The bee, from its singular instincts, its active industry, and the useful products resulting from its labours, has, from the remotest times, attracted general attention and interest. No nation upon earth has had so many historians as this remarkable class of insects. The patience and sagacity of the naturalist have had an ample field for exercise in the study of the structure, physiology, and domestic economy of bees ; their preservation and increase have been objects of assiduous care to the agriculturist; and their reputed perfection of policy and government have long been the theme of admiration, and have supplied copious materials for argument and allusion to the poet and the moralist in every age. It is a subject that has been celebrated by the muse of Virgil, and illustrated by the philosophic genius of Aristotle. Cicero and Pliny record that Aristomachus devoted sixty years to the study of these insects; and Philiscus is said to have retired into a remote wood, that he might pursue his observations on them without interruption. A very great number of authors have written express treatises on bees, periodical works have been published relating exclusively to their manage-ment and economy; and learned societies have been established for the sole purpose of conducting researches on this subject.
In so complicated a branch of natural history, correct observation and induction require laborious and long-continued efforts. But, on the subject of bees, the inquirer after truth had, besides, many obstacles to encounter from the very general diffusion of errors, which had been transmitted without due examination from one author to another. The history of the opinions of successive writers sufficiently proves how gradual and slow has been the growth of an accurate knowledge of these insects,what is now known being the result of the persevering labours of ages. The accumulation of curious and interesting facts, indeed, which has accrued from the researches of Swam-merdam, Maraldi, Reaumur, Schirach, Huber, Dzierzon, and Von Siebold, constitutes almost a new science. It will therefore be proper, in this place, to give a connected and systematic account of the natural history of the bee; and the principal features of internal conformation will be described along with the particular functions. Our descriptions will apply, more especially, to the common and bestknown species, the Apis mellifica, which is the one particularly prized on account of the rich products it affords.
We shall begin with a brief account of the different sorts of bees inhabiting the hive, and of the respective offices of each; we shall then proceed to consider their comparative physiology, including the leading particulars relating to the functions of their various organs, sensitive powers, in stincts, secretions, and diseases. We shall also explain the theory of parthenogenesis and the impregnation of queens, and shall follow the bees in their different labours, from the period when the swarm has settled in a new habitation,detailing the complex structure of their combs, their curious processes of architecture, and the pains they bestow on rearing their progeny, and in sending forth new swarms; and, in the last place, we shall notice the best systems of modern bee-keeping, and give some account of hives and apiarian implements.
Functions of the drones, queens, and workers. The leading feature in the natural history of bees, and one which distinguishes them from almost all other insects, is their singular distribution into three different kinds, con-stituting to all appearance so many different modifications of sex. The drone (fig. 1), which is characterized by a thicker body, a round head, a more flattened shape, and more obtusely terminated abdomen, within which are contained the male organs of generation, is undoubtedly the male of the species. It is distinguished also by the absence of a sting, and by the humming noise that accompanies its flight. The queen-bee (fig. 2), which is unequivocally recognized as the female, is larger than any of the others, has the abdomen of greater length, and is provided with a sting and two ovaria of considerable size. The worker bees (fig. 3) compose the third class, and are dis-tinguished by the smallness of their size, their lengthened proboscis, the peculiar structure of their legs and thighs, which are adapted to the collection of certain materials obtained from vegetables, and by the apparent absence of every trace of generative organs,we say apparent, because, as will be shown, rudiments of ovaria do exist, which, however, are not perceptible without a very minute and careful dissection. Till recently the worker bees were regarded as devoid of sex, and were accordingly termed neuters. It is their function to perform all the laborious offices for the community, to construct the interior of their habitation, to explore the country in search of nourishment and other materials, to collect and bring them to the hive, and apply them to different purposes, to attend upon the queen, and supply all her wants, to defend the hive from the attacks of depredators, and to carry on hostilities against the various enemies of the tribe. The life of the queen is-chiefly engrossed with the duties of laying eggs. The drones producing neither wax nor honey, and depending on the rest for their subsistence, are idle spectators of the others' labours. They appear to be formed only for the momentary but important duty of impregnation, since they perish when this purpose is accomplished. There is commonly only one perfect queen existing at a time within each hive, and she usually appears to be treated by all the other bees with every mark of affection and of deference. The number of workers is very different in different hives; sometimes there are only a few thousands; at other timea from twenty to forty, or even fifty thousand. The drones, even in the spring, seldom compose more than one-thirtieth or one-fortieth of the whole; and, at other seasons, there are none to be found in the hive when a fertile queen is-present. In order to form some estimate of the number of bees which can occupy a certain space, Hunter counted what number of drowned bees could be contained in an alehouse pint, and found it to be 2160 ; so that if a swarm were to fill two quarts, their numbers would be nearly 9000. Reaumur, with the same view of ascertaining their numbers, employed the more accurate method of weighing them; he found that a collection, weighing one ounce, consisted of 336 bees, and, therefore, that 16 ounces, or one pound, would consist of 5376 bees.
Real sex of the workers. Notwithstanding the difference in conformation, instincts, and offices between the queen-bee and the workers, it is now established on the most incontrovertible evidence that they both originally proceed from the same kind of egg or larva, which is capable of being converted, according to circumstances, either into a worker or a queen. It has been proved that the former, although exhibiting no appear-ance of sexual organs on a superficial examination, are in reality females, and have the rudiments of these organs, which, however, not being developed, are incapable of exercising their proper functions, although it sometimes happens that they become sufficiently so to enable a worker to lay unfecundated eggs. It may be remarked that the idea of the worker bees being radically females had been suggested long ago by Dr Warder in his Monarchy of Bees, in which he terms them " True Amazons;" but no atten-tion had been paid to his opinion. The real merit of this great discovery, which affords a key to a multitude of hitherto inexplicable facts, unquestionably belongs to Schirach. When first announced to the world it was received with suspicion by the greater number of natura-lists, and with complete incredulity by others. It was, indeed, at variance with the whole tenor of the observations of Swammerdam, Maraldi, and Reaumur. Wilhelmi, the brother-in-law of Schirach, though an eye-witness of the experiments from which this theory had been deduced, for a long time refused to admit the doctrine, but at length became one of its most strenuous supporters. It is noticed in a vein of sarcastic ridicule by John Hunter in his otherwise excellent paper on bees in the Philosophical Transactions. Needham wrote a Memoir for the Imperial Academy of Brussels in 1777 for the express purpose of refuting it, and he then inveighs in strong language against those naturalists who had deigned to give it the least countenance. Bonnet, after exercising a laudable scep-ticism, and making a diligent inquiry, in which he displays a genuine spirit of philosophy, yielded a reluctant assent. But the truth of the doctrine has since been placed beyond the reach of controversy by a multiplied series of obser-vations and experiments in different parts of Europe and America.
Nutrition. In considering the physiology of the bee, the first function that claims our notice is that of nutrition. The food of bees is principally of two kinds, namely, the fluid secretions of vegetables contained in the nectaries of the flowers, and the dust of the anthers, which has been termed by botanists the pollen, but which, when collected by the bees, has received a variety of appellations, such as farina, bee-bread, &c. Occasionally, however, we find bees feeding upon other saccharine substances besides honey, such as honey-dew, syrup, &c.
Organs for collecting food. The organs by which they collect food are extremely complex, comprising instruments adapted to the reception of liquid aliment as well as those fitted for the division of solid materials. Reaumur has given a most elaborate description of these organs, and corrects some errors into which Swammerdam had fallen.
Proboscis. For the purpose of taking up fluids, bees are provided, in common with all hymen-opterous insects, with a long and flexible proboscis or trunk, which may be considered as a lengthened tongue, though, strictly speaking, it is formed by a prolongation of the under lip. It is not tubular, as Swammerdam had supposed, but solid throughout; and the minute depression at its extremity is not the aperture of any canal through which liquids can be absorbed. The trunk of the bee per-forms strictly the office of a tongue, and not that of a tube for suction ; for when it takes up honey or any other fluid aliment, the under or the upper surfaces are more imme-diately applied to it, and rolled from side to side, and the bee thus licks up what adheres to it, while the extremity of the trunk is frequently not applied at all to the substance taken up. The trunk is supported on a pedicle, which admits of being bent back or propelled forwards, and thus can retract or stretch out the trunk to a considerable extent. Protection is given to it by a double sheath: the exter-nal part consisting of two scales furnished by the expansion of one of the portions of the labial palpi, and the internal formed by the prolongation of the two external portions of the jaw. The whole member thus consists of five principal parts, on which account Fabricius termed it lingua quinqueflda.
Mandibles. For the purpose of mechanically dividing solid materials, the mouth is furnished with two strong mandibles and four palpi; they are but little employed in eating, but are of great use in enabling the insect to seize and break down hard substances for other purposes. In the worker bee all these parts are of larger dimensions than in the other kinds. The teeth are two in number, and have the form of concave scales with sharp edges; they are fixed to the ends of the jaws, and play horizontally as in other insects. Reaumur describes and delineates a large aperture above the root of the proboscis, which is so surrounded with fleshy parts as not to be readily seen unless the proboscis be extended and bent downwards. This he considers as the mouth or orifice of the gullet; on the upper side of which, and of course opposite to the root of the proboscis, a small fleshy and pointed organ is seen, which he regards as the tongue, assisting in the deglutition of the food. Through this orifice, it is presumed, all the aliment, whether liquid or solid, passes; the former being conveyed to it by the trunk, which, by its contractile power, presses forward the fluids it has collected between itself and the inner sheath, and the latter being received directly after its comminution by the teeth, behind which it is situated. Latreille, however, whose authority is great on a point of this nature, thinks that Reaumur has deceived himself with regard to such an aperture, and disbelieves its existence. He con-ceives that the food simply passes on by the sides of the tongue, finding its way from thence into the oesophagus and so on to the stomach.
Stomachs. The bee has two stomachs. The first is a large transparent membranous bag, pointed in front and swelling out into two pouches behind. It performs an office in some respects analogous to that of th« crop in birds ; for it receives and retains for a time the fltn'd of the nectaries, which does not appear to differ in any respect from honey. Hunter observes that whatever time the contents of this reservoir may be retained he never found them altered so as to give the idea of digestion having taken place. The coats of this reservoir are muscular, by which means it is capable of throwing up the honey into the mouth, so that it is regurgitated into the honey cells or imparted to other bees. None of it ever passes out from the extremity of the trunk as Swammerdam had believed. For the purpose of digestion a second stomach is provided, which takes its origin from the middle of the two posterior lobes of the former, and is of a lengthened cylindrical shape. Its communica-tion with the intestine is not direct, but takes place by a projecting or inverted pylorus, thickest at its most prominent part, with a very small opening in the centre, of a peculiar construction. This inward projecting part is easily seen through the coats of the reservoir, especially if full of honey. A similar kind of structure takes place at the communica-tion of the first with the second stomach, and having the properties of a valve, must effectually prevent all regurgita-tion from the latter into the former.
Collection of pollen. The pollen, or fertilising dust of flowers, is collected by the bees for the purpose of feeding the young. It is stored in the cells until required, and then partly digested by the nurses with honey, and a kind of chyle formed of it. When natural pollen cannot be obtained the bees will eagerly take farina, either of rye, chestnuts, or pease, as a substitute, which appears to answer the same purpose. The bees, by means of the pencil of hair which grows on the tarsi, first collect a certain quantity of pollen, and then knead it together into a ball, and place it in the space situated at the middle joint or tibia of the hinder leg, which has been termed the basket. This portion of the leg is smooth and concave, somewhat like the bowl of a spoon, with stout hairs of moderate length rising from its left edge and nearly straight. Other hairs on the right side are much longer and are curved, rising up with a high arch and crossing more than half the width of the hollow, making a large basket-like enclosure for a load of pollen. In order to gather large quantities at once, the bees are sometimes observed to roll their bodies on the flower, and then brushing off the pollen which adheres to them with the feet, form it into two masses, which they dispose of as before mentioned ; and it is said that in moist weather, when the particles of pollen cannot be readily made to adhere, they return to their hive dusted all over with pollen, which they then brush off with their feet. The part in Nature's economy thus unconsciously performed by the bee in common with other insects is most important. By this means the pollen is carried from flower to flower, or from the stamens to the pistils, and plants are made fertile which without such aid would often remain barren.
Wax. It was long the received opinion that wax was but a modification of pollen, which required for this conversion only a slight pressure and a kind of kneading by the feet of the bees. But it has been completely proved, by the researches of Duchet, Hunter, and Huber, that wax is a secretion from the abdomen of the bee, and that it, depends not at all on the pollen which the insect may con-sume (indeed, it is doubtful if it consumes any), but on the quantity of honey or other saccharine substance which it receives into its stomach. The first light thrown on this subject was in a letter of Wilhelmi to Bonnet in 1768, in which he says that wax, instead of being ejected by the mouth, exudes from the rings which enclose the posterior part of the body. Of this we may satisfy ourselves by drawing out the bee from the cell in which it is working with 'wax, by means of the point of a fine needle; and we may perceive, in proportion as the body is elongated, that the wax will make its appearance under the rings in the form of small scales. Duchet, in his Culture des Abeilles, gives a full statement of the principal circumstances attend-ing the production of wax, which he very justly ascribes to the conversion of honey into this substance in the body of the bee. These facts appear to have been entirely over-looked till the subject was again brought forward by Hunter, in his paper in the Philosophical Transactions for 1792. Huber was engaged in prosecuting his inquiries on this subject at the same period with Hunter, and discovered, in 1793, the existence of regular receptacles or pouches, from the coats of which the wax is secreted, and within which it accumulates till its edges raise the scales, and become apparent externally. These plates of wax are withdrawn by the bee itself, or some of its fellow-labourers, and are applied in a manner hereafter to be described.
