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Leahy, R. B. (ed.) / The progressive bee-keeper
Vol. XI [XIII], No. 11 (Nov., 1903)

[Beekeeping articles continued],   pp. 304-306


Page 305

come to the conclusion that the one-
fourth inch spacing principle isn't
much good, if any, immediately around'
the region of the top bars, and that the
lessening of brace-combs there by its
application is apparent, not real, due
only to the actual space occupied by
the wood that would otherwise be filled
with comb structures. For as a mat-
terof fact the colonies that had those
wide top-bar Hoffman frames were ex-
actly as lavish with their superfluous
work as the colonies on seven-eighth
by five-eighth inch top-bars, of which I
took care of about 60. and an equal
itnumber of the others in the same yard.
Of course I always preferred to open
and look at a hive with Hoffman frames
to inspecting one of the other kind; but
that was on account of the self-spacing
feature, a different matter altogether,
which is better provided for b' closed-
end frames. In short, the only differ-
ence in brace-combs was in the actual
bulk of the material to be scraped off
or severed. The editor of Gleanings.
who has been the boomer of the wide
top-bar idea, and who invited another
editor to inspect his apiary to verify its
working, recently let the cat out of the
bag by telling a correspondent I quote
from memory) that his company sold so
many colonies that the ones the had
on hand al any time were comparative-
ly free from brace-combs on iecount of
being in new hives. It is the new
hives, then, not the wide top-bars, that
accounts for the condition of that
apiary.
ARE BRACE-C 'OMBS INERADICABLE?
It would seem so. Something is undoubt-
edly done by good qucen-rearers by in-
cluding freedom from brace-combs in
qualifications for breeding. lut that
is beyond the reach of the ordinary
bee-keeper. Still. there are two ways
in which they may be modified. First.
use a honey-board. either a slat honey-
board or a queen-excluding one. This
sotles the matter of svraping off the
bottoms of supers. There will be no
more of it. But underneath that honey-
board the brace and burr-combs will
run riot the same as ever. This will
not matter much if the hives are not
much looked into in the middle and end
of the season. Second, use a sheet of
perforated queen-excluding zinc, not a
bee-space above the frames, but lying
right on them. [his also settles the
super bottoms, and modifies the brace-
combs besides. I have only tried this
with one kind of top-bar, however
(seven-eighths by three-eighths inch,
with closed-end frames), and do not
know how the combination works vith
other kinds. The modification   of
brace-combs consists in reducing them
to lines of irregular wax at the junction
of zinc and top-bars. These also might
kill bees if the frames were removed
without precaution, but in this case it
can he done by simply scraping the tops
of the top-bars instead of cutting in be-
tween them. In addition. it is better to
scrape the zinc before putting it back:
or, better, have an extra sheet of clean
ine t0 sab ita with.
WHAT IS THE CHIEF OBJECT de-
pends on the person. I suppose. For
myself, as I aim at inspecting the
brood-chambers as little as possible
after June, the chief object then is to
keep the bottoms of the supers so they
can be lifted off without any to-do.
Therefore I prefer honey-boards or
zin sheets. but cannot make up myv
mind which is better.
THE iDIS6RACEFUL SCENE at the last
National convention has been described
frol one poit of view. At this writ-
ing, Mr. Abbott's side has not yet been
given, and even if it had been, it would
be likely to be incomplete, as it would
be foot-noted, and then the lamb-like
editor would declare that hoth sides
had now been heard. I have no parti-
cular reasons to suppose Mr. Abbott
was right, nor do I favor him in any
wa : in fact. I fIel an unseemly tempta-
:    I.-,


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