Bee, the name of several genera of honey-making insects, of the order hymenoptera, family anthophila, divided by Latreille into the two sections andrenidce, solitary bees consisting only of males and females, and apiarice, either solitary or living in large or small societies. Of the different genera of bees no fewer than 250 species are natives of Great Britain. I. Honey Bee (apis), the best known, most widely diffused, and most useful genus of the apiarice. The common honey bee (A. mellifica, Linn.) is probably of Asiatic origin, whence it has spread over Europe, has been introduced in America, and is found in nearly all the warmer portions of the world. There are many other species of apis, as A. ligustica, of Spain and Italy; A. unicolor, of Madagascar; A. Indica, of India; A. fasciata, of Egypt; and A. Adanso-nii, of Senegal. The generic description of A. mellifica will answer in the main for all others domesticated in hives and apiaries. The bee has four membranaceous naked wings, the upper being the larger; the mouth is furnished with two strong mandibles and four palpi, largest in the working bee, and used not so much in eating as in breaking hard substances in their various labors; the teeth, concave scales with sharp edges, are attached to the ends of the jaws and play horizontally.

For taking up liquids it has a long flexible proboscis or trunk, performing the office of a tongue, though it is formed by a prolongation of the under lip; it is solid, and not tubular like the trunks of other hymenopterous insects; the trunk is supported on a pedicle, and is protected by a double sheath; the central portion, which appears like a thread or silky hair, under the microscope is seen to terminate in a sort of button fringed with hairs, and the whole organ to its very base is surrounded with similar fringes, admirably adapted for licking up fluids. The eye is large, composed of a great number of six-sided facets thickly studded with hairs; there is one on each side of the head, and between the antennas there are three small bright spots, considered by Swammerdam and Reaumur as eyes. From the fact of bees recognizing their hives from long distances, and flying in a straight line toward them with the greatest rapidity, it would seem that the sense of vision is very acute; at the same time we see them running their heads against the hive, and actually feeling their way to the door with their antennas; so that their composite eyes are probably fitted only for distant vision.

Whether the spots described by Swammerdam are eyes or not, it seems that the antennas chiefly guide the bees at night and in the vicinity of near objects. The antennas are composed of 13 articulations in the males, and of 12 in the females; from their great flexibility and constant motion, most of their impressions from without are doubtless received through these; by them every object is examined and many of the operations of the hive performed, as building the comb, storing the honey, feeding the larvas, and ascertaining the presence and wants of the queen; their removal completely changes the instincts of both workers and queen. The legs are six in number; in the hind pair of the workers the middle portion is hollowed into a triangular cavity or basket, surrounded by a margin of thickly set hairs; in this receptacle are carried the pollen, propolis, and other hive materials; at the end of the feet are little hooks by which they adhere to the hive, and to each other during the wax-secreting process; the other pairs of feet have a pencil of hairs on the tarsi by means of which the pollen is collected, and brushed off from their bodies on arrival at the hive.

The bee has two stomachs: the first is a large membranous bag, pointed in front, for the reception and retention of the honey; no digestion takes place in this, the analogue of the crop of birds; its walls are muscular and capable of throwing back the honey into the mouth for deposition in the cells or distribution to the working bees; digestion is performed in the second stomach, which is of a lengthened cylindrical shape, communicating with the first stomach, and with the intestine, by a projecting valvular apparatus, with a very small opening, preventing all regurgitation of the food. The muscular strength of bees is very great, and their flight is rapid and capable of being long sustained. - Notwithstanding the cultivation of the hive bee from the earliest antiquity, its history was little more than a series of conjectures until the invention of glass hives in 1712 by Maraldi, a mathematician of Nice, enabled naturalists to study the indoor proceedings of the bee; this invention was taken advantage of by Reaumur, who laid the foundation of the more recent discoveries of Hunter, Schirach, and the Hubers. A hive of bees consists of three kinds, females, males, and workers; the females are called queens, not more than one of which can live in the same hive, the presence of one being necessary for its establishment and maintenance; the males are called drones, and may exist by hundreds and even thousands in a hive; the workers, or neuters, as they have been called from the supposition that they belonged to neither sex, are by far the most numerous.

