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why they appear so is, because tum. In a word, the more minutely women affect to be more afraid the construction of these cells are than they really are, and men pre- examined, the more will the admitend to be less.
ration of the observer be excited. The walls of the cells are so extremely thin, that their mouths
would be in danger of suffering by For the Literary Magazine. the frequent entering and issuing of
the bees. To prevent this disaster, NATURAL HISTORY OF THE BEE. they make a kind of ring round the
margin of each cell, and this ring is THE skill and dexterity of the three or four times thicker than the honey-bees, displayed in the con walls. struction of their combs or nests, It is difficult to perceive, even have at all times called forth the with the assistance of glass-hives, admiration of mankind. They are the manner in which bees operate composed of cells regularly applied when constructing their cells. to each other's sides. These cells They are so eager to afford mutual are uniform hexagons or six-sided assistance, and, for this purpose, so figures. In a bee-hive, every part many of them crowd together, and is arranged with such symmetry, are perpetually succeeding each and so finely finished, that, if limited other, that their individual operato the same materials, the most ex tions can seldom be distinctly obpert workman would find himself served. It has, however, been unqualified to construct a similar plainly discovered, that their two habitation, or rather a similar city. teeth are the only instruments they
In the formation of their combs, employ in modelling and polishing bees seem to resolve a problem the wax. With a little patience which would be not a little puzzling and attention, we perceive cells just to some geometers, namely, Ă begun; we likewise remark the quantity of wax being given, to quickness with which a bee moves make of it equal and similar cells its teeth against a small portion of of a determined capacity, but of the the cell. This portion the animal, largest size in proportion to the by repeated strokes on each side, qua: tity of matter employed, and smooths, renders compact, and redisposed in such a manner as to oc duces to a proper thinness of concupy in the hive the least possible sistence. While some of the hive space. Every part of this problem are lengthening their hexagonal is completely executed by the bees. tubes, others are laying the foundaBy applying hexagonal cells to each tions of new ones. In certain cirother's sides, no void spaces are cumstances, when extremely hurrileft between them; and, though the ed, they do not complete their new same end might be accomplished by cells, but leave them imperfect till other figures, yet they would neces they have begun a number sufficient sarily require a greater quantity of for their present exigencies. When wax. Besides, hexagonal cells are a bee puts its head a little way into better fitted to receive the cylindri a cell, we easily perceive it scraping cal bodies of these insects. A comb the walls with the points of its teeth, consists of two strata of cells applied in order to detach such useless to each other's ends. This arrange. and irregular fragments as may ment both saves room in the hive, have been left in the work. Of and give a double entry into the such fragments the bee forms a cells of which the comb is composed. ball about the size of a pin-head, As a farther saving of wax, and comes out of the cell, and carries preventing void spaces, the bases of this way to another part of the the cells in one stratum of a comb work where it is needed. serve for bases to the opposite stra sooner leaves the cell than it is suc.
ceeded by another bee which per one another. Beside these parallel forms the same office, and in this streets, to shorten their journey manner the work is successively when working, they have several carried on till the cell is completely round cross passages, which are al. polished.
ways covered. The cells of bees are designed for Hitherto we have chiefly taken different purposes. Some of them notice of the manner in which bees are employed for the accumulation construct and polish their cells, and preservation of honey. In without treating of the materials others the female deposits her eggs, they employ. We have not mark. and from these eggs worms are hatch. ed the difference between the crude ed, which remain in the cells till inatter collected from flowers and their final transformation into flies. the true wax. Every body knows The drones or males are larger that bees carry into their hives, by than the common or working bees ; means of their hind thighs, great and the queen, or mother of the quantities of the farina or dust of hive, is much larger than either. fowers. After many experiments A cell destined for the lodgment of made by Reaumur, with a view to a male or female worm must, there. discover whether this dust containfore, be considerably larger than ed real wax, he was obliged to acthe cells of the smaller working bees. knowledge, that he could never The number of cells destined for the find that wax formed any part of reception of the working bees far ex. its composition. He at length disceeds those in which the males are covered, that wax was not a sublodged. The honey-cells are always stance produced by the mixture of made deeper and more capacious farina with any glutinous substance, than the others. When the honey nor by trituration, nor any mechanicollected is so abundant that the cal operation. By long and attentive vessels cannot contain it, the bees observation, he found that the bees lengthen, and of course deepen the actually eat the farina which they honey-cells.