Huber has shown, by a series of well-conducted experiments, that, in a natural state, the quantity of wax secreted is in proportion to the consumption of honey, but that an equal or even greater quantity will be formed if the bee be fed on a solution of sugar in water. Warmth and rest promote this process of secretion; for the bees, after feeding plentifully on saccharine food, hang together in a cluster without moving, for several hours, at the end of which time large plates of wax are found under the abdominal rings. This happened when bees were confined and restricted from any other sort of nourishment, whilst those that were fed on pollen and fruits alone did not produce any wax. In the second volume of Huber's Nouvelles Observations sur les Abeilles, he describes minutely the anatomy of the pouches or receptacles for the wax, which are parts peculiar to the working bees, being totally absent in the males and queens. The cavities are lined with a membrane, which presents a number of folds, forming an hexagonal net-work, not unlike the appearance in the second stomach of ruminant quadrupeds, and evidently destined to perform the office of secretion.
Poison. Among the secretions peculiar to the bee, the poison which is poured into the wounds made by the sting deserves to be noticed. It is said to owe its mischievous efficacy to certain pungent salts. If a bee is provoked to strike its sting against a plate of glass, a drop of poison will be discharged ; and if this is placed under a microscope, the salts may be seen to concrete, as the liquor dries, into clear, oblong, pointed crystals.
Sting. The sting consists of a finely- sting, pointed tubular instrument, open along the whole length of its upper surface, this opening being closed by two slender horny barbs each having about ten serrations on its outer edge. These barbs are not projected in advance of the sting as usually described, neither are they within the sting, but complete its outer tubular surface, down the centre of which the poison is injected from a little bag at the root of the sting. The serrations prevent the worker bee from withdrawing its sting from an enemy; and, con-sequently, it is torn from the body, with a portion of the intestines, causing the death of the bee.
Functions of respiration. Respiration is effected by means totally different from those which are usual in the higher classes of the Animal Kingdom. As the blood, or fluid corresponding to the blood, cannot be presented to the air in any separate organ, the air must be conducted to the blood wherever such a fluid is met with. For this purpose tracheae, or air-tubes, having several external openings or spiracles, are made to ramify like arteries, and are distributed in an infinite number of branches to every part of the body. The con-dition of a hive of bees in which many thousand individuals, full of animation and activity, are crowded together in a confined space, having no communication with the external air but by means of a very small aperture in the lowest part, which aperture is frequently obstructed by a throng of bees passing in and out during sultry weather, would without some precautions be of all possible conditions the one least favourable to life.
Ventilation of the hive. Bees cannot exist in an impure atmosphere any more than creatures of a larger growth. And on examining the air of a populous hive it is found scarcely to differ in purity from the surrounding atmosphere. The means by which this is effected observation has shown is by the rapid vibration of the bees' wings, a certain number being told off to imitate the action of flying, for which purpose they fasten themselves with their feet to the floor of the hive, so that the whole effect of that impulse which, were they at liberty, would carry them forwards with considerable velocity is exerted on the air, wnich is therefore driven backwards in a powerful current. Some bees occasionally perform these ventilating motions on the outside of the hive, near the entrance, but a still greater number are employed in this office within doors. Sometimes twenty are thus occupied at once, and each bee continues its motions for a certain time, occasionally for nearly half an hour, and is then relieved by another, which takes its place. So rapid a motion of the wings is thus produced that they cannot be seen except at the two extremities of the arc of vibration, which is at least one of 90°. This is the occasion of that humming sound which is constantly heard from the interior of the hive when the bees are in a state of activity. The immediate cause of these actions is probably some impression made on their organs by the presence of vitiated air, for a bee may be made to ventilate itself by placing near it substances which have to it an unpleasant odour.
Temperatare of the hive. The connection between an active respiration and a high temperature is remarkably exemplified in bees, among in consequence of their collecting together in large numbers, the heat is not readily dissipated, and admits also of being easily ascertained by the thermometer. Hunter found it to vary from 73° to 84° Fahr.; and Huber observed it on some occasions to rise suddenly from about 92° to above 104°
Sensitive powers. The physiology of the external senses in a class of animals of a nature so remote from our own species must necessarily be very imperfectly understood by us. The infinite diversity of character presented by the different tribes of insects, as well as of other animals, naturally suggests the idea that external objects produce on their sentient-organs impressions widely different from those which they communicate to ourselves. The notions we form of their senses must not only be liable to great inaccuracy, but may often be totally inadequate representations of the truth. A finer organisation and more subtile perceptions would alone suffice to extend the sphere of their ordinary senses to an inconceivable degree, as the telescope and the microscope have with us extended the powers of vision. But they possess in all probability other organs appropriated to unknown kinds of impressions, which must open to them avenues to knowledge of various kinds to which we must ever remain total strangers. Art has supplied us with many elaborate modes of bringing within our cognizance some of the properties of matter which nature has not immediately furnished us with the means of detecting. But who will compare our thermometers, spectroscopes, or hygrometers, however elaborately constructed, with those refined instruments with which the lower orders of animals, and particularly insects, are so liberally provided.
Functions of the antennae. The antennae, which are so universally met with in this class of animals, are doubtless organs of the greatest importance in conveying impressions from without. Their continual motion, the constant use which is made of them in examining objects, the total derangement in the instincts of those insects which have been deprived of them, point them out as exquisite organs of sense. To impressions of touch arising from the immediate contact of bodies they are highly sensitive, but their motions evidently show that they are affected by objects at some distance. They are, no doubt, alive to all the tremulous movement of the surrounding air, and probably communicate perceptions of some of its other qualities. Composed of a great number of articulations, they are exceedingly flexible, and can readily embrace the outline of an body that the bee wishes to examine, however small its diameter. Newport, in a paper published in the Transactions of the Entomological Society, says he is convinced from experiments that the antennae are auditory organs ; and that however varied may be their structure, they are appropriated to the perception and transmission of sound. The majority of modern physiologists and entomologists coincide in this view, and the weight of authority in favour of it is certainly very great, comprising as it does Sulzer, Scarpa, Schneider, Borkhausen, Bonsdorf, Cams, Straus- Durckheim, Oken,Burmeister,Kirby and Spence, Lespes, and Hicks. Nevertheless, other eminent entomologists, as, for instance, Lyonet, Kuster, Robineau-Desvoidy, Vogt, and Erichson, regard these organs as the seat of smell The question may be considered as yet undetermined, and it is possible that they are the organs of some sense of which we know nothing, and which we con-sequently cannot describe. It is by these instruments that the bee is enabled to execute so many works in the interior of the hive, from which the light must be totally excluded. Aided by them it builds its combs, pours honey into its magazines, feeds the larvae, and ministers to every want which it appears to discover and judge of solely by the sense of touch. The antennae appear also to be the principal means employed for mutual communication of impressions. The different modes of contact constitute a kind of language which seems to be susceptible of a great variety of modifications, capable of supplying every sort of information for which they have occasion.
Vision. The sense residing in the antennae appears to be on many occasions supplementary to that of vision, which in bees, as in other insects, is less perfect than in the larger animals. During the night, therefore, they are chiefly guided in their movements by the former of these senses. In full daylight, however, they appear to enjoy the sense of vision in great perfection. A bee alights unerringly on the flowers in search of nectar or pollen, and as truly at its own hive's entrance on its arrival there. When returning from the fields to its hive it seems to ascertain the proper direc-tion by rising with a circular flight into the air; it then darts forward with unfailing precision, passing through the air in a straight line with extreme rapidity, and never failing to alight at the entrance of its own hive, though whether its course be determined by vision alone we are unable to say.
Perceptions of temperature. Their perceptions of heat and cold are extremely delicate. The influence of the sun's rays excites them to vigorous action. Great cold will reduce them to a state of torpor, and inferior degrees of cold are unpleasant to them ; a temperature of 40° Fahr. will so benumb a bee as to de-prive it of the power of flight, and it will soon perish unless restored to a warmer atmosphere. When, however, bees are in the usual winter's cluster in the hive, they will bear a very great degree of cold without injury. In America hives often stand where the external temperature is as low as 20° below zero, and from the condensed vapour within the hive, the bees may be found in a solid lump of ice, and yet, with returning spring, they awake to life and activity. The degree of cold which bees can endure has not been ascertained, though it is no doubt considerable. They survive the winter in many cold parts of Russia, in hollow trees, without any attention being paid to them; and their hives are frequently made of the bark of trees, which does not afford a very complete protection from the effects of frost. Many bees which are thought to die of cold in winter die in reality of famine or damp. A rainy summer and cold autumn often prevent their laying in a sufficient store of provisions; and the hives should, therefore, be carefully examined in the after-part of the season, and the amount of food ascertained. Mr White judiciously observes, that bees which stand on the north side of a building whose height intercepts the sun's beams all the winter will waste less of their provisions than others which stand in the sun; for, coming forth seldom, they eat little, and yet are as forward in the spring to work and swarm as those which had twice as much honey left with them the preceding autumn. They show by their conduct that they are sensible of changes in the state of the weather for some time before we can perceive such alterations. Sometimes when working with great assiduity they will suddenly desist from their labours, none will stir out of the hive, while all the workers that are abroad hurry home in crowds, and press forward so as to obstruct the entrance of the hive. Often, when they are thus warned of the approach of bad weather, we can distinguish no alteration in the state of the atmosphere. Gathering clouds sometimes produce this effect on them; but perhaps they possess some species of hygrometrical sense unconnected with any impression of vision. Huber supposes that it is the rapid diminution of light that alarms them, for if the sky be uniformly overcast they proceed on their excursions, and even the first drops of a shower do not make them return with any great precipi-tancy.
Taste and smell. Their taste is, perhaps, the most imperfect of their senses. They use scarcely any discrimination in the collec-tion of honey from different flowers. They are not repelled by the scent or flavour of such as are extremely offensive to our organs, and scruple not to derive supplies from such as are highly poisonous. In some districts in America it is well known that honey acquires in this way very dele-terious properties. The qualities of honey are observed to vary much according to the particular situation from which it is obtained. In their selection of flowers they are guided by the quantity of honey they expect to meet with, and in no respect by its quality. That gathered from ivy blossoms in England is sometimes so bitter and nauseous as to be useless for our eating, although the bees consume it readily. But their smell must be sufficiently acute to enable them to discover honey at great distances, and in concealed situations direct experiment has indeed proved this to be the case. Huber found that they proceeded immediately towards boxes which contained honey con-cealed from view ; and such, in fact, is the situation of the fluid of the nectaries in flowers. Some odours, and especially all kinds of smoke, are highly obnoxious to them ; and this is also the case with ammonia and other volatile chemical agents, upon receiving the impression of which they immediately set about ventilating themselves in the usual manner. The odour of the poison of their sting produces similar effects, exciting them to immediate rage and hostility. It has been observed that bees recognize the presence of a stranger in their hive by the smell; and in joining two stocks into one, if the bees are united without precautions, a battle will probably ensue. To obviate this bee-keepers are in the practice of strongly scenting both families by means of peppermint, tobacco smoke, or other strong-smelling agent; this overpowering the bees' natural scent, they are unable to distinguish their own party from the intruders, and peace is insured. The sense of vision does not appear to aid them, for where Ligurians are added to common black bees the effect is the same, although in colour the two varieties are very different. In the introduction of an alien queen to a stock it is also usual to imprison the new sovereign within the hive which she is to rule until she has acquired the peculiar scent of her future subjects, who will then make no objections to her, while had she been at once set at liberty she would probably have met her death.
Although it is clear that insects possess the power of smell, yet the particular organ of this sense has never been accurately ascertained, and the opinions of naturalists have been much divided on the subject. These opinions have been supported more by arguments drawn from the analogy of what happens in other classes of animals than by direct experiment on insects themselves. We know that in all animals respiring by means of lungs, the organs of smell are placed at the entrance of the air-passages; and it has often been concluded that in like manner the stigmata, or the orifices of the air-tubes, are the seat of this sense in insects. Huber's opinion was that in the bee this sense resides in the mouth itself, or in its immediate vicinity. Here, indeed, would be its proper station if this faculty be intended, as we may reasonably suppose it to be, to apprise the individual of the qualities of the food prior to its being eaten. When the mouth of a bee was plugged up with paste, which was allowed to dry before the insect was set at liberty, it remained quit6 insensible to the same odours to which it had before manifested the strongest repugnance.
Hearing. It is generally supposed that bees possess the sense of hearing. The common practice of making a loud noise by drums and kettles in order to attract a swarm is founded on this supposition. But the evidence is by no means conclusive, for we find that they are not disturbed by a loud clap of thunder, or by the report of a gun, or by any other noise that may happen to arise round them. Sir John Lubbock, who has made a great many observations in this direction, says that he could never find them take notice of any sound he made even when it was close to them. He tried them with a violin, dog whistle, shrill pipe, and set of tuning forks, also by shouting, (fee, close to their heads, but in spite of his utmost efforts the bees took no notice, not even by a twitch of the antennae show-ing they heard. It is, however, certain that they are capable of emitting a variety of sounds which appear expressive of anger, fear, satisfaction, and other passions ; and it would seem that they are even capable of communi-cating certain emotions to one another in this manner. Huber observed that the young queens not yet liberated from their cocoons sent forth a peculiar piping sound, and this is answered by the old queen, who apparently must hear the note of her aspiring rival.
A certain cry or humming noise from the queen will strike with sudden consternation all the bees in the hive, and they remain for a considerable time motionless and stupified. Hunter has noticed a number of modulations of sound emitted by bees under different circumstances, and has instituted an inquiry concerning the means employed by them in producing these sounds; for an account of this see his paper in the Philosophical Transactions.
Instinct. If the function of sensation in insects be involved in doubt and obscurity, the knowledge of those more interior faculties, which are the springs of voluntary action, is hid in still deeper mystery. Buffon refuses to allow bees any portion of intelligence, and contends that the actions we behold, however admirably they are directed to certain ends, are in fact merely the results of their peculiar mechanism. Other philosophers, such as Reaumur and Brougham (Works, voL vi.), have gone into the opposite extreme, and have considered them as endued with extra-ordinary wisdom and foresight, as animated by a disin-terested patriotism, and as uniting a variety of moral and intellectual qualities of a higher order. The truth, no doubt, lies between these overstrained opinions ; but it is nevertheless extremely difficult to decide in what degree these respective principles operate in the production of the effects we witness. The term instinct should properly be regarded, not as denoting a particular and definite principle of action, whose operation we can anticipate in any new or untried combination of circumstances, but as expressive of our inability to refer the phenomena we contemplate to any previously known principle. Thus the actions which an animal performs in obedience to the calls of appetite are not properly said to be instinctive ; nor can the term be applied to actions which are the consequence of acquired knowledge, and of which the object is with certainty fore-seen by the agent. But when an animal acts apparently under a blind impulse, and produces effects useful to itself or to the species, which effects it could not have previously contemplated as resulting from those actions, it is then customary to say that it is under the guidance of instinct, that is, of some unknown principle of action. It will be proper, therefore, to keep this distinction in view in judging of the voluntary actions of the lower animals.
