Remarks





The exact and uniform size of their cells is perhaps as great a mystery

as anything pertaining to them; yet, we find the second wonder before

we are done with the first. In building comb, they have no square or

compass as a guide; no master mechanic takes the lead, measuring and

marking for the workmen; each individual among them is a finished

mechanic! No time is lost as an apprentice, no service given in return

for instruction! Each is accomplished from birth! All are alike; what

one begins, a dozen may help to finish! A specimen of their work shows

itself to be from the hands of master workmen, and may be taken as a

model of perfection! He, who arranged the universe, was their

instructor. Yes, a profound geometrician planned the first cell, and

knowing what would be their wants, implanted in the sensorium of the

first bee, all things pertaining to their welfare; the impress then

given, is yet retained unimpaired! They need no lectures on domestic

economy to tell them, by using the base of one set of cells on one side

of their combs, for the base of those on the opposite, will save both

labor and wax; no mathematician that a pyramidal base, just three

angles, with just such an inclination, will be the exact shape needed,

and consume much less wax than round or square--that the base of one

cell of three angles, would form a part of the base of three other

cells on the opposite side of the comb--that each of the six sides of

one cell forms one side of six others around it--that these angles and

these only would answer their ends.



"The bees appear," says Reaumer, "to have a problem to solve, which

would puzzle many a mathematician. A quantity of matter being given, it

is required to form out of it cells, which shall be equal, and similar,

and of a determinate size, but the largest possible with relation to

the quantity of matter employed, while they shall occupy the least

possible space!"



How little does the epicure heed, when feasting on the fruits of their

industry, that each morsel tasted must destroy the most perfect

specimens of workmanship! that in a moment he can demolish what it has

taken hours, yes days, perhaps weeks, of assiduous toil and labor, for

the bees to accomplish!





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