so industriously collect; and that Their mode of working, and the this farina, by an animal process, disposition and division of their la- is converted into wax. This digestive bour, when put into an empty hive, do process, which is necessary to the formuch honour to the sagacity of bees. ination of wax, is carried on in the They immediately begin to lay the second stomach, and perhaps in the foundations of their combs, which intestines of bees. After knowing the they execute with surprising quick place where this operation is perness and alacrity. Soon afier they formed, chymists will probably al. begin to construct one comb, they low, that it is equally difficult to divide into two or three companies, make real wax with the farina of each of which, in different parts of flowers, as to make chyle with ani. the hive, is occupied with the same mal or vegetable substances, a work operations. By this division of la- which is daily executed by our own bour, a greater number of bees have stomach and intestines, and by those an opportunity of being employed of other animals. Reaumur like. at the same time, and, consequent. wise discovered, that all the cells in ly, the common work is sooner a hive were not destined for the refinished. The combs are generally ception of honey, and for depositing arranged in a direction parallel to the eggs of the fernale, but that some each other. An interval or street of them were employed as receptabetween the combs is always left, cles for the farina of flowers, a spethat the bees may have a free pas- cies of food that bees find necessary sage, and an easy communication for the formation of wax, which is with the different combs in the the great basis and raw material hive. These streets are just wide of all their curious operations, enough to allow two bees to pass When a bee comes to the hive with
VOL. VIII. NO. ILVIII.
its thighs filled with farina, it is often its cell, till they have acquired a met near the entrance by some of sufficient height. As soon as the its companions, who first take off moist paste or wax dries, which it the load, and then devour the pro- does almost instantaneously, it then visions so kindly brought to them. assumes all the appearances and But, when none of the bees employ- qualities of common wax. There ed in the hive are hungry for this is a still stronger proof that wax is species of food, the carriers of the the result of an animal process, farina deposit their loads in cells When bees are removed into a new prepared for that purpose. To hive, and closely confined from these cells the bees resort, when the morning to the evening, if the the weather is so bad that they can. hive chances to please them, in the not venture to go to the fields in course of this day several waxen quest of fresh provisions. The car cells will be formed, without the rying bees, however, commonly eno possibility of a single bee's having ter the hive loaded with farina. had access to the fields. Besides, They walk along the combs, beating th ude materials, or the farina of and making a noise with their wings. plants, carried into the hive, are of By these movements they seem to various colours. The farina of announce their arrival to their com.
some plants employed by the bees panions. No sooner has a loaded is whitish ; in others it is of a fine bee made these movements, than yellow colour; in others it is althree or four of those within leave most entirely red; and in others it their work, come up to it, and first is green. The combs constructed take off its load, and then eat the with these differently coloured mamaterials it has brought.
terials are, however, uniformly of farther evidence that the bees ac. the same colour. Every comb, estually eat the farina of flowers, when pecially when it is newly made, is the stomach and intestines are laid of a pure white colour, which is open, they are often found to be fill
more or less tarnished by age, the ed with this dust, the grains of operation of the air, or by other acwhich, when examined by the mi. cidental circumstances. To bleach croscope, have the exact figure, co wax, therefore, requires only the lour, and consistence of farina, tak art of extracting such foreign boen from the antherae of particular dies as may have insinuated themflowers. After the farina is di- selves into its substance, and changed gested, and converted into wax, the its original colour. bees possess the power of bringing Bees, from the nature of their it from their stomachs to their constitution, require a warm habimouths. The instrument they em tation, They are likewise ploy in furnishing materials for tremely solicitous to prevent insects constructing their waxen cells is of any kind from getting admittance their tongue. This tongue is situat into their hives. To accomplish ed below the two teeth or fangs. both these purposes, when they take When at work, the tongue may be possession of a new hive, they careseen by the assistance of a luns and fully examine every part of it, and, a glass-bive. It is then in perpetual if they discover any small holes or motion, and its motions are ex- chinks, they immediately paste tremely rapid. Its figure continu. them firmly up with a resinous subally varies. Sometimes it is more stance which differs considerably sharp, at others it is flatter, and from wax. This substance was not sometimes it is more or less con un
the ancients. Pliny cave, and partly covered with a mentions it under the name of promoist paste or wax. By the differ- polis, or bee-glue. Bees use the ent movements of its tongue the bee propolis for rendering their hives continues to supply fresh wax to the more close and perfect, in preference two teeth, which are employed in to wax, because the former is more raising and fashioning the walls of durable, and more powerfully re
sists the vicisitudes of weather than ly substances these industrious ani. the latter. This glue is not, like mals have to collect. As formerly wax, procured by an animal pro- remarked, beside the whole winter,
The bees collect it from dif there are many days in summer in ferent trees, as the poplars, the which the bees are prevented by birches, and the willows. It is a the weather from going abroad in complete production of Nature, and quest of provisions. They are, requires no addition or manufac. therefore, under the necessity of ture from the animals by which it collecting, and amassing in cells is employed. After a bee has pro- destined for that purpose, large cured a quantity sufficient to fill the quantities of honey. This sweet cavities in its two hind thighs, and balsamic liquor they extract, by it repairs to the hive. Two of its means of their proboscis or trunk, companions instantly draw out the from the nectariferous glands of propolis, and apply it to fill up such flowers. The trunk of a bee is a chinks, holes, or other deficiencies, kind of rough cartilaginous tongue. as they find in their habitation. But After collecting a few small drops this is not the only use to which of honey, the animal with its probees apply the propolis. They are boscis conveys them to its mouth extremely solicitous to remove such and swallows them. From the soinsects or foreign bodies as happen phagus orgullet, it passes into the first to get admission into the hive. stomach, which is more or less swellWhen so light as not to exceed ed in proportion to the quantity of their powers, they first kill the in- honey it contains. When empty, it sect with their stings, and then drag has'the appearance of a fine white it out with their teeth. But it thread : but, when filled with honey, sometimes happens that an ill-fated it assumes the figure of an oblong snail creeps into the hive. It is no bladder, the membrane of which sooner perceived than it is attacked is so thin and transparent, that it on all sides, and stung to death. allows the colour of the liquor it But how are the bees to carry out a contains to be distinctly seen. This burden of such weight? This labour bladder is well known to children they know would be in vain. They who live in the country. They cru. are perhaps apprehensive that a elly amuse themselves with catch. body so large would diffuse, in the ing bees, and tearing them asunder, course of its putrefaction, a disa- in order to suck the honey. A singreeable or noxious odour through gle flower furnishes but a small the hive. To prevent such hurtful quantity of honey. The bees are, consequences, immediately after therefore, obliged to fly from one the animal's death, they embalm it flower to another till they fill their by covering every part of its body first stomachs. When they have with propolis, through which no ef. accomplished this purpose, they reAuvia can escape.
