of that time, early February, is a standing drawback to big crops of this most delicious nectar. Often the weather at the time of opening bloom is cool, frosty even, or rainy and inclement. Bees left to themselves there are seldom in prime condition for gathering a crop of honey by February and March. Colo nies all over the State are far too weak to enter the supers, or surplus-honey chambers, by the time the citrus trees begin to blossem; as a result, the bees build up on the orange instead of for it, since two or three wee'ks of the precious time of blooming are consumed in building the colonies up to the proper numerical strength to store any surplus honey at all.
Weak colonies in mid-February are due chiefly to four factors: 1. Lack of protection from low temperatures. While it may seem superfluous to many beekeepers to protect bees in Florida, it is nevertheless true that windbreaks, and even packing of some kind about the hives, in November, December, and January will greatly increase the strength of the colony by the end of February. Small entrances also aid to keep the colony-strength up to normal temperature for best brood-rearing. Tarred paper wrapped about the hives, with several thicknesses of newspaper underneath, has proved a great aid to early and rapid rearing of brood. 2. Many colonies, too many by far, are insufficiently supplied with stores the fall before. Too many beemen rob their stocks down too closely, tempted by the good prices they receive for their products. The best beemen