panels of perforated zinc or wire cloth. This lower
chamber is intended as a means of giving ventila-
tion to the hive when the bees are confined by
closing the entrance L (Fig. 69), when no provision
for flight can be made. At other times the holes
in the piece E are closed by sliding a thin slip of
wood or vulcanite through the doorway L between
the bottom of the inner frame A and the top of the
piece E, thus cutting off the communication between
the hive and the ventilating chamber below.
Above the top piece F, and screwed to it, is a
piece of board \ in. thick, with a rectangular slot
cut in its central part. This piece N (Figs. 69 and
70) is shown in half plan on the left of Fig. 72, and
it will be seen that its breadth is the same as that
of the pieces forming the case, and that it projects
about 1 in. at each side. Below these projecting
ends, and against the sides G (Fig. 69), blocks o, to
strengthen the corners of the case, are fastened by
screws or dowelled and glued.
Surmounting the case is a cap, P, the upper edges
of which are bevelled ; it is secured to the case with
thumbscrews, so that it may be easily removed for
bottle-feeding the bees through a hole in r (see
Fig. 72). Within the slot in N a piece of perforated
zinc should be loosely fitted to keep the bees from
coming through the holes. If it is not intended to
use these holes as ventilators when the bees are
confined to the hive, any simple means may be used
to cover up the holes.
If desired, a bow handle by which to lift the
hive can be fastened to the flat part of the cap,
in which case the small plates into which the
thumbscrews hold must be fixed to the underside
of the piece N and sunk, and not as shown in the
left-hand part of Fig. 72.
The two windows are frames made up of four
pieces with a groove ploughed in one edge and
OBSER VA TOR Y BEEHIVE FOR TEMPORA R y USE. 7 9
mitred together at the corners. Half a window is
shown in the right-hand part of Fig. 69. The inside
measurements of the window frames are the same
as those of the inner frame A, and the breadth of
Fig. 73. Inside Frame of Observatory Beehive.
the top and side pieces is Ij in. The bottom piece
is If in. wide, which throws the line of the bottom
corner joints a little out of a true mitre of 45.
This can be obviated by making the four pieces of
8o BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES,
the window frame If in. broad, a small reduction
in its internal breadth and depth being allowed to
suit. On each side of the windows, and fixed to the
case, are the strips R (Figs. 69 and 71), to which
small catches, that secure the windows in their
places, are screwed. Four shutters s (see also Fig.
70), hinged to the case, are provided to shut out
the light as well as to retain heat. They are framed
and filled in with a panel, and should be provided
with a bolt at the top and bottom of one of the
shutters, and a latch on the other. Some bee
keepers recommend lining the inside of the shutters
with felt or other heat-retaining material ; but as
this hive is only for use in the warm season of the
year, this is unnecessary.
The hive should be set up within doors ; a warm
out-house or shed will do very well, or a room in a
dwelling-house might be used for the purpose. A
covered passage must be made through the wall
to the outside for the bees. A small bracket land-
ing place for the bees is shown by dotted lines
close to the entrance L (Fig. 69).
In stocking an observatory hive of this kind,
select three combs from the centre of a strong
colony in a bar-frame hive containing plenty of
brood in all stages from the egg upwards. Lift
them out, and place one at a time into the uni-
comb hive with the bees clinging to them, taking
care that the queen bee is also moved in. It is
advisable that a large proportion of the bees to
populate the observatory hive should be young
ones that have not flown, otherwise there is great
risk of depleting it, through the older bees going
back to the hive from which they were taken.
On this account it is preferable to operate on a
fine, warm day, at a time when many of the older
bees are out, and it is then a comparatively easy
matter to take with a stiff feather or piece of
card from several frames as many young bees
(known by their lighter colour) as are required.
OBSERVATORY BEEHIVE FOR TEMPORARY USE. 81
It is quite possible to succeed without taking
the queen with the bees, if the combs contain
l/Cllii JM - ; m i-"- - W-S. " TUJ
Fig. 74. Mounting Observatory Beehive on Brackets
eggs, or larvae not more than three days old, from
which the bees can raise a young queen, but in
82 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS'* APPLIANCES.
Fig. 75. Mounting Observatory Beehive on Feet with Pivot.
