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that eggs producing females are in every case deposited either in the queen-cells, which are larger, or, what is still more remarkable, in the worker-cells, which are smaller than the drone-cells, whilst in the last-named, male eggs are invariably placed ?

All the information that is furnished to us in this respect by the present state of our knowledge goes no farther than to show that this wonderful attribute of the Queen Bee is not accidental, but that her actions are directed by some definite law, for the fulfilment of which her organs of reproduction are suitably framed; and we must ask you to refer once more to this portion of the anatomy of the Queen Bee (Pl. VIII. figs. 1,2,3), where you will perceive the two ovaries filled with eggs, and (fig. 2, s) the little pocket attached to the oviduct, in which, as before stated, the male elements are stored that fertilize the eggs in their passage through the oviduct.

Although the consideration of these organs may perhaps not be suggestive of anything remarkable to you, yet an examination of them led to the discovery, by a famous German bee-keeper and naturalist, Herr Dzierzon, of Carlsmarkt, of the following wonderful phenomenon, namely, that “all eggs that come to maturity in the two ovaries of the Queen Bee are only of one and the same kind, which, when they are laid without coming into contact with the male semen, become male Bees; but, on the contrary, when they are fertilized by male semen, produce female Bees*.?

* Siebold, ‘On the Parthenogenesis of the Honey Bee, 53,

But, reader, if you are at all of a sceptical turn of mind, you may be disposed to shake your head, and accord to such a wonderful discovery only a smile of incredulity. “Herr Dzierzon,” you might say, “may make this assertion with impunity, for it would be as difficult for any one else to disprove as it would be for him to prove his theory.”

His theory is, however, a fact, and one that has been proved, not by himself, but by the greatest German naturalist of the day, Professor Siebold, and accredited by that most talented and reliable English physiologist, Professor Owen; and we shall briefly state the means employed by the former to test the accuracy of Dzierzon's theory. He examined with the aid of the microscope the fresh-laid eggs of drones and workers, and, by careful manipulation, he succeeded through this means in confirming the discovery made by Dzierzon, for he satisfied himself by ocular demonstration that in no case is the drone-egg fertilized, whilst traces might nearly always be found of the male element in the worker-egg.

Nor must it be supposed that he entered upon his investigations with any preconceived notions in favour of the theory, or drew his conclusions from a single experiment only. On the contrary, he commenced his observations a sceptic, and was convinced only after examining with great care seventy-nine eggs, namely, twenty-seven male and fifty-two female.

These eggs he obtained at the apiary of Herr von Berlepsch at Seebach, which place he visited for this


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special purpose, and in thirty out of fifty-two freshlaid worker-eggs, examined by him “with the greatest care and conscientiousness*,” he obtained a positive result in favour of the theory, detecting the male element in some instances still active; whilst the examination of twenty-seven drone-eggs, in not one of which he could find the slightest trace of the male element, served completely to confirm his observations and Dzierzon's theory.

And now, suppose we take it for granted that eggs may be deposited by the Bee that will produce either drones or workers, according to the circumstances just referred to; we are tempted to inquire further, “does the volition of the Bee exercise any influence over the kind of egg about to be deposited, or is it the result of mere mechanical action ?"

Dzierzon believes also that the queen possesses the power either to deposit her eggs unfertilized, that is to say, to lay drone-eggs; or of fertilizing and converting them into worker-eggs at her will; and this idea is countenanced by Siebold, who states that he has discovered voluntary muscles for the purpose, and he considers it very probable that the Bee may be guided in her operations by feeling the dimensions of the different kinds of cells during the act of oviposition.

Here, however, it would appear that the two great German naturalists have hastened rather prematurely to a conclusion ; for, whilst the former theory is not only confirmed by direct observation, but accords

* Siebold's 'Parthenogenesis.'

with all that had been previously known to apiarists, the theory of voluntary oviposition, or rather of voluntary fertilization, has not been confirmed by observation, but is, as we shall presently show, at variance with the experience of the most accurate observers.

Huber, who has bestowed as great care upon the consideration of the habits of Bees as Siebold and others have upon their anatomy, states that, although “ the instinct of the queen directs her to deposit worker-eggs in worker-cells,” yet when he "confined one during her course of laying worker-eggs where she could come at male cells only,” she did not commence laying drone-eggs, but “she refused to oviposit in them, and, trying in vain to make her escape, they at length dropped from her.

Now, unless you feel disposed to extend to her that waywardness which is sometimes regarded as characteristic of the fair sex, it would be clear that, if the Queen-bee possessed the power of voluntary fertilization, she would at once, under the pressing impulse to oviposit as described by Huber, have adapted her eggs to the cells that presented themselves. This, however, she did not do; but it appears that her instinct prompted her so strongly to lay worker-eggs, that, trying to make her escape from the drone-cells, “they dropped from her.

From a careful consideration of this and other experiments, we are disposed to think that, although the queen is enabled by her instinct to find the proper cells for her respective ova, and, as it would appear, the negative power of refusing to oviposit in inappropriate cells, yet she seems to have stated periods for depositing, first one class of eggs, and then another; and from this course of proceeding it appears she cannot deviate*. Although, therefore, we are not yet able fully to explain the nature of this wonderful phenomenon in the Bee, you will perceive that it has revealed to us one of the most remarkable facts in natural history; namely, that the egg is capable of producing living young without fertilization.

“But stay !” you will mentally exclaim; “if the unfertilized eggs of the insect produce drones or males, why could not a virgin queen give birth to young drones?" Let not this reflection, reader, cause you to relapse into scepticism, but believe us when we tell you that she really does possess this power (and not she alone, but also other insects belonging to the Lepidoptera, or Butterfly races); and the young that proceed from these virgin eggs are not imperfect or transitional forms, such as the so-called nursesof aphidest, but perfectly de

* Having arrived at this conclusion after an unprejudiced consideration of various statements concerning the properties of oviposition in the Queen-bee, and wishing to guide others aright, it is only proper to add, that an experiment described by Siebold (• Parthenogenesis,' p. 90) to some extent supports Dzierzon's theory of voluntary oviposition; but it also confirms the opinion expressed above, that the Queen-bee is impelled to lay a certain kind of eggs for a certain period, and then changes her course of proceeding, always, however, laying the various kinds in the same order or succession.

† Carpenter's Zoology,' vol. ii. p. 189.


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