of it a U-shaped piece of tin could be soldered
over the hole in the boiler, and would be equally
The steamer is of the same external diameter
as the boiler. The bottom is in the form of a
cone, of which a pattern is given by Fig. 131, and
a rim of doubled tinplate is affixed to the lower
edge, small enough to fit into the boiler. It is
made just in the same manner as an ordinary
vegetable steamer, which will be a good guide in
its manufacture. The apex of the coned bottom
has a hole cut in it, the edge is slightly turned
up, and a If-in. tinplate tube, 6 in. long, is
soldered firmly to it. Another tube D is soldered
into the side, as low down as possible, so that
it will drain out all the contents of the steamer.
The comb basket is made of perforated tinplate,
one hundred holes to the inch. The cylindrical
part, 9j in. in diameter and 7 in. high, can first be
WAX EXTRACTORS. 139
made. It may be necessary to give a rule for
cutting out the material for making hollow cylin-
ders such as this : Multiply the diameter by 3-f ,
and add what is required to make the joint. If a
plain overlapping joint is used, add the amount of
lap ; but if a hooked joint is used, three times the
length of the turned over parts should be added,
usually about f in. In the present case, a strip
of perforated tinplate, 29 J in. by 7| in., will form
Fig. 131. Pattern for Cylindrical Top of Boiler.
the cylinder, the extra width being f in. for the
wiring on top, and 3 in. to make the joint at the
The conical bottom of the basket has the same
slope as that of the steamer ; the same pattern
will do for both, except that the radius of the
basket pattern may be f in. less. A perforated
tinplate tube, similar to that in the steamer, but
i in. larger, is fixed in the centre of the comb
basket ; but, while the tube in the steamer is open
140 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
at both ends, that in the basket is closed on top
with a piece of plain tinplate the cover of a
coffee canister does capitally.
Three legs of doubled tinplate are soldered,
equidistant from each other, to the lower edges of
the comb basket so as to keep the bottom 1 in.
from that of the steamer. In Fig. 130 the three
parts as drawn are separated from each other,
but they would fit down into place in actual use.
To use the Gerster extractor, water is placed
in the boiler, which is then put over a fire ; the
combs are smashed up and put in the comb basket,
which is put into place, and the cover fits over
all, and keeps in the steam. Presently, when the
water begins to boil, the steam passes up through
the centre tube of the steamer, hits against the
closed top of the basket tube, and is disseminated
through the combs, which it soon reduces to a
fluid state. The wax and condensed steam run
through the tube D into a vessel placed for their
reception, while the dirt and refuse remain in the
comb basket. In Fig. 130, A and D indicate the
pipes ; B the boiler ; c the comb basket ; and s the
The basket can be cleaned by a liberal appli-
cation of hot water in which washing soda has been
dissolved, and the point of a brush will take out
any stubborn pieces of dirt.
All pieces of apparatus should be kept scrupu-
BEE KEEPERS' MISCELLANEOUS APPLIANCES.
THIS, the concluding chapter, will concern itself
with a number of appliances more or less indis-
pensable to the bee keeper.
A bee feeder which has two wooden floats is
shown in plan by Fig. 132, and in vertical section
^ ^ i*J
Fig. 132. Plan of Float Bee Feeder. Figs. 133 and 134.
Sections of Bee Feeder.
by Fig. 133. First make a wooden box of any
size up to 14 in. long by 8 in. wide by 4 in. deep.
At a distance of T 3 ^- in. from the top, run round the
sides and one end a groove as shown at A (Figs.
133 and 134), into which the glass cover will slide
freely ; then at one end fix a partition c with J-in.
clearance at the bottom B (Fig. 133) and up to the
glass at the top. At D (Figs. 132 and 133) cut a
142 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
hole about 3 in. by 2 in. through the bottom, and
in this hole fix a wooden funnel, which must be
kept J in. below the glass at the top. The box
must be carefully put together, so that it will be
perfectly watertight, or a tin lining should be
provided as shown by the inner line on Figs. 133
and 134, and if this is used the centre funnel should
also have a further lining of perforated tin to
enable the bees to gain a foothold. Zinc should
not be used. The two floats E and F are made of
J-in. stuff pierced with a number of T V m - holes.
The bees pass up through D and over the top of
the funnel on to the floats, and the feeder is filled
Fig. 135. Raynor Bee
Fig. 136. Base for Bee
by sliding back the glass cover and pouring in
syrup at G.
