OFFICIAL ORGAN OF WISCONSIN STATE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY
Volume XI Madison, Wisconsin, August, 1921 Number 12
Few ornamental plants are more vigorous and free from disease than the Dahlia, but like all others, Dahlias have their failings, and the more familiar, we get with them the greater the variety of difficulties ehcountered. Fortunately, experience brings also the knowledge how to counteract them.
In going over the list of things which interfere with Dahlia perfection, f may not bring much knowledge to the expert grower, but I may give some warnings to beginners. Scarcely any of the Dahlia diseases have been investigated by scientists, though the occurrence of a number are on record in works on plant diseases. I would be pleased to hear of any additional Dahlia difficulties, and especially to call up from the old masters of Dahlia culture Valuable experiences in controlling or preventing them. The natural requirements of the Dahlia are an open situation with abundant light and air, a constant medium temperature, and water supply, and an easily drained but waterretaining soil, of moderate fertility. The horticulturists’ art may enable us to improve on these, but the beginner will do well to keep as near them as possible. Probably the worst Dahlia disease is a constitutional trouble, something like the “curly dwarf” diseases of potatoes. The plants are dwarf, bushy and subject to sunburn, and with poor flowers or none. I first reported this disease in 1909. Stone published a note on it in Massachusetts in 1911 and others have discussed it since. The cause is obscure. It seems to be carried over in the roots, and there is some indication that there is less of it on plants grown from cuttings. It has been abundant in both wet and dry seasons.
Root rots due to various causes are frequent. A species of botry-tis is the most common root rot fungus. It is most severe on stored roots in moist, warm conditions, with poor ventilation. The fungus enters and breaks or cuts in the surface, but does not attack perfect roots, according to Dr. Cook, of New Jersey, who has investigated it. On the other hand, we have the common case of shriveling up and death of roots from too dry storage conditions. Several other kinds of fungi and bacteria may attack Dahlia roots that have been injured by too much water in the soil, exposure to freezing or other causes, and cause rots. Another root trouble, which in some varieties is a natural characteristic, is the failure to make fleshy roots. Many claim that the plants grown from cuttings do not form natural roots, but it is certainly true that plants grown from both cuttings and seeds often do make full sized roots. If some one can find a way to develop buds from roots, as is done so easily with sweet potatoes, it will be a great advance in Dahlia propagation, but so far the stem seems to be the only part that will produce new stems, as some beginner every year learns to his sorrow. Wind is the main enemy of the stem. The brittle stem is the most vulnerable part of the Dahlia, but this has been greatly improved by selection, the better modern varieties having much stronger and dwarfer stems, and also by cultural and pruning methods. But the “no stakes” goal has not yet been reached.
Powdery mildew is about the only parasitic leaf trouble, and it rarely does much damage except to the lower leaves in the late summer. Many varieties are net injured at all by the mildew, while others alongside of them may be covered with it, sometimes so badly as to interfere with blooming. Halstead found that spraying with fungicides easih checked it. Wilting of the leave-is a symptom of too hot sun or of too little water in the soil, but I have seen wilt due to root injury from too much water in the soil.
Two fungi interfering with the flowers are known. A phoina sometimes attacks the flower stems, making the flowers small or causing them to drop before opening. In 1909 I found a fungus blight of the petals but have made no further investigation of it. The main flower failures are from climatic conditions. The hot stir, of our summer is disastrous. The petals wither up, or are badly colored, or the flowers open onesided, or the growth is so soft that the flowers have no endurance when cut. Sometimes the tips of petals and leaves are even dried up and killed. Choice exhibition flowers can be protected by a cloth cover overhead. This is a good precaution when there is danger from early frost. For the average Dahlia garden, however, we must depend on keeping back flowering till the hot weather is over or cutting back the earlier growth to get new, vigorous flower stems in the fall. The variation in flower color from deep shade to strong sun is often much greater than between two similar varieties. Too much shade not only gives lighter flowers, but may almost suppress flowering, as will also too rich soil or too deep cultivation in the blooming period ; but too little water and plant food may produce the same result. Both color and doubleness vary so with the season that two 01 three years’ observation is necessary before one can know the character of a new variety. A heavy frost is usually the end of the flowering season, but frost seems to injure the buds least of all and they sometimes open after the stems and leaves are killed.
Singleness or poor centers is said to be induced by excessive forcing and taking cuttings from weak shoots. Double varieties are also said to degenerate into single in more Southern climates; but I am inclined to think that the appearance of open centers under certain conditions in normally full double flowers is more a varietal peculiarity. Varieties with bad centers, or that open so slowly that the outer rays wither before the center is expanded, can best be remedied by substituting better ones for them. There are also a number of troubles due to insects which cannot be fully discussed here. Borers, which destroy the inside of the stem, or cause it to swell, grasshoppers, spotted Cucumber beetles and Aster beetles that eat the leaves and flowers, aphis, and not least in injury, if smallest in size, the red spider.— Prof. J. B. S Norton, in Southern Florist.
The cherry season of 1921 came to a close Tuesday night, at which time the last load of fruit was run through the factory at about 8:30 o’clock.
The output was a record-breaker, there being a total of 344,283 cases handled by the Door County Canning Co. and the Fruit Growers Union.
In addition to this it is estimated that there were at a very conservative estimate 6,000 cases that were shipped outside of these two organizations, making the total cases of fruit harvested over 350,000.
There was a grand total of 6,-152,805 pounds of cherries canned at the factory of the Door County Canning company, of which 3,-301,437 were Early Richmonds and 2,851,368 were Montmoren-cies. The total number of cases canned was 246,112, figured on a basis of 25 pounds to the case.
There were a total of 98,171 cases of cherries handled by the Fruit Growers Union, or 2,554,-275 pounds. Of these 59,270 cases were Montmorencies and 38,901 were Early Richmonds.
There were a total of 66 carloads of Richmonds and 95 carloads of Montmorencies shipped to the fresh markets, the greater portion of which found their way' into cities of the state. However, there were 50 carloads consumed in the city of Chicago and some found their way as far west as North Dakota, while five carloads in one shipment were sent to St. Louis, where they arrived in excellent condition.
If the total harvest had been sent to the fresh market it means that 600 cars would have been required to handle the crop.
In addition to the 161 carloads of cherries, there were also nine carloads of strawberries shipped 1o the fresh markets.
The aggregate value of this immense crop is placed at fully $1,-000,000, there having been an excellent demand for the fruit at all times.
Compared with 1920 the yield doubled. In 1920 there were only 71 carloads sent to the fresh markets.
The Montmorencies showed the largest gains over the 1920 crop, the increases being almost entirely on this variety.
Fully 50 per cent of the canned goods has already been sold and it is anticipated that the balance will be disposed of within the next sixty days.
A new departure in the handling of the apple crop has been inaugurated and the fruit is to be handled through the Fruit Growers Union in the same manner as the cherries, there being one central selling agency in charge of E. L. Johnson, the very efficient secretary of the Union.
The Apple Growers Association will pack, sort and barrel the crop the same as before.
The market for apples is strong and the outlook for an excellent crop is good. It is estimated that the yield will be fully 8,OCX) barrels, or 40 carloads.—The News, Sturgeon Bay, Aug. 4, 1921.
Prune currants and gooseberries by removing some of the old canes. Most of the fruit is borne on canes three and four years old, but some of these must be removed each year to avoid crowding, which results in small currants and eventually mighty few of them. And again, the borer selects old wood for its operations.
Transplant iris and peony in September.
