Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/663

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641
SOCIAL INSECTS.

part of our thinking is carried on in ideas of spoken words, a very common form of ideal automatism is the inner voice. A portion of the patient's word ideas rise to a higher level than usual, resist his will, and often say things which strike him as strange and foreign to his own acknowledged thoughts. For the sake of completeness I must refer to this type of automatism, although space forbids me to discuss it in detail.


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SOCIAL INSECTS.

By L. N. BADENOCH.

IT is well known that some bees are social and form nests where their broods are reared, workers existing who provide daily for the young. In architectural skill these social kinds do not always hold a foremost place. The cells composing their nests vary in shape from the perfectly hexagonal, as in the hive, to those which are less regularly six-sided, until in the bumblebees' homes they are not in the least like the delicate, sharply defined structures of the true honeybee, but are oval and isolated or distributed almost at random.

Leaving the hive bee out of the question, the bumbles {Bombi) alone construct social communities in England; they constitute the nearest ally, as regards its habits, of the true honeybee in North America, which is especially rich in species. Their economy is simple; their colonies begin, enlarge, and end like wasps. They live for one season, perishing with the cold of autumn, except a few queens, which hide themselves away in utter solitude in sheltered and convenient spots, and, awaking with the warmth of spring, lay the foundation of a new swarm. In the ordinary course of things these queens do not survive a second winter.

Parasitic bees (Apathus) so closely resemble the bumbles that it requires long practice to distinguish them easily. Little is known of the parasite, other than that it is found in the nests of its hosts, at whose expense it apparently lives, after the manner of the cuckoo. It has no pollen basket, showing that it can not collect food, and its young must feed upon the stores of their hosts, and its jaws seem unadapted for building. Flies and several beetles also prey upon the bees, and the larvæ of moths consume their honey and waxen cells.

In the tropics the honeybee is replaced by the Meliponæ and Trigonæ, which are generally minute and almost stingless, and live in vast colonies. The former construct a comb for their young, resembling that of the hive, but of one layer of cells, while the honey cells are irregular and occasionally attain a great