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Title: Wild Bees, Wasps and Ants - and Other Stinging Insects
Author: Saunders, Edward, 1848-1910
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Wild Bees, Wasps and Ants - and Other Stinging Insects" ***

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[Illustration: PLATE A.

1. _Formica sanguinea, male._ 2. _Formica sanguinea, female._ 3. _Formica
sanguinea, worker._ 4. _Mutilla europæa, male._ 5. _Mutilla Europæa,
female._ 6. _Cerceris arenaria, female._ 7. _Ammophila sabulosa, female._
8. _Crabro cribrarius, male._ 9. _Odynerus spinipes, male._



And Other Stinging Insects



F.R.S., F.L.S., etc

With numerous Illustrations in the text, and
Four Coloured Plates by



       *       *       *       *       *



The object of this little book is to give in as simple a form as possible a
short account of some of the British Wild Bees, Wasps, Ants, etc.,
scientifically known as the _Hymenoptera Aculeata_. Of these the
non-scientific public rarely recognizes more than the Hive Bee, the Humble
Bee, the Wasp, and the Hornet, whereas there are about 400 different kinds
to be found in this country, and they can be recognized by any one who is
disposed to make a special study of the group.

The author has not hesitated to make free use of the experiences of others
in regard to the habits of the insects he describes, and he has not thought
it necessary in each case to make separate acknowledgment of this. He takes
this opportunity of thanking Mr. H. Donisthorpe and Mr. F. W. L. Sladen for
assistance in the chapters on Ants and their Lodgers, and Humble Bees,
respectively. {vi}

These pages are written only for the non-scientific, as the scientific
entomologist will be already familiar with the elementary facts recorded;
but it is hoped that they may be of interest to lovers of Nature who wish
to know a little about the insects they see round them and how they spend
their lives. Of this knowledge very little exists, as the scraps which have
been here brought together evidence. There is an immense field open for
research and observation, and the writer of this little book will be very
glad if the following pages should encourage any one to take up the subject
and add to our present scanty stock of information.



       *       *       *       *       *




  THE SUBJECT IN GENERAL,                                       1

  THE SOLITARY GROUPS,                                          6

      THE SOLITARY BEES,                                        9

      THE CUCKOO BEES,                                         14

      THE FOSSORS, OR DIGGERS,                                 18

      THE SOLITARY WASPS,                                      24

  THE SOCIAL GROUPS,                                           28

      THE ANTS,                                                31

      THE SOCIAL WASPS,                                        35

      THE HUMBLE BEES,                                         39

  THE BEES WITH BIFID TONGUES,                                 44

  THE BEES WITH POINTED TONGUES,                               48

  LEAF-CUTTING BEES,                                           52

  _Osmia_ AND ITS HABITS,                                      55

  A COLONY OF _Anthophora_,                                    61

  BEES AND POLLEN-COLLECTING,                                  65

  ON BEES' TONGUES, AND HOW THEY SUCK HONEY,                   72

  A DREADFUL PARASITE,                                         77

  AMONGST THE BEES AT WORK,                                    81

  ANTS, THEIR GUESTS, AND THEIR LODGERS,                       88

  HOW CAN AN "ACULEATE" BE RECOGNIZED?,                        92

  MALES AND FEMALES,                                           95



  ON BEES' WINGS,                                             110

  ON BREEDING ACULEATES, ETC.,                                113

  ON COLOUR,                                                  119


  ON STRUCTURE,                                               132

  INDEX,                                                      141

       *       *       *       *       *




  Fig. 1. _Bombus_, larva and nymph: after Packard             11

   "   2. _Ammophila_                                          22

   "  3-4. Spines on the tarsi of female _Ammophila_           23

   "   5. Tubular entrance to hole of wasp                     25

   "   6. Basal segments of ants                               33

   "   7. Rose-leaf partially eaten by bees                    52

   "   8. Tufted hairs of hind leg of _Andrena_                67

   "   9. Corbicula of humble bee                              67

   "  10-12. Cleaning apparatus of bees                        69

   "  13-18. Hairs of bees, magnified                          71

   "  19. Tongues of bees, magnified                           73

   "  20. Diagram of tongue of bee                             75

   "  21. _Stylops_                                            77

   "  22. _Stylops_ larva in abdominal cavity of bee           78

   "  23. Antennæ of "Keyhole" wasps                          101

   "  24. Legs of male "Keyhole" wasps                        101

   "  25. Tibia of male _Crabro cribrarius_                   103

   "  26. Antennæ of male _Crabro cribrarius_                 103

   "  27. Head of male and female _Crabro clypeatus_          103

   "  28. Parts of the insect                                 133

       *       *       *       *       *




    Figs. 1, 2, 3. _Formica sanguinea Latr._: male, female, and worker. The
    host of _Lomechusa_ (p. 89), also a slave-making species; makes
    irregular nests of dead leaves, etc., generally against a sloping bank.

    Figs. 4, 5. _Mutilla europæa Linn._: male and female. One of the few
    British species of Aculeates where the female is wingless; found in
    sandy places running in the sun.

    Fig. 6. _Cerceris arenaria L._: female; burrows in the sand, and
    provisions its nest with beetles (p. 20).

    Fig. 7. _Ammophila sabulosa L._: female; burrows in the sand,
    provisions its nest with caterpillars, peculiar for its very elongated
    waist (p. 22).

    Fig. 8. _Crabro cribrarius L._: male; peculiar for its paddle-like
    tibiæ and flattened antennæ (p. 103).

    Fig. 9. _Odynerus spinipes L._: male; peculiar for the form of its
    middle femora, which are cut out almost in two semicircles (p. 101);
    female makes a tubular entrance to her nest (p. 25).


    Fig. 10.--_Colletes succinctus L._: female; lines its cells with a
    gluey material (p. 44); colonizes in sandy banks; host of _Epeolus
    rufipes_ (fig. 19).

    {xii} Fig. 11. _Sphecodes subquadratus Smith_: female; cuckoo of a
    species of _Halictus_; female hibernates like its host (p. 17).

    Fig. 12. _Halictus lencozonius Schr._: burrows in the ground; the host
    of _Sphecodes pilifrons Thoms_ (p. 17).

    Fig. 13. _Vespa crabro L._: female (the Hornet), nests in hollow trees;
    host of the rare beetle _Velleius dilatatus_ (p. 38).

