BLTC Press Titles

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The Story of Doctor Dolittle

Hugh Lofting

The Revolt of the Netherlands

Friedrich Schiller

The Bhagavad Gita


The Picture of Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde

A manual

by John Moseley Weeks



It appears to the writer of the following pages that a work of this description is much needed in our country.

The cultivation of the bee (Apis Mellifica) has been too long neglected in most parts of the United States.

This general neglect has unquestionably originated from the fact that the European enemy to the bee, called the moth, has found its way into this country, and has located and naturalized itself here; and it has made so much havoc among bees, that many districts have entirely abandoned their cultivation. Many apiarians, and men of the highest literary attainments as well as experience, have nearly exhausted their patience in examining the peculiar nature and habits of this insect; and they have tried various experiments to devise some means of preventing its depredations. But, after all that has been done, the spoiler moves onward with little molestation; and very few of our citizens are willing to engage in the enterprise of cultivating this most useful and profitable of all insects, the honey-bee.

The following work is designed as a directory to those who are engaged in the cultivation of bees, and is divided into chapters, with the intention to facilitate their management in all their different stages, so that any person, properly situated, may cultivate bees, and avail himself of all the benefits of their labors.

If the apiarian manages strictly in accordance with the following directions, the author feels confident that no colony will ever materially suffer by the moth, or will ever be destroyed by it.

The author is aware of the numerous treatises published on this subject; but they appear to him, for the most part, to be the result not so much of experience as of vague and conjectural speculation, and not sufficiently embodying what is practical and useful.

This work is intended as an accompaniment to the Vermont hive ; it is the result of observation and experience, and, it is thought, comprises all that is necessary to make a skilful apiarian.





A Bee-hive should be made of sound boards, free from shakes and cracks: it should also be planed smooth, inside and out, made in a workmanlike manner, and painted white on its outside.


That a bee-hive should be made perfect, so as to exclude light and air, is obvious from the fact that the bees will finish what the workman has neglected, by plastering up all such cracks and crevices, or bad joints, as are left open by the joiner. The substance they use for this purpose is neither honey nor wax, but a kind of glue, or cement, of their own manufacturing, and is used by the bees to fill up all imperfect joints, and exclude all light and air. This cement, or glue, is made principally of gums taken from forest trees and fruit trees that yield it, and, when worked over and formed into cement by the bees, is very congenial to the growth of the moth, in the first stages of its existence.

The moth-miller enters the hive generally in the night, makes an incision into the glue, or cement, with her sting, and leaves her eggs deposited in the glue, where they remain secure from the bees, being guarded by the timber on their sides. Thus, while a maggot, (larva,) the moth uses the cement for food until it arrives so far towards a state of maturity as to be able to spin a web, which is more fully explained in chapter 10.

The size of a hive should be in accordance with the strictest rules of economy, and adapted to the peculiar nature and economy of the honey-bee, in order to make them profitable to their owner.

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