ALBERT R. MANN
New York State Colleges
Agriclltuke and Home Economics
EVERETT FRANKLIN PHILLIPS
GEORGE oYDiffiY DEl-UTH
March 2, 1871 - March 2, 1934
Teacher, Apiary Inspector
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.
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.
A Method by which the Best of Queen-Bees
are Reared 'in Perfect Accord with
G. M. POOLITTLE,
Author of "The Hive I Use," and "Rearing Queens."
FOR THE AMATEUR AND VETERAN
THOMAS G. NEWMAN & SON,
9S:! & 925 West Madison Street.
|>|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.
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-
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
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-
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
Basswood or Linden.
DOOLirrLB ON QUEEN-REARING. 19
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
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
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.
DOOLITTLE ON OHEEN-REAETNQ. 29
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-
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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-
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 "
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
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-
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-
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
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
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
DOOLITTLB ON QUBBN-BEABING. 67
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
'IIIMILJ 1... n <
. !■ ii'
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 .
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
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
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
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-
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-REARING. 99
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
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
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
Ovaries of the Queen, greatly magnified.
DOOLITTLB ON QUBEN-RBAHING. 105
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
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
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
DOOLITTLE ON QUEEN-EEAKING. Ill
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
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
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
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
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
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'
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
or five days from the time of hiving, before giving the first
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
DOOLITTLE ON QUBBN-BBAEING. 121
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
DOOLITTLE ON QTJBBN-EBAKING.
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DOOUTTLB ON QUKEN-REARING. 133
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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-
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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-
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.
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
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
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-
Borodino, N. Y., October i, 1889.
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
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- 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
Crossing for Improvement 154
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
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
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
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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BOOKS FOR BEE-KEEPERS,
Sent by mall, postpaid, on receipt of tbe prices named.
Scientific Queen-Rearlns, by G. M. Doomtti.is.— It details his
•experiments In tbe rearing of Queon-Bees. Price, $1.00.
Bee-Keeplng for Profit, by Dr. Q. L. Tinkhk,— It fully details
I he author's new system of producing honey. Price, 25 cents.
Advanced Bee^CuIture: Its methods and management. — By
w, Z. Hutchinson. Price, 50 cents. ,
Thirty If ears Among tlie Bees, by Henry AlIjEY, Price, 50 cts.
Bee-Keepers' Guide, or manual of tlie Apiary, by PROF. A. J.
Cook.— Prof usely illustrated, and fully up with the times on every
subject that interests the bee-keeper. It is not otiiy instructive, but
interesting and thoroughly practical. It comprises a full delineation
of the anatomy and physiology of the Honey-Bee. Price, $1.
Qnlnby'B Nenr Bee-Keeplng, by Z,. C. Boot,— Its style is plain
and forcible, making all its readers sensible of the fact that its author
is master of the subject. Price, $1.50.
A B C of Bee-Cultnre. by A. I. Root— Embraces everything per-
taining to the care of the Honey-Bee, and is valuable to the more ad~
vanced bee-keeper, as well as the beginner. Cloth, $1.25.
Blessed Bees, by John Allen,— A romance of bee-keening, full of
practical information and contagious enthusiasm. Price, 75 cts.
Ijangstrotb Revised by Ch. DADANT& Son.— 550 pages : 18 plates.
An entirely new work, and fully up with tjhe times. Price, $1.4U.
Kendall's Horse Book. — It has 35 engravings, illustrating posi^
tions of sick horses, and treats all diseases in a comprehensive manner.
It has many good recipes. Price ZSi\, in either Klugll»li or German.
A Year Among the Bees, by Dr. C. C. Miller.— A talk about
the implements and methods of a bee-keeper of 25 years' experience,
who has made honey-production bis exclusive business. Price, 50 cts.
Foul Brood— lis Cause and Cure, by Prof. Frank E. ChesBibe,
of London, Bngland.—This describes his experiments with the use of
Phenol for the cure of diseases of bees. It is the work of a master
mind, and full of very interesting matter. Price, 10 cents.
The Hive I Use, by G. M. Doolittlb. — It details his management
of Bees, and minutely describes his methods for the production and
care of comb honey : management of weak colonies ; how to control
swarming; how to get the largest yield of honey, etc. Price, 5 cents.
Fonl Brood, by A. B. Kohkke.— It gives the origin, development,
and cure pf this bee-disease, as taught by experiiRenHs pf the most
noted scientists and apiarists of Germany.— !]^ride, 25 cents. ' ' ,
Practical Turkey Bearing, by Fanny TielI), the' most experi-
enced turkey-rearer in America. Written expressly for those who are
interested in making the business profitable. Price, ^5 cents..
