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Bacon is in inductive philosophy--and Newton in science-and Watt in steam.*
Dr. Bevan's may be considered the standard work on our domestic bee. He has exhausted every source of information on the subject, whether from old writers or living authorities. We sometimes perhaps wish that he had been less chary of his own observations, for he seems often to have allowed them to give place to quotations from other authors. A glance at his “table of contents' will show the varied subjects into which his inquiries branch out, and no where will the bee-master find more pleasing or satisfactory information.
Bees have obtained little notice from the British legislature. In France and other continental kingdoms remission of taxes has sometimes been made in proportion to the number of hives kept by the peasant. The English common-law on the subject is also very indefinite. It is a vulgar error to suppose that, if you keep up ringing, and are in sight of your bees, you may legally follow them into your neighbour's grounds, or that it is unlawful to keep an empty hive in your garden. Good neighbourship, however, should prove stronger in both these cases than any defects or bonds of law. They almost come under the enactments of the Cruelty to Animals Prevention Act, but not quite ; indeed, it would be a very nice question for our courts, whether they are domesticated animals or feræ naturæ.
The following story will perhaps settle the question of Tithebees without the aid of the Commissioners. It is that of an ancient gentleman whose parish priest insisted on having the tenth swarm. After much debate
““ It shall be done,” quoth the gentleman. It fortuned within two daies the gentleman had a great swarme, the which he put into a hive, and toward night carried them home to the parson's house; the parson, with his wife and familie, he found at supper in a faire hall; the gentleman saluted them, and told the parson he had brought him some bees. “I, mary," quoth the parson, “this is neighbourly done; I pray
* We can never read any account of Huber without reflecting, with regret, how much his lot would have been lightened, especially after his Maria's death, had he lived to witness the blessed invention of Books for the Blind. It was made in France shortly before the Revolution; and down to a very recent period our Blind Asylums derived their supplies from Paris, where several books of the English Bible and the Prayer-book were executed in raised letters with very fair skill and effect. But in our country, within the last two or three years, one of a rarely gifted brotherhood, Mr. Henry Frere, of Poets' Corner, Westminster, has discovered a new method of raising the impress, which almost rivals in merit the original invention. We have before us part of the Scriptures done in this new style—the page is beautiful to look atand we know, through the experience of an afflicted friend, how vastly more legible it is to a blind person's finger than the best done in the old way—also how much more durable it is. We trust this note may serve to fix the attention of benevolent persons on this happy novelty, and so further the adoption of it, until the whole Bible at least sball thus be made accessible to the private, the solitary study of the blind.
you carry them into my garden.” “ Nay, by troth,” quoth the gentleman, “I will leave them even here.” With that he gave the hive a knock against the ground, and all the bees fell out: some stung the parson, some stung his wife, and some his children and family; and out they ran as fast as they could shift into a chamber, and well was he who could make shift for himself, leaving their meate cold upon the table in the hall. The gentleman went home, carrying his emptie hive with him.' -See Cotton, p. 102.
· The bee,' says an old writer, ‘is but a year's bird with some ad. vantage.' Those hatched,' as Evelyn would say, in May die before the end of the following year. Dr. Bevan indeed gives only an average of six months to the worker, and four to the drone. We think that he cuts the life of the worker too short, as no doubt some last till the July of the following year. If his account were correct, the sacrifice of their lives by stifling would not be so great a loss as it would at first
But their use the second year is not so much for gathering honey as for tending and nursing the young. The queen-bee, though she does not live for ever,' has certainly been known to last to a third or even fourth summer : one writer makes the remark on her—which has often been applied to donkeys and postboys—that he never saw a dead one; but others, Messrs. Cotton and Bagster among the number, have disproved the assertion that the Queen 'never dies,' by being fortunate-or unfortunate enough-to have handled a royal carcase; and, since we commenced writing on this subject, one has kindly been forwarded to us by the post. The duration of a beecolony is of course a very different thing to the life of an individual bee, though they seem, by the ancients especially, often to have been confounded. Columella assigns ten years as the utmost limit to a hive; and though instances are brought forward of a longer period, naturalists seem to be agreed that this would be the ordinary termination of a hive left to itself.* The immediate cause of its falling away is that the bees, in everything else so neat and cleanly, neglect to clear out the exuviæ of the grub-the silken cocoon that it spins and casts—from the brood-cells, till, the off-castings of successive generations choking them up and rendering them useless, the race at length degenerates and becomes extinct. Hence the importance of the practice of cutting away yearly, in those stocks which we wish to preserve, some portions of the old comb, which the bees will continually restore with fresh masonry till, like the ship Argo, it retains it original form without an inch of its original material. Cases, however, are * Virgil considers the existence of a bee seven years—
Neque enim plus septima ducitur æstas.'