The queen lays the eggs from which the race is perpetuated; the males do no work, and are of no use except to impregnate the females, after which they soon die or are killed; the workers collect the honey, secrete the wax. build the cells, and feed and protect the young. The females and workers have a sting at the end of the abdomen, which is absent in the males; this formidable weapon consists of an extensile sheath, enclosing two needle-shaped darts of exceeding fineness, placed side by side; toward the end they are armed with minute teeth, like those of a saw, whence it happens that the animal is frequently unable to withdraw the sting from an enemy that it has pierced, causing its own as well as its victim's death; the sting is protruded by several muscles so powerful that it will penetrate 1/12 of an inch into the thick skin of the human hand. When the sting enters the flesh the acrid poison is squeezed into the wound from a bag near its base; the poison is a transparent fluid with a sweetish and afterward acrid taste, and an acid reaction; it is of so active a character that a single sting almost instantly kills a bee; animals have been killed and men nearly so by the stings of an enraged colony whose hive had been upset.

The queens are more peaceable and less disposed to sting than the workers. These three kinds of bees are of a different size and may be easily recognized; the males are of the heaviest flight. The queen bee is the largest, being 8 1/2 lines in iength, the males being 7, and the workers 6; her abdomen is longer in proportion, and has two ovaria of considerable size; her wings are so short as hardly to reach beyond the third ring, and her color is of a deeper yellow. She is easily recognized by the slowness of her march, by her size, and by the respect and attentions paid to her; she lives in the interior of the hive, and seldom departs from it unless for the purpose of being impregnated or to leac out a new swarm; if she be removed from the hive, the whole swarm will follow her. The queen governs the whole colony, and is in fact its mother, she being the only breeder out of 20,000 or 30,000 bees. The impregnation of the queen bee was long a subject of uncertainty; it is now known, and has been proved by depriving the queen bee of her wings, that this never takes place within the hive, and that if she be confined she always remains sterile, even though surrounded by males.

To accomplish it the queen leaves the hive and files high into the air; after an absence of about half an hour she returns with unequivocal evidence of sexual union, having robbed the male of the organs concerned in the operation. The male, thus mutilated, soon dies - a fact which has been proved by repeated observation, and from which Hube infers the necessity of a great number of males being attached to a hive in order that the female may be almost certain to meet one in her flight. When impregnation occurs late in the autumn, the laying of the eggs is delayed by the cold weather until the following spring, so that the ova are ready to come forth in March; but the young queen is capable of laying eggs 36 hours after impregnation. Before depositing an egg she examines whether the cell is prepared to receive it and adapted for the future condition of the grub, for queens, males, and workers have cells specially constructed for them; the eggs producing workers are deposited in six-sided horizontal cells; the cells of the drones are somewhat irregular in their form, and those of the queens are large, circular, and hang perpendicularly.

When the cells are ready, the queen goes from one to the other, with scarcely any repose, laying about 200 eggs daily; the eggs first laid are those of workers, for 10 or 12 days, during which the larger cells are in process of construction; in these, after they have reached a very large size, she lays male eggs for 16 to 24 days, less numerous than those of the workers in the proportion of about 1 to 30. The royal cells, if from the productiveness of the season and the number in the hive it is determined to bring out another queen, are now commenced; these are of large size, an inch deep and one third of an inch wide; during their construction the queen lays the eggs of workers, and when they are finished she deposits a single egg in each at one or two days' interval, worker eggs being laid in this interval. When the eggs are laid the workers supply the cells with the pollen of flowers for the food of the larvae; the pollen is mixed with honey and water, and partly digested in the stomachs of the nursing bees, and distributed of different qualities according to the age of the young. The eggs are of a bluish white color, of a lengthened oval shape, slightly curved; in a proper temperature they are hatched in three days; the larvae are small white worms without feet.

The workers remain five days in this state, the males six and a half, and the females five; at the end of this time the mouth of the cell is closed by a mixture of wax and propolis, and the larvae begin to spin a silken envelope, or cocoon, which is completed in 36 hours; in three days more the larva changes into a pupa or chrysalis, and on the 20th day it emerges from its prison a perfect worker; the males come forth on the 24th day. The color of the bee just out of its cell is a light gray; it requires two days to acquire strength for flying, during which it is caressed and plentifully fed by the nurses. The same cell may bring several workers to maturity; when the insect comes out the cell is cleaned, the web being left to strengthen the sides. The royal cells are never used but once, being destroyed when the queen escapes. The eggs and larvae of the royal family do not differ in appearance from those of the workers; but the young are more carefully nursed, and fed to repletion with a more stimulating kind of food, which causes them to grow so rapidly that in five days the larva is prepared to spin its web, and on the 16th day becomes a perfect queen.

