ALBERT R. MANN
New York State Colleges
Agriculture and Home Economics
EVERETT FRANKLIN PHILLIPS
A. M. STURGES,
Prior to the epidemic of Acarine Disease in 1906, the
most popular strain of bee in this Country was the British
Black or so-called Native bee. Owing to the low disease
resistancy of this strain, and to the fact that apiaries of
these bees act as centres from which the disease radiates,
it is rapidly being replaced by the more vigorous and
prolific Italian strains.
After many years of experiment, with various races
from different parts of the globe, the Italian strains have
been selected as shewing the greatest resistance to the
disease, and though not truly immune, are not liable to
serious infection when managed under Rational conditions.
In the cases where bees of these strains become infected,
the cause of the infection is generally traceable to the use
of irrational methods of bee-keeping.
With these strains it is usually possible to eradicate
disease when this is detected in the earlier stages, this being
an advantage over the Native strains, which are not
amenable to treatment, even in the initial stages of the
As honey getters the Italian strains are superior to
all others, and have been selected for this characteristic by
the American Bee-keepers—the largest honey producers in
Queens of these strains are very large, golden in
color, and exceptionally prolific, building up stocks from
nuclei in a very short time.
The strains selected work well in sections, capping
these white, and owing to their extremely gentle character,
it is possible to handle strong stocks of these bees under
all conditions of weather, and therefore to adopt manipula-
tive measures which ensure absolute freedom from
During 1021 several stocks which were suppHed on
four frames in May buih up to 20 frames and yielded
180 lbs. per stock by mid July.
Other stocks, wintered on six or seven frames, built
up so rapidly that nuclei were taken from them and each
stock (spring count) yielded 200 lbs. of honey by July 9_th,
and gave three nuclei which were on 10 frames and working
in the supers at this date.
A large number of Queens have been imported from
the United States, and these have been carefully tested
for some years.
The strains selected are of remarkably gentle dis-
position and no stock is allowed in the breeding apiary
unless it can be manipulated without the aid of smoker or
veil during the working season. As the whole of the
surrounding district has been re-queened with the selected
strain, purity of mating can be guaranteed for 1922, and
any queen producing vicious bees, or showing incorrect
mating will be replaced.
For 1922 the selected drone parents are queens of
the Ben Davis American five-banded golden strain. This
strain is exceptionally beautiful, and very active in forag-
ing : the queens are exceptionally large and very prolific,
breeding earlier and later in the season than those of most
of the strains examined. This is a very important factor
to be considered in the building up of a strain resistant to
Four Queen parents have been selected for 1922 and
queens can be supplied from any of these, if orders are
placed in advance. These breeding queens have been
selected for temper, prolificacy, working qualities and size,
and are probably the finest, in these respects, it is possible
to find in Europe.
Breeding Queen No. i, selected for the carrying on
of the strain, was raised in 1921 from a John M. Davis
American three-banded golden queen imported from the
U. S. A., and crossed with a drone of Pure Penna strain
imported from Italy. The young queens of this cross of
two unrelated strains of pure Italians are of a bright
golden color, extremely large, very vigorous and prolific,
and very much superior in all respects to queens of either
Breeding Queen No. 2, is an imported queen from
Italy selected by Signor Penna as a breeding queen. This
is oije of the finest pure Italians obtainable and produces
very large and prolific queens of a dark brownish golden
Breeding Queen No. j. This is an American three-
banded golden queen imported from Jay Smith, of
Vincennes, Indiana, one of the greatest queen breeders in
the United States.
Bees of this strain are exceptionally good honey
producers, working well in sections and capping these
even and white. The queens are large, very prolific, and
of a bright golden color.
Breeding Queen No. 4. A Ben Davis American
five-banded golden queen imported from U. S. A. This
queen is not the parent of the queens to be used for drone
production in 1922: direct inbreeding will therefore not
Queens raised from No. i Breeder will be available
at all times from May 15th to September and will be sent
unless definite orders to the contrary are received.