    Fig. 14. _Vespa vulgaris L._: female: one of our commonest wasps; nests
    usually in the ground (p. 35); host of a peculiar beetle (_Metoecus
    paradoxus_) (p. 38)

    Figs. 15, 16. _Andrena fulva Schr._: male and female; the bee which
    burrows in lawns, etc. (p. 9); host of _Nomada ruficornis var. signata_
    (p. 15).

    Fig. 17. _Panurgus ursinus Gmel._: Female; legs loaded with pollen,
    burrows in hard sandy paths, etc. (p. 49). Males sleep curled up
    amongst the rays of yellow composite flowers.

    Fig. 18. _Nomada ruficornis L. var. signata_: cuckoo of _Andrena fulva_
    (figs. 15 and 16).

    Fig. 19. _Epeolus rufipes Thoms_: female; cuckoo of _Colletes
    succinctus_ (fig. 10).


    Fig. 20.--_Megachile maritima Kirby_: female; burrows in the ground,
    makes its cells of pieces of leaves, which it cuts out with its
    mandibles; host of _Coelioxys conoidea_.

    Figs. 21, 22. _Coelioxys conoidea Illig_: male and female; cuckoo of
    _Megachile maritima_.

    Fig. 23. Burrows of _Megachile Willughbiella Kirby_, in a piece of
    rotten willow; each burrow originally contained six cells, but two of
    the left-hand series have been lost.



    Figs. 24 and 25. _Anthophora pilipes F._: male and female. A spring
    bee, the male of which may often be seen in gardens, darting from
    flower to flower (p. 81); while the female collects pollen; it forms
    large colonies (p. 62).

    Fig. 26. _Melecta armata Pz._: cuckoo of _Anthophora pilipes_.

    Fig. 27. _Anthidium manicatum L._: invests its cells with the down off
    the stems of labiate plants, which it strips off with its mandibles (p.

    Fig. 28. _Osmia bicolor Schr._: female; nests in snail-shells, which it
    sometimes covers up with small pieces of grass-stems till a little
    mound is formed, resembling a diminutive ants' nest (p. 59).

    Fig. 29. _Bombus terrestris L._: female. One of the commonest of our
    Humble Bees; it nests in the ground. It is the host of _Psithyrus
    vestalis_, which resembles it very closely in colour; it is this
    species that was exhibited by Mr. Sladen at the Maidstone Agricultural
    Hall (p. 41).

    Fig. 30. _Bombus lapidarius L._: another common Humble Bee, also an
    underground builder; it is the host of _Psithyrus rupestris_.

    Fig. 31. _Psithyrus rupestris F._: female; the cuckoo of _Bombus
    lapidarius_, which it closely resembles except for the nearly black
    colour of the wings.

       *       *       *       *       *



I think I ought here to say why I propose to limit myself to an account of
a certain portion only of the Hymenoptera. The reason for this, in the
first place, is that the section which I have selected is the only one of
which I have any special knowledge; it consists of the bees, wasps, ants
and sandwasps, four groups which make up the stinging section of the
order--or perhaps more accurately, which have poison bags connected with
their egg-laying apparatus or _ovipositor_. Another reason for their
selection lies in their nesting habits; these enable one to get a further
insight into their economy and ways than can be obtained from those of
almost any other group or order--at any rate they make them comparatively
easy to study; one can, so to say, find these little creatures at home,
whereas in most orders there seems to be no definite home to which the {2}
individuals may be traced; a great advantage also in selecting the stinging
groups for study is that they are creatures of the spring and summer, and
of the sunshine, so that the weather which tempts them out to their duties
is of the kind most agreeable to those who wish to investigate their

The habits of the hive bee have not been touched on, as so many excellent
treatises have been written on them that any observations here would be

Although these groups are distinguished by their stinging habits, it is
only the female that possesses a sting--the male is a most harmless
creature and quite incapable of injuring any one. A male wasp or even a
male hornet may be handled with absolute impunity, only it is wise to be
certain as to the sex of the individual before presuming to play with it
too much! A word here may perhaps be said about stinging. People often talk
about a gnat stinging or a stinging fly; it may be difficult to define
exactly what "to sting" means, but the writer has always considered that a
sting is inflicted by the tail end of the creature or a {3} bite by the
mouth. A fly or gnat no doubt inserts its proboscis into one's flesh just
as a wasp does its sting; but the actions of such opposite parts of the
body surely demand distinct names. As we have been alluding to flies it may
not be inappropriate to say here that all the creatures we are going to
consider have four membranous wings except the worker ants and a very few
forms which are comparatively seldom met with. By this character they may
at once be known from flies, which have only two membranous wings. The
large brown "drone flies", so often seen on the windows of our rooms,
especially in autumn, and which most people mistake for hive bees, to which
they certainly bear a considerable general resemblance, may be detected at
once by wanting the two hind wings of the bee.

The "aculeate", or stinging, Hymenoptera, are divided into sections and
families according to their structure; but the groups which stand out most
clearly in regard to their habits are the solitary and social species, the
predaceous and non-predaceous and the inquilines or cuckoos. {4}

The vast majority of the aculeate Hymenoptera are what are called
"solitary", i.e. one male and one female alone are interested in the
production of the nest; but there are also three "social" groups--the ants,
the true wasps, and the humble and hive bees.

These are called social because they form communities and all work together
towards the maintenance of the nest. In the social species there are two
forms of the females--the queens and the workers; these latter have the
ovaries imperfectly developed, and in the humble bees and wasps they only
differ outwardly from the fully developed females or queens by being
smaller. In the ants, however, the workers are wingless, and of a very
different form from that of the queen. The rôle of these workers seems to
be to do the general work of the nest; they have been known to lay fertile
eggs, but the resulting offspring has always been male.

Between these conditions of solitary and social we know of no actually
intermediate stages. We do not seem to see any attempts on the part of
solitary bees to become social or vice versâ. The only condition known
which {5} could possibly be considered as intermediate is shown in certain
species where a number of individuals make their nests close to each other
in some particular bank, forming a colony. These colonies are sometimes
very extensive, and the burrows of the individual bees very close together;
it has also been shown that the burrows sometimes unite--at the same time
there seems to be no positive evidence that there is any work done in the
colony which could be considered as done for the common good.