James Livingstone, Milwaukee
“A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” These are the immortal words of Shakespere and he might have added that a rose by any other name would be just as popular. There are rarer flowers and perhaps some are more aristocratic, but the rose is the flower of the masses. They are just as much at home in the garden of the lowly cottager, and just as sweet, as they are in the garden of the millionaire. From time immemorial the rose has held its place in the heart of mankind. To quote an old authority on roses. “Many ages ago Anacreon sung the praises of the rose, he called it ‘The most beautiful of flowers,’ ‘The delight of the gods,’ ‘The favourite of the Muses,’ ” and since that time it has not inaptly been called “The Queen of flowers.” Two thousand years ago Sappho wrote “If Jupiter wished to give the flowers a Queen, the rose would be that Queen.” It is frequently spoken of in Holy Writ, and Homer uses the rose figuratively in the “Illiad” and “Odyssey.”
“While the rose was the most popular of all flowers amongst the ancient Greeks and Romans, the time and the means employed to install it an inhabitant of the garden remains perfectly unknown. In regard to its natural geographical distribution, it may be said to be confined to the northern hemisphere, none having yet been found wild very near to, or south of the equator. The vast continent of Australia, rich as it is in botanical treasures, ha® not as yet revealed to us a single species. Siberia, Iceland and Greenland have their roses, and one of those indigenous to Britain (Rosa Spinossissima) is the type from which two or three hundred varieties under the name of Scotch roses have sprung.”
Warmer climates, however, have given us a much finer class, as China, Persia, India, etc., and from such material as the above have been created by hybridists the innumerable varieties now in cultivation. Some thirty species are noted by one rosarian and the varieties of these species, or families, are innumerable.
The study of the history and origin of these species, and their introduction to cultivation is intensely interesting, but it is obviously impossible in a paper limited to fifteen or twenty minutes, to even attempt to give an insight into this fascinating study. If we are to accomplish the objective of this paper, it will be necessary for us to confine our remarks to such varieties as are known to be hardy in Wisconsin. There are so many varieties on the market, most of them good, and nearly all of them suitable for growing in some locality of this vast country, that it is a matter of consideration for residents of each section of the country to consider which varieties are suitable for their locality and choose those which have been proven hardy. I must confess right here that I am not a specialist in roses, and there are hundreds of varieties catalogued that I have had no experience with. I have usually confined myself to varieties that I knew were hardy in the locality where I was located, and could be relied on to give a fair return for the time and money expended on them.
Growing roses is a good deal like growing apples, we all know that certain varieties of apples do better in some localities than in others and the commercial grower must choose those varieties which he knows will prove profitable in his locality. Oi course, there is always a fascination in trying something new, and as variety is the spice of life, it is also the spice of gardening, and if we are to keep up our interest we must look for new varieties to conquer, or be conquered by them. My advice then to the common or garden variety of gardener, is to go in for the varieties the merits of which have been proven, and go lightly on those the merits of which are problematical.
For outdoor culture in this part of Wisconsin we have a great many varieties, some old' and some new, that are well worthy of a place in any garden. Chiei of those are the hybrid perpetu-als. This invaluable and popular class has been produced by crossing the hybrid china roses with different varieties of chinas and Bourbons, the progeny producing abundance of flowers in the summer and occasionally a few throughout the autumn, thus being termed hybrid perpetuals. Some of our hardiest and best varieties of roses belong to this class, their ease of culture, hardiness, beautiful colors and fragrance combine in making them our most popular garden roses. Baroness Rothschild, Glorie Lyonnaise, J. B. Clark, Marshall P. Wilder, Magna Charta, Mrs. John Laing, Mabie Morrison, John Hopper and Paul Neyron are considered amongst our finest varieties in this class.
To be successful in growing roses a sheltered location should be chosen, far enough away from trees, shrubs or buildings so that the roots of the trees or shrubs will not rob them of food and moisture, or the buildings shade them continuously. Roses require a fairly stiff soil and an abundance of food and moisture, and it is useless to attempt to - grow them unless attention is given to these details. It is much better to plant them in groups or beds, where the soil has been specially prepared for them, rather than plant them promiscuously over the lawn or garden. If the subsoil is heavy clay it should be dug out to a depth of eighteen inches or two feet and the beds filled in with good rich top soil. Spring is the best time to plant, and in hybrid perpetuals, two or three year old dormant plants should be planted. Care should be taken when planting, to place the graft three or four inches below the surface of the soil and the small shoots should be cut out and the stronger ones cut back to three or four eyes. When the plants have become well established it is important to watch for shoots that may come from below the graft and cut them out or they will rob the plant of nourishment and ultimately kill it. These shoots can be distinguished from the true variety by the great abundance of small thorns which literally cover them. During the first season’s growth it is better to pinch off most of the flower buds. This may seem heroic treatment to some growers, but it will greatly increase the strength of the plant, and insure a larger yield of flowers the following year. Roses are gross feeders and a well established plant ought to have frequent applications of fertilizer in some form during the growing season. Liquid fertilizer, bone meal or a good covering of well rotted manure will keep them in good growing condition. The tips of the young growths are often infested with green or black aphis. Frequent spraying with nicotine will keep them in check. For slugs and other chewing animals spray with arsenate of lead, or dust with slug shot. For mildew dust with flowers of sulphur.
No pruning should be done in the fall except to cut back any long shoots that tend to make the appearance of the bed untidy. Before severe freezing weather the plants should be gently bent over and pegged down and left in that way until there is danger of the ground being frozen. Before severe frost sets in, cover the plants with soil in the same way as you would cover raspberry canes, and then when the ground has been frozen hard a covering of stable manure can be put over the whole bed. This method is a good winter protection and also lessens the danger of the plants being stripped of bark by mice.
As soon as possible in the spring the manure should be taken off and as the frost comes out of the ground the soil can gradually be taken off, and the stakes that hold the plant down pulled out, allowing them to get back to their normal position.
Pruning should be done as soon as possible in the spring. All weak growths should be cut out and the strong growths cut back severely. Apply and dig in at this time a liberal dressing of well rotted manure, or bone meal, and the plants are then ready for their growing season.
Hybrid Tea roses are becoming of more importance each year in the garden, and where the climate is not too rigorous, or if well protected in winter, they give wonderful results. Their culture is much the same as for the hybrid perpetuals, except that they do not need to be pruned so severely. Killarney, White Killarney, La France and Richmond are some of the older varieties that do well. Kaiserin Augusta Victoria is also a superb rose of this class, sometimes classed as a Hybrid perpetual.
Tea roses or Tea scented are a beautiful class of roses and where one can afford to plant a bed of them for summer display only, they give great satisfaction. However, they are only half hardy and will not stand our severe climate in winter.
Climbing roses have their place in every garden, no home grounds are complete without them and a place should always be provided for them. Their requirements as to soil and treatment are much the same as for the varieties already mentioned. Some of the old fashioned varieties like Baltimore Belle, Prairie Queen and Seven Sisters do not need to be pruned so severely as the newer varieties, such as Dorothy Perkins, Lady Gay, Farquhar and Ex-celsa, a much better red than the old crimson rambler. These last mentioned varieties should have ali the old flowering wood cut out as soon as the flowering season is over. The young growths should be spread out and tied to the trellis and given every encouragement to make all the growth that is possible. Keep them securely tied as the growth lengthens and if too many shoots start from the bottom select only enough of the strongest to cover the arch or trellis as the case may be and cut out all the others. It is better to have half a dozen strong growths than two dozen weak ones.