But, as only one queen can reign in the hive, the young ones are kept close prisoners, and carefully guarded against the attacks of the queen mother, as long as there is any prospect of her leading another swarm from the hive; if a new swarm is not to be sent off, the workers allow the approach of the old queen to the royal cells, and she immediately commences the destruction of the royal brood by stinging them, one after the other, while they remain in the cells. Huber observes that the cocoons of the royal larvae are open behind, and he believes this to be a provision of nature to enable the queen to destroy the young, .which in the ordinary cocoon would be safe against her sting. When the old queen departs with a swarm, a young one is liberated, who immediately seeks the destruction of her sisters, but is prevented by the guards; if she departs with another swarm, a second queen is liberated, and so on, until further swarming is impossible from the diminution of the numbers or the coldness of the weather; then the reigning queen is allowed to kill all her sisters.

If two queens should happen to come out at the same time, they instantly commence a mortal combat, and the survivor is recognized as the sovereign; the other bees favor the battle, form a ring, and excite the combatants, exactly as in a human prize fight. The male bees or drones may be known by the thicker body, more flattened shape, round head, more obtuse abdomen containing the male generative organs, the absence of the sting, and the humming noise of their flight; they produce neither wax nor honey, being idle spectators of the labors of the workers, who support them; they comprise about 1/30 or 1/40 of the whole number of a hive in the spring when they are most numerous; their use is only to impregnate the females, and, secondarily, to supply food to the swallows and carnivorous insects which prey upon them when they take their midday flights. When the queens are impregnated, and the swarming has ceased, the workers, in July or August, commence an indiscriminate attack upon the drones, chasing them into the bottom and corners of the hive, killing them with their stings, and casting out the dead bodies; this destruction extends even to the eggs and larvae of males. If a hive is without a queen, the males are allowed to survive the winter.

The working bees are the smallest, with a lengthened proboscis, the basket conformation of the posterior pair of legs, and the apparent absence of generative organs. They have been divided by Huber into nurses and wax-workers; the former are the smallest and weakest, ill adapted for carrying burdens, and their business is to collect the honey, feed and take care of the grubs, complete the cells commenced by the others, and to keep the hive clean; the latter take the charge of provisioning the hive, collecting honey, secreting and preparing wax, constructing the cells, defending the hive from attack, attending to the wants of the queen, and carrying on all the hostilities of the community. The number of the workers is from 5,000 or 10,000 to 50,000, according to the size of the hive; they form about 29/30 of the whole; they are armed with a sting, and are easily excited to use it. They are sometimes called neuters, as if they were of neither sex; but it is now established, by the discovery in them on minute dissection of rudiments of ovaries, that the larvae of the workers and of the females do not differ; that the queens lay only two kinds of eggs, one destined to produce males, and the other capable of being converted, according to circumstances, into workers or queens; in other words, that the workers are females, in which the generative organs are not developed.

On the loss of the queen the hive is thrown into the greatest confusion; the bees rush from the hive, and seek the queen in all directions; after some hours all becomes quiet again, and the labors are resumed. If there be no eggs nor brood in the combs, the bees seem to lose their faculties; they cease to labor and to collect food, and the whole community soon dies. But, if there be brood in the combs, the labors continue as follows: having selected a grub, not more than three days old, the workers sacrifice three contiguous cells that the cell of the grub may be made into a royal cell; they supply it with the peculiar stimulating jelly reserved for the queens, and at the end of the usual 16 days the larva of a worker is metamorphosed into a queen. This fart, which rests on indisputable authority, is certainly a most remarkable natural provision for the preservation of the lives of the colony. While a hive remains without a queen swarming can never take place, however crowded it may be. The possibility of changing the worker into a queen is taken advantage of in the formation of artificial swarms, by which the amount of honey may be indefinitely increased.

In a well-proportioned hive, containing 20,000 bees, there would be 19,499 workers, 500 males, and 1 queen. - The food of bees consists principally of two kinds, the honeyed fluids and the pollen of flowers; they also eat honey dew, treacle, sirup, and any saccharine substance. They lick up honey and fluid substances by their long proboscis from the blossoms of various flowers; the mignonette and clover afford honey of remarkable fragrance and in great abundance. It is inferred that bees have an imperfect sense of taste and smell from their collecting honey indiscriminately from sweet-scented and offensive flowers; it is well known that in some places their honey acquires poisonous qualities from the flowers of different species of laurel, thorn-apple, azalea, and poison ash; many mysterious cases of sickness have been traced to the consumption of such poisoned honey, and even the bees are sometimes destroyed by the vegetable poisons which they imbibe. During the spring, and until late in the autumn, bees collect the pollen from the anthers of flowers by means of the hairs on their legs, and, after forming a ball, transport it in their basket to the hive for the food of the young brood; this pollen consists of small capsules which contain the fecundating principle of flowers, and is so abundant that the bees of a single hive will often bring in a pound daily; hence some agriculturists have supposed that the bees diminish the fecundity of plants by abstracting the pollen, when, on the contrary, they essentially promote it, by transporting the fecundating principle from plant to plant.

