Discrepancy In Time In Rearing Brood As Given By Huber





We are told by most writers, the period of time necessary to perfect

from the egg, the three different kinds of bees. Huber leads the way,

and the rest, _supposing him to be right_, repeat in substance his

account as follows: That the whole time necessary to perfect a queen

from the egg is sixteen days, the worker twenty, and the drone

twenty-four days; Huber (as quoted by Harpers) gives the time of each

stage of development belonging to each kind of bee; but is rather

unfortunate in arithmetic; the items, or stages, when added together,

"do not prove," as the school-boys say; that is, he gains time by

making his bee by degrees. He says, first, of the worker, "It remains

three days in the egg, five in the grub state, it is thirty-six hours

in spinning its cocoon; in three days it changes to a nymph, passes six

in that form, and then comes forth a perfect bee." How do the items add?



The egg, 3 days.

Grub, 5 "

Spinning cocoon, 1-1/2 "

Changing to a nymph, 3 "

In that form, 6 "

-------

18-1/2 days.



One and a half days short. We will next see how the figures with the

royal insect match; recollect sixteen days are all she has allowed;

then, of the different stages, "three days in the egg, is five a worm,

when the bees close its cell, and it immediately begins its cocoon,

which is finished in twenty-four hours. During eleven days, and even

sixteen hours of the twelfth, it remains in a state of complete repose.

Its transformation into a nymph then takes place, in which state four

days and part of the fifth are passed." Now let us add the items:



The egg, 3 days.

A worm, 5 "

Spinning a cocoon, (24 hours), 1 "

Reposes eleven days and 16 hours, 11-2/3 "

A nymph four days, and part of the fifth, 4-1/3 "

-------

25 days.



Now, reader, what do you make of such palpable blundering guess-work? A

difference of nine days--the merest school-boy ought to know better!

Can we rely on such history? Does it not prove the necessity of going

over the whole ground, applying a test to every assertion, and a

revision of the whole matter throughout? My object is not to find

fault, but to get at _facts_. When I see such guess-work as the above

published to the world, in this enlightened age, gravely told to the

rising generation, as a portion of natural history, I feel it a duty

not to resist the inclination to expose the absurdity.





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