Rugosa roses are splendid subjects for planting for effect, in beds on the lawn or in front of shrubberies. They are extremely hardy and floriferous and some of the newer and semi-double hybrids make a wonderful showing when massed for effect. They are of easy culture and if planted in good rich soil and given room to develop they will make strong bushes and flower profusely for many years. The newer varieties should be given preference over the old single white and red. Blanche Double de Coubert, Colvin Tree, New Centuary, Madam Geo. Bruant, Sir Thomas Lipton and Alice Aldrich are all very desirable.
The seed pods should be left on rugosa roses as they turn bright red when ripe and make a fine winter effect. Rugosas do not require pruning as severely as hybrid perpetuals. Cut out all weak growths and shorten the strong ones so as to give the bed a uniform effect.
The old favorite Moss rose should have a place in every garden. There is no rosebud so elegant as the Jyi^Lof- a Moss Rose, _JUld-^hefragrance of foliage and flower is delightful. Elizabeth Rowe, Henri Martin, Mousseline and Princess Adelaide are all beautiful varieties and perfectly hardy. Their culture is simple and when once established they iast for many years.
The Persian Yellow and Rose llarrisonii are two of our hardiest and best yellow roses and are a fine combination with the Moss roses.
Another fine class of roses with miniature flowers borne in clusters is the Dwarf Polyantha roses. Baby Doll, Cecile Brunner, Echo, Clothilde Soupert and George Eiger are all fine sorts These are all very dwarf grow-er= and make a fine edging for a rose bed and are especially effective when planted in masses.
Rose Polyantha nana or multiflora can be grown from seed and if sown in early spring will be in blossom in June or July. They are perfectly hardy and when they get to be two or three years old they make good sized bushes a foot high and are literally covered with tiny single and semi-double blooms.
There are many other roses that, would time and space permit, are as worthy as those that have been mentioned, but if the efforts expended on this paper induces anyone to seek for more knowledge on this interesting subject, this paper will have attained its object.
Four and Twenty Apples Baked in a Pie
What is worse than a worm? A half worm. The consumer of apples has always believed this. The farmer is getting on to the fact that spraying and graded fruit will outsell the ungraded fruit.
The value of graded fruit as compared with ungraded was shown in a very striking manner by the following test: From 5 to 7 graded apples made a large pie. while it required from 15 to 20 ungraded apples to make a pie of the same size. The graded fruit is safe for baking, will keep longer, and is more fit for cider.
The farmers who sprayed their apples thoroughly and at the proper time, found that 80 per cent of their fruit was perfect, while their unsprayed trees showed 85 per cent imperfect.
While this season has been one of the worst in years for orchard insect pests and diseases, the farmers who sprayed their orchards thoroughly with the proper material and at the proper time are now marketing their fruit without any difficulty.
The merchants of Jefferson county are glad to co-operate with the farmers who are willing tc take pains to grade their fruit and place it on the market so that it will appeal to the consumer. Many merchants have expressed themselves as preferring Wisconsin sprayed and graded apples to Michigan and New York apples.
Wisconsin apples are more highly flavored, better colored, and they can be placed on the market fresh from the orchard and sold at a lower price to the consumer.
The principal reason why the merchant has been compelled to get his supply of fruit from other states has been due to the fact that he was not able to get Wisconsin sprayed and graded fruit. —J. M. Coyner, Jefferson County Agricultural Agent.
Peony seeds should be picked when well colored, and stratified in sand till next spring, when they may be planted like other seeds of similar size.
In our justifiable enthusiasm for the Hybrid Tea roses and the inclined-to-be-tender climbers, we must, nevertheless, bear in mind that there are thousands of gardens in the United States where climatic and pocketbook conditions do not allow their cultivation. These gardens require a rose of unquestionable hardiness and with a rugged constitution.
The owners of these harder-luck gardens love a rose as much as we do, and the “propagating” members of the American Rose Society should endeavor to increase for them the number of varieties and range of colors of definitely hardy roses.
There is a rose of this class that nurserymen seem to have fought shy of. It suckers freely in an open soil, so that a stock could soon be worked up. For the want of a better common name, I call it the “Northern Cherokee rose.”
The only objection to its scientific appellation—Rosa spinosis-sima altaica—is that one must be particularly sober when pronouncing it or he may get balled up among the s’s! National prohibition will soon eradicate this handicap, but not the s’s!
While originally described as a species, it is now considered as belonging to the Scotch group. It is a native of the Altai Mountains in Siberia, has been known to cultivation since 1818, and in 1895 was described as “a rose almost lost to cultivation.”
It has, unfortunately, also been known as R. grandiflora, a name also applied in European catalogues to a climbing form of the Polyantha rose, thus creating much confusion. In fact, my first effort to obtain this rose was suggested by reading a description of it under the name of R. grandi-flora. I imported some plants, but received the climbing Poly-antha, which went skating the first winter after planting, and never returned. I had relied upon the reputed entire hardiness of the Altaica form!
The true R. spinosissima altaica is absolutely hardy without any winter protection, and seems free from the attacks of mildew or insects, though it is sometimes troubled with a scale that is easily controlled by spraying.
It forms a bushy shrub about five feet tall and in an open soil spreads freely, just as do the other forms of the Scotch rose. In May and June it is smothered in large clusters of single, paperwhite flowers, enhanced in their beauty by the numerous bright yellow stamens in their centers. One vigorous shoot will be crowned by a cluster of these pure white flowers large enough and handsome enough to creditably perform the function of a bridal bouquet at any wedding. I have often thought of this when its blooms were at the height of perfection, but it always happened that no swain of my acquaintance had popped the vital question at an opportune time, such as would bring the culmination of his ardent desire just when the blooms were at their best. Perhaps some loving couple will arrange with me to be married on the day of the maximum bloom of the Northern Cherokee roses; then I can happily provide the decorations.
If I were asked where this rose could be obtained I would have to answer, “I can’t tell you.” There are groups of it at the Arnold Arboretum and at the Kew Garden, but I know of no nurseryman carrying it in stock. I have had my plant some twenty-five years, always in one “hole” in the lawn. This hole has been kept free of sod for a space four feet in diameter, and as most of its suckers come up in the sod outside this four-foot circle, they are cropped off by the lawn-mower. A few come up within the circle and are tenderly lifted and potted as gifts to friends.
Some years ago I gave a small sucker plant to a friend who, happily, placed it in a large bed of enriched soil. His plant is now not only much larger than mine, but has enabled him, through its offshoots, to present quite a number to his friends.
Enterprising nurserymen should resurrect this rose from the undeserved oblivion in which it rests and offer it to the general public. The beauty of its bloom ought to be enjoyed as well as its excellent quality as a lawn shrub.—W. C. Egan, Egandale, Highland Park, Ill. In The American Rose Annual for 1919 Published by the American Rose Society.
These must be planted in the fall, September or October, and bloom early in spring:
Tulips: Artus, red; Chrysolora, yellow; Cottage Maid, pink. •.Hyacinth: Charles Dickens,
pink; Baroness von. Thuyll, white ; Barron von Thuyll, blue.
Narcissu-s (daffodil), Von Sion.
For house culture: paper white narcissus, Chinese lily, Von Sion narcissus and any hyacinth.
Published Monthly by the Wisconsin State Horticultural Society 10 N. Carroll St Official organ of the Society.
FREDERIC CRANEFIELD. Editor. Secretary W. S. EL S.. Madison. Wh.
Entered at the poatoffice at Madison, Wiscondn. as aeoond-clase matter. Acceptance for mailing at special rate of popetage provided for in Section 1103. Act of October 8, 1917, authorized July 15, 1918.
Advertising rates made known on application.