Honey dew is a saccharine fluid discharged from the tubes at the extremity of the body in the aphides, or plant lice; these herd together on plants, and become so gorged with sap that they are obliged to eject the honeyed fluid; this falls on the loaves and dries, forming honey dew, eagerly sought after by bees and ants; the same name has been given to a sweet exudation of the sap from the leaves of plants in dry weather. Bees require considerable water, but they are not particular about its purity. The food of the queen bee has been subjected to chemical analysis by Dr. Wetherili of Philadelphia.

Pollen basket of Bee magnified

1. Pollen basket of Bee magnified. 2. Trunk of a Bee magnified. 3, 3, 3. Bees constructing cells. 4. Larva of the Bee magnified. 5. Bee seen through a magnifying glass at the moment when the cakes of wax appear between the segments of the abdomen.

A, Drone. B, Queen Bee. C, Worker. I, Leg of Worker, showing cavity for propolis. E, Cells for honey.

A, Drone. B, Queen Bee. C, Worker. I), Leg of Worker, showing cavity for propolis. E, Cells for honey.

That of the royal grubs is a kind of acescent jelly, thick and whitish, becoming more transparent and saccharine as the larva increases in size; it has been shown by Huber to consist of a mixture of honey and pollen, modified by the workers; the former appears amorphous under the microscope, is heavier than water, of the consistency of wax, sticky and elastic; it consists of wax, albumen, and proteine compounds, and is therefore properly called bee bread; it contains albuminous compounds, which would probably prove on analysis similar to the gluten of wheat. Honey alone is not sufficient for the support of bees; they require nitro-genized substances, like pollen, as well as honey and non-nitrogenized food. Wax is secreted in pouches or receptacles, in the abdomen of the working bees only, lined with a membrane arranged in folds like a six-sided network; it accumulates in these until it appears externally in the form of scales between the abdominal rings; these plates are withdrawn by the bee itself, or some of its fellow workers, and used for building and repairing the cells.

The formation of wax is the office of the wax-workers, which may be known from the nurses by the greater size and more cylindrical shape of the abdomen, and larger stomach; the secretion goes on best when the bees are at rest, and accordingly the wax-workers suspend themselves in the interior in an extended cluster or hanging curtain, holding on to each other by the legs; they remain motionless in this position about 15 hours, when a single bee detaches itself and commences the construction of a cell, and the others come to its assistance and begin new cells. The quantity of wax secreted depends not at all on the pollen consumed, but on the consumption of honey; when bees are fed on cane sugar they form wax with more difficulty than when they are fed on grape sugar; the former is not so readily decomposed, but may be changed into the latter in the bee's body by the absorption of 2 equivalents of water. According to Liebig, an equivalent of starch is changed into fat by losing 1 equivalent of carbonic acid and 7 equivalents of oxygen; and Dr. Wetherill suggests that wax, which bears a great analogy to fats, may be derived from honey in similar manner.

Wax, composed of cerine and myricine, is represented chemically by C34H34O2, and anhydrous grape sugar by C12H12O12; so that 3 equivalents of grape sugar would yield 1 equivalent of -wax by the loss of 2 equivalents of carbonic acid, 2 of water, and 28 of oxygen. - Bees breathe by means of air tul es, which open externally on the corslet; experiments show that they soon perish in a vacuum or under water, and that a constant renewal of atmospheric air is necessary for their well-being. The condition of a hive, filled with many thousand active and crowded bees, and communicating with the outer air only by a small opening at the bottom, and that usually obstructed by the throng passing in and out, is very unfavorable for the maintenance of a pure air; the black hole of Calcutta is the only human receptacle which can be compared to it; a taper is very soon extinguished in a globe of the dimensions and with the aperture of a beehive; and yet these insects, as easily suffocated as any other, get along very well, and their respiration is accompanied by the usual absorption of oxygen and excretion of carbonic acid gas.

With all this closeness of the air in the hive, direct examination has proved that it is nearly as pure as atmospheric air; neither the contents of the hive nor the bees themselves have any power of evolving oxygen, but the air is renewed through the door of the hive, where an inward current is produced, whenever required, by the rapid agitation of the wings of the bees. Some of the workers are always thus employed in ventilating the hive, which they do by planting themselves near the entrance, and imitating the action of flying; in this way the impulse which would carry them forward in flight is exerted on the air, producing a powerful backward current; this fact explains the humming sound heard in the interior of an active hive, especially in the warmest days. From their active respiration the temperature of a hive is very high, varying from 73° to 84° F., and on some occasions rising to 106°; they are very sensitive to thermometrical changes, the warm sun exciting them to vigorous action, and cold reducing them to a torpid state. - The instincts, and in the belief of many the intelligence of the bee, are remarkably displayed in the preparation of the hive, the construction of the cells, and in the phenomena of swarming.