In order to ensure prompt delivery of queens of the
other strains orders must be placed well in advance.
All queens are raised under the most ideal conditions,
during the honey flow, in the strongest possible 20 to 30
frame stocks under the supersedure impulse, the number
of queen cells in each stock being strictly limited, m order
to produce the finest queens it is possible to obtam. A
far larger number could be produced if this method were
not adopted, but this would be at the expense of quality.
For full details of methods employed see Bee World, 1921.
As the greatest care is tajken during the whole
development from the egg until the queen is mated, and
as all queens not up to the high standard required are
destroyed, these queens can be absolutely relied on and
will be replaced in the unlikely event of being unsatisfactory
in any respect.
Four classes of Queen are offered : —
I. Virgin Queens produced under the best possible
conditions emerging from cells placed in cages a few hours
before. It is well known that queens which emerge from
caged cells are not of so high quality as those emerging
in nuclei. Virgin queens can therefore be supplied from
nuclei at a slight extra charge.
II. Untested mated Queens, produced in very
strong stocks and allowed to emerge in the mating nuclei.
These are of very high quality.
III. Select Untested Queens : selected from the
above for color, size, and laying capacity in the small
mating nuclei. These queens are very much superior to
those usually obtained in this country or from abroad.
IV. Select Tested Queens suitable for use as
These are carefully selected throughout the whole
development from the grafted queen cups and only excep-
tionally fine queen cells are set aside for these queens.
The cells are placed in strong nuclei on standard frames a
few hours before the queens emerge. The young queens
are carefully examined for size and color as soon as they
emerge, and are allowed to remain in the nuclei, after
mating, until the color of their progeny indicates purity
of mating. This necessitates the keeping of these choice
queens in the mating nuclei for a period of 21 to 30 days,
and during this time the evenness of egg laying and pro-
lificacy of the queens are carefully tested.
After this careful selection the queens shipped as
Breeders can be relied on as the best it is possible to obtain
from any source, and they are now generally recognised
as such. Before shipment of these queens, the nuclei
containing them are gradually reduced in size, so as to
slowly lessen the egg laying of the queens and ensure
safety in travelling.
Travelling Cages, &c.
The travelling cages used for shipment of the
Untested and Select Untested Queens are of the American
long distance type, being very much larger than the cage
ordinarily employed in this country. Breeding queens
are sent out in specially made export cages imported from
the U. S. A.
The candy used in all cages does not contain honey
as an ingredient : danger from foul brood, nosema apis,
&c., is thus avoided. As this candy is unobtainable in
this country, it is imported from the A. i Root Co., of
Special labels have been designed to render the
packages plainly distinguishable in the post in order to
avoid rough handling in transit.
Safe delivery is therefore guaranteed of all queens
sent by post, and in case of damage in any way replacement
will be made on return of the cage unopened.
All queens are given a consecutive registered number
and full details kept of their work before shipment. It is
therefore possible to supply unrelated queens at any time
afterwards when required.
Nuclei can be supplied on three or four frames from
June 7th. These nuclei must not be confused with the
nuclei usually sent out, as they are in reality strong stocks
condensed to small bulk for shipment...
These nuclei — ^known as honey production stocks-
consist of three or four frames of brood in an advanced
stage of development, well covered by young bees. The
young bees emerging from the brood within 12/14 days,
will form a very strong stock which will build up with
extreme rapidity owing to the very high percentage of
young bees present in the colony. It is usually possible
to super these stocks, supplied on four frames, withm 14
to 21 days of delivery, and to obtain: a fair surplus the same
year if delivery is made in June.
Before shipment of nuclei a sample of the bees is
examined under the microscope in order to ensure freedom
from Acarine disease. The stocks can therefore be relied
on as free from disease when delivered, and when rationally-
managed will remain free from infection. In the rare
cases where infection is found in these strains it usually
exists in the initial stages and can be eliminated by intensive
brood production. In the case of Native bees this is
Where required, all nuclei are guaranteed to remain
free from Acarine disease within six months of delivery,.
provided the advised conditions of management are carried
out. In the event of infection appearing in these cases,
the nucleus will be replaced free of charge by another
nucleus of the same grade and size as originally purchased.
