This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
How often in boyhood days, and yet still oftener since I have been a man, have I been puzzled when in the woods on hearing a sound like the hum of a swarm of bees ; indeed I was so sure of it I have frequently hunted the woods for miles, thinking that the much beloved honey-makers were but a few steps ahead, but yet could not be overtaken. Having noticed several years since that this humming noise was only heard in the spring season, I came to a conclusion that it was the drone bees, which swarm above the tops of the trees by thousands, and have been confirmed in this belief by each subsequent investigation. The noise may be heard anywhere in the vicinity of an apiary, and commences at from nine to ten o'clock A. M., and continues until three or four P. m., or during the time the drones are absent from the hives, and at no other time. Now, sir, what I want to know is, is this fact known to the scientific world ? I have read many books and papers (but not all) relative to the natural history of the honey bee, yet I have never seen it mentioned.
Sometimes we think we have made an important discovery, and we afterwards learn that some fellow discovered the same thing a hundred or a thousand years ago.