xt7qnk362r0d https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7qnk362r0d/data/mets.xml   Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station. 1937 journals kaes_circulars_288 English Lexington : The Service, 1913-1958. Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station Circular (Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station) n. 288 text Circular (Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station) n. 288 1937 2014 true xt7qnk362r0d section xt7qnk362r0d ar Ash  
COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE
12-U . . . .
. 60 Extension D1v1s1on
2.1
‘   THOMAS P. COOPER, Dean and Director
v .6
2 2.3 ——-—
2 1.5
y   P CIRCULAR 288
I .
i 1.7 . ·—;—
1 .3
; 2% BEEKEEPING IN KENTUCKY
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A house apiary,
Lexington, Ky.
January, 1937
(Reprinted, June, 1941)
an Published in connection with the agricultural extension work carried on by cooper-
A   Fif the College of Agriculture, University of Kentucky, with the U. S. Department of
gEES;"0;¤§§. mggd distributed in furtherance of the work provided for in the Acts of Con-
ey and June 30, 1914.

 ] ,
CONTENTS
How to get bees .............4.........................., ,. 3 Q
Location of the apiary .................................. .. »f
Honey regions of the state ..............................   3 cssztr
Bluegrass ............................................ ., 3 mati
Mountains .........................................   J the 1
Central and \~Vestern ................................   5 beet
Beginner’s equipment ..............................,.,.. .. 6
A normal colony of bees ................................. .. 7 I
l\/lanipulation of the hive ................................ ..l|l Care
Seasonal management ..............,.................... ..|l uucc
\t\/intering ............................................. ..,l»l the
Hints for spring management ............................ ..,lt} than
Swarming .............................................. . .lti barrt
Honey production ..................................... ...90 shou
Removing supers ..................................... ....?l tircu
Feeding .............................................. . . . Y? ingt
Robbing ............................................... .,99 first
Uniting ..............................,..............., ,.,9-l bees
Requeening ........................................... ,_,2»f to rt
Comb building ....................,,...,.,.,......... ....Y'l popt
Transferring .......................................... ...-Yi li
Removing colonies from trees or houses ................. ,,4,fW Such
Stings and remedies .................................... ··-in [WU-
Diseases and enemies ......................,...........   ‘ lttttf
,~\merican foulbrood ................................ -·--if ****11
European foulbrood ..........,.................... ·--Fl? l
\Vax moth ...................................... . -»»-· iii [ht`]
Other less important diseases and pests ............ . ···· ct ']‘f` l
` tent
fltll (
Ctl il
ltzmt

 ee eepin i ent
B k g n K ucky
By W. A. Piucn _
NYONE CAN ENGAGE in beekeeping successfully who first
__,, 3 A makes himself acquainted with the habits, instincts and be-
__,_ »l havior of bees. An understanding of these essentials is nec-
..,. 3 essary for the proper manipulation of the colonies. Much infor- °
..., 3 mation can be hatl from literature on the subject of beekeeping but
..,. 5 ` the most fruitful source of knowledge is the intimate study of the
.... 5 bee itself.
_,.. G HOW TO GET BEES
.... 7 lt is often possible to get bees from a beekeeper near home.
.... lll Care should be taken that no bee disease is present. If there is any
.,.. ll uncertainty about the freedom from foul brood, an examination by
.,.. ll the State bee inspector should be requested.* Colonies so pur-
.... lli tliased may come in movable-frame hives, skeps, gums, box hives or
.... l6 barrels. lf they are in anything except a movable—frame hive, they
.... ffl should be transferred according to methods described later in this
__,, 21 circular. Colonies may be secured, also, at swarming time by plac-
_,.. 2Y ing empty hives in the yard of a beeman who will Hll the hives with
.... 99 li1`Stswarms, those which come in late May and early june. If the
_,__ 2-l hees so purchased are not the kind wanted, it is an easy matter
___, El to requeen with the desired stock. The Italian race is uniformly
___t 26 popular and generally recommended.
.... Yi Bees may also be obtained from dealers in combless packages.
__.. fill Such packages are sent now either by express or by parcel post. A
.... $0 two-pountl or a three-pound package of bees received ten days be-
____ 31 lore l`rui1 bloom should produce nearly as much surplus honey as a
.... ll normal oyerwintered colony.
..-» il? llilwll package lives are pttrchasetl, they should l)C l`Clll()\'(`(l fl`01U
____ 3ll the post ollite or express ollice as soon as possible and transferred to
···· ill lllc llllf. lf it is impossible to hive them on the day they are re-
teiietl, they should be kept in a cool, dark room if weatlrcr is
hot or in a room not warmer than 700 if it is cold. and then liberat-
etl in the hive the following day. This hive should have hve or six
frames with full sheets of foundation. On top of these there should
 