Prior to the important discovery of Tarsonemus
woodi by Dr. Rennie in 1920, the whole subject of Isle of
Wight disease was involved in mystery : owing to lack of
knowledge as to the cause of the complaint treatment was
practically hopeless, and in the light of recent knowledge
the methods formerly recommended for the alleviation of
the complaint are shewn to be worthless.
The disease is caused by the parasite breeding in and
living at the expense of the tissues of the Respiratory
system of the bee, and the cause is confined entirely to this
portion of the bee's anatomy. Medicinal treatment is
therefore of no avail unless the drug can be introduced into
these organs. Though attempts have been made to dis-
cover a suitable fumigant, the results reported up to the
present time are not promising, though it is probable that
successful medicinal treatment will follow this course.
Attempts to find immune varieties of bee have not
been successful and there is no possibility of success in this
direction. Experiments conducted in 1921 have shewn
that all the well-known strains can be infected with the
disease, and that where conditions are favorable for the
increase of the parasite within the colony, the disease will
reach the same degree of severity with all strains.
While some strains — owing to their general charac-
teristics, and not owing to greater resistance of individual
bees to the parasite — are found to be fairly immune to
attack when managed in a rational manner, it must be
recognised that no strain is truly immune, and that com-
parative immunity is almost entirely a matter of manage-
Where the older methods of bee-keeping obtain
disease must be expected, but with Rational management
the modern strains of American Italian bees can be kept
free from the complaint.
During the course of the investigation referred to —
the results of which are published in Bee World, December,
ig2i — it was observed : —
(i.) That British blacks, or Natives, and dark hybrid
bees are generally foujtid to be infected with the
disease, and the infection to be in a well
advanced stage in the majority of cases. That
when these strains become infected treatment is
usually found ineffective owing to the low
prolificacy of these queens compared with those
of high grade Italian strains.
Cii.) That while stocks of Italian strains of bee
headed by high grade and prolific queens are
usually found to be free from infection, some
cases of infection are found usually in the
initial stages. In these cases the cause is
generally to be found on examination of the
previous history of the colony.
(iii.) That the degree of infection found is dependent
on the age of the adult bees of the colony.
(iv.) That measures which increase the age of the
bees of a colony, such as the removal of brood,
the use of non-prolific queens, prolonged queen-
lessness, &c., render the colony open to attack
by the disease, and when infection has occurred
render the rapid spread of infection certain.
(v.) That vice versa, measures which decrease the
average age of the bees of a colony, such as
the addition of brood, stimulation for brood
production, and the use of high grade prolific
queens render the colony practically immune
to attack, or if carried out when infection is
observed in its initial stages eliminate the
Prevention of the Disease.
The method of prevention of attack by the disease,
and of elimination of the complaint, is pointed out by these
experiments, and the problem now resolves itself into the
adoption of Rational methods of bee-keeping.
By the avoidance of the inbred and degenerate
British Blacks and strains containing a considerable pro-
portion of this blood, by the use of exceptionally prolific
queens of vigorous American — Italian strains and by
stimulation for brood production before and after the
resting season of the year, the chance of infection is re-
duced to a minimum. As the robbing of stocks infected
by the parasite is the chief immediate cause of infection,
this should be prevented at all costs, by isolation of the
diseased colonies, and by reducing the entrances as much
as possible in spring and autumn. As the parasite can
only exist in the trachea of the living bee, and dies within
a very short time of the death of the host, no danger need
be feared from Acarine disease when old combs from stocks
which have died from the complaint are utilised — -provided
the combs are allowed to remain out of contact with bees
for a fortnight. There is also no danger of infection as
the result of robbery of hives which have perished from
the disease some time previously.
Elimination of the Complaint.
