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New observations on the natural history of bees   By: (1750-1831)

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First Page:

{Transcriber's note

The spelling in the original is sometimes idiosyncratic. It has not been changed, but a few obvious errors have been corrected. The corrections are listed at the end of this etext.}

{Illustration: The figures that are referred to in the text}

NEW OBSERVATIONS ON THE NATURAL HISTORY OF BEES,

BY FRANCIS HUBER.

TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL.

EDINBURGH:

PRINTED FOR JOHN ANDERSON, AND SOLD BY LONGMAN, HURST, REES, AND ORME, LONDON.

ALEX SMELLIE, Printer.

1806.

To SIR JOSEPH BANKS, BART.

KNIGHT OF THE MOST HONOURABLE ORDER OF THE BATH, A PRIVY COUNCILLOR, PRESIDENT OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF LONDON, &c. &c.

THIS TRANSLATION IS INSCRIBED.

CONTENTS.

LETTER 1. On the impregnation of the queen bee page 1

LETTER 2. Sequel of observations on the impregnation of the queen bee 41

LETTER 3. The same subject continued; observations on retarding the fecundation of queens 44

LETTER 4. On M. Schirach's discovery 76

LETTER 5. Experiments proving that there are sometimes common bees which lay fertile eggs 89

LETTER 6. On the combats of queens; the massacre of the males; and what succeeds in a hive where a stranger queen is substituted for the natural one 108

LETTER 7. Sequel of observations on the reception of a stranger queen; M. de Reaumur's observations on the subject 137

LETTER 8. Is the queen oviparous? What influence has the size of the cells where the eggs are deposited on the bees produced? Researches on the mode of spinning the coccoons 145

LETTER 9. On the formation of swarms 171

LETTER 10. The same subject continued 201

LETTER 11. The same subject continued 223

LETTER 12. Additional observations on queens that lay only the eggs of drones, and on those deprived of the antennæ 237

LETTER 13. Economical considerations on bees 253

APPENDIX 275

TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE

The facts contained in this volume are deeply interesting to the Naturalist. They not only elucidate the history of those industrious animals, whose nature is the peculiar subject of investigation, but they present some singular features in physiology which have hitherto been unknown.

The industry of bees has proved a fertile source of admiration in all countries and in every age; and mankind have endeavoured to render it subservient to their gratifications or emolument. Hence innumerable theories, experiments, and observations have ensued, and uncommon patience has been displayed in prosecuting the enquiry. But although many interesting peculiarities have been discovered, they are so much interwoven with errors, that no subject has given birth to more absurdities than investigations into the history of bees: and unfortunately those treatises which are most easily attained, and the most popular, only serve to give such absurdities a wider range, and render it infinitely more difficult to eradicate them. A considerable portion of the following work is devoted to this purpose. The reader will judge of the success which results from the experiments that have been employed.

Perhaps this is not the proper place to bestow an encomium on a treatise from which so much entertainment and instruction will be derived. However, to testify the estimation in which it is held in other nations, the remarks upon it by the French philosopher Sue, may be quoted, 'The observations are so consistent, and the consequences seem so just, that while perusing this work, it appears as if we had assisted the author in each experiment, and pursued it with equal zeal and interest... Continue reading book >>




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