The first thing done on entering a new hive is to clean it thoroughly, to stop all crevices, and lay the foundation for the comb. Wax is not the only material used by bees in their architecture; besides this, they employ a reddish brown, odoriferous, glutinous resin, more tenacious and extensible than wax, called propolis, which they obtain from the buds of the poplar and birch and from various resinous trees. This adheres so strongly to the legs of the bee, that its fellow laborers are obliged to remove it, which they do with their jaws, applying it immediately to every crevice and projection in the hive, to the interior of the cells, and to the covering of any foreign body too heavy for them to remove; in this way even large snails are hermetically sealed and prevented from imparting a noxious quality to the air. Bees will carry home many artificially prepared glutinous substances in their tarsal baskets. After the workers have secreted a sufficient amount of wax, the construction of the combs commences. These are formed into parallel and vertical layers, each about an inch thick, the distances between the surfaces of each being about half an inch for the passage of the bees.

They may extend the whole breadth and height of the hive, consisting of thin partitions enclosing six-sided cells, about half an inch deep and a quarter of an inch in diameter. The bottom of each cell has the shape of a flattened pyramid with three rhombic sides, like the diamonds on playing cards; this gives the greatest strength and greatest capacity with the least expenditure of material. Maraldi had determined that the two angles of the rhomb should be 109° 28' and 70° 32' by mathematical calculation, and by actual measurement they are 110° and 70°. There is nothing in the shape of the antennae, mandibles, or legs of the bee which should determine these angles in the cells. From the fact that bees stand as close as they can, each depositing its wax around it, some have maintained that the form and size of the insect determine the shape of the cell; that the mathematical accuracy of the cell depends on its form and structure and not on its instinct; and that the cell form is inevitable.

The foundation is a solid plate of wax, of a semicircular form, in which a vertical groove is scooped out of the size of a cell, which is strengthened by further additions of wax; on the opposite side two other grooves are formed, one on each side of the plane opposite the first; after the bottom is formed, the walls are raised round the sides. The cells of the first row, by which the comb is attached to the roof of the hive, have five sides instead of six, the roof forming' one. The first cell determines the position of all that succeed it; and two are not, in ordinary circumstances, begun in different parts of the hive at the same time. The laborers follow each other in quick succession, each one adding a little to the work; when a few rows have been constructed in the central comb, two other foundation walls are begun, one on each side of it, at the distance of one third of an inch, and parallel to it, and then two others as the former are advanced; the comb is thus enlarged and lengthened, the middle being always the most prominent. If all their foundations were laid at the same time, it would be difficult for them to preserve their parallelism, which is perfect only at the last stage of the building process.

Besides the vacancies between the cells, which form the highways of the hive, the combs are pierced with holes, to permit easy communication, and prevent loss of time in going round. The symmetry of the architecture of bees is more observable in their work looked at as a whole than in its details, as they often build irregularly to adapt the structure to different localities and various unfavorable circumstances; different-sized cells are made for the larvae of workers, males, and queens; those for honey and pollen magazines are twice as large as ordinary cells, and so placed that their mouths are upward, for the easier retention of their contents. These supposed defects are generally the results of calculation, and, when mistakes, are very soon remedied. The cells at first are whitish, soft, and translucent; but they soon become yellow and firmer, and quite dark in an old comb. -

When a hive becomes too crowded, or for other reasons as yet not perfectly understood, preparations are made for the emigration of a swarm with a queen; scouts are sent out in advance to select a proper place for the new hive, and the workers are busy in collecting an extra quantity of provisions to be carried with them. When the weather is warm, and after a full stock of eggs has been laid, the old queen, unsuccessful in her attempts to destroy the royal brood, abdicates the throne which the first-born new queen will soon dispute with her. During the preparations, a great buzzing is occasionally heard, which suddenly ceases on the day of departure. When all is ready, the signal is given by the workers, and the queen, with all the departing swarm, rashes to the door, and rises into the air; they follow the queen, alighting with her in a dense cluster, and returning to the hive if she does. Cold weather, or even a passing cloud, will arrest the emigration until a warmer or brighter period. After a rest at their first landing place, the swarm collects into a close phalanx, and flies in a direct line to the selected spot. The deserted hive is busily occupied in hatching out a new queen, which in her turn leads out a swarm; two or three will be sent off in a summer from an old hive.