‘Apply to the State Entomologist, Experiment. Station, Lexington, Ky.

 l .
4 1{entuc/ey Extension Circztlur No. 288
be placed a ten—pound pail (friction top) feeder Hlled with svnip, /
( An empty hive body makes up the second story. The package, open. HS P
' ed to release the queen and bees, should be placed in the lower hire keep
body in the space ordinarily occupied by four or five frames, and tltc imp:
front entrance of the hive should be contracted to prevent. robbing. in 11
\t\’ithin a few hours, the bees will have left the shipping case and lartf
gone to the frames. The case can be removed after seven days and then
the space filled with frames. lf, for any reason, the queen has not tliet
been released from the cage, let her run out among the bees.
Before opening the package, the bees should be fed by spraying I
or brushing sugar syrup (2 p21l`tS sugar and l part water) on the trite '
screen of each cage. Continue to feed until the bees are gorgetl. iuck
This will quiet the bees and make tltem easy to handle. ililpi
.»\t the time of opening the shipping case, the queen cage shoultl jlligli
be prepared for the liberation of the queen. Remove the metal and mk
paper covering the candy hole in the end of the cage. Punch a small Prod
hole with a lath nail thru the candy and place the queen Cflgf, Wk]
candy end up, between the top bars of the middle frames.
The names of reliable dealers in bees can be had from any lite V tl
paper. lt is suggested that the beginner start with not more tltxtll mm
four or five colonies. He can increase as his ability warrants and nm;
the proceeds of the enterprise permit. Pm;
pop]
Loomrron OF THE APIARY PCH,
There are two requirements for a good location for bees. FW- may
there should be shade, and second, protection from cold wintls. C
Shade is essential to keep up the morale of the colony and to pre swee
vent swarming. The cold winds in the spring and winter are tht- State
rimental to the colony by causing chilled brood in the spring ttntl buck
general loss of colony strength in the winter. l·`or these reasons, tltC sand
colonies should have protection, especially from the north and west \,
winds. This can be given by placing the hives in naturally protetitC~¢‘ fw  * mm
` ’  ‘YY*‘7*%%l§,v?* i —*f   "`       ~. -— At w.“Ln 'Y*¥¢S·??l-   »* ‘
1 ·      ..i>‘ ..2   we  :1***   ·_:=   »e»· . t     .  .
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Fig. 1. A frame of normal brood. Photo by Vaughn \‘.'
me
-. . . . il
l·11·st, the beginner may become a specialist. He would then be SU]J· Wl
. . . ‘ 1 ,
plied with standard equipment and no change would be necesszin. I
. . . C0 01
becond, the standard outht would be worth more on the market ll lh
. . . l`€<
the beekeeper wished to sell. Third, most of the written and verlwl xs I
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r T "‘7` 2 l · 1 · ' "   · lr   l· he came
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i Cllll mln]
Fig. 2. The bee castes»—queen (left), drone (right), worker (top). Ph0h0 by V“u~' V
e