       *       *       *       *       *



All the solitary kinds appear to feed themselves on vegetable juices,
honey, etc., but there is a well-marked division between those who
provision the cells of their offspring with insects, either fully developed
or in the larval stages, and those who provision them with the pollen of
flowers, honey, etc. The theory is that originally all fed their cells with
insects, but that by degrees the more progressive found that the food which
suited themselves would equally nourish their offspring, and accordingly
provided them with vegetable nourishment. We find no intermediate stages. A
certain class still goes on feeding on the old principle. The members of
this class are known as "_fossors_" or diggers, while those which feed on
the new principle are called "_Anthophila_" or flower-lovers. These are not
very happy names, as many of the _Anthophila_ dig out holes for their nests
just {7} in the same way as the _fossors_ do, and many of the _fossors_ are
found in flowers, apparently enjoying them just as much as a truly
anthophilous species would, although no doubt often with the ulterior
object of capturing some insect for their young! Still these names are
known as representing these two sections all over the world, and therefore
it is better to keep to them even if they are not as descriptive as one
would like them to be.

The _fossors_, or "diggers", have all comparatively short and bifid
tongues, and have, as a rule, little in the way of hairy covering, and what
hairs they have are simple and only in very rare instances branched or
feather-like. The hind legs of the females are not modified in any way so
as to enable them to collect pollen, their legs are usually long and
slender, and they are admirably adapted to their life habits of hunting
spiders, insects, etc., for their young.

On the other hand, the _Anthophila_ or "flower-lovers", are specially
adapted for pollen collecting. Their tongues vary from a short form like
that of some _fossors_ to the long tongues of the humble bees. Their hairs
are always plumose {8} or branched on some part of the body and the hind
legs of the females in most species are provided on the tibia or shin with
a special brush on which pollen may be collected. In some of the
long-tongued bees, however, this brush occurs on the underside of the body
instead of on the tibia. The pollen-collecting arrangements of the
different genera of the _Anthophila_ and the corresponding organs for
cleaning off the pollen again are amongst the most interesting instances of
modification and adaptation: some of the more striking of these will be
mentioned later on. (See pp. 65 _sqq._)

       *       *       *       *       *



The life-history of an ordinary pair of solitary bees is, roughly, as
follows: I will take for an example one of the spring species of _Andrena_.
Many people know the little red bee, which for some apparently
unaccountable reason suddenly appears in myriads on their lawn or gravel
path, throwing up little mounds of finely powdered earth--in this respect
being quite different from worm casts, which are formed of wet mould and
the particles of which cling together--sometimes causing considerable alarm
as to the possible effect on the lawn. These have hatched out from burrows
made by their parents in the previous year, the mouths of which have been
filled up with earth and therefore are quite invisible till the newly
fledged bees gnaw their way out. They, in their turn, are now making fresh
burrows for their own broods; possibly they infested some one else's lawn
the year before or were only in comparatively small {10} numbers on the
lawn under notice and so passed unrecognized. They may safely be left
alone, as they never seem to breed many consecutive years in one such
locality: probably the treatment of a lawn does not suit them, mowing and
rolling upsetting their arrangements. We will now consider these
arrangements. The female bee, so soon as she realizes that she is charged
with the duty of providing for her future offspring, makes a burrow in the
ground, and the earth thrown up from the tunnel forms the little heap which
is so observable; this burrow varies in depth from 6 to 12 inches and has
short lateral branches; each of these she shapes, more or less, into the
form of a cell, provisions it with a small mass of pollen mixed with honey
for the maintenance of the larva when hatched, and lays her egg; she then
seals up that cell and proceeds to the next, and in this way fills the
burrow up until pretty near the surface. The bee caterpillar when hatched
is a white grub-like creature which, after devouring the food provided for
it, becomes more or less torpid; it then makes its final change of skin,
after how long a period is probably uncertain, and appears in the nymph
stage. {11} [Illustration: FIG. 1. Bombus, larva and nymph: after Packard.]
This stage corresponds to the chrysalis of a moth or butterfly, the
creature being shortened up and rather more like the perfect insect
compacted into the smallest form possible. People are often misled into the
idea that the caterpillar forms the chrysalis over its former self, whereas
the chrysalis has been all the time forming inside the caterpillar and only
shows itself when the final skin is shed; of course some caterpillars spin
a cocoon over themselves before they change their skin, but then the true
chrysalis is found inside the cocoon. A curious fact connected with the
change from the nymph to the perfect insect is that this takes place
sometimes as early as August in the year preceding their appearance; so
that cells dug up in August may contain fully fledged insects which are not
due to appear till April or May of the following year. It is wonderful also
how long life can be {12} sustained by these creatures in the "full-fed
larva" condition. Some years ago I collected a number of pierced bramble
stems in order to breed out some of the small "sandwasps" which nest in
them. On opening them in May, when the perfect insects are generally ready
to appear, I found that several of the larvæ had rather shrunk up and had
not changed into nymphs. These I left in the stems, covering them up again,
and they appeared as perfect insects in the May of the following year.

The account given of the nesting habits of the above _Andrena_ of our
lawns, etc., is more or less true of nearly all the solitary bees. Their
methods vary, some burrow in the ground, some in old wood, some in snail
shells, some in bramble stems or straws or the hollow stems of various
plants, some in holes or crevices in walls, etc., and their methods of
building their cells vary exceedingly: all of these are of great interest
and some display an ingenuity which is quite surprising. Of these special
nesting habits some of the most striking will be mentioned later on.

Before leaving these general remarks on the {13} solitary bees the habits
of two genera must be specially noticed, as they differ in an essential
point from those of the others. These are known to entomologists under the
names of _Halictus_ and _Sphecodes_.

In most species of these the males and females of the new brood are not
hatched out till after midsummer, and no work is done for the provisioning
of new burrows that autumn; but the female, after having undertaken the
duties of maternity, hibernates, i.e. goes back into a burrow and lives
there till the next spring, the males dying off before the winter. In the
spring the [female] wakes up and does the necessary work for the future
brood just as any ordinary spring bee would--but there are no attendant
males--the duties of that sex having been performed in the autumn. The
larvæ contained in these burrows hatch out after midsummer and therefore
never spend a winter in the ground. In this respect they resemble the
social bees and wasps, about which more hereafter; in the meanwhile a few
words must be said about the cuckoos or inquilines, which are perhaps the
most interesting creatures of all.

