Page:Jardine Naturalist's library Bees.djvu/256

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252
HUMBLE-BEES.

ing the comb. They were thus relieved from their toil; but it was only for a short period; for the wax getting soon dry, the pillars gave way; and the harassed insects were again subjected to the weary task of propping up the tottering edifice by their bodily exertions, when M. Huber took pity on them, and glued the comb firmly to the table.


LAPIDARY OR RED-TAILED BEE.

(BOMBUS LAPIDARIUS.)

Plate XVI. Figs. 1, 2.

Apis lapidaria, Linn.—Donov. iii. 97, Pl. 108, fig. 1, and xi. 69, Pl. 385, fig. 1.—Kirby's Monog. Apum, ii. 364.—Orange-tailed Bee, Bingley, iii. 290.—Ap. audens, Harris Expos. 130, Pl. 38, fig. 2; Pl. 40, fig. 12; Pl. 40, fig. 15.—Ap. arbustorum, Fab.—A. strenuus, Harris' Expos. xxxviii. fig. 5.

This handsome species receives its specific name from its habit of forming its nest among loose heaps of stones; occasionally, however, it burrows in the earth like the species last described. The female (fig. 2.) is of considerable size, having nearly the whole body of a deep velvetty black clothed with long soft hairs: mouth fringed with red hairs; thorax entirely black; abdomen with the three last segments red. The wings are shorter than the body, almost clear and transparent, the apex a little obscured, and the nervures black; legs deep black, the hairs of the tarsi reddish. The male (fig. 1.) is of smaller dimensions, having the thorax lemon-yellow behind, black on the middle, and pale yellow in front; the forehead with a patch of lemon-yellow; legs with