A feeder of altogether different construction is
shown by Figs. 135 to 137. This is the Kaynor,
one of the best for all round purposes. It consists
of a bottle having a screw-on cap, which is per-
forated with a dozen holes in a semicircle in such
a way that one or more can be brought over the
circular slot which is shown in the stand (Fig.
136). A pointer soldered to the cap indicates the
number of holes which are uncovered to the bees
Make the base of the feeders of hard wood,
BEE KEEPERS^ MISCELLANEOUS APPLIANCES. 143
turned to the section shown in Fig. 137. It may
be 6 or 7 in. across, and \\ in. high. The recess
in the top is made to fit the 2 Ib. screw-top bottles,
which can be bought from all dealers in bee ap-
pliances. The top of the dome is turned to about
J in. thick, a circle marked round while in the
lathe with the corner of the chisel, and the slot
\ in. wide, cut out with a narrow chisel and pen-
The slot is to be no more than half a circle.
The feeding bottle is then laid in place and holes
pricked through its cap through the slot of the
stand, with a darning-needle or fine awl. These
. 137. Section of
Bee Feeder Base.
Fig. 138. Bee Feeder
with Square Base.
holes may be about a dozen in number, as may be
inferred from Fig. 136. A tinplate pointer must
be soldered to the cap, and numbers stamped on
the stand corresponding to the number of holes
When the bottle is inverted, the syrup will not
run out of the holes, owing to the air pressure
and capillary attraction, but the bees can easily
suck the syrup through them. The dome can be
lined with cloth or chamois leather to keep it
snug, but this is not an essential.
When a stand is required at a moment's notice,
use a piece of pine 5 in. square, and tack a slip
1 in. wide and f in. thick all round, as in Fig. 138.
144 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
Then cut a hole right through the top large enough
to take a tin canister cover of the correct size,
and then flange this over and secure it in place
with a couple of tacks. Cut the slot in the tin
and make the holes in the bottle cap as before, and
the work is done. A pointer, of course, will be
needed as before.
The Hone dummy feeder is shown in section by
Fig-. 139. Section of Hone Dummy Feeder.
Fig. 139. A slit is cut in the dummy A to enable the
bees to take the syrup, which is contained in an
oblong tin box B with perforated edge placed at the
back. The slot in the dummy is 6 in. long, and
the tin box 8 in. by 5 in. by 2 in. ; twelve holes c
are made along the lower edge opposite the slit,
and a screw plug D and leather washer keep the hole
through which the tin is filled perfectly tight. The
BEE KEEPERS MISCELLANEOUS APPLIANCES. 145
tin is kept in place by two pieces of wood 2 in. by
5 in. by j in., nailed edgeways to the dummy, and
two other pieces 5 in. by 1 in. by \ in., nailed to
the backs of these, so that J in. embraces the back
of the tin. The whole works like the female por-
tion of a slide. A small strip E underneath pre-
vents the tin from going too low. If the screw cap
is an objection, it could be replaced by a tube and
good cork, an indiarubber stopper being still
better. For spring feeding, when only a small
quantity of syrup is required to be given at a
time, some of the holes in this feeder may be
plugged up with wax.
Fig. 140. Rapid Bee Feeder.
The principal objection to the feeders shown by
Figs. 135, 138, and 139 is that they must be fre-
quently attended to, on account of the small quan-
tity of syrup which they contain. This defect has
been overcome in the American rapid feeders, of
which there are many in the market. The float
feeder, the first appliance described in this
chapter, is also free from this defect.
Fig. 140 is a general view and Fig. 141 a cross
section of one of these American rapid feeders.
It consists of a trough holding about 10 Ibs. of
syrup. This is supported over the brood nest by
the ends and a pair of supplementary sides, which
allow the bees free access to the top of the trough
without permitting them to escape, a thin board
acting as a cover. The vertical lines in Fig. 141 in-
146 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
dicate a sort of ladder made of very thin wood,
its object being to prevent the bees being drowned
in the trough.
To make this feeder, two pieces of clean pine
10J in. by 4| in. by 1 in. are prepared for the ends.
