In 1901 there were 6586 cows, 3881 horses, 2468 swine and 2048 bee-hives in the canton.
The magnitude of the bee industry in the United States may be judged from the fact of a single bee-farmer located in California having harvested from 150,000 lb of honey in one year from 2000 stocks of bees, and, as an instance of the enormous weight of honey obtainable from good hives in that favoured region, the same farmer secured 60,000 lb of comb-honey in one season from his best 300 colonies.
This is probably the maximum, and the hives were necessarily located in separate apiaries some few miles apart in order to avoid the evils of overstocking, but all in the midst of thousands of acres of honey-yielding flowers.
Other advantages are given in connexion with the qualifying of experts, &c., while nearly all the county associations in the United Kingdom employ qualified men who visit members in spring and autumn for the purpose of examining hives and giving advice on bee management to those needing it.
From this establishment alone the yearly output is about 25,000 bee-hives, and upwards of ioo millions of the small wooden boxes used for holding combhoney.
Prior to that date wooden box-hives of various shapes had been adopted by advanced bee-masters anxious to increase their output of honey, and by enthusiastic naturalists desirous of studying and investigating the wonders of bee-life apart from the utilitarian standpoint.
Notwithstanding this fact, the advancement of apiculture and the continuous development of the modern frame-hive and methods of working have proceeded with such rapidity, both in England and in America, that hives and appliances used prior to 1885 are now obsolete.
This feature C finds no favour with British bee-keepers, nevertheless the " improved Langstroth " is a useful and simple hive, moderate in price, and no doubt efficient, but not suitable for bees wintered on their summer stands, as nearly all hives are in Great Britain.
One of the best-known hives in England is that known as the W.B.C. hive, devised in 1890 by W.
For in- Practical.) stance, the queen (or " king " of the hives as it was termed by our forefathers) is of paramount importance at certain seasons, her death or disablement during the period when the male element is absent meaning extinction of the whole colony.
In doing this it is needful to remember that bees resent outside interference with either their work or their hives, and will resolutely defend themselves when aroused even at the cost of life itself.
The methods of handling bees vary in different countries, this being in a great measure accounted for by the number of hives kept.
Very few apiaries in the United Kingdom contain more than a hundred hives; consequently the British bee-keeper has no need for employing the forceful or " hustling " methods found necessary in America, where the honey-crop is gathered in car-loads and the hives numbered by thousands.
Re secured, and all loose parts of the hives being interchangeable time will be saved during the busy season when time means money.
Among the many ways of saving time nothing is more useful than a carefully-kept note-book, wherein are recorded brief memoranda regarding such items as condition of each stock when packed for winter, amount of stores, age and prolific capacity of queen, strength of colony, healthiness or otherwise, &c., all of which particulars should be noted and the hives to which they refer plainly numbered.
As spring merges into summer, sunny days become more frequent; the ever-increasing breadth of beeforage yields still more abundantly, and the excitement among the labourers crowding the hives increases, rendering room in advance, shade and ventilation, a sine qua non.
It is quite natural that bees living in colonies should be subject to diseases, and only since the introduction of movable-comb hives has it been possible to learn something about these ailments.
This trouble may be guarded against by feeding the bees in the early autumn with good food made from cane sugar, and housing them in well-ventilated hives kept warm and dry by suitable coverings.
The really diligent student in one of the crowded hives of Cambridge College is as solitary as a dervish in the desert.
The bees circle round a queenless hive in the hot beams of the midday sun as gaily as around the living hives; from a distance it smells of honey like the others, and bees fly in and out in the same way.
Drones (or male bees) are more or less numerous in hives according to the skill of the bee-keeper in limiting their production.