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and the events of that day went far to set the savage stamp upon my nature.

Waimata and I watched the scene, uncertain whether to linger or to fly. The sight was indeed appalling. The blood ran away into the bushes in rivulets, as in places where the carnage is thickest upon a field of battle. I well remember the terror with which its unexpected quantity impressed me-a feeling which I did not then know that Lady Macbeth had expressed in those awful words, half soliloquy, half exclamation: "Who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?"

We'remained silent, Waimata and I, with eyes dilated. She had witnessed spectacles of this sort before; and, though they were revolting to her nature, exceptionally gentle for that of a savage, yet she endured the sight better than I did. Something of my disgust

and alarm, however, was breathed into her through that subtle sympathy which draws minds together, as gravitation connects the planets. She shared my revulsion of feeling; while, on the other hand, I borrowed something of her self-possession in the presence of those frightful deeds. She tended, in a word, toward civilization; while I borrowed something of the savage nature for the time. Strange inversion of the way in which the sexes usually interact! Waimata actually seemed to appropriate all my feelings of humanity.

When, at last, the bodies were folded in thick layers of the broad and succulent banana-leaf, Waimata said,

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THOUGH, strictly speaking, all bees are wild bees-that is, incapable of domestication. Man's dominion properly stops short of the insect-world; here he passes absolutely unregarded, exciting neither fear nor love. The honeybees, for instance, are never strictly domesticated, like the barn-fowls and the animals, but only consent to stay with us on conditions. So slight is our hold upon them, that, for the most trivial reasons, and often without any reason at all that we can perceive, they call together the colony, and leave for the woods or the mountains, where, in some cavity of oak or maple, they thrive quite as well, and sometimes better, than in the painted hive in the garden.

It is said, by those wise in such things, that every swarm, before it leaves the parent-hive, has its tree selected and cleaned out ready for occupancy at the proper time. Years upon years of domestication seem to have no appreciable effect toward uprooting this instinct. The alighting of the swarm VOL. VI.-3

upon some branch or bush near the hive, therefore, is not with a view to new quarters being offered them, but seems to be a movement usually rendered necessary by the condition of the queenbee, who, unused to flying, finds herself fatigued by the first effort. But that it is the purpose of every swarm to go off, seems confirmed by the fact that it will only come out when the weather is favorable to such an undertaking, and that a passing cloud, or a rise in the wind, after the bees are in the air, will usually drive them back into the hive.

It is not, of course, till after the bees have alighted, that a hive is offered them, which, in most cases, they forthwith enter, postponing or abandoning altogether the tree in the woods. In most cases, though not in all-for sometimes the swarm refuses the hive, taking to wing again after a few hours, and making off; or, after having entered it, cleaned it out, waxed it, and even began to build comb-a sudden dissatisfaction may seize them, when

out they come and off they go. Or, again, they may refuse to alight at all, starting for the woods at once. Hence, the bee-keeper's first solicitude, when a swarm comes out, is whether or not they are going to alight, and where. If they act undecided, they may often be brought to terms by throwing water among them, and handfuls of earth. A friend of mine, working in his cornfield one day, saw a swarm passing near him, when he began to shower dirt upon them, which had the effect of causing them to settle on a hill of corn in a few moments. I would not even say that the apparently absurd practice-now entirely discredited by regular bee-keepers, but still resorted to by some unscientific folk-of beating upon tin pans, blowing horns, and creating an uproar generally, might not be without good results. Certainly, not by drowning the "orders" of the queen, but by impressing the bees with some unusual commotion in nature. It is, by the way, an entirely erroneous notion, that the queenbee is in any sense a ruler, and issues her royal orders to willing subjects. The swarm cling to her because she is their life. She is the only female bee, and without her the colony must soon perish. But the bees, the workers, are her masters and keepers, and often restrain her movements very much against her will.

