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and the events of that day went far to and alarm, bowever, was breathed into set the savage stamp upon my nature. her through that subtle sympathy which
Waimata and I watched the scene, draws minds together, as gravitation uncertain whether to linger or to fly. connects the planets. She shared my The sight was indeed appalling. The revulsion of feeling; while, on the othblood ran away into the bushes in rivu- er hand, I borrowed something of her lets, as in places where the carnage is self-possession in the presence of those thickest upon a field of battle. I well frightful deeds. She tended, in a word, remember the terror with which its un- toward civilization; while I borrowed expected quantity impressed mea feel- something of the savage nature for the ing which I did not then know that time. Strange inversion of the way in Lady Macbeth had expressed in those which the sexes usually interact! Waiawful words, half soliloquy, half ex- mata actually seemed to appropriate all clamation : “ Who would have thought my feelings of humanity. the old man to have had so much blood When, at last, the bodies were folded in him ?"
in thick layers of the broad and succuWe remained silent, Waimata and I, lent banana-leaf, Waimata said, with eyes dilated. She had witnessed Come, Tali, let us go; I cannot look spectacles of this, sort before; and, upon this any longer.” though they were revolting to her na- We strolled away from the orgies. ture, exceptionally gentle for that of a The revellers did not seem to notice our savage, yet she endured the sight better withdrawal. than I did. Something of my disgust.
[Continued in next Number.]
THOUGH, strictly speaking, all bees are upon some branch or bush near the hive, wild bees—that is, incapable of do- therefore, is not with a view to new mestication. Man's dominion properly quarters being offered them, but seems stops short of the insect-world; here to be a movement usually rendered nehe passes absolutely unregarded, excit- cessary by the condition of the queening neither fear nor love. The honey bee, who, unused to flying, finds herself bees, for instance, are never strictly do- fatigued by the first effort. But that mesticated, like the barn-fowls and the it is the purpose of every swarm to go animals, but only consent to stay with off, seems confirmed by the fact that it us on conditions. So slight is our hold will only come out when the weather is upon them, that, for the most trivial favorable to such an undertaking, and reasons, and often without any reason that a passing cloud, or a rise in the at all that we can perceive, they call wind, after the bees are in the air, will together the colony, and leave for the usually drive them back into the hive. woods or the mountains, where, in some It is not, of course, till after the bees cavity of oak or maple, they thrive quite have alighted, that a hive is offered as well, and sometimes better, than in them, which, in most cases, they forththe painted hive in the garden. with enter, postponing or abandoning
It is said, by those wise in such altogether the tree in the woods. In things, that every swarm, before it most cases, though not in all—for someleaves the parent-hive, has its tree se- times the swarm refuses the bive, taklected and cleaned out ready for occu- ing to wing again after a few hours, pancy at the proper time. Years upon and making off; or, after having enyears of domestication seem to have no tered it, cleaned it out, waxed it, and appreciable effect toward uprooting this even began to build comb-a sudden instinct. The alighting of the swarm dissatisfaction may seize them, when
out they come and off they go. Or, they had become separated from the again, they may refuse to alight at all, other bees, and, drawing together in a starting for the woods at once. Hence, more compact mass or cloud, away they the bee-keeper's first solicitude, when a went, a humming, flying vortex of bees, swarm comes out, is whether or not the queen in the centre, and the swarm they are going to alight, and where. revolving around her as a pivot, -over If they act undecided, they may often meadows, across creeks and swamps, be brought to terms by throwing water straight for the heart of the mountain, among them, and handfuls of earth. about a mile distant,-slow at first, so A friend of mine, working in his corn- that the youth who gave chase kept up field one day, saw a swarm passing near with them, but increasing their speed him, when he began to shower dirt upon till only a fox-hound could have kept them, which had the effect of causing them in sight. I saw the youth laborthem to settle on a hill of corn in a few ing up the side of the mountain; saw moments. I would not even say that his white shirt-sleeves gleam as he enthe apparently absurd practice-now en- tered the woods; but he returned a few tirely discredited by regular bee-keep- hours afterward, without any clue as to ers, but still resorted to by some unsci- the particular tree in which they had entific folk—of beating upon tin pans, taken refuge out of the ten thousand blowing horns, and creating an uproar that covered the side of the mountain. generally, might not be without good The other swarm came out about one results. Certainly, not by drowning the o'clock of a hot July day, and at once “orders” of the queen, but by impress showed symptoms that alarmed the ing the bees with some unusual commo- keeper, who, however, did not throw tion in nature. It is, by the way, an en- either dirt or water. The house was tirely erroneous notion, that the queen- situated on a steep side-bill. Behind beo is in any sense a ruler, and issues it the ground rose, for hundred rods her royal orders to willing subjects. or so, at an angle of nearly forty-five The swarm cling to her because she is degrees, and the prospect of having to their life. She is the only female bee, chase them up this hill, if chase them and without her the colony must soon we should, was by no means inviting; perish. But the bees, the workers, are for it soon became evident that their her masters and keepers, and often re- course lay in this direction. Throwing strain her movements very much against off my coat, I hurried on, before the her will.
