Page:Jardine Naturalist's library Bees.djvu/42

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The hairs with which the basket is lined, are designed to retain firmly the materials with which the thigh is loaded. The three pair of legs are all furnished, particularly at the joints, with thick-set hairs, forming brushes, some of them round, some flattened, and which serve the purpose of sweeping off the farina. There is yet another remarkable peculiarity in this third pair of limbs. The junction of the pallet and tarsus is effected in such a manner as to form, by the curved shape of the corresponding parts, "a pair of real pincers, A row of shelly teeth, (Pl. II. Fig. 3 a,) like those of a comb, proceed from the lower edge of the pallet, corresponding to bundles of very strong hairs, with which the neighbouring portion of the brush is provided. When the two edges of the pincers meet—that is, the under edge of the pallet, and the upper edge of the brush, the hairs of each are incorporated together."[1] The extremities of the six feet or tarsi, terminate each in two hooks, with their points opposed to each other, by means of which the Bees fix themselves to the roof of the hive, and to one another, when suspended, as they often are, in the form of curtains, inverted cones, festoons, ladders, &c. From the middle of these hooks proceeds a little thin appendix, which, when not in use, lies folded double through its whole breadth; when in action it enables the insect to sustain its body in opposition to the force of gravity, and thereby adhere to, and walk freely and securely upon glass and other slippery substances, with its feet upwards.

  1. Huber's Observations on Bees, p. 351.