stated of the same colony lasting many years. Della Rocca speaks of hives in Syria continuing thrvugh forty or fifty summers; and Butler relates a story, of the year 1520, that 'When Ludovicus Vives was sent by Cardinal Wolsey to Oxford, there to be Public Professor of Rhetoric, being placed in the College of Bees, * he was welcomed thither by a swarm of bees; which sweetest creatures, to signify the incomparable sweetness of his eloquence, settled themselves over his head, under the leads of his study, where they have continued above 100 years ;' and they ever went by the name of Vives' Bees.
'In the year 1630 the leads over Vives' study, being decayed, were taken up and new cast; by which occasion the stall was taken, and with it an incredible mass of honey. But the bees, as presaging their intended and imminent destruction (whereas they were never known to swarm before), did that spring (to preserve their famous kind) send down a fair swarm into the President's garden. The which in the year 1633 yielded two swarms; one whereof pitched in the garden for the President; the other they sent up as a new colony into their old habitation, there to continue the memory of this “Mellifluous Doctor,” as the University styled him in a letter to the Cardinal. How sweetly did all things then concord, when in this neat usoalov, newly consecrated to the Muses, the Muses' sweetest favourite was thus honoured by the Muses' birds!' Whatever
may be the period which nature or man allots to the life of the queen and the worker, there is one sad inhabitant of the hive who is seldom allowed, even by his own species, to bring his dreary autumn to a natural close. About the middle of August, the awful ‘massacre of the innocents, the killing of the drones, begins. • After which time,' as Butler has it, these Amazonian dames begin to wax weary of their mates, and to like their room better than their company.
When there is no use of them, there will be no room for them. For albeit, generally among all creatures, the males as most worthy do master the females, yet in these the females have the pre-eminence, and by the grammarians' leave, the feminine gender is more worthy than the masculine.' There is something unavoidably ludicrous in the distresses of these poor Jerry Sneaks. Having lived in a land of milk and honey all the summer long, partaken of the best of everything, without even stirring a foot towards it, coddled and coaxed, and so completely ‘spoilt,' that they are fit for nothing, who can see them 'taken by the hind legs and thrown down-stairs' with a heap of workers on the top of them—their vain struggles
* So called, says Butler, by the founder in its statutes : Corpus Christi College is meant. There is a letter of Erasmus to John Claymond, the first President, addressed J. C., Collegii Apum Præsidi. We dare not ask whether the colony is yet extant.