       *       *       *       *       *



These cuckoos live at the expense of their hosts. The mother of the
industrial brood makes her cell and provisions it, and lays her egg. The
cuckoo bee manages to enter also and lay her egg in the same cell, the
usual result being that the cuckoo devours most of the food instead of the
rightful offspring, which gradually gets starved and dies, the cuckoo
appearing in its place; but there have been cases, how frequent they are is
difficult to say, in which both offsprings have emerged.

The whole problem of the relationships between host and cuckoo is most
interesting. In some cases the cuckoos are so like their hosts that it is
difficult to tell one from the other, in others they are so unlike that it
is difficult to trace any resemblance between them. There are a great
number of different kinds of cuckoos, and most of them select a special
host to associate {15} with, and are never found except with that species.
There are, however, cases of cuckoos which visit the nests of more than one
host, and cases of hosts which are visited by several kinds of cuckoos. In
the short-tongued bees, with the exception of _Halictus_ and _Sphecodes_,
the cuckoos are quite unlike their hosts both in form and colour. In the
_Andrenas_ (the lawn bee being one of them) the hosts are clothed with
reddish, or brown and black, hairs, and are of a more or less stout build
(pl. B, 15, 16). The cuckoos are elegant in shape, almost devoid of hairs,
and most of them are striped with yellow or brown across the body so that
they present a wasp-like appearance (pl. B, 18). Species more unlike one
another than host and cuckoo one could hardly imagine; still this stranger
seems to get access to the nest of its host without opposition. In a colony
of _Andrena_ one may see the cuckoos (which rejoice in the name of _Nomada_
or wanderers) flying about among the females of the industrious bee, and no
alarm or concern appears to be felt by the latter. As we go up in the scale
of bees, i.e. towards the more specialized, and arrive at those with longer
tongues, the {16} cuckoos are found as a rule to resemble their hosts more
closely, both in colour and structure, and when we reach the social genus
_Bombus_ (i.e. the humble bees) we find the cuckoos so like their hosts
(pl. D, 30, 31) that even entomologists of experience mistake one for the
other. _Apis_ (the hive bee) has no cuckoo. It seems to be theoretically
probable that both cuckoo and host once originated from common parents;
this is suggested by the similarity of structure of certain parts of both
host and cuckoo, even in cases where they are otherwise most dissimilar.
_Andrena_ and _Nomada_, for instance, which are very unlike, as stated
above, agree in both having very feeble stings and in possessing three
conspicuous spines on the upper and posterior edge of the orbit of the
larva. Also, although _Andrena_ the host has a short tongue, and _Nomada_,
its cuckoo, a long one, the appendages (_labial palpi_) of the latter's
tongue are framed on the same plan as those of the tongue of _Andrena_, and
are quite unlike those of the other long-tongued bees. On the other hand,
the cuckoos of the social species resemble them so closely in structure as
well as {17} appearance that it is more necessary to search for points of
difference than of similarity. There is only one case known of a cuckoo
wasp, and that resembles its host even more closely than do the cuckoos of
the humble bees. All these points certainly suggest the probability that
the social bees and wasps and their cuckoos adopted different habits at a
much more recent date than the solitary species, and therefore have not had
so much time to become differentiated in structure. The only short-tongued
bees which have cuckoos of similar structure are the species of _Halictus_
(pl. B, 12); their cuckoos, _Sphecodes_ (pl. B, 11), are closely allied to
them, but then _Halictus_ and _Sphecodes_ are most peculiar genera;
although short-tongued, their females spend the winter in the earth, as do
the social bees and wasps (see p. 13), and they colonize largely, which may
prove to be a step towards socialism.

       *       *       *       *       *



In many respects the insects of this section adopt the same methods as the
solitary bees so far as the construction of their nests is concerned, but
the food brought home for their offspring is animal instead of vegetable.
In order to supply their larvæ with "fresh meat" these little creatures,
when they have captured a suitable prey, sting it in such a way that it
becomes paralyzed, but does not die; after provisioning a cell with the
necessary number of these paralytics, the mother lays her egg on one of
them or amongst them, and closes up the cell. In consequence of this
wonderful maternal instinct, foresight, or whatever the faculty may be, the
larva when hatched finds fresh food ready for consumption. The various
species provision their nests with different kinds of foods, and some
appear to be most fastidious in their selection, and are said never to err
in choosing {19} species of some particular family, thereby displaying a
discernment worthy of any advanced entomologist. Some provision their cells
with beetles, some with grasshoppers, others with spiders, caterpillars,
plant lice, etc.

