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Wisconsin Farmers' Institutes / Wisconsin Farmers' Institutes : a hand-book of agriculture. A report of the twelfth annual closing Farmers' Institute held at Janesville, March 8, 9, and 10, 1898
Bulletin No. 12 (1898)

France, N. E.
Improved methods of bee keeping,   pp. 93-98 PDF (1.5 MB)

Page 93

N. E. FRAINCE, State Inspector of Apiarlex, Platteville, Wi.
I am thankful indeed that one has
been upon this floor who represents
bee-keeping and illustrates the fact
that this industry does not require
heavy labor, but rather skill and
management, with good judgment.
The Old Way.
Well may the farmer of today boast
of the improved machinery and better
farming. As bee-keeping is a branch
of agriculture, I wish to call your at-
tention to some of the improved
methods and implements of this sweet
occupation. Many of you remember
only a few years ago, when the ma-
jority of farmers had enough bees in
either straw hives or else In boxes or
log gums, as tney were calleu, antu
it was not uncommon for salt bar-
rels to come into like use. The bees,
loing as they pleased, were sure to
have the crooked combs well inter-
locked, and if we wanted any honey
we would dig a suitable grave, then
put on our coat of arms, and at even-
mng carefully set the heaviest hive
over some brimstone matches that
were put in the pit, and await the
soon deathly silence.  The best comb
honey would be carefully set aside
for company, and the dark combs
containing some honey with plenty of
bee-bread and often some larva bees,
were all broken up and put in a cloth
sack near the old-fashioned fireplace,
where the strained honey, well flavor-
ed, would drain out.  In those days
we knew little about the queen bee
and her importance. We kept all
hives in low sheds, and expected the
bees to feed themselves and us too;
if they died, as they often did, it was
because some of the family had died
or we were out of luck. We were
sure to be in luck during swarming
season, as they would be sure to cast
while we were in the field haying, or
while we were at church on Sunday
mornings. Our neighbors knew when
the bees swarmed by the racket of our
bells, tin pans, horns and firing off
of the old musket.
Profit in Bee".
The   improved   machinery  and
methods of today finds the progressive
bee-keeper with a cheap and com-
fortable bee-veil which he wears oc-
casionally, handling his bees bare-
handed, as carefully as any other
farm stock. Within twenty-five miles
of this room was one of these model
bee-keepers, who so handled his 1,000
to 1,400 colonies that the owner soon
became one of our wealthy bankers.
+ ~ ~~ ~~ 1.A-. I N   ^]1- -2 n

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