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now see the true reafon to be, that their aid is needed to impreg nate a new queen. The drones are alfo fuffered to exift in hives that poffefs fertile workers, but no proper queen; and, what is remarkable, they are likewife fpared in hives governed by a queen whofe impregnation has been retarded. Here, then, we perceive a counter instinct opposed to that which would have impelled them to the ufual maffacre.
Letter eighth is occupied with miscellaneous topics. The author firft investigates whether the queen be really oviparous; and this point he clearly afcertains in the affirmative.
He next states the different periods at which the transformations occur, in the case of the different orders of queen, worker, and drone; and his information being minute, and no doubt corxectly accurate, we shall extract it.
The worm of workers paffes three days in the egg, five in the ver micular state, and then the bees clofe up its cell with a wax covering. The worm now begins fpinning its coccoon, in which operation thirtyfix hours are confumed. In three days it changes to a nymph, and it paffes fix days in this form. It is only on the twentieth day of its exiftence, counting from the moment the egg is laid, that it attains the fy ftate. The royal worm alfo paffes three days in the egg, and is five a worm; the bees then clofe its cell, and it immediately begins fpinning the coccoon, which occupies twenty-four hours. The teath and eleventh day it remains in complete repofe, and even fixteen hours of the twelfth. Then the transformation to a nymph takes place, in which ftate four and one-third days are paffed. Thus, it is not before the fix. teenth day that the perfect fate of queen is attained.-The male worm paffes three days in the egg, fix and a half as a worm, and metamorphofes into a fly on the twenty-fourth day after the egg is laid. "— P. 151, 152.
The author then examines the effects of position on the growth of the larvæ. The bodies of the larva, in the cells of workers and drones, are placed perpendicular to the horizon; those in royal cells lye horizontally. It was suspected that the horizontal posture somehow promoted the increment of the royal grub; but M. Huber found, that a complete reversal of the position was followed by no perceptible consequence to the larva,
We have, in the next place, some remarks on the coccoons spun by the different larvæ. Workers and drones both spin complete coccoons, or enclose themselves on every side. Royal larva, however, construct only imperfect coccoons, open behind, and enveloping only the head, thorax, and first ring of the abdomen. M. Huber concludes, without any hesitation, that the final cause of the royal larvæ forming only incomplete coccoons, is, that they may thus be exposed to the mortal sting of the first-hatched queen, whose instinct leads her instantly to seek the destruction
of those that would soon become her rivals; and he calls upon us to admire the providence of Nature, in thus exposing the royal larvæ to fatal danger. (p. 159.)
In the close of the letter, we have an account of an experiment instituted to determine the influence which the size of the cells might have on the size of the bees produced in them. All the larvæ were removed from a comb of drones' cells, and the larvæ of workers substituted in their place. The bees, it may be remarked, immediately showed that they were aware of the change which had been effected; for they did not close the cells with the convex covering always placed over the males, but gave them quite a flat top. The result proved that the size of the cells does not materially influence the size of the bees; or, at least, that although a small cell may cramp the size of a worker, yet, that workers bred in large cells do not exceed the ordinary bulk.
In letters ninth, tenth, and eleventh, the author treats of the formation of swarms. But in the first place, he gives an inte resting account of the hatching of the queen-bee. When the pupa is about to change into the perfect insect, the bees render the cover of the cell thinner by gnawing away part of the wax; and with so much nicety do they perform this operation, that the cover at last becomes pellucid, owing to its extreme thinness. This must not only facilitate the exit of the fly, but, M. Huber remarks, it may possibly be useful in permitting the evaporation of the superabundant fluids of the nymph. After the transformation is complete, the young queens would, in common course, immediately emerge from their cells as workers and drones do; but the bees always keep them prisoners for some days in their cells, supplying them in the mean time with honey for food; a small hole being made in the door of each cell, through which the confined bee extends its proboscis to receive it. The royal prisoners continually utter a kind of song, the modulations of which are said to vary. The final cause of this temporary imprisonment, it is suggested, may possibly be, that they may be able to take flight, at the instant they are liberated. When a young queen does at last get out, she meets with rather an awkward reception; she is pulled, bit, and chased, as often as she happens to approach the other royal cells in the hive. The purpose of nature here seems to be, that she should be impelled to go off with a swarm as soon as possible. A curious fact was observed on these occasions; when the queen found herself much harassed, she had only to utter a peculiar noise, (the commanding voice, we may presume, of sovereignty), and all the bees were instantaneously constrained to submission and obedience. This is indeed, one of the most marked instances in which the queen exerts her sove
reign power. It seems entirely to have escaped the notice of Mr Bonner, who declares that he never could observe in the queen any thing like an exertion of sovereignty.
The conclusions at which M. Huber arrives on the subject of swarnis, are the following.
1st, A swarm is always led off by a single queen, either the sovereign of the parent hive, or one recently brought into exist ence. If, at the return of fpring, we examine a hive well peopled, and governed by a fertile queen, we fhall fee her lay a prodigious number of male eggs in the course of May, and the workers will choose that moment for conftructing several royal cells.' (p. 202.) This laying of male eggs in May, M. Huber calls the great laying; and he remarks, that no queen ever has a great laying till the be eleven months old. It is only after finishing this laying, that the is able to undertake the journey implied in leading a fwarm; for, previously to this, latum trahit alvum,' which unfits her for flying. There appears to be a fecret relation between the production of male eggs and the conftruction of royal cells. The great laying commonly lafts thirty days: and regularly on the twentieth or twenty-first, feveral royal cells are founded.