In no department of natural history is it more necessary to be aware of the proper import of the term instinct, than in studying the phenomena presented by the bee ; for no-where is it more difficult to discriminate between the regular operation of implanted motives and the result of acquired knowledge and habits. The most striking feature of their history, and the one which apparently lays the foundation for those extraordinary qualities which raise them above the level of other insects, is the disposition to social union. It may in general, indeed, be remarked, that animals which associate together so as to form large communities, display a higher degree of sagacity than those which lead a solitary life This is especially observable among insects. The spider and Formica leonis may exhibit particular talents, or practise particular stratagems in the pursuit and capture of their prey ; but their history is limited to a single generation, and embraces none of those interesting relations which exist between individuals composing the gregarious tribes, such as the ant, the wasp, and the bee. Among these we trace a community of wants and desires, and a mutual intelligence and sympathy, which lead to the constant interchange of good offices, and which, by introducing a systematic division of labour, amidst a unity of design, leads to the execution of public works on a scale of astonishing magnitude. The attachment of bees to their hive, which they defend with a courage and self-devotion truly admirable, their jealousy of intruders, their ready co-operation in all the labours required for the welfare of the community, their tender care of their young, the affection and homage which they bestow on their queen, imply qualities such as we could hardly persuade ourselves could animate a mere insect, on which we are in the habit of proudly looking down as placed in one of the lowest orders of created beings.
We shall content ourselves at present with these general observations, as the instances which serve to illustrate their moral and intellectual character belong properly to the history of the different processes they follow in the construction of their combs, the hatching and rearing of their progeny, and the mode of conducting their migrations. To these subjects, therefore, we shall now proceed; and in order to present the most connected and complete account of their economy, we shall begin the history from the period when a new swarm has just occupied a hive, and when all the arrangements for their habitation, and the construction of the cells in which their eggs and provisions are to be deposited, are yet to be effected.
Preparation of the hive. The first care of the worker bees, on their settlement in their new abode, is to clean it out thoroughly. While one set of bees is thus employed, another is distributed about the country in order to procure the proper materials for
blocking up the small holes and chinks of the hive, and for laying a firm foundation for the edifice which is to be constructed within it.
Propolis. The substance which is principally employed in this preliminary stage is propolis, a species of glutinous resin, of an agreeable aromatic odour, and reddish-brown colour, in process of time becoming darker, and acquiring a firmer consistence. According to the analysis of Vauquelin (Mém. Soc. Agricult. Departem. Seine), it is composed chiefly of resin, with a small proportion of wax, and of acid and aromatic principles. It is soluble in alcohol, ether, and oils, both fixed and volatile, and tinges the solvent of a beautiful red colour. Cadet has since ascertained in it the presence of benzoic and gallic acids. Reaumur had not been able to discover from what plants the bees collect this substance. Riem asserts that it is chiefly from pines and other trees of the fir kind. The observations of Huber have assisted in the solution of this question. On placing branches of the wild poplar tree before the hive, he found that the bees eagerly seized upon the varnish which exudes from the buds; and examining the chemical properties of this varnish, he identified it with the propolis with which the inside of the hive is lined.
The propolis adheres so strongly to the legs and feet of the bee which has collected it, that it cannot be detached without the assistance of its fellow-labourers. For this purpose the bee that is loaded presents its legs to the workers in the hive, which carry off with their jaws this adhesive suustance, and immediately apply it, while yet ductile, all round the interior of the hive, and particularly over all the projecting parts ; hence its name, of Greek derivation, signifying before the city. In like manner all the foreign bodies that are introduced into the common habitation and are too heavy for removal are covered over with this resinous substance. If a snail, for instance, should happen to introduce itself into the hive, after despatching it with their stings, they encrust it over with propolis.
Construction of the combs. The next object of their labours is the construction of the combs, the future receptacles for the eggs with which the queen is pregnant and which are now to be laid. The material employed is wax; and the bees, for the purpose of secreting this, are actively employed in collecting honey. When they have filled their crops with honey they hang together in a thick cluster from the top of the hive, and thus remain in a state of inactivity for a considerable period, during which time tha secretion of wax is proceed-ing. It may be seen collected in laminae under the abdo-minal scales, whence it is removed by the hind legs of the bee, transferred to the fore legs, and from thence taken up by the jaws. In this operation they are often assisted by their companions, who even sometimes directly seize upon the wax from under the abdomen of those who are before them. When a sufficient quantity of material has thua been collected together, the process of building is com-menced ; but in order to understand the subsequent opera-tions it is necessary to have a correct idea of the form of the cells which compose the combs. We shall, therefore, proceed to give some account of the structure when it has attained its perfect state.
Forms of the combs. The combs of a bee-hive are formed in parallel vertical strata, each of which is about an inch in thickness, the distance between the surfaces of adjoining strata being about half an inch, a space which allows for the passage of the bees over both surfaces. The combs generally extend the whole breadth of the hive, and nearly the whole length from the top to the bottom. They coisist of thin partitions which enclose hexagonal cells, opening on both surfaces of the comb and closed by a partition which is common to those on both sides, and occupies the middle distance between the two surfaces. This partition is not, however, a plane, but is composed of a collection of rhombs. Three and sometimes four of these rhombs incline to one another at a certain angle from the bottom of each cell, which thus has the Bhape of a flattened pyramid, of which the base is towards the mouth of the cell. The geometric form of each individual cell is therefore a hexagonal prism, termi-nated by a trihedral pyramid, the three sides of which are rhombs which meet at the apex by their obtuse angles, and, forming oblique angles with the sides of the prism, truncate a portion of these, and convert them from rect-angles, which they would be in a regular prism, into trapeziums. Of the two angles of these trapeziums adjoining the base of the pyramid one must be acute and the other obtuse, the acute angle of one trapezium being next to the acute angle of the'adjoining trapezium, and the obtuse angle being in like manner next to another obtust angle of the preceding trapezium; so that in going round the base we meet with pairs of acute and of obtuse angles alternately succeeding each other. The two adjoining acute angles of the trapezium are adjoining to two of the terminal rhombs which here present their acute angles, so that at these points a solid angle of four planes is formed, all the angles being acute. Each pair of obtuse angles of the trapezia, on the other hand, are adjacent to the obtuse angle of one of the rhombs only, thus composing a solid angle of three planes of which the angles are all obtuse ; and these two kinds of solid angles succeed one another alternately all round the base of the pyramid, there being three of each kind and six in all. The axis of each cell coincides not with the axis of the cell on the opposite surface, but with one of its angles; so that each of the three obtuse angles at the base of the terminal pyramid cor-responds to the central parts of three of the cells on the opposite side, and each of the sides of the pyramid which closes a cell on one side contributes in part to the enclos-ing of three of the cells on the opposite side. We may easily satisfy ourselves that such is the case by piercing the centres of each of the three planes which close the bottom of a cell with a pin, when on turning the comb the three pins will be found to have passed into three different cells on the opposite side.
Geometric properties of the cells. A structure of this kind is obviously the one of all others calculated to afford the greatest space for each cell with the same quant}ty of materials. It is easy to perceive, in the first place, that in a plane surface, when a number of small spaces are to be divided by partitions, the hexagonal form is the one which comprehends the largest space com-patible with the extent of the lines which enclose them; for the equilateral triangle, the square, and the regular hexagon, are the only regular forms that admit of being joined together imthe same plane without leaving interstices; and the proportion of the area to the periphery in every polygon increases as the figure consists of a greater number of sides, and is, therefore, greater in the hexagon than in either of the other two. The truth of this proposition was perceived by Pappus; and even its application to the subject of the honeycomb was made by that ancient geometrician. But the determination of the form and inclination that should be given to the partitions that close the bottom of the cells, and which may, of course, belong equally to those on both oides of the comb, is a problem much more complicated and diflicult of solution. It has exercised the skill of several modern mathematicians of great eminence. Reaumur proposed to König, pupil of the celebrated Bernouilli, and an expert analyst, the solution of the problem :To find the construction of a hexagonal prism terminated by a pyramid composed of three equal and similar rhombs (and the whole of given capacity), such that the solid may be made with the least possible quantity of materials;which in other words was asking him to determine the angles of the rhombs that should cut the hexagonal prism so as to form with it the figure of the least possible surface, since the hexagon being given, this decided both their dimensions and their intersections with the sides of the cell. Maraldi had previously measured the angles of the rhombus and found them to be 109° 28' and 70" 32' respectively ; but König was not aware of this until after he had solved the problem, and assigned 109° 26' and 70° 34' as the angles, when he had sent him the Memoirs of the Academy of Science for 1712, containing Maraldi's paper; and König was equally surprised and pleased to find how nearly the actual measurement agreed with the result of his investiga-tion. The measurement of Maraldi is correct, and the bees have, with rigorous accuracy, solved the problem, for the error turns out to be in König's solution. The construc-tion of cells, then, is demonstrated to be such that no other that could be conceived would take so little material and labour to afford the same room.
Boscovich, who has also given a solution of the same problem, supposes that the equality of inclination of the planes gives greater facility to the construction of the comb, and might, therefore, be a motive of preference, indepen-dently of the greater economy of wax. Maclaurin has offered a solution of this problem, and has demonstrated t>y simple geometry, that the most advantageous form is that which results from the supposed equality of the three plane angles forming the solid angles at the base. He estimates the saving of wax by partition so constructed, above what would be required for a flat partition, at one-fourth of the wax which would be wanted to complete the truncated sides of the cells, so as to form them into rectangles. L'Huillier, in the Memoirs of the Berlin Academy, has given a demonstration which is remarkable for its simplicity, and for its involving none but elementary propositions ; he values the economy of wax at of the whole wax employed. Le Sage, as appears from the life of that philosopher by Professor Prevost, has shown that this celebrated problem reduces itself to the finding of the angle at which two planes with a given inclination (such as 120°) can be cut by a third plane, so as to make all the angles resulting from the section equal to one another.
But a more essential advantage than even the economy of wax results from this structure, namely, that the whole fabric has much greater strength than if it were composed of planes at right angles to one another ; and when we consider the weight they have to support when stored with honey, pollen, and the young brood, besides that of the bees themselves, it is evident that strength is a material requisite in the work.
It has often been a subject of wonder how such diminutive insects could have adopted and adhered to so regular a plan of architecture, and what principles can actuate so great a multitude to co-operate, by the most effectual and systematic mode, in its completion.
Buffon's theory of the formation of the combs. Buffon has endeavoured to explain the hexagonal form by the uniform pressure of a great number of bees all working at the same time, exerted equally in all directions in a limited space ; and illustrates his theory by supposing a number of similar cylinders compressed together, and taking the form of hexagonal prisms by the uniform expansion of each. The analogy of the forms produced by the law of crystal-lization,of the figures assumed by various organs in the animal and vegetable world, such as the skin of the bat, and the inner coat of the second stomach of ruminant quadrupeds,is also adduced by this captivating but superficial writer in support of his argument. But however plausible this theory may at first sight appear, it will not stand the test of a serious examination. The explana-tion he has attempted applies no further than to the inclination of the sides of the cells; but he did not take into account, perhaps from not having studied the subject mathematically, the inclinations and forms of the planes which close each cell, and so curiously conspire on both sides to serve a similar office, while they at the same time accurately fulfil a refined geometrical condition. But it is sufficient confutation of the whole theory to show, that it is directly at variance with the actual process employed by the insects in the construction of their combs.
It might be supposed that bees had been provided by nature with instruments for building of a form somewhat analogous to the angles of the cells; but in no part, either of the teeth, antennae, or feet, can any such correspondence be traced. Their shape in no respect answers to that of the rhombs, which are constructed by their means, any more than the chisel of the sculptor resembles the statue which it has carved. The shape of the head is indeed triangular, but its three angles are acute, and are different from that of the planes of the cells. The form of the plates of wax, as they are moulded in the pouches in which this substance is secreted, is an irregular pentagon, in no respect affording a model for any of the parts which compose the honeycomb. Hunter, observing that the thickness of the partition was nearly equal to that of the scale of wax, thought that the bees apply these scales immediately to the formation of the partition, by merely cementing them together. Reaumur, notwithstanding the use of glass hives, had not been able to discover the mystery of their process of architecture, but inferred, from what he saw, that the wax was rejected from the stomach in the form of a white frothy liquor. No naturalist, indeed, prior to Huber, had been able to follow these insects in their labours, on account of their crowding together in a thick mass while they are building; but the expedients resorted to by that philosopher have unfolded the whole process, which he has given with great detail in the second volume of his Observations sur les Abeilles. Huber witnessed the whole of their actions, and saw that each bee drew out, with its hind feet, one of the plates of wax from under the scale where it was lodged, and carrying it to the mouth in a vertical position, turned it round, so that every part of its edge was made to pass in succession under the cutting edge of the jaws; it was thus soon divided into very small fragments, while at the same time a frothy liquor was poured upon it from the tongue, so as to form it into a perfectly plastic mass. This liquor gave the wax a whiteness and opacity which it did not possess originally, and rendered it at the same time tenacious and ductile. A quantity of wax thus prepared for use is accumulated, and applied to further the work in the manner we are presently to describe.
But, in considering the process by which the comb is formed, a circumstance should be pointed out, which seems not to have been particularly noticed by any author except Huber, and yet it is one of essential importance in studying this process of architecture, namely, that the cells in the outside row on each side are of a form very different from those of the subsequent rows. As they take their origin from a plane surface, two of the sides necessary to complete the hexagon are cut off by this plane, so that the general form of the orifice is pentagonal; and the bottom of the cells on one side is composed of two equal rhombs only, and on the other side of two trapezoidal planes, with one rhomb. Such a modification of shape was necessary, in order to prepare the way for the regularly-formed cells which were to follow.