Rebates \\ in. wide by j in. deep are then cut
round three sides of each. Two pieces 14 in. by
3j in., and one 14 in. by 9| in. by f in., are got for
the sides and bottom of the trough. This may be
now completed by nailing the sides and bottom to
the rebated parts of the ends forming a trough 8j
in. wide and 3j in. deep, and with the ends pro-
jecting | in. beyond the sides and bottom. The
outer sides, which are 14| in. by 4| in. by \ in., are
now nailed to the projecting parts of the ends,
which will leave a space of | in. between the sides
of the trough and these outer sides. If the whole
structure be now laid upon a table, it will be
found that the bottom of the trough is f in. from
the surface of the table. A partition is now
placed 1 in. from the end of the trough to form a
filling space. This partition is pierced with \ in.
holes, so that when the syrup is poured into the
smaller compartment, it will run into the larger,
which can thus be filled without removing its
cover. The cover is made of \ in. stuff of such a
size as to cover the larger compartment, that is,
10j in. by 13 in., and two little cleats are put on to
prevent it from warping.
If an examination is now made, it will be found
that the bees can crawl up between the inner and
outer sides of the feeder and over the side of the
trough into the food. A careful examination at
this stage will show the course the bees will take ;
and if any passage is less than f in., it should be
enlarged. The top edge of the trough will
evidently be f in. lower than the sides of the
feeders and the under surface of the cover. The
bees could at this stage find their way into the
smaller or filling compartment through small
BEE KEEPERS* MISCELLANEOUS APPLIANCES. 147
spaces which communicate with the hives. These
are now stopped up with scraps of wood tacked
over them, and a long narrow strip of glass is cut
to cover the compartment.
The ladder (see Fig. 141) which enables the bees
to take the food without the risk of being drowned
can now be made. The best material to employ
is the wooden dividers used to separate the
sections in a section crate. They can be cut 12
in. by 3j in., and seventeen or eighteen of them
will be required. Twice as many pieces of wood f
Fig. 141. Section of Rapid Bee Feeder.
in. thick by about \ in. by ij in. will also be re-
quired. One of the thin dividers is then taken
and marked with a pencil 3^ in. from each end.
A couple of the small pieces of the wood are then
laid on these marks and equidistant from the edges
of the divider ; another divider is then laid on top,
and a tack through each thick piece secures the
three together ; another couple of thick pieces are
put next, again a thin one, and the tacking con-
tinued as before until the pile is high enough
to fit the breadth of the trough. The thin wood
dividers of which this ladder is made are kept
| in. apart by the little blocks between. The out-
148 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
side dividers will, when in place, be f in. from
the sides of the trough, being kept so far away
by similar blocks. To prevent the ladder from
floating in the syrup, a couple of little wooden
buttons attached to the sides of the trough can
be turned over it, while two strips \ in. thick are
tacked to the bottom of the trough on the inside
to enable the syrup to flow freely to every part.
This is an excellent feeder. It takes the place of
the section crate, but of course is only suitable for
use in the autumn, when stocks have to be fed
up rapidly before the winter.
Fig. 142. Bennett's Self-hiver.
A self-hiver for conducting a surplus swarm
from its old quarters to a new hive is of the great-
est advantage. That shown by Fig. 142 is known
as the Bennett, and its position with reference to
the hives must first be understood. One of the
hives shown contains the stock of bees which is
expected to swarm, while the other is the empty
hive containing frames, foundation, quilts, and
possibly comb and honey, into which it is desired
to lead the swarm. The inventor has described
as follows how this useful appliance is made :
First get a thin board of \ in. stuff 2 ft. long and
6 in. wide (any size can be adopted at the dis-
BEE KEEPERS' MISCELLANEOUS APPLIANCES. 149
cretion of the maker). Obtain also a piece of
queen excluder zinc, same length as the board,
and 9 in. wide, and bend If in. on each side, along
the whole length of the zinc, and tack the bottoms
of the bent sides along the edges of the board.
Nail along each of these sides a thin strip of wood
| in. wide, so forming a sort of square tunnel
2 ft. long, 6 in. wide, and Ij in. deep, with both
ends open, and a sort of miniature alighting board
along its sides. Place an empty hive in front of
the one expected to swarm, draw apart the slides
to form an entrance 6 in. wide, and put the cage
Fig. 143. Alley's Self-hiver.
or tunnel on the entrance board of each hive, the
open ends of the cage being in front of the en-
trances of both hives.
With regard to the practical working of the
Bennett self-hiver, one bee keeper reports that it
did splendidly, the swarm settling down quietly
in its new home. In another case the swarm
went off, leaving the queen in the tunnel vainly
trying to follow. When she found that she could
not leave, she returned to the parent hive, and the
swarm joined her there. When the same swarm
issued again, and the queen tried to get through
the excluder zinc, the owner removed the empty
hive and tunnel, and stopped up the open end of
150 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
the latter with paper, so that the queen had per-
force to enter the empty hive. The swarm soon
joined her there, and took to their new quarters
Alley's self-hiver (Fig. 143) is on the same prin-
ciple, the only difference being that the tunnel
leads to another hive at the side of the swarming
one, instead of in front. It does not promise,
Fig. 144. Front View of Swarm Catcher.
however, as well as Bennett's, there being so many
corners and angles in it.