Wisconsin State Horticultural Society
Annual membership fee, one dollar, which Includes fifty cents, subscription price to Wisconsin Horticulture. Send one dollar to Frederic Cranefleld, Editor, Madison, Wis.
Remit by Postal or Express Money Order. A dollar bill may be sent safely if wrapped or attached to a card. Personal checks accepted.
Postage stamps not accepted.
J. A. Hays........................President
H. C. Christensen, Oshkosh.......Vice-President
F. Cranefleld, Secretary-Treasurer.......Madison
BOARD OF MANAGERS
J. A. Hays H. C. Christensen F. Cranefleld
Personal and Confidential
The editor wants to talk to you a moment, a purely personal conversation, and you will, I am sure, consider it confidential. You are now reading what purports to be the August number of your paper, mailed about the first of October. There was no Au gust number in August; likewise nc July number until August. The reason is this: Early in May (so far as I was concerned) the entire universe went to pieces, the earth dropped away, leaving me in midair. Can you imagine such a situation? After a little time, things seemed to be better adjusted and I could feel my toes touching solid ground again, but everything revolved the wrong way! Also indescribable and
nameless terrors encompassed me on every side, the mere recollection of them now causes a shudder. I will not tire you with the details, nor relate what seven clinic doctors said and did, but it was plenty. Said there was nothing the matter with me. Believe me or not as you like, I paid good money for that opinion. But they did say “You must rest, rest, REST.” “But I can’t rest, don’t you understand? I must work. I have worked for 27 years without stopping. It’s simply out of the question to stop now,” and more to that effect. The seven hard-hearted brutes chorused, “Oh, very well, suit yourself, but we are simply telling you.”
After considering their advice for a time and on ascertaining that I couldn’t do anything anyway and that undertakers are merciless profiteers, I concluded to take the advice of the Sage Seven.
Yes, I rested; for the first three weeks, in a far corner of the state, under the shade of a wonderful old maple with foliage so dense that not a ray of light penetrated. I was vain enough to think sometimes that it grew there just for me, no one else had ever used it. Then for other wonderful weeks along the clear water streams of the northland and among lakes with densely wooded shores where:
“By night the constellations glow Far down the hollow deeps below, And glimmer in another sky." Until, finally, I caught hold again of all that had escaped me and so left behind those formless terrors. The fact that I am having this little chat with you now, that I am back on the job, or the job back on me, isn’t due in any large measure to my own per
spicacity, nor the green fields, nor the sunshine, but to the kindly attitude of friends. Some of them were almost strangers at first, but now are dear friends. Cheerful words when cheer was needed, studied neglect when that seemed fitting, and so much more than I can tell you. For some reason my specs get dim when I think of these friends and I want to tell you folks that this is a rare world we live in.
Well, I didn’t mean to run on in this way about myself, but I thought a word of explanation was due you. I am here again to serve you as best I can and that’s the greatest pleasure of all.
Madison, Sept. 6, 1921.
A POSTSCRIPT TO THE ABOVE
I have one friend who positively refuses to take life seriously and on that account grows fatter and jollier every year. Just recently he perpetrated this: “Just learned you have been through a period of sickness and have recovered. That relieves my mind. 1 read that line in the paper about ‘Enforced Absence of the Editor' and I was considerably wrought up about it, but didn’t know how long you were in for and thought it best under the circumstances not to ask the warden any questions.”
Now, in the words of the immortal William B. Byram, “Wouldn’t that drive you to grape juice!
Clean out the raspberry patch now if you have not already done it. Cut out all old wood, the canes which jointed this year, and burn it.
H. C. Christensen............
F. Cranefield ...............
Diat, Wm. Longland.....
. . .Lake Geneva
Diat, R. J. Coe.........
... Ft. Atkinson
Diet, E. J. Frautachi. . . .
Diet., A. Leidiger .......
Diat., James Livingstone. . .
Diat, J. W. Roe........
Diat, C. A. Hofmann. . . .
Diet, J. E. Leverich.....
Diat, L. E. Birmingham. . .
. . . Sturgeon Bay .....Menomonie
Diet, Paul E. Grant.....
Diat, Irving Smith......
We Will Miss You, Johnnie
(One year ago the editor fell to talking wtlth a member about our early days, the dreams and aspirations of childhood and other things that grown people rarely talk about. The outcome was the series of articles run during the year, some of which you, perchance, have read, signed “Johnnie” who lives in “Oak Holler.” These were submitted to the editor only on his promise to withhold the name of the writer. So you must keep on guessing as to the identity of Johnnie for the ethics of this trade are rarely or never violated. Johnnie bids us farewell this month and we feel certain that there will be many who will miss him, for these simple little stories of the life of a guileless country boy have stirred strange memories in many of us. Coming straight from the heart of the writer and portrayed with no pretense of literary skill these stories have taken us out of our busy lives for a time and back to the happier days.
Although Johnnie has refused to appear again, we have found one to take his place. A new Berles will begin in September. Watch for the first number.)
Oak Holler, Wis.
My Dear Friends:—The year is up, the time has come to say good-bye, but, before I really say the words, may I say to you, all my friends, that this has been a happy year to me. I have enjoyed talking to you through the columns of Horticulture. I have felt as though I had gone into each of your homes and spoken to you personally. May I hope that the little stories of my childhood have touched your hearts, have brought back to you memories of your own, memories that will bind you closer to your children. Some of my friends think I’m queer, sometimes I think I am myself, but, nearly two thousand years ago He said, “Except ye become as little children.”
We are trying to do so much for our children — education, money, pleasure—and, giving all these, we cannot give ourselves. We have no time, our sons and daughters are shut out of our hearts, the little things that mean so much to them are trivial to us; we have “forgotten to remember,” as the little boy said when denied a pleasure outing and his father told him, “I never could go at all when I was your age.” “Yes, but, didn’t you ‘want’ to go. I just wish you didn’t forget to remember when you were a little boy— it would help.” How many of us forget to remember! How many of us forget the desire to tell to some older person our dreams and aspirations, and if we were lucky enough to have a father or mother who hadn’t forgotten to remember. Do you remember how happy you were as a child ? Are you giving your own children that same happiness, or are you forgetting perhaps just as your father and mother forgot, and,—may I say it, dear friends— having a heartache because your girl or your boy is growing away from you. Did you ever stop to think perhaps they were having a heartache, too? Give your children education, pleasure, material advantages if it pleases you to do so, but—give them first, last and always yourself—it’s the thing they need and you need more than anything in the world. It’s the one thing I am going to ask you before I say good-bye— “Please don’t forget to remember” that you were once a child —and please don’t ever quite forget
Pickles, Dill and Otherwise
The raising of cucumbers for pickling is a fine business for the people who like that kind of business. Somebody has to raise
for Particular Buyers
Have all the standard varieties as well as the newer sorts. Can supply you with everything In
Fruit Trees, Small Fruits, Vines and Ornamentals.
Let us suggest what to plant both In Orchard and in the decoration of your grounds.
Prices and our new Catalog sent promptly upon receipt of your list of wants.
cukes, we assume, although the editor never could see the necessity for doing so, and prices this year seem to be fair.; $1.25 per bushel for smallest, 65c for No. 2, and 30c for No. 3.
Anyone who has picked a bushel of No. 1 cukes will agree that the price is fair, for the picking. Will some one please tell us how many bushels of pickling size cukes can be raised on an acre and how many bushels of strawberries on the same area.
Don’t forget that the tulips, hyacinths, etc., which bloom in early spring grow from bulbs planted in the fall. September, October and often November are the months to plant. Order bulbs now, the planting may be deferred.