2dly, When the larvæ hatched from the eggs laid by the queen in the royal cells are ready to transform to nymphs, this queen leaves, the hive, conducting a swarm along with her; and the firft fwarm that proceeds from the hive is uniformly conducted by the old queen.' (p. 205.) M. Huber remarks, that it was neceffary that inftinct thould impel the old queen to lead forth the first fwarm; for that the being the ftrongest, would never have failed to have overthrown the younger competitors for the throne. An old queen, as has been already faid, never quits a hive at the head of a fwarm, till the have finifhed her laying of male eggs; but this is of importance, not merely that the may be lighter and fitter for flight, but that he may be ready to begin with the laying of workers' eggs in her new habitation, workers being the bees first needed in order to fecure the continuance and profperity of the newly founded commonwealth.
3dly, After the old queen has conducted the first swarm from the hive, the remaining bees take particular care of the royal cells, and prevent the young queens fucceffively hatched, from leaving them, unless at an interval of feveral days between each.' (p. 207.) Under this head, he introduces a number of general remarks, fome of which may prove useful. A fwarm (he obferves) is never seen, unless in a fine day, or, to fpeak more correctly, at a time of the day when the fun fhines, and the air is calm. SomeY 4
*Bonner on Bees, p. 52.
times we have obferved all the precurfors of fwarming, disorder and agitation; but a cloud paffed before the fun, and tranquillity was restored; the bees thought no more of fwarming. An hour afterwards, the fun having again appeared, the tumult was renewed; it rapidly augmented; and the swarm departed, ' (p. 211.) A certain degree of tumult commences as foon as the young queens are hatched, and begin to traverfe the hive: the agitation foon pervades the whole bees; and fuch a ferment then rages, that M. Huber has often obferved the thermometer in the hive rife fuddenly from about 92° to above 104°: this fuffocating heat he confiders as one of the means employed by nature for urging the bees to go off in fwarms. In warm weather, one ftrong hive has been known to fend off four fwarms in eighteen days,
4thly, The young queens conducting (warms from their native hive, are ftill in a virgin ftate.' (p. 221.) The day after being fettled in their new abode, they generally fet out in queft of the males, and this is ufually the fifth day of their existence as queens, Old queens conducting the firft fwarms require no renewal of their intercourfe with the male, a fingle interview being fufficient to fecundate all the eggs that a queen will lay for at least two years, This is confidered by Mr Bonner as quite an incredible circumftance; infomuch that he remarks, either in a farcaftic, or in a very innocent ftyle, that if a queen bee fhould continue for feven or eight months with about 12,000 impregnated eggs in her ovarium, it certainly would make her appear very large
The worthy bee-mafter feems to have fancied that an egg could not be fecundated till it were of the full fize, and ready for exclufion, It is a fact, however, afcertained beyond controverfy by M. Huber, that a fingle copulation is fufficient to impregnate the whole eggs that a queen will lay in the courfe of at least two years. I have even reason to think (he adds) that a fingle copulation will impregnate all the eggs that he will lay during her whole life; but I want abfolute proof for more than two years. p. 54.
Towards the close of the eleventh letter, we have fome remarks on the wonderful inftincts of bees; and in hazarding these, M. Huber is duly cautious. He refolves all into what Shakespeare calls a ruling nature;' and disapproves both of Réaumeur for afcribing wisdom and forefight to them, and of Buffon for confidering them as mere automata, We do not imagine he would be at all more indulgent to our learned countryman Mr Knight, who, in a late paper on the economy of bees, + has intimated his belief that they can hold confultations, and communicate different kinds of intelligence to each other. If their language (he
* Bonner on becs, p. 69.
goes the length of faying) be not in fame degree a language of ideas, it appears to be fomething very fimilar.
In the twelfth letter, we find additional observations on queens that lay only the eggs of drones, or whose fecundation has been retarded. The instinct of such queens seems to be impaired: they show no antipathy to royal cells, but pass quietly over them without indicating any emotion, while other queens exhibit the greatest enmity against those of their own sex that are in the nymphine state. Some observations are added on the effects produced by mutilating the bodies of queens. Swammerdam had asserted, that if the wings of queens be cut, they are rendered sterile. This appeared rather strange and improbable. M. Hubert ac cordingly found, that the cutting of the wings of impregnated queens produced no effect on them; and he concludes, certainly with great probability, that Swammerdam had cut the wings of virgin queens, who had not therefore been able to seek the males in the air, and so remained barren. The amputation of one antenna, M. Huber found, had no bad effect on a queen; but when deprived of both, she was much deranged: she dropped her eggs at random; and when the bees fed her, she often missed her aim in attempting to catch hold of the morsel they presented to her. M. Huber placed two queens deprived of the antennæ in the same hive: the loss of their feelers seemed to have put an end to their natural animosity; they passed and repassed each other, without taking the least notice. Both of them constantly endeavoured to leave the hive, M. Huber declares, that he cannot say whether the antennæ be the organs of touch or of smell; but he suggests that they may possibly fulfil both functions at once. It seems fully as probable that they are the instruments of a peculiar sense, of the nature of which we have no conception, and for which, consequently, we have no name,
In the thirteenth and last letter, we have several useful observations on the economical treatment of bees. It has already been hinted, that M. Huber's leaf-hive might be employed with advantage by practical men. It is well calculated, for example, for producing artificial swarms, on the principle of Schirach's discovery. In the leaf-hive we can see whether the population is sufficient to admit of division,-if the brood is of proper age, if males exist or are ready to be produced for impregnating the young queen.' By means of it, also, bees may be induced to work much more in wax than they would naturally do. 'Here (says M. Huber) I am led to what I believe is a new observa tion. While naturalists have directed our admiration to the parallel position of the combs, they have overlooked another trait in the industry of bees, namely, the equal distance uniformly