, the urgent requests of my friends for a book 
became so numerous, that I decided to hold back from the 
public, a part of my experiments and research, along the 
line of Queen-Rearing, (as in this branch of our pursuit I 
have taken more interest, and gave to it more thought and 



S DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-HEARING. 

study, than to all else pertaining to apiculture), and when 
that research and the experiments were completed, give all 
which I had dug out regarding Queen-Rearing, to the public, 
in book form. The culmination of this decision is now be- 
fore you, and the reader can decide whether I have made a 
mistake, or not, in the undertaking. 

Although I have given to the book the title of " Scientific 
Queen-Rearing," there is much in it that is not scientific, as 
the reader will soon discover, and some lofty minds irlay 
pass it by in disdain on this account. 

It is not a manual, giving in terse, sharp periods, the great- 
est amount of accurate information in the briefest space. 
My style, I fear, is often like my bee-yard, which in looks 
is irregular, while it attempts something useful. I never 
could be pinned down to systematic work. I always did 
like to work at the bees near a gooseberry-bush, full of 
ripe, luscious fruit, or under a harvest apple-tree, where an 
occasional rest could be enjoyed, eating the apples which 
lay so temptingly about. Do we not all need an occasional 
relaxation from the severer duties of life ? If so, the rear- 
ing of Queens for our own apiary, gives us a change from 
the all-important struggle for honey, whereby we can get 
money. 

In brief, it is my sincere conviction, that something to re- 
lieve the monotony of every-day life is good for humanity, 
and it is my wishj^o diffuse this belief as widely as possible. 

I frankly admit^that the following pages are very much 
the same in character, as if I had taken the reader by the 
arm, from time to time, and strolled about the Apiary and 
Shop in the time of Queen-Rearing, and chatted in a famil- 
iar way on the topics suggested as we passed along. 

At the outset, I shall undoubtedly be met by those inevi- 
table "Yankee questions" — Does Queen-Rear?ng pay? 
Would it not pay me better to stick to honej'-production. 



DOOLTTTLE ON QUBBN-REAKING. 9 

and buy the few quoeiis which I need, as often as is re- 
quired ? 

I might answer, does it pay to kiss your wife ? to look at 
anything beautiful ? to like a golden Italian Queen ? to eat 
apples or gooseberries ? or anything else agreeable to our 
nature P is the gain in health, strength, and happiness, which 
this form of recreation secures, to be judged by the dollar- 
and-cent stand-point of the world ? 

Can the pleasure which comes to one while looking at a 
beautiful Queen and her bees, which have been brought up 
to a high stand-point by their owner, be bought ? Is the 
flavor of the honey that you have produced, or the keen en- 
joyment that you have had in producing it, to be had in the 
market ? 

In nothing more than in Queen-Rearing, can we see the 
handiwork of Him who designed that we should be climb- 
ing up to the Celestial City, rather than groveling here with 
a "muck-rake" in our hands (as in "Pilgrim's Progress"), 
trying to rake in the pennies, to the neglect of that which 
is higher and more noble. There is something in working 
for better Queens which is elevating, and will lead one out 
of self, if we will only study it along the many lines of 
improvement which it suggests. I do not believe that all of 
life should be spent in looking after the " almighty dollar ;" 
nor do I think that our first parents bustled out every morn- 
ing, with the expression seen on so many bee-keepers' faces, 
which seem to say, "Time is Money." The question, it 
seems to me, in regard to our pursuit in life, should not be 
altogether, " How much money is there in it ?" but, " Shall 
we enjoy a little bit of Paradise this side of Jordan ?" 

However, being aware of the general indifi'erence to 
Paradise on either side of Jordan, I will state that I have 
made Queen-Rearing pay in dollars and cents, having 
secured on an average about $500 per year therefrom, for 



10 DOOLITTLE OX QUEEN-EEAEING. 

the past five years ; and that all may do as well, I proceed at 
once to describe the ground over which I have traveled, and 
tell how it is done. 

Before doing so, however, I wish to sa^- that all along the 
way I have picked up a little here and there, so that most 
of the credit for that which is valuable in this book (if there 
is any value in it), belongs to some one else besides Doo- 
little. It has been picked up in such little bits, that I hardly 
know to whom I should give credit, so I will simply say, 
that the most of the suggestions which I have received, have 
come through the bee-periodicals, and quite largely from 
the reports which they have given of different thoughts 
dropped at many bee-conventions. 

G. M. DOOLITTLE. 

Borodino, N. Y. 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-BEARING. 11 



CHAPTER I. 

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS. 

When I was about seven years old, my father procured 
some bees by taking them of a neighbor on shares. I 
remember, almost as if it were yesterday, how animated I 
was, as he and the neighbor of whom he took the bees, 
came near the house with the hive suspended on a pole 
between them, hy means of a sheet tied at the four corners. 
The hive was deposited on a bench a few rods from the 
back-door of the house, one cold morning in early April, 
where it was thought that it would be a good place for them 
to take up their abode for the future. 

My curiosity about these bees hardly knew any bounds, 
and although that day was cold and dreary, I was often out 
by the hive to see if I could not catch a glimpse of some of 
the inmates. The first warm day on which they took a 
general flight, my delight was great, to see them " cut up 
their antics " about the hive, as I termed it ; and when the 
first pollen appeared, or when they began to go into the 
hive with "yellow legs," (as father always would speak of 
the gathering of pollen, even in the later days of his life), 
I was near the hive, an interested spectator. 

As the days passed by, I became all anxiety about their 
swarming, and many were the questions which I plied 
father with, in regard to how this was done. In answer to 
some of these questions, he told me that the Queen led out 
the swarm, undoubtedly getting this impression from seeing 
the young Queens of after-swarms out on the alighting- 
board with the first bees, when a second or third swarm 



12 DOOLITTLB ON QTJEEN-EBARING. 

issued. On the mention of thie Queen, I wanted to know 
all about her, but it was very little that father could tell me, 
except that he often saw her with the swarm. As only box- 
hives were in use in this locality, it was no wonder that he 
knew so little regarding this all-important personage of the 
hive, as now viewed from the present stand-poiot of our 
profession. 

My anxiety for swarmiag-time to come was so great that 
it seemed that it never would arrive, and when it did come, 
the impression which it made upon my mind was so lasting, 
that, as I write, I can almost see those bees whirling and 
cutting circles in the air, seemingly thrice as large and 
active as is a swarm, in my later years. 

After they had clustered, were cut down, and brought to 
the empty hive, my anxiety to see the Queen became para- 
mount to all other interests which this exciting time 
presented ; and when, as the last half of the swarm was 
going in, she was seen, although only a brown German 
Queen, I thought her very majestic in appearance, and the 
sight well worth all the hunting we had done to find her. 

Time passed on, and in a few years the apiary had grown 
so that swarming was quite frequent, and had somewhat lost 
its novelty ; yet there has been no time in my life but what 
it has had very much of interest to me. . 

During one swarming season, a third swai'm issued, and 
in alighting it separated into three parts, so that none Of 
the little clusters had more than a quart of bees, while one 
had scarcely more than a tea-cupful. Father was about to 
put all of the three clusters into one hive, but I finally per- 
suaded him to let me put the little one into a small box that 
I had, and see what I could do with them. In getting them 
into the box, I saw three Queens go in, which excited my 
curiosity very much. I remember of planning how such 
swarms, which had many Queens, might be multiplied to 



DOOLITTLB ON OUEEN-KEAIifNG. 13 I 

great numbers ; but to say that any idea of Queen-Rearing 
entered ray head at tliis time, would savor of imagination. 

The little colony built three pieces of comb a little larger 
than the hand, but soon after cold weather came, the bees 
died, as father had said they would, when he let me try the 
experiment. In a year or two more, that dreaded disease — 
foul brood — appeared in the apiary, and as father knew 
nothing about how to control it, all the bees were soon gone. 

Years went by, with little or no interest on my part 
regarding bees, except as a runaway swarm passed over my 
head while at work in the field, or as I and some of the 
neighboring boys robbed bumble-bees' nests ; till at 17 years 
of age, in time of sugar-making, a bee-tree was found, by 
hearing the roaring of bees on their cleansing flight, as I 
was going to visit a neighbor's sugar-bush, not far away. 
The next warm day I went out looking for bees, and, before 
noon, I found another bee-tree. These trees were left until 
fall, when they were out, but in falling they so scattered 
the bees and comb, that with the little knowledge I then 
had, I thought that 1 could not save them. 

Twenty years ago I cut one of my feet so badly that I was 
confined to the house nearly all winter, and as reading was 
my chief amusement, it so chanced that I picked up " King's 
Bee-Keepers' Text-Book," which I had purchased the year I 
found the bee-trees, because the advertisement about it said 
that it told " how to huntbees." As soon as I began to read 
this book, I contracted what is known as the " bee-fever," 
which took so strong a hold of me that I was not satisfied 
till I had borrowed and read Langstroth's book, and pur- 
chased Quinby's work, besides subscribing for the "American 
Bee Journal." 

In the spring I purchased 2 colonies of bees, from which 
originated my present apiary. This was in the spring of 
1869, and as that was a very poor season, I secured only one 



14 DOOLITTLE ON QrEEN-KEAlllNG. 

swarm from the 2 colonies, and very little experience alonj;' 
any line of the pursuit, except that of buying sugar and 
feeding up these 3 colonies for winter. 

The next June I went to see a man who kept some Italian 
bees (the first I had ever seen), who lived about four miles 
from me. When I arrived, I found him at work at Queen- 
Rearing, so I was all interest at once. He showed me all 
that he knew of Queen-Rearing, during my frequent calls on 
him that summer, and the next spring I went into partner- 
ship with him in the Queen-business, he rearing the Queens., 
and I doing the selling — doing this by taking the Queens 
alround to the bee-keepers who lived within 10 or 15 miles 
of us, and introduced them into the apiaries of those who 
would buy. I remained in partnership with him during the 
next year, and, as a whole, I made it profitable, for I not 
only got some cash out of it, but at the end of that time I 
had a full knowledge of the old plans of Queen-Rearing. 
During this time I had partially Italianized my own apiary, 
so the next year I started out on "my own hook" in the 
Queen-business, although not doing much at it in the way 
of selling to outside parties, till some years later. 

After losing nearly, or quite, one-half of my Queens, one 
spring, owing to their pooi'ness in quality, I began to study 
up plans for the rearing of better ones, which study I have 
kept up till the present time. Into this branch of our pur- 
suit I have put all the thought and energy at my command, 
as well as to apply the accumulated thoughts of others, as, 
expressed in our bee-papers, till I think that I can truly say 
there is much in the following chapters never before given 
to the public. 



DOOLITTLE OX QUEEN- UEAKINfi. 



CHAFTER II. 

IMPORTAXCE OF GOOD QUEENS. 

Upon no other one thing does the honey part of the apiary 
depend so much, as it does upon the Queen. Give me a good 
Queen — one which can be brought up to the highest pro- 
duction of eggs, just n-hen we want them — and I will show 
you a honey crop, if the flovers do not fail to secrete nectar ; 
but with a poor Queen — one that you must coax for eggs, to 
little or no purpose, at the right time — the flowers often 
bloom in vain, even when the honey-secretion is the 
greatest, 

I have had in my apiaiy, at different times. Queens that 
with all the coaxing which I could bring to bear on them 
during the forepart of the season, would not lay any more 
eggs previous-to the honey harvest than were needed to 
keep the spring strength of the colony good, so that when 
the yield of honey was at its heighth, there would not be 
one-fourth the number of bees to gather it, that there should 
be. When the yield of honey came, then these Queens 
would begin breeding, so as to get plenty of bees in the 
hive just as the harvest closed, only to eat up the little 
honey that the few laborers there were in the harvest had 
gathered. The more Queens of this sort a bee-keeper has, 
the worse he is oft". This is a peculiarity of the Syran races 
of bees, but many poorly-reared Queens act in the same 
way, no matter to what race they belong. 

Then, again, I have had queens which would not be 
coaxed to Bll more than three or four Gallup frames with 



16 DOOLITTLE ON (^'BEN-HEARING. 

brood at any season of the j-ear ; so that at no time were 
there laborers enough in the hive to make a respectable 
showing, no matter how much honey there was in the field. 
Others would appear yery prolific for a short time, but just 
when I wanted them the most, and when I supposed that 
all was going well, an examination would show that they 
had died of old age, even i\hen they might not be more 
than six to twelve months old. This would cause a break 
in the production of bees, at a time when every day of such 
production would count many povinds of honey in the honey 
harvest. 

From the above it will be seen, that in no one thing in 
bee-keeping does quality, count for as much as it does with 
the Queen or mother-bee. Of course, if we are to only 
count our colonies, then a poor Queen is better than none ; 
and there are other times when she is such, as in holding a 
colony together till we can get a better one ; but I repeat, 
that an apiary with all poor Queens, is worse than no bees 
at all. When we come to fully realize the great achieve- 
ments which can be obtained A\'ith a really good Queen — 
one that will give us from 3,000 to 4,000 workers every day 
for a month previous to' the honey harvest, wo, as apiarists 
of Ameriea,"will put forth more energy along this line of 
our pursuit than wc ever yet have done. 

Look at that colony you had one spring, which gave you 
100, 200, 400, 600, or even 1,000 pounds of honey (one or 
two reports of nearly a thousand pounds of honey from a 
single colony have been given in the past, while the i-eports 
of those giving from 400 to 600 are numerous), and see 
why it did so well, while the average of your whole apiary 
did not come up to one-half that amount. Why did that 
colony do so well ? Simply because it had a large working- 
force of the right age, and at the right time, to, take advan- 
tage of the honey-flow when it came. And how came it to 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-KEAKING. 17 

have such a foroo at the right time P Because the Queen 
was a good one, doing her part just when she should, and 
not at some other time. Why did the others fail of doing 
the same thing ? Either because they did not have good 
Queens, or because the owner failed to have the Queens do 
their duty, when they should have been doing it. 

"But," says one, "Can I get all colonies to do as well 
each year, as my best colonies do ?" I will answer that by 
asking, what is there to hinder ? If all are in the same 
condition as the successful one, would they not do equally 
well ? Most assuredly they would. So then we see that 
the trouble lies in not having the colonies all equal with the 
one which did so well. The reason that all are not in the 
same condition, devolves primarily upon the Queen ; and 
secondly upon the strength in which the colonies come 
through the winter. Of late, 1 have inclined to the opin- 
ion that on the Queen rests, to quite an extent at least, 
much of the cause of our wintering troubles. One thing is 
certain, if we cannot have all colonies exactly alike, we can 
approximate very nearly to it — much nearer than many 
imagine, if we work for that object, along the line of 
bringing the Queens to as nearly perfection as possible, and 
cease the breeding of cheap Queens — that class which " do 
not cost the apiarist anything." 

If there is anything in which I take some little pride, it is 
that since I began to breed my Queens for good quality, and 
for that only, this variation of yield of honey from different 
colonies has grown less and less, till, at the present time, 
the average yield of honey from each colony in the apiary 
is very nearly alike, while fifteen years ago some colonies 
would give 75 per cent more honey than would others. 

What a few of our best Queen-breeders can do, all can do, 
if they will only put the same interest into their work along 
this line ; and one of the objects of this book^s to tell those 



18 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-BEAHING. 



who desire, how they can, by careful attention to the rules 
laid down herein, become breeders of the best of Queens, as 
such are of great importance to the amateur as well as the 
specialist. 




Basswood or Linden. 



DOOLirrLB ON QUEEN-REARING. 19 



CHAPTER III. 

NATURE'S WAY OF REARING QUEENS. 

The Creatbr of all things looked, over His work after He 
had finished it, so we are told, and pronouncedfit " GOOD ;'' 
hence we could reasonable expect that at that time all 
things created by Him were of the highest type of perfec- 
tion. He now told all animated nature to " multiply and 
replenish the earth." For this reason, we find a disposition 
in our bees to swarm, and although during the last century 
men have tried with great persistency to breed this disposi- 
tion out, or make a hive which would accomplish the same 
thing, yet so far that disposition stands defiant toward all 
of these unnatural schemes, and just as some individual is 
ready to cry "Eureka," out comes a swarm, and all of our 
plans lay prostrate in the dust. 

Many have been the reasons given, to account for bees 
swarming, such as the hatred of an old Queen toward the 
I'ival inmate of a queen-cell, which the bees had succeeded 
in getting, in spite of her frowns and anger ; the hive being 
too small to hold the accumulated thousands of workers, 
insufficient ventilation, etc. ; yet in my opinion none of these 
things ever caused a swarm to issue, in and of themselves, 
for everything in nature is held obedient to the command 
of Him who controls the Universe. And I rejoice that this 
is so ; for I firmly believe that better results can be obtained 
whei-e bees swarm, than would be the case if we could breed 
out the swarming trait. 



20 DOOLITTLE ON QUEEX-EEAKING. 

A new swarm goes to ^xork, with an energy never pos- 
sessed by the bees at any other time (unless it is by the 
parent colony) immediately after its young Queen gets to 
laying. This swarming trait also produces Queens of the 
highest type of perfection, not being equalled by any except 
those reared under one other of Nature's conditions, which 
will be spoken of at length in the next chapter. Many have 
been the claims made, that Queens reared by dift'erent 
methods, are just aft good as those reared under the swarm- 
ing impulse ; but I have yet to hear it claimed that Queens 
so reared are any better than are those reared where the 
swarm issued under the conditions which Nature designed 
that they should. 

I am met here, by the claim that many colonies of Italian 
bees swarm, without any preparations for swarming being 
made, by way of providing queen-cells before the swarm 
issues, as is usually the case ; and that Queens reared under 
such" circumstances, where there ai'e but few bees In the 
hive to feed, nurse, and keep the royal occupants of the 
cells warm, certainly cannot be as good as those reared 
under the superior planning of the skilled apiarist. 

I freely admit that Queens reared by some of the plans of 
" artificial" Queen-Rearing, may excel such Queens, but I 
claim that the tirst-named conditions are not such as Nature 
originally designed that they should be. I do not believe 
that an isolated colony (as all colonies are isolated, except 
by the inter\entioii of man) ever cast a swarm under such 
conditions. It is the compacting of colonies together in 
large apiaries, which bring about such results, thereby 
causing what is termed "the swarming-fcver " — where 
swarms issue under the most unfavorable circumstances 
imaginable, sometimes even swarming without a Queen, 
thus leaving the parent colony broodless, antl without means 
from which to provide themselves with a Queen. After 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-KEAlilNG. 21 

careful watching in my own apiary for years, and closely 
questioning other parties, I have yet to find where the first 
swarm of the season, from any apiary, has ever issued pre- 
vious to the sealing of the first Queen-cell. 

But, says one, "You are always crying Nature ! Nature ! ! 
Don't you know that man's intelligence, by opposing 
Nature's laws at the right time, can get ahead of her ways, 
and thus secure better results ?" No ; I did not know any 
such tiling ; nor do I believe it. It is only as the intelligence 
of man moves along harmoniously with the laws of Nature, 
that any improvement can be expected. Is not this true ? 

Suppose I cut one of my fingers quite badly ; and when it 
stops bleeding I wonder what I am to do with it, to have it 
get well as quickly as possible. While I am thus wonder- 
ing, along comes a man of superior (?) intelligence, and he 
says: "I see you have cut your finger. I am glad I 
happened along, just at this time, for I have a salve which 
will heal up that wound at once, and by your using it, your 
finger will be as well as ever in a few days. This salve of 
mine has the greatest healing-properties of any salve 
known." Reader, do you believe that the salve has any 
healing quality, or that my finger will ever be as perfect as 
before ? I do not. All that any salve can claim as doing, 
is to assist Nature to make the best of a bad job, for it is 
Nature that does the healing, not the salve. Would I not 
have been better ofif, had I not cut the finger ? 

Again, some day during the month of June, I chance to 
run against the body of a choice apple-tree, w'ith the hub of 
my wagon-wheel ; and in doing so I knock a patch of bark 
off the tree, as large as my hand. Along comes a man 
familiar with grafting, and applies some grafting-wax, say- 
ing : " This will heal over the place, and make it as good 
as ever." Do you believe it ? Will not the tree always 
show a scar ? In the knocking off of that bark, the apple-tree 



22 DOOLITTLE ON (,iPKEN-]tEAHING. 

received a shock; or sonu^thing which was contrary to its 
nature, and as soon as the first eii'ect was over, every power 
that was in the tree was brought to bear on this place to 
remedy the damage, and it was only wherein the wax kept 
oflf the warring elements which would work against the 
repairing of the damage, that the wax did any good. Just 
so with anything that goes against Nature's laws. The first 
thing to be done, is to get rid of the antagonizing force, and 
as soon as that is done. Nature tries to get back to the spot 
where she was before, as nearly as possible, and as quickly 
as she can. 

Let a man take a drink of whisky, and in a little while 
you will see him cutting up all manner of antics (that other- 
wise he would not have thought of doing), when yon call 
him "drunk." What is the matter ? He has taken some- 
thing into his system that is not moving harmoniously with 
Nature, and Nature is trying to "kick" out this antagoniz- 
ing force. If so much antagonizing force (whisky) has been 
taken, that Nature has to kick vigorously to expel it, the 
man is kicked over, for the time being ; but after this force 
has been expelled, Nature begins the work of healing, and 
the man "rights" up again, but never gets back to where 
he was before. 

Now apply this to the bees : Along comes the antagoniz- 
ing force — the apiarist — who is going to rear Queens intelli- 
gently (unnaturally), and kills the mother of the colony. 
What is the result ? The whole colony acts for the first few 
hours very much as did the man after having drank the 
whisky. What is the trouble? Why, Nature is "kicking," 
that is all. After becoming reconciled to fate, the bees, 
through Nature's law, go to work to repair the damage 
(lone, and, as in all of the other cases, she does this as 
quickly as possible, even where only eggs are given from 
which to rear a Queen. Under these conditions, antagoniz- 



DOOUTTLE ON QUKEN-KEAlilNG. 23 

ing forces come in, and I do not believe that the " woiiid " 
tan be made as good as ever, any more tlian they could in 
the three illustrations which I have used. Queens partially 
deficient in some points will be the result. 

Some claim that this last is a natural condition for a 
colony of bees to bo placed in, but I take exception to any 
such claim ; for there are very few colonies that ever find 
themselves in such a condition, without the interference of 
man. During all of the ages, up to within about a century 
past, how dififerent the method whenfby Queens were pro- 
duced, which have stood the test of thousands of years. 

Let us look at Nature's plan for a moment or two, so as 
to see how it does compare with the above work of many of 
our apiarists. We find that Queen-Rearing and swarming 
are onlj' done during a period when both honey and pollen 
are being gathered from the fields. When this condition 
of things prevails, the bees are getting strong in numbers, 
and soon embryo queen-cells are started, in which the Queen 
la3's the eggs which are to produce the royal occupants. 

Some claim that it is not fully settled that the Queen 
deposits the egg in the queen-cells at the time of natural 
swarming ; but my assistant once saw her do it, and so have 
others, while the position of the eggs in the cells prove it, 
even had no one ever witnessed her in the act. Others 
claim that the Queen lays the eggs in worker-cells, along 
the margin of the comb, when the bees build queen-cells 
over them. Any one familiar with the inside of a bee-hive, 
should know that such reasoning is fallacious, for the 
embryo queen-cells are often formed many days before eggs 
are found in them, as thousands of bee-keepers can testify. 

These eggs remain in this form for about three days, 
when they hatch into little larvse which the bees now begin 
to feed. Some claim that royal jelly is placed around these 
eggs before they hatch, but if this is true, it is something 



24 DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-EEABING. 

that I have never seen, although I have watched this matter 
very closely for years. Neither do I find that the little 
larvaj. are fed much more plentifully, during the first 36 
hours of thei" existence, than are larva? which are in 
worker-cells ; but when of about this age, the bees begin to 
feed them so liberally on royal food, that they actually float 
in it during the rest of their growth ; this supply often being 
so great that there is left a lump as large as a pea, of par- 
tially dried food, after the Queens emerge from their cells, 
while all of their operations are conducted leisurely, for the 
bees ai"e in no haste for a (iueen, as their mother is still with 
them in the hive. There is no hurrying up to replace a loss, 
thereby using old larvas, or scantily feeding the same, as is 
done when Nature is antagonized ; but all is done by a 
S3'stem reaching perfection. If a cold, bad time comes on 
now, they do not hesitate to tear down the cells, and wait 
for a favorable time to come again for them to "multiply 
and replenish the earth." 

All of this shows us that the bees are only obeying the 
laws which govern the economy of the hive, instead of a 
force outside of that economy, which compels them to make 
good a loss that man has brought about. It seems to me 
that we can always consider it safe to go according to the 
teachings learned by a close observation of our " pets," and 
unsafe to go, contrary to the rules and laws which govern 
them. At least tliis is the belief which I have always had, 
and along this line has been my study, while trying to find 
out the best plans whereby Queens of the highest type could 
be reared. I have never succeeded in rearing Queens which 
pleased me every time, till I commenced to work in harmony 
with Nature's plans. When I learned so to work, I found 
that ray Queens were improving all the while, and to-day I 
am well satislied that I have made a great improvement in 
my stock, beyond where it was ten years ago. 



DOOI.ITTLE ON QUEEN-KEAltlNG. 25 



CHAPTER IV. 

ANOTHER OF NATURE'S WAYS. 

Besides what is liiiown as tlie " svvarming-plaia," tlie bees 
have another way of rearing the best of Queens, which, to- 
gether with the former, are the only plans by which Queens 
are reared, except where the bees are forced to do so by 
some abnormality of the colony. My experience goes to 
prove that where such abnormity exists. Queens which are 
then reared do not come up to that high standai'd that they 
do where reared as Nature designed they should be. How- 
ever, there are vei'y few Queens reared, except when the 
colony is in a normal condition, only as the colony is inter- 
fered with by man ; so that we find the usual plans adopted 
by nearly all Queen-Rearers of the past, going in the direc- 
tion of these few exceptions, rather than along the line 
whioli Nature designed. 

While rearing Queens by the "forcing process" (at times 
when they could not be reared by natural swarming), I 
came across a colony in early spring, which had, as far as I 
could see, a good Queen, yet on the combs there were two 
very nice queen-cells under way, with little larvaB floating 
in an abundance of royal jelly. As queen-cells which were 
formed in my Queen-Rearing colonies, when worked by the 
" forcing process," were not supplied in this fashion with 
royal jelly, I decided to keep watch of this colonj-, and see 
if I could not learn something. 

In due course of time these cells were sealed, when, to all 
outside appearances, they were just as perfect as I had ever 
seen in natural swarming ; while the cells which I was com- 



26 DOOLITTLE ON QCEEN-HBAKING. 

pelling the bees to build by taking their Queens away from 
them, did not so appear. One of the cells I transferred to 
a nucleus, just before it was ready to hatch, while the other 
was left where it was, to see what would become of the 
matter. The Queens hatching from both cells, proved to 
be every bit as good as any Queens I ever reared in the 
heighth of the honey harvest, by natural swarming, even 
although it was by dint of coaxing that I could get Queens 
reared at all by the "forcing" plans, as adopted fifteen 
j'ears ago ; while none of the "forced " Queens would com- 
pare with these two in beauty, vigor or length of life. 

Soon after the young Queen which was left in the old 
hive commenced laying, the old mother began to decline, 
and, in the course of a week or two, was gone ; yet had I 
not opened this hive for a montli, at this time, I would never 
have known that a change had taken place as regards the 
Queen, from the appearance of the brood which was in the 
hive. 

Right here let me say, that from all of my experience 
with bees, I am led to conclude that 999 Queens out of every 
1,000 reared, where man does not interfere with the bees, 
are reared by one of these two plans ; yet there are those 
persons among our number, who claim that they are along 
the line of Nature ; or rearing Queens by a still better i)lan 
than these two, where they take away the Queen from a 
colony at any time they think best, and compel the bees to 
rear others, often when it would be the last thing the colony 
would wish to do. Gentlemen, your position is not a con- 
sistent one, nor is it one that you would adopt along any 
other line except Queen-Rearing ; and I hope that this 
Book will open your eyes, so that in the future you will try 
to be in accord with the wants of the bees, and thus be 
rearing Queens of superior quality, instead of those which 
cannot be other than inferior. 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-HEARlN(i. 27 

To return : After I had this experience with tlie colony 
that had " two Queens in a hive," (which was a surprise to 
so many fifteen years ago, when it was thought that no 
colony ever tolerated but one laying queen at a time), I 
began to watch for a like circumstance to occur, which hap- 
pened about a year from that time. In the latter case, as 
soon as I found tlie cells, thej- were sealed over, and not 
knowing just when they would hatch, I at once cut them 
out and gave them to nuclei. In a few days I looked in the 
hive again, when I found more cells started, which were 
again cut off and given to nuclei, just before it was time for 
them to hatch. In this way I kept the bees from their 
desired object for some two months, or until I saw that the 
old Queen was not going to live much longer, when I left 
one of the cells, which tliey had under headway, to mature. 
By this plan I got about sixty as fine Queens as I ever reared, 
and laid the foundation for my present plan of securing 
Queens, Which is about to be given in this book. 

