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of the burly husband of the hive. He is a proper Sir John Falstaff, a gross fat animal, cowardly, and given to deep potațions. He cannot fail to be recognised by his broad body and blunt tail and head, and the ' bagpipe i' the nose.' He is never seen settling on flowers, except at the beginning of August, when he may sometimes be met upon a late-blown rose, or some double flower that the workers rarely frequent, in a melancholy, musing state, as if prescient of the miserable fate that so soon awaits him. The occasion for so large a proportion of

'These lazy fathers of the industrious hive' is yet an unsolved riddle. One author fancied them the watercarriers of the commonwealth. Some have supposed that the drones sit, like hens, upon the eggs ;* in which case the hair on their tails would seem to serve the same purpose as the featherbreeches which Catherine of Russia had made for her ministers when she caused them as a punishment to hatch eggs in a large nest in the antechamber. But this is mere fancy, the earwig being the only insect, according to Kirby and Spence, that broods over its eggs. Dr. Bevan denies that they are useful, or at least necessary, in keeping up the heat of the hive in breeding-time, which is the commonly received reason for their great numbers. Huber thought so large a quantity were required, that when the queen takes her hymeneal flight she may be sure to meet with some in the upper regions of the air. Her embrace is said to be fatal. Last in our description, but

First of the throng, and foremost of the whole,

One stands confest the sovereign and the soul.' This is the queen-bee. Her power was acknowledged before her sex was known, for Greeks, Latins, and Arabs always style her

the king ;'† and it may be thought an argument in favour of monarchical government, that the 'tyrant-quelling' Athenians, and republican Romans who almost banished the name with the blood of their kings, were forced to admit it to describe the first magistrate' of this natural commonwealth. The queen,' says our old author, ‘is a fair and stately bee, differing from the vulgar both in shape and colour.' And it is amusing that the most sober writers cannot speak of her without assigning her some of those stately attributes which we always connect with human sovereignty. Bevan remarks that she is distinguishable from the rest of the society by a more measured movement;' her body is more taper

* "By this time your bees sit.' — Evelyn's Calendar for March. "When it has deposited the eggs, it sits upon them, and cherishes them in the same manner as a bird.?Arabic Dictionary, quoted by Cotton. • Progeniem nidosque fovent. — Georg. iv. 56. † So also Shakspeare: “They have a king,' &c.-Henry V., Act I., s. 2.

than

than that of the working-bee; her wings shorter, for she has little occasion for flight; her legs—what would Queen Elizabeth, who would not hear even of royal stockings, think of our profaneness? -her legs unfurnished with grooves, for she gathers no pollen; her proboscis short, for the honey comes to her, not she to the honey; her sting short and curved-for sting she has, though she seldom uses it.

In addition to these, Huber and others have thought that they discerned certain black bees in many hives, but it is now generally allowed that these, if they exist at all, are not a different species, but superannuated workers.

Having caught our hare,' got our stock of bees, the next question is, where shall we place them ? and there is little to be added to Virgil's suggestions on this head. The bee-house should face the south, with a turn perhaps to the east, be protected from the north and prevailing winds; not too far from the dwelling, lest they become shy of man, nor too near, lest they be interrupted by him. No paths should cross its entrance, no high trees or bushes intercept their homeward flight. Yet, if placed in the centre of a treeless lawn, they would be apt in swarming to fly away altogether, so that Virgil rightly recommends the palm or some evergreen tree to overhang the hive. Another of his injunctions, which no modern writer seems to notice, is to sprinkle some neighbouring branch, where you wish them to hang, with honey and sweet herbs bruised. Those who have been so often troubled by the inconvenient places on which swarms have settled might do well to try the recommendation of the old Mantuan beemaster. A quiet nook in low ground is better than an elevated situation : they have then their uphill flight when their bodies are unburdened, and an inclined plane to skim down when they come home loaded with their hard-earned treasure. Rogers, at whose

cot beside the hill A bee-hive's hum should soothe the ear,' has supposed the bee to be guided back to its hive by the recollection of the sweets it passed in its outward flight- a beautiful instance of the pleasures of Memory.'

'Who guides the patient pilgrim to her cell ?
Who bids her soul with conscious triumph swell?
With conscious truth retrace the

mazy

clue
Of varied scents that charm’d her as she flew ?
Hail, Memory, bail! thy universal reign

Guards the least link of Being's glorious chain.' Whether this be the true solution or not, her return to her hive, so straight as it is, is very curious. We are convinced of the use of

bee-houses

bee-houses as a protection for the hives, though they are disapproved of by many modern writers. They serve to moderate the temperature in winter and summer, and screen the neighbourhood of the hive in rough weather. Dr. Beran says :

'Excepting in peculiarly sheltered nooks, an apiary would not be well situated near a great river, nor in the neighbourhood of the sea, as in windy weather the bees would be in danger of drowning from being blown into the water........ Yet it should not be far from a rivulet or spring; such streams as glide gently over pebbles are the most desirable, as these afford a variety of resting-places for the bees to alight upon.' (This is almost a translation of Virgil's ' In medium, seu stabit iners,' &c.) “Water is most important to them, particularly in the early part of the season. Let shallow troughs, therefore, vever be neglected to be set near the hives, if no natural stream is at hand.'

