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Churchill, after the following beautiful and picturesque de scription, introduces a sovereign, drawing from it, in a soli loquy, the most natural reflections on the momentous duties f his station.
Strength in her limbs, and on her wings dispatch,
Ne'er doth she flit on pleasure's silken wing,
CURIOSITIES RESPECTING INSECTS.-(Continuea.)
The Clothier Bee.-The Carpenter Bee.-The Mason Bee.-The Upholsterer Bee.-The Leaf-cutter Bee.-Curious Account of an Idiot Boy and Bees.-Mr. Wildman's Curious Exhibitions of Bees explained.
THE CLOTHIER BEE.
Learn each small people's genius, policies,
THE following curious account of wild bees is principally abridged from Kirby and Spence's very interesting work on entum logy.
The clothier bee is a lively and gay insect. It does not excavate holes for their reception, but places them in the cavities of old trees, or of any other object that suits its purpose. Sir Thomas Cullum discovered the nest of one in the inside of the lock of a garden gate, in which Mr. Kirby also
since twice found them. It should seem, however, that such situations would be too cold for the grubs without a coating of some non-conducting substance. The parent bee, therefore, after having constructed the cells, laid an egg in each, and filled them with a store of suitable food, plasters them with a covering of vermiform masses, apparently composed of honey and pollen; and having done this, aware (long before Count Rumford's experiments) what materials conduct heat most slowly, she attacks the woolly leaves of Stachy's lanata, Agrostemma coronaria, and similar plants, and with her mandibles industriously scrapes off the wool, which with her fore legs she rolls into a little ball, and carries to her nest. This wool she sticks upon the plaster that covers her cells, and thus closely envelopes them with a warm coating of down, impervious to every change of temperature.
THE CARPENTER BEE.-A numerous family of wild bees may properly be compared to carpenters, boring with incredible labour, out of the solid wood, long cylindrical tubes, and dividing them into various cells. Amongst these, one of the most remarkable is the Apis violacea, L. (Xylacopa, Latr.) a large species, a native of southern Europe, distinguished by beautiful wings of a deep violet colour, and found commonly in gardens, in the upright putrescent espaliers, or vine props, of which, and occasionally in the garden seats, doors, and window-shutters, she makes her nest. In the beginning of spring, after repeated and careful surveys, she fixes upon a piece of wood suitable for her purpose, and with her strong mandibles begins the process of boring. First proceeding obliquely downwards, she soon points her course in a direction parallel with the sides of the wood, and at length with unwearied exertion forms a cylindrical hole or tunnel not less than twelve or fifteen inches long, and half an inch broad. Sometimes, where the diameter will admit of it, three or four of these pipes, nearly parallel with each other, are bored in the same piece. Herculean as this task (which is the labour of several days) appears, it is but a small part of what our industrious bee cheerfully undertakes. As yet she has completed, but the shell of the destined habitation of her offspring; each of which, to the number of ten or twelve, will require a separate and distinct apartment. In excavating her tunnel, she has detached a large quantity of fibres, which lie on the ground like a heap of saw-dust. This material supplies all her wants. Having deposited an egg at the bottom of the cylinder, along with the requisite store of pollen and honey, she next, at the height of about three-quarters of an inch, (which is the depth of each cell,) constructs of particles of the saw-dust glued together, and also to the sides of
the tunnel, what may be called an annular stage or scaffolding When this is sufficiently hardened, its interior eage affords support for a second ring of the same materials, and thus the ceiling is gradually formed of these concentric circles, till there remains only a small orifice in its centre, which is also closed with a circular mass of agglutinated particles of sawdust. When this partition, which serves as the ceiling of the first cell, and the flooring of the second, is finished, it is about the thickness of a crown piece, and exhibits the appearance of as many concentric circles as the animal has made pauses in her labour. One cell being finished, she proceeds to another, which she furnishes and completes in the same manner, and so on, until she has divided her whole tunnel into ten or twelve apartments.
Such a laborious undertaking as the constructing and furnishing these cells, cannot be the work of one, or even of two days. Considering that every cell requires a store of honey and pollen, not to be collected but with long toil, and that a considerable interval must be spent in agglutinating the floors of each, it will be very obvious that the last egg in the last cell must be laid many days after the first. We are certain, therefore, that the first egg will become a grub, and consequently a perfect bee, many days before the last. What then becomes of it? It is impossible that it should make its escape though eleven superincumbent cells, without destroying the immature tenants; and it seems equally impossible that it should remain patiently in confinement below them until they are all disclosed. This dilemma our heaven-taught architect has provided against. With forethought, never enough to be admired, she has not constructed her tunnel with one opening only, but at the farther end has pierced another orifice, a kind of back door, through which the insects produced by the firstlaid eggs successively emerge into day. In fact, all the young bees, even the uppermost, go out by this road; for, by an exquisite instinct, each grub, when about to become a pupa, places itself in its cell, with its head downwards, and thus is ecessitated, when arrived at its last state, to pierce its cell in this direction.
We shall now describe THE MASON-BEE. There is a family of wild bees which carry on the trade of masons, building their solid houses solely of artificial stone. The first step of the mother bee, Apis mururia, Oliv. (Anthophara, F. Megachile, Latr.) is to fix upon a proper situation for the future mansion of her offspring. For this she usually selects an angle, sheltered by any projection, on the south side of a stone wall. Her next care is to provide materials for the structure. The chief of these is sand, which she carefully selects, grain by