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THE HIVE AND ITS WONDERS.
No. 10. STING OF THE BEE-ANGER OF BEES-ATTACK
OF MISSIONARIES BY WILD BEES. To defend it from its enemies of every kind, and to protect its home, the bee is provided by its Creator with its powerful sting. The honey is a treasure which invites so many robbers, that its sting is given it as a necessary protection.
Yet the honey-bee rarely uses her sting against any one, unless she is attacked, or at å distance from her own home. When flying abroad in the fields and gardens, from flower to flower, she will not hurt any living being. How seldom are children stung. The cows, feeding quietly, and any other creatures, are out of danger, except when near the hive. Surely, then, for its own defence, and the defence of its property, this little insect seems intrusted with so terrible a weapon.
The bees will attack animals most fiercely, if they consider their hive in danger. Horses, left loose in the field, have sometimes strayed into the enclosure, or upon the lawn, too near the bee-hives, and by accident have pushed a hive from its place. On one occasion of this kind, the enraged bees rushed forth in such numbers, and with so much fury upon the horses, that two of them died in a short time from the effects of the stings.
Bears are very fond of the wild bees' honey, but they are much afraid of the owners of the sweets. If the bces discover them near their
homes, they chase them at once, and the huge bears turn cowards, and run away as fast as possible.
Those who keep bees have to be prudent in undertaking to meddle with the hives, or in disturbing the bees in their arrangements. A young lady, who was fond of the care of the little creatures, and who had no fear, as they had never molested her, attempted one day to assist in raising a hive from the bench on which it stood, but, becoming alarmed, let go her hold too soon, and it fell upon the board, no doubt crushing some of the bees. A crowd of the angry creatures poured at once from the hive, and, though she retreated with all speed towards the house, they followed faster than she could run, and she received a great number of stings upon her head and face, from which she suffered most severely.
The bees are very much influenced by kind and gentle treatment; as, on the contrary, they are annoyed by teazing and bad treatment. Those persons who have always shown kindness to them, they will permit to examine their hives, remove them, and stay among them, at their pleasure.
Of all the senses of the bee, their smell is thought to be most acute. It is most likely that by this means they distinguish one bee from another, and, it
be, different persons each from the other. They have sometimes wars among themselves. A single bee will attack another bee, or a whole swarm carry on a furious battle with another swarm. These battles are usually occasioned by the desire of one swarm to take possession of some hive which another has occupied before them. If one of their queens should be killed in the fight, they all leave off their quarrelling, and unite together in a single swarm under the surviving queen.
There are now and then, too, robber bees, hungry and ill-behaved, who, not having col. lected honey enough for themselves, try to steal some from their neighbours. But, owing to a wet, cold season, or some other cause, the poor bees who do this wrong are generally half-starved for want of food to eat; and if their owner would assist them in their necessity, by placing a little trough of honey or syrup before them for a few days, they would soon leave off these pilfering tricks.
The character of the bee has not changed with years of time. Moses refers to the way in which bees are known to pursue their enemies, and to cause them to fly before when, in the first chapter of Deuteronomy, he is speaking " to all Israel on this side Jordan in the wilderness.” Describing their wicked. ness, and the enemies which had been sent upon them, he says, “And the Amorites, which dwelt in that mountain, came out against you, and chased you, as bees do, and destroyed you in Seir, even unto Hormah."
In the year 1525, as we are told by a historian, during the confusion of a war which raged in a part of Germany, a mob of peasants assem. bled and determined to pillage the house of the minister of Elende. The pious man tried to persuade the people to give up their wicked design; but, finding all he could say was of no use, he ordered his domestics to take his
bee-hives and throw them in the middle of the furious mob. This had the desired effect, and they were at once
dispersed and put to flight. In the spring of 1848, two valued missionaries in India were attacked by bees, and had nearly lost their lives. They had gone on a little excursion with a few friends, and some pupils under their own care, for the purpose of inquiring into the natural history of the country. While they were thus engaged, they were assailed by a great cloud of wild bees. One of the missionaries was the first of the company attacked, and, after trying in vain to defend himself from injury, he sank upon the ground, where he lay almost totally insensible for nearly an hour, before he was found by his friends and relief afforded to him.
The other missionary, Dr. Wilson, attempted to join his friend when he first gave the alarm, and himself at once came into contact with thousands of the enraged insects. He says, “I sprang into a bush for shelter; but there I got no covering from their onset. In my attempt to free myself from agony and entanglement, I slid over a precipice, tearing both my clothes and body by the thorns in the rapid descent of about forty feet. From the number of bees still about me, and my inability to move from them, I had a strong impression upon my mind, that, unless God himself specially interposed in my behalf, all my wanderings and journeyings must then have terminated, though by the humblest agency that of the insects of the air."
David, when speaking of the attacks of the wicked, compares them to these ficrcc little creatures, and the manner in which they cluster upon the person who is the object of their displeasure, and we perceive how striking is the comparison. But he also declares his confidence in God, and that he will preserve his servant.
They compassed me about like bees ;" but “in the name of the Lord I will destroy them."
The faithful missionaries of God escaped with their lives, when in so great danger from the wild bees, for He helped them.
THE SABBATH DAY. “Now, Mary,” said Mrs. Peters to her little girl on a Saturday evening, “it is quite time for you to put away your new doll into the drawer. There, your father will put it in the nice box in which it came on your birthday. Then, when you have folded up all the things very