The foundations of the combs are laid by the bees raising a solid block or plate of wax of a semicircular form. In this they scoop out a small vertical channel, of the size of an ordinary cell. The sides of this channel are then strengthened by additions of wax. On the opposite side two other channels are formed, one on each side of the plane opposite to the former channel. The extremities of these channels, which at first present a curved outline, are then fashioned into straight walls, forming an angle at each vertex. The bottom of each cell being thus sketched out, the design is completed by raising walls round the sides. Different bees generally work on the opposite sides at the came time, and appear to have some perception of the thickness of the partitions, and of the situation of the opposite walls, in which they are perhaps guided by slight prominences, occasioned by the depressions which correspond to them on the other side ; and they scrape off the wax in those places where its thickness is greatest, that is, where the bees on the other side had accumulated materials. In this way, then, in constructing the successive rows, the axis of each cell will be found to occupy the most retiring parts of the partition, and will be opposite to the junction of three of the opposite cells.
Soon after the bees have completed the foundations, and constructed a few of the cells of the central comb, they begin two others, one on each side, at the proper distance, and in this manner continue to form others in succession, in proportion as the former are advanced. Their object at first seems to be to extend the surface of the work so as to admit of the greatest possible number of workers being employed at one and the same time. In this way, then, the work proceeds from all points at once, new cells being begun before the former are completed, so that the whole comb, while it is in progress of construction, has a semi-lenticular shape, broader at the top, and tapering below and towards the sides. It extends downwards, however, more rapidly than in any other direction, and its surfaces do not become parallel to each other till the last stage of the building process. When this is completed, the whole is further strengthened by an additional coating of propolis round the margin of all the cells; and the junctions of every plane, both of the sides and bottoms of the cells, are also soldered together by a lining of the same substance. The edges of the combs are also secured in their situations by being glued to the side of the hive and supported by fresh abutments of propolis. Sometimes a mixture of was and propolis, manufactured by the bees themselves, is employed as the cementing material. The first coating of this compound substance is denominated Commosis by Pliny, and described as having a bitter taste; the second, or the Pissoceros of the same author, is stated to be of a thinner consistence, and more adhesive than the former, while the third substance, or Propolis, is completely solid.
The cells recently constructed are white, but become gradually darker, and, when very ancient, are almost black. It is therefore easy to distinguish in a hive the successive periods of formation of different portions of the combs. From the researches of Huber, it appears that these varia tions of colour are not owing to any changes in the wax itself, but to additional coatings of a peculiar varnish, consisting of propolis and a colouring matter. The latter differs materially from propolis, being wholly insoluble in alcohol. It loses its colour by the action of nitric acid or the light of the sun. Its origin has not yet been discovered, nor has the mode in which it is applied been clearly made out, although Huber presumes, from bis observation, that the bees spread it by means of their mandibles, since he has seen them rub these against the sides of the cells, and noticed that they acquired a yellow colour from the operation.
Royal cells. Royal cells are only formed when it is necessary that queens should be reared, either from their being required to lead off swarms, or from the fact of the colony being queenless through accidental circumstances.
Cell linings. The comb of the hive may be said to be the furniture and storehouse of the bees, which by use must wear out; but, independently of this, it will in time become unfit for use, by the accumulation of cocoons, which are never removed. These line the whole cell, sides, and bottom. Hunter counted above twenty different linings in one cell, and found the cell about one-quarter or one-third filled up.
Lord Brougham made some interesting observations on the cells of bees. By boiling the comb in alcohol after it had been bred in, he succeeded in dissolving the wax, leaving the lining only, which was found to be an extremely thin transparent or semi-transparent film, resembling gold-beaters' skin, without a wrinkle. The linings from old cells with thick walls kept the shape of the cells most distinctly. They had angles and planes as well defined as those of wax in the new comb, but they did not consist of a single film like the cells where one brood only had been raised. They had one film within another, and could be separated, so that as many as five or six could be extricated from the same cell; each of these had the hexagon form, and the first two, and sometimes three, had the rhomboidal form of the base also, but the innermot't ones had the rhom-buses less and less distinctly marked, till the last one or two of all had spherical instead of pyramidal bases. The film adhered so closely to the wax as to defend it from the action of the solvent and even from that of heat, preventing it from melting for a considerable time. The film fitted the wax cells so completely that there never was found the least wrinkle or laxity, each being tensely stretched in all its parts without any interval in any part. The whole of each cell was one entire piece of film going all round the prism and all through the pyramid without any breach, section, or joining; neither maceration nor even boiling in turpentine, ether, or caustic potash had any effect on the film.
A film of the same substance, transparent but considerably thicker, was found to line the queen-cells, assuming the pear or flask-like shape of the wax, and a very remarkable fact was observed. The film was not always in the inside; it sometimes lay imbedded in the wax, at least a layer of wax was laid over it of sensible thickness, indeed considerably thicker than some plates of the common cell, and sometimes much thicker. As a queen-cell is never used but once, never more than a single film can be found in it. How this lining is formed has never been satis-factorily determined, but it must be in one of two ways, either by the larva forming a cocoon round itself and of an oblong figure inside, sufficient to contain it when it changes its position from a coil perpendicular to the axis of the cell into an oblong worm placed in the axis, or by the larva lining the walls of the cell. In the former case the cocoon, originally made somewhat of the shape of the larva, must afterwards be applied by it or by the chrysalis so as to line and adhere to the walls; in the latter case the walls are lined at first by the act of weaving or spinning. But there are difficulties attending both these hypotheses and the inferences to which they leadinferences in either case as extraordinary, to say the least, as anything observed in the economy of the bee. If the cocoon is formed loose and round, then, when the transformation takes place, the pupa must press against every part of the cell, so as to apply the film all round and equally in every part. The extraordinary part is the perfect adaptation of the cocoon to the celL There is no wrinkle whatever. It fits exactly in every part, both the planes and the dihedral angles and the trihedral angles. The extreme fineness of the texture may facilitate its fitting so many different shapes. But how is the size sufficient and not more than sufficient in any one place t If we only consider what extreme complexity and difficulty there would be in forming a cocoonwhich should increase at every hair's breadth, and increase in a ratio varying at different points, and should, on reaching its maximum size, continue after-wards stationary in dimensionswe shall be convinced how insuperable the difficulties of the workmanship would be to any artist ever so expert or carefuL But even this is not all, for as the web is to be afterwards by the sup-position applied to the circumscribed walls, the extent of the curved surface of the cocoon inscribed must be less than that of the surface which it is afterwards to line if that curve is wholly concave to the axis, in other words, if it have no points of contrary flexure. In order, therefore, that it may be exactly equal to the walls which it is to fit exactly, the cocoon must be of a form wholly different from that of the larva that made it. It must be convex at some points and concave at others to the larva; it must be loose and baggy, and the progress of its bagging or being loose must vary at every point in order that when applied to the walls it may exactly fit them at every part. The performance of such a work by the larva appears scarcely conceivable. Astonishing as the known and ascertained works of the perfect insect are, this would surpass them in a proportion that might almost be called infinite. If we adopt the second inference, we get rid entirely of the former difficulty; for the operation of forming the film upon the walls is certainly much more easy. With the utmost nicety and precision, there is never a break to be found, and there is no part thicker than the rest, so that but one layer is applied everywhere ; and the larva knows so ac-curately where it has begun as always to leave off on coming round to that point without ever going again over the same ground for half a hair's breadth. The material is also very remarkable. A very high magnifying power shows no threads or separate pieces of any kind; in the great bulk of the texture, it is for the most part solid and perfectly transparent. There are interspersed irregularly a few fibres, but it should seem as if the whole was a mucilage spread over the walls rather than any webs of woven threads. But though the difficulties attending the other theory are not found in this, it has difficulties of a different kind and equally startling. The first that strikes us immediately is the use of the cocoon formed on the waxen walls. The cell was already made, and of the required form and dimensions, in which the larva could be lodged and grow and undergo its transformations. How was the lining it with the film to assist the process 1 If the cocoon had been of another form and wrapt round the larva, it might have served some such purpose of covering or support; but here the cocoon exactly fita the cell and in nowise alters its form, and only by an exceedingly small portion its capacity. And how are the second and subsequent cocoons to be accounted for ? The cell had been already completely lined with the film, and the additional lining could add nothing to the advantage, whatever it was, which the first lining gave the larva and chrysalis. (See Brougham's Works, vol. vi. pp. 312-364.)
Different kinds of cells. Such is the general outline of the architectural labours of the bee. A number of modifications are, however, met with, adapting them to various purposes and to new circumstances. The cells axe required to be of different sizes for the nurture of different sorts of larvae. The smallest, which are also the most numerous, are appropriated to the larvae of the working bees; a larger sort receive those of the males; and a small number of very large cells are destined for the education of the young queens, and are therefore called royal cells. The first set are generally five and one-third lines in depth, and two and a half in diameter ; the second are from seven to seven and a half lines in depth, and three and three-fourths in diameter; while the royal cells are above one inch deep, one-third of an inch wide, and their walls are much thicker than those of any other cells. Other cells, again, are set apart as magazines of honey or of pollen; they are made deeper than the common cells, sometimes as deep as two inches, and their axes are inclined to the horizon, so that their mouths are in the highest part, that their liquid contents may be more easily retained. When these are filled they are closed up by the bees with a wall of wax, and opened only when necessity requires.
Cells of transition. The regularity of the cells is often disturbed in consequence of the admixture of rows of larger cells with those of smaller dimensions ; but the pyramidal partitions are adapted by successive gradations to these changes, so that in many rows of what may be called cells of transition, the bottom presents four planes instead of three, two being trapeziums, and the other two irregular hexagons. These irregularities are met with chiefly in the combs most distant from the central one. When an abundant supply of honey induces the bees to lay up a large quantity in store, they build up for this purpose the walls of common cells, so as to give them a greater depth. The royal cells are often raised from the ruins of a number of other cells, which are destroyed to make room for them; they are usually built on the edge of some of the shorter combs, and often in the very centre of the hive. Sometimes there is but one; at other times as many as sixteen have been counted in the same hive. They are formed of a mixture of propolis and wax ; their form is oblong, resembling that of a pear; their position is always vertical, so that when they rise from the midst of other cells, they are placed against the mouths of those cells, and project beyond the common surface of the comb. They are perfectly smooth on the inner surface, while their outer side is covered with a kind of hexagonal fret-work, as if intended for the foundation of regular cells.
Impregnatlon. The impregnation of the queen-bee was formerly involved in the deepest obscurity, and has given rise to a multitude of very fanciful opinions. Some have denied that any intercourse with the male was necessary for the fecundation of the eggs. Swammerdam supposed that the mere effluvia proceeding from the males where they were collected in clusters was sufficiently active to produce this effect by penetrating the body of the female. Huber proved by decisive experiment that no such consequence resulted from these effluvia. Maraldi imagined that the eggs were fecundated by the drones after being deposited in the cells in the same way that the spawn of fishes is rendered prolific by the milt. Mr Debraw of Cambridge gave an account, in a paper published in the Philoso-phical Transactions, of a milk-like fluid he had seen in tbo cells. But this appearance Huber showed to be a mere optical illusion arising from the reflection of light at the bottom of the cells. When the males are excluded from the hive the queen is as fertile and the eggs as prolific as when they are present. Hattorff supposed that the queen is capable of impregnating herself, an opinion which was supported by Schirach and Wilhelmi, and was even favourably received by Bonnet, as it in some measure accorded with his discoveries respecting the aphis. Linnaeus was of opinion that an actual union between the sexes took place, and Reaumur fancied he had seen this happen within the hive. There is, however, great reason to think he was mistaken. It has since been clearly proved that copulation takes place in the air during flight, and if the queen is confined to the hive either by bad weather, or malformation or mutilation of her wings, although she may be surrounded by drones, she never becomes impregnated; and if she does not find a mate within three weeks of her birth, the power of sexual intercourse seems to become lost. If a hive containing a virgin queen be attentively watched on fine days the queen will be observed preparing for her matrimonial flight, and after having attentively surveyed her home so as to be able to recognize it again she flies to a considerable height in the air; and if her errand is successful, in half an hour she returns to the hive with unequivocal proofs of the intercourse that has taken place, for she has in fact robbed the drone of the organs concerned in this operation; and the drone, thus mutilated, is left to perish on the ground. From its being necessary that the queen should fly to a distance in order to be impregnated, Huber infers the necessity of a great number of drones being attached to the hive, that there may be a sufficient chance of her meeting one of them during her aerial excur-sion.
Parthenogenesis. The phenomenon that sometimes occurred in a beehive, of the queen laying eggs that produced males only, had for ages puzzled philosophers without any satisfactory solution, and it was reserved for Dzierzon to promulgate a new and startling theory of reproduction, which, in the words of its distinguished author, is said to have " explained all the phenomena of the bee-hive as perfectly as the Copernican hypothesis the phenomena of the heavens." Dzierzon first expressed his views upon the reproduction of bees in the year 1845. The principal points of this theory may be shortly expressed thus :1st, That the queen (female bee), to become good for anything (i.e., to breed workers), must be fertilized by a drone (the male), and that the copulation takes place only in the air; that drone eggs do not require fecundation, but that the co-operation of the drone is absolutely necessary when worker bees are to be produced; that in copulation the ovaries are not feeundated, but the seminal receptacle (or spermatheca), a little vesicle or sac opening into the oviduct, which in the young queen is filled with a limpid fluid, is saturated with semen, after which it is more clearly distinguishable from its white colour; and that the supply of semen received during copulation is sufficient for her whole lifetime. The copulation takes place once for all, and (as already stated) only in the open air; therefore no queen which has been lame in her wings from birth can ever be perfectly fertile, that is, capable of pro-ducing both sexes, as copulation never takes place in the interior of the hive. 2d, All eggs which come to maturity in the ovaries of a queen-bee are only of one and the same kind, and when they are laid without coming in contact with the male semen, become developed into male bees. This theory of Dzierzon's has since been amply confirmed by numberless experiments, although what power the queen possesses (or how she exercises it) of determining what eggs shall receive fecundation and what not, is yet a mystery. Certain it is that when the queen lays an egg in a drone cell, a drone is produced; and Von Siebold, who made many most skilful microscopical examinations of eggs, affirms that among fifty-two eggs taken from worker cells, examined by him with the greatest care and conscientiousness, thirty-four furnished a positive result, namely, the existence of seminal filaments, in which movements could even be detected in three eggs ; and among twenty-seven eggs from drone cells, examined with the same care and by the same method, he did not find one seminal filament in any single egg either exter-nally or internally. On the passage of the eggs from the ovary through the oviduct they pass the opening of the spermatheca, from which some eggs receive a portion of the seminal fluid,these produce workers; other eggs pass without receiving the fluid,these produce drones. What it is that governs the deposition or non-deposition of the seminal fluid on the egg is unknown. It has been sug-gested that the smaller diameter of the worker cells exerts some mechanical pressure on the queen's organs, which may cause the seminal fluid to be extruded as the egg passes, while the drone cells being larger this pressure is not by them exerted, and the egg passes unfecundated. If the spermatheca of an impregnated queen be examined under the microscope its contents will be found to contain many thousands of spermatozoa, the characteristic movements of which are very visible. The contents of the spermatheca. of a virgin or drone-breeding queen, similarly examined, will be found a limpid fluid only without a trace of spermatozoa.
