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grain, from such as contain some mixture of earth; these grains she glues together with her viscid saliva into masseя the size of small shot,* and transports by means of her jaws to the site of her castle. With a number of these masses, which are the artificial stone of which her building is to be composed, united by a cement preferable to ours, she first forms the basis or foundation of the whole. Next she raises the walls of a cell, which is an inch long and half an inch oroad, and, before its orifice is closed, in form resembles a thimble. This, after depositing an egg, and a supply of honey and pollen, she covers in, and then proceeds to the erection of a second, which she finishes in the same manner, until the whole number, which varies from four to eight, is completed. The vacuities between the cells, which are not placed in any regular order, some being parallel to the wall, others being perpendicular to it, and others inclined to it at different angles, this laborious architect fills up with the same material of which the cells are composed, and then bestows upon the whole group a common covering of coarser grains of sand. form of the whole nest, which, when finished, is a solid mass of stone, so hard as not to be easily penetrated with the blade of a knife, is an irregular oblong, of the same colour as the sand, and, to a casual observer, more resembling a splash of mud than an artificial structure. These bees sometimes are more economical of their labour, and repair old nests, for the possession of which they have very desperate combats. One would have supposed that the inhabitants of a castle so fortified might defy the attack of an insect marauder. Yet an ichneumon, and a beetle (Clerius apiarius, F.) both contrive to introduce their eggs into the cells, and the larvæ proceeding from them devour their inhabitants.-Reaum. vi. 57, 58 Mon. Ap. Angl. i. 179.
Other bees of the same family use different materials in the construction of their nests. Some employ fine earth made into a kind of mortar made with gluten. Another, (A. cærulescens, L.) as we learn from De Geer, forms its nest of argillaceous earth, mixed with chalk, upon stone walls, and sometimes probably builds in chalk-pits. Apis bicornis, L. selects the hollows of large stones for the site of its dwelling; whilst others prefer the holes in wood.
We now proceed to THE UPHOLSTERER-BEE.-Such may those be denominated which line the holes excavated in the earth for the reception of their young, with an elegant coating
• Reaumur plausibly supposes, that it has been from observing this bee thus loaded, that the tale mentioned by Aristotle and Pliny, of the dive-bee's ballasting itself with a bit of stone, previous to flying home in a high wind, has arisen.
of flowers or of leaves. Amongst the most interesting of these is Apis Papaveris, (Megachile, Latr., Anthophora, F.) a species whose manners have been admirably described by Reaumur. This little bee, as though fascinated with the colour most attractive to our eyes, invariably chooses for the hangings of her apartments the most brilliant scarlet, selecting for its material the petals of the wild poppy, which she dexterously cuts into the proper form. Her first process is to excavate in some pathway a burrow, cylindrical at the entrance, but swelled out below, to the depth of about three inches. Having polished the walls of this little apartment, she next flies to a neighbouring field, cuts out oval portions of the flowers of poppies, seizes them between her legs, and returns with them to her cell; and though separated from the wrinkled petal of a half-expanded flower, she knows how to straighten their folds, and, if too large, to fit them for her purpose by cutting off the superfluous parts. Beginning at the bottom she overlays the walls of her mansion with this brilliant tapestry, extending it also on the surface of the ground roand the margin of the orifice. The bottom is rendered warm by three of four coats, and the sides have never less than two. The little upholsterer, having completed the hangings of her apartment, next fills it with pollen and honey to the height of about half an inch; then, after committing an egg to it, she wraps over the poppy lining, so that even the roof may leave this material; and lastly, closes its mouth with a small hillock of earth. -Reaum. 6. 139 to 148. The great depth of the cell, compared with the space which the single egg and the accompanying food deposited in it occupy, deserves particular notice. This is not more than half an inch at the bottom, the remaining two 'nches and a half being subsequently filled with earth.
THE LEAF-CUTTER BEE.-There is a species of wild bee, that cover the walls of their cells with coatings of sobercoloured materials, generally selecting for their hangings the leaves of trees, especially of the rose, whence they have been known by the name of the leaf-cutter bees. They differ also from A. Papaveris in excavating longer burrows, and filling them with several thimble-shaped cells, composed of portions of leaves so curiously convoluted, that, if we were ignorant In what school they have been taught to construct them, we hould never credit their being the work of an insect. Their entertaining history, so long ago as 1670, attracted the attention of our countrymen, Ray, Lister, Willoughby, and Sir Edw. King; but we are indebted for the most complete account of the procedure, to Reaumur
The mother bee first excavates a cylindrical hole eight or ten inches long, in a horizontal direction, either in the
ground or in the trunk of a rotten willow-tree, or occasionally in other decaying wood. This cavity she fills with six or seven cells, wholly composed of portions of leaf in the shape of a thimble, the convex end of one closely fitting into the open end of another. Her first process is to form the exterior coating, which is composed of three or four pieces, of larger imensions than the rest, and of an oval form. The second coating is formed of portions of equal size, narrow at one end, but gradually widening towards the other, where the width equals half the length. One side of these pieces is the serrate margin of the leaf from which it was taken, which, as the pieces are made to lap one over the other, is kept on the outside, and that which has been cut within. The little animal now forms a third coating of similar materials, the middle of which, as the most skilful workman would do in similar circumstances, she places over the margins of those that form the first tube, thus covering and strengthening the junctures. Repeating the same process, she gives a fourth and sometimes a fifth coating to her nest, taking care, at the closed end or narrow extremity of the cell, to bend the leaves so as to form a convex termination. Having thus finished a cell, her next business is to fill it, to within half a line of the orifice, with a rose-coloured conserve, composed of honey and pollen, usually collected from the flowers of thistles; and then having deposited her egg, she closes the orifice with three pieces of leaf so exactly circular, that a pair of compasses could not define their margin with more truth, and coinciding so precisely with the walls of the cell, as to be retained in their situation merely by the nicety of their adaptation. After this covering is fitted in, there remains still a concavity, which receives the convex end of the succeeding cell; and in this manner the indefatigable little animal proceeds until she has completed the six or seven cells composing her cylinder.
