Do Bees Injure The Crop?

Many people contend that bees are an injury to this crop, by taking

away the substance that would be formed into grain. The best reasons

for this opinion that I have obtained are these: "I believe it, and

have thought so a long time." "It is reasonable if a portion of this

plant is taken away by the bees, there must be a less quantity of

material left for the formation of seed, &c." Most of us have learned

that a person's opinion is not the strongest kind of proof, unless he

can exhibit substantial reasons for it. Are the above reasons

satisfactory? How are the facts? The flowers expand, and a set of

vessels pour into the cup or nectary a minute portion of honey. I am

not aware that any one contends that the plant has another set of

vessels prepared to again absorb this honey and convert it into grain.

But strong testimony proves very plainly that it never again enters the

stalk or flower, but evaporates like water. We all know that animal

matter when putrid will be dissolved into particles small enough to

float in the atmosphere, too minute for the naked eye. When passing off

in this way this real flesh and blood would escape notice perhaps

altogether, and never be detected, were it not for the olfactories,

which on some occasions notify us of its presence very forcibly. In

passing a field of buckwheat in bloom, by the same means we are assured

of the presence of honey in the air. Now what is the difference whether

this honey passes off in the air, or is collected by the bees? If any

difference, the advantage appears to be in favor of the bees getting

it, for the reason that it thus answers another important end in the

economy of nature, consistent with her provisions in ten thousand

different ways of adapting means to ends. Most breeders of domestic

animals are aware of the deteriorating qualities induced by in-and-in

breeding; a change of breed is found necessary for perfection, &c.

Discrepancy In Time In Rearing Brood As Given By Huber Do Swarms Choose A Location Before Swarming? facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail