Beekeepers in the East Riding of Yorkshire used to sprinkle the hive with an elder branch dipped in sugar and water when the bees were ready to swarm (Addy). In Cornwall, too, they say that the inside of hives should be scrubbed with elder flowers to prevent a new swarm from leaving (Courtney). But bees do not seem to like the smell. When they swarm, a sprig of elder is often held about nine inches above them. The idea is that the elder will drive them out of the tree in which they are swarming. In any case, elder is a well-known insect repellant. SWEET CICELY is very attractive to bees, and was often rubbed over the inside of hives to induce swarms to enter (Northcote). So was THYME, which was always grown near the hives (Gordon. 1977). BEE BALM, too, could be used, for it had the reputation of keeping bees in their hive, as Gerard said, and this is a belief still current, at least in East Anglia, where they say that if this grows in the garden, the bees will not leave the hive (G E Evans. 1966). Wiltshire bee-keepers agree; they rub the inside of the skeps with it (Wiltshire) after hiving a swarm, to encourage them to stay. One could hang a piece of JUNIPER inside the hive, to protect the bees from adverse magic (Boland. 1977).
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The information in this book is useful to anyone wanting to start beekeeping as a hobby or a business. It was written for beginners. Those who have never looked into beekeeping, may not understand the meaning of the terminology used by people in the industry. We have tried to overcome the problem by giving explanations. We want you to be able to use this book as a guide in to beekeeping.