By the use of a microscope it is a comparatively
simple matter to detect the disease in the initial stages of
infection, some weeks before the usual symptoms of
Acarine disease are visible, and when discovered at this
stage it is usually possible tO' eliminate the complaint
during the working season. To make plain the rationale
of the process it is necessary to explain the course of the
disease within the trachea of an infected bee. Experiments
carried out during the investigation referred to previously
have shewn, that young bees emerging from brood in an
infected stock, in the final stages of the disease, may become
infected by the female parasite at the age of six days, and
that the second generation appears twelve to fourteen days
later. As migration of the parasites does not occur to any
serious extent until the trachea becomes congested, and as
this will not occur within 14 days of the hatching of the
second generation of parasites, the danger of serious
migration will not arise until say 35 days have elapsed since
the original infection. That is to say that in the case of a
stock of which only a low percentage of its members are
infected the spread of the disease within the stock will not
become serious until the bees originally infected have
reached the age of 5 weeks.
If these infected bees, are removed from the sphere
of action before they attain this age, the disease will not
increase within the colony, but will gradually diminish and
finally disappear. ■
The main object of the method of treatment is
therefore the elimination of the older members of the in-
fected colony : this can be carried out in two ways : —
(i). By wholesale isolation of these bees by artificial
swarming and collection of the adult bees on
the old stand.
(2). By so greatly increasing the work of these adults
as to appreciably shorten their lives. This is
best effected by intensive brood production
stimulated by feeding, and by the addition of
"hatching" brood from other colonies, thus
increasing the nurse bees of the treated colony
out of all proportion, and consequent stimulation
of the queen.
A combination of both methods is frequently advis-
able in cases where the infection has advanced beyond the
initial stages, and has so far developed that the second
generation of parasites are found in the trachea.
It is extremely difficult to diagnose the complaint
from symptoms, especially during the earlier stages of the
disease, but any gradual change in the character or manner
•of the colony should be viewed with suspicion. Spring
dwindling, slowness in building up, and change in temper
are frequently indicative of disease, but cannot be relied
on as diagnostic symptoms. The only reliable and
accurate diagnosis possible is the examination of a number
of the foraging bees under the microscope, and this should
be carried out by all modern apiarists from time to time.
Preparations for Winter.
As the critical period of the year as regards Acarine
disease is during the winter months, when owing to lack
of foraging, and the practical absence of brood production,
the average age of the bees composing the colonies,
becomes high, and infection, where present, spreads with
extreme rapidity, it is necessary to prepare for this period
some months in advance, and to ensure the absence of
infection within the colony before the advent of winter.
In order to carry out this programme efficiently, the
treatment should commence immediately after the termina-
tion of the honey flow of the district.
Where increase is desired the stocks should be
divided by artificial swarming, and collection of the adult
bees with the old queen on the original stand. This colony
is stimulated for brood production and when established
is re-queened by a young and vigorous mated queen of
the selected strain.
The young bees on the new stand should be re-
queened as soon as possible, by the introduction of a
similar queen, and stimulated for brood production as
before. Stimulation for the production of brood should
continue in all cases until the first or second week in
September, when rapid feeding should commence, in order
to provide the stores necessary for the winter months.
Where increase is not desired, the original stock
should be re-queened if free from disease, but where infec-
tion is found an artificial swarm should be made, and the
adult bees collected on the old position utilised for the
production of brood to be given to the main colony, which
has been moved to the new position. In this case the old
queen should be allowed to remain with the adult bees.
Annual re-queening is an absolute essential, as it is
extremely difficult to stimulate an old queen of the previous
year, to the extent required.
Where the winter has been niild — as experienced
during recent years — it is advisable to place a cake of candy
on the top of the frames in February, as this is a great
stimulant at this period, and generally results in the very
early production of brood.
As soon as pollen is carried into the hive in quantity,
the quilts may be i-aised on a warm day, and some of the
outer combs of food uncapped without causing undue
disturbance of the bees. If short of food, this may be
given as candy, or as syrup by means of a brood nest feeder.
The uncapping of the food combs should be gradually
extended, from time to time, until all combs containing
food have been treated in this way, with the exception of
those containing brood.