Tree Fruit Crop
East of the Rocky mountains the southern border of the apple zone begins in eastern Colorado with two commercial regions. Extending eastward, eastern Kansas, southwestern Missouri, and northwestern Arkansas have extensive commercial orchards; southern Illinois has three commercial orchard regions; southern Indiana, one; southern Ohio, one; West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia are contiguous commercial orchard regions, second only in importance to New York.
The above regions have practically no apples to ship and not enough to supply their nearest small markets. The middle part of apple zone begins with the Missouri river region, including northeastern Kansas, southeastern Nebraska and southwestern Iowa. This region has a few apples, practically none to ship. Eastern Iowa, central and northern Illinois, northern Indiana, central and northern Ohio are not extensive commercial growing regions, but have from 20 to 40 per cent of a crop. Pennsylvania has extensive commercial orchards with about 20 per cent of a crop of apples and a few peaches. The northern third of the apple zone, Minnesota, northern Iowa, Wisconsin, New York, New England has from 10 to 60 per cent of a crop. Maine the highest. The balance of New England and the lake regions about 35 per cent of a crop. West of the Rocky mountains there will be a full crop. Plums, practically a failure. Peaches and pears, light. Grapes. 40 to 50 per cent of a crop.—Survey by G. H. Townsend, Madison, July, 1921.
Speaking of currants,—September and October are good months for taking cuttings. While we have no desire to infringe on the business of the nurseryman, we offer the suggestion, by way of information, that you may easily raise your own currant bushes from cuttings. Select sound, well matured wood of this year’s growth, cut into sections 8 to 10 inches long and plant them this fall. Leave only two buds above ground and if both of them grow next year, rub off one. Mulch the row of cuttings after the ground freezes. In the fall of 1923 you should have fine, thrifty currant bushes.
Home Grown Grape Vines
If you intend to plant grapes extensively, to produce fruit for market, by all means buy plants. If you are an amateur and have a pet vine which you want to perpetuate, or for any one of a hundred and one other reasons from which amateurs get so much fun, try “making your own.” Firstly : if you were a bit careless this summer and allowed some of the new canes to rest on the ground instead of tying them to the trellis, you are apt to find that roots started from the nodes or joints of these and are well anchored by this time. Cut them loose, leaving only a few inches of cane, one or two buds and transplant either now or next spring.
If you find none of these try cuttings. These are to be taken from new (1921) wood and cut in sections of two buds each. The length of the cuttings may vary from 4 inches to 12 or 14 inches, depending on variety, rapidity of
The Hawks Nursery Company are in a position to furnish high grade Nursery Stock °f k‘n^s and varieties suitable to Wisconsin and other northern districts.
Will be glad to figure on your wants either in large or small quantities
77o. 7 2 Flo. J
Crates, Bushel Boxes and Climax Baskets
We manufacture the Ewald Patent Folding: Berry Boxes of wood veneer that give satisfaction. Berry box and crate material in the K. D. in carload lots our specialty. We constantly carry in stock 16-quart crates all made up ready for use, either for strawberries or blueberries. No order too small or too large for us to handle. We can ship the folding boxes and crates in K. D. from Milwaukee. Promptness is essential in handling fruit, and we aim to do our part well. A large discount for early orders. A postal brings our price list.
Cumberland Fruit Package Company
Dept. D, Cumberland. Wis.
growth, etc., but there must be a bud at each end. Cut off the stem close to the lower bud and leave
to 1 inch above the upper bud. Tie the cuttings in bundles properly labeled and bury in the garden where no water will stand.
Very early next spring exhume and plant them, leaving the upper bud just level with the surface of the soil. Seventy-five per cent should grow. During the winter “callus” or swellings will appear at the base of the cuttings, a condition favorable, although not essential to root growth. Some gardeners maintain that cuttings buried with the butt ends up will callus better than those placed in ether positions. This is probably founded on something else than science, but it would be interesting to try it.
A Dwarf Spruce
In the May 7th issue of The Gardeners’ Chronicle of London there is a figure and description of a little conifer which is called Picea albertiana, although some doubt is thrown on the accuracy of the name. Picea albertiana is a form of the White Spruce found only in the Gaspe Peninsula of eastern Canada and in the valleys of the Black Hills of South Dakota and of the Rocky Mountains of northern Wyoming, Montana and northward, and chiefly distinguished from the common White Spruce of the east by its shorter and broader cones. As this tree grows or grew a few years ago on the borders of streams and lakes or in groves surrounding mountain meadows in northern Montana, it is one of the splendid trees of the continent, rising to the height of one hundred and fifty feet with a trunk from three to four feet in diameter and a narrow pyramidal head of slightly pendulous branches. A plant of a dwarf variety of this Spruce, a few inches high, was found by Professor Jack near Laggan, in Alberta, in 1904, and from this plant has been raised all the specimens in cultivation. They are all conic in shape and very compact, and the largest of them, in Massachusetts at least, are not much more than two feet high. Picea glauca is now the recognized name of the White Spruce and this dwarf, the plant figured in The Gardeners’ Chronicle, has been named Picea glauca var. albertina conica. It is certainly one of the most distinct of dwarf Spruces, and as it can be easily and quickly propagated from cuttings, there is no reason why it should not be within the i each of everyone interested in rock gardens, for which it is well suited.—Arnold Arboretum Bulletin.
Cardinal Flower Prefers Neglect
Remember that the Cardinal Flower (Lobelia Cardinalis), and its blue cousin, the Giant Lobelia, make their growth, from which comes next year’s bloom, in the late summer and early autumn, so be careful not to dig around where the little rosette of leaves is coming. The new growth is close to the ground and has such short roots that it is easily dug up and destroyed.
Cardinal Flowers do best in the wild flower corner which sensible people let alone as much as possible. A little woods’ earth may be carefully scattered around off and on, and an occasional garden weed must be dispatched. ■—The Flower Grower.
OFFICERS OF THE WIS. 8TATE BEEKEEPERS’ ASSN.
Pres. L. C. Jorgensen, Green Bay. Treas. C. W. Aeppler, Oconomowoc. Vlce-Pres. A. C. F. Bartz, Jim Falls. Secy. H. F. Wilson, Madison.
Annual Membership Fee |1.00.
Remit to H. F. Wilson, Secretary, Madison, Wis.
Annual Convention Meeting of Wisconsin State Beekeepers’ Association
December 8 and 9, 8tate Capitol
In conjunction with the American Honey Producers’ League a consecutive series of meetings has been arranged for the beekeepers' associations of Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.
Michigan—December 1 and 2—at Lansing.
Chicago and Northwestern—December 5 and 6—at Chicago.
Wisconsin—December 8 and 9—at Madison.
Minnesota—December 12 and 13—? Iowa—December 15 and 16—?
The Wisconsin Honey Producers’ Cooperative Association has not been idle during the past season. Matters of organization have been under way and the association IS making progress. The next meeting will be held in the State Capitol on December 9 at 4 p. m. All stockholders are requested to be present because it is expected that important business will come before this meeting. A proper notice will be sent out to each member of the association, but all other beekeepers who are interested are invited to attend this meeting.
Regardless of whether or not beekeepers have secured a normal crop this season, they should begin making preparations for next season. Be sure that the bees have plenty—at least 40 to 50 pounds—of good stores in the brood chamber. All bees left out-of-doors should be packed by the first of October. Bees to be wintered in the cellar should have some kind of protection up until the time of putting away for the winter. All bees should be in the cellar not later than the 20th of November. Do not attempt to winter over weak colonies. Unite weak colonies with colonies of middle strength, using the newspaper method.
