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of the children they will have to instruct, than to put them in the proper way of making and managing the new kinds of cottage-hives, of taking honey, joining stocks, and hybernating the bees. We spoke in a late article of Gardening being a common ground for the rich and poor. We would mark this difference with regard to bees, that we consider them especially the “poor man's stock.” No wealthy man should keep large colonies of them for profit in à neighbourhood where there are cottagers ready to avail themselves of the advantage. A hive or two in the garden-good old-fashioned straw-hives—for the sake of their pleasing appearance and kindly associations, and for the good of the flowers—is only what every gentleman would delight to have; or, if he has time to devote to their history, an observatoryhive for study and experiment; but beyond this we think he should not go,—else he is certainly robbing his poorer neighbours. The gentleman-bee-master, like the gentleman-farmer, should only keep stock enough for encouragement and experiment, and leave the practical and the profitable to the cottager and the tenant. But the squire's hive and implements should be of the best construction, for example's sake ; and, keep he bees or beasts, he should be “ merciful man to them. And surely the feeling mind will pause a little at the destruction of a whole nation—the demolition of a whole city, with all its buildings, streets, and thoroughfares, its palaces, its Queen, and all! What an earthquake to them must be the moving of the hive! What a tempest of fire
and brimstone must the deadly fumes appear! All their instincts, their senses, their habits plead for them to our humanity; and, even if we allege their sting against them, they may reply with scarcely an alteration in the Jew's words “Hath not a bee eyes ? hath not a bee organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is ?
If you prick us, do we not bleed ? if
tickle us, do we not laugh ? if you poison us, do we not die ? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble
in that.” We said, if any man would keep bees, he must make them his friends ;--nay, that is a cold wordhe must love them. De Gelien makes the remark,
* The subjects of hybernating bees and of joining swarms are so very important in good bee-keeping, that, being connected with one another, we must say a word, though a short one, upon them. Though the opposite opinion has been stoutly maintained, it is now generally admitted that a united stock does not consume so much honey in the winter as the two swarms separately would have done. But in order to save the consumption of honey at this time, the bees must be kept as torpid as possible, and this is best done by placing them in a cold, dark, but dry room. If you have not this convenience, move the doors from the north of your bee-house to the south, so that the winter sun, being prevented from shining on the entrance side, will not enliven and draw out the bees when the snow is on the ground. This most fatal circumstance it is most essential to guard against. However, the most general and the shortest rule is, send your bees off to sleep in good condition in the autumn (i. e. supply them with plenty of food then), for all hybernating animals are fat at the beginning of their torpidity, and it is fat people who fall fastest to sleep after dinner : keep them torpid, by even coolness and dryness, as long as you
No bee-master will ever be successful who does not take pains of sonie sort to effect these objects.
ITS MANY HONOURS.
which we have heard before of figs, and olives, and medlars, and truffles, or of an equivocal dish recommended by a host,—that you must either like them very much or not at all.“ Beaucoup de gens aiment les abeilles : je n'ai vu personne qui les aima médiocrement; on se passionne pour elles !” It was this love, we suppose, that led Mahomet to make an exception in their favour when all other flies were condemned ;—that made Napoleon, who laughed at the English as a nation of shopkeepers, select this emblem of industry, in place of the idle lily,
66 That tasks not one laborious hour."
And Urban VIII. and Louis XII. adopted them as the device on their coat of arms; and Camdeo, the Cupid of Budhism, strung his bow with bees! The Athenians ranked the introduction of the bee among their great national blessings, tracing it up to Cecrops, " the friend of man,”—the Attic Alfred; and such regard is still paid to them in many parts of the south of England, that no death, or birth, or marriage takes place in the family without its being communicated to the bees, whose hive is covered in the first case with a piece of black cloth, in the two latter with red. The 10th of August is considered their day of Jubilee, and those who are seen working on that day are called Quakers. Omens were wont to be taken from their swarming; and their settling on the mouths of Plato and Pindar was taken as a sure presage of the sweetness of their future eloquence and poetry; though these legends are
somewhat spoiled, by the same event being related of the infancy both of Lucan and of St. Ambrose, called, as was Vives afterwards, the Mellifluous Doctor. We all know of Nestor's “ honeyed” words, and Xenophon, “ cujus sermo est melle dulcior.” Apiarian Societies have been formed all over the world for their study and cultivation, as the Franconian, the Bavarian, the Lusatian, those of Vienna and Norfolk, and the defunct one of Oxford. Bees have not only dispersed a mob, but defeated an Amurath with his Janissaries ;* but it would be quite impossible in a sketch like this to attempt to give anything like a full account of their many honours and achievements, and of the extraordinary instinct displayed by them in every operation of their manifold works. Our object in these remarks has been rather to stimulate the novice in this subject than to give any complete history of their habits, or to put forth any new discovery or system of our own. We have introduced our little friends with our best grace, and must leave them now to make the best of their way with our readers.
“ So work the Honey Bees :
* The Abbé della Rocca relates that, “when Amurath, the Turkish emperor, during a certain siege, had battered down part of the wall, and was about to take the town by assault, he found the breach defended by bees, many hives of which the inhabitants had stationed on the ruins. The Janissaries, although the bravest soldiers in the Ottoman empire, durst not encounter this formidable line of defence, and refused to advance."
ITS HEBREW NAME.
Others, like merchants, venture trade abroad;
mechanic porters crowding in
Henry V. a. 1, s. 2. Who would not affirm, from this and other incidental allusions, that Shakspeare had a hive of his own? Dr. Bowring has only been able to discover in them “galleries of art and schools of industry, and professors teaching eloquent lessons ;” perhaps our friend means Mechanics' Institutes, and travelling lecturers.
Pope makes the bee our schoolmaster in another sense, and bids us, besides its monarchy,
“ The arts of building from the Bee receive;" and Butler, in a list of proverbial attributes that reminds one of a string of epithets in our old Gradus,' recommends his readers to be as “profitable, laborious, busy, loyal, swift, nimble, bold, cunning, chaste, and neat,” as a bee. Without running into all this enthusiasm, or forcing her example beyond what is written in the Bible, she may often, “ though she has neither speech nor language," appeal to her masters in her Hebrew name, and be to us “ DEBORAH,"_" she that speaketh."