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A Tool For Their Destruction

Bee Keeping: Mysteries Of Bee-keeping Explained

I have used a simple tool, made in a few minutes, and very convenient

in this business. Any one can make it. Get a piece of narrow hoop-iron,

(steel would be better,) three-fourth inch wide, five inches long;

taper from one side three inches from the end to a point; then grind

each edge sharp; make three or four holes through the wide end, to

admit small nails through it in the handle, which should be about two

feet lo
g and about half an inch square. Armed with this weapon, you

can proceed. Raise the hive on one edge, and with the point of your

sword you may pick a worm out of the closest corner, and easily scrape

all from under the hive with it. Now, _be sure and dispatch every one_;

not that the "little victim" will itself, personally, do much mischief;

but through its descendants the mischief is to be apprehended. Very

likely half of all you find will have finished their course of

destruction, among the combs, and have voluntarily left them for a

place to spin their cocoons. They are worried by the bees, if they are

numerous, until satisfied that it is no safe place among them to make a

shroud and remain helpless two or three weeks. Accordingly, when they

get their growth they leave, get on the board on the bottom, become

chilled and helpless in the morning, but again active by the middle of

the day. Now, if they are merely thrown on the earth, a place there

will be selected, if no better is found, for transformation; and a moth

perfected ten feet from the hive is just as capable of depositing five

hundred eggs in your hive, as if she had never left it.

Several generations are matured in the course of one summer:

consequently, one destroyed at this season, may prevent the existence

of thousands before the summer is over.

This is another subject of theoretical reasoning, and imposition, (at

least in my opinion.) I wish the reader to judge for himself; get rid

of whims and prejudice, and look at the subject candidly and fair; and

if there is no corroborative testimony comes up to confirm any position

that I assume, I shall not complain if my assertions fare no better

than some others. Only defer judgment till you _know_ for yourself.

Bees have ever received my especial regard and attention; and my

enthusiasm may blind my judgment. I may be prejudiced, but will not be

wilfully wrong. I have found so many theories utterly false, when

carried out in practice, that I can depend on no one's hypothesis,

however plausible, without facts in practice to support it. No one

should be fully credited without a test. To return to our subject.