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Bee KeepingThe Semi-Tropical
Bees in Florida—My experience in bee keeping began in April, 1874, when I bought four stands in common box hives for $10, after the swarming season. Two of them broke down, and one proved a total loss. That summer when robbing time came I knocked off the top of one stand and cut out a fine lot of honey; but so many bees were drowned in that operation, that I did not open the other two. That fall made three Lanstroth hives. Early in March, 1875, I had three swarms, the first increase, and got them safely into the hives. They swarmed again in April, and I had to put them into box hives, increasing the number to eight. The frames being capped over in June I made my first attempt to open or lift the top too secure my share. I opened a correspondence with Mr. Moon, of Rome, Ga., which culminated, in March, 1976 , in my buying from him the right to make and use his patent Thomas hive, and one colony of Italians in a finished hive for $20. They did not arrive till April, and my bees had nearly gone through swarming. I found myself with twenty colonies in boxes, but later I had a few more swarms come off and succeeded in getting six into frame hives, though late in May, and still later when I got the surplus boxes from you. They filled a full set of small boxes each. I had improvised some rough surplus boxes for the old-fashioned hives, and from them and the six moon hives sold $142 worth of honey, and kept a liberal share of honey for family use. The year closed with more interest on my part, less fear from stings, better information from the magazine, and twenty-six good strong colonies of blacks, one colony of Italians and a nucleus of Italians from Dr. J. P. H. Brown. During this past winter and spring I have sold off sixteen colonies of blacks for $52, have had twenty-two new swarms, increased my Italians to eight good colonies by artificial swarming and dividing, with handsome Italian queens, purely fertilized, having kept a man with them for five weeks in the woods three miles away from home and other bees. My expenses have been from the start up to date, $106, my receipts for bees and honey sold, $437.25. Profits, $330.50&mdashC. B. White, St. Johnís River. In Bee-Keeperís Magazine.
Will Bees Pay?—Keeping bees is a very important industry in the Northern States, and has just commenced in California. North Carolina sold last year nearly $2,000,000 worth of honey and wax. Why not South Carolina? Because of King Cotton! Will it pay to raise bees? A friend here from eighty colonies sold, this year, over five tons of honey, for which he received $1,000. Increase of bees forty colonies, which he is selling at $18 per colony. The Michigan College Apiary reports for 1877, from nine colonies, a profit of $216.33; $24.05 per colony. Mrs. Adam Grimm reports having sold over seven hundred swarms of bees this summer, realizing them for nearly $6,000. Mr. Salsbury, Hamilton County, Ind., has three hundred colonies of as fine Italian bees as ever I saw. He demonstrates one thing, which my own experience corroborates, that bees will pay. He has 6,000 pounds of comb honey; has sold a large lot of bees and queens. The proceeds of his apiary this year will be $1,500. Mr. J. S. Harbison , of California, sold to H. K. Thurber & Co., ten car loads of California honey, 200,000 pounds, from his six apiaries. I could show you one hundred others that are successful apiarists.—Chas. J. Quinby, in Charleston News.
Mr. T. Bowden, of this place, has seven stands of bees, which appear to do well, and the honey is excellent. It usually sells at fifteen to twenty cents per pound. Will not some one imbued with a love of bees and a knowledge of their wants and habits show us how to make money out of the busy little insects?—M. Chesebro, Mandarin, Fla.
The experiments of practical bee-keepers, during the last two or three years, have proven the adaptability of East Florida for profitable bee-culture. Apiaries are being established at many points on the St. Johnís, and bee-keeping promises to become an important industry.
Excerpt from "Bee Keeping" The Semi-Tropical, July, 1877, p. 439.
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