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Guess Work

Category: BREEDING.

The time before it is ready to leave the hive for honey, I might guess
would be two or three days. Others have said "it would leave _the day
it left the cell_;" but I guess they guess at this point. They tell us,
too, that after the bees seal over the cells containing the larvae,
"they immediately commence spinning their cocoons, which takes just
about thirty-six hours." I think it very likely; but when I admit it, I
cannot imagine how it was ascertained;--the faculty of looking through
a mill-stone I do not possess, and it requires about the same optical
penetration to look into one of these cells after it is sealed over, as
it is all perfect darkness. Suppose we drive away the bees and open the
cell, to give us a look at the interior: the little insect stops its
labor in a moment, probably from the effect of air and light. I never
could detect one in its labor. Suppose we open these cells every hour
after sealing; can we tell anything about their progress by the
appearance of these cocoons, or even tell when they are finished? The
thickness of a dozen would not exceed common writing paper. When a
subject is obscure, or difficult to ascertain, like this, why not tell
us how they found out the particulars; and if they were guessed at, be
honest, and say so? When the bee leaves the cell, a cocoon remains, and
that is about all we _know_ about it.

Next: Terms Applied To Young Bees

Previous: Rough Treatment Of The Young Bee

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