As time passed on, I was always on the lookout for such 
cases of building Queen-cells, with the old Queen present 
in the hive, where there was no desire to swarm, and in this 
way I have secured hundreds of splendid Queens with whicli 
to stock my own apiary, and to send to those w^ho wished 
Queens of the best grade. If there is any difference be- 
tween Queens reared bj- this last of Nature's ways, and 
those reared by natural swarming, that difference is in 
favor of Queens reared to replace the old mother, when she 
shall get past being of use to the colony ; so that I have no 
hesitation in pronouncing Queens thus reared, of the high- 
est grade which it is possible for the intelligence of man, 
combined with the natural instinct of the bees, to produce. 

Having decided that Queens thus reared were superior to 
any other, the thing next to be done, was to get some plan 
that the bees would accept, whereby Queens could be so 



28 DOOLITTLE ON QUEBN-REAHING. 

reared just when and where the apiarist desired. To 
accomplish this, I have studied hard and worked faithfully, 
putting into it all of my best thought for some six years 
past, till I have perfected a plan whereby I rear Queens by 
Nature's best method, in the same hive with a laying Queen, 
and that, too, just when and where I wish to have them 
reared, having Queens in a single colony in all stages of 
development, fi-om the just-hatched larvae to virgin Queens 
and those just commencing to lay. All about how to doit 
will be told in this book, but before doing so, I wish to take 
the readers over some of the ground which I have traveled, 
so that they can see some of the steps taken ; for in thus 
seeing, perhaps some new thoughts may be suggested to 
them, which will lead in other directions from what is here 
given, which, when followed out by some other person than 
myself, may be of great help to the bee-fraternity. 




White Clover. 



DOOLITTLE ON OHEEN-REAETNQ. 29 



CHAPTER V. 

OLD METHODS OF REARING QUEENS. 

j\ly first experiments at Queen-Rearing were tried in 1870. 
During the month of July, a second swarm issued having 
two Queens, and as I saw them on the alighting-board of 
tlie hive, the thought came to me that here was a chance to 
save a nice Queen, which, when she got to laying, could be 
used to replace an old one that I had in the apiary. Accord- 
ing to this thought, I detached the alighting-board, as soon 
as I saw one of the Queens go in, and took the board with 
all the adhering bees, to another hive, in" which I put an 
empty comb, hiving the little lot of bees and Queen in it. 

At night I read up on Queen-Rearing (as far as [ could 
with the books which I then had), from which I found that 
the way to rear Queens was, to place little colonies in small 
or nucleus hives, they having frames from four to six inches 
square. As I wished to do things as they should be done, 
I went to work the next morning, and constructed a little 
hive that held three frames about five by six inches. Into 
these frames I fitted comb, then I went to the hive contain- 
ing the little swarm, and shook them out of it into this 
small hive. In due course of time, the Queen commenced 
to lay, and was used as I had designed. 

I now began to look up what I was next to do with the 
little colony, and found all that was necessary was, to leave 
them alone, when they would start two or three queen-cells, 
which would be well taken care of, and make just as good 
Queens, where but a small nucleus was used, as would a 
larger number of cells in a full colony. Queen-Rearing now 



30 DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-HEARING. 

looked very simple and easy to me, so I left the nucleus to 
mainly cai-e for itself for the next five days. From time to 
time, as I looked into the little hive (for I was so anxious 
about the matter, that I could not keep away from it) I 
expected to find queen-cells started, but every time I opened 
the little box, not a cell could be found. 

The fifth day after I took the Queen away, a bee-keeper 
came along, who was considered quite a Queen-breeder in 
those days, and to him I told the story of my trial at Queen- 
rearing. He asked to see the little colony, and when I 
showed it to him, he quietly cut a hole in one of the combs 
where the smallest larvse were to be found, saying, that 
" now they would start some cells," which they did. He 
also said that, " while the most of the Queens then reared 
were reared in just such little nucleus-hives, yet he believed 
that it was better to rear them in full colonies, as he thought 
Queens thus reared were better fed, and that the warmth of 
a full colony was conducive to a better development of the 
royal occupants of cells built, hence we secured more 
prolific and longer-lived Queens." 

In due time one of the cells hatched in the nucleus, and 
the Queen was so small, and so poor, that I decided if I 
must have such inferior Queens as that, I would let the bees 
do their own Queen-Eearing, as I had done in the past. 

When the next season came, I found myself again long- 
ing to " dabble " in Queen-Rearing, so at it I went, although 
I never again tried the nuclei boxes in doing so ; for when 
I came to look into the matter more thoroughly, I was con- 
vinced that the best nucleus that I could possibly have, 
was one or t«o frames in an ordinary hive. In this way all 
work done by the nucleus was readily available for the use 
of any colony, after I was through with the nucleus. 

In trying this the next time, I simply took the Queen 
awajj from the colony I wished to breed from, at a time 



DdOLITTLE ON QUEEN-BEAHING. 31 

when there was plenty of honey and pollen in the fields, for 
by this time some were opposing the plan of rearing Queens 
in micleiis boxes, and also claiming that the only proper time 
for rearing Queens was when plenty of honey and pollen were 
to be had by the bees, as it was natural for the bees to rear 
Queens only at such times. I succeeded in getting a fine 
lot of cells from which some extra-nice Queens were 
obtained — as I then considered them. 

This caused the Queen-Rearing "fever" to run high, 
which, together with my procuring some Italians, caused 
me to work at it many times during the summer, although I 
determined not to spoil my prospects of a crop of honey, 
by using too many colonies in the business. Although using 
Italian bees for Queen-Rearing, (as it was then claimed that 
black nurses would contaminate the young Queens) yet, 
during this summer, I succeeded in getting as high as 157 
queen-cells built on one comb, while the usual number built 
by one colony would be only from three to twenty, on all of 
the combs in a hive. If I could have had the Syrian bees 
at that time, the number of cells might not have been so 
much of a wonderment to me. I thought this a great 
achievement, and something well worth being proud of, so 
I told my neighbors about it, and gave it to some of the bee- 
papers also. 

All went on " swimingly " till the spring of 1873, when, 
without any cause, as far as I could see, one-half of all the 
Queens that I had in the apiary died, leaving the apiary in 
poor condition for the honey season, which caused m6"*to 
meditate a little on what could be the reason of such a 
wholesale death of my beautiful Queens. A careful look- 
ing into the matter revealed that of all the Queens that had 
died, two-thirds were those which had been reared the 
previous season, while not one had died from those that had 
been reared by natural swarming. 



32 DOOLITTLB ON QUBEN-HEAKING. 

What seems strange to me now, in looking back over the 
past, is, that all of these Queens died so suddenly and the 
bees made no eflfort at superseding them. They all had 
brood in abundance for the time of year, and the first I 
knew that all was not right, was when I would find them 
dead at the entrances of the hives. After this I began to 
try other plans of Queen-Rearing, none of which pleased 
me any better than the one I had been using. 

About this time there came a general dissatisfaction with 
most of the plans, then termed " artificial Queen-Rearing," 
and the reason given for Queens so reared not living any 
longer, or doing any better, was that such Queens were not 
reared from the egg for a Queen, but were fed worker-food 
for a time, and queen-food afterward, thus producing a 
bee that was part worker and part Queen ; hence it could 
not be as good as a bee that was a perfect Queen in all her 
parts. 

Then came the following process, which I often see given 
at the present time, as one by which prolific and long-lived 
Queens can be obtained : 

Take a frame of new comb, and put it in the colony hav- 
ing the breeding Queen, leave it there till you see the first 
little larva hatched, when it is to be taken out, the bees 
shaken off', and then placed in an empty hive that is to be 
put on a stand of a populous colony, after moving the 
colony away. This is to be done in the middle of the day, 
when plenty of bees are flying. After trying this method 
oi procedure a few times, I came to the conclusion that it 
was one of the very poorest ever given to the public, for 
the Queens so reared were very nearly, if not quite, as in- 
ferior as were those reared in the little nucleus boxes. 

And how could it well be otherwise ? for by such a plan 
only field-bees were obtained as nurses, while Nature 
designed young bees to do this work. While in early spring 



DOOLllTLB ON QUEBN-BEABING. 33 

old bees do nurse brood, by their being brought up gradu- 
ally to it, yot in this case, bees that had gone out in search 
of honey, with no idea of over again being called upon to 
nurse brood, and with a good mother in the hive when they 
left, were suddenly confronted with starving larv£e from 
which they must rear a Queen at once, while chyme or royal 
jelly was the most remote thing which their stomachs con- 
tained. This is one of the many plans which go almost in 
direct opposition to Nature's laws, and one that I claim 
should never be used, if we wish to have our bees improv- 
ing, instead of retrograding. 

I might give many other ways by which good Queens are 
said to be reared, which are as inconsistent with the best 
quality in Queens, as darkness is when compared with day- 
light ; but I forbear. I have only gone over this ground of 
the past, to show how Queens used to be reared, and how 
some bee-keepers still rear them, so that those who read the 
methods, soon to be given, may compare them with those 
formerly used, and see how we have been advancing along 
this line of our pursuit. I wish to say to any reader of this 
book, who is still practicing any of the old, poor plans : 
Don't do it any longer ; for you must know, it seems to me, 
that only inferior stock can result from the longer continu- 
ation of such practice. 




Honey Locust Tree. 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEBN-HEAKING. 35 



.CHAPTER VI. 

LATER METHODS OF REARING QUEENS. 

After testing all of the then known plans, as given in the 
previous chapter, and becoming disgusted with them, I 
turned my attention toward natural swarming, as a means 
by which to rear Queens in the future. Looking toward the 
end of getting as many Queens from this source as possible, 
I began stimulating my best Queen-Rearing colonies early 
in the spring, bj- some of the many methods given to accom- 
plish this work, so as to get them to swarm early, and then 
by hiving the new swarms from these colonies, on frames of 
brood, kept them swarming till late in the season, so that, 
as a rule, I could get, in this way, all of the Queens that I 
wished to use in my own apiary. 

If, at any time, I was likely to fail of this, I would take a 
piece of comb containing little larvse, from my best Queen, 
and after shaving off the cells down to one-eighth of an inch 
of the septum of the cell, with a thin, sharp knife, so that 
I could see the larvse plainly, I would go to a hive having an 
inferior Queen, that was preparing to swarm, and after 
removing the larvae from the queen-cells that they had 
under way, I would by means of a goose-quill tooth-pick, 
having its point broad and curved, [Fig. 1, see page 36] , 
lift the little larvas from the piece of comb I brought, and 
put them down in the royal jelly which the larvas from the 
inferior Queen was enjoying only a few moments before. 
Some take a frame (brood, bees and all) from the hive 
having their best Queen, and, when ready, lift the larvse 



36 DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-HEAKING. 

from the bottom of full-depth cells, but it bothers rae to see 
to do this. Where it can be done, it saves cutting and 
otherwise injuring the combs, while the bees protect the 
larvas from being chilled, should the day be cool. The cells 
thus operated upon were marked, by pushing IJ-inch wire- 
nails through the comb near them, so that if the bees con- 
structed other cells, I would not be deceived. 

In this work I often found partly-built queen-cells with 
nothing in them, or perhaps some would contain eggs, 
which, when I found them, I would take out, substituting 
the larvae in their places. As a rule, I would be successful 
with these, as well as with those that were put into the cells 



Fig. 1.— Tooth-Pick for Transferring LarvsE. 

that contained royal jelly, but now-and-then a case would 
occur when only those placed in royal jelly would be used. 

Right here I wish to say, that only the best of tested 
Queens should be used as Queen-mothers — Queens known 
to possess all the desirable requisites that make a good 
Queen ; and, as we must often cut the combs, to get the 
little larvae for transferring, it is better to have the poorest 
combs in the hives with these Queens, so as not to spoil the 
good combs in the apiary ; or, if preferred, we can keep 
these best Queens in a very small colony, so that the bees 
will fill the holes made in the combs when taking out brood, 
by building in worker-comb, as such small colonies always 
will do, if fed sufficient for this purpose. By thus working 
I obtained good Queens, although it required much work, 
and probably I should never have worked out other plans, 
had it not been that at about this time I began to have calls 
for Queens, from abroad. 



COOLITTLE ONCQUEEN-KEAHING. 31 

This placed nie in a position wliere I must have somo 
other process of Queen-Rearing, or refuse to take orders for 
Queens. As I wished to please all who desired some of my 
Queens, I began experimenting, and soon brought out the 
following method, which I will give at length, as I have to 
still rear some Queens by it early in the spring, and late in 
the fall, when there are not enough bees in the hive, or 
when they are too inactive to use the new plan to be given 
in the next chapter. However, I use wax-cups (having 
royal jelly placed in them), as described later on, instead of 
embryo queen-cells, as will be spoken of here. 

In changing larvse from worker-cells to queen-cells, as 
given above, the thought occurred to me, that if the bees 
would take the larva when put into a perfectly dry queen- 
cell, on the combs of a colony preparing to swarm, thej- 
ought to do the same when placed in a like condition in a 
queenless colony. 

Previous to this, I had often changed larvse in queen-cells 
started in a queenless colony, taking out those that the bees 
were nursing, and substituting others from my best Queen, 
where the bees had plenty of royal jelly in the cells, and 
secured good Queens by this plan, which is now used by 
very many of our best Queen-breeders. Good Queens are 
reared in this way, but the point about it that I do not like 
is, that the number of cells which will be started is very 
uncertain, while they are scattered about in different parts 
of the hive ; and worse than all, the combs have to be badly 
mutilated in cutting out the cells, or else much time spent 
at the queen-nursery, watching for the Queens to hatch ; for 
if this is not done, many of them will be destroyed. 

But, how should I get the embryo queen-cells, in which 
to put the little larvse? was the first thought which con- 
fronted me. I i-emember that away back in some of the 
bee-papers, some one had proposed making queen-cells to 



38 DOOLIGPTLE on QTTEEK-RBARING. 

order, on a stick, for a penny a piece, and why could I not 
so make them ? It would do no harm to try, I thought ; 
therefore I made a stick, so that it would just fit inside of a 
queen-cell, from which a Queen had hatched, and by 
warming a piece of wax in my hand, I could mould it 
around the stick, so as to make a very presentable queen- 
cup. While doing this, some one happened along, who 
wislied to see some of my Queens, so I went out in the 
apiary to show them. In doing this, I noticed some queen- 
cups [see Fig. 2] which had been just started by the bees, 
and it was not long before I saw wliere the embryo queen- 
cells could be procured in plenty, if I saved all I came 
across in my manipulations with the bees. When I returned 
to the shop, I had about a dozen of these cups, that I had 




I"ig. 3.— Embryo Queen-Cup or Queen-Cell. 

clipped off the combs, while showing my friend the Queens, 
which, with the 5 or 6 artificial cells that I had made, gave 
me plenty for a trial. 

To fasten these to the combs, I melted some wax in a 
little dish, over a lamp, when, by dipping the base of the 
queen-cups in the wax, and immediately placing the cup on 
the comb, it was a fixture. So as not to spoil a good comb, 
I took an old one, such an one as had been damaged by 
mice, or one that had manj- drone-cells in it ; and to have 
the cells built in the centre of the comb, as I wished them, 
a piece was cut out as large as a man's hand, at the desired 
place. I now turned the comb bottom side up, and fastened 
as many queen-cups as I wished queen-cells built, along the 



DOOLITTI.E ON QUEEN-REAEINQ. 39 

now under side of the hole that I had cut, and, after having 
transferred a little larva into each cup, the comb was re- 
turned to its former position. [See Fig. 3.] 

After taking the queen and all of the brood away from a 
populous colony, I substituted this prepared frame for the 
queen and brood. Upon looking the next day, to see what 
the result was, I found that the bees had destroyed all the 
larvae but one, and that was in one of the cups that I had 
taken out of a colony. 

Before I forget it, I will here say, that in all of my efforts 
at this time, to get the bees to use any of the cells that were 
made from beeswax, I made an entire failure ; for, out of 
hundreds tried, not a larva could I get accepted, even when 
I gave a colony none other, save cups thus made. However, 




Fig. 3.— Comt) with Queen-Cups. 

later on I leai'ned how to make the bees use them, as vyill 
soon be given. Not being willing to keep a colony queen- 
less for one queen-cell, I gave back their brood and Queen ; 
then I sat down to study out the reason why I had made a 
failure. 

The result of this study convinced me that no colony 
would immediately go to rearing Queens after the old 
Queen had been taken away from them. At the expiration 
of three days from the time the Queen is taken away from 
a colony, the bees usually have numerous queen-cells under 
way, but rarely before ; while, in the above case, I had 
expected the bees to start them at once. 



40 



DOOLITTLE ON QUBEN-KEARING. 



I now went to another populous colony and took its 
Queen away, together with one comb, when a division- 
board feeder was placed where the comb was taken out. 
At night I fed the colony a little warm syrup (as they were 
not getting much honey at the time), and continued this 
nightly-feeding for eight days. 

Three days after taking the Queen out, I went to the hive 
and took all of the brood away, but left the other combs 
having honey and food, arranging them close up to the 
feeder, leaving a place between the two central combs, for 
the prepared frame to be inserted.* The hive was now 
closed, when the bees were shaken off the combs of brood, 
and the brood given to a colony which could care for it. 




Fig. 4.— The Division-Board Feeder. 



On these combs were numerous queen-cells, which showed 
that the bees were secreting or producing an abundance of 
royal jelly. As I wished this jelly to accumulate in the 
stomachs of the nurse-bees, I took the brood away from 
them this time, before I put the little larvas into the queen- 
cups. In this way a colohy will be prepared to rear as good 
Queens as can possibly be reared, when no Queen is present 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-REARING. 41 

in the hive wliilo the cells are being built, and is ahead of 
anj- other way that I over tried, where the Queen is to be 
taken away. 

It will be seen that an hour before they were feeding 
thousands of worker-larvfe besides the queen-larvse, when, 
all at once, they are obliged to hold the accumulating 
chyme, and feel a great anxietj- for a Queen, as will be 
shown by their running all over the hive, flying in the air, 
and otherwise telling of their distressed condition, when 
you come with the prepared frame to put it in the hive. 
By now supplying them with from 12 to 15 little larvae, all 
cradled in queen-cells, upon which they may bestow all the 
provisions and caresses that they were bestowing before on 
a whole colony, it could hardly result otherwise than in 
producing" as good Queens as could be produced by any 
plan not exactly in accord with Nature's ways. 

On placing the frame in the hive, on this my second trial, 
I had great confidence of success, -while the next day on 
opening the hive I was assured of it, by seeing all of the 
queen-ceUs accepted, except those that I had made of bees- 
wax. These accepted cells were completed in due time, 
and from them I obtained Queens which were as good 
mothers as any I had ever had up to this time, outside of 
Queens reared by natural swarming. I now used this plan 
for many years, and if properly done, it never fails of giving 
fairly good Queens. At all times when honey is not com- 
ing in abundantly, feeding is resorted to, and when the 
mercury is lower than 85^ in the shade, all operations with 
the larvae are done in a room of that degree of temperature, 
or a little higher. 

But I think that 1 hear some one ask, " How old a larva 
do you use ? and, how about the occupant of a cell being 
fed royal food, from the time it is hatched from the egg ?" 
1 have conducted many experiments to see how old a larva 



42 DOOLITTLB ON QUEEN-KEAKING. 

may be, before being placed in the royal cell, and yet have 
it produce a good Queen. Some who advocate that Queens 
should be reared from the egg, claim that, in natural 
swarming, royal jelly is deposited around the egg before it 
hatches, so that the little larva literally swims in jelly from 
that time till after the cell is sealed up ; and also that where 
an egg or little larva is selected, from which to rear a Queen 
in a queenless colony, adjoining cells are torn down, so as 
to make room for a large amount of royal jelly at the start. 

I have carefully watched, time and time again, to find 
out if an egg laid in a queen-cell was treated any differ- 
ently for the first four days (after it was deposited in such 
cell by a Queen), than an egg laid in a worker-cell, and as 
yet I have failed to find any difference ; so if any bee-keepers 
have seen what is described above, they have seen some- 
thing that I have never been able to discover. 

I also find, that where a colony is made queenless, the 
little larva is floated out with royal jelly, till near the end 
of the cell, when a queen-cell is built out and dow^nward 
over the comb, rather than that the bees tear away cells, as 
described ; especially is this the case with old combs. 

At this time of hatching, the nurse-bees begin to feed 
the little larvse ; but, so far as I am able to judge, the larva 
in a worker-cell is surrounded by three times the food it can 
use, for the first 36 hours of its existence. Somewhere from 
this, to the time the larvse are three days old, the bees begin 
to stint them as to food, so that the organs are not developed 
as they would be if fed abundantly during the rest of their 
larval period. 

I also claim that the food fed to all larvae, up to the time 
they are 36 hours old, is exactly the same, whether the 
larvEB are designated for drones. Queens, or workers ; and 
that the difference comes by the queen-larva being fed large 
quantities of this food, all of its larval life, while the others 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-BEABING. 43 

are fed sparingly later on, or else a different kind of food 
given after they are 36 hours old. - Some experiments which 
I have conducted point in this direction, but, as yet I have 
not completed them fully enough to warrant the giving of 
them here. 

If the above is correct (and I firmly believe that it is) it 
will be seen that the larva in a worker-cell has all of its 
wants supplied for the first day-and-a-half, and is develop- 
ing towards a Queen just as fast, prior to this, in a worker- 
cell, as it possibly could in a queen-cell, surrounded by ten 
times the food that it can consume. 

Hundreds of experiments in using larvae from three hours 
old, up to those of 36 hours, prove that Queens from the 
former are in no way superior to those from the latter, while 
the bees always choose the latter, where the power of choice 
is left to them. As all of my plans of rearing Queens 
require the changing of small larvae, I have dwelt thus 
largely upon this very important point, so that the reader 
might know just where I stand in this matter. Years of 
success in producing the best of Queens, together with the 
result of many experiments, conducted by some of our best 
Queen-breeders, go to prove that I am correct in the above 
conclusion. 

A little practice will enable any one to know about how 
old the larvas are, by glancing at them in the bottom of the 
cells. Bear in mind that a larva but thirty-six hours old is 
a small affair, as the rapid growth is made at the latter end 
of its life ; and if you think that there is any chance of a 
mistake on your part, in not knowing larvEe of that age, or 
younger, you should put a frame in a hive and watch for 
eggs, then watch for the eggs to hatch into larvse, when, by 
looking in the cells from twenty-four to thirty-six hours 
afterward, you will know to a certainty, just how such as 
you should use will look. If you have been as correct as to 



44 DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-EEARING. 

the age of larvsB used, as you should be, all of the Queens 
will hatch from the prepared cells, in from eleven-and-a-half 
to twelve days from the time the frame was given to the 
queenless colony. An expert can judge so closely that he 
can figure the time of hatching to within three or four hours. 

In taking care of these cells, I generally do it on the after- 
noon of the tenth day, if it is pleasant ; for if deferred till 
the eleventh day it necessitates taking care of them on that 
day, no matter what the weather may be. 

As soon as the cells are taken from the hive, I go to the 
colony which had the brood given them (when it was taken 
from this colony in preparing it for Queen-Kearing), and 
take three frames well tilled with brood, on one of which is 
the Queen, and place them back in the now queenless and 
•broodless hive, being particular to see, in putting the frames 
of brood in the hive, that the Queen is on the center comb, 
so that the bees which go with her will surround and pro- 
tect her, till all the bees become thoroughly mixed. 

If it is early spring, I shake the bees in front of their 
own hive, from oft" the combs which do not have the Queen 
on, so as to keep this colony as strong as possible ; for in 
three days from this time, this colony is to go through the 
same course that the other did, in rearing more Queens. 

At the end of three days, all of the brood that was left, 
is to be carried to the hive which now has the Queen, so it 
will be seen that no colony will lose over thirteen days of 
time, by this process o"f Queen-Rearing, before it is back in 
nearly as good condition as ever. If ,we wish to save still 
more time to this colon}', some colony can be kept pur- 
posely to care for the cells by keeping it queenless and giv- 
ing brood occasionally to keep up the population. Into this 
colony the frames of queen-cells can be placed as soon as 
sealed, thus keeping none of the Queen-Rearing colonies 
Queenless for more than eight days. 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-llKAIllNa. 45 

Some toll us that a quoenless colonj' will rear four or five 
lots of queen-cells before the }oung bees fj;ot too old to rear 
perfect Queeus ; but I say, do not roar but one lot of colls 
from any colony, at one time, if you wish to have good 
Queens. 

The reason is obvious, why a second lot of cells will not 
be as good, if you will take pains to read over what was said 
about getting the colony in condition to rear good Queens. 
It would be nearly as bad as causing all old or field bees to 
rear Queens, for the nurses have now been six days without 
anything that should cause them to prepare chyme, hence 
they have none in their stomachs to feed the little larvse, so 
they must go to work to produce more before they can do 
this work. By the time they could give them chyme, the 
larvsB would receive a check from which they would never 
recover, even if they could be fed as much and as good food 
afterward, which is unreasonable to suppose. 

Since I adopted the above method, what is known as the 
" Alley plan of Queen-Rearing" has been given to the pub- 
lic ; but after a thorough trial, I fail to find any point 
wherein it is superior to the one given above, while in some 
few points I consider it inferior. 

However, good Queens can be reared by the Alley pro- 
cess — very much better ones than those reared by any of 
the old plans that were used by most of the Queen-breeders 
before he gave his to the world. For this reason, Mr. Alley 
should have a prominent place assigned him, among the 
ranks of those who have done much to advance the cause 
of apiculture during the Nineteenth Century. 




Tulip or Foplar. 



DOOLITTLB ON QUBBN-RBAHING. 47 



CHAPTER VII. 

THE NEW WAY OF REARING QUEENS. 

While rearing Queens, as given in the last chapter, I 
became anxious for some plan by which I could get Queens 
reared by natural swarming, so that the cells would be all 
on one comb, and in a shape to eare for as easily as were 
those which were built from the queen-cups that I gave to 
queenless colonies. For years I had practiced taking the 
larvae out of queen-cells, which the bees had under way, 
and substituting larva3 from my best Queen, by the transpo- 
sition process ; but in all of these oases I had to take up 
with the cells where the bees had built them, besides, in 
many instances, after going over all of the combs in a hive 
I would find only three or four cells, so I had to do a great 
deal of work without receiving much benefit from it ; while 
in cutting oft' the cells, I was obliged to mutilate many of 
my very best combs. This did not please me, so I set about 
seeing what could be done by way of having cells built 
where I desired them. 

To this end, I prepared cells the same as I had done in 
giving them to queenless colonies, after which I placed the 
frame in a hive where the colony was preparing to swarm. 
I then waited two days, when I opened the hive, hoping 
that the bees had taken the larvaa which I had given ; but in 
this I was disappointed, for every one of them had been 
removed, while, much to my surprise, I found that every 
cell but two, contained an egg deposited therein by the 



48 DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-EEAHING. 

Queen. In this I had gained a point, even if it was not just 
what I had been looking for. 

I now watched these cells, to see what would become of 
them, and found that they were treated the same as others 
are — the colony swarming on the sealing of the first cell. 
As these cells were brought to perfection, I was not long in 
comprehending that in this I had a plan that would give me 
the cells all on one comb, the same being reared by natural 
swarming, and by it I could secure at least twice the number 
that I had ever been able to obtain before. By getting the 
colonies, having the best Queens, to swarm early, and keep- 
ing them at it as late in the season as possible, I could rear 
fully four times as many splendid Queens by this process as 
before, besides having tlie cells in such shape that every one 
of them could be saved with very little trouble. 

In this way I kept on until I found that I could not find 
sufficient embryo queen-cells to keep up with my now- 
increasing calls for Queens, hence I must manage in some 
way to increase the supply of these, or else go back to the 
old way of Queen-Rearing for a part of my suppty. The 
latter I very much disliked to do, which led me to go 
over the ground of making cells again, as I had formerly 
done. 

While thinking of this matter, it came to me — why not 
dip the cells, the same as my mother used to dip candles ? 
This thought so waked me up, that I wondered at myself for 
not thinking of it before, and immediately I had some wax 
in a small dish, over a lamp, to melt. While this was melt- 
ing, I hunted up the old stick that I used in forming the 
cells at my first trial, which was nothing more than a tooth 
out of a common hand hay-rake. This tooth was now fitted 
to a queen-cup, as perfectly as I could do it with knife and 
sand-paper, while a mark was made around the tooth where 
the open end of the cell should came, so that I could know 



DOOLITTLB ON QUEEN-REARTNG. 49 

just how deep I wanted it to go in the wax, to give me the 
desired depth of cell. 

By this time the wax had melted. I then got a dish 
of cold water, and after dipping the end of the stick in the 
water (up to where it was marked, or a little deeper), and 
giving it a quick jerk, to throw off the water not needed, it 
was quickly lowered into the wax up to the mark, and as 
quickly lifted out, twirling it around and around in my 
fingers, so as to cause the wax to be equally distributed over 
the wood. I now had a film of wax over the stick, so frail 
that it could not be handled, but in it I saw the commence- 
ment of a queen-cell, which would, I was sure, be a boon to 
my fellow bee-keepers, for the wax much resembled the very 
outer edge of a queen-cup built on new comb. 

