History of Rutgers' Department of Entomology - part 24.
Elmer G. Carr was appointed deputy bee inspector on December 1, 1911, later becoming inspector of bee culture. When the Department was organized in 1916, Carr was reappointed and Headlee asked to be continued as supervisor of the work in general until it was firmly established. His request was granted and he continued in that capacity until the position of State Entomologist was discontinued. Carr remained in immediate charge of all bee work until his retirement on December 31, 1935. On March 1, 1935, Paul L. Holcombe was appointed inspector, bee culture, and took over after Carr left.
The bee work has always been a combination of regulatory and educational efforts, and the educational work has always accompanied the inspections for disease. Better beekeeping methods were promoted in 1916-1917 by demonstration apiaries established In Salem, Middlesex, and Atlantic Counties. Twenty-nine demonstrations were held with an attendance of 180. Intensive inspections were made in Cape May and Cumberland Counties, aimed at the elimination of disease in a limited area.
In the following year Herman Greenwald, from Lumberton, was employed as a temporary inspector for a survey of beekeeping conditions in Sussex County, and Harry N. Connor, of Stockton, was hired for similar work in Hunterdon County. At that time an effort was made to control foulbrood in a limited area by complete inspection and treatment every other year and a reinspection of diseased apiaries as often as necessary. The results showed that disease could be diminished but not eliminated because of the numerous opportunities for new infections.
In 1918-1919 it was decided to plan the field work so that the entire State would be inspected at the end of a five-year period. A queen-rearing apiary was established at New Lisbon for the purpose of rearing high-grade queen bees at the request of the New Jersey Beekeeper's Association. The following year twelve schools for beekeepers were set up with an attendance of 1,367.
By 1922-1923 it was said that much of the bee stock in the state was inferior with respect to productivity and resistance to foulbrood and this led to studies at the Experiment Station. Carr in 1924-1925 started using a microscope to diagnose the diseases, because the gross symptoms were insufficient for positive diagnosis. This has been continued to the present time and over the years thousands of mailed-in specimens have been examined. In addition to the regular yearly apiary inspections, queen-rearing apiaries have been inspected and certified.
From 1912 to 1924, about 3,000 colonies of bees were inspected each year. During the first six years of this period, European foulbrood was the most important disease, but by 1920 its importance had declined considerably. In the meantime, however, American foulbrood was increasing in importance, reaching a peak in 1932 when over 1,000 colonies were found infected in comparison with 24 colonies infected with European foulbrood.
From 1934 to the present time, it has been possible to inspect yearly between 500 and 600 apiaries having from 6,000 to 7,000 colonies of bees. The percentage of apiaries having American foulbrood has fallen from 30 per cent in 1934 to 18 per cent in 1948; and as for European foulbrood, the apiaries showing this infection have dropped from 9 per cent in 1934 to 3 per cent in 1948. Clean-up measures consist in destroying infected combs and sterilization of hive bodies and other equipment by lye bath or blow torch.