The past season I witnessed two swarms take their leave of patent hives and of civilization generally. One swarm had come out the day before, and, without alighting, had returned to the parenthive-some hitch in the plan, perhaps, or, may-be, the queen had found her wings too weak. The next day they came out again, and were hived. But something offended them, or else the tree in the woods-perhaps some royal old maple or birch, holding its head high above all others, with snug, spacious, irregular chambers and galleries -had too many attractions; for they were presently discovered filling the air over the garden, and whirling excitedly around. Gradually they began to drift over the street; a moment more, and

they had become separated from the other bees, and, drawing together in a more compact mass or cloud, away they went, a humming, flying vortex of bees, the queen in the centre, and the swarm revolving around her as a pivot,-over meadows, across creeks and swamps, straight for the heart of the mountain, about a mile distant,-slow at first, so that the youth who gave chase kept up with them, but increasing their speed till only a fox-hound could have kept them in sight. I saw the youth laboring up the side of the mountain; saw his white shirt-sleeves gleam as he entered the woods; but he returned a few hours afterward, without any clue as to the particular tree in which they had taken refuge out of the ten thousand that covered the side of the mountain.

The other swarm came out about one o'clock of a hot July day, and at once showed symptoms that alarmed the keeper, who, however, did not throw either dirt or water. The house was situated on a steep side-hill. Behind it the ground rose, for a hundred rods or so, at an angle of nearly forty-five degrees, and the prospect of having to chase them up this hill, if chase them we should, was by no means inviting; for it soon became evident that their course lay in this direction. Throwing off my coat, I hurried on, before the swarm was yet fairly organized and under way, determined to see what could be done. The route soon led me into a field of standing rye, every spear of which held its head above my own. Plunging recklessly forward, my course marked to those watching from below by the agitated and wriggling grain, I emerged from the miniature forest just in time to see the runaways disappearing over the top of the hill, some fifty rods in advance of me. Lining them as well as I could, I soon reached the hill-top, my breath utterly gone, and the perspiration streaming from every pore of my skin. On the other side the country opened deep and wide. A large valley swept around to the north, heavily wooded at its head and on its sides. It became evident at once that

the bees had made good their escape, and that whether they had stopped on one side of the valley or the other, or had, indeed, cleared the opposite mountain and gone into some unknown forest beyond, was entirely problematical. A family in the valley, whose house was in the line of their course, had not seen or heard them; as, of course, they would not, being some three hundred feet beneath them. I turned back, therefore, thinking of the honey-laden tree that some of these forests would hold before the falling of the leaf.

I heard of a youth in the neighborhood, more lucky than myself on a like occasion. It seems that he had got well in advance of the swarm, whose route lay over a hill, as in my case, and, as he neared the summit, hat in hand, the bees had just come up and were all about him. Presently he noticed them hovering about his straw hat, and alighting on his arm; and, in almost as brief a time as it takes to relate it, the whole swarm had followed the queen into his hat. Being near a stone wall, he coolly deposited his prize upon it, quickly disengaged himself from the accommodating bees, and returned for a hive. The explanation of this singular circumstance, no doubt, is, that the queen, unused to such long and heavy flights, was obliged to alight from very exhaustion. It is not very unusual for swarms to be thus found in remote fields, collected upon a bush or branch of a tree.

When a swarm migrates to the woods in this manner, the individual bees, as I have intimated, do not move in right lines or straight forward, like a flock of birds, but round and round, like chaff in a whirlwind. Unitedly they form a humming, revolving mass, which keeps just high enough to clear all obstacles, except in crossing deep valleys, when, of course, it may be very high. The swarm seems to be guided by a line of couriers, which may be seen (at least at the outset) constantly going and coming. As they take a direct course, there is always some chance of following them to the tree, unless they go a

long distance, and some obstruction, like a wood, or a swamp, or a high hill, intervenes enough chance, at any rate, to stimulate the lookers-on to give vigorous chase as long as their wind holds out. If the bees are successfully followed to their retreat, two plans are feasible: either to fell the tree at once, and seek to hive them, perhaps bring them home in the section of the tree' that contains the cavity; or leave the tree till Fall, then invite your neighbors, and go and cut it, and see the ground flow with honey. The former course is more business-like; but the latter is the one usually recommended by one's friends and neighbors.