In case the bees have stored considerable quantities of fall honey in the brood chamber, be sure and feed them 10 to 20 pounds of sugar syrup and this must be done before the first of November. Sugar syrup may be fed later than this time but one can never be sure that it will be well taken care of by the bees.
In making the sugar syrup, mix 3 parts of sugar with 1 part of water, place on the stove and allow to boil for 5 minutes.
The beekeeping department in the university is planning to make a survey of the beekeeping conditions in Wisconsin and in a short time cards will be sent out to our beekeepers requesting certain Information on conditions in their locality. It is hoped that beekeepers will respond in every case by returning the cards promptly so that the survey may be made as complete as possible. It is especially desirable that we get the information on honey flows and honeyplants so that we can distinctly set off the different beekeeping regions of the state.
The 1921 Honey Crop
The United States Bureau of Markets’ reports indicate that there will not be more than 50% of a crop in the United States. The crop in Wisconsin is about 35 to 40% of that secured in 1920, being very unevenly distributed. In some sections, especially within the vicinity of Milwaukee, a normal crop was secured. Generally in the southern part of the state, beekeepers did not secure any surplus at all. The late flow, among which is included flreweed. seems to have greatly benefited beekeepers in the northern part of the state, although in that region there are also many beekeepers who have little or no surplus. With less than half a crop in Wisconsin, there is no reason why any beekeeper should have great difficulty in disposing of his crop. All that is needed is more cooperative effort between those having no crop, and those having a crop to get even distribution. As a rule, beekeepers when they have no crop, do not make any effort to keep up the distribution of honey. As a matter of fact, in years when beekeepers do not have honey to sell, they should buy honey to carry the trade which they have developed in the past. The secretary is in a position to help with the distribution of honey, provided there are dffers to buy. We already have a number of growers who wish to sell, but no applications have been made at this office to buy. This does not mean that there is no demand for honey. As a matter of fact, the demand is increasing steadily, and those beekeepers who have sold out early at a low price are going to regret having disposed of their crop so early in the season. There is practically no comb honey to be secured at all, and we are already receiving letters from buyers in both east, west, and south, asking for prices on Wisconsin honey. Prices have been fluctuating to a very great extent, but Wisconsin beekeepers will probably be able to receive 15 cents wholesale, and on this basis should receive from 25 to 30 cents per pound retail.
Don’t fail to read the summary from Mr. Root’s talk on, “What It Costs to Do Business.’’ It has some important information for our beekeepers.
Every beekeeper and every farmer should know that it costs to sell as well as to produce, and it costs more to sell in small quantities than in large. If it costs to sell, one must get acquainted with some kind of cost system. No matter how large the factory, and even the smallest beekeeper has a miniature factory, there are two items in his cost system: production cost and selling cost. In both cases the beekeeper must figure overhead expenses. Cost of rent on building including the cost of the building and cost per square foot of space used in preparing honey for the market, should be known. Determine to an exact cent what every foot of space Is bringing you in return. In your business you must figure. Divide your building off into different spaces, charging the cost of each space for what it may contain. You must charge cost of space against each piece of machinery and in this cost you must include idle time with the machine. The machine must be charged with the man who runs it and his idle time must also be charged to the machine. Such items as cost of trucking, including gasoline, tire expense, and wear should be charged either to production or to selling. In fact mileage may be charged on a basis of 10 cents a mile in the use of a truck. In order to make the business successful, you must have your employees interested in the work. In fact, it is a wise plan to* put your children in as a part of thte company, because it keeps up their Interest. Labor should also be interested in the same way.
The selling cost is usually greater than the production cost. In the overhead for selling we must include bookkeeping, bad debts, depreciation, broken glass, and other common items which are seldom taken into account by the beekeeper.
Where the beekeeper handles the selling himself he should be fully entitled to the same cost of selling aB would have been chargeable to the product if it passed through regular selling channels. It is a mistake to believe that we can eliminate the jobber and wholesale dealer. These factors are necessary, because the jobber picks things up in small lots and gets them into shape to turn over to the wholesaler, and then the wholesaler depends upon the retailer to take the products off his hands. Overhead is always greater when we try to sell than when we let a regular salesman do the work. It is better to find a man who is a good salesman and let him handle that part of it. There is some question at the present time about the movement of honey, but this need not worry us for it is not only honey but everything, and every effort should be made to keep honey at a fair price, for when the price is once down, it is mighty hard to get it up again.
Also in competition with your retailers, it is perfectly reasonable that you should compete and sell your hdney against the honey on your groceryman’s shelves, but do not undersell him. Get your groceryman to let you put on bee demonstrations. Make your display attractive and sanitary. As a last word, do not forget that the selling cost of honey will run at least 100 per cent over that of the cost of production.—E. R. Root of the A. I. Root Company, Medina, Ohio.
Through the courtesy of Professor H. D. Hughes, of the Iowa State College and Experiment Station, Ames, Iowa, the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station received in April, 1918, one hundred seeds of an annual variety of Melilotus alba.
In a letter to the agronomist of the Ohio Station, Professor Hughes states “the new variety or species of sweet clover was found at this station i^j March, 1916.”
In the Journal of the American Society of Agronomy Vol. 9, No. 8, November, 1917, an article appeared, “An Annual Variety of Melilotus alba,” by H. S. Coe, Scientific Assistant in Forage Crop Investigations of the Bureau of Plant Industry, U. S. D. A. Mr. Coe described the appearance and habits of plants grown from seed purfj chased in Hale County, Alabama^ Typical specimens were placed in tha Herbarium and the Asa Gray Herbarium. The plant was described as follows:
“Melilotus alba Desr. var. Annua n. var. (Annual White Sweet Clover)— Erect or ascending, branching, glabrous or young branches and leaves slightly pubescent; leaves petioled, leaflets mostly oblanceolate, some narrowly ovate to oblong, serrated, obtuse to truncate; corolla white, 4 to 5 mm. long, the standard longer than the other petals; racemes numerous, slender, 4 to 15 cm. long; pods reticulate, 3 to 4 mm. long; root becoming 15 to 30 inches in length and enlarged very slightly if at all at the crown. Crown buds are not formed.”
Annual white sweet clover is probably indigenous to Alabama. Whether the original Iowa strain of annual white sweet clover came from Alabama is not known. However, the priority of its discovery apparently belongs to Prof. H. D. Hughes, of the Iowa Station.
Annual white sweet clover differs mainly from the biennial in its strictly annual habit, no crown buds being formed and in its more rapid growth than that of the first year of the biennial; the seeds are flatter and a prominent crease extends from the hilum diagonally across the seed.
Test at the Ohio Station.—The Ohio Station has grown the annual white sweet clover in a small way for three seasons, 1918, 1919 and 1920. It requires from 153 to 183 days to reach mature seed production under Ohio conditions, and about 80 days from time of seeding until the beginning of the blooming period. In 1920, 1 acre produced 5,379 pounds of total air dry weight of plants and seed in 183 days. At this time practically none of the leaves had fallen and the weight indicates the amount of rather coarse hay that might have been expected. The seeding was made in 30-inch rows at the rate of 2% pounds of seed per acre. —L. E. Thatcher, Ohio Agricultural Station.
Every industry, whether owned or controlled by the government or by individuals, is a national asset, as has been amply proven during the last war. And it is not necessary to further enlarge or even dwell on that question. Taking, therefor, for granted that every industry in the country is a national asset, I will try to show why the bee Industry is one of the best.
