Seaside and Wayside, Book One  by Julia McNair Wright

More about Bees

W OULD you like to own bees? Once I knew a boy who had some bees. He kept them in a room, at the top of his house. He left the window open, and the bees came and went as they chose.

A swarm of bees costs about five dollars. Each year it may gain for you five dollars, or more, by honey, and a new swarm.

If you live in the city, you cannot so easily keep bees. Why not?

They could not find the right food.

They need to fly in the field or in a garden, so that they can get the honey and the yellow dust of flowers. They need to fly where they can get the thick gum from trees to line their cells.

If you have a hive of bees, you should learn to watch them well. Like Huber, you may find out some new things. We do not yet know all about bees. We could learn more than is now known about drones.

If you stand by a hive, the bees will not hurt you if you keep still, and do not get in their way to the door as they go in and out.

Bees lay up for winter more honey than they need. So the bee-keepers take out much of it to eat or to sell.

They must leave some for the bees. If too much comb is taken out, the bees must be fed. You can give them sugar or some sweet stuff. Bees like flour made of peas.

They cannot feed the young bees if they do not have sweet dust or flour. They cannot make wax if they have no sweet food. They cannot line their cells, or seal them well, if they have no strong gum from trees.

I know some people who think bees like to hear a song, and so sit near the hives and sing to them. But bees, really, like color, and sweet smell, and nice tastes, and do not care much for any noise.