 Bee/ceeping in Kentuc/cy 7 `
discussions of swarm control, transferring, wintering and kindred
him Subjects are based upon the assumption that frames are of standard
mm dimensions, Fourth, bees bought in the neighborhood would prob-
ably be in standard hives and need no changing to become a regular
I part of the outfit.
i The movable-frame hive taking eight or ten Langstroth or Hoff-
man frames hanging side by side on tin rabbets is considered stand-
ard. The popular trend is toward the larger hive. These frames _
are 9% inches high by 17 % inches long. They are self-spacing
_ and, therefore, considered better for the beginner. Imperfect
, tombs, unevenness, improper thickness, burr and brace combs and
i general irregularities in the combs very often result from improper
L L spacing.
$3, To secure well-Hlled frames with even combs and with worker
  tells, lull sheets of foundation should be used. lf the frames are
i lor brood rearing or for extracting, wired foundation is neces-
  sary. ln comb or chunk honey production, foundation without
wire is used.
IC Sul]. ·Tlle beginner should have a smoker, hive tool, gloves and bee
Essay`. itil. lf increase is desired, he should have one extra hive for each
rkglh €t>l0ny ol bees. The extra hive should be furnished with at, least
verbal lhlec supers. This will be sufhcient equipment to start the business.
As the enterprise grows, more and varied items of stock may be
'l added.
gm A NORMAL COLONY OF BEES
·· A normal colony of bees during the active season contains three
Castes—workers, drones and a queen (Fig 2). The workers and
W V queen are females and the drones males. All these develop from
{ 92% laid in the cells (Fig. 3). Fertiliyed eggs hatch and produce
U f€miilCS and unfertililed eggs produce drones. All pass thl`ll {OUT
gg stages of development. The length of time required for each stage
is (WMC lllliiiorni at all seasons because the bees lllzlilllilill ll f2lll`l}'
@1 cfm lClll])€l`1llll]`Q within the brood nest. Eggs llalell ill Z1lJ0llK lll|`€€
QQ ‘l“l'$· 011 hatching, the future workers, queens and drones all ap-
  l’°i*l` HS tiny white grnbs imbedded in a thick, ereain-like nlaleriill.
 5 7 mliil jelly, in the bottoms of the cells, Those individuals dCSlill€  = ii  ~
 `     i  -· » i `    " 2 `
`              
I     L, *  ,;,6   A .   ,;   t,  I {
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sg 4;;  , .,.. _~.  ,· _   r‘*;·   . H, 
    .-.    2;         . it · 
, t   jj. ` . Fig
..   - ,.. - . to     , , we M. €EllS.$_
F12- 3· Eggs lll cells. Queen normally deposits a. single egg in u cell, Th0S€ l“l1111l1li
deposits are the work of a laying worker bee. Photo by Garman, O
‘ N
to bt
Tl1€ Zldlllt workers perlorm praetieally all the labor in <`01l\l("° l)i1SSe—
liml Willi the lil`C of the colony, sueli as seereting wax, l>ll|l1nlJ, {Ceiling the brood, maintaining brood nest and cluSlC1` 11‘"1' ‘ llldlv
])C1`Zl[U1`CS, gillliering nectar, pollen, propglis and water, e\‘ap<1l`il11ll¥ · 1llC h
nectar and protecting the colony and its stores. The workers mit tlurir
live four [0 Six weeks during the aetive season and several Illtllllll illliill
during the dormant season. In other words, they have it glitll mg 21
. ' ~r lx A
amount of energy to spend and when that is consumed the uw {ht {
(UC. FOT [lllS YCHSOH, their energies should be eqnservetl, (lll1`|ll£ [lll IUWO

 i l`tV 
Beekeeping in Kentucky 9 `
Emil, V dormant season especially. This can be done by giving proper
g dim winter protection and stores.
COM. The number of workers per colony varies with the season. A
inthe · normal colony should have 10,000 to 15,000 bees in the spring.
in 2] The Hrst of june should find the number increased to 90,000 or
t 100,000. This is the oeak of no ulation. The number aduallv
ype ll ,
141/_, diminishes with the approach of fall when there should be 50,000
dmv by October l.
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Fig. 4. At lower edge of comb, pendant queen cells. Large, circular openings, drone
cells. Smaller hexagonal openings, worker cells. Photo by Vaughn.
e lillllllllii
Queens may live several years. There are records showing them
to be active at eight years of age. Most of them, however, have
(`(`IllllC(‘ passed their period of usefulness at two years of age. A great many
llllltllllg good beekeepers requeen each year. This, llO¥VCVCl`, is a matter of
cr lt‘Ill‘ lll(ll\'1(lllHl merit, shown by the strength of the colony and the way
)Ol`ilIlllK , the bees perform their work. The queen normally mates but once
Cl`S1ll1ll illlllllg her lifetime. This takes place in the air at a considerable
illlllltll~ altitude and usually between the Hfth and eighth day after emerg-
a glltll mg as an adult. The quantity of male cells (sperm) received at
2 lIlSCtl‘ {he time of mating is her lifetime supply. When the supply runs
Ylllg dll ower is exhausted, the queen lays only drone eggs and, consequent-