swarm was yet fairly organized and unThe past season I witnessed two swarms der
way, determined to see what could take their leave of patent hives and of be done. The route soon led me into civilization generally. One swarm had a field of standing rye, every spear of come out the day before, and, without which held its head above my own. alighting, had returned to the parent- Plunging recklessly forward, my course hive—some bitch in the plan, perhaps, marked to those watching from below or, may-be, the queen had found her by the agitated and wriggling grain, I wings too weak. The next day they emerged from the miniature forest just came out again, and were hived. But in time to see the runaways disappearsomething offended them, or else the ing over the top of the bill, some fifty tree in the woods—perhaps some royal rods in advance of me. Lining them old maple or birch, holding its head as well as I could, I soon reached the high above all others, with snug, spa- hill-top, my breath utterly gone, and cious, irregular chambers and galleries the perspiration streaming from every -had too many attractions; for they pore of my skin. On the other side were presently discovered filling the air the country opened deep and wide. A over the garden, and whirling excitedly large valley swept around to the north, around. Gradually they began to drift heavily wooded at its head and on its over the street; a moment more, and sides. It became evident at once that the bees had made good their escape, long distance, and some obstruction, and that whether they had stopped on like a wood, or a swamp, or a high hill, one side of the valley or the other, or intervenes-enough chance, at any rate, had, indeed, cleared the opposite moun- to stimulate the lookers-on to give vigtain and gone into some unknown for- orous chase as long as their wind holds est beyond, was entirely problematical. out. If the bees are successfully folA family in the valley, whose house lowed to their retreat, two plans are was in the line of their course, had not feasible: either to fell the tree at once, seen or heard them; as, of course, they and seek to hive them, perhaps bring would not, being some three hundred them home in the section of the tree feet beneath them. I turned back, there that contains the cavity; or leave the fore, thinking of the honey-laden tree tree till Fall, then invite your neighthat some of these forests would hold bors, and go and cut it, and see the before the falling of the leaf.
ground flow with honey. The former I heard of a youth in the neighbor- course is more business-like; but the hood, more lucky than myself on a like latter is the one usually recommended occasion. It seems that he had got well by one's friends and neighbors. in advance of the swarm, whose route In any given locality, especially in lay over a hill, as in my case, and, as the more wooded and mountainous dishe neared the summit, hat in hand, the tricts, the number of swarms that thus bees had just come up and were all assert their independence forms quite a about him. Presently he noticed them large per cent. In the northern States hovering about his straw hat, and these swarms very often perish before alighting on his arm; and, in almost Spring; but in such a country as Florias brief a time as it takes to relate it, da they seem to multiply, till becthe whole swarm had followed the trees are very common. In the West, queen into his hat. Being near a stone also, wild honey is often gathered in wall, he coolly deposited his prize upon large quantities. I noticed, not long it, quickly disengaged himself from the since, that some wood-choppers, on the accommodating bees, and returned for west slope of the Coast Range, felled a a hive. The explanation of this singu- tree that had several pailfuls in it. lar circumstance, no doubt, is, that the Perhaps nearly one third of all the queen, unused to such long and heavy runaway swarms leave when no one is fights, was obliged to alight from very about, and hence are unseen and unexhaustion. It is not very unusual for heard, save, perchance, by some distant swarms to be thus found in remote fields, laborers in the field, or by some youth collected upon a bush or branch of a ploughing on the side of the mountain, trce.