I then dipped it again, not allowing it to go as deep 
within one-sixteenth of an inch as before, and in twirling 
the stick after taking it out, the end having the wax on was 
held lower than the other, so that the lower end, or the base, 
would be the thickest, as the wax would flow toward the 
lowest point. As soon as the wax on the cell was cool 
enough to set, it was again dipped, not allowing it to go as 
deep in the wax as it did the previous time, by about a 
thirty-second of an inch, when it was cooled as before. In 
this way I dipped it from^ six to eight times, when I had a 
queen-cup that pleased me, as the outer edge was thinner than 
the bees made theirs, while the base was so thick that it 
would stand much more rough usage than would cells built 
by the bees. I now held it in the water, twirling it so that 
it would cool quickly, and, when cold, it was very easily 
taken off of the stick or form, by twisting it a little. It 
could then be fastened to a comb, by dipping in melted wax, 
the same as I did with one of the cups. 

I Jj,ad now solved the mystery of queen-cell making, and 
to make them quickly, I made more sticks, so that as soon 



so 



DOOLITTLE ON QtTBEN-KEAHING. 



as the wax had set on each, they could be laid on the table 
to cool, by placing them on a block [Fig. 5] having little 
notches in it. 




Fig. 5.— Some of the Paraphernalia Used by a Queen-Breeder. 



[Explanation op the abote Enqeaving : — Beginning 
at the right hand side, we have 1st, a mailing-cage used in 
shipping Queens ; 2nd, the three forming-sticks, laid on the 
notched-block while the wax is cooling ; 3rd, the dish for 
cold w^ffir ; 4th, the lamp having the dish of wax on top ; 
5th, a wire-cloth cage used in introducing Queens ; 6th, 
(near the front edge of the table) the ear-spoon used in 
scooping up the royal jelly ; 7th, the stick used to place 
royal jelly in the queen-cup ; 8th, a queen-cell protector, 
showing a hatched cell in the same, with the stopper in 
place ; 9th, (at the back side of the table) a stick having wax 
bueen-cups attached, showing their position on the stick.] 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEBN-REABING. 51 

In this way I could be dipping right along, while the wax 
on several sticks was cooling. I finally found that three 
were as many as I needed, for if the thin film first formed 
became too cold before it was dipped again, it did not work 
so well in taking the cells off. 

Later on I dipped the stick deeper in the wax than at first, 
as I found that the bees would not reject so many of the 
cells when this was done. I find by measuring, that I now 
dip the sticks in the wax nine-sixteenths of an inch the first 
time (measuring from the extreme point), and dipping less 
and less each time, as before stated, so as to get the base of 
the cell very thick, which I consider a gjgat advantage. A 
convenient way to get the right depth, is to raise one side 
of the lamp a little [Fig. 5, page 50] , so that the wax will be 
deeper in one end of the dish, than at the other. Dip in 
the deep end first, having the wax deep enough in this end 
so that it will come to the right point on the stick when the 
end strikes the bottom, and keep going toward the shallow 
end, as you proceed. 

By holding the stick, when lifted from the wax, at differ- 
ent angles while twirling it, the cell can be made heavy at 
any desired point. To keep the wax at the right depth, add 
a little occasionally, putting it in that part of the dish 
immediately over the lamp, so that it will melt quickly. 
To secure the best results, keep the wax just above the 
melting point, for, if too hot, it requires many more dip- 
pings to get the same thickness of cell, besides bothering in 
other ways. 

The question now before me was, would the bees accept 
of these cups the same as they did the natural cups that I 
clipped off the combs ? I feared not ; and in this I was 
right, as the first trial proved. This was a disappointment 
to me, although I had thought it might be so. 



52 DOOLITTLE ON QtTEEN-EEARING. 

While studying over tlie matter, it came to me one night 
as I lay awake — why not put some royal jelly into these 
cups, the same as there was in the cells that I had always 
been successful with, when transferring larvse in the swarm- 
ing season ? This seemed so reasonable that I could hardly 
wait for the middle of the day to come, when I could try it. 
At 10 o'clock the next day, I had a dozen cells prepared, 
each having some royal jelly in it ; then larvse were placed 
in the royal jelly, the same as I always did, when using the 
transposition process in swarming-hives. In this way the 
larv;E had an abundance of queen-food, even though the 
workers did not feed them in from two or three hours to 
half a day, which Was quite a step in advance of setting 
them in embryo queen-cups, with only the food that I could 
take up with the tooth-pick, as previously stated. 

To get the royal jelly in the cups, I dipped a little of it 
out of a queen-cell that I took from a colony building cells, 
taking one that was nearly ready to seal, as such had the 
most jelly in it. After the large queen-larva was thrown 
out, the whole jelly was stirred up in the cell, so as to get 
all of one thickness, for that in the bottom of the cell will 
be found much thicker than that about the larva. 

When thus mixed, the jelly was taken up with the ear- 
spoon on a pair of tweezers [Fig. 5, page 50], which was 
then transferred to the hollowed-out end of a little stick, 
by drawing the bowl of the ear-spoon over the end of the 
stick, until about one-eighth inch in diameter of the jelly 
was standing on the end of it. The end of the stick having 
the royal jelly on it, was then lowered into the bottom of 
the wax-cup, when it was twirled a little so as to make the 
jelly stay on the bottom of the cell, the same as it does 
when the bees place it there. 

The amount of jelly used for each cup, was about the size 
of a"BB" shot, when on the end of the stick, before 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEBN-BBARING . 53 

lowering into the cup, or one-eiglith inch in diameter, as 
stated before. To get the first jelly of the season, a colony 
must be made qneenless ; but after this, it is secured by 
taking one or two of the prepared cells at any time before 
they are sealed up. 

Having the frame in readiness, it was given to a colony 
that was preparing to swarm, and left for two days. When 
I opened the hive this time, and drew out the prepared 
frame, you can imagine my pleasure, at seeing 12 as nice 
queen-cells under headway as I ever saw, all looking like so 
many queen-cells built out of new comb — they were so light 
colored. In thi-ee days more, these 12 cells were capped, 
and, in due time, 12 as splendid Queens as I ever saw, 
hatched from them. There was now no need of searching 
combs for embryo queen-cells, for I had something very 
much better, and something which would stand more rough 
usage than the other cups ever would endure. 

My next idea was to have all of my queen-cells built on a 
stick, or piece of frame-stuff, the same as I had read about ; 
so when I again made some, instead of taking the cup off 
the form, I only loosened it enough so that it would slip off 
the stick easily, when it was again dipped in the wax and 
immediately placed on a mark on the piece of frame-stuff, 
which mark I had designated as a place for a cell [Fig. 6]. 
In an instant the cup had adhered to the frame-stuff, when 
the forming-stick was withdrawn. This cell was placed 
near one edge of the stick, which was one inch wide, one- 
fourth of an inch thick, and long enough to crowd between 
the side-bars of one of my frames. The cell was also placed 
near the centre of this stick, as to its length, but close to 
one side of it, as to width. 

The next cell or cup was placed one and one-half inches 
to the right of the first, while the third was placed the same 
distance to the left, and so on until six were on the stick. I 



64 



DOOLITTLE ON QUBEN-BEABING. 



then put up the next on the opposite side from the other 
six, and half way between them, so that when I had six 
more cups on, or 12 in all, the cells alternated with each 
other, which gave more room to each cell when occupying 




Fig. 6.— Affixing the Wax-Cups to ttie Stick on -which they 
are to be built. 



a given space, than would have been given, had I placed 
each along the centre of the stick [Fig. 5, page 50]. 

To get the designated places for cells, set the dividers 
the distance apart that you desire the cells, and after having 



DOOLITTLE ON QtrEBN-BEARING. 55 

put one of the points where you desire to have the first cell, 
" walk" them along until you make the number of point- 
marks that you want cells, and, in dipping, set a wax-cup 
over each point-mark. 

Having the cells thus fixed, helped in several ways, as it 
gave the bees a better chance to cluster among them in 
building, while it gave me a better chance to manipulate 
the cells in transferring the royal jelly and larvae to them, 
taking them off, etc., and especially in getting them off the 
stick ; for, when fixed in this way, all I had to do was to 
push gently on the outside of the base of the cell with my 
thumb, then off it came, without any danger of injuring it 
in any way. 

After dipping cells for some time, the forming-sticks will 
get so coated with wax that the water will stand in drops, 
instead of flowing freely over them, thus causing the cups 
to stick so as to spoil them in taking off. When this is the 
case, the stick is dipped in the water, and immediately 
placed between the second and third fingers of the left 
hand, close up to the hand, and twirled around once or 
twice, which causes the water to spread out over the stick ; 
when it is dipped in the wax, and will work again as well 
as ever. When working continuously I am able to make 
from 150 to 200 cups in an hour, so it will be seen that but 
little time is required to make all that will be needed in any 
Queen-Rearing establishment. 

I now had easy sailing all along the line, for all I had to 
do was to prepare the frame with these wax-cups, put in 
the royal jelly, which was now very easily done by laying 
the stick of cells bottom-side up on a table [Fig. 5, page 
50] or chair before me, while the royal jelly was being 
dished into each ; and befoi-e removing from the table, trans- 
fer the larvae taken from the hive, having my best breeding 
Queen, into each cell. When all was ready, this stick of 



56 



DOOLIITLE ON QUEBN-KBAHING. 



prepared cells was crowded between the side-bars to a 
frame of comb, which had been previously cut so that the 
cells would come in the center of the comb, while the ends 
of the stick slipped thi'ough a slot cut in the comb for them. 




Fig. 7.— Frame Showing how the Stiols of Queen-Cups is Fitted into 
It, ana How the Cells look after being Built from the Cups. The Illus- 
stration is less than one-fourth Size, as the Frame Used is for the 
Gallup Hive, which is lliixllJi Inches. 

I keep several old combs, say 10 or 12, for this purpose, 
which are used as often as cells are needed. This is a great 
convenience, and saves destroying or mutilating a valuable 
comb every time we wish cells built. 

By doing the whole in a warm room, I was independent 
of the weather, for in carrying the frame to the hive, I 
wrapped it in a warm flannel cloth, when it was at all cooj 



DOOr.riTLE ON QUEEN-EEAKING. 57 

outside. Ill this way I was sure to get a large proportion 
of the cells completed, whether used in a colony preparing 
to swarm, or in a colony which I had fixed for Queen- 
Rearing. 

Before carrying to the hive, a slight shaving was taken, 
from the top-bar of the frame, and the date placed on it, so 
I could know just when these cells would hatch. If the 
figures on it read 7-20, I knew that the cells were prepared 
July 20, and should be oared for on the 30th of that month. 
I now wrote in a small book kept for this purpose, 7-20 
placed in hive 40 (if that happened to be the hive they were 
placed in), so that by looking at this book at any time, I 
knew where each frame of cells was, and when put there. 
If cells were started with larvse from any but my best Queen, 
the name of the Queen was also placed on the frame and in 
the book, so that I knew just what I was about at all times. 
By looking in this book, I knew just when and where I 
should go to get these cells, so that none were destroyed by 
the Queens hatching before I expected. 

In getting larvsB for Queen-Rearing, when very cool, I 
placed the piece of brood under my clothing near my body, 
as soon as cut from the comb, and kept it there while car- 
rying it to the room, so that there was do danger of chilling 
the larvae ; or, if handier, as was sometimes the case, I 
placed it in a box having a heated iron in it, as will be 
explained farther along. A small room especially adaipted 
for the handling of cells, brood, etc., which can be kept 
warm in cool weather, is almost a necessity to the man who 
makes a business of Queen-Bearing. When only a few 
Queens are reared, the family kitchen can be used, as there 
is almost always a fire there — providing the " better half " 
is willing. 

After working successfully along this line, with both 
swarming colonies and those made queenless for Queei}- 



58 DOOLITTLE ON QUEBN-EBAEING. 

Rearing purposes, I chanced one day to find a colony which 
was about to supersede its Queen, and gave evidenoe of 
being one of those colonies which might have two Queens 
in a hive. I was not long in deciding to try my process of 
cell-building in this colony, so I at once destroyed the queen- 
cells which the bees had started, having royal jelly in them, 
using the royal jelly to put in the wax-cups I had prepared 
for them. I soon had the frame of prepai'ed cells in the 
colony, when I waited rather impatiently for the next two 
days, till I could see what the developments would be. 

At the end of two days, I went to the hive, and upon lift- 
ing out the frame I found that eleven out of the twelve cups 
prepared, had been accepted, and were now on the way to 
completion, as perfect queen-cells. Two days before the 
cells were ready to hatch, I had them photographed, and I 
have given the reader a fairly good picture of them, [Fig. 7, 
page 56] , which also represents these cells as built in an 
upper story over a queen-excluding honey-board, as about 
to be described. 

To say that I was delighted with this success, would hardly 
express it ; I was almost happy in thinking that I could now 
get queen-cells of the best type, and by the quantity, as 
long as I could keep that old Queen alive at the head of the 
colony, for it was an exceedingly strong one. 

Upon leaving this colony, I went to another strong one, 
and removed its Queen, so that I might have a place where 
I could put these cells as soon as they were sealed, for safe 
keeping, till they were old enough to give to nuclei ; for my 
object was to keep this colony rearing Queens constantly, 
as long as the mother lived. As soon as the cells were 
sealed, they were removed and placed in the queenless 
colony, and another prepared frame given to them. 

This last frame was accepted the same as the other, and, 
if my memory serves me rightly, this colony completed 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-RBARtNG. 59 

eleven sets of cells, before the old Queen gave out entirely. 
At any rate, they reared so many that I saw the plan was a 
complete success, for all of these Queens were of the high- 
est possible type, as to color, size and fertility ; while the 
amount of royal jelly put in each cell was simply enormous, 
so much so that one cell taken from the frame would have 
jelly enough to start the twelve cups on a prepared frame 
at any time ; while large quantities were left in the bottom 
of each cell, after the Queens had hatched out. 

Before going farther, I must digress a little. In January, 
1883, I met Mr. D. A. Jones, of Canada, at the "North 
Eastern" bee-convention, which was held that year at Syra- 
cuse, N. Y. ; and in a private talli, regarding how to best 
secure the greatest yield of comb honey, he told me that he 
had found that he could get the most honey by having it 
built in the brood-chamber of the hive, fixing things so as 
to have the sections surrounded with brood, as it were. 

To briefly describe the plan, as I now remember, it was 
as follows : When the honey season arrived, the brood- 
chamber was divided into three parts, the central one hav- 
ing five combs in it, which were to be enclosed- with perfor- 
ated-zinc, or, what we now term, queen-excluding division- 
boards. These five frames were to contain, as far as possi- 
ble, only hatching brood, so that the Queen might have 
room to lay, as the brood hatched out. On either side of 
this small brood-chamber, sections were to be placed, by 
hanging in wide frames filled with them to the amount 
which it was thought that the colony required ; while 
beyond these wide frames of secti6ns, the remainder of the 
frames of brood, taken out when reducing the brood- 
chamber, were to be placed^having an equal number on 
each side. 

In ten day?, the hive was to be opened, and the Queen 
hunted, and, when found, the frame she was on was to be 



60 DOOLITTLE ON QTJBBN-REAEING. 

put outside, wliea the remaining four frames were put over 
to take tlie place of those outside of the sections, while 
those outside were to be placed in the brood-chamber, and 
the frame having the Queen on it returned. By treating 
the colony in this way every ten days, the Queen furnished 
as much brood as she otherwise would, while the sections 
were kept in the middle of the hive (so to speak) all of the 
while, which caused the bees to work assiduously to fill up 
this vacant space in the brood-nest, thus giving more honey 
than could be obtained in any other way. 

This looked so reasonable to me, that I accepted it at 
once; but with the usual caution which I have always 




Fig. 8.— Queen-Excluding Division-Board. 

thought best to use, where trying something new, I made 
only two hives to be worked o;i this plan the following sea- 
son. Without going into the details farther, suffice it to say 
that on account of pollen in the sections, and some other 
difficulties, the plan did not succeed with me as I had 
expected, so it was given up. 

There was one thing that I learned, however, which 
started me on the road to a new discovery along the line of 
Queen-Rearing ; which was, that in every case, where 
unsealed brood was placed outside of the sections, the bees 
would start from one to three queen-cells, and unless I cut 
them off, the Queens hatching from them would supersede 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-REARING. 61 

the old one, or else a swarm would be the result, when the 
combs having the cells on, were placed back with the Queen 
again. This I did not like, as it was t«o much bother to 
look over the combs careful!}-, every ten days, in addition to 
the other work, when a change of combs was to be inade. 

One of the colonies so tried, had one of my best Queens 
in it, and when I came to cutting ofif the cells, I was not 
slow to see that thej- might be made to form no small part 
in mj- Queen-Rearing business. However, the cutting of 
nice combs to get these cells stood in the way of my desir- 
ing to get all of my Queens in that way, and besides, all the 
Queens so reared did not please me, for the colony was 
often so spread out with sections between the brood, that the 
necessary heat to get good Queens was not always present. 

I now began using the queen-excluding metal [Fig. 8, 
page 60], between the upper and lower stories of the few 
hives that I worked for extracted honey, and in one or two 
cases, brood from the lower story was placed in the upper 
one, over the queen-excluding honey-board. Again I had 
queen-cells built as in the former case, which were cared for 
as well as any I had ever seen, although, as a rule, but two 
or three would be built on one lot of brood. 

In thinking the matter over one night, while I was awake, 
doing some planning for the future, it came to me that these 
cells were built under precisely the same conditions, that 
the cells were when the bees were thinking of superseding 
their Queens, at which time I was enabled to get the best of 
queen-cells built. To be sure, the Queen below was a good 
one, but as she could not get above, the brood that the bees 
had there did not increase any, so they concluded that they 
must have a better Queen in this part of the hive ; hence 
they went to work to produce one. 

One thing that I had always noticed was, that where the 
bees had their own way in the matter, where cells were built 



G2 DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-BEAEING. 

to supersede a Queen while she was still in the hive, they 
never started more than three or four cells, while one or two 
were more often built than otherwise. That the bees only 
built about the same number in these cases of brood above a 
queen-excluding honey-board ; and, also, that I have never 
known a swarm to issue, simply from having queen-cells in 
such an upper story, when none were below, shows that 
they consider the conditions the same as in case of super- 
sedure. 

Having become satisfied that I was right on this point, 
the next step was to see if the plan which had proved so suc- 
cessful with the colony about to supersede its Queen, 
would work above the queen-excluding honey-board ; and if 
it would, I would be a step farther in advance than I had 
ever been before ; for in it I saw something of great value 
to the bee-keeping fraternity in the future. 

A frame of queen-cups were now prepared as before, and 
to make sure of success, if such a thing were possible, I 
reared two frames of brood (mostly in the larval form) 
above, so as to get as large a force of nurse-bees about 
the prepared cells as possible, to properly feed the queen- 
larvas. The prepared frame was placed between the two 
having brood in them. In two days I examined this frame, 
and found that my conclusions were right, for every cup 
had grown to a half -built queen-cell, while the little larvse 
were floating in a quantity of royal jelly, that more than 
half filled the cell. These were finished in due time, and 
from them hatched Queens which were every whit as good 
as any I had ever seen. 

I now had things brought to where I was master of the 
situation, so that I could rear the best of Queens, just when 
and just where I wanted them, and that, too, with a laying 
Queen in the hive at all'times, so there would be no loss in 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-REABING. 63 

honey-production, to any apiarist, while rearing Queens ; 
and tlie beauty of it all was, that these cells were all on a 
stick, so that they could be made use of without injuring 
any of my good combs, or in any way endangering any of 
the occupiints of the cells. 

Not knowing to what extent this plan could be carried, 
and yet secure good Queens, I went slowly at first, not giv- 
ing any one colony a second prepared frame, till after the 
first had been removed and more brood placed above. As 
I leave the cells where they are built, till they are nearly 
ready to hatch, or for ten days, this took five colonies to 
give me a lot of queen-cells every other day, as I desired 
them, during the heighth of the season. 

The next season, wishing to see how much there was in 
the plan, I put in a prepared frame as soon as the first cells 
were sealed, and then another as soon as these were sealed, 
and so on indfefinitely. As far as I could see, the last lot of 
cells were as good as the first, although, as a rule, I did not 
get quite as many accepted. It was a rare thing that the 
bees finished less than nine out of twelve prepared cells 
during the first season, while the bees would frequently 
build and properly care for the whole twelve. In crowding 
them so fast, they would sometimes give me only five or six, 
yet, as a rule, they would average about eight, so that I 
really gained nothing by thus crowding things. 

For this reason, I now kept along the line of work fol- 
lowed the first season, till the past summer, when, to see 
what might be accomplished, preparatory to writing this 
book, I gave a prepared frame to a colony every two days, 
and, while they did not complete as many cells on each 
frame as formerly, when I gave them less often, yet some 
cells would be built on every frame. 

In this way, I had in one colony having a laying Queen 
below, queen-cells in all stages of progress, from those just 



64 DOOLITTLE ON QUBEN-EEAEING. 

ready to hatch, down to larvse that the bees had just com- 
menced to feed, by adding to the royal jelly which I had 
placed in the cups ; and, besides this, I had Queens kept in 
nui'serles in different parts of the upper story. I also had 
in this same upper story. Queens just hatched, and some 
just commencing to lay, by having a part of the upper hive 
formed into nuclei, by using perforated-metal division- 
boards, as will be explained farther on. It will be seen 
that there is scarcely any limit to what can be accomplished 
by this method of Queen-Rearing, and queen-fertilizing. 

However, as a rule, I think that a little better Queens can 
be reared by the way I worked the plan the first season, for 
the cells are better supplied with queen-food, where unsealed 
brood is placed in the upper story every ten days — enough 
better, in my opinion, to pay for the extra work. 

Again, I would not put over twelve wax-cups on a stick, 
for if more are used, the young Queens are not fed quite as 
well. In my experiments I have used as high as twenty- 
four cups, and had every one accepted and finished ; but 
unless the colony was an extremely populous one, I did not 
get quite as good Queens as when only twelve were used. 

To show what may be accomplished by this method, I 
will sa}', that in the honey harvest I have prepared sticks 
having from four to eight cups on them, the sticks being 
made of the right lengtli to crowd into any section of the 
hive that I was using, so as to keep it from falling down, 
when the section was placed between two others, in which 
the bees were at work over a queen-excluding honey-board ; 
whenupon going to the hive atthe end of ten days, I would 
find as nice queen-cells, nearly ready to hatch, as any one 
needs to see. 

I have also had Queens fertilized and kept till they were 
laying, one in each section of the hive, yet this plan of pro- 
ducing Queens in sections, is not to be recommended, as it 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-EEARING. 65 

spoils the section from being lirst>class for honey, ever after- 
ward. 

By way of caution, I wish to say, tliat if a Queen is by 
any means allowed to hatch in the same apartment where 
the cells are, these cells will at once be destroyed. If the 
bees with such a Queen, are shaken off the combs, so as to 
get her out of the way of more cells being built, and the 
bees are allowed to enter the hive below, with this Queen 
(as would be natural for any apiarist to do), this young 
Queen will destroy the one below, no matter how prolific or 
how valuable a Queen you may have there. This queer 
procedure, I bring to bear on all Queens that I wish to 
supersede, as will be explained farther on. 

Another thing : In the fall (or in this locality after 
August 15th), when the bees begin to be inactive, or cease 
brood-rearing to any great extent, the warmth generated in 
the upper story will not be great enough to produce good 
Queens, and as the season draws toward a close, no queen- 
cells will be completed, unless we feed sulficiently to arouse 
the whole colony into activity, and keep them thus all the 
time while the cells are being built. At such times I have 
had cells that usually mature in eleven-and-one-half days, 
to be from sixteen to twenty days before hatching ; while 
the Queens would be almost black, from the same brood 
which produce very yellow Queens during June, July, and 
the first half of August. In all parts of the country where 
fall flowers abound, I presume just as good Queens will be 
reared in September by this plan, as at any time ; but as we 
have no fall flowers here, I cannot be positive on this point. 

At any time when the bees work the cells very slowly, I 
know no better plan than that which was given in the last 
chapter, only I use the wax cells, prepared with royal jelly, 
as given before. Then in early spring, before the colonies 
are strong enough to go into the upper stories, we must use 



66 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-REARING. 



that way also, for there are not enough bees in any hive to 
use the above methods, which I believe to be the best of all. 
However, much can be done by way of getting a colony 
strong, by giving sealed brood, so this last process can be 
used much earlier in the season, than otherwise would be 
the case. 

In this chapter, I think that I have given something of 
great value to the fraternity ; and if it shall lead to the uni- 
versal rearing of a better class of Queens, than have foi'- 
nierly been reared, I shall be well paid for all my efforts in 
this direction. 




Borage. 



DOOLITTLB ON QUBBN-BEABING. 67 



CHAPTER VIII. 

GETTING THE BEES OFF THE CELLS. 

It would hardly seem that a chapter should be devoted to 
this subject, but from what I know of others doing along 
this line, and what I used to do myself, I am satisfied that 
many Queens are materially injured before they are out of 
the cells, and many more are killed outright. We frequently 
see in print, the instruction given, when handling frames 
after the bees have swarmed and before the queen-cells 
have hatched, that togetthebees off the combs, the " frames 
should be shaken," or "the bees shaken off in the usual 
way." Many write, asking why their queen-cells do not 
hatch, or why so many Queens hatch with crippled wings, 
or having a dent in one side of the abdomen. When 
answering such an enquiry, and asking for more particulars, 
these almost always reveal that they have shaken the frame 
having the cells on, to get the bees off. 

One man came a long distance for some brood from my 
best Queen, from which to rear some Queens to cross with 
his stock ; and after securing some 50 or 60 splendid cells 
from this brood, by the transposition process, he came after 
more brood, telling me that out of the whole lot, only three 
Queens hatched, and only one of those being perfect. Upon 
asking him how he got the bees off the frames having the 
queen-cells on them, he said he shook them off the same as 
he always did. It does not seem that any one would be so 
thoughtless, yet there are hundreds who do not stop to think 
of these little things. 



68 DOOLITTLB ON QUEBN-KBAKING. 

I wish to emphasize the words, never shake the bees off a 
frame having queen-cells on it, nor in any way suddenly jar 
it ! for queen-cells are much more liable to injury while on 
the frame, than they are when taken from where they were 
built. The reason for this lies in the fact that when the 
comb is moved, there is a heavier body than in a single cell ; 
hence the heavy body takes more force to move it than does 
the lighter one, which is apt to give it an accelerated speed, 
and when suddenly brought to a stop, it causes a concussion 
much gx-eater than the operator dreams of ; while this con- 
cussion sets the Queen pupa to tumbling around in its cell, 
to a very damaging extent, and one nearly, if not quite as 
great, as would come to it had the tree in its forest home, 
as provided by Nature, been suddenly blown over by some 
thunder-gust. Under such circumstances, no one would 
expect queen-cells to hatch. Care should always be used 
in handling cells, but especially before they are removed 
from the combs or frames. My way of doing this is as 
follows : 

Having lifted the frame with the cells on it, from the hive, 
it is careful!}' put down near the entrance, letting it rest on 
the bottom-bar, so that it will occupy the same position that 
it did in the hive. To thus fix it without killing the bees, 
which may be on the under side of the bottom-bar, I lower 
it so that it will touch the short grass which grows about the 
sides of the hive, and then, by drawing the frame endwise 
toward the entrance, the bees are all brushed off on the 
grass, so that none are left where they would be killed. 
This is the way I always do, when putting the frame on the 
ground for any purpose. 

Having the frame near the entrance, and leaning up 
against the hive, I smoke the bees thoroughly, so as to 
cause them to fill themselves with honey, and while they 
are doing this, I arrange the interior of the hive, when it is 



BOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-REAEING. 69 

closed. I then smoke the bees some more, and if they seem 
inclined to leave the comb and run into the hive, I keep 
smoking them until all have run in ; but if they are loth to 
leave the comb, which they usually are, I take hold of the 
frame and raise it a foot or so above the entrance, when, 
with one of the soft bee-brushes, now used by most bee- 




Fig. 9.— "Yucca" Bee-Brush. 

keepers, or with the feather end of a quill from a turkey's 
wing, the bees are brushed off, brushing about the cells very 
carefully. 

If the bees have filled themselves with honey, they are 
rolled off the comb with the brush very easily, and seldom 
offer to sting ; but if you undertake to brush them, when the 
frame is first lifted from the hive, j-ou will find that they 
will stick to the comb and cells " like tigers," while their 
fury will be scarcely less than would be shown by the tiger 
herself, if pushed around while being robbed of her cubs. 

Where frames of queen-cells are obliged to be handled on 
a cool day, or in a rain-storm, it is sometimes best to take 
them, bees and all, into the warmed room where the work 
is done with cells. When there, remove the cells as quickly 
as possible, allowing the bees to remain on the comb, which 
they will generally do if we do not smoke them very much 
while removing the frame from the hive. Upon reaching 
the room, they will begin to fill themselves, and if spry, we 
can remove the cells while they are filling, and carry them 
back to the hive without losing any. 



