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worms, which, forty-eight hours before, we had seen come from the egg, substituted for them. The bees did not feem aware of the changes they watched over the new worms the fame as over those chosen by themselves ; they continued enlarging the cells, and closed them at the usual time. When they had brooded on them (for such seems to be M. Huber's opinion) for seven days, we removed the cells, to see the queens that were to be produced. Two were excluded, almost at the fame moment, of the largest fize, and well formed in every respect. The term of the other cells having elapsed, and no queen appearing, we opened them. In one was a dead queen, but still a nymph : the other two were empty. The worms had spun their filk coccoons, but died before pafling into their nymphine state, and presented only a dry kin. I can conceive nothing more conclusive than this experiment. It demonftrates that bees have the power of converting worms of workers into queens, fince they succeeded in procuring queens by operating on the worms which we ourselves had selected. equally demonstrated, that the success of the operation does not depend on the worms being three days old, as those entrusted to the bees were only two.' p. 81, 82.

He mentions another experiment, by which it appears, that larvæ only a few hours old (as already hinted), are sometimes destined to replace a lost queen.

In his fifth letter M. Huber relates some experiments which confirm the singular discovery of M. Riems, concerning the eristence, occasionally, of common working bees that are capable of laying eggs,--which, we may remark, is certainly a most convincing proof of their being of the female sex. Eggs were observed to increase in number daily. in a hive in which there were no queens of the usual appearance; but small queens considerably resemble workers, and to discriminate them required minute inspection.

i My affiftant' (says M. Huber) then offered to perform an ope. ration that required both courage and patience, and which I could not resolve to fuggeft, though the same expedient had occurred to myself. He proposed to examine each bee in the hive separately, to discover whether some small queen had not infinuated herfelf among them, and escaped our first researches.-It was neceffary, therefore, to seize the whole bees, notwithstanding their irritation, and to examine their specific character with the utmost care.

affiftant undertook, and executed with great address. Eleven days were employed in it; and, during all that time, he scarcely allowed himself any relaxation, but what the relief of his eyes required." He took every bee in his hand , he attentively examined the trunk, the hind limbs, and the Ating; and he found that there was not one without the characteriftics of the common bee, that is, the little basket on the hind legs, the long trunk, and the fraight fting.' p. 91, 92. They afterwards seized a fertile worker in the very act of lay. and they thus describe her appearance, (p. 94.) She pre


This my


of queens.

sented all the external characteristics of common bees the only difference we could recognize, and that was a very slight one, consisted in the belly seeming less, and more slender than that of workers. On dissection, her ovaries were found more fragile, smaller, and composed of fewer oviducts than the ovaries of queens. We counted eleven eggs of sensible size, some of which appeared tipe for laying. This ovary was double, like that

How or when these fertile workers are impregnated is quite unknown.

Fertile workers resemble queëns whose impregnation has been retarded, in this, that they lay the eggs of drones only, never those of workers; and also in this, that they sometimes place their eggs in royal cells. It is remarkable, however, that in the case of queens, whose impregnation has been retarded, laying their eggs in royal cells, the bees build them up, and brood over them until the last metamorphosis of the included drones ; but that when eggs are deposited in royal cells by fertile workers, the bees, although at first they pay due attention to the larve, never fail to destroy them in the course of a few days.

Schirach's discoveries certainly proved, that common workingbees are radically of the female sex. Huber, we have seen, detecte ed and described their ovaries ; and the notion, long entertained, of their being of the neuter gender, is now justly exploded as a soSecism in animated nature. Here, we cannot help observing, that the doctrine of workers being of the female sex, has accidentally, and most unintentionally, received a very striking collateral confirmation from one of its most eminent opposers. Linnæus had asserted * that there are ten joints in the antennæ of queens ; eleven in those of drones; and fifteen in those of workers : and his assertion on this point naturally passed current as authentic fact. Taking it for granted, therefore, that there existed such a discrepancy in the structure of the antennæ of queens and of workers, naturalists were startled at the new doctrine, that both were females, and that the larvæ of workers could be converted into queens. Mr Kirby (the acute and laborious author of the Monographia Apum Anglia, in which he has described above 220 species, natives of England,) has corrected the Swedish knight, and informs us, that there are positively the same number of articulations in the antennæ of queens, as in those of workers. This testimony is not the less deserving of credit, that it militates against Mr Kirby's own notions, who continues to argue for workers being proper neuters. VOL. XI. NO. 22.




* Syftema Naturæ, arı. Apis mellifica. Regina (fæmina), antennis articulis 10, &c. Fuci (mares), antennis 11-articulatis, &c. 0. perariz (fpadones), antennis 15-articulatis, &c.'

M. Huber imagines he has discovered the cause of the partial expansion of the sexual organs in those workers that prove fertile. He observes, that fertile workers appear in those hives only that have lost the queen, and where of course a quantity of royal jelly is prepared for feeding the larvæ intended to replace her. He suspects that the bees, either by accident, or by a particular instinct, the principle of which is unknown, drop some particles of royal jelly into cells, contiguous to those containing the worms destined for queens. The larvæ of workers that thus casually receive portions of this active aliment, are affected by it, and their ovaries acquire a certain degree of expansion : from the want of full feeding, and owing to the smallness of their cells, this expansion is only partial, and such fertile workers remain of the ordinary size of working-bees, and lay only a few eggs. The royal jelly, when pure, may be known by its pungent taste *; but when mixed with other substances, it is not easily distinguished. M. Huber repeatedly tried to feed some of the larvæ of workers in other parts of the hive, with the royal jelly, in order to observe the consequences; but he found this to be a vain attempt, the bees immediately destroying such worms, and themselves devouring the food. It has not therefore been directly ascertained, that all fertile workers proceed from larvæ that have received portions of the royal food; but M. Huber observed, that they were uniformly such as had passed the verinicular state, in cells contiguous to the royal ones. · The bees, (he remarks), in their course thither, will pass in numbers over them, stop, and drop some portion of the jelly destined for the royal larvæ.' This reasoning, though not conclusive, is plausible. The result is 90 uniform, that M. Huber says he can, whenever he pleases, produce fertile workers in his hives. They are probably, he adds, always produced, in greater or less numbers, whenever the bees have to create to themselves a new queen ;. and the reason that they are so seldom seen, probably is, that the queen bees attack and destroy them without mercy whenever they perceive them.