who hears an unusual humming noise, When a swarm migrates to the woods and sees the swarm dimly whirling by in this manner, the individual bees, as overhead, and, may-be, gives chase; or I have intimated, do not move in right he may simply catch the sound, when he lines or straight forward, like a flock pauses, looks quickly around, but sees of birds, but round and round, like nothing. When he comes in at night, chaff in a whirlwind. Unitedly they
he tells how he heard or saw a swarm form a humming, revolving mass, which of bees go over; and, perhaps, from keeps just high enough to clear all ob- beneath one of the hives in the garden stacles, except in crossing deep valleys, a black mass of bees has disappeared when, of course, it may be very high. during the day. The swarm seems to be guided by a The sequel to the going off of the line of couriers, which may be seen (at bees in Summer is the hunting of them least at the outset) constantly going and in the Fall. It is entirely worth the coming. As they take a direct course, while to lose one of the later swarms, there is always some chance of follow- for the sake of the pleasure of looking ing them to the tree, unless they go a for them after they shall have laid up In many
their store of honey. Bee-hunting is time, a line of bees may be established, the poetry of sport, and has a sufficient The hunter follows them into the woods, reward even if no tree be found. The and, keeping the direction, marks the rich, warm September days is the time trees for a long distance. usually chosen. The honey-yielding cases he finds his prize without much flowers are nearly all gone by this time, further trouble; but in as many cases and the bees roam far and wide in quest he is obliged to cross-line them-tbat of food. If the bee-hunter has no pre- is, establish a second line at an angle vious intimation of the probable where- with the first; where the two lines inabouts of an escaped swarm, he begins tersect each other, he may confidently operations in the vicinity of any large expect his search to end. Changing his wood. His principal appliance is a base of operations, therefore, to another small box with a glass lid, into which field or hill half a mile or more distant, he nicely fits' a piece of comb filled with if the lay of the land permits, he seeks honey. The first honey-bee he discov- to line them as before, and thus deterers leisurely probing some thistle-head mine the immediate locality of the tree. in a remote field or on a hill, he gently The tree is apt to be a large one, with sweeps into his box, watching its move- top more or less decayed. ments through the glass lid. The bee, The finding of a wild swarm, howat first alarmed, struggles to get out; ever, is not so easy and simple a matter but catching the smell of honey, for- as it may appear to be on paper. In gets its captivity, and, like a true Yan- the first place, the hunter is much more kee determined to make the most of apt to get hold of a hive-bee, than the every mishap, falls to taking its fill. representative of a wild swarm. This The box is then placed upon a stump consumes time. Or, if he captures one or rock, the lid gently withdrawn, and of the latter without delay, it is not an the hunter steps back a pace or two to easy matter, in the majority of cases, to watch the bee take flight, which it does establish a reliable first-line. A bee is in about one minute—that is, as soon a small object to follow with the naked as filled with honey. Rising a few feet eye; and then, the wind may cause it in the air, it circles around two or three to deflect from its course, and thus mistimes, takes its bearings, and strikes a lead the hunter at the outset. The nabee-line for home. If it goes toward tive bee-hunters of Australia attach the woods or mountains, the chances some white cottony substance to the are that it belongs to a wild swarm, bee, which not only retards its flight, and the bunter eagerly waits for its re- but makes it a more conspicuous mark turn; if toward the settlement, or a for the eye. I have heard of our beefarm-house, another bee is procured and hunters sprinkling the bees with flour experimented with as before.
