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Full text of "Keeping bees for profit and pleasure / by Frank G. Carpenter."

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NOV. 29,1940 


Most peoole, I believe, when they think of bees think of 
stings and honey. Nearly everyone likes honey yet a very few 
people will go anywhere near the bees. When one gets used to 
them, one finds bees most Interesting little insects, and in 
most cases very gentle provided that you treat them gently too. 

PLEASURES IN BEEKEEPING. The layman can hardly see any 
pleasure In keeping bees and getting stung every other day. 
I dont believe that there are many beekeepers who find much 
pleasure In getting stung either; however most beekeepers rarely 
get stung. 

In spite of this hazard to me it is a real pleasure to 
work with the bees. They are really quite friendly. Although 
they may buzz around your head with a rather curious hum, they 
seldom have any intentions of stinging. If you will be calm 
and don't move rapidly, you can push them about In the hive 
like so many flies. Sometimes when you accidentally pinch a 
bee she will stina;, but usually not even then. 

It is fun to take out a frame and watch the bees at work 
keeping house. The queen walks around looking into every cell 
and carefully lays an egg in each empty one. The workers are 
all busy. They move about and poke their heads into one cell 
after another. Some are bringing food to the brood, some 
storing nectar, and others tamping pollen into the cells. 

The real pleasure in beekeeping is taking off the honey 
along in the middle of the summer. You then see the fruits 


of your labors of the preceeding winter and spring: Super 
after super, each filled with twenty-eight sections of comb 
honey with snow white cappings; That golden yellow stream 
as the honey flows from the extractor; Bottle after bottle, 
can after can is filled with the precious liquid. This is 
the true pleasure of beekeeping. 

PROFIT IN BEEKEEPING. Professional beekeepers keep a 
greet many large colonies. It Is an established fact that 
a single large colony will produce much more honey than many 
small ones; consequently the colonies in commercial apiaries 
often reach mamouth proportions. Some of these colonies 
produces seven or eight hundred pounds of honey per season. 
A good average for commercial apiaries is about one hundred 
pounds per colony, while the average back yard colony produces 
only twenty-five to thirty pounds. Many tons of honey are 
used each year by the bakeries, and there is a surprisingly 
large demand for honey for table use, especially In the western 
states. Most back yard beekeepers that sell their honey have 
a much larger demand than they can hope to supply. 

Beeswax also brings a very nice price. Aside from Its 
use in the Industry as foundation, beeswax is usde chiefly 
for candles for the Catholic Church. 

Honey and beeswax are the only profits received directly 
from the bees. However the bee's value In pollenization of 
orchards and truck crops can never be overemphasized. Every 


fruit farm and most truck farms either keep bees or rent them 
for this purpose alone. 

The literature of beeculture is filled with countless 
stories of great success at beekeeping. However not every 
one is successful all . the time. In poor honey years only a 
few colonies will produce any surplus at all, and the great 
majority of beekeepers will suffer a loss. In general most 
beekeepers can make a profit of from ten to fifty dollars per 
colony per season, and one man can easily handle one hundred 
colonies or more. The majority of the bees in this country 
will probably be found in back yard apiaries, kept mostly for 
pleasure and incidentally for profit. 

[IOlaaJz tf €oaA£aaJjL.\, 

Frank G-. Carpenter 
November 29,1940 


REFERENCES. My own experience with "bees and my readings 
in the literature for the past few years, principally from, 
GLEANINGS IN BEECULTURS, published by the A. I. Root Co., 
Medina, Ohio.