76 DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-BEARING. 

Once having the cells in the warm room, we need be in no 
hurry, for if the room is of the right temperature (from 85° 
to 95^), the inmates of the cells are advancing toward 
maturity just as fast as they would be in the hive. 




Cleome in Bloom. 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEKN-EEABING. 71 



CHAPTER IX. 

WHAT TO DO WITH THE QUEEN-CELLS. 

Having the qneen-cells all built, and being nearly ready- 
to batch, with the bees all off from them, the next thing we 
want to know, is what to do with them. 

There are three ways generally employed in using them, 
the one used most being to give the cells to nuclei or queen- 
less colonies ; next, putting the frame having the cells on, 
in a lamp-nursery, leaving them there, and taking out the- 
Queens as fast as they hatch ; and, lastly, putting each cell 
in a separate cage having food in it ; while the cages are so 
arranged, that from 12 to 24 of them wiU just go 
inside of a frame, filling it solid the same as a comb would ; 
when the frame of cages is placed in the center of a full 
colony of bees, where it is left till the Queens, hatch, when 
they are to be disposed of as is thought best. 

The last is called a queen-nursery, and has the advantage 
over the lamp-nursery, in the: fact that no watching is 
required to keep the Queens from killing one another, should 
several hatch during the night, or when the apiarist was at 
other duties. As I -wish to say something about each method, 
I will speak of them in the order nam«d above. 

As a chapter will soon be given on forming nuclei, all 
that I shall say in this, will be in regard to how it is best to 
get the cells into these nuclei, or into a full colony, if you 
wish to put them there. Bear in mind, that if you wish to 
be sure that the cells are not torn down, you must wait 
about giving them to any colony, whether weak or strong. 



72 DOOXilTTLE ON QUEEN-BEARING. 

from twenty-four to forty-eight hours after their laying 
Queen has been taken away ; or, in other words, the colony 
must be queenless for that many hours, before it is time to 
take the cells from the colony where they were built. 

Some claim that an unprotected queen-cell can be given to 
a colony, at the time a laying Queen is taken from the same ; 
but all of my experience goes to prove that where this is 
done, nine out of every ten cells, thus given, will be 
destroyed. I am not alone in this, for many prominent 
apiarists write me that they can do no better. However, I 
will say, that it may be that I do not have my colonies small 
enough, for a colony so small that there is not over 200 
bees in it, will accept of a Queen or a queen-cell much more 
readily than will a colony of 20,000 workers. 

In giving queen-cells to colonies, if the weather is warm 
enough so that there is no danger of chilling the cells, or 
say when the mercury is at 75° or above, I take the frame 
of cells in my hand, and go to the nuclei with it (unless 
there is danger of robbing, from scarcity of honey in the 
fields), and put the frame of cells down next to the hive con- 
taining the nucleus or colony, the same as it was placed at 
the entrance of the hive in getting the bees off, so as to be 
sure that the cells are not injured in any way. 

I then open the hive, and, having selected the spot on the 
comb where I wish to put the cell, I place my thumb on the 
base of one of the queen-cells and gently bear down, when 
it cleaves off the bar of wood to which it was fastened, as 
easily as need be. Now, instead of cutting the combs and 
fitting the cells into them, tlie way we always used to do, 
all I have to do is to place the cell against the side of the 
comb where I wish it to stay, and gently push against the base 
of the cell, when it sinks into the comb far enough to make 
it a fixture. After this comb is lowered into the hive, 
and the next comb brought up to it, this next comb touches 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-KEAEING. 73 

the cell on the opposite side, so that it cannot fall out, even 
if the bees do not stick it fast, which they are almost sure 
to do, even if the other comb does not touch it. 

Here is another advantage that these cells have over 
those entirely made by tlie bees, in that the wax is so thick 
at the base of the cell, that it is impossible to dent them 
with au}' reasonable handling ; also this mode of putting on 
the comb keeps the nice worker-combs from being injured, 
as was the case with the old process, given in nearly all of 
our bee-literature. 

If robber bees are so that they will follow around, trying 
to get at the framp of honey with the queen-cells, the same 
is taken to the shop, or other room where I work, when the 
cells are taken off the bar of wood, in the same way as 
described before, and placed in a little basket that I have 
for the purpose, as fast as they are removed. 

Why I use a basket in preference to anything else, is 
because in warm weather this lets the air around the cells, 
it being of open-work, so that when the sun strikes on them 
there is not nearly the danger of over-heating that there 
otherwise would be. In a tin dish, when left in the sun, it 
takes only a moment or two to spoil the inmates of the 
cells by over-heating, while on hot days I have to be careful, 
even with the basket. Upon going to the apiary, the cells 
are now taken from the basket and used as before. 

If the weather is very warm, or the colony to which the 
cell is given, is a strong one, 1 do not take out a frame when 
inserting the cell, but simply spread the top-bars apart a 
little, and crowd the cell lightly between them so that it 
will stay. This works equally well, if we are sure that the 
colony is strong enough to cluster around it, so as to keep 
it warm ; but in all cool weather the other is the safest plan ; 
as in the first case I always put the base of the cell just 
above the brood, so that the point comes down on the brood, 



74 BOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-REAEING. 

which insures the bees caring for it, as surely as they care 
for the brood. 

If the weather is cooler than 75° in the shade, I heat one 
of the largest weights to my scales (any iron will do) so 
warm that I can just hold it in my hands, when it is dropped 
into a wooden box of sufficient size to let it slip into it, and 
over the weight is placed several thicknesses of felt, cut to 
fit the box. The cells are now placed on the felt, when a 
cover for the cells, made by sewing two or three pieces of 
the same felt together, and having a little handle attached, 
is placed over them. The cells are now protected from the 
cold, so that I can go right on with my work, regardless of 
the weather. 

When I go to a hive, all I have to do, is to lift the felt 
cover by the handle, take out the cell and put back the 
cover. If you have more cells than you think the iron will 
keep up the necessary heat for, all you have to do is to leave 
the rest in the warm room until you can return and heat the 
iron again. 

An oil-stove is very handy to keep this room warm, or to 
heat the iron or anything else with, and has the advantage 
in allowing you to control the temperature of the room per- 
fectly, by turning the wicks up or down. However, any 
stove, or any room having one window in it, will answer all 
purposes, for any one who has not things fitted for this 
special work. 

What I have to say about the lamp-nurseiy will be brief ; 
for, to tell it just as it is, I have very little use for it, and 
none whatever in the way it is generally used. I do not like 
to be obliged to watch as closely as is necessary to keep the 
Queens from killing one another while hatching ; besides, 
the gain when used in this way, is very little if any, where 
the cells can be left in the colony building them, until they 
are nearly ready to hatch, as is the case with the plan of 



DOOLI'WLE ON QtTEBN-EEAHlNG. TB 

cell-building which has been given. By the old ways, where 
the colony was kept nearly, or quite idle, from the time the 
cells were sealed till they were ready to hatch, the time 
saved to the colony by taking them to the lamp-nursery as 
soon as sealed, undoubtedly paid ; but where the work of 
the colony is going on just the same, whether there are cells 
iu the hive or not, the case is different. 

The only time when I use it, is early iu the spring or late 
in the fall, when I have to get the cells built in queenless 
colonies, and then I only use it in connection with the 
queen-nursery, which does away with all watching, or 
sitting up at night to see to the Queens. 

Were it not for the traffic in Virgin Queens, which is now 
growing, and bids fair to assume gigantic proportions, and 
the few times when we have more queen-cells ready to 
mature than we have just at that time small colonies to take 
them,, there would be little .more use for the queen-nursery 
than for the lamp-nursery. 

For these reasons, however, I think that the lise of the 
queen-nursery pays well ; for it allows us to sort the Virgin 
Queens in sending them off, so we need send only the best ; 
while it many times enables us to save a nice lot of Queens, 
which we would otherwise lose. 

In using it, I put it in the upper story of any colony hav- 
ing a queen-excluder between it and the lower story ; often 
putting it in the same apartment where the bees are rearing 
Queens, as it makes no difference to the bees as regards 
cell-building, the work going on just the same if there are 
50 Virgin Queens caged in the same apartment. At first I 
feared that cell-building would stop, or the cells already 
built would be destroyed, but after testing the matter, I find 
that Queens thus caged have no influence along these lines 
whatever. 



76 



DOOLITTLE ON QTTEEN-EEAEING. 



The kind of nursery that I prefer, is like the one [Fig. 10] 
invented by Mr. Alley, and desci-ibed in his book ; but if my 
memory serves me rightly, Dr. Jewell Davis was the first 
one to bring the queen-nursery before the public. 

I make the queen-nursery as follows : Sixteen blocks are 
gotten out, 2|x2f xf of an inch, which exactly fill one of 
my frames. A one-and-one-half inch hole is bored in the 
centre of each of these blocks, over which is tacked a piece 
of wire-cloth having 12 to 16 meshes to the inch, and being 
two inches square. 



MIIIIIII|lllltltlllMI 


'IIIMILJ 1... n < 


. !■ ii' 








ri 


JL'jHt^j';; 


•.;S'.:".i,''T)i 

llu:.;;:;;; 




III 


:!''l;FJ!t: 


ij'"'U: 






ilB 


I'll 


::::■■=;:: 




i| 



Pig. 10.— Queen Nursery. 



Before tacking on the wire-cloth, I bore in the edge of the 
block (which is designated for the top after the block is put 
in the frame) a three-fourths inch hole, boi'ing down to 
within one-eighth of an inch of the one-and-one-half inch 
hole. I now finish boring the hole with a one-half inch bit. 
This hole is for the queen-cell to be placed in, and the 
reason for the two sizes of holes is to give a shoulder, so that 
the queen-cell can hang in the block, the same as it does on 
the comb, and still be in no danger of slipping through into 
the block. This hole is bored a little to one side of the 
centre, so as to allow room for a one-half inch hole on the 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-EEARING . 



77 



other side, which is to receive the candy ; the latter liole is 
so bored tliat it comes out near one side of tlie one-and-one- 
lialf incli hole, and when it is deep enough, so that a hole 
large enough for the Queen to enter, is made, I stop boring, 
for a shoulder at the bottom is needed to keep the candy in 
place [Fig. 11]. Now fill the hole with candy, packing it in 
with a plunger made to fit the hole loosely, and tack on the 
wire-cloth. The blocks can be made so that a given num- 
ber will fit any frame in use. I only gave this description 
as the right size to use in the Gallup frame. 




Fig. 11.— Nursery Cage. 



Having the cages provisioned with the "Good" canc^v, 
made of granulated sugar and honey (granulated sugar is 
preferable to the powdered, to use in these cages), the cells 
are taken oflf the frames as before, when a little honey is 
put around the end, just where the Queen will bite oflf the 
cover in hatching, so that she can feed herself before com- 
ing out of the cell, the same as the bees feed her, when she 
hatches in the hive. When first using the nursei-y I did not 
know of this "trick," consequently I lost many Queens by 
their not having strength to get out of their cells ; but when 
I saw the bees feeding a Queen one day, through an open- 



78 DOOLITTLB ON QUBBN-KEAKING. 

ing in the cell, I took the hint, and have had no trouble 
since. 

After the cell has the honey on it (do not put on enough so 
that it will daub the Queen), the cell is put in the hole made 
for it, and the cage put in the nursery-frame, and so on till 
all are in, when the nursery is taken to the hive and put 
where it will be kept warm by the bees. 

If in early spring or late in the fall, it'is put in the lamp- 
nursery, which is then kept running, as the heat in the hive 
is not great enough at this season of the year to hatch 
Queens where the cells are in a nursery. I have lost many 
Queens, even after they had hatched, when trying to keep 
them in the nursery, placed in a colony, after the bees had 
become partially inactive in the fall ; so the queen-nursery 
is of no value in this locality after Sept. 15, unless it is used 
in connection with a lamp-nursery. If all has been done as 
it should be, there will be a splendid Queen in each cage, 
in due time, ready to use when wanted. 

In all of this work with cells, they should, as far as pos- 
sible, be kept in the same position as they are in the hive, 
and if laid down, it should be done very gently, so as not to 
injure the young Queen within. 

Before putting in another lot of cells in the cages, place 
a drop of honey on top of the food in the candy-hole, instead 
of renewing the candy ; for this honey will work its way 
down through the sugar, so as to be where the Queen can 
get it when she hatches, which is as good as to renew the 
candy each time. 



DOOLITTLE ON QrEKN-KEAMNG. 79 



CHAPTER X. 

THE QUEEX-CELL PROTECTORS. 

Some few years ago, after becoming disgusted by losing 
many queen-cells in trying to get the bees of a colony to 
accept such, as soon as a laying Queen had been taken 
away (as some claim can be done), I resolved that I never 
would again lose a nice lot of queen-cells, by trying to save 
from 24 to 48 houi^ time to my nuclei, as I had so often 
done in trying what proved to be, with me, an impossibility. 
In so deciding, I felt somewhat sad, for " time," with the 
Queen-breeder, " is money," in the summer months. How- 
ever, the loss of queen-cells was of more money value than 
the loss of time to the nuclei, hence I was driven to the 
above decision, although with great reluctance. 

That afternoon Mrs. Doolittle was away from home, not 
expecting to be back till in the evening ; so when it grew 
so dark that I could see to work no longer, I went into the 
house, and, being rather dissatisiied with myself, in having 
to own up as being entirely beaten by the bees, on account 
of tiie above, I threw myself on the couch, instead of read- 
ing or answering correspondents, as is my custom generally 
before retiring. Being fatigued, I soon fell asleep, and 
slept about an hour. 

Upon waking, the first thought that came to me was, why 
not make a cage of wire-cloth to protect the queen-cell, so 
that the bees could not get at the side of the cell until they 
became aware that they were queenless, which would be at 
about the time the cell would hatch ; and in this way be 



80 DOOLITTLE ON QUEBN-KBAKING. 

victor, instead of owning up beaten, as I did a little while 
ago ? Very soon the picture of a cage and all how to use 
it, stood out before me, so plainly that I could see it with 
VDj mind as distinctly as I ever saw any picture with my 
eyes. 

The idea of caging queen-cells was old, and cages espe- 
cially adapted to this purpose had been advertised for a good 
many years ; but the ideal cage presented before me at this 
time, was for the special purpose of allowing the safe intro- 
duction of a queen-cell, nearly mature, to a colony at the 
time of taking away a laying Queen, the cage being so con- 
structed that the Queen could hatch and walk right out 
among the bees, the same as if no cage was there ; while at 
the same time the cell was safely secured against the bees, 
so that they would not destroy it. 

All are aware that when bees destroy a cell, they bite into 
the side or base of it, and never at the point, on account of 
the cocoon being so thick at the point end, that they cannot 
make much headway in trying to get a hole in there. Well, 
the cage I saw on awaking, was to be made so as to protect 
all parts of the cell from the bees except the point, and 
this was not easy for them to get at, even if they did try to 
bite through it at this place. 

The cage was made by rolling a small ]Diece of wire-cloth 
around a V-shaped stick, so that a small but not very flailing 
funnel was made, the hole in the small end being as large 
as an ordinary lead-pencil. After making the cage, I cut 
oflf a piece of five-eighths inch cork for a stopper, put in a 
nearly mature queen-cell, with the point down into the lead- 
pencil hole as far as it would go, when the piece of cork 
was put in so that the bees could not get in at the base. 
[Fig. 5, page 50]. 

I now took a fine wire and run it through the meshes of 
the wire-cloth just above the cork, so as to keep the cork in 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-REAEING. 81 

place, while the other end of the wire was bent so that it 
would hold on to the top of the frames, in order to keep the 
cage in the position I desired it, between the combs. These 
caged cells were hung in the hives at the time the Queens 
were removed, and in from 24 to 48 hours, according to 
the age of the cell, I had a nice Virgin Queen in the hive 
wherever a caged cell was hung. 

As soon as I found it was a success, I made many more 
cages, so that now I have no more trouble with bees destroy- 
ing cells, not having over two per cent, destroyed out of the 
thousands so caged during the past three years. The cage 
protects the cell everywhere except at the point, but allows 
the bees to get accustomed to the presence of it, the same 
as if the cage was not there. The lead-pencil hole allows 
the Queen to hatch the same as if the cell were not caged, 
while the bees can feed the Queen and hold her in the cell 
as long as they please. The few cases where Queens are 
killed, seem to come about by the bees destroying them 
after they have been let out of the cell ; yet I have thought 
that in a very few instances, the bees had torn away the 
extreme end of the cell and dragged the Queen out ; but 
the instances of Queens being destroyed where cells are so 
caged, are so few, that the plan can justly be called a suc- 
cess. 

Instead of using cork for stoppers, I now use a piece of 
corn-cob, which will fit nicely in the cage, above the base of 
the cell ; and instead of hanging the cage in the hive with 
a wire, I press the cage into the comb, the same as I have 
told of doing with an'uncaged cell. In pressing the cage 
into the comb, bear on the cob, for in this way there is no 
danger of pressing the meshes of the wire-cloth into the 
cell ; and only press it far enough so that the cage is secure 
to the comb. In this way the bees will not gnaw through 
the septum to the comb, so as to injure it, if the cage is left 



82 DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-EEARING. 

in the hive for several days after the Queen hatches, as they 
are sure to do if the cage is pressed down till it strikes the 
center of the comb. 

When I have many Queens to send off, in days when there 
is danger of over-heating the cells, or chilling them, I put 
up the Queens first, then take the caged cells in the basket 
or heated box and put them in afterward, the same as is 
done with uncaged cells. 

Some who have tried this plan of caging cells, have com- 
plained that they had to trim the cell so much to get it in 
the cage, that it made lots of work, which is the truth, 
where the old plans of ceU-building are used ; but with the 
plan of wax-cells, as here given, all of this trimming part 
is done away with. This also accounts for the -reason that 
some have not succeeded with them, for the cells built by the 
old plans would not tit the cages so well but that the bees 
could get at them to bite in at the sides of the cell. 

This caging of cells is of great value, where Queens are 
placed in the upper story of full colonies, for fertilization, 
as is soon to be described ; for in this case I have never had 
one destroyed, even when put in but a few hours previous 
to their hatching. 



BOOLITTLE ON QUKEN-REARraG. 83 



CHAPTER XI. 

HOW TO FORM NUCLEI. 

There are nearly as many ways of forming nuclei as there 
are different individuals who make them ; yet that does not 
alter the old saying that, "there is a right and a wrong 
way " to do almost anything. Many of the plans employed 
are very poor, to say the least, as I have proven by tiying 
nearly all of the methods given. Of these poor methods I 
will not speak, for there are plenty of plans which are 
fairly good, hence I can see no reason for any one using a 
poor method. 

The plan in most general use, is to go to any colony 
which can spare the bees — between the hours of 10 a.m. and 
2 p.m., when the bees are flying briskly, so that most of 
the old bees are from home — and take a frame of brood and 
one of honey, together with all of the adhering bees, being 
careful not to get the old Queen, and put the frames into a 
hive where you wish the nucleus to stand. The bees are now 
to be confined to the hive for 48 hours, so that they will not 
go back to their former location, and, just at night, they are 
to be set at liberty, and a queen-cell given them, when in a 
week or so they wiU have a laying Queen. 

The frame of brood should have plenty of young bees just 
hatching from the cells, and to make sure that you do not 
have the old Queen, she should be found, and the frame 
which she is on, put outside of the hive while you take the 
other two frames out. This plan does very well where 
there are but few nuclei to be made, and has the advantage 
of being so simple that even those most unaccustomed to 
bee-keeping can understand it. 



84 DOOLITTLE ON QtlEEN-EEAElNG. 

A plan fully as simple, and one which I like better (inas- 
much as the bees need no confining), is to make a colony 
queenless, thus causing it to rear Queens, as given in Chap- 
ter VI, only using the wax-cells with royal jelly in them. 
As soon as the cells are sealed over, give the colony all of 
the frames of hatching brood that they can care for, so as 
to make it a powerful colony ; when, two days before the 
Queens should hatch, a cell is to be transferred to each of 
the combs, by pushing the base of the cell into the comb, 
as I have explained. 

On the next day, each frame having a cell on it, is to be 
carried to a hive where you want a nucleus to be, and after 
placing it inside the same, a frame of honey is to be given, 
drawing up the division-board so as to adjust the hive to 
the size of the colony. Now from any hive take a frame of 
brood, and after shaking the bees off from it, carry it to the 
now combless hive whose colony reared the queen-cells, 
fasten a cell to it (which should have been reserved for this 
purpose), and leave the frame in this hive to be taken care 
of by the bees that were not taken with the removed combs, 
and those which will return from the fields. In this way, 
from 5 to 10 nuclei can be made from one colony, according 
to the time of year when the plan is practiced. 

Both of these plans are to be employed only where cells 
are given, for the first will not receive a Virgin Queen, and 
the last will not stay with a strange Virgin Queen as well as 
they will with one of their own cells. 

However, it often happens that we have more young 
Queens than we have nuclei to care for them, and as we wish 
to save these, and also get along just as fast as possible, I 
experimented until I found a plan whereby young Queens 
from one to five days old could be introduced, and nuclei 
formed at the same time, so that the day after the bees were 
liberated, they would have a fertilized Queen. 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEBN-EEAHING. 85 

The way of doing this, is to make a wire-cloth frame that 
will fit into a hive, and yet admit one of the frames from 
the hive inside of it, which should also have a cover fitted 
over the top, so that no hee can get out. Now take a frame 
having much brood about to hatch, and hang it in the wire- 
cloth cage, when one of the young Queens that you have on 
hand is to be allowed to run down inside the cage. Next, 
put on the cover, and hang the cage in any hive where the 
colony is strong enough to keep up the desired temperature. 
If you have an upper story on any hive, this is the best place 
to put it, for it requires more room for the cage and frame, 
than it does for the frame without the cage, as there must 
be from one-fourth to three-eighths of an inch between the 
wire-cloth and the comb. If you use a lamp-nursery, and 
can control the temperature perfectly, this caged frame may 
advantageously be put in that. 

In four or five days from the time the frame was put in 
the cage, take the cage from the hive (when you will find 
it pretty well filled with bees, providing that you made a 
good choice in the selection of the frame of hatching brood), 
and carry it to the hive where you wish it to remain. Now 
put the cage down near the entrance of the hive, take off the 
cover, and after having removed the frame from the cage, 
put it in the hive, placing a frame of honey beside it ; adjust 
the division-board, and after closing the hive, shake the 
bees out of the cage near the entrance, when some of them 
will run in, with the call of "home is found." 

In making this change, probably many bees will fly in 
the air ; but if the cage was left at the entrance, as it should 
be, all will enter the hive when through their play-spell. 

In one or two cases the Queen was fertilized on the day 
they were put in the hive, but usually not until the next day. 

This plan has the advantage over the others, inasmuch as 
there is no danger of any bees leaving the nucleus ; and also, 



86 DOOLITTLB ON QUBBN-KBAKING. 

that about as soon as formed, they have a laying Queen. 
After having all in readiness, nuclei can be made in this way 
with very little trouble, and I like the method very much. 

There is alsoanother way of making a nucleus, and intro- 
ducing a Virgin Queen of any age, which I use more often 
at the present time than any other ; and as a part of the 
process applies to the safe introduction of Queens received 
through the mails wlien we do not expect them, I will give 
the plan at leugth. 

First, make what I have termed a " nucleus box," as fol- 
lows : Take two pieces of wood, six inches long by six wide, 
and three-fourths of an inch thick ; to them nail two pieces 
twelve inches long by six wide, and one-fourtli of an inch 
thick, so as to make a box ten-and-one-half inches long by 
six wide, and six inches deep, inside measure, without sides. 

I next take two pieces of wire-cloth, twelve inches long 
by six-and-one-half inches wide, one of which is perma- 
nently nailed to one side of the box, while the otlier is nailed 
to four strips wliich are one-fourth of an inch square, these 
strips going around the outer edge of the wire-cloth. 
Through the center of these strips is driven a five-eightlis 
inch wire-nail, so as to fasten tliis wire-cloth to the opposite 
side of the box in such a way as to make it readily remov- 
able at any time, with an ordinary pocket-knife. In the 
centre of the top of the box, bore a hole of the right size to 
admit the small end of a funnel, to be made of tin, and 
large enough so that you can shake the bees oflT the frames 
into it, the same as is done in putting up bees by the pound. 
Over this hole fix a slide, button, or something of the kind, 
so tliatthe hole can be closed quickly, when you wish to do 
so, when taking out the funnel, or putting in a Queen. 

Having the box and funnel made, go to any hive having 
an upper story with a queen-excluder under it (so that there 
will be no danger of getting the old Queen), and take out 
two combs well covered with bees, if you want a good-sized 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-HBAEING . 87 

nucleus ; or only one comb if you desire a small nucleus. 
Put these combs on the ground, resting them against the 
hive, then jar them a little, by rapping on the comb with a 
stick, knife-handle, or the thumb-nail, so as to cause the 
bees to fill themselves with honey. As soon as the bees are 
filled, shake them off the combs into the funnel, and they 
will roll down through the hole into the box. 

Take the funnel out of the box, and close the hole, when, 
after putting the combs in the hive and closing it, take the 
box to the bee-cellar, or any dark, cool place, and leave it. 

If more than one nucleus is to be made, I go to other 
hives, and take out frames, the same as I did at first, thus 
keeping at work while the bees are filling themselves with 
honey ; in this way as many nuclei can be made as we have 
boxes, doing the work of getting them into the boxes as 
soon as the bees are filled with honey. 

To secure the best results, and have the small colonies so 
that they can be cared for at about sunset, they should be 
made between the hours of 9 and 11 a.m. If it is not handy 
to carry the boxes of bees to a room or cellar, I simply put 
them on the shady side of the hive, and place an empty 
hive or hive-cover over them, leaving them where they are. 

In less than an hour these bees will almost " cry " for a 
Queen of some kind ; but as they will sometimes cluster (or 
ball) a Queen if given too soon-, especially where Virgin 
Queens are used, I wait from 3 to 4 hours, when they will 
fairly "beg" for a Queen. I now get as many Virgin 
Queens, from 4 to 8 days old, as I have boxes of bees, and 
put them in with the bees. All I do in putting them in, is 
to set the box down suddenly, thus jarring the bees aU to 
the bottom, so that they will be out of the way while I have 
the hole open, then put the Queen down through the hole. 

The box is now left until nearly sunset, when the bees 
will be found all quiet, and clustered like a swarm. To have 
it so that the movable side of wire-cloth can be taken off 



88 DOOLITTLB ON QUBEN-EBAEING . 

without disturbing the cluster, I incliue the box when leav- 
ing it, after putting the Queen in, so that the bees will 
cluster away from this side. 

They are now hived in a hive, having in it a frame of 
honey, and a frame having some sealed or hatching brood 
in it. If possible, do not give them any unsealed brood, for 
if you do, they will sometimes kill the Queen, and rear cells 
from the brood given. It is not natural for a colony to have 
an oldish Virgin Queen at the same time that they have 
eggs and larvse ; for in Nature, all brood would be sealed 
before the young Queens were three days old. 

To hive them, I put the frame of brood and honey on one 
side of the hive, together with the division-board, when, 
with a quick jar, I dislodge all of the bees from the box, on 
the bottom of the hive, near the opposite side. I now 
quickly slide the combs and the division-board across the 
rabbets to this side of the hive, when the bees are imme- 
diately on them. In three or four days more, this young 
Queen is fertilized and laying, when the nucleus is ready 
for sending oflf Queens at once, with less time and labor 
than it takes to get a laying Queen in any other way. 

All nuclei, in whatever manner made, should be put close 
to one side of the hive, having a division-board drawn up 
to the combs which the bees occupy ; while the entrance 
should be on the opposite end of the hive, at the bottom, 
else the nuclei may suffer from being robbed by strong 
colonies in times of honey-dearth. Since I began to thus 
arrange my nuclei in hives, I have not had one robbed ; 
while previous to this, I was much annoyed from this source. 

In these four methods, I have given the reader the 
" cream" of all the plans now in use, without their having 
to go over scores of methods of making nuclei, as I was 
obliged to do. At all times when bees are working in upper 
gtories, I consider the last plan the best yet knowij, 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-RE AEING. 89 



CHAPTER XII. 

HOW TO MULTIPLY NUCLEI. 

After each Queen has commenced to lay, she should be 
allowed to stay in the hive a day or two before sending her 
off, so as to supply the combs with eggs, thus keeping up 
the strength of the nucleus. If she does as well as ^he 
ought to, and if we get a laying Queen as often as we should, 
one-half or more of the nuclei will begin to get stronger 
than they need to be, to secure the best results ; for it is 
generally known that Queens will commence to lay sooner, 
and be I'eceived much quicker, in rather. weak nuclei, than 
they will in. those which are very strong. 

For this reason, and also not wanting to take any more 
bees from my fuU colonies tha:i I could possibly avoid, I 
have been in the habit of " multiplying nuclei," as I term it, 
every time that I came across a strong nucleus, where there 
were many young bees hatchingfrom the combs ; and doing 
this as long as I want an increase of such small colonies. 

As already stated in a former chapter, bees will adhere to 
combs on which is a nearly-mature queen-cell, when carried 
to a new location, much more closely than they wiU adhere 
to frames of brood ; but nothing will hold bees to a new 
location equal to a Queen that has just commenced to lay. 

