Friday, September 23, 2016

Bees & Honey

Below is an excerpt from "The Centennial Cook Book and General Guide ©1876


But few persons are aware how early in the season bees eat honey faster than they produce it. By not attending to this in due time, learning from experience, observation, or the experiments of others, much is lost. When the weather is dry, bees usually consume honey faster than they collect it after the middle or 20th of July, unless they have access to buckwheat or other suitable flowers cultivated for their use; in this case they may gain honey in September

This subject is important to bee-masters who follow the old system, and destroy the bees when they take the honey. Some let them remain till the latter part of September, eating honey two months after they have ceased to collect any of consequence. In our short seasons for collecting honey, and long ones for consuming it, the habits of the bees must be stud.ied very attentively, and there must be the most careful and economical management in order to make them profitable.


Pour two teaspoonsful of chloroform into a piece of rag, double it twice, and place it on the floor-board of the hive, which must be lifted for the purpose, the entrance-hole being carefully secured: In about two minutes and a half there will be a loud humming, which will soon cease. Let the hive remain in this state for six or seven minutes, making about ten minutes in all. Remove the hive, and the greater number of the bees will be found lying senseless on the board; there will still be a few clinging between the combs, some of which may be brushed out with a feather. They return to animation in from half an hour to one hour after the operation. This plan possesses a great superiority over the usual mode of brimston- ing, the bees being preserved alive; and over the more modern plan of fumigation by puff-ball; it is fax less trouble, and the honey does not become tainted with the fumes.


To a pint of water, sweetened with honey or sugar, add half a gill of vinegar, and set it in an open vessel on the top or by. the side of the hive. When the miller comes in the night, he will fly into the mixture and be drowned.


Expose the honey to frost for three weeks, in a place where neither sun nor snow can reach it, and in a vessel of wood, or other substance which is not a good conductor of heat. The honey is not congealed, but becomes clear.

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