Page:Jardine Naturalist's library Bees.djvu/35

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33
THE HONEY-BEE.

objects close at hand. It is not improbable, however, that these last, from their peculiar position, are appropriated to upward vision.

The Antennæ (Fig. I. b.) present us with another remarkable appendage of the head. These are two tubes about the thickness of a hair, springing from between the eyes, and a little below the ocelli ; they are jointed throughout their whole length, each consisting of twelve articulations, and therefore capable of every variety of flexure. Their extremities are tipped with small round knobs, exquisitely sensible ; and which, from their resemblance to the stemmata or ocelli, have been supposed by some to serve as organs of vision ; by others, as connected with the sense of hearing ; and by others, as organs of feeling or touch. This last seems the most probable conjecture, as on approaching any solid object or obstacle, the Bee cautiously brings its antennae in contact with it, as if exploring its nature. The insects use these organs, also, as a means of recognizing one another ; and an interesting instance is stated by Huber, in which they were employed to ascertain the presence of their queen, (vide page 48.)

The Mouth of the Bee comprehends the tongue, the mandibles or upper jaws, the maxillae or lower jaws, the labrum or upper lip, the labium or lower lip, with the proboscis connected with it, and four palpi or feelers. The tongue of the Bee, like that of other animals, is situated within the mouth, and is so small and insignificant in its form, as not to be easily discernible. In most anatomical descriptions