It seems that bees, like men, require a certain quantity of saline matter for their health. In the Isle of Wight the people have a notion that every bee goes down to sea to drink twice a day;' and they are certainly seen to drink at the farm-yard pool

the gilded puddle

That beasts would cough at'when clearer water is near. Following the example of our modern graziers, a small lump of rock-salt might be a useful medicine-chest for our winged stock. Foul smells and loud noises have always been thought annoying to bees, and hence it is deemed advisable never to place the hives in the neighbourhood of forges, pigsties, and the like. Virgil even fancied that they disliked the neighbourhood of an echo: but upon this Gilbert White, of Selborne, remarks :

This wild and fanciful assertion will hardly be admitted by the philosophers of these days, especially as they all now seem agreed that insects are not furnished with any organs of hearing at all. But if it should be urged that, though they cannot hear, yet perhaps they may feel the repercussion of sounds, Í grant it is possible they may. Yet that these impressions are distasteful or hurtful I deny, because bees, in good summers, thrive well in my outlet, where the echoes are very strong; for this village is another Anathoth, a place of responses or echoes. Besides, it does not appear from experiment that bees are in any way capable of being affected by sounds; for I have often tried my own with a large speaking-trumpet held close to their hives, and with such an exertion of voice as would have hailed a ship at the distance of a mile, and still these insects pursued their various employments undisturbed, and without showing the least sensibility or resentment.'

* Of Gilbert White—who by the way was notó parson of the parish,' but continued a Fellow of Oriel till his death-all that could be heard at the scene of his researches by a late diligent inquirer was, that he was a still, quiet body, and that there was not a bit of harm in him. And such is the fame of a man the power of whose writings has immortalized an obscure village and a tortoise-for who has not heard of .Timothy'?-as long as the English language lives!

Next to the situation of the hive is the consideration of the bees' pasturage. When there is plenty of the white Dutch clover, sometimes called honeysuckle, it is sure to be a good honey-year. The red clover is too deep for the proboscis of the common bee, and is therefore not so useful to them as is generally thought. Many lists have been made of bee-flowers, and of such as should be planted round the apiary. Mignionette, and borage, and rosemary, and bugloss, and lavender, the crocus for the early spring, and the ivy flowers for the late autumn, might help to furnish a very pretty bee-garden; and the lime and liquid amber, the horse-chestnut, and the sallow would be the best trees to plant around. Dr. Bevan makes a very good suggestion, that lemon-thyme should be used as an edging for gardenwalks and flower-beds, instead of box, thrift, or daisies. That any material good, however, can be done to a large colony by the few plants that, under the most favourable circumstances, can be sown around a bee-house is of course out of the question. The bee is too much of a roamer to take pleasure in trim gardens. It is the wild tracts of heath and furze, the broad acres of bean-fields and buck-wheat, the lime avenues, the hedgerow flowers, and the clover meadows, that furnish his haunts and fill his cell. Still it may be useful for the young and weak bees to have food as near as possible to their home, and to those who wish to watch their babits a plot of bee-flowers is indispensable ; and we know not the bee that could refuse the following beautiful invitation by Professor Smythe

• Thou cheerful Bee! come, freely come,

And travel round my woodbine bower!
Delight me with thy wandering hum,

And rouse me from my musing hour :
Oh! try no more those tedious fields,
Come, taste the sweets my garden yields:
The treasures of each blooming mine,

The bud, the blossom, -all are thine.' Pliny bids us plant thyme and apiaster, violets, roses, and lilies. Columella, who, contrary to all other authority, says that limes are hurtful, advises cytisus, rosemary, and the evergreen pine. That the prevalent flower of a district will flavour the honey is certain. The delicious honey of the Isle of Bourbon will taste for years of the orange-blossoms, from which, we believe, it is gathered, and on opening a bottle of it the room will be filled with the perfume. The same is the case with the honey of Malta. Corsican honey is said to be flavoured by the box-tree, and we have heard of honey being rendered useless which was gathered in the neighbourhood of onion-fields. No one who has kept bees in the

neighbourhood

sea.

neighbourhood of a wild common can fail to have remarked its superior flavour and bouquet. The wild rosemary that abounds in the neighbourhood of Narbonne gives the high flavour for which the honey of that district is so renowned. But the plant the most celebrated for this quality is the classic and far-famed thyme of Mount Hymettus, the Satureia capitata of botanists. This, we are assured by Pliny, was transplanted from the neighbourhood of Athens into the gardens of the Roman bee-keepers, but they failed to import with it the flavour of the Hymettic honey; for the exiled plant, which, according to this author, never flourished but in the neighbourhood of the ocean, languished for the barren rocks of Attica and the native breezes of its own blue

And the honey of the Hymettus has not departed with the other glories of old Greece, though its flavour and aroma are said to be surpassed by that of neighbouring localities once famous from other causes. While the silver-mines of Laurium are closed, and no workman's steel rings in the marble-quarries of the Pentelicus, the hum of five thousand bee-hives is still heard among the thyme, the cistus, and the lavender which yet clothe these hills. The Cecropian bees,' says C. Wordsworth, ‘have survived all the revolutions which have changed the features and uprooted the population of Attica :' though the defile of Thermopylæ has become a swampy plain, and the bed of the Cephisus is laid dry, this one feature of the country has remained unaltered :

And still his honey'd store Hymettus yields,
There the blithe bee his fragrant fortress builds,

The free-born wanderer of thy mountain-air.' The honey here collected used to be reserved for the especial eating of the archbishop of the district, and few travellers could even get a taste of it. Such was the case a few years ago : we presume the purchase of the Hymnettus by a countryman of ours, Mr. Bracebridge, who has also built him a villa there, must have tended to abolish the episcopal monopoly.

It has been often discussed whether a country can be overstocked with bees; we believe this is quite as certain as that it may be over-peopled and over-manufactured. But that this is not yet the case with regard to Britain, as far at least as bees are concerned, we feel equally sure. Of course it is impossible to ascertain what number of acres is sufficient for the support of a single hive, so much depending on the season and the nature of the herbage; but, nevertheless, in Bavaria only a certain number of hives is allowed to be kept, and these must be brought to an establishment under the charge of a skilful apiarian, each station being four miles apart, and containing 150 hives.

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