The fact that the eggs of an unimpregnated queen will hatch and produce drones may be easily verified, and is now undisputed. By depriving a colony of its queen late in the year, a young queen will be reared; and the drones having been killed long before, no impregnation can take place, yet the queen will infallibly lay eggs which hatch into drones; these eggs are laid indiscriminately in drone and worker cells, the bees bred in the latter being stunted in their growth. If now the spermatheca be examined, no spermatozoa will be found present. The same result will be found if, in the summer, the virgin queen be deprived of her wings and so made unable to fly.
Retarded impregnation. If the impregnation of the queen be delayed beyond, as elsewhere stated, the twenty-first day of her life, she becomes incapable of receiving impregnation, and begins soon after to lay the eggs of drones, and produces no other kind of eggs during her life. This very curious and unexpected fact was discovered by Huber; and has been satisfactorily established by his very numerous and varied experiments, although its explanation is perhaps attended with insuperable difficulties. The abdomen of a queen that is unimpregnated is much more slender than that of one which is completely fertile; but, on dissection, the ovaries are found expanded and full of ova.
Prolific workers. One of the most remarkable facts concerning the generation of bees, is the existence occasionally of prolific workers, the discovery of which we owe to Reims. Although it was doubted by Bonnet, its reality has been fully confirmed by the researches of Huber and subsequent observers, and it explains what was before inexplicablethe production of eggs in hives absolutely destitute of a queen. It is also remarkable that the eggs thus produced are always those of drones, but this is explained by the fact that these fertile workers have not received, and, in fact, are unable to receive, impregnation from the drone. The origin of these abnormal egg-layers is accounted for from their having passed the larva state in cells contiguous to the royal ones, and from their having at an early period devoured some portion of the stimulating jelly which was destined for the nourishment of the royal brood, their ovaries thus receiving a partial development; or when a colony is deprived of its queen late in the autumn, and an attempt to raise a queen from some unknown cause has failed, a larva has sufficiently advanced to develop into a fertile worker.
Deposition of eggs. As soon as a sufficient number of cells have been constructed, the queen begins to deposit her eggs. Unlike most insects the queen-bee deposits eggs ten or eleven months in the year in temperate climates, although it is probable this is not the case when the winter is much more severe than in Britain. Young queens ordinarily commence ovipositing thirty-six hours after impregnation. What power, if any, the queen has in determining the sex of her eggs is unknown, but, as already noticed, eggs that will produce workers or queens will always be found laid in worker cells, and those that will produce drones will also be found in their appropriate cells. A queen of a new swarm will rarely produce drones the first year; instinct, seemingly, teaching her they will not be required. In the early spring, if a clean empty piece of drone comb be put into the centre of the brood nest, the queen will usually fill it with drone eggs, and this circumstance is taken advantage of by scientific apiarians to secure a supply of drones for the impregnation of early hatched queens. When the eggs are about to hatch, the bees eagerly seek for that species of nourishment on which the larvae are to be fed. This con-sists of pollen with a proportion of honey and water, which is partly digested in the stomach of the bees, and made to vary in its quality according to the age of the young. The egg of a bee is of a lengthened oval shape with a slight curvature and of a bluish white colour. It is hatched without requiring any particular attention on the part of the bees, except that a proper temperature be kept up, in which case three days are sufficient for the exclusion of the larva.
Metamorphosis of the larvae. This has the appearance of a small white worm without feet, which remains generally coiled up at the bottom of the cell The bees feed it with great assiduity with the kind of chyle above described, and in every respect exhibit towards it the greatest care and atten-tion. Hunter says a young bee might easily be brought up by any person who would be attentive to feed it. As it grows up it casts its cuticle like the larvae of other insects. In the course of five or six days it has attained its full size, and nearly fills the cell in which it is lodged. It now ceases to eat, and the bees close up its cell with a covering of wax, or rather an admixture of wax and propolis, which they possess the art of amalgamat-ing. During the next thirty-six hours the larva is engaged in spinning its cocoon, and in three days more it assumes the pupa state. It is now perfectly white, and every part
of the future bee may be distinguished through its trans-parent covering. In the course of a week it tears asunder its investing membrane, and makes its way through the outer wall of its prison in its perfect form. Reckoning from the time that the egg is laid, it is only on the twenty-first day of its existence that this last metamorphosis is completed. No sooner has it thus emancipated itself than its guardians assemble round it, caress it with their tongues, and supply it plentifully with food. They clean out the cell which it had been occupying, leaving untouched, however, the greater part of the web, which thus serves to bind together still more firmly the sides of the comb. The colour of the bee when it quits the cell is a light grey.
First occupations of the workers. For several days, sometimes a week or two after birth, the worker bees occupy themselves within the hive, not flying abroad during that time, their principal employment then being that of nurses; and many old observers thought them a different class altogether from the honey-gatherers and wax-makers.
Metamorphosis of the drone. The metamorphosis of the male bee follows the same course, but requires four days longer for its completion, occupying twenty-five days from the time of the egg being laid to the attainment of the perfect state.
Metamorphosis of the queen. When from the egg or young larva it is the intention of the bees to raise a queen, their attention is more incessantly bestowed upon it, the cell being enlarged as elsewhere described. It is supplied with a peculiar kind of food, which appears to be more stimulating than that of ordinary bees. It has not the same mawkish taste, and is evidently acid. It is furnished to the royal larva in greater quantities than can be consumed, so that a portion always remains behind in the cell after the transformation. As a proof that any worker egg or young larva not more than three days old may be made to produce a queen, the experimenter has only to supply to such an one a portion of royal jelly, and the nurses will enlarge its cell and continue so to feed it, when in due time a queen will be produced. The growth of the larva and the development of all its organs are very much accelerated by this treatment, so that in five days it is prepared to spin its web, and the bees enclose it by building up a wall at the mouth of its cell. The web is completed in twenty-four hours; two days and a half are spent in a state of inaction, and then the larva transforms itself into a pupa. It remains between four and five days in this state, and thus on the sixteenth day after the egg has been laid, the perfect insect is produced. When this change is about to take place, the bees gnaw away part of the wax covering of the cell till at last it becomes pellucid from its extreme thinness. This not only must facilitate the exit of the bee, but may possibly be useful in permitting the evaporation of the superabundant fluids.
Rivalship of the queens. But the queen bee, although perfectly formed, is not always at liberty to come out of her prison, for if the queen-mother be still in the hive waiting a favourable state of the weather to lead forth another swarm, the bees do not suffer the young queens to stir out ; they even strengthen the covering of the cell by an additional coating of wax, perforating it with a small hole through which the prisoner can thrust out her tongue in order to be fed by those who guard her. The royal prisoners continually utter a kind of plaintive cry, called by bee-keepers " piping," and this appears to be answered by the mother queen. The modulations of this piping are said to vary. The motive of this proceeding on the part of the bees who guard them is to be found in the implacable hatred which the old queen bears against all those of her own sex, and which impels her to destroy without mercy all the young queens that come within her reach. The workers are on this account very solicitous to prevent her even approaching the royal cells while there is any prospect of a swarm being about to issue. They establish themselves as a guard around these cells ; and, forgetting their allegiance on this occasion, actually beat her off as often as she endeavours to come near them. If, on the other hand, the swarming season is over, or circumstances prevent any further swarms from being sent off, the bees do not interpose any obstacle to the fury of the old queen, which immediately begins the work of destruction, transfixing with her sting one after the other the whole of the royal brood, while they are yet confined in their cells. It is observed by Huber, that the royal larvae construct only imperfect cocoons, open behind, and enveloping only the head, thorax, and first ring of the abdomen ; and he conceives that the intention of Nature in this apparent imperfection is, that they may be exposed to the mortal sting of the queen, to whom they may be given up as a sacrifice.
When the old queen has taken her departure along with the first swarm, the young queens are liberated in succession, at intervals of a few days, in order to prevent their attacking and destroying one another, which would be the infallible consequence of their meeting. This exterminating warfare is prevented by the vigilance of the bees which guard them, so long as new swarms are expected to go off. When a young queen is liberated, she is, like others of her sex, anxious to get rid of her rivals, and even at that early age seeks to destroy her sisters, which are still confined in the other royal cells; but as often as she approaches them she is bit, pulled, and chased without ceremony by the sentinels. But when the season is too far advanced for swarming, or if two or more queens should happen to emerge at the same moment, they mutually seek each other and fight till one is killed, and the survivor is immediately received as the sovereign of the hive. The bees, far from seeking to prevent these battles, appear to excite the combatants against each other, surrounding and bringing them back to the charge when they are disposed to recede from each other, and when either of the queens shows a disposition to approach her antagonist, all the bees forming the cluster instantly give way to allow her full liberty for the attack. The first use which the conquering queen makes of her victory is to secure herself against fresh dangers by destroying all her future rivals in the royal cells; while the other bees, which are spectators of the carnage, share in the spoil, greedily devouring any food which may be found at the bottom of the cells, and even sucking the fluid from the abdomen of the pupae before they toss out the carcasses.
Swarming. We are now to direct our attention to the migrations of bees, by which new colonies similar to that which had originally peopled the parent hive are founded. The final causes of this phenomenon are sufficiently obvious, but it does not so clearly appear to what circumstances it is immediately owing. The increasing population of a hive probably occasions inconvenience from want of room; the increase of heat and the greater vitiation of the air become still more serious as the summer advances. The spring is, accordingly, the commencement of the swarming season. No swarming, indeed, will ever take place while the weather is cold, or until the hive is well stocked with eggs. The queen-bee, in consequence of the great number of eggs she has been laying, is now reduced to a more slender shape, and is well fitted for flight; her aversion for the royal brood, which she seems to foresee will in a short time become able to dispute the throne with her, and the vain attempts she makes to destroy them in the cradle, in which attempts she is invariably repelled by the bees who guard them, produce in her a constant restlessness and agitation which, as Huber represents it, rises to a degree of delirium. This frenzy, from whatever cause it may originate, is communi-cated to the workers ; they may be seen hurrying to and fro in the combs with evident marks of impatience. The heat of the hive is increased by their tumultuous move-ments ; it sometimes rises suddenly on these occasions from 92° to above 104°. A general buzz is heard throughout the hive. This state of things occurs from time to time for some days before the swarm is actually on the wing; and the interval is occupied in making preparations for the approaching expedition; provisions are collected in greater quantity by the workers. Hunter killed several of those that came away, and found their crops full, while those that remained in the hive had their crops not nearly so.
Departure of the swarm. On the day on which the swarm quits the hive, few of the workers roam to any distance, but several are seen performing circles in the air round the hive. The noise is on a sudden hushed, and all the bees enter the hive; this silence announces their immediate departure. A few workers appear at the door, turn towards the hive, and striking with their wings, give, as it were, the signal for flight. All those which are to accompany the expedition rush towards the door, and issue forth with wonderful rapidity, rising in the air and hovering for some time, as if in order to wait for the assemblage of the whole troop; then, having selected a rallying point, generally on some tree or bush, some alight, being joined immediately by others until the whole number is collected in one mass of bees. It does not always happen that the queen is the first to alight or is with the cluster at all; but if she be not there the bees soon discover it and disperse in search of herif they fail to find her they return to the parent hive. Thither the queen sometimes, from weakness or other causes, returns, and is immediately attended by the rest. But if the weather be fine, the expedition is only deferred for one or two days, and they again take their departure. If their return be owing to the loss of their queen, they remain a fortnight or longer before the attempt to migrate is renewed, and then the swarm is much larger than before, which renders it probable that they have waited for the queen that was to go off with the next swarm. Sometimes, when everything indicates an approaching emigration, the passage of a cloud across the sun will suspend all their operations, and the previous bustle gives place to a state of perfect calm. But, if the day be not far advanced, the breaking out of sunshine will renew the commotion, and determine the moment of actual flight.
The swarm having rested for some time on the first landing-place, and collected the whole of its numbers, soars again in the air, keeping in a close phalanx, and directing its course with great velocity to the spot which their guides had selected,giving out, at the same time, a loud and acute-toned hum by the action of their wings.
The parent hive, thus deserted by its queen and a large proportion of its inhabitants, is busily occupied in repair ing its loss.
Succession of swarms. The bees which remain quietly pursue their labours; the young brood, soon arriving at maturity, quickly fill up every deficiency; and young queens, being allowed their liberty, one after the other, conduct in their turns new swarms, in the same manner as the first. The second swarm is not sent off till after the space of from five to ten days after the first. The following swarms succeed quicker to each other, but consist of smaller numbers than the earlier ones. If it happen that two queens are found in a swarm, either the swarm divides itself into two, and have separate destinations, or a single combat between the queens decides on which of them the empire is to devolve. Sometimes, indeed, they appear not to perceive each other, and the parties belonging to each construct separate combs within the same hive ; but no sooner do these combs come in contact, and thus give occasion to the queens meeting each other, than a contest begins which terminates only by the death of one of the rival queens.