The strength possessed by the female fossor must be proportionately
enormous, as she can bring back to her burrow, after paralyzing them,
insects many times her own size. It is a most interesting sight to see the
excitement and flurry of the captor as it tries to drag along some huge
prey to its nest. I remember seeing one dragging along a good-sized
caterpillar, of a noctuid moth, over rather rough ground: the poor creature
had a difficult job; it had to go backwards itself, and pull the body of
the caterpillar, after it--its behaviour was very much like that of an ant
which has a large burden; at times it would loose its hold of it and try it
from some other quarter; however, by degrees, by pulling and tugging, the
prey was safely brought home, but the force expended must have been very
great. Many species, however, hunt insects of much smaller size than
themselves, and it is those which take a fancy to grasshoppers and {20}
caterpillars which seem to be the most doughty in deeds of force. One, a
very rare kind in this country, sets its affection especially on the honey
bee as a prey; the two insects are about equal in size, but the hive bee
must be a dangerous foe to attack, and one would have thought as likely to
sting its captor as its captor would be to sting it; also one would imagine
that a hive bee, unless thoroughly paralyzed, would be a dangerous subject
for a juvenile larva to commence making a meal upon! but whether the
venture ever turns out unsatisfactorily there are no data to show, so far
as I am aware. The larvæ must vary very much in their tastes; one can
imagine that a nice juicy caterpillar, or even a good fat grasshopper, may
be appetizing and easily assimilated, but one can equally fancy that the
larvæ, who wake up to find their food consisting of small hard beetles, may
feel more or less resentment against their parents' ideas of dainties for
the young! Still they seem to thrive on it, and come out eventually as
exact likenesses of their parents. A large number of the fossors inhabit
dry sandy wastes, such as the dunes along the sea coast at Deal, Lowestoft,
{21} etc.; many of these, when they leave their burrows, throw up some sand
over the hole so as completely to cover it; how these insects find the spot
again after a lengthy chase after spiders or other prey is a marvel; and
yet those who have observed carefully say that they come home from long
distances with unerring precision. No sense of which we have any knowledge,
however accentuated, seems to explain this. To be able to arrive back at a
home in an extensive arid sandy plain, where no outward sign indicates its
whereabouts, must surely require perception of a different nature from any
of those with which we are endowed. Some fossors are subject to the
depredations of cuckoos, just as the solitary bees are, but their cuckoos
are rarely of aculeate origin. The only ones which I have had any
opportunity of studying are the species which nest in bramble stems. The
cuckoos which associate with them are some of the smaller jewel flies and
_Ichneumons_: the habits of both these differ from those of the aculeate
cuckoos, the jewel flies devouring the larva of the aculeate and the
_Ichneumon_ laying its eggs in it. The fossors {22} [Illustration: FIG. 2.]
vary exceedingly in size, shape and colour. Our largest species are about
an inch long and our smallest about the eighth of an inch, nearly all
having the body where it joins the thorax constricted into a very narrow
waist; this is sometimes of considerable length. In one genus known to
entomologists by the name _Ammophila_ (fig. 2) or "lover of the sand", the
waist is practically the longest part of the body, so that looking at one
sideways as it flies along, one could almost be deceived into thinking that
there were two insects, one following the other (cf. pl. A, fig. 7). In
colour, there seem to be three dominant schemes: Black (cf. pl. B, fig.
17); black with a red band across the body (cf. pl. A, fig. 7); and black
banded with yellow, like a wasp (cf. pl. A, figs. 6 and 8, etc.) In some
the yellow bands may not be complete, and appear only as spots on each side
of the body segments, or the red band may be almost obliterated, or the
black species may {23} [Illustration: FIG. 3.] [Illustration: FIG. 4.] be
more or less variegated with yellow spots on the head and thorax, but as a
general rule all our species fall into one or other of these colour
schemes. The females of some of our sand frequenting species have beautiful
combs on their front feet, each joint of the tarsi having one or more long
spines on its external side (figs. 3 and 4). These are of importance to
them in their burrowing, as they enable them to move with one kick of their
front leg a considerable amount of the dry sand in which they make their
nests. Although sandy commons, etc., are the resort of many fossors, others
may be found burrowing in wood or in hard pathways or banks; in fact, like
most other insects, some of their members may be found almost anywhere.

       *       *       *       *       *



The ordinary wasps are acquaintances of every one, but the solitary or
keyhole wasps are not so well known, although they are far from uncommon.
They are little narrow black insects striped across the body with yellow,
belonging to the genus _Odynerus_ (pl. A, 9), and might hardly be
recognized as belonging to the same family as the true or social wasps.
Still they have considerable powers of stinging, and fold their wings
lengthwise when at rest like their larger relatives. I dare say some people
may have noticed that a wasp's wing sometimes assumes a narrow straight
form, quite unlike what it is when expanded. This is due to the wasp being
able to fold its wing lengthwise like a fan. The wasp tribe are, so far as
I know, the only stinging Hymenoptera which have this power.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.]

They make their nests of mud, etc., in crevices of walls, in banks, in
plant stems, and often {25} in most inconvenient places, such as keyholes,
etc. Some of the solitary wasps have a very curious habit of making a
tubular entrance to their hole. These may sometimes be seen projecting from
sandy banks. The tube is composed of a series of little pellets of mud,
which the wasp by degrees, with the help of its mouth secretions, sticks
together till a sort of openwork curved tube of sometimes an inch long is
formed (fig. 5). This curve is directed downwards, so that the wasp has to
creep up it before reaching the actual orifice of the nest. It looks as if
the first shower of rain would wash the whole structure away, and I have
very little doubt that it often does so. The object of these tubes is
difficult to appreciate. There is a bee on the continent which makes
straight chimneys above its holes, so as to raise the entrance above the
surrounding herbage; possibly these solitary wasps once required {26} their
tubes also for some such purpose, and have continued on truly conservative
lines to build them long after all usefulness has passed away from the
habit; anyhow they are very interesting and beautiful structures. I have
found the tubes of one of our rarer species projecting perpendicularly out
of the level sand, but even then the tubes were curved over at the end, so
that the wasp had to go up and down again before entering its actual hole.
The Rev. F. D. Morice in 1906 found the tubes of the same species in
numbers projecting from the walls of an old stuccoed cottage situated close
to the locality where I found mine, so it is evident that more than one
situation suits its requirements. The solitary wasps provision their cells
with caterpillars, stinging them in the same way as the fossors do. One
very peculiar genus, of one species only in this country, has its body much
narrowed at the waist by reason of the constricted form of the basal
segment; it makes a little round nest of clay which it suspends from a twig
of heather or other plant. This species is rarely met with except on the
heathery commons of Surrey, Hants, Dorset, etc. The {27} solitary wasps are
subject to the attacks of cuckoos belonging to the jewel fly or _Chrysis_
tribe; these behave differently from those belonging to the aculeate
groups, as their larvæ do not eat the food laid up for the wasp, but wait
till the wasp larva has finished feeding up, and then devour it. Unlike as
these cuckoos are to their hosts in their brilliant metallic coloration,
etc., they have structural characters curiously like theirs, so that even
here a common parentage in bygone generations may be reasonably suspected.
At present, however, they are placed, except by a few systematists, in
quite distinct families of the Hymenoptera.

In general form these solitary wasps resemble the fossors more than the
bees; they have mostly short tongues (I think all our British ones have),
and their hairs are simple or more or less spirally twisted.

       *       *       *       *       *



The social bees are certainly the most highly specialized of the
_Anthophila_, and the social wasps of the _Diploptera_ or insects with
folded wings. The ants occupy a less definite position: they would seem to
be the outcome of specialization among the fossors, only they feed their
young with vegetable juices and not with animal as the latter do. They are
always kept as a separate tribe under the name _Heterogyna_, but for our
purposes the better known word "ant" will suffice.