Taking advantage of this fact, I place an extra comb in 
all nuclei which I think will be strong enough to spare one 
from it, by the time the Queen commences to lay. After she 
begins to lay, she is left till there are eggs in the two combs, 
when the comb having the most mature brood in it 
^together with the (^ueen E|,n4 all adhering bees) is taken to 



90 DOOLITTLB ON QITBEN-KEAKING. 

a new hive, thus starting up a new colony. The two combs 
left in the old hive are now brought together, a caged queen- 
cell given to the remaining bees, and the hive closed. A 
frame of honey is given to the bees and Queen in the new 
hive, the division-board adjusted, and that hive is also 
closed. They are now left in this way for three days, when 
the Queen is sent off, and the bees are given a caged cell. 

Where Queens are reared in large quantities for market, 
this plan of multiplying nuclei is of great advantage, and I 
have used it very largely during previous years. A little 
practice will enable any one to know when these small colo- 
nies are strong enough to be divided, and convince him that 
this is the quickest and simplest way of making nuclei now 
known. 

When through with these nuclei in the fall, enough of 
them are put together, or united, to form a good colony for 
wintering. To do this I send off Queens enough on one day, 
or otherwise dispose of them, so that the number of nuclei 
un-queened will make a good colony. I now proceed to 
cause the bees in each to fill themselves with honey, when 
thej' are shaken down through the funnel into the box used 
in forming nuclei, and treated in the same way, by giving 
them a Queen, hiving them, etc. 

I am glad, however, to tell the reader that all this work 
of forming nuclei and uniting them, will soon be a thing of 
the past ; for in the next chapter you will find a more excel- 
lent way of getting Queens fertilized, than by the use of 
nuclei. The near future will see all Virgin Queens fertilized 
in full colonies, each colony having a laying Queen. 



DOOLI'lTLE ON QUEEN-ltBAHING. 91 



CHAPTER XIII. 

QUEENS FERTILIZED IN THE SAME HIVE WHERE 
THERE IS A LAYING QUEEN. 

To secure the fertilization of Queeas, without having to 
form nuclei, has been a hobby of mine for years. By this I 
do not mean what is called " fei'tilization in confinement," 
as my faith in this has always been small, although I have 
spent much time in this direction ; and right here I wish to 
say, that I cannot help thinking that in all cases of success 
reported, there must have been a mistake somewhere ; else 
why could not such men as Prof. A. J. Cook, L. C. Root, 
and hosts of other practical bee-men, who have tried all of 
the plans ever given to the public, have had just one case 
of success ? As near as I am able to learn, all who have 
reported success, were either novices in the business, or 
were those who conducted their experiments so loosely, that 
there was a chance that their Queens became fertilized by 
the ordinary way, at some time when the experimenter 
might have beenfound " napping." 

My hobby has been that of letting the Queens fly out to 
meet the drones, the same as they always do, yet without 
despoiling colonies, by making nuclei to keep them in, from 
the time they were hatched till they commenced to lay. My 
first plan was to take Virgin Queens, from eight to ten days 
old, into the fields to places where I believed that drones 
congregated, by the loud roaring which Iheardjn high alti- 
tudes, between the hours of 1 and 3 o'clock p.m. 
. I would then let them out of the wire-cloth cages which I 
had carried them in, leaving each one in a separate place, 



92 DOOLITTLB ON QFEEN-BBARING. 

near some old gtump or stone, from which they could mark 
the location of their cage. The Queens would mark the 
place from which they went, the same as they would when 
coming from a hive, circling farther and farther, till lost 
from sight, some of them being gone a long time (long 
enough to meet a drone), when they would return and 
re-enter the cage, and if I was on hand, they could be easily 
secured again ; but I have to report only failure along this 
line. If allowed to do as they pleased, after returning, 
they would fly out again and again, till they would finally 
go oflf, never to return. 

My next plan was to take a very few young bees and a 
little piece of comb in these cages, but with this I was no 
more successful. Why no Queen should ever come back 
under such circumstances, bearing the marks of fertiliza- 
tion, is more than I can understand, yet such has always 
been the case. 

Through the suggestion of Mr. D. A. Jones, I next tried 
putting the Queen over a hive of bees, keeping her in a 
double wire-cloth cage, the wire-cloth being so far apart 
that the bees from the hive below could not reach her, while 
an entrance was made from the cage to the outside of the 
hive through a tube. Here the Queen would stay, with no 
apparent desire to go out, any more than she would have, 
if she were kept in a queen-nursery till she was too old to 
become fertilized. ■^ 

I tried putting a few young bees and a little piece of 
brood in with them, but in a little while the Queen, bees 
and all, would be gone, only to appear, perhaps, where 
they would, do lots of damage by entering a hive having 
queen-cells in it, or one having a valuable Queen. Then 
the ants were determined to reside with these isolated 
Queens, as the few bees with them would not keep the ants 



DOOLITTLB ON QTTBBN-REABING. 83 

away ; so that, on the whole, the failure ia this was even, 
greater than the first, for all were eventually lost. 

My next plan was to take the few sections from the hives, 
which I sometimes found with brood in them, taking bees 
and all, after which glass sides were put on so as to keep 
the bees from getting out. They were then carried to the 
bee-cellar, where they were left one day, when a Queen was 
given them. They were then left till the Queen was old 
enough to become fertilized, when they were put upon a 
shelf on the inside of the shop, near a hole which had been 
made for them to go out through — a hole being cut through 
the section to match. In this way I succeeded in getting a 
number of laying Queens ; but as these were only nuclei on 
a very small scale, and as the bees bothered me by going 
out with the Queen, the whole thus becoming lost, I gave it 
up as a thing not worthy of pursuing farther. 

At about this time, I saw in some of the bee-papers, that, 
by accident, a Queen had become fertilized, in an upper 
story of a hive worked for extracted honey, the same hav- 
ing a laying Queen below, with a queen-excluding honey- 
board between the upper and lower story, the Queen hav- 
ing gone out to meet the drone through an opening which 
had been left between the upper hive and the queen- 
excludet. I was not long in seeing where my hobby might 
now be brought to the desired consummation, so I began 
experimenting. 

I first tried to see if I could get a Queen to laying in an 
upper story, the same as I had read about ; so I put some 
brood " up-stairs," and the next day I gave a queen-cell 
nearly ready to hatch, the same as I would have done had 
it been a queenless colony or a nucleus. 

In a day or two afterward, I examined the upper story, 
and found that the Queen had hatched, aiid apparently as 
much at home as if she had been in any ordinary colony. 



94 DOOLITTLB ON QUBBN-RBAEING. 

In four days more, I bored a three-fourths inch hole in the, 
back part of this upper hive, which was left open till the 
Queen commenced to lay, being about the usual time, tak- 
ing Queens as they average. 

I expected that the bees would use this hole for an 
entrance, to some extent at least ; but in this I was mis- 
taken, for scarcely a bee was ever seen at the hole, although 
a few came out on account of the disturbance, when the 
hole was first put through. 

This was late in the fall, but so confident was I of con- 
tinued success, that during the winter I prepared several 
hives, so that I could slide down a sheet of queen-excluding 
metal, three and one-half inches from either side, at any 
time that I wished during the next season. This space gave 
ample room for handling the two frames that it was designed 
to contain, manipulating them the same as I would in a 
nucleus hive. 

When the season for tiering-up arrived, the next year, 
these hives were put on as upper stories, over queen-exclud- 
ing honey-boards ; and when the colonies became strong 
enough to fully occupy them, a frame having a little brood 
was substituted for one of the combs at each end, and the 
queen-excluding metal placed in the grooves made for it. 

I now had in each end of these upper hives, one comb 
like the rest in the upper story, and one having some brood 
in it, to which the Queen after hatching would be confined, 
while the bees were at liberty to roam over the whole of 
both stories of the hive at pleasure. 

Into each end of the hive I then placed a queen-cell 
nearly ready to hatch, pressing it on the comb the same as I 
have spoken of in a preceding chapter ; then I awaited 
results. The Queens in the lower part of these hives were 
very prolific, the same being selected on purpose, as I 
desired to try the plan under the most unfavorable xircum- 



DOOLITTLE ON QUBBN-REARING. 86 

stances, so as to know if there was any chance of a failure. 
An examination, two days later, revealed that all of the 
Queens, had hatched and were perfectly at home. 

Four days later, a three-fourths inch hole was bored 
through the back part of the hive near each end, so as to 
come into the apartment where the Queens were confined ; 
while a button made of inch stuff, was fixed to turn on a 
screw, so that when the hole was open,' the button formed a 
little alighting-board, immediately underneath the hole, and 
when turned, it closed the hole entirely, leaving the hive as 
tight as it was before. The holes were left open for the 
next four days, when an examination showed that the 
Queens had commenced to lay ; and they were as nice, large 
Queens as I ever saw, when at this stage of their existence. 

The buttons were now turned, and the Queens left for two 
days, when they had filled every available cell with eggs — 
probably to the amount of three-fourths of a frame, as there 
was considerable honey in the combs. They were now 
taken out and sent to customers, or used in the apiary, 
according as I had place for them, when more cells were 
placed on the combs, and the buttons turned open again six 
days afterward. In due time I had more laying Queens 
ready to use, and that without hindering the work of the 
hive a particle, the bees working right along, and the old 
Queen doing duty below, the same as if she was the only 
Queen in the hive. More cells were given again, and so on 
during the season, success attending every effort. 

As hinted at in a former chapter, Queens can be ferti- 
lized from sections in the same way, by having a little brood 
in one of them, and enclosing those which the Queen is 
allowed to occupy, with perforated-zinc ; but, as I said 
before, I do not recommend the plan to be used that way. 
It will work equally well where using half-depth frames, as 
many do when producing extracted honey ; only, to be sure 



96 BOOLITTLB ON QUEEN-EEAKING. 

of success, there should be a little brood in one frame or 
comb. 

When I found that my "hobby" was really an actual 
fact, I felt to rejoice, I assure you ; and had it not been that 
I had resolved to give the matter in book form, these facts 
(together with how to get the queen-cells built, just when 
and where they were desired), would have been given to 
the public long ago. 

I find that to get the best results, the holes through which 
the Queens pass, when going out to be fertilized, must be on 
the back part of the hive, or on the opposite side from the 
entrance ; for if on the sides of the hive, or in front, now 
and then a Queen will go to the entrance, upon returning 
from her wedding-tour, and, as the bees are all of the same 
family, this young Queen will be allowed to go in and kill 
the one reigaing below. While experimenting to find out 
where these queen-entrances should be, I had three' Queens 
killed in the lower part of the hive during one season ; the 
last two of which were young Queens, having been laying 
only a month or two. 

This is a singular freak, and one which I do not know 
how to account for ; but I do know, that so far, every Virgin 
Queen that has succeeded in getting from the upper story 
into the lower one, has superseded the Queen reigning 
there, whether that Queen was young or old. Why they 
should think more of a Virgin Queen than of a laying one, 
under these circumstances, is the mystery ; for in all other 
cases, it is almost impossible to get a colony, having a lay- 
ing Queen, to accept of a Virgin, as thousands of bee- 
keepers are ready to testify. 

If it is desired to have more than two Queens fertilized 
from one upper story, it can be done by making more 
Queen apartments with the perforated-zinc, and inserting 
the cells so that they will hatch at different times, when, by 



DOOLITTLB ON QUEBN-KEABING. 97 

keeping the buttons over the holes where the Queens are 
too young to be fertilized, several can be allowed to go out 
on the back part of the hive, as they are ready to mate. If 
many upper stories are used in the apiary, probably the 
plan as I have given it, will yield all of the Queens required, 
except for those doing a large business at Queen-Rearing. 

These holes in the upper hive do not materially injure the 
same, for, if at any time they are wanted to be closed 
permanently, all we have to do is to cut some plugs of the 
right size, with a plug-cutter (such as is used by wagon- 
makers, in cutting plugs to put over the heads of screws), 
and put them in the holes, when one or two coats of paint 
will make the hive as good as ever. 

By using the above plan, nuclei never need be formed, 
except by those who want to rear early Queens for market, 
or by those who rear Queens by the thousand for sale ; in 
which case more or less nuclei would doubtless have to be 
made ; for we could not get our colonies strong enough for 
the upper stories, very early in the season, and unless the 
apiary was a very large one, there might be a limit to the 
upper stories, in whicli to have Queens fertilized. 

I think that no one will deny that the plan as given in 
this book, of rearing Queens at pleasure, and having them 
fertilized in the same hive with a laying Queen, is quite a 
step in advance of what we were 25 years ago, in this part 
of our beloved pursuit. The doing of this, without in the 
least interfering with the working of any colony, must, it 
seems to me, commend itself to every apiarist. 




Sour Wood. 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-REARING. 99 



CHAPTER XIV. 

BEE-FEEDERS AND BEE-FEEDING. 

In all of the work of Queen-Rearing it is essential, if we 
would produce good Queens, to feed the Queen-Rearing 
colonies when honey is not coming in from the fields, 
whether the Queens are reared in upper stories or in queen- 
less colonies ; even where a frame of prepared cells is placed 
in a colony which is prepai'ing to swarm (as I frequently 
do in the swarming season, when conducting new experi- 
ments), the bees will do nothing with them, unless they are 
getting sweets from some source. 

Many, undoubtedly, have bee-feeders of their own, which 
they think work well, and no doubt they do iu general 
feeding, for at such times almost any feeder will answer ; 
but for feeding during Queen-Rearing, I am satisfied that 
there is no feeder that will compare with the division-board 
feeder, after having tried nearly every feeder in use. By 
using this feeder, the food is near the bees, being in the 
same department with them, and in such way, that where 
even small nuclei are fed, there is no more danger of rob- 
bing, than there would be were so much stores in the comb, 
placed in the hive. 

Tlie engraving on page 40 represents one of the division- 
hoard bee-feeders now in use, but I prefer one made as follows : 
Make a frame, just as you would ^make one of the frames 
for a hive, except that for the bottom-bar you are to use a 
piece of wood one inch thick, and of the same width as the 
side-bars. In making this feeder, it will be enough better 



lOO DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-EEABING. 

to pay, if the joints are put togetlier with white load ; for, 
by so doing, there is no danger of its ever leaking. 

Having the frame made, nail on each side (nailing quite 
thickly with wire-nails three-fourths of an inch in length) a 
piece of one-eighth inch stuff, as wide as the frame is deep, 
lacking three-fourths of an inch. Having this nailed on, 
take off the top-bar (which should have been only slightly 
nailed on at first), and slip down in the centre of the feeder 
a side-bar of a frame, having previously bored some holes 
through it, so that the food may flow freely from the side 
where it is poured, into the opposite side, through this 
centre-piece. Now nail through the side of the feeder to 
this side-bar, thus fastening the thin sides to it, so that, 
should yoii ever wish to entirely fill the feeder, when doing 
rapid feeding, the sides would not spring out against the 
combs. 

Next, heat some wax or paraffine quite hot (paraffine is 
preferred), so that it will penetrate the wood thoroughly, 
and pour it into the feeder till the same is nearly full, 
allowing it to remain for about one minute. By this time 
it will begin to come through the thin sides, thus showing 
when it should be poured out. In this way, the wood is so 
filled with paraffine, or wax, that the feeder will never soak 
up the food so as to become sour. After pouring out the 
paraffine, when the feeder becomes cold, nail on the top- 
bar, which should have a hole (of the right size to fit the 
funnel that you may have) bored through it near one end, 
to place the funnel in, when pouring in the feed. 

Now hang the feeder in the hive the same as you would 
any frame, only let it be next to one side or the other of the 
hive, touching the same, so tliat the bees cannot go on the 
rear side of it. Here it can be always left, unless you want 
it out, for some reason. The reason for placing it close to 
the side of the hive is, that loss heat will be wasted in this 



DOOLITTLB ON QUEEN-HEARING. 101 

way than otherwise, and that the bees will have no loafing- 
place behind it, should 3-ou ever want to leave it in full 
colonies. 

Whatever is used to cover the hive (whether honey-board 
enameled cloth, or a quilt), should have a hole in it to 
match the hole in the feeder. I prefer to use enanieled- 
cloth, as it is alwa3'S removed easily, during the many 
manpiulations which must be pei'formed, with any colony 
that is rearing Queens. Then all we have to do to feed, 
when such cloth is used, is to cut a slit in it over the hole in 
the top-bar of the feeder, through which the end of the 
funnel can be inserted. When the funnel is removed, the 
hole closes up, so as to exclude all bees, besides keeping the 
warmth in, which is also quite an advantage. If a honey- 
board is used, then a little 151ook must be provided to place 
over the hole. 

In feeding, I use a common watering-pot, minus the 
"rose" (such as is used in watering plants), to carry the 
food in. This will hold about 25. pounds of food, and is 
fixed so that I may know just how many pounds I feed each 
colony at one time, and so that I can feed as little, or as 
much, as I choose. To do this, I pour the food into the 
vessel on the scales, and when the scales indicate one pound 
in it, I stop pouring, and mark the vessel in three equi- 
distant places, just at the top of the food ; when another 
pound is poured in, and the vessel marked as before. In 
this way I keep on until the top is reached, when the food is 
poured out, the vessel washed and dried, after which a fine 
line of paint is put over each mark on the tin. At the end 
of the first line at the bottom, the figure one is placed ; at 
the next, the figure two, and so on, placing the figure at 
the end of each mark, till I reach the top. 

I let this paint become thoroughly dry, when I have 
gomething that will be a peirmanent register of the number 



102 DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-KEAHING. 

of pouDds of food that 1 have ia the vessel at any time, 
■when the vessel stands upright. 

I now put in 10, 15, 20 or more pounds of food in the 
vessel, according as I want to feed, and go to the bee-yard. 
If I desire to feed a colony one pound, I notice where the 
syrup stands, and, after inserting the funnel in the feeder, 
I pour in what I judge to be a pound, when the vessel is 
allowed to hang in an upright position, and at a glance I 
can tell how nearly right I was. 

After a little practice one becomes so accustomed to this 
matter, that it will be a rare thing that a second pouring is 
needed. If I want to feed but oue-half pound, I can arrive 
at this close enough, by dividing the space between the 
marks, with the eye ; if more .than a pound, count oiF the 
marks, pour in the food till it comes to the mark desired, 
and the work is done, without any fussing or guessing about 
the amount that has been fed. 

As bees do better work at cell-building when the colony 
building them is getting lioney liberally, I prefer to feed 
these colonies quite heavily at times when no honey is com- 
ing in from the fields ; and when I find a nucleus that needs 
feeding, I do this by exchanging one of its combs for a full 
one, from one of these Queen-Rearing colonies. In this way 
I keep the food out of the way of these colonies, feed them 
as they should be fed while cell-building, and feed the 
nuclei, all at the same time. 

As the feeder is always in the hive handy, and the scale 
which marks otf the food is alwaj'S with me when I go to 
feed, I think that it is the easiest and best way that feeding 
can be done. 

It will also be seen that if a robber-bee tries to procure 
food out of this feeder, it must pass up through the cluster 
of bees, to the top of the hive, then down into the feeder, 



DOOLITTLB ON QUEEN-llEAMING. 103 

before it can get to the food, which practically <xcludes 
robbing from this source. 

When Queen-Rearing is carried on after the honoy- 
harvest is over in the fall. Queens are slow to become ferti- 
lized, and the later in the season it is, the more loth to go 
out they become. In such cases it is necessary to feed the 
nuclei a little, so as to stimulate the bees into activity, which 
will cause the Queens to fly when they otherwise would not. 
One-fourth pound of food, poured into the feeders of 
nuclei having Queens old enough to be fertilized, will bring 
them out every time, if poured in at about 11 a.m. On all 
other occasions, I advise feeding just at night, but it will do 
to feed in the forenoon in this case ; for, let the little colo- 
nies get excited as much as they will, there are not enough 
bees in each hive to get on a rampage, as does a strong 
colony. 







Ovaries of the Queen, greatly magnified. 



DOOLITTLB ON QUBEN-RBAHING. 105 



CHAPTER XV. 



SECURING GOOD DRONES. 



It is my belief that we, as apiarists of the Nineteenth 
Century, do not look to the high qualities of our drones as 
much as we ought, or as much as we do to these qualities in 
our Queens. To me, it seems that the matter of good 
drones is of greater value, if possible, than is that of good 
Queens ; for I believe that the father has as much, or more, 
to do with the impress left on the offspring, than does the 
mother. We select our Queens with great care, but leave 
them to mate with drones of a promiscuous rearing from all 
of the colonies in our bee-yard, as well as with the " scrubs " 
reared by our neighbors, or from such swarms as may be in 
the woods near us. Now this ought not so to be ; for if we 
would have the best of bees, our Queens must mate with 
the best of drones. 

To this end, it seemed to me that one of the most desira- 
ble things possible about Queen-Rearing, would be the fer- 
tilizing of Queens in confinement. For this reason I have 
tried every plan given to the public, for the accomplishment 
of this object," but, as I said in a previous chapter, I have 
so far nothing to record but failures. I would willingly 
give $500 for a plan by which I could mate the Queens that 
Irear, to selected drones as I wish, and do this with the 
same ease and assurance that our other work about the 
apiary is carried on. 

As we cannot as yet, do this, I find that the next best 
thing that I can do, is to set apart two or three of my very 



106 DOOLITTLE ON QDBEN-KEAllING. 

best Queens for drone-rearing, causing them, as far as may 
be, to rear all of the drones in the apiary. I do this by giv- 
ing these colonies a large amount of drone-comb, and keep- 
ing up their strength, if need be, by giving them worker- 
brood from other colonies. 

The other colonies are largely kept from rearing drones, 
by allowing only worker-combs in their hives, and by giving 
them a comb of drone-brood occasionally from one of the 
colonies rearing drones, just when they want drones the 
most ; for if this is not done, they will have drones anyway; 
even if they have to tear down worker-oomb to build such 
as is needed to rear them in. As soon as the major part of 
*the drones from this comb have hatched, it is taken away, 
before the inferior drone-brood (if any is placed in the 
comb) has time to mature. In this way I get all the drones 
reared from my best Queens, and only fail in not being able 
to sort out the weak and feeble ones, or, in not being able 
to select the most robust drones for the Queens. 

To be sure, we can use the drone-traps now before the 
public, to keep the drones of the poorer colonies from fly- 
ing ; but to me, this causes more work and more disturb- 
ance with the bees, than the plan outlined. 

Again, the rearing of drones, causes a great consumption 
of honey, and it seems foolish to be wasting honey in rear- 
ing drones, only for the sake of killing them after we have 
them reared. 

Beside knowing how to rear mostly good drones, we want 
to know how to get them early in the spring. This is some- 
thing not often spoken of, but it is one of the things which 
must be done by the Queen-Rearer who would please his 
customers. To do this, I place drone-comb in the center of 
the hives having my drone-rearing Queens, doing this in the 
fall, so that whenever the bees have any desire for drones, 
such comb will be handy for the Queen. 



DOOLITI'LE ON QUEEN-UKAltlNG. 107 

If these colonies are not very strong in tlie spring, I make 
them so, by giving hatching brood from other colonies, till 
they are running over v?ith bees, while In addition to this, I 
often insert a drone-comb full of honey, right in the center 
of the brood-nest ; for in the removing of a part of all this 
honey, the bees coax the Queen to lay in this drone-comb, 
to a degree that otherwise could not be attained. In this 
waj- I usually succeed In getting drones from one to three 
weeks earlier than I otherwise would. 

To keep drones late in the fall, I make a strong colony 
queenless, at the close of the honey-harvest, and in this 
colony I put all of the drone-brood that I can find in my 
drone-rearing colonies at this time. As much of this brood 
is in the egg and larval form, when given to the queenless 
colony, I have them hatching after all the other drones are 
killed off, for queenless colonies which are strong, are vei"y 
choice of drone-brood. In this way I generally have a hive 
full of nice drones, as late as I desire to rear Queens, keep- 
ing them frequentlj' into October. 

As soon as I am through with such drones, I introduce a 
Queen to the colony, when the bees will destroy them at 
once, if feeding is withheld. I always feed a colony keep- 
ing drones when honey is not coming in, for they need much 
food to make them fly freely, and that is whatwe want them 
to do, on every warm day at that season of the year. 

One other item that I wish to notice at some length, 
before closing this chapter on drones, is this : From the 
fact that worker bees can lay eggs that will hatch drones, 
and that Virgin Queens can also lay eggs which will also 
produce drones, the theory has obtained very largely among 
bee-keepers, that the drones from a fertile Queen must of 
necessity be of the same blood, as they would have been 
had this Queen produced drones before she was fertilized. 
In nearly every book written on bees, that I have read, where 



108 DOOLITTLB ON QTJEBN-EBAKING. 

this subject is touciied upon, we find words to the effect that, 
" a pure Queen, however mated, must produce a pure drone 
of her own variety." Mr. Alley's "Queen-Rearing" is an 
exception to this, I am happy to note. 

Now I am not prepared to say how, nor wherin, the 
drones are changed by the mating of the Queen ; but this I 
do know, that drones are contaminated, to a certain extent, 
by the mating of a Queen of one blood, with a drone of 
another blood. Any one can prove this, for in four gener- 
ations, by mating the Queen each time to these pure (?) 
drones, a bee can be produced which no man can tell from 
a hybrid. That this contamination does not show in the 
first cross, is the reason, I believe, that the theory has been 
accepted, by nearly all, as the truth. 

To illustrate : Take a pure black Queen, and after she 
has mated with a fine, yellow Italian drone, let her rear all 
of the drones produced in an apiary containing only black 
bees. Of course, the drones from this Queen will all be 
black to look at, the same as they would have been had she 
mated with a drone of the same blood as herself. Now 
rear Queens in this apiary, from any of the pure black 
mothers in it, and these young Queens will mate with the 
drones from this mismated Queen. These young Queens 
.will apparently produce all black workers and drones, the 
same as they would have done had these drones come from 
a pure black mother, mated with a pure black drone ; but 
when we rear Queens from these young mothers, now and 
then one will show a little yellow, which would not have 
been seen, had not the drones from this mismated Queen 
been the least bit contaminated. To detect any slight con- 
tamination of blood in our bees, we must always look to the 
Queen progeny, for the Queen is the typical bee of the 
hive ; hence they will show an impurity where the workers 
S,nd drones would not, 



DOOLITTLE ON QUBBN-KBARING. 109 

Now, take one of these young Virgin Queens showing a 
little yellow, and have her mated with a pure yellow Italian 
drone — the same as was done with the first Queen. From 
this one i-ear all of your drones again, while you rear Queens 
from her mother, which young Queens would be sisters to 
the one now producing drones. Having one of these last 
young Queens fertilized by the desired drones, next rear 
Queens from her, and you will find that some of these 
Queens will show quite a little yellow on them ; yet so far 
the drones and workers show little if any difference. 

Take one of the yellowest Queens from this last lot, and 
have her mated with a yellow drone again, going over the 
same process of mating as before, and you will get Queens 
in this third generation, which will (many of them) be quite 
yellow; while the workers and drones will show "yellow 
blood" about them, by occasional " splotches" of that color. 
Now follow out the same line of breeding once more, and 
you will get both workers and drones, which any Queen- 
breeder in the land will call hybrids — calling them rightly 
so, too. These hybrids could not possibly come about by 
fills way of breeding, only as drones from a mismated Queen 
are contaminated ; for so far as we have used no drones 
except those which were pure black, according to the par- 
thenogenesis theory, yet we have a hybrid bee as the result. 
Worker bees and drones do not show a little variation of 
purity, as much as does the Queen, hence if we would know 
of the stock which we have, we must rear Queens from 
them. Failing to do this, we often decide that we have pure 
drones for breeding purposes, because these same drones 
look all right. 

If I have made this matter plain, and I think that I have, 
it will be seen how much value it would be to the scientific 
breeder of Queens, if he could select just the drone he 
wanted, and then have a valuable Virgin Queen mated with 



110 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-EBARING. 



that drone. In this way we could accomplish as much in 
securing the "coming bee," in two years, as we now 
accomplish in a life-time. 

Let no one be longer deceived about pure drones from a 
mismated Queen ; for if such drones are allowed to fly in 
your yard, you cannot expect any satisfactory degree of 
purity from Queens reared therein. I have been forced to 
this conclusion by many carefully-conducted experiments as 
already described. 




Teasel. 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-EEAKING. Ill 



CHAPTER XVI. 

THE INTRODUCTION OF QUEENS. 

Perhaps there is no one subject connected with bee-lieep- 
ing that has received so much notice in our bee-papers and 
elsewhere, as has the introduction of Queens ; yet all who 
have read the methods and discussions given, must have 
plainly seen that success does not always attend the efforts 
in this direction. On the contrary, many losses have been 
reported, and these losses are not confined to the inexperi- 
enced altogether, for we often hear of our most practical 
apiarists occasionally losing a Queen. 

The reason for so many losses, it seems to me, arises from 
the fact that bee-keepers in general do not understand that 
a discrimination should be made between Queens taken 
from one hive and placed in another, and those which have 
come long distances by mail or express. In introducing 
Queens, it should always be borne in mind that a Queen 
taken from one hive in the apiary, and introducing into 
another, does not require one-half the care that must be 
given to a Queen coming from a distance. The reason for 
this seems to be, that a Queen taken from a hive in the same 
yard, is still heavy with eggs, and will not run around, 
provoking the bees to chase her, as will a Queen after hav- 
ing had a long journey. 