Successive swarms are sent off as long as the increase of population permits ; and the number thus produced in a eeason depends on a variety of circumstances, such as the abundance of flowers, the warmth of the climite, and capacity of the hive. Bosc, while he was French consul in Carolina, found a stock of bees in the woods which had been robbed of its wax and honey by the negroes ; he con-trived to convey the bees in his hat to a hive in his garden. He obtained from this hive eleven swarms before the end of autumn ; and these, again, gave him the same number of secondary swarms, so that by the end of the year he had twenty-two hives stocked from the one he had thus saved from destruction. In Britain a hive commonly sends off only two and sometimes three swarms in the course of the summer ; and prudent apiarians will be satisfied with one swarm only, returning all subsequent ones to the parent hive, which would otherwise become very weak. When bar-frame hives are used, the issue of after-swarms is easily and surely prevented by destroying all queen-cells but one after the issue of the first swarm.
Massacre of the drones. Very few drones accompany the new colonies, so that almost all those produced in the spring remain in the hive. But when the queens are impregnated, and no new swarms are about to take place, the workers, who had till then suffered them to live unmolested in the hive, are on a sudden seized with a deadly fury towards them, and a scene of carnage ensues. This usually happens in June, July, or August. They chase their unhappy victims in every quarter, till they seek a refuge at the bottom of the hive, where they collect in crowds, and are indiscriminately, and without a single exception, massacred by the working bees, who, with implacable fury, bite, maim, and throw them out of the hive. So great is their antipathy to all the race of drones, that they destroy, at the same time, the male eggs and larvre, and tear open the cocoons of their pupae, in order to devote them to one common destruction. This sacrifice of the males is not, however, the effect of a blind and indiscriminating instinct; for if a hive be deprived of its queen, the massacre does not take place, while the hottest persecution rages in all the surrounding hives. In this case the males are allowed to survive the winter.
Provision for the winter. Having thus got rid of the useless mouths which consumed, without any advantage to the public, a large portion of their provisions, the bees spend the remainder of the summer in collecting stores of honey and of pollen for the ensuing winter. Their gleanings are now less abundant than in the spring, and require more labour in the search and collection. But at this season the leaves of many kinds of trees, which are covered in the morning with a saccha-rine fluid that exudes from them, furnish them with a species of nourishment, which, though of very inferior quality to the nectarial fluid, still contributes to their support. Fruit is also attacked by bees, after the cuticular covering has been broken through by birds or snails. They also find nutriment in the honey-dew, which is an excrementitious fluid deposited on the leaves of plants by certain species of aphides.
Mutual depredations. Often, however, these resources fail, and the hive is threatened with famine. On these occasions the distressed bees frequently betake themselves to plunder ; and if a weak or queenless hive can be dis-covered they begin a furious onset, which costs great numbers their lives. If the invaders should fail in their attempt to force the entrance they retreat, and are not pursued by those whom they have assailed ; but if they succeed in making good the assault, the war continues to rage in the interior of the hive until one side finds itself beaten, in which case, should the conquerors be the invaders, the invaded will generally join their forces, and help their late enemies to carry of their plunder, and at once become members of the lately hostile hive.
Length of life. The life of a queen-bee will sometimes extend to three or four years, but her fertility decreases after her second breeding season. When absent from the hive on her matrimonial excursions she very often becomes a prey to a bird, and not seldom on her return mistakes her hive, when she is probably killed by the stranger bees, or by the queen on whose territory she has intruded. Drones seldom die a natural death ; there is no evidence of the duration of the lives of individuals, but normally they are hatched about May and slaughtered by the workers in June, July, or August; should the hive be queenless, however, the workers do not harm the drones, and some will then live far into the winter or even to the following spring. The life of a worker is greatly dependent on the season of the year and the amount of labour performed. The modern method of introducing a fertile Ligurian queen (Apis ligustiea) into a queenless stock of the common black bee (Apis mellifka), in order to obtain pure stocks of the former variety, has plainly demonstrated the short life of the worker bee. If the Ligurian queen be introduced in May, when bees are busy and work abundant, in from six to eight weeks thereafter scarcely a black bee will be found in the hive, although at the time of the introduction multitudes of young larv» were present, which probably would not all be fully deve-loped for nearly three weeks; therefore, in the season of hardest work, the inhabitants of the hive would seldom attain the age of six weeks. But if the experiment of the queen's introduction be deferred until October, then not until the following May will the black bees have become extinct. And it is a curious fact that if a hive be deprived of its queen in October (and none other supplied), then the workers, having no labour to perform either in replen-ishing stores or attending on the larvas, will possibly in May be found still living, although somewhat reduced in numbers. Such a colony, however, generally becomes a victim to robbers when the activity of spring arrives, for a queenless stock rarely makes much defence of its stores. In fine winter days, when the sun shines brightly, numbers of bees are tempted abroad, which easily become benumbed by cold, fall to the ground, and die. Insectivorous birds also make victims of great numbers at such times, other insect food being scarce ; so that, probably, in winter and early spring, more workers die from accident than by natural decay. The fecundity of the queen-bee is, however, adequate not only to repair these losses, but to multiply the population in a very high progression. Apis ligustiea has the reputation of being more prolific than A. melliflca ; and a young and vigorous queen will, in the fine weather of a warm May and June, deposit as many as 2000 eggs per day for several weeks in succession, and this fertility is of much longer continuance in America and other warm climates than in England. In England, eggs are deposited and young reared ten or eleven months in the year, when the colony is strong in numbers and well supplied with stores; but the increase in the cold months seldom equals the decrease by deaths.
Loss of the queen. The loss of the queen is an event which has the most the marked influence on the conduct of the workers. Although the queen is constantly an object of attention and of affection to the whole community, they are not immediately sensible of her absence when she is removed from the hive. The ordinary labours are continued without interruption, and it is not till a whole hour has elapsed that symptoms of uneasiness are manifested, and it is even then only partially displayed. The inquietude begins in one part of the hive, the workers become restless, abandon the young which they were feeding, run to and fro, and, by striking each other with their antennae, communicate the alarming intelligence very quickly to their companions. The ferment soon extends to the whole community; the bees rush precipitately out of the hive, and seek for their lost queen in every direction This state of confusion continues for a day or two, after which tranquillity is again established; they return to their labours; and, selecting an egg, or one of the larvae that is not more than three days old, they break down two of the contiguous cells, sacrificing the larva? contained in them, and proceed to build up one royal cell from their ruins. They then supply the worm with the food necessary to promote its quick growth, and leaving untouched the rliomboidal bottom they raise around it a cylindrical enclosure In three days the larva has grown to such a size as to require an extension of its lodging, and must inhabit a cell nearly of a pyramidal figure, and hanging perpendicularly. A. new pyramidal tube is therefore constructed with the wax of the surrounding cells, which is soldered at right angles to the first, and the bees, working downwards, gradually contract its diameter from the base, which is very wide, to the point. In proportion as the worm grows, the bees labour in extending the cell, and bring food, which they place before its mouth and round its body, forming a kind of coiled zone around it. The worm, which can move only in a spiral direction, turns incessantly to take its food before its head; it insensibly descends, and at length arrives at the orifice of the cell. It then transforms itself into a pupa, is enclosed with a covering of wax, as before described, and, in the space of ten to sixteen days the original loss is thus repaired by the birth of a new queen. Schirach found that, if a number of bees be confined with even a single larva, which in the natural course would have become a worker bee, they immediately set about giving it the royal education above described, and thus raise it to the dignity of queen.
Rearing supernumerary queens. The discovery that queens may be reared at will has been confirmed by recent experiment, and is now largely taken advantage of by apiarians both in Europe and America, to facilitate the making of artificial swarms and otherwise increase the production of bees. By the aid of small frame hives called nucleus boxes, which only materially differ from the larger or mother hive by containing frames less in number and in size (generally three), a stock of fertile queens is kept on hand ready to supply any colony requiring a sovereign, or to exchange an old queen for a young one, or a Ligurian queen for an ordinary English one. An example of the method of rearing these queens is as follows :A full comb containing young worker larvae and eggs is taken, with all its attendant bees, and placed in the centre of the nucleus box, flanked on both sides by other combs containing honey. Sufficient young bees, which have not flown, are now added to cover well the brood comb, in order that proper heat may be kept up to mature the brood. As soon as the members of this small community find themselves without a queen, a dreadful uproar ensues ; and, probably, should there be bees among them who know their way home, they will desert, but enough will usually remain to carry on the desired work; if not, more young bees must be added. These may be known by their fresher and greyer appearance. After a few hours the commotion will subside, and the bees will proceed to the construction of royal cells, and take proper care for the feeding and hatching of the larvae selected for royal honours. Generally on the second day, the foundations of royal cells are perceptible, the number of these vary from one or two to as many as sixteen. In from ten to sixteen days, according to the age of selected eggs or larvae, the young queens will arrive at maturity; and as the first at liberty will destroy the others if allowed, the apiarian in good time cuts out the sealed royal cells, which are distributed by grafting on other combs into newly-formed nuclei, or into such hives as require a queen. The young queens, on their emergence from the pupa state, are now each at the head of a colony, where they remain until they become fertile in the natural way, and are then ready for such purposes as they are required for.
Imported queens. In Switzerland, Italy, and Germany a large business is done in Ligurian queen-raising for export. Great numbers of those queens come to England and America in little wooden boxes, accompanied by sufficient workers to develop enough heat. The price in Italy varies, according to the season, from five francs in October to twelve francs in March; but few are raised until May, owing to the difficulty of their obtaining impregnation. To overcome this difficulty in the autumn some colonies are purposely kept queenless, whose drones remain in existence.
The advantage of supernumerary queens.The advantage of having fertile queens at the bee-master's disposal is very great. When a swarm issues the young queen is not usually mature, and has to become impregnated. Should unfavourable weather ensue, a still further delay occurs; and the virgin queen, on her excursion, is liable to be lost or killed. Should no such accident occur, it may still be two or three weeks before ovipositing again commences, and this in the very height of the breeding season; while if the skilful bee-master, first taking the precaution to destroy any existing queen cells, can immediately, on the issue of the swarm, introduce the queen and her retinue from a nucleus hive, no time is lost, and probably 20,000 to 40,000 eggs will be deposited in the time that would otherwise have been lost. By this system of nucleus queen-rearing, it may be fairly calculated that the increase of population may be doubled. While the hive remains without a queen swarming can never take place, be the hive ever so crowded.
Queen combats. Huber has made the singular observation that two queens, however inveterate may be their mutual hostility, never actually destroy each other, and that when in the course of their contest they are placed in such a relative position that each has it in her power to strike a mortal blow on the other with its sting, they suddenly separate, and part with every appearance of being panic-struck. The final cause of the instinct that prompts this conduct is sufficiently obvious, as, without it, the hive would be altogether deprived of a queen.
Alien queens. Bees recognise the person of their own queen. If a stranger enter the hive, they seize and surround her until a ball of bees is formed one or two inches in diameter; in which imprisonment the unfortunate monarch is kept until death puts an end to her misery, for it is very remarkable the bees seldom sting a queen. A hive that has lost its queen may, however, by certain precautions be induced to accept a substitute. The most common way of attaining success in this operation is to imprison the stranger queen in a small cage of wire gauze or perforated zinc; this being suspended between two central combs or fixed upon one, the bees become accustomed to the odour and appear-, ance of their new sovereign, and after the lapse of one or two days will readily accept her. If a supernumerary queen be introduced into the hive, she is laid hold of by the bees and presented to the reigning queen, while a ring is formed by the bees, who continue to be spectators, and even promoters of the combat, in which one or other of the queens is destined to perish. Schirach and Reims had imagined that, in these circumstances, the stranger met her death from the hands of the working bees, but this mistake has been corrected by Huber, who gives the account above stated.
Effects of mutilations. We have next to relate the results of experiments of a more cruel kind, which illustrate several points in the physiology of these insects. The amputation of the four wings of the queen did not interfere with her laying eggs, and the workers did not show her the less attention on account of her being thus mutilated. Of course, if the operation be performed before she is impregnated, she remains barren, since it is necessary for the sexual congress that she should fly out of the hive. The amputation of a single antenna appeared to be productive of no bad conse-quence of any kind; but the removal of both the antennas was followed by singular effects. The queen which had suffered this operation ran about in apparent confusion, dropping her eggs at random, and was incapable of directing her tongue with precision to the food that was offered her. At times she appeared desirous of escaping from the hive; and when this was prevented, she returned in a state of delirium, was indifferent to the caresses of the workers, and received another similarly mutilated queen that was pre-sented to her without the least symptom of dislike. The workers, on the other hand, received the stranger queen with great respect, although the first still remained in the hive. A third queen, notmutilated, was next introduced; she was very ill received and immediately detained and kept a close prisoner, being evidently regarded as an intruder. When the queen deprived of her antennae was allowed to quit the hive, she was followed by none of the workers, and was abandoned to her fate.
Enemies of bees. The wasp and the hornet have long been known as the determined enemies of the bee, committing great ravages among these weaker insects; they attack them individually, but oftener commit their aggressions in large armies, on which occasions numbers perish on both sides. In some parts of America wasps have multiplied to so great a degree as to render it impossible to rear bees. Among quadrupeds the ant-eater occasionally devours them. The bear and the badger overturn the hives, and plunder their contents. Rats and mice are very formidable enemies, as they attack the bees at all seasons, and especially during the torpid state of the insects, when they are incapable of revenging the aggression. The woodpecker may succeed in breaking through the hive, and then speedily destroys all its inhabitants; the swallow, the sparrow, the tit-mouse, the cuckoo, the Merops apiaster, or bee-eater, and poultry of every kind, prey upon them separately. Accord-ing to Bosc, they are also food for the shrikes and for the Falco apivorus. Lizards watch for them, and seize them as they alight near the hive. Toads occasionally devour them. They are in some danger from the larger kinds of spiders, and of Libelluke, as also from the Philanthus apivorus of Fabricius. But the most insidious and de-structive enemies of these insects are moths, two species of which, Gallería mellonella and Achroia grisella, insinuate themselves into the hive, and deposit their eggs on the combs in such numbers, that the hive is soon overrun with the larvae, the combs destroyed, and the bees event-ually forced to vacate the hive. In America and in Italy these moths are much more troublesome than in England. On the Continent of Europe bees are also troubled with a parasite called the bee-louse (Bravia catea), some-times as many as 50 or 100 being found on a single bee, and as they live by suction they are great pests. This insect is not frequently found in England except accom-panying imported Ligurian bees.