When a snail turn directly to the hive, and diswith a shell gets entrance, to dis. gorge in a cell the whole honey they pose of it gives much less trouble have collected. It not unfrequently and expence to the bees. As soon happens, however, that, when on its as this kind of spail receives the way to the hive, it is accosted by a first wound from a sting, it naturally hungry companion. How the one retires within its sheil. In this can communicate its necessity to case, the bees, instead of pasting the other, it is perhaps impossible it all over with propolis, content to discover. But the fact is certain themselves with glueing all round that, when two bees meet in this the margin of the shell, which is situation, they mutually stop, and sufficient to render the animal for the one whose stomach is full of hoever immoveably fixed.
ney extends its trunk, opens its But propolis, and the materials mouth, which lies a little beyond for making wax, are not the on the teeth, and, like ruminating ani.
mals, forces up the honey into that which turned out to be fertile; but cavity. The hungry bee knows that those eggs round which no subhow to take advantage of this hos- stance was to be found were always pitable invitation. With the point barren. The working bees, or of its trunk it sucks the honey from those which collect from flowers the the other's mouth. Wh not stop- materials of wax, have generally ped on the road, the bee proceeds been considered as belonging to nei. to the hive, and in the same manner ther sex.
But Mr. Schirach, a offers its honey to those who are at German naturalist, in his History work, as if it meant to prevent the of the Queen of the Bees, maina necessity of quitting their labour in tains, that all the common bees are order to go in quest of food. In bad females, in a disguised or barren weather, the bees feed upon the ho- state ; that the organs which distin. ney laid up in open cells; but they guish the sex, and particularly the never touch these reservoirs when ovaria, are either cbliterated, or, on their companions are enabled to account of their minuteness, have supply them with fresh honey from not hitherto been discovered ; that, the fields. But the mouths of those in the early period of its existence, cells which are destined for pre- every one of these bees is capable of serving honey during winter, they becoming a queen bee, if the comalways cover with a lid or thin munity choose to nurse it in a cerplate of wax.
tain manner, and to raise it to that We shall now give some account distinguished rank; and that the of the ingenious Mr. Debraw's queen bee lays only two kinds of discoveries concerning the sex of eggs, namely, those that are to probees, and the manner in which their duce drones or males, and those species is multiplied*. It was al. from which the working bees are to most universally believed, both by proceed. ancients and moderns, that bees, The conjecture of Maraldi conlike other animals, propagated by cerning the impregnation of the an actual intercourse of the male eggs after they are deposited in the and female, though it never could cells, as well as the observations of be perceived by the most attentive Mr. Schirach concerning the sex of observers. Pliny remarks, that the working bees, have been comapium coitus visus est nunquam; pletely verified by the experiments and even the indefatigable Reau- of Mr. Debraw. Both Maraldi and mur, notwithstanding the many mi. Reaumur had long ago discovered, nute researches and experiments he that, in every hive, beside the large made concerning every part of the drones, there are males or drones economy of bees, and thouglı he re as small as the working bees. By presents the mother, or queen-bee, means of glass-hives, Mr Debraw as a perfect Messalina, could never observed, that the queen bee begins detect an actual intercourse. From to deposit her eggs in the cells on this singular circumstance, Miraldi, the fourth or fifth day after the bees in his observations upon beest, con- begin to work. On the first or sejectured that the eggs of bees, like cond day after the eggs are placed those of fishes, were impregnated in the cells, he perceived several after they were deposited in the cells bees sinking the posterior parts of by the mother. He was farther their bodies into each cell, where confirmed in this opinion, by uni- they continued but a short time. formly observing that a wliitish li. After they had retired, he saw quid substance surrounded each egs plainly with the naked eye a small
quantity of whitish liquor left in the * See Pliilosophical Transactions, bottom of each cell that contained ann. 1777, part I, page 15.
Next day he found that of Illist. de l'Acad. de Scien. ann. this liquor was absorbed into the 1712
egg; which, on the fourth day, is