After the massacre of the males in July or August, the workers busy themselves in collecting stores for winter use; as the autumn advances, honey becomes scarce, and they are obliged to collect the sweet exudations from leaves, honey dew, and also the juices of peaches and other sweet fruits, after the skin has been broken by birds, snails, or insects; when all other resources fail, they do not scruple to attack weaker hives and despoil them of their honey. The cold of winter reduces them to a nearly torpid state, in which they remain until the warm days of spring. The instinct of the bee and its tendency to thrift are curiously manifest in the fact that it accumulates immense stores of honey in tropical and semi-tropical countries, where there is no necessity for laying up supplies for winter, since flowers are abundant at all seasons. In fact, the largest supplies of lmney and wax are exported from such countries; the latter is the more important article of commerce, as the honey, particularly from the West Indies and Central and South America, is generally of an inferior quality. - Bees recognize the person of their queen; if a new one be given them, they will generally surround her and suffocate or starve her to death, for it is remarkable that the workers never attack a queen with their stings; if she be permitted to live 24 hours, she will be received as their sovereign.

Huber discovered that if the fecundation of the queen be delayed beyond the 21st day of her life, she begins' to lav the eggs of males, and produces no others during her life; she lays them indiscriminately in large and small, and even in royal cells; in the latter ease, they are treated by the nurses as if they were royal grubs. Reim made the singular discovery of prolific workers, thus explaining the laying of eggs in hives destitute of a queen; but the eggs thus produced are always those of males; this is accounted for by their having passed their grub state in cells contiguous to the royal ones, and from having their generative organs partially developed by devouring portions of the stimulating royal food; how they become impregnated has not been ascertained. (See Parthenogenesis.) - The Italian or Ligurian bee (A. ligustica) has been introduced into the United States, and found far superior to the common bee. (See Bee-Keeping.) - The natural enemies of bees are numerous; among them may be mentioned wasps, hornets, spiders, dragon flies, toads, lizards, woodpeckers, the bee-eater and most insectivorous birds, rats and mice, ant-eaters, bears, and badgers.

They seldom die a natural death, and the average duration of life cannot be more than a year; the whole population would be destroyed by their enemies, each other, and the severity of the weather, were it not for the surprising fecun-dity of the queen, who will lay in temperate climates as many as 60,000 eggs, and in warm regions three times that number; a single impregnation is sufficient to fecundate all the eggs which a queen will lay for at least two years, and probably during her life. The most destructive and insidious enemv of the bee is a lepidopterous insect, of the group cramhidae, the galleria cereana (Fab.), commonly called the bee or wax moth; in its perfect state it is a winged moth, about three fourths of an inch long, with an expanse of wings of a little more than an inch; the females are the largest, of a dark gray color, tinged with purple-brown and dark spots. (See Bee-Keeping.) - Wild Honey Bees. When bees swarm, if they are neglected and are not speedily hived, they will fly away with their queen to the woods and find a home in a hollow tree, where they lay up honey, rear brood, and send out successive swarms for new wild colonies.

Wild bees are abundant in India, the islands of the Malay archipelago, Crete and . all the Greek islands, the W. coast of Africa, and throughout America. Those in the United States are all of foreign origin. There were none W. of the Mississippi before 1797, nor in California before 1850; and the Indians call the bee the white man's fly. In regions where wild bees abound, bee hunting is a distinct and important business, pursued by professional hunters or experts. In Africa, India, and the Indian islands, the hunter is unerringly guided to a bee tree by a bird of the cuckoo family. (See Honey Guide.) Wells's "Explorations in Honduras" (New York, 1857) states that in Central America wild swarms generally establish themselves in the hollow limbs of trees; these are removed to the porches of the houses, and are there suspended by thongs; in this primitive way large quantities of honey and wax are obtained. The honey of some of these swarms is stored in wax bags two or more inches long, ranged along the hive in rows, while the brood cells occupy the centre of the hive.

In Timor and other Indian islands there is a wild bee (A. dorsata) that builds huge honeycombs, of semicircular form, and often 3 or 4 ft. in diameter, which are suspended in the open air from the under side of the uppermost branches of the highest trees. These the hunter takes by climbing to them, holding a smoking torch under them to stupefy or drive away the bees, and then cutting off the comb close to the limb. In the United States, at the south and west, where bee-hunting is extensively followed, the method is uniform and simple. The hunter takes into the woods a box or basin containing about half a pound of honey, and sometimes various mints or essences are used to attract the bees. If the bees will not come to the honey, one or two are caught and brought to the box, or are caught in boxes devised for the purpose. Several bees collect or are caught in the same localities, and soon fly away loaded with honey. As the bee always rises and circles around till it sees some familiar landmark, and then takes a "bee line" for home, the line of flight is observed by the hunter or his companions.

