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Are Not Bees Directed Alone By Instinct?


On this subject I have but little to say, as I have failed to discover
anything uncommonly remarkable, separate and distinct in one swarm,
that another would not exhibit. I have found one swarm guided alone by
instinct, doing just what another would under the same circumstances.

Writers, not contented with the astonishing results of instinct, with
their love of the marvellous, must add a good share of reason to their
other faculties,--"an adaptation of means to ends, that reason alone
could produce." It is very true, without close inspection, and
comparing the results of different swarms in similar cases, one might
arrive at such conclusion. It is difficult, as all will admit, "to tell
where instinct ends, and reason begins." Instances of sagacity, like
the following, have been mentioned. "When the weather is warm, and the
heat inside is somewhat oppressive, a number of bees may be seen
stationed around the entrance, vibrating their wings. Those inside will
turn their heads towards the passage, while those outside will turn
theirs the other way. A constant agitation of air is thus created,
thereby ventilating the hive more effectually." _All full stocks do
this in hot weather._

Next: What They Do With Propolis

Previous: Do The Bees Eat More When Allowed To Come Out Occasionally In Winter?

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