30 JANUARY 1942, Page 14

Better Queens

Bee-keepers are increasing within Britain at a rate entirely beyond precedent, and research-workers are unusually busy on their behalf. The new zeal is to be 'encouraged, but it must be realised that our climate—especially its quick alterations—is not ideal for bees, which are very kittle cattle. They need the expert and the strictest obedience to his advice. Whereas in the Argentine, for example, "ou nay feel confident of a fait yield of honey each year, in this eccentric Eng- land (according to Mr. Ticknow Edwards, author of a book on bees much better than Maeterlinck's), you may expect one really good year in five. My own record from two hives was 125 lbs. of run honey in '40, which sank to 16 lbs. in '41. Happily apparatus has improved immensely, and the new races of imported queens are expected to add stamina to the stoats. The two most important essentials at this season are dry hives and sufficiency of food. Snow may keep the hives warm; but melting snow has a terrible capacity for penetrating roofs.