The hive bee and the social wasps are the only British Hymenoptera which
adopt the hexagonal cell-formation in their nests, the bee fashioning its
cells in wax, the wasps and hornet in masticated wood or paper. The
formation of ants' nests is far less regular, being composed of irregular
passages, called galleries, and open spaces, no doubt built on a plan, but
probably {29} in respect of plan no two nests are exactly alike. The humble
bees again differ from either in their nesting habits: the female in the
spring seeks out a mouse's nest or other suitable foundation of moss, etc.,
in or on the surface of the ground, according to the species. This she
lines with wax, deposits a heap of pollen, and lays her eggs in it. She
also makes waxen cells for honey, but these are not hexagonal and
symmetrical as are those of the hive bee, but are more like little pots,
and are known as "honey pots".

It must be borne in mind that the economic arrangements of the wasps and
humble bees only last for a single season, whereas those of the ant and
hive bee exist for many years. In consequence of this the swarming habits
belong exclusively to the ants and hive bee. That of the hive bee is well
known to all, and most people must have observed the swarms of male and
female ants which fill the air on some sultry summer or autumn evening.
Thousands of these must perish, but a certain number of the females accept
the responsibility of starting a fresh nest, and so the ant population is
kept up. {30} It will be seen from these remarks that the three social
groups are very distinct in their methods of nest making, and have really
very little in common except the social habit. The humble bees have their
cuckoos; one species of wasp has a cuckoo, and there is a possible case of
a cuckoo amongst the continental ants, but this has not yet been observed
in this country. The ants harbour so many species of insects in their nests
besides their own family that it is difficult to form an idea as to whether
the case in question is at all analogous to that of host and cuckoo in the
other aculeates or not.

       *       *       *       *       *



These little creatures are probably the most intelligent of all the
insects--and yet at times they seem to wander about almost aimlessly. A
worker may be found with an insect or something which it is eagerly
dragging along and drops probably from fear. It appears anxious to regain
its hold of it, but goes about in all sorts of wrong directions before it
again finds it, it may be to make sure its enemy is clear away before it
resumes operations, but the effect to the ordinary onlooker is one of sheer
incapacity--at the same time the wonderful habits of the tribe, the way in
which they keep plant lice for their larvæ, their methods of carrying each
other, their nest-building, and the slave-making instincts of some of the
species, show an intelligence surpassed by no other family of insects.
Their nests are formed in very various ways: the same species even will
sometimes nest under a stone and sometimes make ant hills; some {32} of the
large species make their nests of huge heaps of fir needles, and number 400
to 500 thousand in one nest--others live in quite small communities,
nesting in bramble stems, old rotten wood, moss, etc. One little species,
rare with us, lives in the walls of other ants' nests, just as mice live in
the walls of our houses; another quite small species lives apparently on
friendly terms with the common large red or horse ant, and may be found
running about amongst them, on and in their nests, but, so far as I know,
nothing is known as to how its young are reared. There is a curious
division in the family between the ants that have true stings and those
which have not. The large ants of our fir woods can bite and are able to
eject poison through the apical opening of the body into the wound they
create, but these as well as the larger and smaller black ants and some
others have the sting undeveloped, whereas some of our small species have a
sting which they can use with considerable effect; this difference in habit
is accompanied by a difference in the structure in the basal segments of
the body. In the stingless species the basal segment is reduced {33}
[Illustration: FIG. 6] to a flat upright transverse scale (fig. 6, 1); in
the stinging ants two segments at the base are reduced to nodes (fig. 6,
3). There is an exception in the case of one little rare genus, _Ponera_,
which has only the basal abdominal segment reduced to a scale although a
much thicker scale than in the others (fig. 6, 2), and yet which has a
distinct sting. These arrangements give the body very free movement so that
the tail can be bent forward till it reaches the head. Another curious
distinction between the stingers and non-stingers is that the larvæ of the
former spin cocoons and those of the latter do not; the larvæ of _Formica
fusca_ occasionally do not do so, but they are an exception to the rule.
Cocoon spinning seems to involve the larvæ in some difficulties, as without
the help of the worker ants they are often unable to extract themselves
from their prison. This is a condition which does not, I believe, exist in
other groups. In the stingless ants there is a curious difference in habit
between the {34} species of the genus _Formica_, where, according to Forel,
the workers do not follow in line over unknown ground, and frequently carry
one another, the one carried being rolled up under the head of the other,
and the species of _Lasius_, where the workers follow one another in line,
but never carry each other. Among the stinging ants another method of
carrying occurs in certain genera. The porter seizes the one she wishes to
carry by the external edge of one of her mandibles and then throws her over
her back, so that she lies along the back of her porter with her ventral
aspect uppermost and her legs and antennæ folded as in the nymph state.
Neither of these methods sounds very comfortable, but then probably an
ant's idea of comfort and our own may be very different.

Lord Avebury, in his _Ants, Bees and Wasps_, tells us that he has known a
male of _Myrmica ruginodis_ live for nine months, although no doubt, as he
says, they generally die almost immediately, and he has known queen ants to
live for seven years, and workers, which he had in his nest, for six years.

       *       *       *       *       *



Of these we have only seven different kinds, and with the exception of the
hornet they are all very much alike. One often hears people say that they
have seen such a large wasp that they think it must have been a hornet, but
no one who has ever seen a hornet could mistake a wasp for one. A hornet is
_red-brown_ with yellow markings (pl. B, 13), a wasp is _black_ and yellow,
and altogether a less formidable-looking creature (pl. B, 14). Even a queen
wasp is not so large as a small worker hornet. The hornet nests in hollow
trees, our three commoner wasps nest, as a rule, in the ground, but
occasionally in outhouses, under roofs, etc. One of the others as a rule
makes its nest in shrubs, but occasionally in the ground, another always
nests in a bush or shrub, preferring a gooseberry or currant bush, and the
only remaining one is a cuckoo of one of the ground species. The
gooseberry-bush {36} wasp is not a common species in the south, but in the
midlands and north it is abundant. Wasps will eat most things, but are
especially fond of syrups and sweets. One species, _Vespa sylvestris_,
which seldom enters our houses, is very partial to the flowers of
_Scrophularia_ (Figwort). One rarely finds a plant of this in full blossom
without finding its attendant wasps. I have seen other species of wasps
also visiting it, but _sylvestris_ is practically sure to be there. The
diet which wasps provide for their larvæ is probably a mixed one, but
consists largely of insects. Dr. Ormerod says that a microscopic
examination of the contents of a larval stomach shows "the mass to consist
of scales, hairs and other fragments of insects, hairs of vegetables and
other substances less easy of recognition."

[Illustration: PLATE B.