 10 Kenfzzck 1 Extension Circular No. 288
D
ly, is of no value and should be replaced. Except at the time iii b€€$
\ i swarming or supercedure, there is only one queen to 21 colony, scat
Drones are found in the normal colony only during the licmo and
y gathering season. NV ith a dearth of nectar in the fall, they are all  ig`! s;.     *··“r‘7·)’*`Q;.`¤+..   -»*’   H e · 'S "
lg `Q I ' · ·q· ’ ‘»*_ .1,  J ‘   3. ,`·_‘_7._ `_._ ~· *3 I, , { 4 Phu
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  .4 ‘·‘‘ . MTS?    n f  `   _ $;iM» Tr bu!
‘;— .~=·r~,;¤_.s   -$;>‘i‘·"  4.-  ;;;f;,··'¥;;=.       ,¢ · iv   w
   AMER; _ 4*;    'iilkilf    4‘~f°i: ‘ [hc
  &~sy~;5.»·-%$?·‘~>` ¤  e»··  .. ii Y"l·§;’_T$:i@§{$?‘.i$g,¤¤2   v· .~°:q·,‘*‘~“ . '   »_ .
` "`-V .LZ°"."·.-i°·=  ,   "  * `:·   ¤—" “·`·r?$`>‘\‘.  " ’E¥¥??:r$*»>~·  i    r (2-* wl i.
Fig. 5. Applying smoke to v. hive in front entrance (left) and under top trighti. {md
MANIPULATION OF THE HIVE
Hllntlling bees is neither diflicult. nor dangerous if ccrlftill [iff V pw
cautions are taken. First, have confidence- do not be l-l`lglll(‘llt‘liZ
avoid quick, jerky movements; provide ample ])1`()iC(`ll<)ll—-H\(‘1l
for the head and neck, gloves for the hands and a be<··sui1 or 1»1li1·i
clothing for the ankles and body and, hnally, a smoker for (priming
the bees. The Smoker commonly used is one of the bello\\'$ l‘l"° `
The proper fuel makes a mild and lasting smoke, C111111y5¤<`f"l
l\Setl oil waste, as found about the machine shop, is very s:1IlSlil
no t

 l
l2 Keizluc/iy Ijxlcnsion Circular No. 288 y
or more ol stores in each hive is a good rttle to follow. A norniul lit
colony properly protected will consume about twelye pounds ol Sparc]
t . stores during the winter. That is ideal wintering. I·Ioweyei~, it mg},
. conditions are not good, a single colony may consume as much as V mom
65 or 70 pounds of stores over the same period. uml i
The items, room and protection, yary in degree of itnportame theni
with the season. In the tall, room is more important than pr<>tt·t» the f
tion. .·\t this time, winter stores fill up a good portion of the over
hive and brood rearing is also in progress. Early lall weather cnn- ~ lst te
ditions usually are such as not to require protection from cold. On t.
ln winter, protection is more important than room. Brmltl i (See
rearing has ceased at this time and sufficient room to contain tlte uml}
stores and cluster is all that is necessary. ()n the other hand. pm son.
teetion is ol great importance. The kind and amount of protectitm start
giyen the colonies will, to a large extent, determine the condition in liealt
which the colonies come thru the winter. ll they must spend tlieii umls
energy during the winter in an effort to keep warm, they will liuw \\
just that much less energy to start brood rearing in the spring. hi- llnw
deed, they may dissipate all their strength keeping warm aml tlit uliou
out entirely during the winter. sugar
In spring, brood rearing starts and additional room is iiect‘s~1•1`i nl sn
il` the colony is to build up to desired strength; that is l(l().llllfl,l1\ ttlute
May l5. Unless the swarm has been wintered in two hire |>odie>,1t girer
second hiye body should be added about .·\pril l, and winter pitt- uted,
tection removed. ytum
ln Part 2 ol` the fundamentals ol beekeeping practice. we ltuw liil>e1
listed swarming and morale. These should receive our attentinti ingt
during May. Swarming will be discussed in detail further on. ttf bt
There is no definition for this thing called morale. One mul imlix
have all the requisites for a honey crop, such as abundant i1t·tt:tt. bmi
good weather. and plenty of bees and yet fail to get a crop. Win? |>ull-l
Because of poor morale. The bees loafed. They hung on the tml lltitt
side ofthe hire. They made only two or three trips to the lleltl I"' Mt it
l`<1\'(TS llltifillei ;\ yfillllg queen, young bees, $l];[(l(‘_ ample \’t‘|llll·" lltrtn
tion and an unfinished piece of work, such as a bait super. oltrii is al
improye the morale greatly, litres,