In introducing all ordinary Queens coming from my own 
apiary, I generally adopt one of the two following plans : 
The first is, to go to a nucleus or other hive from which I 
wish to get a Queen, and when she is found, I take the 



112 DOOLITTIiB ON QUEEN-EEAEING. 

frame of brood she is on, bees and all, together with another 
frame from the same hive, carrying them to the hive from 
which I am to take the superannuated Queen, when they are 
left with the Queen between the two combs, while I securei 
the poor Queen and dispose of her ; then I take out two 
frames from this hive, and place the two frames, brought 
from the nucleus, in their places, and close the hive. I now 
shake off the bees from the two frames in front of their own 
hive, carrying the combs to the nucleus ; or if the nucleus 
will be too weak, I carry bees and all to it. 

The object in taking the two frames with the Queen, is so 
that while waiting outside of the hive, she and the most of 
the bees may cluster between them, thus becoming quiet. 
When placed in the hive, both are put in togetlier, thus 
leaving the Queen quiet among her own bees. In this way 
I do not lose one Queen out of fifty, and as the operation is 
so simple, and the Queen so quickly installed, the advantages 
more than over-balance so small a loss. 

The second plan, is to go to any nucleus and get the 
young Queen in a round wire-cloth cage (such as all bee- 
keepers have in their apiaries) before looking for the Queen 
to be superseded. After she is in the cage, I place her in 
my pocket, and close the hive that I took her from, and 
look for the Queen that I wish to remove ; having found 
her, she is killed or othei-wise taken care of, and this hive 
is also closed. I next blow in at the entrance enough 
smoke to alarm the whole colony, pounding with my fist on 
top of the hive until I hear a loud roaring inside, which 
shows that the bees are filling themselves with honey. I 
now let the Queen that I have in the cage, run in at the 
entrance, smoking her as she goes in, while I still keep 
pounding on the hive. In doing this, nothing but wood- 
smoke should be used, for if tobacco-smoke were used, 
many of the bees would be suffocated. 



DOOLITTI.E ON QDEEN-EEAUING. -113 

If this is done wlu'ii tlii'io is danger of robbing, I wait 
till just at niglit, about the operation. If more convenient, 
the Queen can be taken out of the hive at any time during 
ihe day, and the opmation of putting in the new Queen 
done just at night. Some seem to tliink that the operation 
will be more successful if done in this way, but so far I fail 
to see any difl'erouce as to results. The idea is to cause the 
bees to fill themsehes with hone}', at the same time smok- 
ing them so that the Queen and bees smell alike. This plan 
is as free from loss as the other, still it is not quite so simple 
as the first — I only adopt it where it is not handy to use the 
former. 

Where any colony has been queenless from three to five 
days, a Queen can generally be successfully introduced by 
dropping her in honey, and rolling her over in the saitle, 
till she is thoroughly daubed with it, when the cover to the 
hive is lifted, and the Queen dropped from a spoon right 
down among the bees. This is equally successful with the 
others, but I do not like the plan, on account of having to 
keep the colony queenless so long. Even a Queen coming 
from a distance, can generally be safely introduced by this 
plan. 

To introduce a Queen that has come to me from abroad, 
or one which I consider of more than ordinary value from 
my own apiary, I proceed as follows : First, I take the 
cage containg the Queen and her escort of bees, to the little 
room where I handle queen-cells, and open the cage before 
the window, so that if the Queen takes wing, she will not be 
lost. I then catch the Queen and clip her wings (as given 
in the chapter on that subject), when she is placed in a 
round, wire-cloth cage ; but I allow none of her escort to 
go with her, as I consider such bees when left with a Queen 
one of the prime causes of the many losses which occur to 
the purchaser of Queens, 



114 DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-RBAKING. 

Having the Queen's wings clipped, andin the cage, I next 
take a piece of wire-cloth, containing 14 or 16 meshes to 
the inch, and cut it four-and-one-half by eight-and-one-half 
inches in size. Now cut a piece three-fourths of any inch 
square out of each corner, and hend the four sides at right 
angles, so as to make a box, as it were, three inches wide 
by seven inches long, and three-fourths of an inch deep. 
Next, unravel the edges down one-half way, so that the 
points can be pressed into the combs, and if the corners do 
not stay together as they should, they can be sowed together 
with one of the wires which were unraveled [Fig.5,page 50]. 

Having the cage ready, and the Queen to be introduced, 
in your pocket, proceed to look for the Queen to be replaced, 
and after removing her, examine the combs until you find 
one from which the bees are just hatching, or where you 
can see them gnawing at the cappings of the cells, which 
comb should also have some honey along the top-bar of the 
frame above the hatching brood. 

Now shake and brush every bee off this comb, and place 
the Queen that you have in your pocket on it, by putting 
the open end of the cage near the comb over some cells of 
unsealed honey, when she will go to the comb, and as soon 
as she comes to the honey, she will begin eating. While 
she is doing this, put the large cage over her and the hatch- 
ing brood, as you wish, taking all of the time that is needed, 
for as long as she continues eating, she will not go away, 
nor be disturbed by any of your motions. 

Having honey in the cage is necessary, for the bees out- 
side of the cage cannot be depended upon to feed a Queen 
when she is being introduced. Some claim that if the cage 
is made of wire-cloth having large meshes, the bees will 
feed them ; but after losing many Queens by depending 
upon the bees to care for them, I say always provision your 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-UEARING. 115 

introducing-cage in some way, so that the Queen is not 
dependent upon the bees for her food while in the ciy^c. 

Even when keeping Queens in the queen-nursery, where 
placed in queenless colonies, I find that the bees often 
refuse to feed them ; so I now prox-ision all cages of all 
kinds, notwithstanding the claim put forth by some of our 
best bee-keepers, that several caged fertile Queens will be 
fed by a colony having a laying Queen, if they are put 
between the combs in a hive having such, for safe keeping. 
Finding a whole queen-nursery full of dead Queens, after 
trusting them to the care of a colony of bees having a laying 
Queen, is generally more convincing than many words 
given in support of an untruthful theory. 

But to return : Fit the cage so that it comes over three 
or four square inches of honey, and as much of the hatching 
brood as possible ; for these hatching bees have much to do 
with the speedy introduction of the Queen. Having all 
fixed, leaved the hive from 12 to 48 hours, according as 
your other work will allow you, when the hive is to be 
opened, and the cage examined. 

If all has worked as it usually does, the bees will be found 
spread out evenly over the cage, the same as they are on 
any of the rest of the combs. When such is the ease, the 
cage is to be carefully lifted from over the Queen, letting 
her and the young bees that have hatched during her con- 
finement, go where they please, keeping watch all the while 
to see that the bees treat her kindly ; if they do this (as they 
will, nineteen times out of twenty), the comb is to be placed 
in the hive ; if not, she is caged again. In from one -half to 
one hour after liberating her, look at the Queen again, and 
if she is now treated as their old Queen was before her 
removal, the hive is closed, and she is considered safely 
introduced. 



116 DOOLITTLE ON QUBBN-BEAEING. 

If, on the contrary, the bees are found clustered thickly 
on the cage, biting the wire-cloth and showing signs of 
anger, the frame is to be placed back in the hive and left 
till the next day, when, if they still show the same symp- 
toms, you must wait until they are scattered over the cage, 
as spoken of at first, before letting her out. 

I often release a Queen in 12 hours, and find that she is 
all right ; and I rarely have to wait to let her out, more than 
24 hours. Still, in extreme cases, I have been obliged to 
keep them caged nearly or quite ten days. 

Do not be afraid of the Queen dying in the cage ; for if 
she is placed over honey, as I have advised, she will live 
a month, and there is no need of losing any Queen if there 
is not too much haste used, in letting her out. Even then, 
there should be no danger, if the apiarist is on hand to 
release the Queen from the bees which cluster (or ball) her, 
as they always do a Queen for sometime before they kill 
her. Such clustered Queens can easily be released, by 
smoking the bees till they free her. 

In liberating a Queen from a "ball" of infuriated bees, 
she is liable to take wing and fly away, thus losing her in 
that way. To guard against this, I either clip her wings 
before trying to introduce her, or take the " ball " of bees 
into a room while smoking them apart. Again, there is 
some danger that after the Queen is free, a bee from the 
cluster will sting her, if this bee gets to the Queen singly ; 
and for this reason, I always secure the Queen in a wire- 
cloth cage as soon as the last bee has let go of her. 

If the bees of any hive have once clustered a Queen, I 
find that it is very hard work to get them to accept the same 
one afterward ; for this reason, I generally take a Queen 
that has been clustered, to some other hive and introduce 
her there, giving the infuriated colony another Queen or a 
queen-cell. 



BOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-EEARING. 117 

However, not one Queen in one hundred is treated in 
this way when using the above plan, for, as a rule, I find 
that the young bees that have hatched in the cage with her, 
have accepted this Queen as their mother ; thus the news is 
conveyed from them to the rest of the bees in the hive, so 
that she is fed by "all hands," which causes her to keep 
the cells enclosed by the cage, from which the young bees 
have hatched, well supplied with eggs. 

After the Queen has been laying eggs for one or two days, 
she is as safe as if she had been reared in the hive ; and 
for this reason, I do not liberate the Queen till I see eggs in 
the cells enclosed by the cage, unless it is in the fall of the 
year, after Queens have ceased laying. 

At this time of the year (fall) I am in no hurry to liber- 
ate a Queen, for she is of no especial use out among the 
bees when she is not laying eggs, hence I generally leave 
them in the cage for a week or two, until I know that the 
bees will accept of the Queen after I take the cage from 
over her, without further trouble. Now there are no bees 
hatching from the combs, so in caging the Qu-een I only see 
that she is in the center of the cluster, and has plenty of 
honey to eat inside of the cage ; for when a Queen is not 
laying, she has to help herself to honey, the same as any 
other bee. 

In using these cages, the comb next to them should be a 
left a bee-spacp from the cage, so that the bees can go all 
around it, thus getting acquainted with the new Queen much 
more quickly than they otherwise would. If this space 
cannot be procured in any other way, one frame should be 
left out of the hive for the time being. 

The advantage that this plan has over any other where 
the Queen is to be caged in the hive, is in the young bees 
hatching out in the cage with the Queen ; and as they have 
known no other mother, they accept her at once, thus form- 



118 DOOLITTLE ON QtrEEN-EBARINa. 

ing an escort which the older bees, sooner or later, are 
obliged to accept, as being a part and parcel of the colony. 

By any of the above plans, there is very little danger of 
losing a Queen, yet none of them are absolutely safe ; nor 
would I use them were I to receive a very valuable Queen, 
say one worth |10, for with such Queens we do not wish to 
take a particle of risk. 

After studying on the method of forming nuclei by the 
" caged bees" plan, as I gave in the chapter on that subject, 
I saw that by using that process, I had an absolutely safe 
plan of introducing a laying Queen, even were she woi'th 
|100. I have used this plan with all the valuable Queens 
for several years, and have not lost a single Queen, nor do 
I believe that I ever shall lose one by it, unless she should 
happen to fly away in putting her in the box with the bees ; 
nor will she do this, as long as I clip all of my Queens' 
wings. 

My usual method of using tliis plan, is to get bees enough 
from the upper stories of different hives to form a good, 
strong colony, doing it just the same as I gave in the chap- 
ter on forming nuclei, only I take the bees out of four or 
five different hives, and off from 10 to 15 combs, accoi'ding 
to the strength that I want the colony. After having the 
bees in the box, they are treated just the same as there 
described, giving them the valuable Queen, in the same way 
that the Virgin Queen was given. 

In hiving them, give as many empty combs, or combs of 
honey, as you choose, but do not give any more brood at 
this time than you did to the nucleus ; for if more brood is 
given, the bees sometimes will swarm out with the Queen in 
a. few days, where made so strong, the same as a natural 
swarm. If you desire to give brood, do it by giving a 
frame or two at one time every few days, after waiting four 



DOOLITTLElONlQUEEN-RBABING. 118 

or five days from the time of hiving, before giving the first 
frames. 

If you do not have bees in upper stories having a queen- 
excluder under them, then go to two or three colonies in 
ordinary hives, look for the Queens, and as fast as they are 
found, put the frames that they are on, outside of the hives. 
Now smoke and jar the bees on two or three frames from 
each hive, till they fill themselves with honey, when you are 
to shake as many bees down through the funnel into the 
box, as you want in your colony, and proceed as before. 

If you desire to introduce the Queen to a certain colony, 
(the same as we have been doing by the other plans given), 
kill or take away the old Queen, and cause the. bees to fill 
themselves with honey, the same as in the last instance ; 
when aU the bees that you can get, are to be shaken off the 
combs through the funnel into the box. 

Having all of the bees in the box that you can possibly 
obtain, treat them the same as before, until you are ready 
to hive them. After they are placed in the cellar or other 
cool place, take all of the combs having brood in them, and 
give them to the other colonies, leaving one or two frames 
of honey in the hive, to hold till night, the bees which you did 
not succeed in getting into the box, and those returning from 
the fields. These combs should be put in the centre of the 
hive, so that when night comes the bees will be mostly 
clustered on them, instead of about the side of the hive, as 
would be the case if they were left next to one side of the 
hive. When you hive the bees having the new Queen with 
them, take these two combs with the bees out of the hive, 
putting in other combs as before, using only one having a 
little brood in it, and that taken from another hive, so that 
they are not given tlieir own brood. 

Having all prepared, proceed to hive the bees as was 
done with the nucleus ; or, if preferred, the bees can be 



120 DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-REARING. 

shaken down at the entrance, for, as this is their old home, 
they can go nowhere else, even should ^they try to do so. 
After the larger part of the bees are in the hive, shake the 
bees off from the two combs, and let them run in with the 
others. In five days, commence to give the brood back 
again, and keep on doing so occasionally until all is back in 
the hive, as it was before. 

The above I believe to be an infallible plan for introduc- 
ing Queens, and well pays for the time and trouble, when 
we have a very valuable Queen coming from a distance, 
which we would not lose on any account ; yet it will hardly 
pay to spend so much time on ordinary Queens, except by 
way of experiment, or when desiring to make new colonies 
in addition to introducing Queens. Where a Queen comes 
to me very unexpectedly, I always use this plan, taking the 
bees from an upper story or two, thus forming a small 
colony with the Queen, which colony is built up later on, by 
giving frames of hatching brood. Using it in this way, it 
always gives me the assurance of success, in any case of 
emergency. 



DOOLITTLE ON QUBBN-BBAEING. 121 



CHAPTER XVII. 

INTRODUCING VIRGIN QUEENS. 

That just-hatched Virgin Queens, which are so young as 
to be white, weak and fuzzy, can be introduced to any 
colony that will accept a sealed queen-cell, is a fact gen- 
erally known to all ; and if there was no need of ever 
introducing Virgin Queens older than these, this chapter 
would never have been written. 

However, in these days of progress, and of close compe- 
tition in the Queen traffic, it is very desirable to have some 
plan whereby we can introduce a Virgin Queen from 5 to 8 
days old, to a nucleus, as soon as a laying Queen is taken 
away from it ; as well as to introduce one into any other 
colony where we wish to place a Virgin Queen coming to 
us from a distance, which we have ordered to improve our 
stock, by a direct cross between her and one of our drones. 
From the fact that not one colony in 500 will take such a 
Virgin Queen, when giving her at the time of taking away 
the laying one, comes the reason that such a plan of safe 
introduction will be of greater value to us, than it would be 
could we succeed in introducing these Queens as well as we 
can a laying Queen. 

On no one thing in bee-keeping have I spent so much 
thought, as on how to successfully introduce Virgin Queens, 
from 4 to 10 days old ; and I am happy to say that I am 
master of the situation ; not that I have dug it out all alone, 
for I have not. I have picked up little things here and 
there for several years, and by saving every little item that 
proved to be in advance of what I already had, and applying 
them, together with what I could study out myself, event- 
ually gave me success. 



122 DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-EEAEING. 

As I said in the preface, I cannot give credit to all from 
whom I have gained knowledge, for I have not tried to 
keep the authors of all these things in mind ; besides, there 
has been scarcely a writer in the past, who has written for 
our bee-papers, from whom I have not gained some light ; 
so if I were to single out some, I would do injustice to 
others. I claim very little as original with myself, and I 
am glad to know, that it is the " littles " of the past, coming 
from the thousands who have engaged in our pursuit, that 
have made the " mickle " of the present ; hence very few are 
able to say, " I am more holy than thou." 

My first ideas in this matter, came from the need of 
procuring a laying Queen from a nucleus, more often than 
could possibly be done, by the old plan of giving the 
nucleus a queen-cell 24 hours after taking a laying Queen 
away from it, in order to overcome the low prices to which 
Queens had fallen, owing to the close competition in this 
branch of our industry. If a five-days-old Virgin Queen 
could be introduced into a nucleus so that she would 
commence to lay in five days from the time the other was 
removed, two Queens could be taken from one nucleus 
during the same time we had formerly taken one. All know 
that by the old plans, a laying Queen cannot be taken from 
a nucleus oftener than once in 10 or 12 days. 

This one item alone I considered worth striving for ; but 
when it came to be fully understood that it was an object 
for us as apiarists, to change the blood in our stock by a 
direct cross, as often as possible, so as to give greater life 
and vigor to our bees, then such introduction of oldish 
Virgin Queens became almost a necessity. Since this idea 
was first advanced, it has gained ground rapidly in the 
minds of our best bee-keepers ; and I believe that the day is 
not far distant, when the traffic in Virgin Queens will 
assume greater proportions than at the present. A Virgin 
Queen is not fit to start on a journey until she is at least 24 



DOOLITTLE ON QCEEN-EBARING. 123 

hours old ; and as fron 2 to 4 days must be required in her 
transit, noire of the plans of introducing young Virgin 
Queens would work in this case. 

Without taking the reader over much of the ground which 
lead to the discovery of a plan for the safe introduction of 
Virgin Queens, I will give the three plans which I employ — 
using them according to the circumstances which I am 
placed under, as to the number of Virgin Queens on hand, 
length of time the nucleus or colony has been queenless, etc. 

Some 10 or 12 years ago, I had a colony rearing Queens, 
that had a nice lot of queen-cells just sealed, when one day a 
Virgin Queen escaped from me and flew out of sight. I 
waited for her to come back, but as she did not, I concluded 
that she was lost. Upon going to get my queen-cells when 
it was time for them to hatch, I found the cells all torn 
down, and the Queen that I had lost was in the hive just 
commencing to lay. 

Here I was shown that a colony that had been queenless 
long enough to have their queen-cells capped, would accept 
a Virgin Queen under almost any condition. In fact, I had 
read of this before, but nothing convinces us as does some- 
thing which comes close at home, to ourselves or our family. 
Through this loss of cells, which occurred just when I 
needed them very much, came something of great value to 
me, which I might not have fully known had I not lost them. 

From this, I found that whenever I came across a nucleus 
or colony having queen-cells sealed, all that I had to do to 
introduce a Queen was, to go to my queen-nursery and pick 
out a nice Virgin Queen, and drop her in some honey ; 
when, after pouring some of the honey out of a tea-spoon 
on her back, and rolling her about in it until she was 
thoroughly daubed, the quilt was raised from over the 
frames, and after scooping her up together with some of 
the honey, I turned the whole down among the bees between, 
the combs. The hive was then closed, and I would usually 



124 DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-EEAHING. 

have a laying Queen in three or four days. To prevent 
the Queen from flying, when introducing her in this way, 
I held the mouth of the cage close down to the honey 
(which I generally take in a tea-cup), when, by a sudden 
jar, caused by striking the cage, she was thrown down into 
the honey, thus daubing her wings, after which there was 
no further danger. 

This plan I also use when receiving a Virgin Queen from 
abroad, if I have a colony that has been queenless long 
enough to have cells sealed. Of course we do not expect 
many colonies in this condition, but all Queen-Rearers, as 
well as apiarists in general, have more or less of them com- 
ing from an unexpected loss of Queens. 

The second plan is one that I use with younger Virgin 
Queens — say those from one to three days old — and in all 
cases where it is not convenient to use either the first or 
third. It is as follows : 

Make a round wire-cloth cage, about an inch in diameter 
and three-and-one-half inches long. Into one end of this fit 
a permanent stopper, and for the other saw off a piece of an 
old, soft-wood broom-handle, five inches long. Whittle 
one end so that it will go into the cage one-half an inch, 
when a five-eighths inch hole is to be bored through it 
lengthwise. Now fill this hole with " Good" candy, made 
of granulated sugar and honey, packing it in with a plunger 
quite tightly. Xext, put the Virgin Queen into this cage, 
and put in the provisioned stopper. 

When you go to remove the laying Queen, take the cage 
along with you, and after having removed her and replaced 
the frames in the hive, lay the cage lengthwise between the 
top-bars of the two frames having the most brood in them. 
Put a quilt over all, and close the hive. 

As it takes the bees about four days to burrow through, or 
dig out, the five inches of candy, they become pretty well 
acquainted with their loss, and the existing state of affairs ; 



DOOLITTLB ON QUBEN-EE ABING . 125 

hence they are ready to accept the Queen when she is set at 
liberty, by the removal of the candy. In about eight days 
time (counting from when the cage was laid on the frames), 
I generally find this Queen laying, without having to open 
the hive, except as I do it to take out laying Queens. 

Right here I wish to say, that the cage here described is 
just such an one as I use about the apiary for all general 
purposes, except that when so using it, I put in a piece of 
corn-cob for a stopper, instead of the one filled with candy. 

The third plan, and the only one that I know of that is 
absolutely safe at all times (for I sometimes have a loss with 
either of the other two) is as follows : 

Get out a little block, two inches long by one inch square, 
through which is to be bored a five-eighths inch hole, boring 
the same through the block lengthwise. This is to be the 
base of the cage. Next bore a one-half inch hole through 
the center, so as to cross the five-eighths inch hole. Now 
get two pieces of frame-stuff, four inches long by one inch 
wide, and one-fourth of an inch thick, boring a five-eighths 
inch hole in each, near one end, to correspond with the five- 
eighths inch hole which was bored lengthwise through the 
little block. Having these ready, nail one to each end of 
the little block, so that the holes bored in them will match 
the hole in the block, thus making one continuous hole 
straight through. 

Next get a piece of wire-cloth, eight inches long by two- 
and-one-half inches wide, and nail it to the frame-stuff and 
lower edge of the block, so as to form a cage three inches 
deep by two inches wide and one inch thick, through which 
the bees can become acquainted with the Queen. Now drive 
two three-fourths inch wire-nails into the edges of the frame- 
stuff, driving one into each piece and letting it project one- 
fourth of an inch, or, in other words, do not drive them up 
to within one-fourth of an inch. With a pair of cutting 
pliers, cut off the heads of each nail, and file them to a sharp 



126 DOOLITTLE ON QFEEN-HEAHING. 

point, SO that you can fasten the cage on the side of the 
hive, or to whatever you like, by simply pressing these 
points into the wood. 

The cage is now ready for use. To use it, first put the 
Virgin Queen into the cage by letting her run through the 
half-inch hole down into it, when a long stopper is put into 
the hole to keep her from returning. Now proceed to fill 
the five-eighths inch hole with the " Good " candy, as used 
in the shipping-cages (this made of powdered sugar instead 
of granulated, as will be explained farther on), putting it 
in at both ends, and pressing it around the long stopper 
down in the center. When this is done, remove the stopper, 
and fill the place where it came from with more of the 
candy, when the cage and Queen is ready for the hive. 

Next, take a frame having only a starter of found.ation in 
it and the caged Queen, and proceed to the hive where you 
wish to take away a laying Queen ; after having caught her, 
take all of the frames out of the hive, and stick the cage on 
the side of the hive where you want it, by pressing it against 
the wood. Now put in the frame with the foundation- 
starter and adjust the division board, closing the hive. Next, 
shake all of the bees ofl: the combs near the entrance, letting 
them run in, and give these combs to another colony to 
care for. They are now to be left for four or five days, 
when you will find a laying Queen (providing that the 
Queen was four or five days old when put into the cage), 
and also the frame partly-filled with worker-comb, in which 
the Queen has laid. 

At times when no honey is coming in, the bees are to be 
fed what they need every night, so as to place them in the 
same condition that they would be, were honey coming in 
from the fields. To thus feed, I place a division-board 
feeder in the hive, fastening the caged Queen to that instead 
of to the hive ; or, if preferred, the cage can be fastened to 
the division-board. 



DOOLITTLE ON QUBEN-REAEING. 127 

The candy is placed in tiie block, and the different holes 
made in it, so that the bees may be good-natured when com- 
ing to the Queen ; and also to keep the beosfrom liberating 
the Queen till they have given up all hopes of getting their 
laying Queen or brood back again ; for they would kill her 
at once if she was liberated sooner. 

It generally takes the bees from 8 to 12 hours to eat out 
the candy, being about the time needed to get them recon- 
ciled to their new situation. If preferred, tlie cage described 
in the second plan can be used instead of this one, by cutting 
off the provisioned stopper to one inch in length ; but the 
last gives a little better satisfaction, inasmuch as the bees 
have a larger surface of wire-cloth to cluster upon, and 
they can be eating candy at several places at once, hence 
they do not rush into the cage so fast when an opening is 
made into it. 

If the Queen was not given to the bees when the combs 
were taken away, many, if not all of them, would go to 
other hives ; for although the bees do not like her at first, 
yet she holds them where they belong, as they consider her 
better than nothing. Do not give them back their brood 
till the Queen begins laying, for if you do, they will at once 
kill the Queen, or "hug" her till she is nearly or quite 
spoiled ; for in nothing are bees so determined as they are 
not to accept of a Virgin Queen, five or more days old, 
immediately after having their mother taken from them. 

When the Queen commences to lay, take out the partly- 
filled frame, and give back the combs that you took away 
from the bees at first, allowing this Queen to stay in the hive 
a few days before you try the operation with the same 
colony again ; for if you keep right on giving Virgin Queens 
and taking laying ones out, the colony will soon decline, on 
account of no young bees hatching to take the place of the 
old ones, which are dying all the while. Young bees could 
be shaken ia the hive every little while, if it was preferred 



128 DOOLITTLB ON QUEEN-KEABING. 

to giving back the combs, and in this way a laying Queen 
could be taken from a hive eveiy five days. Of course, 
where this plan is used with Virgin Queens coming from 
abroad, the brood will be put back to remain, as we will 
desire to keep the Queen. 

If the colony is other than a nucleus, we shall want to give 
two or three frames with starters of founilation, so as to 
give the colony the room they need. These partly-filled 
frames are used to advantage during the swarming season 
for new swarms, so that a colony treated in this way, is 
doing valuable work all this time, besides getting our Virgin 
Queens fertilized. 

I have never lost a Queen in this way, no matter if she 
was 12 days old when placed in the cage ; and I consider it 
an absolutely safe plan for introducing Virgin Queens, and 
one of great benefit to those who desire to improve their 
stock, by a direct crossing of Queens and drones ; but for 
the purpose of getting Queens fertilized in nuclei, oftener 
than by the old plans, I doubt if it pays, on account of the 
large amount of work which it requires. 

Before leaving the subject of introducing Queens I wish 
to say, that where any plan of introduction is used, by 
which the bees are liable to start queen-cells from their own 
brood, before the introduced Queen is liberated, I think that 
the idea which prevails — that the bee-keeper should look 
over the combs and destroy all of these cells — is fallacious. 
All of my experience in this matter, proves that a Queen 
*vill be as quickly accepted, when such cells are allowed to 
remain, and when so accepted, the bees themselves will 
destroy the cells. Where I find queen-cells sealed in any 
colony, I always roll a Queen in honey and drop her into 
the hive, letting the bees attend to the queen-cells when 
they get ready ; and it is a rare thing that I lose a Queen by 
this process, even when such Queen is a Virgin. 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-REAKING. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

KEEPING A RECORD OF CELLS, QUEENS, ETC. 

When I kept but few bees, or reared but few extra 
Queens, I had no trouble in keeping track of what each 
hive contained ; and even where I am working 100 small 
colonies for Queen-Rearing, I know what is in each hive in 
a kind of general way, but not enough so that, should I trust 
to memory, many blunders would be made. For this 
reason, when I began Queen-Rearing as a business, I found 
that I must have some way of knowing precisely what was 
in each hive, so I adopted something to help me in this 
matter. 

The first thing that I used was small, flat stones, four of 
which were placed under the bottom-board of each hive ; 
so that when an operation was performed Vith any hive, 
these stones could be made to tell me very nearly what I 
wanted to know, from just glancing over the tops of the 
hives, as some of them were placed in different positions, 
each time that I worked at the hive, to denote what had 
been done with it. These stones, together with a piece of 
section to keep the dates on (the piece of section being 
placed under the cover of the hive, to keep it from getting 
wet), does very weU, where not over 10 to 20 nuclei are 
worked. 

