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that it was at a great distance; for, after hovering some time, as if undetermined, they fly away, mount up into the air, and go off with great velocity. When they have fixed upon ther future habitation, they immediately begin to make their combs for they have the materials within themselves. I have reason," says Mr. Hunter, "to believe that they fill their crops with honey when they come away, probably from the stock in the hive. I killed several of those that came away, and found their crops full, while those that remained in the hive had their crops not near so full: some of them came away with farina on their legs, which I conceive to be rather accidental. I may just observe here, that a hive commonly sends off two, sometimes three swarms in a summer, but that the second is commonly less than the first, and the third less than the second; and this last has seldom time to provide for the winter.
"The materials of their dwelling or comb, which is the wax, is the next consideration, with the mode of forming, preparing, or disposing of it. In giving a totally new account of the wax, I shall first shew it can hardly be what it has been supposed to be. First, I shall observe that the materials, as they are found composing the comb, are not to be found in the same state (as a composition) in any vegetable, where they have been supposed to be got. The substance brought in on the legs, which is the farina of the flowers of plants, is, in common, I believe, imagined to be the materiale cf which the wax is made, for it is called by most, the wax: but it is the farina, for it is always of the same colour as the farina of the flower where they are gathering; and, indeed, we see them gathering it, and we also see them covered almost all over with it like a dust: nevertheless, it has been supposed to be the wax, or that the wax was extracted from it. Reaumur is of this opinion.
"I made several experiments, to see if there was such a quantity of oil in it, as would account for the quantity of wax to be formed, and to learn if it was composed of oil. I held it ear the candle; it burnt, but did not smell like wax, and had the same smell when burning, as farina when it was burnt. I observed, that this substance was of different colours on different bees, but always of the same colour on both legs of the same bee; whereas a new-made comb was all of one co lour. I observed, that it was gathered with more avidity for old hives, where the comb is complete, than for those hives where it was only begun, which we could hardly conceive, admitting it to be the materials of wax. Also we may observe, that at the very beginning of a hive, the bees seldom bring in any substance on their legs for two or three days, and after that, the farina gatherers begin to increase; for now sonit
cells are formed to hold it as a store, and some (ggs are laid, which, when hatched, will require this substance as food, and which will be ready when the weather is wet.
The wax is formed by the bees themselves; it may be called an external secretion of oil, and I have found that it is formed between each scale of the under side of the belly. When I first observed this substance, in my examination of the workng bee, I was at a loss to say what it was: I asked myself if it were scales forming, and whether they cast the old, as the lobster, &c. does? but it was to be found only between the scales on the lower side of the belly. On examining the bees through glass hives, while they were climbing up the glass, I could see that most of them had this substance, for it looked as if the lower or posterior edge of the scale was double, or that there were double scales; but I perceived it was loose, not attached. Finding that the substance brought in on their legs was farina, intended, as appeared from every circumstance, to be the food of the bee, and not to make wax; and not having yet perceived any thing that could give me the least idea of wax; I conceived these scales might be it, at least I thought it necessary to investigate them. I therefore took several on the point of a needle, and held them to a candle, where they melted, and immediately formed themselves into round globules; upon which I no longer doubted that this was the wax, which opinion was confirmed to me by not finding those scales but in the building season.
"The cells, or rather the congeries of cells, which compose the comb, may be said to form perpendicular plates, or partitions, which extend from top to bottom of the cavity in which they build, and work downwards; but if the upper part of this vault to which their combs are fixed, is removed, and a dome is put over, they begin at the upper edge of the old comb, and work up into the new cavity at the top. They generally may be guided, as to the directions of their new plates, by forming ridges at top, to which they begin to attach their combs. In a long hive, if these ridges are longitudinal, their plates of comb will be longitudinal; if placed transversely, so will be the plates; and if obliquely, the plates of comb will be oblique also. Each plate consists of a double set of cells, whose bottoms form the partition between each set. The plates themselves are not very regularly arranged, not forming a regular plane where they might have done so, but are often adapted to the situatic or shape of the cavity in which they are built
"The bees do not endeavour to shape their cavity to their work, as the wasps do, nor are the cells of equal depths, also fitting them to their situation; but as the breeding cells must all be of a given depth, they reserve a sufficient number for breeding in, and they put the honey into the others, as also
into the shallow ones. The attachment of the comb round the cavity is not continued, but interrupted, so as to form passages in the middle of the plates, especially if there be a cross-stick to support the comb; these allow of bees to go across from plate to plate. The substance which they use for attaching their combs to surrounding parts, is not the same as the common wax; it is softer and tougher, a good deal like the substance with which they cover in their chrysalis, or the humblebee surrounds her eggs. It is probably a mixture of wax with farina. The cells are placed nearly horizontal, but not exactly, so; the mouth raised a little, which probably may be to retain the honey the better: however, this rule is not strictly observed, for often they are horizontal, and towards the lower edge of a plane of comb they are often declining. The first combs that a hive forms are the smallest, and much neater than the last or lowermost. Their sides or partitions, between cell and cell, are much thinner, and the hexagon is much more perfect. The wax is purer, being probably little else but wax, and it is more brittle. The lower combs are considerably larger, and contain much more wax, or perhaps, more properly, more materials; and the cells are at such distances as to allow them to be of a round figure; the wax is softer, and there is something mixed with it. I have observed that the cells are not all of equal size, some being a degree larger than others; and that the small are the first formed, and of course at the upper part, where the bees begin; and the larger are nearer the lower part of the comb, or last made: however, in hives of a particular construction, where the bees may begin to work at one end, and can work both down and towards the other end, we often find the larger cells both on the lower part of the combs, and also at the opposite end; these are formed for the males to be bred in: in the hornet and wasp combs there are larger cells for the queens to be bred in ; these are also formed in the lower tier, and are the last formed.
