This section is from the book "The Gardener V1", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
I am glad to find you have begun a series of hints to beekeepers. I am sure it will be well received. After Mr Abbott's papers are finished, a higher series might be introduced for those who are not quite novices; and, further, if you could give a chapter on the habits and character of, and the advantages derived from, the culture of the Alp bee (or Ligurian), I am sure beekeepers will be much gratified. I obtained a hive of this newly-imported bee last summer, and the circumstance having been noted in our local newspaper, it was most interesting to notice how many bee-keepers came long distances to see the Ligurian bees, and what expressions of delight they made use of on seeing them, and also on handling the "bonnie beasts," as one of my visitors termed them. I find some of my stocks are suffering from dysentery, owing probably to the season. I have tried various methods of housing my stocks, but the old plan - pins in the ground, and a good straw hood - is as good as any, as one can get about the hive3 so much better; and in handling the bees, the other stocks are not disturbed. Independent of any profitable result from bee-keeping, a few skeps in a garden produces many interesting features, and to watch the bees on a pleasant summer's day is a most instructive occupation.
I can only wish the bee-hive was oftener seen in the gardens both of the rich and the poor.
R. S. Shearer, Stirling.