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Philosophy In Filling A Cell With Honey


To witness the operation of depositing honey, a glass hive or box is
requisite; the edges of the combs will be attached to the glass--when
honey is abundant, most of these cells next the glass will contain
some. Now is the time to see the operation, glass forming one side of
such as are in contact, &c. The bee may be seen to enter the cell till
it reaches the bottom; with its tongue, the first particle is
deposited, and brushed into the corners or angles, carefully excluding
all the air from behind it--as it is filled, that next the sides of the
cell is kept in advance of the centre. The bee does not put its tongue
in the centre and pour out its load there, but carefully brushes the
sides as it fills, excluding every particle of air, and keeps the
surface concave instead of convex. This is just as a philosopher would
say it should be. If it was filled at once and no care taken to attach
it to the sides, why, the external air would never keep it there, which
it does effectually when of ordinary length. When the cell is about
one-fourth of an inch deep they often commence filling it, and as it is
lengthened they add to it, keeping it within an eighth of an inch of
the end; it is never quite full till nearly sealed over, and often not
then. In cells of the worker size, the sealing seldom touches the
honey. But in the size for drones the case is different; the honey on
the end touches the sealing, about half the diameter on the lower side;
it is kept in the same shape while being filled; but being somewhat
larger, the atmospheric pressure is less effectual in keeping the honey
in its place; consequently, when they commence sealing these cells they
begin on the lower side and finish at the top.

Next: Long Cells Sometimes Turned Upward

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