A swarm catcher for a beehive is shown in front
view by Fig. 144, and in section by Fig. 145, in
which A is the beehive, the swarm catcher being
attached to it by means of two iron plates with
screws at c. B is the alighting board of the hive.
The swarm catcher D consists of a box made to
EE KEEPERS' MISCELLANEOUS APPLIANCES. 15!
take three standard frames E (Fig. 145), which are
fitted with full sheets of brood foundation. The
Fig. 145. Section of Swarm Catcher.
bottom of the catcher is extended about 3 in. in
advance of the front, as shown at F (Fig. 145), to
form an alighting board for the swarm. A. hole
Fig. 146. Hive Entrance with Flexible Springs.
G about 6 in. by 4 in. is cut in the front of the
catcher, and is covered- with queen excluder zinc,
152 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS^ APPLIANCES.
and a slot, 7 in. long by \ in. wide, is cut in the
bottom at H. Two triangular pieces I (Fig. 145)
are cut to the shape shown, and nailed to the
bottom of the catcher on each side at J (Fig. 144),
and the space between them is covered with ex-
cluder zinc K (Figs. 144 and 145). A lid L is fitted
to the top of the catcher to keep in the swarm
and to keep the bees dry in case of rain.
The method of working this catcher is as
follows : When the swarm issues through the
flight hole M, the workers pass through the ex-
cluder zinc K, but as the queen cannot pass this,
Fig. 147 Pipe-cover Queen Bee Cage.
she walks up K and passes through H into the
catcher, where the bees forming the swarm join
her. In the evening the parent hive is moved
about a yard away, and the combs in the catcher
are put into a new hive with the swarm, together
with four more combs, one of which should, if
possible, contain brood.
In some swarm catchers the bottom slots of
the excluder zinc N (Figs. 144 to 146) are cut away,
and a number of very flexible brass springs are
fixed across the entrance, to enable the workers
to enter the hive without hindrance when return-
ing home loaded with pollen. The arrangement
of these will be clear from Fig. 146, in which M
BEE KEEPER V MISCELLANEOUS APPLIANCES. 153
indicates the entrance to the hive, K the excluder
einc, B the alighting board, o the springs, and N
the entrance under the excluder zinc.
Queen cages are often a necessity ; the simplest
of them is, perhaps, the pipe-cover queen cage,
shown by Fig. 147. It can be made as follows :
Get a strip of tinplate 6j in. long and 1 in.
wide ; make it into a ring and solder the ends to-
gether. Obtain a circular piece of wire gauze or
Fig. 119. Door or Spring
for Queen Bee Cage.
Fig. 148. Another Type of Queen Cage.
perforated tinplate, 2 in in diameter, and solder
it on as a top, and the cage is complete.
A disadvantage of this cage is that the bees
must be disturbed in releasing the queen. This
difficulty is overcome in the cage shown by Fig.
148. It consists of a rectangular cage, formed of
perforated tinplate or w T ire gauze. Its dimensions
are : Length, 4 in. or 5 in. ; width, Ij in. ; thick-
ness, J in. A piece of metal, 3j in. wide and as
long as the cage, bent over a piece of wood Ij in.
by i in., will just make it. A flange is then made
154 BEEHIVES AND SEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
of plain tinplate for the top. This may be about
2i in. by \\ in., having a hole \\ in. by \ in. in its
centre, into which the cage fits and is soldered,
leaving a little bit projecting at the back, which is
turned over a pin and acts as a hinge for the top
door. This may now be made of tinplate \\ in.
by j in. a hinge formed at the back by turning
up the tinplate over a fine piece of wire or a
pin, and fitted to the part of the cage projecting
above the flange.
A door for the bottom can be made of wire,
bent into the form of Fig. 149, the two wires
being \ in. apart, and the distance being Ij in.
from centre to centre of the loops, that is, from
the single loop at the left to the line joining
Figs. 150 and 151. Driving Irons.
the pair of loops to the right. This door may now
be fastened to the cage by passing a pin through
the lower right-hand corner of the cage, so as also
to pass through the two loops of the door. Some
provision should be made, either by washers or a
couple of twists of fine wire, to keep the door in
the centre of the cage ; otherwise it might move
against the side, and allow the bees to have access
to the imprisoned queen. A light wire hooked on
to the front loop, and passing with slight friction
through a hole in the flange, completes the cage.