Success In Bee-Culture, as practiced and advised by James
Heduon, This book is intended for specialists and thp^e jv bo l^eep
bees for the profits of the business. Pri^e, 60 cents.
THOMAS G. BTEWMAW,
199 Randolph Street,- CHIGAGO, ILLS,
BOOKS FOR BEE-KEEPERS,
Sent by mail, postpaid, on receipt of the prices named.
Honey /tlnianac— to create a demand for Hone)'
at home. Bee-keepers should scatter it freely. It shows the uses
of Honey tor Medicine, Eating, Drinking, Cooking, for making Cos-
metics, Vinegar, etc.; also uses of BEESWAX. Price, 5 cts. ; 35
copies for -SI. 10; 50for.*L.70; 75for*3.30; 100 for $3.90. The'
foregoing are Postpaid prices; the following are prices when sent
by Express or Freight ^ 100 copies for ¥3.50; SOOforSlO; 1,000'
for .?15. The Bee-Keeper's name and address will be printed on the
first page without extra cost, when 35 or more are ordered at once
Bee» and Honey ; or, Management of an Apiary for Pleasure and
Profit, by Thomas G. Newman,— It is "fully up with the times," in all
the various improvements and inventions in this rapidly-developing"
pursuit, and presents the apiarist with everything that can aid in the
successful management of tne honey-bee, and at the same time produce
the most honey in its best and most^ttractive condition. It contains
250 profusely-illustrated pag-es. Price, in cloth binding, $1.00. Five
copies for $4.00, post-paid.
Aptary Kegtster, by Thomas G. Newman.— This is a Record and
Account Book forthe Apiar.v,. devoting two pages to each colony, rtiled
and printed, and is so arranged that a mere glance will give its complete-
history. Strongly bound in full leather. Price, for 50 colonies, $1.00;
for 100 colonies, $1.25 ; for 200 colonies, $1.50.
BIcnen Kullnr, by Thomas G. Newman.— In the Crei-man. Price,
in paper covers. 40 cents, or $3 per doz.
Haiidllii;; Bees, by Chas. Dadant & Son. It is a pamphlet of 2S
pages, being a chapter from " Laugstroth Revised," and is an excellent
thing for beginners- Price, 8 cents.
I*eerlews» Atlas of tlie World. Size, open, 14x22 inches; closed,
11x11 inches. As a concise and intelligeat epitome of the World, it Is
equal to any $10.00 Atlas. It contains handsome, colored maps of as
(countries, and a general description of them— about 100 pages. This
Atlas, with the American Bee Journal for one year, lx)tn for $1.60;
or it is sent post-paid to any address for 75 cents.
Maple Su^ar and the Sugar Bush, by PnoF. A. J. GoOK, tells all
about making the best Maple Syrup and Sugar. Price, 40 cents.
Why Eat Honey J (Leaflet No. 1) by Thomas G. Newman. This
Leaflet is intended for distribution in the bee-keeper's own locality, in
order to create a Local Market. Price, 100 copies, 50 cents ; for 500,
$2.00 ; for 1,000, 13.25.
t^S~ If 200 or more are ordered at one time, we will print on them
the honey-producer's name and address eeee.
Alslke Clover (Leaflet No. 2). This is intended to induce farmers
to plant Alsike Clover for pasturage and hay, and thereby improve the
neighborhood for bee-forage. Prices same as Leaflet No. 1.
HovF to Keep Honey (Leaflet No. 3), by Thomas G. Newman —
This Leaflet is designed to inform producers, dealers and consumers
How to Keep Honey, 80 as to preserve its richness and flavor, and
prevent deterioration by being stored in damp and unclean places.
Prices the same as Leaflet No. 1.
HoHT I Produce Comb Honey, by Gbo. B. Hilton,— Ten years'
experience. Price, 5 cents.
THOmAS G. NEWMAN,
199 Randolph Street, CHICAGO, ILLS.
A. I. ROOT,
Of SS pages, with a subsoription-llst of over 8,000. Eaoh issue is
faandsomely Illustrated wjtb orig'Inal entrraviugs. Its oorjis
of contributors comprises tbe most successful
Bee-keepers from all parts of tbe world.
Price, «1.00 Per Year.
WE ARE ALSO DEALERS IN
Sneh as BEES, HONEY, HIVES, etc
We annually manufacture about 28,000 Hives, millions of Section
Honey-Boxes, tons of Comb Foundation, Honey-Extractors, besides
, enormous quantities of Bee-Supplies in general.
