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Their Battles

Category: ROBBERIES.

I will here describe some of their battles. I have in the spring
frequently seen the whole front side of the hive covered with the
combatants, (but for such hives I have no fears; they are able to
defend themselves.) Several will surround one stranger; one or two will
bite its legs, another the wings; another will make a feint of
stinging, while another is ready to take what honey it has, when
worried sufficient to make it willing. It is sometimes allowed to go
after yielding all its honey, but at others, is dispatched with a
sting, which is almost instantly fatal. A bee is killed sooner by a
sting, than by any other means, except crushing. Sometimes a leg will
tremble, for a minute; the legs are drawn close to the body; the
abdomen contracts to half its usual size, unless filled with honey. I
have known a pint accidentally to enter a neighboring stock, and be
killed in five minutes. The only places the sting will penetrate a bee
are the joints of the abdomen, legs, the neck, &c. I have occasionally
seen one bee drag about the dead body of its victim, being unable to
withdraw its sting from a joint in the leg. During the fight, if it be
to keep off those in search of plunder, a few bees may be seen buzzing
around in search of a place unguarded to enter the hive. If such is
found, it alights and enters in a moment. At other times, when about to
enter, it meets a soldier on duty, and is on the wing again in an
instant. But another time it may be more unfortunate, and be nabbed by
a policeman, when it must either break away, or suffer the penalty of
insect justice, which is generally of the utmost severity.

Next: Bad Policy To Raise The Hives

Previous: Weak Families In Most Danger

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