September, 1932         WISCONSIN BEEKEEPING                         Page
   In times whien farmers are forced 
to cut down trees so that stock may 
browse on the leaves, and when many 
other farm products can hardly be sold 
at all, the farm beekeeper who has any 
crop that most of his neighbors do not 
have should have some ray of hope 
for the winter. 
   There was never a time in the his- 
tory of beekeeping when it had a more 
important bearing on    the  economic 
status of a large number of farmers 
and beekeepers. Some of the members 
who read "Wisconsin Beekeeping" will 
appreciate just what this means. The 
small problem of providing shoes and 
clothing for the children who start to 
school is receiving serious considera- 
tion by many farmers at the present 
time.   The matter of taking care of 
small notes, even to the limited extent 
of $50 to $300 has been mentioned 
to, me during my trips about the state. 
By unusual effort in selling honey 
locally, these problems are being met, 
and the honey industry arises as one of 
the important agricultural industries in 
the present economic depression. 
   Who    can  question  the price  at 
which   some of this honey is sold.? 
When    the  question  of price   was 
brought up, one beekeeper said, "What 
can I do? The only product that I can 
sell is my honey, and in order to sell 
it, I must meet the competition of the 
other low priced sweets and other food 
   Reports from all corners show that 
the beekeeping industry is badly de- 
moralized-but so are other industries, 
and many men of wealth are having 
more difficulty in maintaining them- 
selves than are the beekeepers. If the 
beekeepers are able to sell their crop, 
they should be very thankful indeed 
for the additional help which they 
would not otherwise have if they were 
not in the beekeeping industry. The 
situation is extremely serious, and al- 
though there seems to be a decided im- 
provement, none of us can tell what 
is going to happen during the next 
year or two. 
   The beekeeping industry must meet 
the situation in the same way that all 
other industry will be forced to meet 
reduced values, and in order to do this, 
our beekeepers must find methods for 
reduced costs in production.    There 
was a time when we felt that extracted 
honey could not be produced in Wis- 
consin for less than 8 to 10 cents per 
pound.   For a few years, at least, it 
will be necessary to produce it for 5 
cents a pound.    The most practical 
way to reduce the cost of production, 
and   this also  means reducing    the 
cost of selling, is to standardize equip- 
ment, methods of manipulation and 
methods of marketing the crop. Many 
of our beekeepers spend    more time 
with the bees than is necessary, and 
also keep the bees disturbed so that 
they are unable to produce a maximum 
   It is not necessary to tear down the 
hives every few days or every week. 
In fact, it is only necessary to look 
your hives over three or four times 
during the spring, and a similar num- 
ber of times in the fall.    It is not 
profitable to save weak colonies in the 
spring, and all such colonies should be 
united with stronger colonies so that 
only colonies that are capable of build- 
ing into first class colonies by the time 
of the honey flow should be maintain- 
ed. Give the bees plenty of stores and 
plenty of room    through  the spring 
period, and the bees will take care of 
themselves.   Give the bees plenty of 
stores during September, and very few 
manipulations are necessary. 
   There are certain essential manipula- 
tions in beekeeping that must be car- 
ried on at exactly the right time in 
order to build up strong colonies for 
the honey flow. A normal colony of 
bees should contain in the neighbor- 
hood of 75,000 to 100,000 bees at 
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September, 1932