OBSERVATORY BEEHIVE FOR TEMPORARY USE. 83
this case considerable time elapses (about six
weeks) before the progeny of the young queen is
added to the population, which, meanwhile, will
dimmish somewhat in number, so that results may
not prove as satisfactory as by the adoption of
the first method.
There are various ways of mounting observatory
hives besides that illustrated in Fig. 69. Fig. 74
shows in section a hive swung between pivots, so
that it can be turned with either side to the wall.
The lower pivot is of wood with a central hole
through which the bees pass to the hive, a hole
being cut through the supporting block up which
the bees may creep. This block comes against the
opening cut in the external wall of the room
against which the board, to which the whole is
fixed, is bolted. The top pivot can be withdrawn
so that the hive case may be detached.
The hive can also be supported on a central
pivot as shown in Fig. 75. The foot is cross-
shaped, one of the pieces being hollow and form-
ing the entrance for the bees. In the interior of
the foot immediately below the hollow pivot an
incline of wood is placed to guide the bees to the
hole that leads into the hive.
INSPECTION CASE FOR BEEHIVES.
AN observatory hive is an expensive luxury that
few amateur bee keepers can afford ; and although
an inspection case (Fig. 76) will not take its place
for exhibition purposes it will be found useful
Fig. 76. Inspection Case for Beehives.
when showing the working of a hive to timid per-
sons, or for examining the frames on a cold day
when there is danger of the brood being chilled,
or the queen blown off the comb. It will also
be found useful to those bee keepers who strongly
object to being stung. The frames may be lifted
one after another into the case and examined on
INSPECTION CASE FOR BEEHIVES.
both .sides; a frame may be transferred to an-
other hive ; queen cells may be cut out by sliding
back the glass slightly to insert a thin-bladed knife
Fig. 77. Section of Inspection Case.
for that purpose ; or a frame of honey may be
removed from the hive by lifting it into the case
and driving out the bees with smoke or carbolic,
when such a course happens to be necessary.
Fig. 78. End Elevation of Inspection Case.
The case is made of -in. pine throughout, of a
length to take standard size bar-frames. The
total length must be determined by the size of the
86 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
hives for which the case is made. Fig 77 shows
the case on a hive, with the outer casing, beyond
the end of the bar-frames, } in. thick. Fig. 78 is
an end view of the case. If two sizes of hive are
used, the case may be made to the longest hive
and a piece of calico tacked on from side to side,
as shown at c (Fig. 79).
To make the case, proceed as follows : Cut two
pieces of pine, \\ in. by \ in., and 3 in. longer
than the length of hive, and two pieces, 1 in. by
\ in., equal to the length of the hive. Plane these
up and rebate them \ in. deep in the width, and
the depth of the thickness of a piece of window
Fig. 79. Arrangement of Case to Fit Two Lengths
glass (15 oz.) in the thickness. Next get out four
pieces 10 in. long by 2 in. by \ in. ; nail the long
pieces to the short, as shown in the drawings, and
this will make the two sides.
Now prepare the top, bottom, and end pieces.
For the top, two pieces will be required 7 in. long
by 1^ in. wide by \ in. thick. Rebate these for
a piece of window glass to form the top, and cut
a piece out as at A (Fig. 76) to allow of the frames
being lifted out if required. The size of pieces cut
out must be regulated by the length of the frames,
and the rebate worked to the full depth of the
pieces cut out. Two light pieces are nailed on
the bottom of these top pieces, as shown at A
INSPECTION CASE FOR BEEHIVES. 87
(Fig. 77), to form a groove to prevent the glass
falling into the case.
The bottom pieces are 7 in. long by lj in. by
\ in., and are to be nailed on the projecting ends
of the bottom side pieces, to form a rebate to
keep the case in position on the hive.
Four end pieces are required, 10^ in. by Ij in.
^ _^^#* A
Fig. 80. Securing End Openings of Inspection Case.
by \ in., and are nailed to the top pieces, sides,
and through the bottom pieces, which will com-
plete the woodwork.
Three pieces of glass will next be required, one
for the top, 1 ft. 5 in. long by 6 in. wide, and two
to fill the spaces at the sides. Two little buttons
are screwed on, as shown at B (Fig. 76), to keep
the top glass in position, while four small screws c
Fig. 81. Cross Section of Inspection Case.
will serve to keep the side glasses from falling off.