 , Bee/ccc,/2ing in Kcnzue/cy 13 —
ionnal Pour factors con1bine to 1nake a honey crop. These are nectar-
nds nl seeteting plants, weather conditions favorable to gathering and stor-
ver, il p ing, surplus of bees (hve times the normal population) and high
ttch as morale of the bees in the hive. All these factors must be present
and in conjunction, if a honey crop is to be had. Take any one of
rrtante them Out and a zero crop results. One has little or no control over
proto- the first two items mentioned. However, one does have control
of the over the latter two factors. The good beekeeper starts on August
Jr Ulll- lst to prepare for the honey flow that is expected ten months later. `
ld. p On this date he requeens his colonies with yotmg, vigorous queens
Brood (See Page 24, Requeening). These start laying eggs immediately
in tlte and produce usually two broods of bees before the close of the sea-
l. pro son. This insures a stock of young bees to go thru the winter and to
ectiou start the colony vigorously rearing brood in the spring. A young,
ion in healthy queen put into a colony improves the behavior of the bees
l tht·i1‘ and strengthens the morale of the colony.
lhaxe \\'hen the fall season comes to a close, that is, when the nectar
tg la- llnw ceases and brood rearing has stopped (in a normal season,
id dit about October 15), each colony should receive about ten pounds of
sugar syrup. This should be in addition to the ~l() or 50 pounds
;·t·ssar} nl stores already in the hive. The syrup should be made from gran-
(lll, ht ttlated sugar, using two parts sugar to one l)ill`L water. lt should be
dies. il given in a friction-top pail feeder (Page 22). To the uniniti-
rr pro- ated, this may seem a foolish thing to do, but to one who under-
stands, it is foolish not to do it. The bee is an insect that does not
: haw hibernate over winter. True, its activities are greatly reduced dur-
;·ntion ing the cold season, yet the organs continue to function. lf :1 hive
. nf hees is opened during the winter, what is found? Not comatose
e mat individuals waiting for the warm sunshine of spring to waken them.
iectar. but instead a cluster of bees quietly, slowly weaving in and out of a
llllllif llilll-like form;tti(m_ \\'h;tl are they doing? 'i`ilC)` 1ll`t‘ g"t‘llC1`2!fl|lf§
<‘ <*lll’ llvill in the cluster to keep themselves from freeling to detlill. 'l`lll‘}'
lil l“`l Hl`€2\t`ll\‘e, hence they must consume food. Honeys are INN Cqllillly
W illl l"<‘<‘of indigestilyle mttterials, sttch as resin and gums. Honey gath-
‘%*‘Ill'" ffftl front ;1Sl€)`5 and other fall llora generally found in K(fllll|(`l<\`·
ll lllli l“lll§ll ill pereent t)l` iiitligeslible mztterial. HoWC\'(‘l`. lllill {.{2lll1t?!`<‘St completely digestible. ln the ordinary way of llZlIl(lllll§§
IMY file early gathered honey, which is the best fUl` \\‘il1lC1`i!1§`. is

 l
14 Kentucky Extension Circular No. 288
V 1`€1I1OV€(l [rom the colony as surplus; and that gathered i11 tl1e lztll, A bro
with much indigestible matter, is le[t i11 the hive [or wi11ter stores. ` ope
— 1 Tl1ese stores are all right if conditions are such that tl1e bees can get
. out [or occasional flights. , [i i
l The bee does not normally void its [eces i11 tl1e hive. lt usually - itlilt
l evacuates in [light. l[ the outside temperature is not sttfhcieiitli  [ is]
l l1igl1 (60° F. or above), the [eces accumulated must be stored in tlit _
alimentary tract, occupying an enlarged portion near tl1e retttim.  
known as tl1e cloaca. \iVhen this structure becomes Hlled and weaili-  · V
er conditions will not permit a flight, the bee becomes nervous, runs ·
about on tl1e combs, eats more [ood, accumulates 1Il()1`C [eces, and. "`
in general, travels in a vicious circle. Feces are voided on tl1e combs. "
walls of the hive, and promiscuously about the hive. This result