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A correspondent of the Deutsche Presso describes a method which he has adopted with success of overcoming theobstaclesf requently presented to the rearer of bees by the selfwill of those interesting and profitable in« sects. This is no other than giving them an electric shock. Everyone interested in bees knows the difficulties and dangers involved in hiving a swarm. One is often seen on a hot day in June in the top branches of a tree not to be cliraed, and another in some inaccessible place seems to be preparing to set out, on its wanderings. If the bee master ventures to approach, all his dexterity and experience will often not prevent him from being seriously stung. There are, indeed, several cases oh record of death supervening from the stings inflicted; on such occasions. Herr Freiwith, the correspondent referred to, hit upon the idea of employing the electric force to stupify the bees. Trials on large and small clusters, and even on single insects, answered perfectly; the bees coming in contact with the conducting wires, fell stunned and motionless to the ground. They were then sorted and marked, according to the strength of the Jcurrent applied. The time required for their recovery, varying from ten minutes to eight hours,: was proportionate-to the strength of the shock, but all came out of their trance safe and sound. Encouraged by the result of this experiment, Herr Friewith resolved to try it on a larger scale, namely, on bees in the hive. To this end he introduced the ends of two conducting wires into a fully occupied honeycomb, and turned on the current for a moment; the bees soon lay on the ground, and it was half-an-hour before they resumed activity. Herr Freiwith then _ constructed an apparatus in a small box, six inches away* which,' similar to a cartridge pouch, he wore with a strap round his body. The two wires of the apparatus were, when required to be used, fastened to -rods of a suicable length, the wires of course always projecting oyer the ends of the rods. These ends were then applied to the swarm, a knob similar to that employed for a room telegraph being attached to the aparatus, that the current might be turned on at the proper time. Everyone is, of course, not skilful enough to construct such an ’apparatus, though no rm are precluded from doing so, as Heff Freiwith has not patented it.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 105, 27 May 1880

Word Count

ELECTRICITY APPLIED TO BEE REARING. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 105, 27 May 1880