to return—their sly attempts to creep in stealthily-their disconsolate resignation at the last--without thinking it a just retribution for the past years of a pampered and unprofitable life? And yet there is mingled with this feeling a degree of pity for these 'melancholy Jaqueses' thrown aside (we mix our characters as in a masquerade) by the imperious and unrelenting Catherine of the
* At first, not quite forgetting their old familiarity, they gently give them Tom Drum's entertainment: they that will not take that for a warning, but presume to force in again among them, are more shrewdly handled. You may sometimes see a handful or two before a hive which they had killed within; but the greatest part fly away and die abroad. We need not name the author we are quoting, who, fearful lest womankind should take this Danaid character for their example, proceeds: But let not nimble-tongued sophisters gather a false conclusion from these true premises, that they, by the example of these, may arrogate to themselves the like superiority: for ex particulari non est syllogizare; and He that made these to command their males, commanded them to be commanded. But if they would fain have it so, let them first imitate their singular virtues, their continual industry in gathering, their diligent watchfulness in keeping, their temperance, chastity, cleanliness, and discreet economy, &c. :' and so he sums up all womanly virtues from this little type as if he believed in the transmigration of souls described by Simonidesnot him of Cosmin his Iambics. We give the translation as we find it in No. 209 of the Spectator:'
"The tenth and last species of women were made out of a bee; and happy is the man who gets such an one for his wife. She is altogether faultless and unblameable. Her family flourishes and improves by her good management. She loves her husband and is beloved by him. She brings him a race of beautiful and virtuous children. She distinguishes herself among her sex. She is surrounded with graces. She never sits among the loose tribe of women, nor passes away her time with them in wanton discourses. She is full of virtue and prudence, and is the best wife that Jupiter can bestow on man.' What can we do better than wish that all good bee-masters may meet with a bee-wife!
We very much question the utility of the common ‘moralities' drawn from the industry and prudence of the bee. Storing and hoarding are rather the curse than the requirement of our ordinary nature; and few, except the very young and the very poor, require to have this sermon impressed upon them. We are rather inclined to believe that, had Almighty Wisdom intended this to be the lesson drawn from the consideration of the works of His creatures, we should have been referred in His revealed VOL. LXXI. NO. CXLI.
word to the housewifery of this insect fowl of the air,' rather than to the ravens 'which have neither storehouse nor barn.'
Yet the thrifty bee is never once set before us as a pattern in the Bible. The Wise King indeed, who "spake of beasts, and of fowls, and of creeping things, and of fishes,' has referred the sluggard and the distrustful to the early hours, and the working while it is yet day,' and the guideless security of the Ant, but we see nothing in his words which necessarily imply approbation of that anxious carefulness for the morrow, which we are elsewhere expressly told to shun, and which is but too often the mask of real covetousness of heart. And we believe this the more, because the Ant, though it wisely provides for its daily bread, does not lay up the winter store wherewith to fare sumptuously every day.
We know that, in saying this, we are flying into the uplifted eyes of careful mothers and bachelor uncles, who time out of mind have quoted, as it has been quoted to them, the busy bee as the sure exemplar of worldly prudence and prosperity; but we think that we can show them a more excellent way even for earthly honour, if they, as Christ's servants, will content themselves with those types in the natural world which He himself has given them, and learn that quiet security, and trustful contentedness, and ready obedience, and active labour for the present hour, which He has severally pointed out to us in the lilies, the ravens, the sheep, and the emmets, rather than seek elsewhere for an emblem of that over-curious forecasting for the future, which, whether in things spiritual or temporal, is plainly discouraged in the word of God—those laws and judgments of the Lord which are sweeter than the honey and the honeycomb, and in the keeping of which there is great reward.'
"Take that; and He that doth the ravens feed,
Be comfort to my age!' Not but that the Bee affords us a moral, though it be not that which worldly wisdom commonly assigns to it. We have in the first place a direct cause for thankfulness in the delicate food with which it supplies us. • The Bee is little among such as fly; but her fruit is the chief of sweet things' (Eccles. xi. 3); and the Almighty has, in many senses, and in no common cases, supplied the houseless and the wanderer with wild honey' and 'a piece of honeycomb, and honey out of the stony rock;' and 'a land flowing with milk and honey' has been from the first the type of another and a better country. And the little honey-maker is itself indeed one of the most wonderful proofs of the goodness and power of God. That within so small a body should be contained apparatus for converting the virtuous sweets' which it collects