Diseases of bees. Bees are subject to few diseases, but these few are sometimes v ery fatal. Dysentery occasionally commits great havoc in a hive, and is usually caused by the neglect of sanitary measures, by close confinement, want of ventilation, and damp. Dysentery is indicated by the appearance of the excre-ment within the hive, which the bees in a healthy state are particularly careful to exclude. It is often induced by the bees being forced into undue excitement in cold, ungenial weather. The disease known generally by the name of "foul brood" is the most fatal of all; it is highly contagious,the infection from its presence remaining in the hives, combs, and honey long after the bees are exterminated. Dysentery is a disease of the perfect insects only. Foul brood is confined to the larvae, which, having grown to near maturity, die and putrefy after being sealed over by the bees. The workers seem totally unable to remove the foul mass which thus remains to spread infection all around. The seed of the disease is believed to He in the presence of the spores of a microscopical fungus (Micrococcus), and long scientific discussions and experiments have been made on the Con-tinent to demonstrate this, particularly by Drs Preusz and Schonfeld. The devastation caused in apiaries by this disease is sometimes fearful. Dzierzon relates that, in 1848, he had nearly the whole of his colonies destroyed by it, more than 500 being destroyed, and only 10 escaping. Quinby also, in America, has lost as many as 100 stocks in a single year by this pestilence. And when once fully developed a total destruction of all hives and combs infected appears to be the only way of eradicating it. Honey from a foul brood hive will carry the germs of the disease to any bees which may consume it. The presence of this disease may be detected by the foul smell emanating from the hive, and from the circumstance of many cells remain-ing covered longer than naturally occurs when there are living pupae within them.
Pasturage. In the management of bees a great deal must, of course, depend on supplying them with an abundant pasture. A rich corn country is well known to be to them as a barren desert during a great portion of the year. Hence the judicious practice of shifting them from place to place according to the circumstances of the season. It was the advice of Celsus that, after the vernal pastures were consumed, bees should be transported to places abounding with autumnal flowers ; and in accordance with that advice they were in ancient times annually carried from Achaia to Attica, and from Eubcea and the islands of the Cyclades to Scyrus. In Sicily, also, they were brought to Hybla from other parts of the island. So also in Scotland, so soon as the " bright consummate flowers " of summer are on the wane, the people of the Lowlands despatch their hives in cart-loads to the blooming heather of the mountain pastures, where a never-ending paradise of sweets is spread before them. It is, indeed, to be regretted that our moor-lands are not more utilized for this object than they are. The very air of the Highland hills is often redolent with rich perfume, giving earnest of a bountiful harvest; only a solitary bee is seen here and there, labouring with wearied wing among the inexhaustible stores of nature, and scarcely able to regain with its burden its lonely shieling in the distant vale. Considering the poverty of the peasantry, and their frequent want of occupation, it is to be lamented that so easy and pleasant a source of emolument should be so much neglected by them. In consequence of this neglect a large sum is paid every year to foreign nations for articles that could be raised at home, in every respect superior, with very little outlay either of labour or of capital
We learn from Pliny that the practice of removing bees from place to place was frequent in the Roman territories. " As soon," he says, " as the spring food for bees has failed in the valleys near our towns, the hives of bees are put into boats, and carried up against the stream of the river in the night, in search of better pasture. The bees go out in the morning in quest of provisions, and return regularly to their hives in the boats, with the stores they have collected. This method is continued till the sinking of the boats to a certain depth in the water shows that the hive* are sufficiently full; and they are then carried back to their former homes, where their honey is taken out of them." And this is still the practice of the Italians who live near the banks of the Po, the river which Pliny instanced particularly in the passage above quoted.
M. Maillet relates, in ois description of Egypt, that, "in spite of the ignorance and rusticity which have got possession of that country, there yet remain in it several footprints of the industry and skill of the ancient Egyptians. One of their most admirable contrivances is sending their bees annually into distant countries, in order to procure sustenance, at a time when they could not find any at home, and afterwards bringing them back,like shepherds who should travel with their flock, and make them feed as they go. It was observed by the ancient inhabitants of Lower Egypt, that all plants blossomed, and the fruits of the earth ripened, above six weeks earlier in Upper Egypt than with them. They found that the same law applied to their bees ; and the means they then made use of to enable these usefully industrious insects to reap advantage from the more forward state of nature there, were exactly the same as are now practised for the like purpose in that country. About the end of October, all such inhabitants of Lower Egypt as have hives of bees, embark them on the Sile, and convey them up that river into Upper Egypt, observing to time the journey so that they arrive there just when the inundation is withdrawn, the lands have been sown, and the flowers begin to bud. The hives thus sent are marked and num-bered by their respective owners, and placed pyramidally in boats prepared for the purpose. After they have remained some days at their furthest station, and are supposed to have gathered all the wax and honey they could find in the fields within two or three leagues around, their conductors convey them in the same boats two or three leagues lower down, and there leave the laborious insects as long time as is necessary for them to collect all the riches of this _pot. Thus the nearer they come to the place of their more perma-nent abode, they find the productions of the earth, and the plants which afford them food, forward in proportion. In fine, about the beginning of February, after having travelled through the whole length of Egypt, gathering all the rich produce of the delightfulbanks of the Nile, they arrive at the mouth of that river, towards the ocean, from whence they originally set out. They are now returned to their several homes, great care being taken to keep an exact register of every district from which the hives were sent in the beginning of the season, their numbers, the names of the persons who sent them, and likewise of the mark or number of the boat in which they were placed.''
In many parts of France floating bee-houses are also common; there are on board one barge three to five score of bee-hives, well defended from the inclemency of an accidental storm. The owners allow their barges to float gently down the river, the bees continually choosing their flowery pasture along the banks of the stream, and thus a single floating bee-house yields the proprietor a considerable income. They have also a method of transporting their bees by land which is well worth imitation. Those hives being selected whose combs are firm and not likely to be broken by jolting, thirty to forty of them are carefully packed in tiers in a cart, which proceeds slowly on its travels. If the season be sultry, they journey only at night, the hives being covered up with a cloth. On arriv-ing in a suitable locality the hives are taken out of the cart, set upon the ground, and the bees go forth in search of food. In the evening, as soon as they are all returned, the hives are shut up, and being placed again in the cart they proceed on their journey. When the caravan has arrived at its destination, the colonies are distributed in the gardens or fields adjacent to the houses of the different peasants, who, for a very small remuneration, undertake to look after them.
Bee keeping different countries. On the continents of Europe and America bee-keeping is carried on in a much larger and more scientific manner than in the United Kingdom, where the cottagers still, in the greater majority of instances, use only the ancient straw skep or hive, and know no other method of depriving the colonies of their stores than the barbarous and wasteful practice of smothering them with brimstone. In Russia the province of Pultowa boasts of 500,000, and Ekater-inoslaw has 400,000 hives. In Western Russia the industry chiefly flourishes in the province of Kowno, where the Tchmude tribe are almost wholly engaged in bee-keeping; and in Eastern Russia the Finnic tribe are enthusiastic apiarians. In Siberia bee-keeping is mostly carried on about the Altai mountains, and in Caucasia by the Meretinzes and Grusinians. In Southern Russia artificial hives are used, while in North Russia the bees are kept in a natural manner in the forests. The principal reasons why bee-culture is so industriously carried on in Russia are, first, because the peasants use honey instead of sugar, and, secondly, because wax tapers, to the value of 1,200,000 roubles are required for the churches. Mr Buschen states that the quantity of honey annually produced in European Russia is 600,000 to 700,000 ft. In Hungary and Ger-many apiaries of 2000 to 5000 colonies are said to be not in-frequent; and great numbers are in the autumn often found congregated together on the heaths. In 1873 the aggregate number of stocks in Germany, including Hanover and Hesse Cassel, was found to be 1,453,764 stocks; Bavaria alonehad 338,897. The German Government encourages bee culture in every possible manner; teachers, paid by the state, travel through the rural districts teaching the best methods of cultivation; and all schoolmasters, before receiving their diplomas, have to pass an examination in this subject. Bee-clubs in the villages are common, money for prizes and expenses being in part supplied by the Government. The result of this fostering care is that Germany produces many skilful apiarians, who contribute greatly to our knowledge of the science. In the United States bee-farming is largely carried on as a distinct trade, every scientific appliance being eagerly brought into use. The country also seems to be particularly productive of honey-secreting flowers, and consequently large harvests are gathered. In 1874 one bee-farm alone, that of Mr Harbison, situated in San Diego county, California, produced 150,000 ft of honey, of a market value of $30,000, from 2000 stocks of bees. The honey-bee of both varieties (Apis mellifica and A. ligustica) has also been introduced into South Africa and New Zealand, where it flourishes amazingly.
Apiaries and Hives.
Apiaries and hives. Having thus given at considerable length the natural history of the hive-bee, we proceed to describe the most approved hives, &c, in use in a well-managed apiary. Greater attention to this useful appendage to the cottage would not only be productive of commercial advantage, but would tend to improve the condition of the peasantry. It is not generally known, indeed, what profitable results may be obtained, at a trifling expense of time and labour, from bee-keeping. Even supposing the first cost of a swarm to be one guinea, which is a high price, the cottager, with proper care and management, will clear, in five years, a net profit of nearly £60, and have besides, at the end of that period, ten good stocks of bees in his garden.
The principal objects to be considered in the construction and management of an apiary, are, first, to secure the prosperity and multiplication of the colonies, and then to increase the amount of their productive labour, and to obtain their products with facility and with the least possible detriment to the stock. The apiary should afford to the bees shelter against moisture and the extremes of heat and of cold, and especially against sudden vicissitudes of temperature. The hives should render every facility for constructing the combs and rearing the young; they should allow of every part of the combs being occasionally in-spected, and of their being removed when necessary; and, while due attention is paid to economy, they should be made of materials that will insure durability. Much ingenuity has been displayed by different apiarians in the construction of hives to unite in the greatest possible degree all these advantages; but there is still great room for improvement on the hives that are in common use.
While some cultivators of bees have been chiefly anxious to promote their multiplication, and prevent the escape of the swarms in the natural way by procuring what are termed "artificial swarms," which is effected by various means, others have taken into consideration only the abundance of the products which they yield, and the best way of extracting them from the hive, without showing any particular solicitude as to the preservation of the bees themselves; still another class of apiarians have had more particularly in view the prosecution of researches in the natural history and economy of bees. The hive invented by Hubei was in his time a great advance for the purpose last named He gave it the name of " ruche en livre ou en feuillets " from its opening and shutting somewhat in the manner of the leaves of a book. It had, however, many inconveniences which are remedied in some hives of more modem construction, and Huber's leaf-hive is now rarely used, although it may claim the distinction of having been the first of the frame hives which are now, with many modifications, generally acknowledged to be the only ones capable of giving the maximum of prosperity to the bees and producing a large honey harvest, combined with affording facilities for observation and manipulation. The old cylindrical straw skep or hive is still generally used among the cottagers of England, although abandoned in many other countries. While very excellent for warmth and ventilation, it has the disadvantage that its interior is inaccessible for information; and the fixity of its combs precludes many manipulations which the skilful apiarian is called upon to perform. This was well known to the ancients, who, to remedy it, fitted the crowns of their hives with movable wooden bars, from which the bees built their combs, but still they were attached by their sides to the hive and required to be cut away before they could be removed,these operations greatly disturbing the bees. In 1851, Dzierzon in Germany, and Langstroth in America, two of the most skilful apiarians of the present day, simultaneously designed or invented the bar-frame hive, the principle of which, with many varieties of detail, is found in all the best hives now in use. A well-known English example of this kind of hive is the " Woodbury " (fig. 4), named after its designer, Mr Woodbury of Exeter. This consists of a square wooden box, 14 J inches in diameter (inside measure), and 9 inches deep, covered by a top or crown-board either loose or lightly screwed down. This board has a circular hole in the centre, inches in dia-meter, for feeding purposes, and when not in use is covered with perforated zinc or a block of wood. The floor-board is 18 inches square, with an entrance cut in it forming a channel about 4 inches wide and fths of an inch deep. At the part where the front of the hive crosses it gradually slopes upwards inside the hive. An alighting-board for the bees is fixed to the front of the floor-board opposite the entrance, and projects 3 or 4 inches; a wooden ridge-roof covers all. The interior of the hive is fitted with ten frames ; they are made of light lath, about f- ths of an inch wide, the top bars being fths and the sides and bottom rails -j^-ths of an inch in thickness respectively. The top bars are 15^ inches in length, and project into notches cut into rabbets at the back and front of the hive to receive them. The rabbets are fths of an inch deep, and the notches in them are of the same depth, so that the projections in the bars rest flush in them, leaving a space of fths clear above the frames, over which the bees can travel. The ten frames occupy equal portions of the interior space; if this be divided into ten equal divisions, the centre of each will be exactly the point at which the centre of each bar-frame should rest; these points will be 1^ inches apart. In these frames it is intended that the bees shall build their combs; and when they have done so, any frame may be quietly lifted out of the hive with all the bees upon it, whether for examination or for division of the stock for an artificial swarm. To induce the bees to build straight in the frames a thin strip of comb is usually attached to the underside of the top bar, or a thin line of molten wax poured down the centre of the bar will answer the purpose, as the bees will follow the guide thus laid. For the purpose of providing storage-room for honey an upper storey, called a " super," is added to the hive, of the same diameter but of less height, 3 to 5 inches usually sufficing, as when filled it may be taken off and an empty one substituted. Before a super be placed in position, the crown-board should be removed, and a thin board, called an " adapter," substituted; this, in place of the round central hole, has near each side a long aperture, 3/16ths of an inch wide, which gives passage to the workers, but not to the queen and dronesthe latter being useless there, and it being desirable the queen should not oviposit in the super.
