The Old Time Farm Magazines: Honey Bees, Laying Eggs, and Sagging Gates

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Not all bees were made alike. These old farm magazines give advice on which are the best.
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These figures are two braces set at different angles to keep the gates from sagging. 

Reprinted by permission from Successful Farming, copyright
1927, Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

Laying Eggs: Paid for the Lights

Lewis White, a Pulaski County, Indiana, farmer started
giving more careful attention to his poultry flock some
years ago and by continually keeping records on all his
farm enterprises, he learned that the poultry was paying
him better than any other part of the farm enterprise.

Better feeding came first, then better breeding, the flock
was tested for bacillary white diarrhea, then better
housing facilities were provided. Then the “experts”
commenced to talk lights to increase feed consumption which
would mean increased egg production. The Whites debated for
three or four seasons whether or not they should put in
electric lights. They were told that the increased
production in a single year would pay for installation of
the lights. Finally four neighbors including White went
together and got the “juice” out from the town two miles

The lights were turned on to both the hens and pullets the
twenty-fifth of September. A little later White started to
feeding an all-mash ration and while both this and the
lights seem to have greatly increased egg production, White
avers that the total egg receipts during October more than
paid his share of the cost of getting the lights. He now
believes that those who told him that he paid for lights
whether he had them or not were telling the truth.–I.
J. M., Ind.

Test the Gravel

Sometimes when concrete fails to set properly, we blame the
cement, when perhaps the gravel is at fault.

Cement authorities tell us that gravel ought to be tested
before it is used for concrete work, to determine its
suitability. The test they suggest is made as follows:

Take a fruit jar or other suitable receptacle, put in four
inches of gravel or sand, and fill with water; shake well
and let settle.

If more than one-fourth inch of fine silt or clay particles
settle to the bottom the sample is considered unfit for
good concrete construction. Probably about twenty-four
hours are required for the settling.

Any farmer who wishes to test out his gravel to determine
its suitability fur concrete manufacture, can easily run
this simple test.–O. A. H., Ill.

The Best Honey Bees

Common honey bees have long been a source of study and
cultivation. They are supposed to be of Asiatic origin, and
were domesticated along the eastern shores of the
Mediterranean at the dawn of history. They followed Roman
civilization as it advanced into Europe. Early colonists
brought them to America. In the long history of the bee,
several races have been developed.

In 1860 the United States department of agriculture
commenced a world-wide search for the best races of bees,
and as a result we have four varieties, each excelling
others in certain ways.

The German bees, black or brown, seem to have become better
acclimated. They are the common wild bees of the country.
They have a bad temper, and are not easy to handle.
Occasionally they desert their combs.

A bit careless in some respects, they are an easy prey to
the bee moth. They must be watched carefully, else
caterpillars, moths and cocoons take possession of the
comb. These bees are not the best honey gatherers. They
make white comb honey.

The Italian bees are large and beautiful. They were
imported m 1860, and have become quite popular. These bees
are noted for their gentleness, and are very industrious.
They will continue their work while the frame is lifted,
and the queen can be found without any difficulty.

The Italian bees resist the attack of the bee moth. In the
colder parts of the country they do not winter very well.
They are better honey gatherers than the German bee.

The gentlest and most beautiful of all bees are the
Carniolans. In color they are ashy gray, with silvery white
hairs. In 1884 these bees were imported from Carniola, an
Alpine province. They withstand the winter better than any
other race. No bees swarm so successively. This is clue, it
is said, to the warm summers. Their honey is very white.
These bees are very prolific.

Killing Insects with Fire

Those parts of the garden on which there may be some trash
remaining, where the garden was not fall plowed, might well
be burned over. This will kill enormous numbers of insects
that attempt to hibernate in trash, weed, etc., that may be
in and around the garden.

Sagging Gates

The sagging of doors with braces set at different angles
and the advantage of the tensile strength of wood over the
compression strength was shown in some recent tests
conducted by the Iowa state college.

The popular opinion is that gate No. 1 would stand the
greatest strain. Gate No. 2 looks like it would pull loose
and sag more easily.(Click on the “Image Gallery” to view the figures.)

A weight of 700 pounds was hung at the outer corner of the
gates, which were hinged well up from the floor, for a
forty-hour period. At the end of that time gate No. 1 had
sagged three-eighths of an inch; gate No. 2 had not sagged
enough that it could be measured.

The weight was then increased to 1,100 pounds. Under this
load gate No. 1 sagged three-fourths of an inch and gate
No. 2 sagged one-half inch, still showing the advantage of
the brace in the position of the No. 2 gate.

It was pointed out that for a door that received
considerable abuse, so that the nails would be likely to
work loose, the brace in No. 1 would probably be
better.–R. E. B., Iowa.

A Farm Wife’s Advice

  • Casters on the woodbox turn hard work into play for the
  • The next time a recipe calls for sour milk and there is
    none available, try adding a teaspoonful of vinegar to a
    cupful of sweet milk. The result will be the same as if
    sour mill: had been used.
  • With part of a snap fastener sewed on your apron belt and
    the other part on your stove holder, there will be no
    mislaid holder just when it is most needed.
  • Right! Turn over a new leaf. You need not. mention to
    anyone the number of the page.
  • When a cake burns at the bottom, as it sometimes will, let
    it cool and then scrape off the burnt portion with a nutmeg
    grater or other small grater.
  • Those who find it necessary to baste things before sewing
    will find it much quicker to use pins, as there will be no
    basting threads to remove when the garment is
    finished.– Mrs. M. V. S.
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