Page:Jardine Naturalist's library Bees.djvu/31

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THE HONEY-BEE.

ments which can he attributed only to a want of cool and dispassionate inquiry. In fact, much has been written and published on the subject calculated to startle a sober reader; and some of those discoveries which have been blazoned in publications, both at home and abroad — though most frequently, perhaps, on the Continent — will be found, on strict examination, to have no existence but in the warm fancy or blind enthusiasm of the observers. The incontrovertible facts in the natural history of the Bee, are, in themselves, too remarkable to justify any attempt to draw upon the imagination for additional wonder; and the Naturalist who is desirous of making himself thoroughly acquainted with the instincts and habits of this interesting little creature, should be cautious in considering, as an established fact, any discovery, or supposed discovery, which has not been, again and again, verified by rigid experiment.

In the following details, embracing the Natural History and Practical Management of the Honey-Bee, we have endeavoured to avoid this error, stating nothing as fact, but what we know to be so from undoubted testimony, or from our own knowledge and experience. At the same time, we have not omitted to notice such alleged discoveries or results of experiments, as appear to us to be unsupported by sufficient evidence, or at variance with experiments of our own, made for the express purpose of verification, leaving it to the reader to receive or reject them as his judgment may dictate. We have