Most of us are aware that many of the nation’s assets are subject to depreciation and even exhaustion, because of creating new industries and favoring others. Take, for instance, our lumbering industry, which at one time seemed inexhaustible, and especially the white pine industry of our northern forests, which formerly yielded millions and millions of dollars in revenues annually, but has now almost ceased to be a national asset.
On the other hand the bee industry has not declined, (in value and importance,) but rather has increased. The lumbering industry of our forests had to give way to agriculture. But the bee industry thrives fully as well, if not more so, in agricultural districts than it did in forest districts.
It is one of the remarkable features of the bee industry that it can thrive alongside of many of the agricultural branches without encroaching on them. In fact, it stands almost alone in this particular. We can not grow a crop of clover and potatoes on the same ground at the same time, nor can we have a crop of oranges and a crop of peaches on the same piece of ground at the same time. We can have, however, either the peaches, oranges or clover and harvest a crop of honey from the same ground they occupy at the same time.
The value of the beekeeping industry as one of the nation’s best assets was perhaps never more apparent than during the war, when for a time conditions threatened to leave honey the only sweet available for human consumption, owing to the fact that the supply of sugar was greatly reduced both at home and from foreign sources. Then the honey bee came to our assistance with its precious Bweets gathered from the flowers growing in many places where the plow had not as yet turned the ground, and from waste places, Bwails and mountains inaccessable to the plow of the agriculturist proving what a valuable national asset the bee industry is, and how appreciably it added to the nation’s food supply in time of greatest need. This all without taking a single acre of ground for the sole production of honey.
But the adding to the nation’s food supply without encroaching upon the acreage and quantity of other farm products is not the only peculiar advantage the bee industry has over many other industries. It has another value, which is perhaps greater than the one aforementioned, in that the cross-pollenization of flowers is greatly increased by the honey bee.
Chester A. Reed, a noted botanist, says: “It is evident that should the pollen continue to fertilize the ovule in the Bame flower, the plants in successive generations might become weakened and finally die out and the Bpecies be lost.” He states further, “It is evident that a flower secreting honey may be visited by unwelcome guests, ones that will accept of the nectar but will make no useful return. Any insect with a shiny smooth body, whether winged or not is of little use in fertilizing a plant, for even should it receive pollen, it will in all probability have fallen off before the next flower is visited. Ants being particularly found of sweet things and so small that they can enter a flower without disturbing the anthers, frequently drain the nectar cups so no useful insect will visit them, and they fail to reproduce their kind. Nature has a number of ways of preventing thefts of this kind, one of the most common ways being to provide the plant stem with bristly hairs, forming a very difficult barrier for any crawling insect to overcome; others have a tuft of hairs at the very entrance of the honey cells, which bar the way for unwelcome guests, but readily allow the bee to insert its tongue.”
There are, of course other insects possessing the ability of cross-fertilizing flowers, but depending on favorable weather conditions to multiply and become numerous enough to be of any value and are often so retarded by unfavorable weather conditions that their numbers are too small to be of any value as cross-pollenizers. But the honey bee, cared for and protected by the beekeeper, is ever ready whenever the weather permits it to leave the hive to gather food for its home, at the same time performing its most valuable function, that of cross-pol-lenization of the different kinds of flowers which it happens to visit. This is necessary to keep the seed vigorous and in better condition to reproduce their kind as strong and healthy plarts during the years to come.—A. C. F. Bartz, Keystone, via Jim Falls, Wis.
A. Swahn, Ellsworth, Wis.
The time is coming, and not in the distant future either, when our Wisconsin beekeepers must put the honey industry on a business basis the same as all other successful business enterprises. In other words it must be commercialized.
The branch in our university where the A. B. C’s of beeculture is taught is a very valuable one, but I think the state should ease up a little on teaching the anatomy of the honey bee to our old and established beekeepers, and spend a little more time in teaching the earning power of the honey bee. Teaching old beekeepers the rudiments of beeculture is the same as teaching the old dog new tricks. It is hard to do.
Beekeepers who are so ancient in their ideas that they do not know the rudiments, or do not have books from which they may be learned, are also so set in their ways that they do not care to learn. The successful beekeeper of today is the one who is willing and anxious to learn and profit by new methods and ideas. The most ignorant man in the bee business today is the man who thinks he knows it all, and who will not take advantage of modern methods.
In the honey industry, like any other business, we cannot expect the best results without trained brains, without work and without proper investment. We cannot expect to meet competition by sitting around pi-.yaig ourselves, and bemoaning the fact that the big fellows in the business are making money. Why do they make money? Simply because they put both money and brains behind their business. The old adage, “The pen is mightier than the sword,” might be modernized and brought to date by a new adage, “The pencil is mightier than the plow.” This means that if we use our brains and a pencil, as well as the necessary capital, we will find means by which we can eliminate the hard work of holding the old plow, and pounding old Dobbin on the back. More can be done now in 24 hours than could be done in a week by the old methods of depending entirely upon brawn and muscle to get results.
Do like the big fellows in other industries. Systematize your work. Get the notion out of your heads for all time that the big fish in business eat the little fish. They do nothing of the kind. The successful men or the so called big fish, pave the way for the little fellows. They originate and develop new ideas and methods by which success is assured if followed. If your business is not a success do not blame the other fellow—blame yourself.
The secret of successful beekeeping is intelligent management, co-operation and maintaining fair prices. The very men who kill prices are the ones who do the most kicking about the high cost of supplies and the low price of honey.
Every time you feel that some one should be kicked, ask some of your kind and obliging friends to kick you first, and the chances are that the right party will receive the kick.
Think more about your own faults and shortcomings, and less about the faults of others, and the present dark cloud will soon turn toward you its silver lining.
We have enough beekeepers, but not enough bees. We will now consider the point around which the success of the whole industry turns, viz.: The cost of production. There are three ways to increase the profits of any business:
First—Better prices without increase in cost of production.
Second—Decrease in cost of production without a corresponding decrease in selling price.
Third—Increase in the turnover. Applied to beekeeping this means more honey without an increased operating expense.
A great many beekeepers have the wrong idea in thinking that the only way to make more money is to get higher prices. We should consider the cost of production a great deal more than the selling price. It is the cost of doing business that ruins so many business men. While it is true that the local prices are often established by the smaller beekeepers, it is also true that the wholesale or quantity prices are established by the real commercial beekeepers who keep a large number of colonies. There is not a beekeeper in Wisconsin who can compete with some of our western brothers, because of our smaller turnover and higher cost of production. We who have only 75 to 100 colonies, must not think we are commercial beekeepers in the true sense of the word, and unless we have some other source of revenue will not get to first base in a profit comparison with some of our large western beekeepers who keep from 500 to several thousand colonies. They can sell at a profit for less than it costs us to produce.
We must do one of three things. Do less work with our present number of colonies, and more in some other line of business, or keep more bees with better working methods, or stop kicking because the other fellow can undersell us at a profit. How shall we figure the cost of producton? I think most of us are taking advantage of our bees, and charging altogether too much for our time, etc. I have no figures to prove my statement, that perhaps the average Wisconsin beekeeper has about 100 colonies, but do not think it will go above that number, so will use it as a basis for my calculations.
If our 100 colony beekeepers charge full time during the honey Beason to the cost of production, the poor bees will soon go into bankruptcy. If we expect to meet the lower prices which are very likely to be with us in the future, we must get right down to brass tacks and economize on our time, and manage so that we can meet them and still make the same or better net profits than in the past at the higher prices. It can be done. I cannot go into detail and show just how this can be done, as there is no fixed rule that will apply to all men or all locations and conditions, but a word to the wise should be sufficient.
