Page:Jardine Naturalist's library Bees.djvu/23

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
21
MEMOIR OF HUBER.

strictly true in regard to the most important of them. His discoveries respecting the impregnation of the Queen-Bee,—the consequences of retarded impregnation,—the power possessed by the working-bees of converting a worker-larva into a Queen,—a fact, though not originally discovered by Huber, yet, until his decisive experiments and illustrations, never entirely known or credited,—the origin of Wax, and the manner of its elaboration,—the nature of Propolis,— the mode of constructing the combs and cells,—and of ventilating or renovating; the vitiated atmosphere of the hives,—these, and a variety of other particulars of inferior moment, have almost all been repeatedly verified by succeeding observers, and many of them by the writer of this brief Memoir. It is readily admitted, that some of his experiments, when repeated, have not been attended by the results which he led us to expect ; and some incidents in the proceedings of the Bees stated as having been observed by him or his assistant, have not yet been witnessed by succeeding observers. But in some of these, the error may have been in the repetition ; in others, the result, even under circumstances apparently the same, may not always be uniform, for the instinct of Bees is liable to modification ; and in some, he doubtless may be, and probably is, mistaken. In passing judgment, however, on his reported discoveries, we ought to keep in view, that the author of them has thrown more light on this portion of natural history, and pursued it with a more assiduous and minute accuracy, than all the other naturalists taken