The spaces at each end are filled with four pieces
of calico or other suitable material, and an
arrangement is made here to get the fingers in to
lift the frames without letting the bees get out.
Fig. 80 will explain how this is done. One edge
of each piece of calico is hemmed, and a piece of
88 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS* APPLIANCES.
elastic drawn through A. The calico is tacked on
at the bottom, top, and sides, leaving the elastic
edges free. A (Fig. 78) shows the elastic edges
drawn back ready for the insertion of the fingers.
Two pieces of calico will now be required, each
large enough to cover the whole top of the hive.
These are tacked to the bottom bars of the case,
as shown in Fig. 81. To complete the case, eight
2-in. wire nails are driven through the sides at
Fig. 82. Handle for Lifting- Frames.
B (Fig. 81), on which to hang the frames for
When using the case, take off the cover of the
hive ; begin from one side, and, as the quilt is
rolled off, push the case on. The frames may then
be lifted up into the case, as shown at Fig. 77,
and hung on the nails. A couple of hooks (Fig.
82), made with a piece of steel wire and a couple
of bradawl handles, may be used for lifting the
HIVE FOR REARING QUEEN BEES.
BEE keeping, conducted upon advanced principles,
requires the bee keeper to provide himself with a
supply of fertile queen bees during the working
season. These are introduced into stocks that
have been swarmed by art, in order to supply the
place of the queen taken from them ; or, in the
case of natural swarms, to save the time very
precious during the honey-flow that would elapse
before the immature queens left on the departure
of the first swarm arrive at maturity, and take up
the maternal duty of keeping up the working popu-
lation of the hive, or of the new colonies which
the secondary swarm or swarms originate. They
will also be needed to enable the bee keeper to
carry out certain other objects he may contem-
plate, such as the supersession of queens whose
powers are declining through age, or which lack
the desirable qualities good queens possess.
The rearing of queens is then an important
matter with bee keepers who have apiaries of more
than a few stocks of bees. The work is usually
done by setting apart several small colonies of
bees obtained by the division of full-sized stocks.
The queens are reserved, so that the colonies are
queenless, and in each of these queenless colonies
a selected queen cell eight or nine days old is
placed. A few days after the queen will arrive at
maturity and liberate herself from the cell, and at
a later stage, if all goes well, she will be found
busily employed laying eggs, and receiving the
attentions of her subjects. As soon as the bee
keeper is assured of the queen's fertility by the
90 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES*
presence of eggs, or better, of worker brood in the
hive, he may utilise her as he thinks proper.
Full-sized hives, with the interior space con-
tracted by means of division-boards, so as just to
take in three bar frames, serve for queen-rearing,
but it is generally more expedient to use special
or nucleus hives of simple construction and smaller
size, which are easy to manipulate or move about.
The hive, of which a perspective view is given
in Fig. 83, is half the size of the usual full-sized
Fig 1 . 83. Hive for Rearing Queen Bees.
hive. It takes in five standard size bar-frames,
and will serve either for queen-rearing or to ac-
commodate temporarily a small or medium swarm.
It is not difficult to make, and to a beginner in
bee keeping who proposes to make his own hives
it will afford a preliminary exercise before taking
in hand the construction of stock-hives.
A plan of the body box, and as much of the
base-board as can be seen by looking directly
downwards, is shown in full outline in Fig. 84;
and Fig. 85 is a longitudinal section taken cen-
HIVE FOR REARING QUEEN BEES. 91
trally through the roof, body, and base, or foot-
As the hive is to hold standard frames, the size
of the frame determines the dimensions of the
ig. 84. Plan of Body-box.
Fig. 85. Section of Hive for Rearing Queen Bees.
body box. The outside measure of the standard
frame is 14 in. by 8j in. by J in. The top bar
is 17 in. long and f in. thick ; the side pieces and
the bottom bar are J in. and J in. thick respec-
tively. The space between the frame ends and
92 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
the inside of the hive body is \ in., so that the
inside length of the body box is 14 in. The in-
side width, to take in five frames, each \\ in. from
centre to centre, is 7| in., and the depth to give
a f-in. space below the frames is 8j in. These
three regulating dimensions are marked on Figs.
84 and 85, and as the illustrations are drawn to
scale, other measurements may be taken from
The body of the hive is made up of six pieces :
two sides A, two ends B, and two inside ends c.
. ^-Modified Body-box.