In the first place, let the bees do most of the work in the apiary. Let them alone as much as possible. Do nothing with them unless absolutely necessary, and then do what is to be done at the right time. Figure out in advance just what should be done, and when it should be done and why. While modern machinery can do but little of the work in an apiary, modern brains can eliminate at least two-thirds of the usual work done by the old haphazard methods of pottering around all day without any marked results. Do not trot all day in a half bushel. Plan your work and then work your plan. Unless you have enough bees to keep you busy all the time when working to the very best advantage do not charge full time to the cost of production. Charge your own time just the same as if you hired all the work done by the hour, and you will get correct costs. In addition to this, of course, comes the interest on investment, depreciation, etc. Interest on investment is a fixed expense and cannot be changed, but when it comes to the item of depreciai tion there is a chance for argument! We must, of course, figure depreciation on first cost of supplies. Now, if our hives and buildings are painted and cared for as they should be they will last nearly a lifetime without much depreciation. Referring to the item of comb foundation, we will figure depreciation on its first cost, and not its present value. When this comb foundation is fully drawn out it is worth many times its first cost. By using fully drawn combs year after year we will get enough more honey to more than offset the item of depreciation for the whole apiary, so I doubt the advisability of considering it at all.
Please do not think that because I am telling what should be done that I do everything to the very best of advantage myself. Far from it; however, I always try to cut off corners whenever and wherever I can. As the preacher once said to his congregation, “Do as I say—not as I do.”
Brother beekeepers, what are the greatest items of expense in most apiaries?
Poor working methods. Poor financial backing.
Insufficient stores and Spring protection.
These items add more to the cost of production in most apiaries than the total of all other expenses.
We all know that disease and poor queens add very materially to the cost of production, by cutting down the amount of production. Poor working methods also cut down the amount of production and add to the cost. Financial backing in the form of sufficient supplies to give plenty of storage and ripening room for the nectar when it is ready to be stored, will add a great deal more to the profit than the interest on the difference between a shortage and an abundance of supplies. Insufficient stores and protection in the Spring will retard brood rearing and make weak colonies for the harvest. This is an expensive result, and adds very greatly to the cost of production.
Among beekeepers as well as other classes we find the pessimist and calamity howler who is always blaming someone else for his own shortsightedness. For instance, during the past few years of high priced supplies, I have heard good beekeepers say that supplies were so high that there was no more profit in the business. Let us see if that condition was really fatal. If our 100 colony beekeepers had their equipment up to where it should be at all times, would they average more than $100 yearly, at pre-war prices, for extra supplies? We will call it that anyway, in order to bring out my point. We will say that 1920 prices were 300 per cent higher than pre-war prices. That made an extra supply cost in 1920 of $200. At 8 per cent this makes an extra yearly expense of $16 How can this terrible leak be stopped?
By adding just one colony of bees with a good queen.
Finance your bees properly, manage them properly or be satisfied with your present income. Beekeeping is not a get-rich-quick game, but it is a comparatively soft job if properly managed. Most of the hard work can be eliminated, the season is short and the work is healthy and it deserves our money and best effort sto back it.
I know that many will censure me for this statement, but I will make it just the same, and time will tell whether I am right or wrong. Lower prices will be a God-send to the honey industry. It will make better beekeepers and fewer beekeepers, and a more general demand. Better beekeepers means more bees, and more honey at a lower cost, and perhaps a better profit even at the lower prices.
In my last paper, “The Beekeeper’s Folly,” read at Madison last December, I discussed at length the folly of cutting prices. I repeat it now. Prices should not be cut in the general sense. They should be lowered to meet the general demand for cheaper food products. The price cutter is generally a ne’er do well who cannot get business at the prevailing prices because of his inability as a salesman or for other reasons, and he thinks business will rush to him if he cuts the price. In this he is generally disappointed, still his cut will have a tendency to demoralize the local market at least. Easy money makes careless beekeepers. Lower prices will cause money to accumulate a little slower—hence the expense account will be guarded a little closer, and the final results should be about the same.
Cash in on Your Idle Time.—The time wasted by most men if properly occupied would support their families. Our 100-colony beekeepers should be able to spend at least 5 days out of every week during the honey season at some other kind of work. Any able bodied man who is willing to work and manage his work properly, can with strictly modern equipment care for from 300 to 500 colonies practically alone, producing extracted honey. Cash in on your waste time and watch your bank account grow. Time wasted is nothing more or less than additional expense.
The best example of economic honey production, and economic labor conditions that I can think of is right inside your beehives. The bees waste no time if conditions are right. They even work themselves to death to support you, and still you do not always appreciate their efforts enough to give them a chance to do their very best. If we would work to the same advantage as the bees, we would soon forget what we might have thought was a faulty government, or a faulty business condition that was holding us down and not giving us our share of this world’s goods.
In conclusion will say that commercial beekeeping means business beekeeping where cost is considered more than selling price. In other lines of business the seeling price is usually established by keen competition, and success depends mainly on the cost of doing business. Tb*» same rule must be applied to the honey industry of Wisconsin in order to make it a greater success.
FRUITS FOR THE HOME
The fruits named below are all standard, reliable, hardy sorts that have been grown in Wisconsin for fifty years or more:
(1 dozen trees enough for the farm home) 3 Duchess, 5 Wealthy, 4 Northwestern Greening.
If a greater variety is desired add McIntosh Tolman Windsor
For north-central Wisconsin substitute Patten Greening for Northwestern and omit McIntosh, etc.
Do not plant Transcendent crab anywhere in Wisconsin on account of its tendency to blight. Plant Martha or Hyslop instead.
Surprise, DeSoto, Hawkeye, all natives, all reliable hardy anywhere in Wisconsin and all sure croppers.
None of the European or Japanese plums are long-lived in Wisconsin but trees of certain varieties often live to bear several crops.
Try: Green Gage, Lombard and Moore’s Arctic, for European and Burbank for Japanese.
Where cherries thrive plant early Richmond and Montmorency.
FOR SALE—Hardy northern bred Italian queens, each and every queen warranted satisfactory. Prices: One, $1.50; 12, $15.
MARSHFIELD - WIS.
Did you get our post card announcing lower prices ? It was niailed to you early in the month of June. 32% reduction on famous No. 1 Lewis section boxes. 30% reduction on all hives, bodies, supers, covers. Many other low prices on items you need now. These apply to No. 1 grade of goods only. Also ask for bargain list on “Odd Lot” goods.
Italian Queen Bees
Fall is the season for requeening in most parts of the U. S. A., just at the end of the honey flows. Arrangements have been made with one of the best Southern queen bee breeders to furnish three-banded Italians to enable beekeepers to introduce better stock. Prompt shipment, safe arrival and satisfaction guaranteed in U. S. A.
PRICE . . $1.00 each. Untested
PRICE . . . $2.25 each, Tested
BRANCHES AND DISTRIBUTORS THROUGHOUT THE U. S. A.
We offer for September and October THREE Annual Memberships in the State Horticultural Society (including subscription to Wisconsin Horticulture) for Two Dollars.
Send Two New Memberships, renewals not accepted, with Two Dollars, and get your own membership FREE or your time extended one year if you are now a member.
Send postal money order, draft personal check to
F. Cranefield, Sec’y
701 Gay Building Madison, Wis.
Postage stamps not accepted
After June 1st, untested queens $1.00; tested, $2.00. One frame nucleus with untested queen after July 1st, $5.00. Two frame, $S.0O. Full colonies after August 1st. Orders booked now with 10 per cent down.
Should send for our booklet on the new MODIFIED DADANT HIVE. The hive with a brood chamber sufficient for prolific queens. OUR CATALOG IS FREE.