The process which one of these bees employs in cutting the pieces of leaf that compose her nest, is worthy of attention. Nothing can be more expeditious; she is not longer about it than we should be with a pair of scissors. After hovering for some moments over a rose bush, as if to reconnoitre the ground, the bee alights upon the leaf which she has selected, usually taking her station upon its edge, so that the margin passes between her legs. With her strong mandibles she cuts without intermission in a curve line, so as to detach a triangular portion. When this hangs by the last fibre, lest its weight should carry her to the ground, she balances her little. wings for flight, and the very moment it parts from the leaf, flies off with it in triumph; the detached portion remaining bent between her legs in a direction perpendicular to her body. Thus without rule or compasses do these diminutive creatures
mete out the materials of their work into portions of an ellipse, into ovals or circles, accurately accommodating the dimensions of the several pieces of each figure to each other. What other architect could carry impressed upon the tablet of his memory the entire idea of the edifice which he has to erect, and, destitute of square or plumb-line, cut out his materials in their exact dimensions without making a single mistake? Yet th's is what our little bee invariably does. So far are human art and reason excelled by the teaching of the Almighty.-Reaum vi. 971–94. Mor. Av. Angl. i. 157. Apis c. 2.
A CURIOUS ACCOUNT OF AN IDIOT BOY, AND BEES.—Mr White has given the following curious account of an idiot boy. From a child he shewed a strong propensity to bees. They were his food, his amusement, his sole object. In the winter he dozed away his time in his father's house, by the fire-side, in a torpid state, seldom leaving the chimney-corner: but in summer he was all alert, and in quest of his game Hive-bees, humble-bees, and wasps, were his prey, wherever he found them. He had no apprehension from their stings, but would seize them with naked hands, and at once disarm them of their weapons, and suck their bodies for the sake of their honey-bags. Sometimes he would fill his bosom between his shirt and skin with these insects; and sometimes he endeavoured to confine them in bottles. He was very injurious to men that kept bees, for he would glide into their bee-gardens, and, sitting down before the stools, would rap with his fingers, and so take the bees as they came out. He has even been known to overturn the hives for the sake of the honey, of which he was passionately fond. Where metheglin was making, he would linger round the tubs and vessels, begging a draught of what he called bee-wine. As he ran about, he used to make a humming noise with his lips, resembling the buzzing of bees. This lad was lean and sallow, and of a cadaverous complexion; and, except in his favourite pursuit, in which he was wonderfully adroit, discovered no manner of understanding. Had his capacity been better, and directed to the same object, he had perhaps abated much of our wonder at the feats of a more modern exhibiter of bees; and we may justly say of him now,
White's Natural History.
We conclude this chapter with an explanation of the pre ceding lines.
Mr. WILDMAN'S CURIOUS EXHIBITIONS OF BEES.-Mr. Wildman, by his dexterity in the management of bees, soma
years ago, surprised the whole kingdom. He caused swarme to light where he pleased, almost instantaneously; he ordered them to settle on his head, then removed them to his hand, and commanded them to settle on a window, table, &c. at pleasure. We subjoin the method of performing these feats, in his own words: "Long experience has taught me, that as soon as I turn up a hive, and give it some taps on the sides and bottom, the queen immediately appears, to know the cause of this alarm; but soon retires again among her people. Being accustomed to see her so often, I readily perceive her at first glance; and long practice has enabled me to seize her instantly with a tenderness that does not in the least endanger her person. This is of the utmost importance; for the least injury done to her brings immediate destruction to the hive, if you have not a spare queen to put in her place, as I have too often experienced in my first attempts. When possessed of her, I can, without injury to her, or exciting that degree of resentment that may tempt her to sting me, slip her into my other hand, and, returning the hive to its place, hold her there, till the bees missing her, are all on wing, and in the utmost confusion. When the bees are thus distressed, I place the queen wherever I would have the bees to settle. The moment a few of them discover her, they give notice to those near them, and those to the rest; the knowledge of which becomes so general, that in a few minutes they all collect themselves round her, and are so happy in having recovered this sole support of their state, that they will long remain quiet in their situation nay, the scent of her body is so attractive of them, that the slightest touch of her along any place or substance, will attach the bees to it, and induce them to any path she takes." -This was the only witchcraft used by Mr. Wildman, and is that alone which is practised by others who have since made › similar exhibitions.