After several bees have flown in the same direction, or in two or more directions, showing that two or more different swarms have been marked, the hunter removes the box to a point at an angle from the first position, more bees are caught and liberated, and their line of flight is marked. The point of intersection of the two lines gives the locality of the sought-for tree. The best time for bee-hunting is in early spring before the leaves are out, for the bees come out freely in fine days, and their line of flight can more easily be seen. When the bee tree is discovered, it may hold a new swarm with no store of honey; but frequently there is a prize of many hundred pounds of wax and honey, which is secured after the tree is cut down by killing or driving away the bees by burning straw. Frequently, if the tree is of suitable size and shape, after it is cut down the orifice where the bees go in and out is stopped, and the section containing the swarm is sawn out and carried home, where the bees may be "drummed" into a hive containing honey and brood comb, in which they will contentedly make a new home and furnish stock for successive swarms.

Wild bees abound nearly everywhere in the vicinity of domesticated bees; but they are no longer hunted to any great extent in the thickly settled states, owing to the increased value of timber and contests as to ownership or priority of discovery, out of which many lawsuits have arisen. II. Hnmblebee, a genus distinguished by the loud humming noise they make during flight, whence their generic name bom-bus, the French bourdon, and the English bumblebee. It differs from the honey bee in its colors, larger size, and having the tibiae of the hind legs terminated by spines. More than 40 different kinds are native in Great Britain, and many species abound in America. No insect is more widely diffused; its range extends from the limits of floral vegetation to the equator, and it is everywhere found in great abundance in the temperate zone. The great number of the British species, having the prevailing colors yellow, red, and black, have been divided into three sections: 1, apex of body red; 2, apex of abdomen white; 3, ground color of body yellow or buff. The bumblebees live in much smaller societies and are less prolific than the honey bee. They lay in no store of honey, and their main mission seems to be to fecundate plants by carrying pollen from the male to female flowers.

In size the workers are the smallest, the males are larger, and the females are somewhat larger than the males. Late in autumn the male and neuter bumblebees die; but some of the females survive in a torpid state and without food till spring, when they become the founders of a new colony, and may be seen prying into every hole and crevice in the earth in search of a suitable nest.

Humblebee (Bombus terrestris) and Nest.

Humblebee (Bombus terrestris) and Nest.

This they make at a depth of one or two feet in meadows and plains; they make cavities of considerable extent, dome-shaped, more wide than high; the vault is made of earth and moss, and the interior is lined with an inferior kind of wax; the entrance may be either a simple aperture at the lower part, or a tortuous moss-covered path; the bottom is carpeted with leaves. Their nest has little of the architectural regularity of the hive of the honey bee; there are only a few egg-shaped, dark-colored, irregularly disposed cells, arranged generally in a horizontal position, connected by shapeless waxen columns; these cells are not made by the old bees, but by the grubs, who spin them when they are ready to undergo the change into nymphs; from them they are liberated by the gnawing of the old ones; the cocoons are afterward used as storehouses for honey. The true breeding cells are contained in masses of brown wax, the number of eggs varying from 3 to 30, the whole colony seldom exceeding 60, though the nest of the terrestrial species (B. terrestris, Latr.) sometimes contains as many as 300. The larvae live in society until they are about to change into nymphs, when each spins a silken cocoon in which the occupant is placed head downward, and from which it comes out in four or five days during May and June. The females assist in building the cells, and deposit at the first laying eggs both of males and females; the males are not reared till late in the season, and like the hive drones do not assist in the care of the young.

Several females may live in peace under the same roof; impregnation takes place outside the nest. The honey and wax are of the same origin and nature as those of the honey bee. As they do not hibernate, but perish during the winter, the same nest is not occupied for two successive years. The nest of the species called carder bee (B. muscorwn, Latr.) is composed of a dome of moss or withered grass placed over a shallow excavation in the ground of about half a foot in diameter; the materials, after being carded by means of the mandibles and fore legs, are pushed by the first bee backward to a second, which passes it to a third, and so on until the nest is reached; they work in long files, the head being turned away from the nest, and toward the material. Their domes are often seen rising 4 or 6 inches above the level of the fields and meadows; the entrance is at the bottom, about a foot long and half an inch wide. The carder bee is smaller than the terrestrial humblebee, and shorter and thicker than the honey bee; it resembles in color the materials of the nest, having the fore part of the back a dull orange, and the hind part with different shades of grayish yellow rings.