In any given locality, especially in the more wooded and mountainous districts, the number of swarms that thus assert their independence forms quite a large per cent. In the northern States these swarms very often perish before Spring; but in such a country as Florida they seem to multiply, till beetrees are very common. In the West, also, wild honey is often gathered in large quantities. I noticed, not long since, that some wood-choppers, on the west slope of the Coast Range, felled a tree that had several pailfuls in it.

Perhaps nearly one third of all the runaway swarms leave when no one is about, and hence are unseen and unheard, save, perchance, by some distant laborers in the field, or by some youth ploughing on the side of the mountain, who hears an unusual humming noise, and sees the swarm dimly whirling by overhead, and, may-be, gives chase; or he may simply catch the sound, when he pauses, looks quickly around, but sees nothing. When he comes in at night, he tells how he heard or saw a swarm of bees go over; and, perhaps, from beneath one of the hives in the garden a black mass of bees has disappeared during the day.

The sequel to the going off of the bees in Summer is the hunting of them in the Fall. It is entirely worth the while to lose one of the later swarms,. for the sake of the pleasure of looking for them after they shall have laid up

their store of honey. Bee-hunting is the poetry of sport, and has a sufficient reward even if no tree be found. The rich, warm September days is the time usually chosen. The honey-yielding flowers are nearly all gone by this time, and the bees roam far and wide in quest of food. If the bee-hunter has no previous intimation of the probable whereabouts of an escaped swarm, he begins operations in the vicinity of any large wood. His principal appliance is a small box with a glass lid, into which he nicely fits a piece of comb filled with honey. The first honey-bee he discovers leisurely probing some thistle-head in a remote field or on a hill, he gently sweeps into his box, watching its movements through the glass lid. The bee, at first alarmed, struggles to get out; but catching the smell of honey, forgets its captivity, and, like a true Yankee determined to make the most of every mishap, falls to taking its fill. The box is then placed upon a stump or rock, the lid gently withdrawn, and the hunter steps back a pace or two to watch the bee take flight, which it does in about one minute-that is, as soon as filled with honey. Rising a few feet in the air, it circles around two or three times, takes its bearings, and strikes a bee-line for home. If it goes toward the woods or mountains, the chances are that it belongs to a wild swarm, and the hunter eagerly waits for its return; if toward the settlement, or a farm-house, another bee is procured and experimented with as before.

In case a bee cannot be readily found, the usual mode of proceeding is to heat a flat stone and burn upon it some refuse comb or honey. The scent will soon attract a bee, when it may be treated as above described. If the tree is anywhere within half a mile, the bee usually returns in about fifteen minutes, always accompanied by one or more of his fellows, to whom, by some mysterious language, he has communicated the secret of the box of honey. These fill themselves, and depart as before. Returning, they bring others, and these again bring others; and thus, in a short

time, a line of bees may be established. The hunter follows them into the woods, and, keeping the direction, marks the trees for a long distance. In many cases he finds his prize without much further trouble; but in as many cases he is obliged to cross-line them-that is, establish a second line at an angle with the first; where the two lines intersect each other, he may confidently expect his search to end. Changing his base of operations, therefore, to another field or hill half a mile or more distant, if the lay of the land permits, he seeks to line them as before, and thus determine the immediate locality of the tree. The tree is apt to be a large one, with top more or less decayed.

The finding of a wild swarm, however, is not so easy and simple a matter as it may appear to be on paper. In the first place, the hunter is much more apt to get hold of a hive-bee, than the representative of a wild swarm. This consumes time. Or, if he captures one of the latter without delay, it is not an easy matter, in the majority of cases, to establish a reliable first-line. A bee is a small object to follow with the naked eye; and then, the wind may cause it to deflect from its course, and thus mislead the hunter at the outset. The native bee-hunters of Australia attach some white cottony substance to the bee, which not only retards its flight, but makes it a more conspicuous mark for the eye. I have heard of our bechunters sprinkling the bees with flour for the same purpose.