10. _Colletes succinctus_, _female._ 11. _Sphecodes subquadratus_,
_female._ 12. _Halictus leucozonius_, _female._ 13. _Vespa crabro_,
_female._ 14. _Vespa vulgaris_, _female._ 15. _Andrena fulva_, _male._ 16.
_Andrena fulva_, _female._ 17. _Panurgus banksianus_, _female._ 18. _Nomada
ruficornis_, _var. signata_, _female._ 19. _Epeolus rufipes_, _female._

[_face p. 36._ ]

{37} Wasps do not store honey in their nest; the papery nature of their
cells would make such storage impossible. I dare say some of my readers
will have noticed wasps sitting in the sun on a wooden paling busily
engaged apparently eating something--they are really pulling off little
fibres of wood which they chew up into a substance fitted for the walls of
their cells; they will also chew paper, and the experiment has been tried
of giving them coloured papers, which resulted in stripes of colour
appearing in their nests. The different species vary somewhat in the
architecture of their nests; but they are built very much on the same
general plan. The population of some underground nests is very large. The
Rev. G. A. Crawshay estimated the number in a large nest of _Vespa
vulgaris_, which he took on September 20, 1904, at about 12,000; of these
he actually counted, including eggs and larvæ, 11,370, and estimated the
rest as having left the nest and escaped, so that anyhow the computation
cannot be far wrong. This, however, was probably a very large nest. The
cuckoo wasp (_Vespa austriaca_), formerly known as _V. arborea_, is an
associate of _Vespa rufa_; its habits had been suspected for a long time,
but Mr. Robson set all doubts at rest by finding the nymphs of the cuckoo
in the actual nest of _rufa_. It is a rare species in the south, but far
from uncommon as one goes north, and also in Ireland, where the
relationship of the host and cuckoo have been {38} carefully studied by
Prof. Carpenter and Mr. Pack Beresford. _Vespa vulgaris_ has a beetle
parasite, but this is somewhat of a rarity. This creature _Metoecus
paradoxus_ lays its egg in the cell of the wasp, and enters the body of the
larva, eventually entirely devouring it. The hornet also has a beetle
associate, but this is a great rarity. It is a large black species of the
"Devil's coach horse" or "Cock tail" tribe (_Velleius dilatatus_), but in
what relation it stands to the hornet beyond inhabiting its nest is not

       *       *       *       *       *



Of these beautiful creatures we have thirteen kinds in this country. Their
velvety clothing and bright colours make them the favourites of most
people. They are most industrious and may be seen on the wing from early
morning often till quite late on summer evenings, whereas the solitary bees
do not, as a rule, commence work till nine or ten in the morning, except in
very hot weather, and generally retire about four or five p.m. There is an
idea prevalent that humble bees do not sting, but this is fallacious. They
can sting pretty severely, but I do not think they are so ready to use
their defensive weapon as a wasp or hive bee is. The length of the tongue
in these creatures makes them of great value to the farmer and gardener, as
they can fertilize the red clover and probably other flowers which require
a longer tongue to reach the nectary than is possessed by the hive bee.
{40} In New Zealand, when first the red clover was introduced from this
country, it was found impossible to fertilize it, and humble bees had to be
sent out. Now they are established there its fertilization is carried on
quite successfully. The humble bees are divided into two natural groups,
the underground species, i.e. those that make a subterranean nest, and the
carder bees, as they have been called, which make a nest on the surface of
the ground. The former live in much larger communities and are far more
aggressive and pugnacious than the latter. They also feed their young,
according to Mr. F. W. L. Sladen, of Ripple Court, in a different way. The
carder bees "form little pockets or pouches of wax at the side of a
wax-covered mass of growing larvæ into which the workers drop the pellets
of pollen direct from their hind tibiæ. The pollen storers, on the
contrary, store the newly gathered pollen in waxen cells, made for the
purpose, or in old cocoons, specially set apart to receive it, from which
it is taken and given to the larvæ mixed with honey through the mouths of
the nurse-bees as required." As the author remarks, the methods of the
underground {41} species more resemble those of the hive bee than do those
of the carder bees. Mr. Sladen has made many experiments in trying to
domesticate humble bees, and succeeded so far with _Bombus terrestris_ (pl.
D, 29, our common black and yellow banded species with a tawny tail) as to
get it to breed in captivity, and in 1899 was able to show nests in full
work at the Maidstone agricultural show, the bees coming in and out of the
building to their nest. An interesting case of one of the carder bees
(_Bombus agrorum_) is recorded by F. Smith. It invaded a wren's nest,
heaping up its pollen, etc., amongst the eggs of the bird, till the parent
bird was forced to desert the nest. The underground species are more
subject to the attacks of cuckoos than the carder bees. Altogether the
humble bees afford an excellent subject for study, as they appear to be
amenable to treatment, and to any one who could give time and careful
attention to them many interesting problems connected with them and not yet
understood might have light thrown upon them. Dead humble bees are often
found in numbers in a mutilated state, under lime trees. These {42} have
been caught after they have filled themselves with honey, and become torpid
in consequence, by the great tomtit and possibly other birds. The bird
pecks a hole in the insect's thorax, enjoys the honey it has eaten and then
drops the quivering body which falls to the ground. I once had the
opportunity of seeing this slaughter going on, and was able to detect the
great tomtit as the murderer.

In colour the humble bees vary remarkably, the variation occurring chiefly
in the females. This variation is not so noticeable in this country,
although in many species even here the variability is very great, but when
we trace a common species such as _terrestris_, which varies very little
here, over a large area such as the Palæarctic region its liveries are so
diverse that its females have been treated as belonging to many different
species. In the Siberian district its yellow bands become of a pale, almost
whitish or straw colour, and the whole appearance of the insect is altered.
If, instead of going north, we go to the Mediterranean region we find a
large, fine form tolerably common, with bright yellow hairs on the legs. In
Corsica {43} again we find a quite different form; entirely black except
for the bright red hairs on the apex of the body, and bright red tibiæ,
clothed with red hairs. In the Canaries another coloration occurs: the
whole insect is black with the exception of the apex of the body which is
clothed with white hairs; but in all these the male varies comparatively
little. In the Siberian and Canary forms it resembles the female, but in
the others it varies very little from some varieties we find here. A rather
similar series of varieties occurs in _Bombus hortorum_, another species
little liable to variation here. In Italy and south-east Europe a form with
entirely black body and black wings occurs, and in Corsica a black form
with reddish hairs on the apical segments. The male keeps throughout very
constant to its normal coloration. The tendency to vary towards an entirely
black form seems to exist in nearly all the species, although in Britain
black varieties of some are very rare.