Elegant supers are made of glass globes, or propagating glasses, which the bees will readily use if enticed into them by a few pieces of clean white comb.
Many improvements have been made on the Woodbury hive, tending still further to the comfort and well-being of the bees, as well as to the furtherance of scientific study; and, perhaps, the hive that may be said to combine most of these advantages is one designed by Mr Frank Cheshire, and known as the "Cheshire Hive" (figs. 5 and 6). To afford the bees the maximum of comfort and to economize-their heat, the walls of this hive are made double, enclosing an air space. The Woodbury frames are used, but rest on the thin edge of a strip of zinc within the hive at the back and front, which prevents the bees fixing them with pro-polis. The floor-board is constructed to slide in a groove beneath the hive, and the entrance can be enlarged or diminished at pleasure by a pair of sliding-shutters; the hive is complete with stand and roof, and altogether leaves little to be desired.
The adoption of frame hives has greatly facilitated the scientific study of the insects' habits, the artificial multiplication of colonies, and the appropriation of their surplus stores without injury to the bees. It is quite a secondary consideration what size or pattern of frame is used, or how the frames are suspended in the hive, provided the principle of movable frames be adopted; and although much ingenuity has been exercised by scientific men to design a hive embracing every possible advantage regardless of cost, the roughest timber and coarsest workmanship wiU give as good results as the most elaborate. Frame hives are exceedingly well calculated for procuring artificial swarms. They allow us to judge by inspection whether the population be sufficient to admit of division, if the brood be of the proper age, if drones exist or are ready to be produced for impregnating the young queens,all of which circumstances are material to the success of the operation. Wooden hives are generally made square, but not invariably so. The " Stewarton hive " (fig. 7), largely and successfully used in Scotland, is octagonal, and the " Quinby hive " of America is much deeper from back to front than it is wide. The Stewarton is not properly a frame, but a bar-hive, although frames are sometimes fitted to it. It usually consists of three octagon breeding-boxes, 14 inches in diameter by 6 inches deep, each furnished with nine bars placed equidistant, the spaces between being occupied by movable slides of wood working in grooves in the bars. The hive has shuttered windows back and front, handles to lift, and hooks to weigh with, as well as little buttons to prevent displacement ; each breeding-box has an entrance-way 4 inches wide and half an inch high, with a sliding-door to close it wholly or partially. There are also two supers or honey boxes, the same diameter as the stock boxes, but only 4 inches deep; these are furnished with wider bars, seven in number, and a floorboard completes the whole, which, being made of but J inch wood, requires protection from the weather.
For those persons who are unable to handle bees with impunity, but are yet desirous of studying their economy, a glass covered observatory hive has been deemed a necessity. Several have been designed for this purpose, but none of them have been found to be a healthy" abode for the bees,glass being a cold and ungenial material, on which the moisture of the hive condenses during the winter to the detriment of health of the inhabitants. In the summer, however, bees may be kept in a glass hive without great loss, although with no gain; such a hive may be constructed of a double sash, thickly glazed back and front, of just sufficient width for one comb only and space to allow the bees free passage over both sides of the comb. A very excellent hive in English use is that known as the " Woodbury unicomb," which is so constructed that six frames may be taken out of an ordinary hive, and hung up in a double perpendicular row between the two sashes, permitting their return in the autumn to their original hive, Egress and ingress is given to the bees by a tunnelled channel to the centre of the hive on the floor line; and by means of a turn-table the hive may be revolved to bring both sides under alternate observation, together with all its inhabitants and their works. The common straw hive, or skep, of the cottagers is too well known to require description, and although it is greatly inferior to frame hives, it will doubtless long retain a place from its easy make and little cost. A great improvement now generally in use is the adoption of a round hole in the centre of the crown, about 2 J inches in diameter, which will permit the bees access to the super, and afford facilities to the bee-master for feeding his stock. The capacity of these hives should be about a bushel, when the apiary is situated in a good honey locality.
Honey extractors. To a German apiarian we are indebted for the invention of a machine called the honey-extractor, which, with some subsequent improvements, forms a most important aid in large apiaries to increase the yield of honey. By this appliance the frames of full honeycomb are in a few seconds emptied of their contents without injury to the combs, which are ready at once to be returned to the hive to be refilled, thus saving to the bees great labour in comb-building, and enabling them to take the utmost advantage of a favourable honey-time, which usually is but short Honey is saved too, which the bees eat in comb-building; for it has been calculated that bees consume 20 ft of honey in producing 1 ft of wax. There are various patterns of the machine, but the principle of all may be said to be the same, that of centrifugal force. The apparatus consists of a cylindrical metal reservoir, with a tap at the bottom; and within is contained a perpendicular quadrangular frame, two sides of which are covered with wire-netting, and against these the full honeycombs, with their cells previously uncapped, are placed. This framework is then set revolving by means of a handle and cog-wheels, or other motive power, when the honey is flung out against the sides of the cylinder, and the combs completely emptied to be returned to the bees to clean and refill. The loss of this honey, and the excitement caused by the cleaning the wet combs, seem to induce the bees to work their hardest to replace their stores ; and with a strong colony an enormous amount of honey is obtainable in a good locality and season. It has been recorded that one stock in America gathered 600 ft in a single season, and harvests of 200 lb and 300 ft are not uncommon there.
We shall now give a short exposition of the modern, humane, and scientific system of bee-keeping, which is probably destined at no distant day to supersede the ignorance and cruelty of past ages.
Stocking a frame hive. A description has already been given of examples of the best movable bar and frame hives, and the system they represent should alone be adopted, i.e., every comb in the hives should be movable and interchangeable. In stocking these it is usual, first, to hive the swarm in an old-fashioned straw skep; and in the evening, after all the bees are quietly settled, suddenly to shake them down against the entrance of the hive or on the top of the frames, when the astonished insects will immediatly take refuge in their future home. Should continuous bad weather occur after hiving a swarm, the bees must be fed, for, as they have as yet no stores, they will otherwise starve.
Feeding bees. For feeding bees a multitude of appliances have been invented, but they may all give place to a common wide mouth pickle bottle; this is filled with syrup, the mouth tied over with a double fold of net, or placed inverted on a piece of perforated zinc or vulcanite over the feeding-hole of the crown-board of the hive. The supply can be regulated to the bees by the number and size of the holes through which they are allowed to suck. In cold weather when much moisture would be hurtful in the hive, barley-sugar may be advantageously used as a substitute for syrup. The former is made by boiling, for ten minutes, 2 ft of loaf-sugar in a pint of water, a little vinegar being added to prevent crystallization. The prosperity and profit of an apiary in a great measure depend on judicious feeding. It is bad economy to stint the bees in food. In the early spring slow and continuous feeding (a few ounces of syrup each day) will stimulate the queen to oviposit, by which means the stocks are rapidly strengthened and throw of) early swarms. Upon the emergence of these, if a young fertile queen be immediately supplied, the hive is ready again to swarm in a remarkably short time. It is a singular fact that if stimulating feeding has been for some time pursued, and the supply be intermitted and nothing coming in from the fields, the bees will destroy all the young larva? and eggs, instinct seeming to teach the wise insects that the calls on the resources of the colony in the way of food for the young will be more than it can bear.
Water. An abundant supply of water is essential to the healthy condition of bees. They consume a large quantity, and often stop to drink at the edge of stagnant pools, and seem even to prefer putrid and urinous waters to purer streams, as if their saline and pungent qualities were grateful to them.
Honey harvest. Where the bee-keeper has the use of a honey-extractor, and a large produce of honey is his desideratum, the combs can be emptied as fast as they are filled; and at the close of the season the bees may be deprived of the whole of their honey if syrup be supplied to them in its place. This is of much less value, and answers every purpose for winter stores. No hive should be trusted to the exigencies of winter with a less weight of sealed comb than 15 B>. Honey may also be gathered into supers; and the bees in good seasons will readily build their combs there, but should be enticed to do so with a few pieces of nice white decoy-comb placed within. The management of the Stewarton hives may be described as follows:Two of the breeding-boxes having had their bars furnished with guide-comb, are lashed together, the sliding-door of the upper one run in and the slides of the lower withdrawn, when the two boxes become virtually one; a prime swarm of bees is introduced, and eight or ten days thereafter, another prime swarm being hived in the third breeding-box, it is placed under the other two. The lower of the two first boxes, now the central, has its door run in and the slides of the lower withdrawn. The second swarm of bees will soon run up and fraternise with the others ; and the next morning the lowermost box may be removed, and the entrance opened of the one above. The space provided by the two boxes will be found ample for breeding; and when full, the strong stock formed by the double swarm will soon be glad to occupy the super then to be added, to which communication should be afforded by withdraw-ing the outer slide on each side only. Should the season prove favourable the super will soon be filled, and when nearly so another should be placed on the top, and the first may be removed as soon as the honey cells are sealed over. All supers must be warmly wrapped up or padded, or the bees will be found reluctant to occupy them.
By the judicious management of supers, and the use of the honey-extractor, swarming may be in a great measure controlled ; for if many swarms issue, the result must be that little honey will be gathered; all the energies of the reduced population being exerted to procure food for and attend to the young A super put on the hive before the bees have made preparations for swarming by the construc-tion of queen cells, &c, will generally prevent swarming, but not invariably. The bee-keeper must, therefore, decide whether he prefers an increase of his stocks or a large honey harvest, and manage his bees accordingly.
Artificial warming. It often happens that bees give every indication of an intention to swarm, and cluster idly outside the hive in large numbers for days or even weeks before they really emigrate, all this time keeping their owner in suspense; and possibly the swarm comes off at last without being observed. This is very tantalising, but may all be prevented by means of artificial swarming, the mode of proceeding for which varies according to the kind of hive in use. Considering, first, straw skeps, the common hive of the country, the operation to be pursued is known as "driving." This is not new, having been described by Dr Warder in the last century. The mode usually adopted is as follows :Towards noon, on a fine day, when many of the bees are abroad, inject at the hive's entrance a puff or two of tobacco smoke, and with the hands give a smart smack on each side. The effect is that the whole of the inhabitants are struck with extreme terror; and after, perhaps, an alarmed sally to the entrance, every bee rushes to the cells to fill itself with honey. Allowing two or three minutes for them to effect their purpose, the hive is boldly inverted and an empty hive of the same size placed on it mouth to mouth. A long towel is now bound round the junction to confine the bees, and the operator, with two sticks or the palms of his hands, keeps up a continuous smart rapping on the sides of the full hive, and after a few minutes the bees will all stream up into the empty hive, generally not more than fifteen minutes having elapsed before the first hive is denuded of its inhabitants. It should now be placed on the stand of some other strong stock (previously removed), whose returning bees will form a population to nurse the young and rear a queen if one be not supplied by the apiarian. If the swarm is to be at once sent away to a distance exceeding 1 1/2 miles, the hive may be returned to its old stand, and so be peopled by the remainder of its old inhabitants who were at work. But if the swarm is to remain near, it should be placed on the old stand, as the bees, on their next flight, will return to the locality they know so well. " Driving" should also be pursued in the autumn, when it is desired to appropriate the honey of the hive. The driven bees should then be added to another stock, which they will advantageously strengthen. Where frame hives are in use, the following method may be adopted :First, lift out the frames and search until the queen be found, when she, with the frame she is on, must be placed in the centre of a new hive, and be flanked on both sides by another comb as full of sealed brood as can be obtained. Fill up both hives with new frames furnished with empty combs, or guide-combs only if the former be not available, and shake into (or before the entrance of) the hive where the queen is sufficient bees to form a large swarm. Many will fly back to their old home, but all the young bees will remain. This hive should then be removed to some distance and the old one replaced. If the swarm is to be sent to a distance, the bees may be simply shaken off the combs into (or in front of) a new hive (taking care the queen is with them), which should be temporarily placed on the spot where the old one has just stood. The bees will enter it, and when all is quiet it should be removed and the old one reinstated. The bees that return from the fields will form a population for the domicile which they will find in the familiar place. Before in any manner operating on bees, it is advisable to puff a little smoke into the hive. This alarms them and causes them to fill their honey-pouches, and a bee in this state never volunteers an attack; but it is always prudent to cover one's face and hands, as home-returning bees are sometimes inclined to resent the disturbance to their family. India-rubber gloves, with gauntlets and veil of leno, will afford ample protection; the latter should be a simple bag, open at top and bottom, but with half a yard of elastic sewn in the top, through which should be passed the crown of a broad-brimmed hat; the coat should be buttoned over the lower part. Bee-keepers who meddle much with their bees soon become accustomed to stinging and do not suffer much. Experiments have been made to ascertain the number of stings required to inoculate the blood, and it has been stated that about thirty, at the rate of three or four a day, will suffice, after which the effect of the bee-poison is trivial. Persons unaccustomed to the poison, however, often suffer severely.
We conclude by observing that the honey-bee (Apis mellifica) is supposed to be of Asiatic origin. It was imported from Europe to America, where it is now found wild in great numbers, and at a vast distance from human habitations.
[Further Reading] An excellent treatise, The Honey-Bee, its Natural History, Physiology, and Management, was published in 1827 by Dr Edward Bevan. It contains some of the best practical remarks on the subject that are any-where to be met with, and gives a fair account of the labours of the author's predecessors, Reaumur, Hunter, Huber, Keys, Vicat, and Dunbar. The Rev. L. L. Langstroth, of New York, has also written a very excellent volume on The Hive and Honey-Bee. To Pastor Dzierzon, the Baron von Berlepsch, and Von Siebold of Germany, we are indebted for many accurate and valuable observa-tions on physiology and hive management; and a Manual of Bee-keeping, written in 1875 by Mr John Hunter, secretary of the British Beekeepers' Association, contains much practical information on scientific and profitable bee-keeping. We may add that the above association, established in 1874 under the presidency of Sir John Lubbock, is the first vigorous effort made in England to extend and improve this neglected although valuable branch of rural economy. (J. H.)