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Their Manner Of Attack


I must disagree with any one who says we always have warning before
being stung. I have been stung _a few times_ myself. Two-thirds of them
were received without the least notice--the first intimation was the
"blow." At other times, when fully determined on vengeance, I have had
them strike my hat and remain a moment endeavoring to effect their
object. In this case, I have warning to hold down my face to protect it
from the next attempt, which is quite sure to follow. As they fly
horizontally, the face held in that position is not so liable to be
attacked. When they are not so thoroughly charged with anger, they
often approach in merely a threatening attitude, buzzing around very
provokingly for several minutes in close proximity to our ears and
face, apparently to ascertain our intentions. If nothing hostile or
displeasing is perceived, they will generally leave; but should a quick
motion or offensive breath offend them, the dreaded result is almost
sure to follow. Too many people are apt to take these threatening
manifestations as positive intentions to sting. When these things can
be quietly endured, and at the same time leave their vicinity, it
generally ends peaceably. They never make an attack while away from
their home in quest of honey, or on their return, until they have
entered the hive. It is only in the hive and its vicinity that we
expect to meet this irascible temperament, which should not be allowed,
or at least may be subdued in a great measure, if not entirely, by
doing things in a quiet manner, and, by the use of tobacco smoke. Any
person having the care of bees should go armed with this powerful
weapon. As bees are not much affected with smoke, while flying in the
air, but will have their own way, we must take them in the hive as the
place to teach _them_ a proper deportment!

Those who are accustomed to smoking will find a pipe or segar very
convenient here. But such as are not would do better, perhaps, not to
learn a bad habit. I will therefore give a simple substitute.

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Previous: A Person's Breath Offensive And Other Causes

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