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Singular Secretion


I once discovered bees collecting a secretion unconnected with flowers;
but was not honey-dew, as it has been described. I was passing a bush
of Witch-hazel, (_Hamamelis Virginiana_,) and was arrested by an
unusual humming of bees. At first I supposed that a swarm was about me,
yet it was late in the season, (it being about the 25th July.) On close
inspection, I found the bush contained numerous warty excrescences, the
size and shape of a hickory-nut. These proved to be only a shell--the
inside lined with thousands of minute insects, a species of aphis.
These appeared to be engaged sucking the juices, and discharging a
clear, transparent fluid. Near the stem was an orifice about an eighth
of an inch in diameter, out of which this liquid would gradually exude.
So eager were the bees for this secretion, that several would crowd
around one orifice at a time, each endeavoring to thrust the other
away. This occurred several years ago, and I never have been able to
find anything like it since; neither have I learned whether it is
common in other sections.

Next: Secretions Of The Aphis

Previous: Honey-dew

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