To use the stones intelligently, we must jot down some- 
where what the different positions which the stones occupy 
indicate, until we get so accustomed to it that our memory 
is always posted in this matter. For instance : If I look 



130 DOOLITa?LE ON QUBBN-REAKING. 

over a hive on June 1st, and give the bees a queen-cell, I 
place one of the stones on the right-hand front corner of 
the hive, and put that date on the section. A glance over 
the yard shows me that all the hives having a stone on that 
corner, had queen-cells placed in them the last thing vrhich 
I did ; and the strip of section will tell me when that was. 
In the same way when I take out a Queen, I put this stone 
on the left-hand front corner, which indicates that the Queen 
from that hive is missing ; and when I find a queen-cell 
hatched, or a young Queen in the hive, this stone is placed 
on tlie left-hand back corner, while for a laying Queen, it is 
placed on the right-hand back corner, the date being put 
on the piece of section each time, so that the last date 
shows when the stone was changed, the two together thus 
telling me all that I wish to know. The main trouble with 
this plan is, that it requires the lifting of the cover to find 
tlie date ; but as I said at starting, this will answer pretty 
well where but few colonies are worked for Queens. 

More of the stones are used to indicate other tilings. For 
instance : A stone in the centre of the cover shows that 
the colony is sliort of stores, and must be fed ; while a stone 
in the centre of the back part of the cover shows that the 
bees are crowded for room, and that another frame should 
be given. A stone in the centre of the front indicates that 
there are too few bees to do good work ; and so on, for 
these stones can be made to tell a great variety of matters. 

Again, I use them on all hives worked for honey, having 
them tell me when the sections were put on, when more 
room was given, and when taken off ; also when the honey 
was extracted from certain hives, which hives are worked 
for extracted honey, and which for comb honey, etc. In 
fact they are really indispensable to me in working an 
apiary, either for Queens or honey, and are in constant use, 
even when using the cards which are about to be described. 



COOLITTLB ON QUBBN-EEAEING. 131 

When I first oommeneed bee-keeping, I had no idea of 
i-earing Queens for sale, nor did I think of it until I was 
crowded into it ; so when my first order for a Quoen came, 
I took the same from a full colony. This Queen seemed to 
give satisfaction, and soon the customers and neighbors 
sent for Queens, and so on, till I found that I must have a 
few nuclei to supply this demand for Queens, which had 
apparently sprung up of itself. The Queens that were 
reared in partnership, as spoken of in the first chapters, 
were taken to different apiaries, and introduced by myself 
to colonies, at the suggestion of the one who did the Re.ar- 
ing, rather than being sent off to customers through the 
mails. 

When the business grew, so that I could no longer keep 
track of it with the stones and pieces of sections to advan- 
tage, I secured a sample of Root's Queen-Registering Cards. 
These suited me exactly, and they were sold very cheaply. 
I procured a quantity of them, and have used them ever 
since. To show the reader what they are, I give a sample 
card on the next page : 

It will be seen at a glance, that all we have to do after 
each manipulation with the different hives, is to turn the 
pins to where they tell us just how and when we left the 
hive when last looked at, which, together with the stones to 
tell us about honey, etc., tell all that we want to know. 

I have watched carefully to see if anything better was 
brought before the public, but so far nothing of the kind 
has come to my knowledge. These cards are rsed on the 
upper stories, the same as on nuclei, using one on each end 
wljere two Queens are to be fertilized from one hive, and 
on all hives where a change of Queen is made often. No 
Queen-Rearing apiary can be complete without something 
of the kind. 



132 



DOOLITTLE ON QTJBBN-EBAKING. 















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DOOUTTLB ON QUKEN-REARING. 133 



CHAPTER XIX. 

CLIPPING THE QUEEX'S WINGS. 

Probably there is no other item about bee-keeping, on 
which there is so much diversity of opinion, as there is 
regarding the clipping of Queens' wings. Many of our 
very best apiarists stand directly opposed to others, who are 
equally as good authority. Some claim that the Queen is 
injured by having her wings clipped, and for this reason 
many are superseded by the bees ; while others are equally 
confident that it is impossible to injure the Queen in the 
least by clipping her wings, if the clipping is delayed, as it 
always should be, until after the Queen has commenced to 
lay. However, when I look the ground all over, I believe 
that the greatest number of the " dollar-and-cent apiarists " 
of our land, are on the side of clipping the Queen's wings ; 
and as I stand on that side myself, I trust that I shall be 
excused, if I teU the reader in brief, some of my reasons 
for clipping the wings of my Queens. 

The second year of my bee-keeping Ufe, I lost a splendid 
swarm of bees, being the second swarm that issued from 
my then smaU apiary, for I only had one swarm the first 
year. I felt this loss very keenly, and then and there I 
resolved that this would be the last one that would ever 
"run away." In accordance with this resolve, I clipped 
all X>t the Queens' wings in the yard, and have kept them 
so ever since, except those that I thought, of late years, I 
might sell ; and although I now think that resolve, a rash 
one, yet in aU of my twenty years of bee-keeping, that one 
swarm has been the only one lost from this cause. 



134 DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-EEAEIKG. 

A person can hardly pick up a paper that treats on bees, 
but that he will find an account of swarms going into the 
woods ; and there is no question but what hundreds of 
dollar's worth of property "took wings and flew away" in 
just this manner ; while if the Queens' wings had been 
clipped, this loss might have been saved. 

By having the wings of all Queens clipped, the bees are 
perfectly under the control of the apiarist, and he can 
handle them as he pleases, separating them with pleasure 
where two or more swarms cluster together, and hive them 
on the " returning plan " when they come singly. In using 
this plan, all that we have to do when a swarm issues, is to 
step to the entrance of the hive with a round wire-oloth 
cage (such as has been described), into which the Queen is 
allowed to run, when the cage is closed up and laid in front 
of the hive. The old hive is now moved to a new stand, 
and a hive prepared for a new colony put in its place. In 
a few minutes the bees miss their Queen and come back, 
running into the hive with fanning wings, when the Queen 
is liberated and goes in with them. 

I have followed this plan of hiving bees for years, and I 
know it to be a good one, as a good yield of honey is gen- 
erally the result. There is no climbing of trees, cutting off 
limbs, or lugging a cumbersome basket or swarming-box 
about. It is so straighWorward, too — remove the old hive 
to a new stand, put the new hive in its place, and the 
returning swarm hive themselves without trouble, except 
the releasing of the Queen. 

Again, I clip off at least two-thirds of all of the wings of 
the Queen, so that she is always readily found. In making 
nuclei, changing frames of brood and bees, making swarms, 
extracting, etc., if you find the Queen, you can always know 
that she is just where she belongs, and not in some place 
where she ought not to be. By having her wings cut short, 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-UEAlllNQ. 135 

you can see her golden abdomen as soon as ynu lifL llic 
frame that she is on. 

Then the clipping of Queens' wings does awa}' with tlial 
expense to the apiarist — the fountain pump — or one of some 
otlier manufacture, which all the apiarists think a necessity 
where their Queens have their wings, so that by the use o'f 
it swarms may be kept from clustering together, where two 
or more come out at once, or if a swarm tries to " run away, ' 
so that it can be stopped. 

Some claim that a Queen with clipped wings is more 
liable to fall oflf the combs, and get injured, than she would 
be if her wings were not clipped ; but I cannot see how 
their wings should help them to hold on to the combs as long 
as that part is done with the feet. 

Others claim that unless the apiarist is constantly on hand, 
during the swarming season, many Queens will be lost, by 
the bees swarming out and going back, while the Queen 
stays out in the grass, she going so far from the hive that 
she does not find her way back. If the apiarist is obliged 
to be away from home, let some one of the family get the 
Queen in the cage, and lay her at the entrance of the hive 
till the apiarist returns, when he can divide the colony, or 
let the Queen go back, when she will come out with the 
swarm again the next day. If all are obliged to be away 
from hojne, the Queens can be readily found upon the return 
of the apiarist, by his passing through the yard and looking 
for the Queens, which will be found by the little balls of 
bees from the size of a butternut up to that of an orange ; 
for I have yet to see the Queen, thus left in the grass, which 
did not have this escort of bees with her. 

To find the hive that this Queen came out of, take the 
Queen away from the bees towards night, when the most of 
the other bees have stopped flying, and they will return to 
the hive from which she came, setting up their fanning at 



136 DOOLITTLB ON QUEEN-EEARING. 

the entrance. Now let the Queen go in with them, and the 
swarm will issue again the next day. 

If I desire to be gone from home for two or three days 
together, with my family, I hire a man to staj' with the 
bees, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., instructing him to cage the 
Queens as they come out with the swarms, and leave them 
on top of the hive, arranging them in such a way that the 
bees in the swarm can have access to the cages when they 
return. Any man can do this, or a boy even, who would 
not think of hiving swarms. On my return, I liberate these 
Queens, when the swarm will issue again in a day or two ; 
or if it is preferred, these colonies can be divided. 

Still others claim that the bees will swarm out from the 
new hive, with the Queen, immediately after she has gone, 
into the hive with the bees ; but as far as I can judge, all of 
these reports come from those who are using so small hives 
that the bees are not contented with them. In any event, 
this can be easily overcome, by leaving the Queen in the 
cage at the entrance of the hive until the bees have all 
become quiet, when she is released, with no danger of their 
coming out in the air again, as has been spoken of. 

As to the claim that Queens are injured by having their 
wings clipped, I can only think that such claims are 
entirely fallacious ; for during the past five years, I have 
kept many of my Queens with their wings whole (where I 
thought there might be a call for such Queens, which had 
been wintered over), aud not one of them proved in any 
way superior to those whose wings were clipped. Again, 
I have had Queens sent to me from those who never clip the 
wings of their Queens, and these have shown no superiority 
over those in my my own yard that had their wings clipped. 

The clipping of the Queen's wings, often seems like a 
serious job to the timid and inexperienced, but after a little 
practice it is no more of a job than any other work about 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-EEAEING. 137 

the apiary. Some recommend scissors for clipping Queen's 
wings, but I think tliat a Queen is much more liable to be 
injured in using them, by having a leg or two cut oflF, than 
where a knife is used. 

My way of clipping the wings is as follows : After having 
found the Queen, catch her by the wings, getting all four 
of them if possible, by using the thumb and fore-Anger of 
the left hand. Now take a jack-knife, which should have 
one of its blades very sharp, and place the sharpened blade 
on the wings of the Queen. Carefully lower both hands 
down within an inch or two of the top of the frames, so that 
the Queen will not be injured in falling, when the knife is 
lightly drawn, the wings severed, and the Queen runs 
unharmed below. In doing this, place the knife so that it 
will cut oflf about two-thirds of the wings ; for there is no 
more harm in cutting off this much than there is in cutting 
off one-half of one wing, as some recommend. By clipping 
the Queen's wings in this way, she is easily found at all 
times. 

Some claim that this destroys the beauty of the Queen ; 
but to me it causes her golden abdomen to show off to a 
much better advantage ; and even if it did not, the ease 
with which they are always found afterward, more than 
compensates for the lack in looks, to those who reason in 
this way. Do not be afraid of cutting the fingers, for if 
you stop drawing the knife as soon as the Queen drops, you 
cannot do so. 

The best time for clippling Queens' wings, is during fruit- 
bloom, when there are but few bees in the hive, compared 
with what there will be later on ; doing the same when the 
bees are industriously working during the middle of the 
day, so that few are at home. 



138 DOOLITTLE ON QtJBEN-BEAKING. 



CHAPTER XX. 

SHIPPING, SHIPPING-CAGES, BEE-CANDY, ETC. 

Prior to the advent of the Italian bee into this country, 
the shipping of Queens was comparatively unknown, while 
the sending of Queens in the mails is something scarcely a 
quarter of a century old. In Queen-Rearing and queen- 
shipping there have been mighty strides made during the 
last 25 years — strides, which had they been told to our 
fathers, would have seemed little less to them than miracles. 

Instead of bees in hives now being carried on a pole 
between two men (as were those which I first saw brought 
to my home), we now transport them all over the world by 
mail and express, although, as yet, we can hardly say that 
we send a colony of bees by mail ; still the essential part of 
a colony is thus sent, and I believe that the day is not far 
distant when enough bees will be sent with a Queen by 
mail, to start a colony of bees which will make a "live " of 
it, if sent early in the season. This will carry our beloved 
pursuit even to the " uttermost parts of the earth," so that 
every one can have the privilege of eating honey of their 
own producing, " under his own vine and fig-tree." 

Here, again, we see the working of many minds, for no 
one man has accomplished all this ; but a little here and a 
little there, has wrought out most of this grand advance 
during the present generation. The cages first invented for 
shipping Queens, would seem bungling affairs to us to-day, 
yet they had their place in working out this problem — the 
shipping of Queens through the mails. 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-llEAKING 139 

When Queens were first sent by mail, it was thouglit that 
the apartment made to contain them and their escort, must 
bo roomy, so that they sliould not be cramped ; but as time 
wore on, it was found that very little room was needed, and 
I am convinced that most of the cages now in use, are much 
too large, where Queens are to be sent by mail with only 8 
or 10 beos to accompany them. 

Probably there is no cage in as general use as is, the one 
which is called the " Peet Shipping and Introducing Cage ;" 
yet I firmly believe that the apartment of the bees is much 
too large in this one. I have used large numbers of these 
cages, yet I consider them faulty in this respect ; nor do I 
like them as introducing-cages. They are faulty as ship- 
ping-cages, in the size of the hole which holds the bees, 
inasmuch as when the mail-bag is thrown off a train at full 
speed (as is frequently done), or thrown from the train to 
the ground, or even from off a wagon, the sudden precipita- 
tion of the Queen from one side of the cage to the other, 
often causes an injury from which she never recovers. 

The . hole in any cage, calculated for holding no more 
than 8 or 10 attendant bees with the Queen, should not be 
larger than an inch across the farthest way, and if thus 
made, the wings and legs of the 10 bees will be so close 
together, that they will form springs, as it were, to deaden 
the effect of any sudden concussion. When 30 or 40 bees 
ai-e placed in a Peet cage, then it answei-s the purpose of a 
shipping-cage very well, except that it takes twice the pos- 
tage that a shipping-cage ought to require, and this matter 
of postage makes quite an item, as regards our profits,' in 
these days of close competition, and where Queens are sent 
out by the thousand. 

No shipping-cage which meets the requirements as I have 
set forth, can be a successful introducing-cage ; for to meet , 
with the greatest success in introducing, the cage should 



140 DOOLITTLE ON QtJEEN-EEAKING. 

cover at least one-sixth of one side of a comb, so that hatch- 
ing brood and some honey can be enclosed. In the hatching 
of this brood, to form an escort of bees for the Queen, and 
in her laying eggs in the cells enclosed by the cage, comes 
an assurance of safety, not found in any other item regard- 
ing cage-introduction of Queens. When these young bees, 
which hatch out with the Queen, become so attached to her 
that they accept her as their mother, it is not long before 
the bees outside of the cage fall into line. They now begin 
to feed her such food as is given for egg-production which 
means safety to any Queen. That the Peet cage will not 
allow of such hatching of bees, is wherein it is faulty as an 
introducing-cage. As the introducing-cage which I prefer 
has been described in the chaper on introducing laying 
Queens, I will not speak further of it here. 

The shipping-cage which I prefer, is made as follows : 
Get out a block of wood, two-and-one-fourth inches long by 
one-and-one-eighth inches square. Near one end bore a 
seven-eighths liole, having the same one inch deep, and 
boring it across the grain of the wood. In the center of 
the opposite end, bore a one-half inch hole, boring it length- 
wise of the grain of the wood, until it comes in contact 
with the seven-eighths hole which was bored before [Fig. 5, 
page 50]. This last hole is for the candy for the bees to live 
on during their journey, while the former is for the bees 
themselves. Next, get a piece of wire-cloth one inch square, 
and a piece of wood 2ixlJxJ inch for a cover to go over the 
top. of the cage after the bees are in and the wire-cloth 
is nailed on. 

The next thing to be done is to prepare the candy for the 
bees. This is made by taking a quantity of powdered sugar, 
and putting it in any dish ; although I prefer what is known 
as " Agate Iron-Ware," because in the kneading process, 
about to be described, the candy does not take on any 



DOOLITTLE ON QDEEN-HEAHING. 141 

foreign substance like lead or tin, as it does wliere a tinned 
dish is used. If you do not have the Agate disli, an earthen 
one is equallj- as good, providing you arc careful enough not 
to break it, thus causing trouble in the family. 

Having the sugar in the dish, set the same on the stove or 
over a lamp, and put some nice, thick honey to heat also 
(such honey as will not granulate easily being preferred, for 
spring and fall use), letting both heat slowly till of about 
the warmth that you can conveniently hold your hand in, 
when they are to be taken off the fire and some of the honey 
poured into a little hollow made in the sugar. To get the 
sugar evenly warmed through, it may be necessary to stir it 
occasionally. 

Having poured in the honey, take a little stick and stir 
sugar into it, by putting the sugar on top of the honey and 
rolling the whole around. When enough sugar is mixed 
with the honey so that it will not stick to the hands, when 
they are i-ubbed with a little of the sugar, proceed to knead 
it, the same as your wife or mother kneads bread, keeping 
this up as long as much sugar will be incorporated with the 
loaf, or until the loaf will not spread out or change its 
shape, if placed on a board. 

You need not have any fears that you will get the candy 
too stiff, for, as a rule, more Queens are lost by the candy 
absorbing dampness, or being left too soft so as to daub the 
bees, than by all other losses put together. This is the 
reason for heating the honey and sugar, so as to get them 
of about the consistency they would he in a hot mail-bag 
during some of the warm weather that we have when ship- 
ping Queens. This candy is called the "Good" candy, 
although that as first made by Mr. I. R. Good, and given to 
the world, was made without heating, and contained granu- 
lated sugar and honey as its ingredients. 



142 DOOLITTLE ON QUEBN-RBAEING. 

Having the candy ready, wet the forefinger of the left 
hand by touching it to the tongue, when it is to be placed 
over the one-half inch hole, where the hole terminates on 
the inside of the cage ; when the hole is filled to within 
one-eighth of an inch with the candy, pressing it in with a 
plunger. 

The wetting of the finger is done so that the candy will 
not stick to it as it otherwise would do, thus pulling a part 
of the candy out of the hole, leaving it i-ough and uneven. 

The candy being in place, take a plug-cutter made to cut 
a one-half inch plug, and cut one out of the one-eighth 
piece which is to go on the cage for a cover ; cutting it out 
of one end so that the hole where the plug comes out will 
come over the center of the hole to be occupied by the bees, 
thus making the ventilating hole in the cover. Now take 
the plug thus cut, and drive it into the hole over the outer 
end of the candy, when the cage is ready for the bees, all 
but the wire-cloth. 

Put this in place and drive a tack in one corner of it, 
leaving the tack a little out from the wood, so that the wire- 
cloth will turn on it, when it is to be turned so as to form 
an entrance for the Queen and attendant bees, which are 
now to be put in. Place the left hand thumb or fore-finger 
over this entrance, and with the right hand pick the Queen 
up by both wings and put her into the cage. 

If j'ou are not accustomed to this kind of work, it will 
seem veiy awkward to you. At least it seemed so to me 
when I first began, so mucli so that several Queens got 
away, instead of going into the cage. To succeed best, go 
slowly, and see that the Queen and bees get their feet hold 
of the wood, rather than on the wire-cloth, when it will be 
natural for them to run in, instead of backing out. 

Having the Queen in, close the entrance at once with the 
thumb, when a bee is to be caught by the wings in the same 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-REARING. 143 

way and put in witli her. Do not raise your tliumb off the 
hole in putting the bees in, but rather give it a roclcing 
motion. As the bee's head nears the hole, rook the thumb 
back a little, only opening it just enougli for the bee to go 
in, and if the Queen attempts to come out, make this bee's 
head stop the hole at just that instant. Now catch another 
bee, putting this one in in the same way, and so on until 
you have enough, when the wire-cloth is to be brought back 
in place and nailed. 

After you get a little used to this work, you can put bees 
into a cage almost as fast as you could peas or beans. If 
you catch a bee by both wings, it is impossible for it to sting 
you, so that you need have no fears unless you happen to 
push it against the thumb you have on the cage, in which 
case you will be quite liable to be stung. 

In catching bees to send off with a Queen, select those 
which are from 6 to 10 days old, as nearly as you can get 
at it ; for very young bees, or those that have never left 
the hive to void their feces, are unfit to send with a Queen 
that is going a long distance, on account of their soiling the 
Queen and cage with the accumulation with which they are 
filled while passingthrough the larval and pupal state ; while 
very old bees have not vitality enough to endure a long 
journey. By a careful watching on your part, as to the 
development of bees during the first sixteen days of their 
existence, you will soon know how old a bee is by its 
appearance. 

If the frame the bees are. on is jarred a little so as to cause 
them to fill themselves with honey, they will stand the 
journey better, and are more easily picked off the combs, 
when they have their heads in the cells with their wings 
standing out. 

The bees being in, and the wire-cloth nailed down, next 
nail on the cover, having the ventilation hole over the wire- 



144 DOOLITTLE ON QUEBN-REAEING. 

cloth ; after which you will put on the directions, when it is 
ready for the mails. 

If the bees are put up twelve hours before they are 
mailed, and left with the face side of the cage downward, 
but raised a little off the table, the Queen will rid herself of 
eggs, and thus better endure the sudden jars which she will 
be liable to get. 

If the cage has been made according to the foregoing 
directions, and light, soft wood has been used, the postage 
required will be but one cent, as it should not weigh more 
than one ounce after the bees and candy are in. If you 
send out a thousand Queens during the season, the saving 
in this alone will be $10 over what it would be if your cage 
required a two-cent postage-stamp ; and a saving of |20, if 
it required a three-cent stamp, as our cages did not long 
ago. This saving of postage is an item worth looking after, 
when such saving does not conflict with the safety of the 
Queens. 

In all handling of Queens, great care should be used, not 
to injure their legs or abdomens. That all do not use this 
care, is evident from the number of Queens that I have 
received minus one or two legs, and often with dents in 
their abdomens. In putting up bees, don't get excited, and 
handle them as a "baggage smasher" would a trunk; but 
keep as cool as possible, and if you find that you are nervous 
and shaky, put off the caging of them until some other time. 
I realize that with some, I am urging a very difficult matter, 
for I once knew a man (who came to get some Queens that 
he had ordered) to get more nervous and excited in putting 
them up, than he would have been in fighting with a bear. 
If you are not used to putting up Queens, do not undertake 
the job when some one is looking on, but go at it alone, 
when you are in a quiet frame of mind. 



BOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-RDAKTNG. 145 



CHAPTER XXI. 

QUEENS INJURED IN SHIPPING. 

Probably there are very few who have received Queens 
from a distance, through the mails and otherwise, that are 
not aware that some of these Queens did not come up to 
those which they already had, as to prolificness ; for such is 
so common, that many of our best breeders have been cen- 
sured and blamed for sending out poor Queens, when they 
wei'e not to blame at all. Scores of these complaints came 
to me befoi'e I ever reared a Queen for sale, and the same 
has been so general, that even Mr. Alley occupies consid- 
erable space in his book on Queen-Rearing, regarding this 
matter. 

Now, as a breeder of Queens, I suppose that I should let 
this pass, if I would consult my own interests ; but I feel 
that both duty and truth require that I should not pass over 
the matter without mentioning it. Probably no man in the 
United States has more flattering testimonials, according to 
the number of Queens shipped, than I have ; yet this does 
not prove that none of the Queens that I have sent out have 
never been Injured by shipment. By shipment I include all 
of the necessary evils attending the removal of a Queen 
from her hive and home, and sending her to another hive 
and home, where she is obliged to suddenly stop a profuse 
egg-laying, and continue in this condition for from three 
days to three weeks. 

Years ago my attention was called to this matter, by 
some writer of the past, who attributed the trouble to the 



146 DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-BEAEING. 

rough usage to which the Queens were subjected in the 
mails ; ana gave as a remedy, that all Queens should be 
sent by express. In this I thought that I saw an explana- 
tion of the unsatisfactory results which I had I experienced 
with Queens which I had purchased ; so for some time after 
that I ordered all of the Queens that I bought, sent by 
express. However, as I saw little difference in favor of 
those ipat came by express, over those which came by mail, 
I concluded that I must look elsewhere for the trouble. 

In studying over the past, to ascertain if I could find out 
wherein the difficulty lay, I remembered that such a Queen, 
sent me by a noted breeder, had not laid eggs enough 
during two j'ears, to amount to as many as one of my 
ordinary Queens would lay in two months ; so I wrote him, 
asking if he remembered whether the Queen was prolific in 
his apiary or not. His replj^ was, that she was unusually 
so, and at the time he took her out of the hive, she was 
keeping ten Langstroth frames full of brood. 

Later on, I received another Queen from another noted 
breeder, for which I paid a very high price, thinking to get 
the best there was in the country ; yet, while she lived, she 
was about the poorest layer I ever had ; still I was assured 
that she was an extra Queen when sent. 

Soon after this, I commenced to send out Queens myself, 
and during my experience as a breeder and shipper of 
Queens, several instances have come under my notice of 
Queens which proved of no special value as to prolificness, 
after they were received by the purchasing party ; while I 
know that they were among the best, if not the best Queens, 
that I ever owned. 

Mr. Alley, in speaking of this matter in his book, attrib- 
utes the cause to sending off a Queen immediately upon 
her removal from a full colony, while she was filled with 



DOOLITTLB ON QUEEN-REARING. 147 

eggs ; in which state, he claims, she was not capable of 
enduring the rough usage which she would be subjected to 
during shipment, and advises that all Queens be kept in a 
nursery for a few days before sending them out. Others 
have advised leaving the Queens caged for a day or two 
before sending them off ; and still others, keeping them in 
a nucleus for a week or so, before mailing them. All of 
these things show that nearly, if not quite all of our Queen- 
breeders acknowledge what a few say is not true, as some 
claim that a Queen cannot be injui'ed by ordinary shipment. 

While thinking of "this matter one day, I resolved that I 
would find out the truth regarding it, if possible ; so I 
caught some of my most prolific Queens and caged them, 
the same as I would for shipment, giving them the usual 
number of bees for an escort, and placed them in my shop. 
A part of these were thrown about the shop, and handled 
about as I thought they would be when shipped away, while 
others were handled very carefully or let alone entirely ; all 
being kept from the hive from one to two weeks. Upon 
returning them as the heads of colonies again, some of them 
proved of little value, and, strange to say, a part of those 
thatwere of the least value, were among those treated the 
most carefully. I was now satisfied that the cause very 
largely lay where I mistrusted that it did — in the sudden 
stopping of a Queen from prolific egg-laying ; for whenever 
a Queen expects to leave a hive with a swarm, she almost, 
of altogether, stops egg-laying preparatory to leaving, but 
doing the same gradually. 

If I am correct in the above conclusion, and I believe I 
am, then the plan of keeping Queens out of colonies for a 
week or so before sending them out, can only remedy the 
matter as far as they are liable to being bruised is con- 
cerned ; while it has really no bearing on the main cause of 
the trouble. The keeping of them in a nucleus for a few 



148 DOOLITTLE ON QUEBN-EEARING. 

days, would come nearer to Nature's way of preparing the 
Queen to leave the hive, than any of the other plans ; yet 
this will not fully accomplish the object, nor do I know of 
any that will. 

Having solved the matter to my satisfaction, that Queens 
were mainly injured by suddenly stopping them from pro- 
lific egg-laying, and not finding any plan to fully overcome 
this difficulty, I next tried to find out if this unprolificness 
had any efiect on the daughters from these once prolific 
Queens, but now almost valueless mothers. I am pleased 
to be able to go on record as saying, that, so far as I can 
see, such injured Queens produce just as prolific daughters, 
after their confinement, as they did before. For this rea- 
son, I would advise all who receive Queens, that do not 
seem as prolific as they would desire, to rear Queens from 
them immediately, or as soon as any of their brood is old 
enough for that purpose. In this way the buyer gets a fair 
return for his money, even if the Queen bought does not 
pi'ove to be all that he had expected or desired. 



DOOMTTLE ON QUBBN-REAEING. 



CHAPTER XXII. 

QUALITY OF BEES AND COLOR OF QUEENS. 

Had I thought that this book would have been considered 
complete without it, I should have preferred to leave this 
chapter out ; for I am well aware that we do not all agree 
as to which is the best race of bees, how these bees should 
be marked, etc. However, as I thought that all would not 
consider it complete, and as I desire to injure no one's feel- 
ings, I will try in a mild, brief, impartial way, to tell what I 
believe to be the truth about them, as looked at from the 
stand-point of this locality — Central New York. 

The black, or German bee, probably all are quite familiar 
with. All the really good qualities that I know of them, are 
their readiness to enter the sections and build comb, and 
smooth, white capping of the honey of the same. Their 
poor qualities, as I find them, are their inclination to rob, 
and willingness to be robbed ; their running from the combs, 
and out of the hive, unless handled very carefully ; they do 
not resist the wax-moths, are poor honey-gatherers, except 
in times of plenty ; are inclined to sting with little provoca- 
tion, and do not work in a business-like way. 

