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American Bee Journal

“Bees”: A Historical Bee Journal Full of Illustrated Apiculture

By June 17, 2024No Comments

When historical bee journals can readily be found dating back to the late 1800s, finding one from the late 1940s to the early 1950s does not seem all that old. Production and dissemination of the journal are also important factors to consider; a fairly recent journal without a wide distribution can become quite rare.
“Bees” was one such journal. I have found some copies (a broken run) from the time just mentioned but nothing else. “Bees” was the Official Journal of the American Bee Breeders of America, its members (I figure) being mainly in the South and California, the regions of queen bee and package bee production.
As a bee journal covering the South in the mid 1900s, one would expect queen bee and package bee depictions in “Bees.” Sure enough, the covers of “Bees” have illuminating photographs of those times. The August 1949 cover shows a queen-mating apiary (see Figure 1). The small mating nucs are at a comfortable working height. Each row of hives is not too long, to reduce queens entering the wrong mating nuc and being killed. Also within a row, the queen producer alternated the hive entrances, again to reduce queens drifting on their mating flights. In queen bee production, quite often the cell production is not the problem because the beekeeper can control most of those variables. Queen mating can be the problem…

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