The queen is released by pressing down this wire,
which projects about an inch above the flange, and
ends in a loop.
Driving irons are shown by Figs 150 and 151.
It would be advisable to make a great number of
BEE KEEPERS' 1 MISCELLANEOUS APPLIANCES. 155
sets, as they are easily lost. They are made of
wire nearly J in. thick ; the loops in Fig. 150 are
9 in. apart, and the ends about l\ in. long, roughly
pointed with a file. About 20 in. of wire are re-
quired for the form shown by Fig. 150, and two
iff 152. Bingham Knife.
like that and one like Fig. 151 complete a set ;
the latter is about 9 in. long, and the loop 2 in.
diameter. It requires 15 in. of wire.
The making of a Bingham knife (Fig. 152) is not
to be undertaken, except the manufacturer has
special facilities for that -kind of work. The blade
is made of good saw steel, 6 or 7 in. long and from
2 in. to 3 in. wide, shaped to the pattern shown,
and sharpened all round like a chisel, from the
under side only. A tang is made of | in. iron or
steel, one end being pointed to fit the handle and
the other flattened so as to be riveted to the blade.
The two rivets should be countersunk into the
under side of the blade and ground flush with its
surface ; when the blade is laid flat on a board,
Fig. 153. Comb Cutter.
the handle is raised about an inch from it, and the
tang should be bent in such a manner as to
secure this. The knife is not unlike a mason's
An appliance for cutting passages through the
156 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
combs on the approach of winter is illustrated by
Fig. 153. It is simply a tinplate cylinder about
1 in. in diameter and 4 in. or 5 in. long, having
one end serrated so as to cut the comb more
easily. Near the other end two wire lugs are
soldered to afford a better hold to the fingers, as
shown in Fig. 153.
The Cheshire transferring board, shown by Fig.
154, affords facilities for transferring the combs
cut from a skep to a bar-framed hive. The table
proper consists of sixteen tongues projecting from
a back support about 10 in. To make it, a piece
of wood about 16 in. long, 3 in. wide, and 1 in.
Fig. 154. Cheshire Transferring Board.
thick is planed quite flat and out of winding, the
under surface being especially true. The tongues
are all cut out of a piece of yellow pine 13 in.
long, 1 in. thick, and about 11 in. wide. Fig. 155
is a view of the end of this piece of wood, showing
how the tongues may be cut out. Of course, it
will require care to cut the bevels to the proper
angle, but any want of accuracy in the saw can be
rectified by the trying plane. The dimensions of
each tongue, when finished, will be : length, 13 in. ;
top width, | in. ; bottom width, \ in. ; depth, 1 in.
The tongues must be nailed or, preferably,
screwed to the back piece, each tongue being at
right angles to the back, and the edges J in. apart.
It is desirable to fill up the spaces between the
BEEKEEPERS' MISCELLANEOUS APPLIANCES. 157
tongues immediately underneath the support of the
back with pieces of wood nicely fitted in.
The legs may be either fixed or folding, but in
any case they will be cut to the shape shown in
Fig. 154, the height being 6 in. or 8 in. ; length
from front to back, 12 in. ; and thickness of the
wood, 1 in. If they are folding, hinges should
secure them to the back support, strap or butt
hinges 3 in. wide doing the business very well.
The outside surface of the legs is quite flush with
the outer edge of the last tongue, and to prevent
Fig. 155. Cutting Tongues from Board.
the leg shutting up when not wanted, a hook and
eye, such as is used to hold the first door of a
cupboard, is fitted, the hook being secured to the
leg and the eye screwed into the surface of the
tongue. This is shown at the right-hand side to-
wards the back of Fig. 154. A tinplate tray to
fill the space between the legs is necessary to
catch any honey which may drop from the combs
during manipulation. As the transferrer will be
always exposed to the smearing of honey, it would
be well to give it several coats of a hard varnish,
which will make the surface washable. The bee
keeper should always aim at perfect cleanliness.
Abbot's Broad - shouldered
Alley's Self-hiver, 150
American Jointed Frame, 52
Rapid Feeder, 145
Bar-frame Beehive, 918
Brood Chamber, 14
Floor Board, 13
, Furnishing, 48