site logo

Advantage Of Proper Arrangement

Bee Keeping: Mysteries Of Bee-keeping Explained

Two inches being nearly the right distance, each one will be so made

that a bee arriving at the top of the hive between any two sheets will

be able to find a passage into the box, without the task of a long

search for it; which I can imagine to be the case when only one hole

for a passage is made, or when the row of holes is parallel with the

combs. A hive might contain eight or ten sheets of comb, and a bee

desirous o
entering the box might go up between any two, many times,

before it found the passage. It has been urged that every bee soon

learns all passages and places about the hive, and consequently will

know the direct road to the box. This may be true, but when we

recollect that all within the hive is perfect darkness--that this path

must be found by the sense of feeling alone--that this sense must be

its guide in all its future travels--that perhaps a thousand or two

young workers are added every week, and these have to learn by the same

means--it would seem, if we studied our own interest, we would give

them all the facility possible for entering the boxes. What way so easy

for them as to have a passage, when they get to the top, between each

comb? That bees do not know all roads about the hive, can be partially

proved by opening the door of a glass hive. Most of the bees about

leaving, instead of going to the bottom for their exit, where they have

departed many times, seem to know nothing of the way, but vainly try to

get out through the glass, whenever light is admitted.

I am so well convinced of this, that I take some pains to accommodate

them with a passage between each comb; they will then at least lose no

time by mistakes between the wrong combs, crowding and elbowing their

way back through a dense mass of bees which impede every step, until

again at the top perhaps between the same combs, perhaps right, perhaps

farther off than at first; when I suppose they try it again; as boxes

are filled sometimes under just such circumstances.

To assist them as much as possible, when new hives are used for swarms,

I wait till the hive is nearly filled before making the holes to

ascertain the direction of the combs. We all know it is uncertain which

way the combs will be built, when the swarm is put in, unless

guide-combs are used.[15] When holes are made before the bees are put

in, guide-combs as directed for boxes should be put in; (of course they

should cross at right angles the row of holes).

[15] Perhaps Miner's cross-bar hive would do it.