The first comb made in a hive is all of one colour, viz. almost white; but is not so white towards the end of the season, having then more of a yellow cast."
What follows is principally abridged from Huber, who in many instances is more correct than Hunter.-A hive contains three kind of bees. 1. A single queen bee, distinguishable by the great length of her body, and the proportional shortness of her wings. 2. Working-bees, female non-breeders. or, as they were formerly called, neuters, to the amount of many thousands; these are the smallest bees in the hive, and are armed with a sting. 3. Drones, or males, to the number perhaps of fifteen hundred or two thousand; these are larger
than the workers, and of a dark colour; they make a grea. noise in flying, and have no sting. The whole labour of the camunity is performed by the workers: they elaborate the wax, and construct the cells; they collect the honey, and feed the brood. The drones, numerous as they are, serve no other purpose than to ensure the increase of the hive, and are regu larly massacred by the workers at the beginning of autumn.
It is the office of the queen-bee to lay the eggs. These remain about three days in the cells before they are hatched A small white worm then makes its appearance, (called indif ferently, worm, larva, maggot, or grub;) this larva is fed with honey for some days, and then changes into a nymph or pupa. After passing a certain period in this state, it comes forth a perfect winged insect.
M. Huber, after noticing the propagation of this industrious race, next states the accidental discovery of the very singular and unexpected consequences which follow from retarding the impregnation of the queen-bee beyond the twentieth or twenty-first day of her life. In the natural order of things, or when impregnation is not retarded, the queen begins to lay the eggs of workers forty-six hours after, and she continues for the subsequent eleven months to lay none but these;" and it is only after this period, that a considerable and uninterrupted laying of the eggs of drones commences. When, on the contrary, impregnation is retarded after the twenty-eighth day, the queen begins, from the forty-sixth hour, to lay the eggs of drones; and she lays no other kind during her whole life." It would be tedious to detail the experiments; they were numerous, and the results uniform. "I occupied myself (says M. Huber) the remain er of 1787, and the two subsequent years, with experiments on retarded,fecundation, and had constantly the same results." It is undoubted, therefore, that when the course of natural instinct is retarded beyond the twentieth day, only an imperfect generation is produced; as the queen, instead of laying the eggs of workers and of males equally, will lay those of males only
This discovery is entirely M. Huber's own and so difficult is it to offer any plausible explanation of the fact, that he himself has scarcely attempted it.
The working-bees had been for ages considered as entirely destitute of sex; and hence, in the writings of many authors, they are denominated neuters, but from the experiments of Schirach and Huber, it seems now to be clearly ascertained, that the workers are really of the female sex.
M Huber confirms the curious discovery of M. Schirach, that when bees are by any accident deprived of their queen, they have the power of selecting one or two grubs of workers, and of converting them into queens; and that they accom
plish this by greatly enlarging the cells of those selected arvæ, by supplying them more copiously with food, and with that of a more pungent sort than is given to the common larvæ.
M. Huber gives the following curious account of the manner in which bees proceed in forming capacious cells for the workers' grubs destined to royalty." Bees soon become sensible of having lost their queen, and in a few hours commence the labour necessary to repair their loss. First they select the young common worms, which the requisite treatment is to convert into queens, and immediately begin with enlarging the cells where they are deposited. Their mode of proceeding is curious; and the better to illustrate it, I shall describe the labour bestowed on a single cell, which will apply to all the rest containing worms destined for queens. Having chosen a worm, they sacrifice three of the contiguous cells; next they supply it with food, and raise a cylindrical enclosure around, by which the cell becomes a perfect tube, with a rhomboidal bottom; for the parts forming the bottom are left untouched. If the bees damaged it, they would lay open three corresponding cells on the opposite surface of the comb, and consequently destroy their worms, which would be an unnecessary sacrifice, and nature has opposed it. Therefore, leaving the bottom rhomboidal, they are satisfied with raising a cylindrical tube around the worm, which, like the other cells in the comb, are horizontal. But this habitation remains suitable to the worm called to the royal state, only during the first three days of its existence: another situation is requisite for the other two days it is a worm. During that time, though so small a portion of its life, it must inhabit a cell nearly of a pyramidical figure, and hanging perpendicularly. The workers, therefore gnaw away the cells surrounding the cylindrical tube, mercilessly sacrifice their worms, and use the wax in constructing a new pyramidical tube, which they solder at right angles to the first, and work it downwards. The diameter of this pyramid decreases insensibly 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 near its body, forming a kind of cord around it. The worm, which can move only in a spiral direction, turns incessantly to take the food before its head it insensibly descends, and at length arrives at the orifice of the cell. Now is the time of transformation to a nymph. As any further care is unnecessary, the bees close the cell with a peculiar substance appropriated for it, and there the worm undergoes both its metamorphoses."
M. Huber relates some experiments which confirm the sin gular discovery of M. Riems, concerning common working