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ACCOUNT OF THE BEE.
When youthful spring around us breathes,
ACCOUNT OF THE BEE.
Bees usually form a colony of eighteen or twenty thousand in the same hive; and though so great a num-/ ber is together in so small a compass, they are under admirable discipline. A hive of bees
be consider ed as a monarchy, under the government of one bee, called the queen, to whom the rest manifest the sincerest attachment and affection. There is never more than one queen in the same hive; and if she be destroyed, the utmost. confusion instantly follows; the bees leave off working, feed on the honey which has been collected, forsake the hive, and pine away unless another queen is found to supply her place. In building their cells, bees discover surprising instinctive accuracy; in this employment the neuters are alone engaged. When they begin to work, they divide themselves into four companies ; one of which roves in the fields in search of materials ; another employs itself in laying out the bottom and partitions of their cells; a third makes the inside smooth from the corners and the angles ; and the fourth company brings food for the rest, or relieves those who return with their respective burdens. But the companies often change their employments with each other. The best possible shape is fixed on for their cells at once to make the most of their room, and to give to each other the greatest strength and support. This shape is
ACCOUNT OF THE BEE.
hexagonal; by which no room is lost, and the circumference of one cell makes part of the circumference of those contiguous to it. They make the partitions of their cells remarkably thin : yet they are so constructed that the solidity may compensate for the scantiness of the materials. The parts most exposed to injury are the entrances of the cells. These the bees take care to strengthen by adding quite round the circumference of the apertures a fillet of wax, by which means the en: trance is three or four times thicker than the sides : and they are strengthened at the bottom by the angle formed by the bottom of the three cells falling in the middle of an opposite cell. The bottom of the cells is not flat, as might at first sight appear. In each cell it is composed of three planes which meet in a centre ; but this centre is not a flat surface, but concave. The combs lie parallel to each other : and there is left between every one of them a space which serves as a street, broad enough for two bees to pass by each others There are holes also which go quite through the combs, and serve as lanes for the bees to
one comb to another, without being obliged to go a considerable distance round. When the cells are built, some bees go about beating them with their wings and the posterior parts of their bodies, probably to give the materials all possible solidity; others are employed in polishing and perfecting them. This operation is performed by their talons, taking off every thing that is rough and uneven. The cells are for the reception of the honey, in which it is sealed
up with wax when they are filled, or for the reception of the eggs of the queen-bee, from which to raise up a young progeny. Here they often discover the most astonishing instinct. The female bee, when the cells are not sufficiently numerous to receive her eggs, lays two or three in each cell. But a few days after, when the cells are increased, the working bees remove all the supernumerary eggs, and deposit them in the newly constructed cells. The honey is collected from the bottom of the flowers by the proboscis of the bee, through which it passes into a sort of stomach, where it undergoes a certain chemical change, and then is deposited in these receptacles. : The wax is made from
ON HEARING MUSIC.
48 the farina of flowers, which must also undergo a chemi cal process in another internal organ of the bee, before it becomes fit for use.--In their economy, while they act with order and perfect harmony with each other, they are always united in repelling the attacks of their enemies, in which they do not fail to make use of their powerful weapons. If a snail or mouse intrude into the hive, the whole colony commences the attack, and stings the enemy to death, which, if too large to be removed, they immediately cover over with wax, to prevent the pestilential vapours of putrefaction from annoying them. In all these, and various other particulars which might be mentioned relative to these surprising insects, we must be struck with the wonderful adaptation of means to a proposed end. The end is, mutual support. In order to this, there must be provision suitable to the constitution of the animal, and also a winter store, Bees are therefore provided with every requisite organ for collecting and preparing it for use ;-with instinct to know where to find it, and at what season ;-with ability to form suitable apartments for its reception, and the best means of preserving it till demanded ;-with sagacity to act with propriety, as unforeseen but dangerous occurrences may require ;- and with inclinations to live in union and peace among themselves, where, amidst so great a number, a want of union and mutual forbearance must prove destructive to the whole society. The whole affords a surprising demonstration of the Creator's wisdom.
ON HEARING MUSIC.
Yon organ! hark! how soft, how sweet,
The sound my fancy leads
And lily-mantled meads.
FABLE.-STATE OF SOME ANIMALS IN WINTER. 49
Involve the mind in gloom;
Or leaning o'er the tomb.
Now loud the tuneful thunders roll,
O'er earth and all its care:
And in their raptures share.
FABLE OF THE SUN AND THE WIND.
The Sun and the Wind had once a dispute, which of them could soonest prevail with a certain -traveller to part with his cloak. The Wind began the attack, and assaulted him with much noise and fury; but the man, wrapping his cloak still closer about him, doubled his efforts to keep it, and went on his way, And now the Sun silently darted his warm insinuating rays, which melting our traveller by degrees, at length obliged him to lay aside that cloak which all the rage of the Wind could not compel him to resign. Learn hence, said the Sun, that soft and gentle means will often accomplish what force and fury can never effect.
STATE OF SOME ANIMALS DURING WINTER.
We do not in winter see any of those insects or birds, millions of which exist during summer in the air, in the earth, and in the waters. At the approach of that season, they retire from our climate, whose temperature no longer agrees with them, and in which they can no longer find a sufficient supply of food. The first stormy day is a signal to them for the suspension of their labours, and a change of habitation. It must not be supposed, however, that these creatures
50 STATE OF SOME ANIMALS IN WINTER. are destroyed by the rigour of winter ; Providence takes care that they shall not perish. The bodies of some animals are so organized, that the same cause which deprives them of food, effects such changes in them also, as to preclude the necessity of alimentary subsistence. The cold benumbs them, and they fall into a profound sleep, which continues till returning warmth opens the earth, reproduces the things requisite for their support, and awakes them from their torpidity. These animals hide themselves in the sand, in pits and other hollow places, or in the bottom of ponds and marshes, where they cannot be found out and disturbed. Their state is a kind of death or swoon; and they do not revive till the gentle heat of spring penetrates to their retreats. Some sorts of birds, at the approach of winter, undertake long journeys, to seek in other regions suitable food, and a more temperate air. Some fly in large flocks from one country to another; and remain till a more genial season renders it safe for them to return. How admirable is the wisdom of God! How great and tender his beneficence to the least of his creatures ! He has impressed upon certain animals that wonderful instinct which warns them of the day in which they should abandon their summer habitations, in order to spend their winter in a more favourable clime. He has pointed out to others the places where they may securely pass their night of winter in a sound sleep; and he revives them again when the period of their new life arrives. Every time I reflect on these changes, I am naturally led to think of what will happen to myself when I die; for my state in some measure resembles that of these birds. At the end of my life I shall also quit my home, my pleasures, and my companions, to go into a better world. My body also shall sleep for an appointed time. But at the moment of the new creation I shall awake, and, clothed with the strength and beauty of youth, begin a life that will be eternal. What happens to animals suggests to me another edifying reflection. I perceive that God watches over the very smallest link of the immense chain of beings.' I discern with what paternal goodness he provides for the safety of