The ends B fit into rebates in the sides A, and the
inside pieces c into grooves cut in the sides, as
shown in plan (Fig. 84). If frames with 15|-in.
top bars are used, as is sometimes done, a simpler
body box will be sufficient, as shown in the
isometrical sketch (Fig. 86), where it will be seen
that the outside pieces B (Figs. 84 and 85) are
dispensed with, their places being taken by small
pieces fastened on the top edge of the box ends.
As the end pieces do not reach the level of the
top edges of the sides, a rebate is left into which
the ends of the top bar of the frame will fit so
as to suspend the frame vertically in the hive.
HIVE FOR REARING QUEEN BEES.
The hive body being made to correct size and
as a precautionary measure it is well to have a
bar-frame handy to try the fit from time to time
during the making, so as to avoid mistakes the
base and roof are made to correspond. Supposing
the sides A (Fig. 84) are made of wood planed up
to | in. thick, the width of the base-board will be
8i in., and if the ends B are of -in. stuff, the
length of the flat part on which the body of the
hive rests will be 18 in. ; and allowing 5 in. for the
flight-boards before the hive door, the total length
will be 23 in.
Fig. 88. Distance Rack.
Fig-. 87. Division-board.
The construction of the base-board and the roof
can be best understood by reference to the figures.
The dotted lines in Fig. 84 show the roof in plan.
In each of the four inside corners of the roof,
pieces of wood of square section (D, Fig. 85) are
nailed ; these rest on the corners of the hive body,
and support the roof in position. The door is cut
as shown at E (Fig. 85), and a strip of wood is
nailed to the lower part of the sides A (Fig. 84)
to keep the hive upon the footboard. These strips
are shown in Fig. 83, but, in order to avoid con-
fusion, are not shown in Fig. 84.
When the hive is used for queen-rearing, it
would be contracted so as just to hold three
94 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS" APPLIANCES.
frames. A division-board or dummy on each side
of the frames will effect this. Fig. 87 shows one of
the division-boards, which, as will be seen, is a bar-
frame with a thin piece of wood nailed to one side
of it. This piece of wood is long enough to fit
against the sides of the body-box snug, but not
tight, and in breadth it is equal to the depth of
the frame. In order to lessen the risk of crush-
ing the bees when the frames are moved, jt should
not reach the floor-board, and the bottom bar
should be taken off or a hole bored in it to permit
bees chancing to get between the division-board
and the hive side to escape.
The frames are kept the proper distance apart
Fig-. 89. Foot of Hive for Rearing Queen Bees.
by means of two racks, one of which is shown in
Fig. 88. These are not required if they are fitted
with the metal ends bee keepers generally use for
this purpose ; but it is not difficult to space the
frames without the use of either. A few pencil-
marks on the hive ends may be used as a guide to
A stand for the hive may be made by cutting
two pieces of wood to the form shown in Fig. 89 ;
the floor-board of the hive rests within the part
cut out of the upper surface. Frames for hives
are, generally speaking, best got ready-made from
dealers in bee keepers' requisites, as they are
made accurately to size by machinery, and are
sold at a low price.
HIVE FOR REARING QUEEN BEES. 95
In marking out the timber, care should be taken
as far as possible to avoid knots coming near the
edges of the pieces or in the roof-board, and the
heart side of the timber should always be on the
outside of the hive. If this is not done, the hive
when exposed to the weather is fairly certain to
open at the joints. Over the roof-top a piece of
calico, cut to size, should be stretched, folded
round the edges, and secured by tacks underneath.
A coat of thick oil paint upon the calico will make
the roof watertight, and the hive itself should also
receive a coat of paint. A light colour is best, as
dark shades absorb the heat of the sun, making
the hive intolerably hot for the bees, and perhaps
melting their combs down into a confused mass.
THE operation of removing the honey from the
hive and ridding the hive of bees, although, until
quite recently, the one operation dreaded by bee
keepers, can now be performed with little or no
disturbance in as many minutes as formerly the
operation required hours, and without the inflic-
tion of a single sting upon the operator if ordinary
care be taken. This is effected by the use of a
super-clearer, an American invention.