" WE ARE 'also PUBLISHERS OF THE
^ B C OF BSS - CT7Z.TT7RE,
A Cyclopedia or 400 Pages.
Ct is handsomely illustrated with 300 engravings. It is written
especially for beginners. Tbe 52nd tbousand now out.
Price, in cloth, Sl-SS, postpaid.
A. I. ROOT, MEDINA, Medina Co., OHIO.
AN FLEGANT MONTHLY FOR THE
FAMILY AND FIRESIDE,
so CEliTTS -iE- -Z'ZEl.&JEZ,.
It Is Printed in tlie blgliest style of tfte Art, and is
pTofueely illastrated virttli Alagnitlcent
and Costly Engravings,
'HE ILLUSTRATED HOME JOURNAL is a moral and
Intellectual educator, and is invaluable in every library, as
well as a very attractive and inspiring ornament in every
drawing-room. It contains short and serial stories by eminent
authors, historical and biographical sketches, with beautiful
Every number has two pages of Music, and Departments
devoted to Household Chats, Puzzles and Fashions. All who
examine it are sure to become regular subscribers — for it
captivates them all. Each issue contains 32 pages.
A SAMPLE COPY will be sent Free, upon application
to the publishers.
THOS, G. NEWMAN
147 Southwestern Avenue,' CHICAGO, ILLS.
the Smokers before It. ^'pronounced Blugham's Pu-
Cent Smoker the best"
J.P.Moore, BlnKbamton. New 7ork, after ustntt
one some time. Bald: *' My Smoker troubles are ail
over, and bee-keepers owe you a debt of gratitude."
Professor Cook, of Michigan Agricultural College.
says : " It Is the best In the market."
B. M. Argo, Lowell, Kentucky, says : "It Is all that
any bee-keeper could desire."
Paul L. Vlallon, Bayou Goula, La., writes, April G,
1878: "Your Smokers are far superior to any ever
Invented, and we bee-keepers owe you a vote of
thanks for your Ingenloiislnventlon. Many may try
to Improve on yours, but I am positive none will
make a better one."
This Is the first and only bellowsSmoker ever made
which would burn stove-wood. It burns anything
combustible, and needs no care except to be refilled
once In one ortwo honrs. Works easy and will throw
a stream of smoke ten feet. It will notgooutnor
wear out. It will save time, stings, and money, and
perhaps a valuable horse.
BINGHAM & HETHERINGTON
Patented May 20, 1879.
The most extensive Bee-Seepers use tnem exclusively.
The Knife is so constructed that only the thin beveled edge rests on the combs,
and the caps, after being cut off, slide up in large sheets and roll over on the knife,
like shavings from a sharp plane. As only the edge of the knife touches the
boney. It does not wade and stick like other knives, but elides easily over curves,
planes and hollows, leaving the uncapped honey free from caps, and the cells aa
clean, perfect and smooth as If they had never been capped. They are two inches
Wide, tempered and finished like a razor, and will last for a life-time.
. each, per dozes.
The Doctor BlnRham Smoker 8^ Inch, 9^ Ui) 914.00
The Conqueror Bingham Smoker 3 " 1 75 13.00
Large Bingham Smoker, wide shield '2,H ** 1 50 11,00
Extra Standard Bingham Smoker, wide shield — 2 '* l 25 9.50
Plain Standard Bingham Smoker, narrow sUleid.. 2 " 1 00 8.00
Little "Wonder Bingham Smoker, narrow shield. .. iH " 65 5.00
Bingham & Hotherln^ton Honey Knife. 2 " 1 00 10.00
Knives sent by mail, post-paid, at 91.15 each.
THOMAS G. BTEWMAN,
199 Randolph Street, CHICAGO, ILLS.
THOS. G. NEWMAN,
HONEY & WAX EXTEACTORS. COMB FOUNDATION,
KEGS, PAIIiS, SEBDS, ^te.
Illustrated Catalogue sent free upon application.
199 Randolph Street, CHICAGO, ILLS.
The Oldest Weekly Bee-Paper in the World.
THE i[lilGAN B[E JOURNAL,
ESTABLISHED IN 1861,
Is the Recognized Leading Bee-Feriodical in America.
ONE DOLLAR A YEAR, IN ADVANCE.
A Sample Copy Free, Upon Application,
The most successful and experienced bee-keepers in the
World comprise its Corps of Contributors, and it is contin-
ually advancing progressive Ideas upon the various topics ot
modern scientific Bee-Culture.
GEORGE W. YORK & CO.,
199 Randolph Street, CHICAGO, ILLS.