This last particular, I do not know that I ever sa w men- 
tioned ; and by it I mean, that they live only from " hand to 
mouth," as it were, calculating only a day or so in [idvance. 
They go into the sections to work, and build comb only so 
long as honey comes in plentifully. The least slask stops 
comb-building, only that the cells are lengthened on those 
that are already built, so that I have frequently found sec- 
tions one-fourth full of comb, and tha,t one-fourth length- 



150 DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-BEARING. 

ened out, filled, and capped over, without being attached to 
the sections except at the top. I never saw anything of the 
kind with any other race of bees, for they all start and build 
the sections full of comb, as if they calculated to do some- 
thing business-like. 

If another yield of honey comes in a few days, these bees 
start the comb down a little further, when it is again stubbed 
off if the flow slackens ; and again and again do the same 
thing, until I have counted as many as five times in a single 
section, where they have started and stopped, making the 
face side of the comb resemble a wash-board. 

It has been claimed that there is a difference in these 
bees, some saying that there is a large brown bee of superior 
merit ; others claim great things for their grey bees, both of 
which varieties are said to be a great way ahead of the little 
black bee ; but I wish to say, that, after getting Queens from 
several claiming to have these superior strains, and placing 
them beside the "little black bee" that our forefathers used 
to have, there is not a bit of difference in them, so far as I 
can see, or any of my bee-keeping friends to whom I have 
shown them. 

The Queen-bee of the German race, seems to be the most 
constant in color of any of the bees that have come under 
my notice ; all of which are of a very dark brown upon the 
upper side of the abdomen, while the under side of the 
same is of a yellowish brown. Out of scores of specimens 
which I have examined, I could not detect the least varia- 
tion of color, so that in these bees we have Queens which 
will duplicate themselves as to color, if we do not have 
such in any other race. 

Right here I would say, that, in speaking of markings, I 
shall notice only those which are fixed, or permanent, as 
are those colors on the horny scales, or segments of the 
abdomen ; for nearly all other markings are of hair or fuzz 



DOOLITTLB ON QUEEN-REARING. "151 

and are soon worn off, so that an old bee does not look 
nearly as showy as a young one, when the color of the fuzz 
is new and bright. The head and throax of all the races of 
bees are very much alike, except as the color of this fuzz 
gives them a lighter or darker appearance. To be sure, the 
Cyprians have a bright spot, or shield, as it is called, at the 
back of the thorax between the wings ; but as I find this 
same spot on the best marked Syrians and Italians, I do not 
see how it can be used as a test of purity of the Cyprian 
race, as some claim for it. Hence the abdomen of the bee 
is the place we are to look for the markings of the different 
races. 

Perhaps I ought not to say anything of the Carniolans, 
for the two Queens which I received that were said to be 
pure, were not at all alike as to their worker progeny. 
From these two Queens I decided that it was a mixed race, 
when I looked at the progeny of one Queen ; and that it was 
only a peaceable strain of the black bee, when I handled 
those of the other Queen. My trial of these bees from 
these two Queens, agreed with the reports of the most of 
those at that time, in that they were not nearly as good as 
the Italians. As to the " steel blue " color claimed for them, 
I will say that the same will be seen on a lot of black bees, 
just hatched, if held so that the light strikes them just 
right. From the experience that I have had with these and 
their offspring, I concluded thai I had no use for them, so I 
superseded the Queens. Of late they seem to be growing 
in favor, and I shall try to give tliem another trial in the 
near future. 

The few Queens which I reared from these mothers, varied 
from a jet black to a light brown, one of which was fairly 
a shiny-black, like a crow, or what we term a " crow black- 
bird." There was no constancy of color in either the bees 
or Queens. 



152 DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-BEABING. 

I have thoroughly tried the Syrian bees, and for this 
locality I consider them the poorest of all bees yet brought to 
this country. The two great faults which make them thus 
a:ce, first, not breeding when they should breed, and then 
breeding beyond measure when they ought to breed but 
little ; which results in few laborers in the field in the 
honey harvest, and countless numbers of consumers after 
the harvest is past, to consume all that the few gathered. 
Consequence, no profit. 

Second, the worliers begin to lay eggs as soon as the 
Queen leaves the hive, whether by swarming or otherwise, 
so that the combs are filled with a multitude of dwarf- 
drones, to the disadvantage of the bees, combs, and owner. 
Laying workers are always present with these bees. At 
timfes they sting fearfully ; at other times they are nearly 
as peaceable as Italians. However, they will not venture 
an attack unless the hive is disturbed, as do the black bees. 
A colony of Syrian or Cyprian bees will let me stand an 
hour at a time i-ight in front of their entrance, turning out 
for me, and not offering to sting ; while in less than ten 
minutes a black colony will resent such impudence to the 
score of hundreds of stings, if I do not leave. 

The Cyprians I disliked to part with, for they were really 
good bees in all points but one; but that one point ^a.s 
altogether too sharp for me. Of all the bees to sting when 
provoked, these bees "beat all." In opening a hive, smoke 
does no good, while the least mishap will, without warning, 
send hundreds of hissing, angry, stinging bees all over one's 
person. They also have " a touch " of the laying-worker 
nuisance, but nothing nearly so bad as the Syrians. 

With me, the markings of the Cyprian and Syrian Queens 
are very much alike, except the stripes or rings on the 
Cyprian Queens have more yellow on them than do the 
Syrians ; and the yellow is of a bright orange-color, while 



. DOOLITTLB ON QUBBN-REABING. 153 

that on the Syrians is less bright, and often dusky. Every 
segment of the abdomen has both yellow and black upon it, 
unless it be the last one at the tip, which generally is nearly 
or quite all black, or very dark brown. The Queens of 
these two races of bees are next in constancy of color to 
the German Queens. 

Lastly, we have the Italians, and it is hardly necessary 
for me to say that they are my choice amang all the bees 
that I have ever seen, either for comb honey or for 
extracted. Some claim that they will not work in boxes 
readily, while others think that they give the cappings of 
their honey a watery appearance. In neither of these 
points do I find any trouble with them ; for if rightly man- 
aged, so that the hive is filled with brood when the sections 
are put on, as it should always be, they work in the sections 
on the first appearance of honey in the fields ; while I have 
none of the watery-appearing honey from them, which is 
produced by both the Syrians and Cyprians. To be sure, 
they do not use as much wax on their combs as do the 
blacks, but they use enough, when we take all things into 
consideration, such as the cost of wax, toughness of comb, 
pleasure of eating, etc. 

Especially am I pleased with these bees, when we have a 
light yield of honey, for at such times they work right on, 
untiringly, storing a little honey in the sections every day, 
at times when hybrids and other bees are scarcely getting 
a living. They will also work on the red clover more than 
any other bees, as I have proven during many seasons, 
storing nice, white honey at the same time the German and 
hybrid bees are gathering only that of dark color. This one 
quality alone would give them the preference over the 
other races, with me, had they not many other redeeming 
qualities beside?. 



154 DOOLITTLB ON QUEEN-BEABING. 

The Queens are very inconstant in color, especially those 
from an imported mother, such varying from that of a 
German Queen to a bright, golden orange-color the whole 
length of the abdomen ; some of the best specimens of my 
home-bred stock, not having even a particle of black on the 
extreme tip, or point. By crossing the best specimens of my 
home-bred stock, with similar specimens from different 
apiaries from 100 to 1,000 miles from me, I have succeeded 
in securing bees of the Italian race which are far more con- 
stant in color than any I could get ten years ago ; while at 
the same time my bees have vastly improved as to their 
working-qualities. By this method of crossing, I believe it 
possible to get a bee of the highest type, as to working- 
qualities, as well as to produce the handsomest bees in the 
world. 

While I would by no means sacrifice working-quality for 
color, or anything else, yet when we can have a beautiful 
bee combined with one having the very best working- 
qualities, why not combine pleasure with profit ? It is one 
of the "queer" things which a Queen-breeder meets with 
(as nearly all such breeders will bear me out in), that where 
a party orders several Queens, writing that he does not care 
for color, only give him good working-quality, he will, nine 
times out of ten, select the very yellowest one you would 
send him, to breed from, while his next order will call for 
all yellow ones. 

Of hybrid bees I have little to say, for I believe that the 
crossing of any of the races with those of the same race, 
procured from some apiary 200 or more miles away, will 
produce just as good results as to honey, as will the crossing 
of the different races. 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-REARING. 155 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

REARING A FEW QUEENS. 

No apiarist — no matter how few bees he may keep — 
should consider that he has done his duty by his "pets" 
until he has learned how to rear Queens. Not ouly is this 
a duty which he owes to himself, but in the doing of it he 
wiU find the most fascinating part of apiculture. I know 
of nothing so enticing, or of anything that will so com- 
pletely absorb the mind, and get one out of that complain- 
ing mood which we sometimes fall into, as will the rearing 
of Queens. When at this work, minutes and hours fly away 
as though they were not, and even a whole day spent in the 
closest of this work is only considered a day of recreation. 
Here we can get away from self and the cares of life, and 
be led out along a higher plain of thought — thought which 
grasps, to some degree at least, the mind of our Creator, 
when He made so many things for the comfort and enjoy- 
ment of us, His children. In no one thing can the handi- 
work of God be seen more, than in this particular branch of 
our beloved pursuit. 

Again, the rearing of Queens is a duty that we owe to our 
families, if they are in any way dependent upon us for their 
support. Many times I see it advised, that the bee-keeper 
should buy his Queens, as though that was the best and 
cheapest way to Italianize an apiary. While I have Queens 
to sell, yet I object to such advice, or any advice which 
compels the man starting in apiculture, or already in the 
same, to take his hard-earned pennies — often earned in 
gome other calling in life — away from his family, and send 



156 DOOLITTLB ON QUBBN-BBAKING. 

them for the support of some other man's family, who may 
have many luxuries that his own does not have. 

If any one has plenty of money that is hanging idly on 
his hands, then I have no objection to his sending it when 
and where he pleases ; but I do claim that the average bee- 
keeper has not the right to scrimp his family by buying 
Queens, or anything else, that he can rear or make just as 
well as not during his leisure moments ; and by so doing, 
keep his money to cheer the hearts of his loved ones, and 
at the same time be growing intellectually in his chosen 
pursuit. Of course, it will be necessar'y for any one desir- 
ing a change of stock to get a Queen of the desired race, 
but to purchase Queens for the whole apiary, or by the 
score, as is frequently advised, is quite another thing. The 
object of this book is to tell all how they can rear one or 
more Queens with ease, and in such a way that their bees 
can be improving all the while, instead of retrograding, as 
was often the case where the old plans were used. 

But says one, " How can I rear one or two Queens by 
your plan, without going through with all of the work that 
the plan, as a whole, requires ?" If you do not want to rear 
enough Queens to pay for using a stick of 12 cells, proceed 
to make 2 or 3 wax-cups, as I told you how to do in Chap- 
ter VII ; or, if this is too much work, use embryo queen- 
cells, as given in Chapter VI. A few days previous to 
doing this, tier up a hive for extracted honey, as all want 
at least one hive worked in that way ; if not wanted for 
that, it will be needed for the purpose of securing extra 
combs of sealed honey, to be used in feeding the bees when 
tliey need feeding, putting a queen-excluding honey-board 
between the hives, and having one frame of unsealed brood 
in the upper hive with other combs. 

In for or five days, look at this comb having the brood in 
it, and you will find one op njore queen-cells started, fron; 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-BEAEING. 167 

which you can get royal jelly with which to supply the 
wax-cups that you have made. Just before putting in the 
royal jelly, go to the hive having your best Queen — best as 
regards color, work and every other quality — and get a 
piece of comb containing a few larv83. If the day is not 
quite warm, take all to the kitchen, where it is always warm 
just before the noon-day meal ; and after putting the royal 
jelly in the wax-cups, transfer some larvas into each. KoU 
the cups in a warm cloth, if the day is cool, and upon going 
back to where you got the jelly, press down some of ithe 
cells a little where the comb is empty, by laying the side 
and end of the little finger against the comb, thereby 
forming a place into which the wax-cup will fit nicely, thus 
holding it in place on the comb with the open end down. 

Now put the frame in place in the upper story again, and 
close the hive. If other cells were started on this comb, 
besides the ones which you destroyed by taking out the 
jelly, they should be destroyed also. In case a Queen is 
allowed to hatch from such cells before those hatch which 
you have started, they will destroy those of a better quality 
that you have worked for. 

In ten days from the time you prepared the cells, go to 
the hive and slip in a queen-excluding division-board near 
the center, if you want two Queens to hatch and become 
fertile. If you want only one, you need not fix the hive in 
this way at all ; for the first Queen that hatches will destroy 
all the rest. All you need to do in this case, is to bore a 
half-inch or larger hole in the back part of the hive, five 
days after the Queen is hatched, and close it again after she 
begins to lay. 

But as it will be natural for you to want two Queens at 
least, we will suppose that you have the Queen-excluding 
division-board in place, after which you are to get a frame 
containing a little brood, from any hive in the yard, and 



158 BOOLITTLE ON QTIEEN-EBAKING. 

after shaking the bees off this comb in front of their own 
hive, you are to take one of the nearly-mature queen-cells 
off the comb that they are on, and stick it on this comb, the 
same as you did the wax-cup ; using this way of fastening 
the cells to the comb until you get enough accustomed to 
the work so that you will not injure them by pressing them 
into the comb, as I advised in Chapter IX. 

Now place this frame on one side of the hive, and the one 
on which the cells were built on, the other side, having the 
queen-excluding division-board between them. If you have 
more than two completed queen-cells, and you wish to save 
them, of course you will need more upper stories, or will 
form nuclei for them, this being written on the supposition 
that you are only desirous of rearing just two extra Queens. 

In five days after the young Queens hatch, bore a hole 
from the back part of the hive, into each of the apartments 
having the Queens, leaving these holes open till the Queens 
begin to lay, when they are to be closed. You will now 
have two as nice Queens as you ever saw, reared without 
much trouble ; and they can he kept where they are until 
you desire to use them without their interfering with the 
workings of the colony in the least, any more than they 
have done so far, which is none at all. 

This rearing of Queens and having them fertilized in a 
hive having a laying Queen in it, without in the least inter- 
fering with the working of the bees or the hive, is some- 
thing which holds me almost spell-bound when I think of it, 
and something that we have heretofore considered impos- 
sible. 

Another point right here (and one which I consider worth 
much more to any one, than the price of this book ; even 
though he may keep only two colonies of bees), and that is : 
If you desire to supersede any Queen in your yard, on 
account of her being too old to be of farther use ; or if she 



DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-KEAHING. 159 

is of another race of bees from what you desire ; all you 
have to do is to put on an upper story, with a queen-exclud- 
ing honey-board under it, place a frame of brood with a 
queen-cell upon it, in this upper story, and after the young 
Queen has hatched, withdraw the queen-oxcluder, and your 
old Queen is superseded without your even having to find 
her, or having the least bit of time wasted to the colony. 

In fact, the possibilities which this perforated-metal may 
bring, have only just begun to loom up before us, so that 
what the future may bring forth in this matter can hardly 
be conceived by any. Truly, our pursuit is one of the most 
fascinating of any of those that are engaged in by man ; 
and I am thankful to Him who ruleth all things, that I have 
a part and a lot in this matter. 

That all who read this book may try to carry out the 
thoughts herein advanced, to still greater perfection, and 
strive in the future to rear only Queens of superior value, 
so that we may soon be able to say, 

" THE COMING BEE IS HERE," 
is the best wish of the author. 




Alsike Clover. 



APPENDIX, 

Being some Details of 

Later Experiments in Qneen-Rearing, 

Since the first edition was printed. 



Since writing the preceding Chapters, I have been ex- 
perimenting further along the ideas contained in Chapter 
XIII, as I found that owing to the conditions under which 
I had tested the thoughts and experiments therein con- 
tained, there was a possibility of a failure along that line, 
when the plans were used under other conditions than those 
which existed during the times when I had formerly used 
them. In previous years, owing to my selling nearly all 
of my stronger colonies of bees to fill the many orders 
which I had for the same, I had no colonies of suitable 
strength to tier up early in the season, so that the plans 
then tried were used only after the basswood had blos- 
somed and later, in having queens fertilized over a queen- 
excluding honey-board. During the next year (1889) 
having more strong colonies than usual, owing to fewer 
sales, and the bees • wintering better, I tiered up several 
hives early in the season, and very much to iny surprise, 
found that that which had previously worked to perfec- 
tion was a failure, as far as the fertilizing of the queens 
- from these upper stories was concerned. The cells were 
allowed to hatch just the same as before, but when the 



162 DOOUTTLE ON QUEEN-REARING. 

qutens came to the age of two or three days, the workers 
began to worry and tease them, which resulted in their 
being killed sooner or later, while in one or two instances 
the result was a general row "upstairs, ".in which many 
bees were killed besides the queen. At this time the bees 
were only living from "hand to mouth," as it were, for 
the forepart of our season was the poorest I ever knew. 

When the basswood began to yield honey, I again 
began to have the same' success which I formerly had, 
either owing to the peculiarity of this locality, which 
brought about former conditions, or to some additions 
which I made to the hive, or perhaps both. When I saw 
that what I supposed was the same plan that I had for- 
merly used, was failing, I began to study into the matter 
to see if I could not find a remedy, and about the first 
thing which appeared was that I did not have the hive 
fixed as I had previously, although I now had it arranged 
the same as I gave in Chapter XIII in this respect. 

Some may think that it would be strange for such a 
thing to occur, and perhaps it was, yet it was one of the 
most natural things in the world, as you will soon see. 
As all of the older readers of the bee-papers are aware, 
when I commenced using the Gallup hive, I used it the 
same as Gallup recommended, using twelve frames in the 
hive. As the years passed by, I believed that twelve 
frames were too many for the brood-apartment, so I made 
dummies or division-boards to take the place of one or 
more fi^ames, according to the time of the season, or as I 
wished to contract or expand the hive, my custom being 
to expand the hive during the forepart of the season, and 
contract it the latter part, or contract at the beginning of 
basswood bloom. 

After a little thought along the line of what had caused 
the failure this season, when no failure had occured before, 
it began to dawn upon me that in my former Experiments 
1 had contracted the lower hive down to eight frames, so 



DOOLITTI.E ON QUEEN-REARING. 163 

as not to rear a large number of bees during the basswood 
bloom, to become consumers of the honey later on, as we 
have no fall flow of honey here; and in this contraction 
might be found a solution of the problem, for I now had 
both stories of the hive filled with combs, as it was the 
forepart of the season, the lower hive being now filled so 
as to rear workers for the harvest. In this latter case the 
brood came directly, under that part of the queen-excluder 
running, under the apartment petitioned ofi" with the 
perforated- zinc division-board, so that when the young 
queen ran down on the zinc, she and the old queen could 
get their heads together and try to kill one another, 
which resulted in the bees worrying the young queen 
when she was old enough to be recognized as a queeti, 
the same as bees always try to worry virgin queens in the 
queen nursery after they are two or more days old, as 
they always do when such nursery is hung in a hive 
having a laying queen. 

When younger than this, the bees do not seem to notice 
them in either place, nor does the young queen try to get 
below. Without intending it, I had so partitioned offthe 
upper story in my previous experiments, that the apart- 
ments the queens were in, at each side of the hive, came 
directly over the dummies, so that there was no tempta- 
tion for the old queen to come out in the bee-space over 
and between the dummy and the queen-excluding metal, 
while at the same time there was no brood below these" 
apartments to tempt the virgin queen to try to go below, 
as there was apparently nothing but wood there; although 
the bee-space between the dummy and queen-excluder 
gave the worker-bees free excess up through the bottom 
of the apartment, as well as through the zinc division- 
board in the upper story. 

When writing Chapter XIII, I had not the remotest 
idea that these dummies played such an important part in 
the matter, nor am I now fully certain that they will 
make the plan a success always in all localities, and at 



1 04. DOOtlTTLE ON QUEKN-REARING. 

all times of the year, but I believe that they have much 
to do with the plan working so successfully in this locality; 
for nothing could work more perfectly than it has with 
me since the dummies were put in, the lower story when 
fixing the hives for the the basswood bloom. 

Right here I would say what I forgot to say in the body 
of the book, which is, that I tack the queen-excluder, 
used between the upper and lower stories, to the bottom 
of the upper hive, tacking it on lightly with small wire 
nails. This makes it so that when I wish to get to the 
lower hive for and manipulation of the same, all I have 
to do is to lift off the upper story, the same as would be 
done were there no queens above, or any queen-excluder 
used. In this way there is no more danger to the young 
queens when the hive is of, than there is at any other time. 

After finding what I believed to be a solution of the 
former trouble, and knowing that all would not want to 
use dummies under these queen-rearing apartments, I 
began to experiment to see how the matter in regard to 
the young queens going down on the perforated metal, 
so as to cause trouble, might be obviated, and arrived at 
the following : 

My queen-excluding honey-board is what is Called the 
"wood-and-zinc" board, having a full bee-space on the 
upper side of it. Oij this upper side I tacked a strip of 
wire-cloth of the right width to come out to the queen- 
excluding division-board, tacking it on each edge of the 
wood which formed the bee-space, thus giving a bee-space 
between the honey-board below, and the wire-cloth, which 
entirely prevented the virgin queen from getting to that 
part of the queen-excluder immediately under her apart- 
ment, yet at the same time allowing the warm air from 
below to come up into the apartment, the same as it 
would were the wire-cloth not there. 

With this I have been equally successful in having 
queees mated from these apartments, the same as I was 



dooutti,e; on queen-rearing. 165 

where the dummies were used, and I believe the same 
will overcome nearly all of the difficulty which I experi- 
enced during the forepart of the season, although I can- 
not say positively at this date, as I have not had a chance 
to try it, except during the basswood bloom, and later. 
If it should not, my next plan would be to make the 
division, which forms the queen-apartment, or wire-cloth, 
except say three or four rows of perforated metal at the 
top, so that all bees entering this apartment would be 
quite a distance from the reigning queen below, when 
entering this apartment, which I think would make the 
plan successful in localities where all else failed. 

Now, as there seems to be a chance that a failure may 
possibly result in some localities, and at some seasons of 
the year,, I would advise all to try only one or two colonies 
at first, to see if the plan will work in their locality; so 
that, should it not work, they will be but little labor and 
time out, in trying to experiment. 

I still believe that there is a great future before us, 
along this plan of having queens fertilized from an 
upper story, and as I have intimated in other parts of 
this work, it is my desire that the plans which I have 
here given may be so improved upon, that there shall not 
be a doubt about this matter, and we as bee-keepers be led 
out to a wider plain than any heretofore enjoyed.- 

Already some are branching out along different lines, 
notably among which is Dr. Tinker, with liis "Queen- 
Rearing Chamber." There is little doubt but what his 
plan will work, but that "Chaniber" seems to be more 
suitable to the large queen-breeder than to the rank-and- 
file of bee-keepers; while my design was to bring out a plan 
that would be of benefit to all, from the person having 
but two colonies, up l^o one who numbered his colonies 
by thousands. 

Some seem to feel (or act as if they so felt) that I was 
trying to crowd my plans upon them, for some irritation 



166 DOOLITTLE ON QUEE;N-REARING. 

has been shown by a few, since this work was published; 
but such is not the case. All are free to use, or refuse, 
these plans which I have outlined, as they please. No, 
dear reader, I have not the least desire to crowd anything 
upon you. All I have done, has been done with the 
hope that I might be of benefit to the world — benefitting 
some one by smoothing over the rough places a little, the 
same as some of the writers of the past smoothed the way 
before my tender feet, when they were still youthful in 
the pursuit of apiculture. 

As I have freely received of the good things in the bee- 
literature of the past, so .1 as freely give of the little I 
know, that I may, in a measure, pay the large debt I owe 
to those who have preceded me in the way of our delight- 
ful pursuit, 

Borodino, N. Y., October i, 1889. 



EFeFej^TTJ^. 



Page 50, last line, the first word should be queen-cups. 

Page 54, first line, omit the word — up. 

Page 63, third paragraph, third line — the first word should be raised. 

Page 65, tenth line from the bottom — resiA produced insXe:a.d. of produce . 

Page 66, second line^ — read method instead of methods. 

Page 109, sixth line of third paragraph — omit the word as. 

Page 131, fifth line from top — read, "the neighbors of this customer." 

Page 139, third line, second papagraph, read, "apartment for the bees. " 

Page 156, last line but one — the second word should he four: 



DOOUTTLE ON QUEEN-RAISING. 167 



INDEX. 

Abnormal Queen-Rearing 2.") 

Affixing Wax-Cups to Stick o-l 

Age of Larvae to Use for Queens 41 

All Queens Should be as Good as the Best 17 

Alsike Clover in Bloom ■ 160 

American Bee-Journal S. 13 

Another of Nature's Ways 25 

Artificial Queen-Rearing T 32 

Balling a Queen llli 

Basket for Carrying Queen-Cells 73 

Basswood or Linden Bloom 18 

Bee-Candy 140 

Bee- Feeders and Bee-Feeding 99 

Bees Starting Queen-Cells , 60 

Borage in Bloom 66 

Brushing Bees off the Combs 69 

Building Queen-Cells when the Queen is in the Hive 37 

Buy or Rear Queens — Which ? 155 

Caging the Bees 118 

Caging Queen-Cell 80 

Catching Bees to send with a Queen 143 

Caution to Queen Breeders '. 65 

Cleome in Bloom 70 

Clipping the Queen's Wings 133 

Comb with Queen-Cups ~ 39 

Contamination 108 

Crossing for Improvement 154 

Dedication 5 

Division-Board Feeder 40, 99 

Drones Late in the Fall 107 

Egg-Laying — Sudden Stop of 145 

Embryo Queen-Cup or Queen-Cell 38 

Fastening Queen-Cups to a Stick .i . . 51, 72 

Feeding Qie Larvse 24, 42 

Fertilizing Queens in Confinement 105 

Fertilizing Virgin Queens 96 

First Colony my Father Bought 12 

Forcing Process of Rearing Queens 35 



168 DOOUTTI^E ON QUEEN-REARING. 

Forming Nuclei , 83 

Frame with Queen-Cups inserted 56 

Getting the Bees off the Cells 07 

Giving Queen Cells to Nuclei 27 

"Good" Candy for Provision 77 

Honey Locust Tree 34 

How to Multiply Nuclei 8t) 

Human Interference with Nature 36 

Importance of Good Queens. '. 1.') 

Introduction of Queens 111,120 

Introducing- Cages 124 

Introducing Virgin Queens 121 

Italian Bees are Best of All 153 

Keeping a Record in the Apiary 129 

Keeping the Larvije Warm 57 

King's Bee-Keepers' Text Book 13 

I,amp Nursery .' . 71 

Later Methods of Queen-Rearing ■ 35 

Laying Workers 107 

Loss of Queens '. 31 

Making Division-Board Feeders 100 

Making a Nucleus-Box . . 86 

Making Queen-Cups 48 

Marking Experimental Hives 57 

My First Loss of Queens 14 

My First S^^'arm of Bees 13 

Nature's Way of Rearing Queens 19, 23 

New Way of Rearing Queens 47 

Nuclei for Virgin Queens 84, 88 

Nursery Cage 77 

Oil-Stove for Work -Shop 74 

Old Methods of Rearing Queens 29 

Ovaries of the Queens 104 

Paraphernalia for Queen-Rearing 50 

Poor Queens the Cause of Winter Losses 17 

Preface 7 

Protecting Queen-Cells from the Cold 74 

Putting Bees into a Cage 143 

Putting Royal Jelly into Queen-Cups 52 

Quality of Bees and Color of Queen 1 49 

Queen-Cells Built on a Stick 53 

Queen-Cells Must not be Shaken 68 

Queen-Excluding Division-Board 60 

Queenless Colonies 87, 113 

Queen-Nursery 7(i, ] ] o 

Queen-Registering Cards IHl, 132 

Queens Depositing Eggs in Queen-Cells 23 



DOOUTTLE ON QOEEN-RAISING. 16© 

Queens Injured in Shipping 145 

■Queens Reared under the Swarming Impulse 20 

B.earing a Few Queens lofi 

Rearing Good Drones 10() 

Rearing Queens for Market 95, 97 

Rearing Queens Unnaturally 22 

Releasinx Queens after Shipment ll(i 

Robber-Bees T.i 

Royal Jelly ; 40 

Sacrificing Working-Qualities for Color 154 

Securing Good Drones 105 

Securing Large Crop of Comb Honey , o!» 

Shipping and Shipping-Cages 138 

Shipping Queens , . . . . Ill 

Sour- Wood Bloom and Leaf .' 98 

Sudden Stop of Egg-Laying 145 

Superseding Queens 158 

Swarms Issuing Before Queen-Cells are Bnilt 20 

Teasel in Bloom 110 

The "Alley" Plan 45 

The Author 2 

The Sueen-Cell Protectors 79 

Tiering-Up 94 

Time of Hatching 44 

Tooth-Pick for Transferring Larvae 3(5 

Transferring Worker Larvae to Queen-Cells 37, 42 

Tulip or Popular 40 

Two Queens in a Hive 37, 28, 93 

Valuable Queen, Introduction of IKi 

Virgin Queen Traffic 75 

What to do with Queen-Cells 71 

Will it Pay to Rear Two Queens ? 157 

Wire-Cloth Cage for Frame 85 

Yucca Bee-Brush 69 



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