The lapidary bee (B. lapidarius, Latr.) builds its nest in a heap of stones, of bits of moss, neatly arranged in an oval form; they are social in their habits, and collect honey with great industry; the individuals of a nest are more numerous than the carders, and much more vindictive. III. Solitary Bees display as much foresight, ingenuity, and skill in the construction of their nests as do the social species, and perhaps in a more remarkable manner, as a single individual begins and finishes every part of the work. There are only two kinds of individuals, males and females; the males are idle, and the females perform all the labor of making the nest and providing food for the young; they have no brush to their hinder feet and no basket structure on the external side of the tarsi. - Different species of meyaehile, antho-phora, and osmia have been Called by Reaumur mason bees, from their constructing their nests with sand, earthy substances, and sometimes wood, cemented with a glutinous secretion; they build in the interstices of brick walls, in crevices in stones, and wherever they can find a suitable place, often amid the busiest throngs of men.

Within a wall of clay they make from one to six chambers, each containing a mass of pollen with an egg; the cells are sometimes parallel and perpendicular, at others with various inclinations, and are closed with a paste of earth; they are thimble-shaped, and about an inch long. Many species, not larger than a horse fly, have been called mining bees (an-drenae), from their digging in the ground tubular galleries, a little wider than the diameter of their bodies; they are fond of clay banks, in which their holes, of the size of the stem of a tobacco pipe, are frequently seen; they are 6 or 8 inches deep, smooth and circular, with a thimble-shaped horizontal chamber, almost at right angles to the entrance, and nearly twice as wide; in this is placed a single grub with its supply of pollen. - There are several British species of solitary bees to which Reaumur has given the name of carpenter bees, from their working in wood as the mason bees do in earth; they select posts and the woodwork of houses which have become soft from commencing decay.

The violet-colored species (xylocopa vio-lacea, Linn.) makes her nest by gnawing out small pieces of the wood, which she carries to a short distance and drops for future use, returning by a circuitous route as if to conceal its location; the direction of the tunnel is oblique for about an inch, and then perpendicular in the axis of the wood for 12 or 15 inches, and half an inch in breadth; sometimes three or four such excavations are made. The tunnel is divided into cells somewhat less than an inch deep, separated from each other by partitions made of the chips and dust cemented together; some other species employ clay for these partitions. At the bottom of the cell is placed an egg, and over it a paste of pollen and honey; in this way are completed 10 or 12 cells, one above the other, and then the principal entrance is closed by a similar sawdust covering. As several weeks are occupied in these labors, and as the bee deposits her eggs at considerable intervals, it is evident that the first egg will have become a perfect insect before the last egg has left the grub state; in order to enable the young to escape as they are hatched, each cell has a lateral opening. - Among the leaf-cutting and upholstering bees may be mentioned the poppy bee (osmia papa-veris, Latr.), a European species, one third of an inch long, of a black color, with reddish gray hairs on the head and back, and the abdomen gray and silky.

She excavates a perpendicular hole in the ground, largest at the bottom, which she lines with the petals of the scarlet poppy cut into oval pieces, and adapted with the greatest nicety and smoothness; the hole is about 3 inches deep, and the lining extends externally on the surface; filling it with pollen and honey to the depth of half an inch, she deposits an egg, folds down the scarlet tapestry, and fills above it with earth; it is rare to find more than one cell in an excavation. The rose-leaf cutter (mega-chile centun-cularis, Latr.) makes a cylindrical hole in the hard earth of a beaten path, from 6 to 10 inches deep, in which she constructs several cells about an inch deep, thimble-shaped, and made with circular pieces of leaves neatly cut out and folded together; the rose leaf is preferred, but almost any leaf with a serrated margin, as the birch and mountain ash, will be taken; no cement is employed, the elastic property of the leaves keeping them in place; it takes 9 to 12 pieces to make a single cell, which, when completed with its contents of pollen and honey,, and single egg, is closed with three pieces of leaf exactly circular; the convex extremity of one cell fits into the open end of the next, by this means greatly increasing the strength of the fabric.

Mason Bee and Nest.

Mason Bee and Nest.

Carpenter Bee and Nest.

Carpenter Bee and Nest.

Rose Leaf Cutter and Nest (Megachile centuncularis).

Rose-Leaf Cutter and Nest (Megachile centuncularis).

Bee #1

Bee, a S. county of Texas, drained by the Aransas and Mission rivers and their tributaries; area, 900 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 1,082, of whom 69 were colored. The soil is sandy and poor, and little rain falls in summer. Stock and sheep raising is the principal industry, though some corn is raised. In 1870 there were 260 horses, 78 milch cows, 8,346 other cattle, 1,860 sheep, and 365 swine. Capital, Beeville.