The most simple form of clearer is a cone made
of perforated metal, fixed in the gable, or gables,
of the hive roof, as shown by Fig. 7, p. 17. In
use it is simplicity itself. The super to be cleared
is gently prised up, small spills of wood (match
ends will do) inserted at the corners, and through
the orifice thus formed a few puffs of smoke are
blown into the hive. After waiting a moment the
operator should raise the super, whilst an assis-
tant places a quilt over the body-box or super
below, when the full super may be replaced above
it ; the covering quilt of the super is then removed
and the roof put on. The bees, finding communi-
cation with the hive proper cut off, make tracks
for home through the cone, and once out they
cannot return. Stray bees on the prowl (for bees
are inveterate robbers) also fail to effect an
entrance. By reason of the perforations in the
cone, the bees are attracted to its base, where
they fail to gain admission ; and robbers can find
their way inside only when they are sufficiently
numerous entirely to cover the cone.
For the reason last given, the cone as a clearer
is unsuited for use in late autumn, or at any other
season when honey may be scarce ; but in late
Bummer, or when nectar is still plentiful, its use
is advantageous. If the super is disconnected
from the hive in the early morning it can be left
to clear itself during the day ; and in the evening,
the honey, unaccompanied by a single bee, can be
Some cones are fitted with a delicate steel
spring, which, whilst not impeding the egress of
confined bees, effectually stops the ingress of any
intruder ; the cones are also sometimes used
Fig. 90. Porter Bee Escape.
double one within the other, J in. apart for the
Another method of using the cones is, instead
of entirely uncovering the super of honey, to re-
place the quilt by a board furnished with several
round holes, over each of which a cone is laid or
fixed. Escaping bees have thus to pass a double
trap, whilst double obstacles are placed in the
path of marauding bees. Cones have also been
tried the reverse way that is, to make the bees
return to the hive proper without passing into
the open air but have not been much of a suc-
cess ; and practice has proved that the slighter
the connection between the hive and the super
to be cleared the more quickly will it be rid of
98 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
bees. The ideal cone should be wide at the base,
about 3 in. in length, and have the aperture at
the point large enough to pass two bees simul-
However, when by the use of the cone clearer,
owing to the lateness of the season or otherwise,
robbing is likely to be induced, it is safest not
to rely upon it at all, but to use a clearer that
affords the bees a direct passage back into the
hive without the possibility of return. This is
found in the Porter bee escape, obtainable for a
shilling of any dealer in bee goods. Fig. 90
Fig. 91. Super-clearer Complete.
shows it with a portion cut away to expose the
interior. It consists of an oblong piece of thin
tinplate A, in size 4j in. by 1| in., with a 1-in.
hole punched through near one end. To its un-
derside is soldered a rectangular box B, 2| in.
long, \\ in. wide, and \ in. deep, one end of which
is open. Inside this box a i_j-shaped piece c
is fixed, 1 in. long, 1 in. wide, and \ in (full) deep,
and the inner end D is bent downwards to meet
the bottom of box B. To the inner sides of piece
c are soldered two fine springs E of brass ribbon,
T ^. in. wide, which are bent inwards, as shown,
until they almost meet. To an outgoing bee these
springs offer little or no resistance ; to an in^oer
they offer an impenetrable barrier. If the bee,
foiled at the apex of the triangle formed by the
springs, tries to force a passage by their sides,
the only result is that the springs are pressed the
closer together, so that to gain an entrance is an
With regard to the use of the super-clearer on
a hive, it may be said that its size depends on
that of the hive, and that no definite measure-
ments can be given beyond saying that appliance
dealers usually make it about 16 in. square. Take
sufficient dry pine or other wood, \ in. thick, and
joint it to the required width preferably by
grooving, as should it shrink sufficiently to allow
a bee-space between the joints its efficiency would
be lostand on each side fix a border, as shown
in Figs. 91 and 92, of 1-in. by f-in. wood. In its
Fig". 92. Section of Super-clearer.
exact centre cut a hole to take the rectangular
box B of the escape, into which hole it should fit
firmly without the need of further fixing ; and in
order to allow the bees to escape, the end of the
hole at the outlet end must be bevelled off, as
shown at H in Fig. 92, which is a section of the
In use, the operation of removing surplus honey
is the same as when using the cone, with the
exception that the clearer, instead of a quilt, is
interposed between hive and super, the quilts
above the super remaining intact. The object of
the border round the clearer board will now be
apparent: a bee-space is provided above and
below. The bees, finding themselves practically