Letters sixth and seventh, treat of the combats of queens; the massacre of the males; and of the reception a stranger queen meets with in a hive. When a supernumerary queen is produced in a hive, or is introduced into it in the course of experiment, either she or the rightful owner soon perishes. The German naturalists, Schirach and Riems, imagined that the working-bees assailed the stranger, and stung her to death. Réaumeur considered it as more probable, that the sceptre was made to depend on the issue of a single combat between the claimants; and this conjecture is verified by the observations of Huber. The same hostility towards rivals, and destructive vengeance against royal cells, animates all queens, whether they be virgins, or in a state of impregnation, or the mothers of numerous broods. The working-bees, it may here be remarked, remain quiet spectators of the destruction, by the first-hatched queen, of the remaining royal cells; they approach only to share in the plunder presented by their havock-making mistress, greedily devouring any food found at the bottom of the cells, and even sucking the fluid from the abdomen of the nymphs before they toss out the carcases.


* Mr Bonner puzzles much about this royal jelly, whether it be of à generative or a nutritive nature : he inclines to the former opinion, while he at the same time admits, that in this case we must take it for granted that the working-bees are males ! But this difficulty he pleafantly enough confiders as counterbalanced by one on the other fide ; for if the jelly be merely of a nutritive nature, then, fays he, the quece is felf-prolific, or a hermaphrodite !

The following fact, connected with this subject, is one of the most curious perhaps in the whole history of this wonderful infect. Whenever the workers perceive that there are two rival queens in the hive, numbers of them crowd around each : they seem to be perfectly aware of the approaching deadly conflict, and willing to prompt their amazonian chieftains to the battle; for, as often as the queens show a disinclination to fight, or seem inclined to recede from each other, or to fly off, the bees immediately surround and detain them; but when either combatant shows a difpofition to approach her antagonist, all the bees forming the clusters instantly give way to allow her full liberty for the attack. (p. 117.) It seems strange that those bees who in general fhow so much anxiety about the safety of their queen, should, in particular circumstances, oppose her preparations to avoid impending danger,-hould seem to promote the battle, and to excite the fury of the combatants.

When a queen is removed from a hive, the bees do not immedietely perceive it; they continue their labours; 'watch over the young, and perform all their ordinary occupations. But, in a few hours, agitation ensues; all appears a scene of tumult in the hive. A singular humming is heard ; the bees desert their young; and rulh over the surface of the combs with a delirious impetuosity.' They have now evidently discovered that their sovereign is gone ; and the rapidity with which the bad news now spreads through the hive, to the opposite fide of the combs, is very remarkable. On replacing the queen in the hive, tranquillity is almost instantly Testored. The bees, it is worthy of notice, recognize the india vidual person of their own queen. If another be palmed upon them, they seize and surround her, so that she is either fuffocated or perishes by hunger; for it is very remarkable, that the workers

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are never known to attack a queen bee with their stings. If, however, more than eighteen hours have elapfed before the stranger queen be introduced, the has fome chance to escape: the bees do at first seize and confine her ; but less rigidly; and they foon begin to disperse, and at length leave her to reign over a hive in which she was at first treated as a prisoner. If twenty-four hours have elapfed, the stranger will be well received from the first, and at once admitted to the sovereignty of the hive. In fhort, it appears that the bees when deprived of their queen, are thrown into great agitation ; that they wait about twenty hours, apparently in hopes of her return; but that after this interregnum, the agitation ceases; and they set about supplying their loss by begimning to construct royal cells. It is when they are in this temper, and not sooner, that a stranger queen will be graciously received : and upon her being presented to them, the royal cells, in whatever state of forwardness they may happen to be, are instantly abandoned, and the larvæ destroyed. Réaumeur mult therefore have miltaken the result of his own experiments, when he afferts, that a stranger queen is instantly well received, though presented at the moment when the other' is withdrawn. He had seen the bees crowding around her at the entrance of the hive, and laying their antenne over her; and this he feems to have taken for careffig. The structure of the hives he employed, prevented him from feeing further: had he uses the leaf-hive, of one of similar conftruction, he would have perceived that the apparent careffes of the guards were only the prelude of actual imprisonment.

It is well known, that afrer the feason of Iwarming, a general mafsacre of the drones is commenced. Several authors affert in their writings, that the workers do not sting the drones to death, but merely harass them till they be banished from the hive and perish., M. Huber contrived a glass table, on which he placed feveral hives, and he was thus able to see distinctly what passed in the bottom of the hive, which is generally dark and concealed : he witnessed a real and furious maslacre of the males, the workers thrusting their fings so deep into the bodies of the defenceless drones, that they were obliged to turn on themselves as on a pivot, before they could extricate them. The work of death commenced in all the hives much about the same time. It is not, however, by a blind or indiscriminating instinct that the workers are impelled thus to facrifice the males; ior if a hive be deprived of its queen, no maffacre of the males takes place in it, while the hottest perfecution rages in all the surrounding hives. In this case, the males are a lowed to survive over winter. Mr Bonner had observed this fact; he supposed, however, that the workers thus tolerated the drones for the sake of the additional heat they generated in the hive ; but we


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