But the most novel and ingenious device I have ever heard of, is the sprinkling of them with sulphur. A young farmer in one of the interior districts of the State of New York, who takes an occasional spare day to look up bees, writes me he has tried it with marked effect. It seems to enrage the bees, and set them in a perfect uproar; so that not only may they be followed through the air more readily by the sound they make, but the whole swarm is presently humming at a fearful rate. He says he has heard the uproar when twenty rods from the tree. And, contrary to what

one might expect, instead of being driven away from the hunter's box, the bees come thicker and faster. The swarm is thoroughly waked up, and presently in the wildest state of excitement.

To get a sufficient base for the triangle, in most localities, is another difficulty when two lines have to be established; or, worst of all, the tree may be a mile or two away.

It is fascinating sport, however, the great bright days, the sightly hills and remote fields, and the eager search through the woods, with sharp scrutiny of the old trees.

If the tree is much decayed, the comb is often fearfully broken up and much of the honey wasted by felling it, which course, however, has no alternative. The bees that have escaped the deluge of honey, come pouring out into the air, ready to make war upon any thing. They are sometimes effectually disposed of with a match and a little rye-straw; but the safest and wisest plan is immediately to stop up all openings but one, leaving in this room enough to enter a pipe-stem; then give them a few puffs of tobacco-smoke. This deadens them instantly, and renders them quite harm


Bee-trees are sometimes found by persons walking in the woods on a bright day of early Spring, while the ground is yet covered with snow. The bees, induced to come forth by the warmth and the sunshine, are blinded by the snow, and fall to the ground near their


The honey-bee is, of course, an importation, Asia, perhaps, being its original home. Our truly native honeymaker is the "burly, dozing bumblebee" of Emerson's poem, in whose natural history every country-boy is interested. The first bumble-bee in Spring is as interesting an event as the first bird or the first wild-flower. A chord is touched in the wonderful harp of nature, which was before silent. We are walking in the tender fields, or along the border of the woods, in the latter part of April or the first of May, when this familiar sound, like the horn


of some fairy horseman, bursts upon the Or is it the South-wind, taking form and voice, so soft and warm and prophetic, wooing the violets and dandelions to hasten forth? No doubt the South-wind sent her, for she comes meandering along close to the earth, searching out every nook and corner, and blowing the good tidings into the very ears of the mice in their retreats.

Emerson, in the little poem referred to, has described her coming with as much truth of history as of poetry.

"When the South-wind, in May days,
With a net of shining haze
Silvers the horizon wall,
And, with softness touching all,
Tints the human countenance
With a color of romance,
And, infusing subtle heats,
Turns the sod to violets,
Thou, in sunny solitudes,
Rover of the underwoods,
The green silence dost displace

With thy mellow, breezy bass."


The bumble-bees come singly, never in pairs, and only one sex-the female. In the bee-kingdoms, royalty is confined exclusively to the females. All females are queens. Where this large queen-bee, which is the only one we see in the Spring, comes from, is a mystery-apparently from a warmer gion, like the birds; but the books say a few escape the rigors of the winter in a torpid state, and come out in the Spring, like the frogs, &c. At any rate there is, no doubt, some special provision of nature for it, since it is only She is imthe queen that lasts over. pregnated by the males in August, goes into winter-quarters in the Fall, in some snug retreat or other, and lies torpid till Spring.

"When the fierce northwestern blast
Cools sea and land so far and fast,
Thou already slumberest deep;
Woe and want thou canst outsleep;
Want and woe, which torture us,
Thy sleep makes ridiculous."

After this long nap, the queen-mother appears fresh and new, hunts out some abandoned mouse-nest in the meadowbottoms or in a stone-heap, or some such place, and sets up her household gods solitary and alone. A few rude cells or sacks are constructed, eggs deposited,

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