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A Honey Bee Never Volunteers An Attack Or Acts On The Offensive When It Is Gorged Or Filled With Honey

The man who first attempted to lodge a swarm of bees in an artificial

hive, was doubtless agreeably surprised at the ease with which he was

able to accomplish it. For when the bees are intending to swarm, they

fill their honey-bags to their utmost capacity. This is wisely ordered,

that they may have materials for commencing operations immediately in

their new habitation; that they may not starve if several stormy days

hould follow their emigration; and that when they leave their hives,

they may be in a suitable condition to be secured by man.

They issue from their hives in the most peaceable mood that can well be

imagined; and unless they are abused, allow themselves to be treated

with great familiarity. The hiving of bees by those who understand their

nature, could almost always be conducted without the risk of any

annoyance, if it were not the case that some improvident or unfortunate

ones occasionally come forth without the soothing supply; and not being

stored with honey, are filled with the gall of the bitterest hate

against all mankind and animal kind in general, and any one who dares to

meddle with them in particular. Such radicals are always to be dreaded,

for they must vent their spleen on something, even though they lose

their life in the act.

Suppose the whole colony, on sallying forth, to possess such a ferocious

spirit; no one would ever dare to hive them, unless clad in a coat of

mail, at least bee-proof, and not even then, until all the windows of

his house were closed, his domestic animals bestowed in some safe place,

and sentinels posted at suitable stations, to warn all comers to look

out for something almost as much to be dreaded, as a fiery locomotive

in full speed. In short, if the propensity to be exceedingly

good-natured after a hearty meal, had not been given to the bee, it

could never have been domesticated, and our honey would still be

procured from the clefts of rocks, or the hollows of trees.

A second peculiarity in the nature of the bee, and one of which I

continually avail myself with the greatest success, may be thus stated.