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but most frequently settle on the limb of some tree, not very far from their old dwelling. . On whatever branch the queen chooses to alight, the bees are sure to follow. There they are soon formed into a cluster, hanging from the bough in a most singular manner, clinging to each other by their feet, with their heads up. This living cluster looks like a solid mass, of a dark brown colour, usually about the size of the crown of a man's hat, but its shape that of a cone with its top downwards. If the queen is safely with them, they soon become perfectly quiet in this spot; but if from any cause she is separated from them, (as sometimes happens,) they will search for her, and if they cannot find her, they fly about, and every bee returns to the hive.
This curious cluster of bees, their queen remaining with them, will often continue for hours, clinging to each other and to the branch of the tree where they have settled; but sometimes not so long, particularly if they have gone off from the hive in the heat of the day. When they have waited a certain time, if no attention is paid to them, they will rise in a body, and fly off to some distant spot, perhaps to a wood, if any is near, where they may take possession of some hollow tree, and make a home for themselves.
But the bees, before they leave the hive, have usually sent scouts or spies before them, to look out a new place for them. If this has been selected at a distance from their old home, they do not alight at all near, but fly away so far, that they are never seen again by their owner. Their flight is very direct, in a straight line, to th: point where they rest. But, in general, the ir alighting place is near, and within reach. If it were not so, their future labours might be all lost to man; but in kindness, the Creator has so ordered it, that they are most frequently still detained under his care, that he may be profited by their industry and skill.
Very often, those persons who are interested in the bees are watching their motions at the time of swarming. When, on a bright sunny morning, very favourable for their work, they do not go out as usual, but seem restless and uneasy, running about in every direction, or gathering in clusters at the door of the hive, it is supposed that a swarm will soon leave. This is not always the case, as the heat may occasion the restlessness of the bees : but, when a general buzz or hum is heard at intervals for several days from the hive, and all within seems bustle and movement, the bees are probably preparing for their departure. They are then watched more carefully than before. Immediately before the swarming, a still louder hum is heard, and then they rush suddenly to the outlet of the hive and depart.
If they settle on a tree near at hand, as soon as it is perceived that they are quiet, preparation is made to hive them. The owner first gets ready a clean new hive, then places a table, covered with a cloth or blanket, under the limb of the tree where they are clustering, and some skilful person, not afraid of the little creatures, takes up the empty hive, holds it bottom upwards directly under the bees, and shaking the bough a little, they nearly all fall into it. The hive is then set down upon the table, with one
or more of its sides raised on small blocks, to admit such of the bees as are still outside.
Some persons prefer to place the hive on the table with one side raised, and shaking and brushing the bees on to the table directly before it, when they soon perceive it and enter it at once ; or, if a few take wing, or settle on the outside of the hive at first, they return and follow their companions. When nearly all appear to have entered, the hive is removed to the place it is to occupy, commonly ranged in order with the other hives. The bees are soon at home in their new dwelling, and begin to prepare their wax, and build their comb.
How remarkable is the change which has now taken place in these curious insects, by which they are impelled to return no more to their former abode! Its location is not altered. There it stands, in the same spot: to us it appears unchanged. Yet, the little creature is never, by any mishap, or mistake, or sudden surprise, again led to enter its door. Its new home has now all the attraction; there is its queen, its family there, and it has no further interest in its old habitation.
But the parent hive is not left empty after the departure of the swarm. The bees which emigrate are not always the youth of the colony ; many of these remain, and others are hatched from the stock of eggs of workers, which the queen has always left in the cells. At the time when the swarm went off, some of the bees were abroad at their work, ranging through the country, and these return in the evening, and form, with those left in the hive, a large family still. In two or three days' time perfect order is restored, the nursing bees attend to their proper business, taking charge of the
young, and watching the cells containing the future queens.
The bees are very careful not to leave the hive in a swarm unless the weather is fine, and a shower of rain will sometimes keep them back for a whole day.
PRAYER OF PARENTS FOR THEIR
FEAR AND LOVE. Who does not know the great heat of a sultry day in July, when the summer's sun is scarcely shaded by a passing cloud, and the air is unrefreshed by the lightest breeze ? On such a day, a small party of young people had met in the library of a pleasant country house, in one of the inland counties of England. They seemed No. 93. SEPTEMBER, 1852.