for the same purpose. In case a bee cannot be readily found, But the most novel and ingenious dethe usual mode of proceeding is to heat vice I have ever heard of, is the sprinka flat stone and burn upon it some refuse ling of them with sulphur. A young comb or honey. The scent will soon farmer in one of the interior districts attract a bee, when it may be treated of the State of New York, who takes as above described. If the tree is any- an occasional spare day to look up bees, where within half a mile, the bee usu- writes me he has tried it with marked ally returns in about fifteen minutes, effect. It seems to enrage the bees, and always accompanied by one or more of set them in a perfect uproar; so that. his fellows, to whom, by some myste- not only may they be followed through rious language, he has communicated the air more readily by the sound they the secret of the box of honey. These make, but the whole swarm is presently fill themselves, and depart as before. humming at a fearful rate. He says be Returning, they bring others, and these has heard the uproar when twenty rods again bring others; and thus, in a short from the tree. And, contrary to what
one might expect, instead of being driv- of some fairy horseman, bursts upon the en away from the hunter's box, the bees Or is it the South-wind, taking come thicker and faster. The swarm is form and voice, so soft and warm and thoroughly waked up, and presently in prophetic, wooing the violets and danthe wildest state of excitement.
delions to basten forth? No doubt the To get a sufficient base for the tri- South-wind sent her, for she comes meangle, in most localities, is another diffi- andering along close to the earth, searchculty when two lines have to be estab- ing out every nook and corner, and lished; or, worst of all, the tree may blowing the good tidings into the very be a mile or two away.
ears of the mice in their retreats. It is fascinating sport, however,-the Emerson, in the little poem referred great bright days, the sightly hills to, has described her coming with as and remote fields, and the eager search much truth of history as of poetry: through the woods, with sharp scrutiny
“ When the South-wind, in May days, of the old trees.
With a net of shining haze If the tree is much decayed, the comb
Silvers the horizon wall, is often fearfully broken up and much
And, with softness touching all,
Tints the human countenance of the honey wasted by felling it, which
With a color of romance, course, however, has no alternative. The
And, infusing subtle heats,
Turns the sod to violets, bees that have escaped the deluge of
Thou, in sunny solitudes, honey, come pouring out into the air,
Rover of the underwoods, ready to make war upon any thing.
The green silence dost displace
With thy mellow, breezy bass.” They are sometimes effectually disposed of with a match and a little rye-straw;
The bumble-bees come singly, never but the safest and wisest plan is imme- in pairs, and only one sex—the female. diately to stop up all openings but one,
In the bee-kingdoms, royalty is conleaving in this room enough to enter a fined exclusively to the females. All pipe-stem; then give them a few puffs' females are queens. Where this large of tobacco-smoke. This deadens them queen-bee, which is the only one we instantly, and renders them quite harm- see in the Spring, comes from, is a mysless.
tery-apparently from a warmer Bee-trees are sometimes found by per- gion, like the birds ; but the books say sons walking in the woods on a bright a few escape the rigors of the winter day of early Spring, while the ground in a torpid state, and come out in the is yet covered with snow. The bees, Spring, like the frogs, &c. At any rate induced to come forth by the warmth there is, no doubt, some special proand the sunshine, are blinded by the vision of nature for it, since it is only snow, and fall to the ground near their the queen that lasts over. She is imretreat.
pregnated by the males in August, goes The honey-bee is, of course, an im- into winter-quarters in the Fall, in some portation, Asia, perhaps, being its origi- snug retreat or other, and lies torpid till nal home. Our truly native honey- Spring. maker is the “burly, dozing bumble- “ When the fierce northwestern blast bee” of Emerson's poem, in whose nat
Cools sea and land so far and fast,
Thou already slumberest deep; ural history every country-boy is inter
Woe and want thou canst outsleep; ested. The first bumble-bee in Spring Want and woe, which torture us, is as interesting an event as the first
Thy sleep makes ridiculous." bird or the first wild flower. A chord After this long nap, the queen-mother is touched in the wonderful harp of appears fresh and new, hunts out some nature, which was before silent. We abandoned mouse-nest in the meadoware walking in the tender fields, or bottoms or in a stone-heap, or some such along the border of the woods, in the place, and sets up her household gods latter part of April or the first of May, solitary and alonc. A few rude cells or when this familiar sound, like the horn sacks are constructed, eggs deposited,