The object of this treatment is the utilisation of the
stores of the colony before the spring feeding commences,
so as to prevent the filling of the combs with food, and the
consequent limitation of the brood space.
When all food combs have been treated as advised
the spring feeding should commence and the stock will
rapidly build up, new frames being given as required until
the stock covers 20 brood frames by the first or second
week in May.
When this stage is reached the Demaree method of
swarm control should be practised, the queen being con-
fined to the lower brood chamber, by means of a wire
queen excluder, and kept supplied with egg laying space,
by interchange of combs from above with those down
As swarming can be entirely prevented by this
method, the yields of honey are very much larger than
generally obtained, as the stocks can be worked of very
much greater strength.
The syrup used for winter feeding is of the strength
usually recommended for this purpose in the text books,
but the addition of one of the advertised antiseptics —
preferably Yadil — is advisable as a preventive of foul
brood, nosema apis and mildew.
In spring feeding the use of antiseptics is not recom-
mended, owing to the danger of this being transferred to
the honey comb.
It will be noted that the use of candy is advised
during the spring, but except in cases of extreme urgency,
should not be given as winter stores. Candy is not a
suitable winter food for bees, as it is apt to become moist
during the cold season of the year and to ferment and cause
Guarantee against Acarine Disease.
Before shipment, all nuclei are microscopically
examined for the parasites causing Acarine disease and can
be relied on as absolutely free from infection. In the
unlikely event of infection occurring within 6 months of
delivery, the nucleus will be replaced free of charge by a
nucleus of similar size to the one originally supplied, pro-
vided the following conditions have been observed : —
(i). Nuclei must be stimulated for brood production
until well established on 9 or 10 frames.
(2). Swarming must be prevented by the adoption of
the Demaree system, or other similar methods.
Where swarming occurs, resulting in the isola-
tion of the adult bees of the colony, the
guarantee does not apply to the swarm, but is
transferred to the original stock on the old
stand, provided this is given a young laying
queen of the same strain within 14 days.
(3). Immediately after the honey flow the original
stock must be re-queened, and must not remain
without a laying queen for a period exceeding
10 days, and the stock must be stimulated for
brood production at this time. Where increase
is desired the guarantee does not apply to the
colony containing the adult bees of the original
colony, but as, in the case of swarms, to the
original colony consisting of young bees on the
(4). Samples of the adult foraging bees must be sent
for examination when required, and in case of
suspected disease a sample must be sent to an
independent microscopist whose decision shall
be taken as final.
(S). This guarantee applies to Acarine disease only —
formerly known as I. O. W. disease — and the
presence of Tarsonemus woodi in the trachea of
the suspected bees shall be taken as proof of
Price List of Queens and Nuclei.
Queens. Delivery from June ist.
Young Queens raised from No. i Breeder (J. M.
Davis Queen by Penna Drone) and No. 2 Breeder (Pure
Penna Strain) can be supplied at any time during the season.
Young Queens of Ben Davis golden strain, and Jay
Smith three-banded strain can be supplied if ordered before
Virgin Queens : hatched in cages, 6/- ; hatched in
Mated Queens : .untested, 12/6 ; select untested,
15/-; select tested breeders, 25/-.
Delivery strictly in rotation, unless orders are placed
one month in advance, except under special circumstances.
Discounts : 5 per cent, to members of the Apis Club;
i/- per fertile queen on orders placed before April ist; i/-
per fertile queen if ordered in lots of 6.
Nuclei. Delivery from June 7th.
These consist of sheets of advanced brood well
covered by young bees.
Quoted without queens. Cost of queen selected to
be added to cost of nucleus.
Three frames of advanced brood well covered by
bees, £3 los. od.
Four frames of advanced brood well covered by
bees, £4 los. od.
Carriage paid. 10/- deposit required on travelling
box, to be. returned on safe receipt of box within 10 days
of shipment of nucleus.
A. M. STURGES,
Shenstone, Hartford, Cheshire.