       *       *       *       *       *



In this country we have only two genera in which the tongue is bifid at the
apex, and on this account they are kept together as close allies in our
classification. They are, however, very different in general appearance.
One of these groups is called _Colletes_, on account of its habit of lining
its cells with a gluey material, the other, _Prosopis_, on account of the
markings on the face. The various kinds of _Colletes_ are densely clothed
on the head and thorax with brownish hairs, and the segments of the body
have whitish bands composed of a dense, tight-fitting, duvet of hairs (pl.
B, 10). There is in this country only one exception, a large insect like a
hive bee, but rarely met with, its headquarters being the Wallasey
Sandhills near Liverpool, and other localities in Lancashire. All the
species tend to colonize; some building in huge colonies {45} in sandy
cuttings, etc. They are preyed upon by a pretty little cuckoo bee called
_Epeolus_ (pl. B, 19), which is black, ornamented with brownish red and
whitish spots. One of our best known species, _Colletes fodiens_, can often
be found in abundance on the heads of ragwort along the sea-coast in July.

The other genus _Prosopis_ is outwardly entirely unlike _Colletes_: its
species are nearly all very small coal-black insects, with scarcely any
noticeable hairs, rather unusually narrow and cylindrical in form; they
emit a peculiar, agreeably scented fluid when handled; in the males the
face is almost always white or yellow, in the females there is generally a
yellow spot on each side near the eye. These little creatures are
especially fond of burrowing in bramble stems. They like those which have
been cut off in trimming the hedges, because in them the pith is exposed
and they can burrow their way into it without gnawing through the wood. If
any one, going along a hedge which has been trimmed, containing a lot of
brambles, in the autumn or winter, would examine the cut-off ends they
would soon find some with holes in them. These {46} may be the work of
_Prosopis_, but there are other bees and fossors which also burrow in this
way. So the stems should be brought home and opened. Then the _Prosopis_
cells may be known by the fine membranous pellicle which surrounds them,
but possibly even then a little jewel-bee cuckoo may be found in possession
of the cell, instead of the rightful owner. When these little bees emerge
they are generally to be found on wild mignonette, bramble flowers or those
of the wild parsley tribe. Some are very common, others of great rarity.
The males of this genus seem to have a peculiar tendency to develop
eccentricities in the shape of the first joint of the antennæ, or feelers,
some having it expanded and concave, others rounded but thickened towards
the apex; in only one British species, _P. cornuta_, does the female show
any special peculiarity of form, but in this the face is produced on each
side between the eyes into a distinct horn-shaped process. In the females
there is scarcely any indication of pollen brush, and for this reason they
used to be considered as possessors of cuckoo instincts, but there is now
no doubt of their industrious habits; but {47} there is no other genus of
industrious bees in this country, with the exception of _Ceratina_, with so
little specialization for pollen collecting.

       *       *       *       *       *



All the genera, except the two mentioned in the last chapter, belong to
this section, which comprises a variety of very different styles of bees,
beginning with the short spear-shape-tongued species and ascending to the
long-tongued species, which are considered to culminate in the hive bee.
The habits of these genera vary very greatly in some respects; special
notice has been or will be given of _Halictus_ (pl. B, 12) and _Sphecodes_
(B, 11), _Andrena_ (B, 15, 16), _Nomada_ (B, 18) and the other cuckoos,
_Osmia_ (D, 28) and _Anthophora_ (D, 24, 25) and the leaf-cutting bees, but
there are several other genera which deserve a passing notice, although
their habits are not so peculiar as those of the specially selected ones.
_Cilissa_, which is a very close ally of _Andrena_, is peculiar in having
the hairs of the tongue erect and arranged almost in bottle-brush fashion.
Its habits are much like those of {49} _Andrena_. _Dasypoda_, so called on
account of the enormously long hairs of the pollen brushes of the legs in
the female, is one of our most beautiful bees; it is of moderate size, a
little more than half an inch long, with a brown haired thorax, and a black
body with white apical bands on the segments; the hind legs are rather
unusually long and the brush is composed of very long bright fulvous hairs,
and when the bee returns home laden with pollen it is, as F. Smith says,
"sufficiently singular to attract the attention of the most apathetic
observer." It burrows in sandy places much after the fashion of _Andrena_,
etc. The male is a different looking insect, entirely covered with
yellowish hairs. _Panurgus_ (pl. B, 17) is a curious genus of coal-black
bees, whose females have bright yellow pollen brushes on their hind legs;
they visit yellow composite flowers and the males often sleep curled up
amongst their rays; they are most active bees, and burrow generally in hard
pathways. I was watching a large colony of one of the species near Chobham
in the end of June--they were burrowing in a gravel path, under which the
soil was of a black sandy nature; the path was scattered all over with
little black {50} hillocks of sand, and seemed alive with bees. It was
showery weather, and occasionally the hillocks were washed nearly flat and
a lot of sand must have entered their burrows--however, as soon as the sun
came out again they cleaned out their holes and returned to their work.
_Panurgus_ is most businesslike in its pollen collecting; it flies in a
rapid headlong way into a flower, and seems to do its best to bury itself,
with a remarkable amount of action as if it was in a great hurry, and often
bustles out of it again almost immediately and goes on to the next. Its
methods suggest that it does more work in five minutes than any other bee
would do in ten.

Another genus, _Anthidium_ (pl. D, 27), this time one of the long-tongued
bees, is peculiar in having the male larger than the female. Both sexes are
black, variegated with yellow markings and spots, but the male is more
ornate in this respect than the female and also has a peculiarly shaped
body, which is unusually flat, curving downwards towards the apex, which is
armed with five teeth, two bent ones on the sixth segment and three on the
seventh. The female collects pollen on the underside of its body and
collects the {51} down off the stems of various plants, especially those of
the dead nettle or "labiate" tribe, with which it invests its cells. I
cannot do better than quote the following from F. Smith: "This is the
social bee which White in his History of Selbourne has so well described in
the following words: 'There is a sort of wild bee frequenting the Garden
Campion for the sake of its tomentum, which probably it turns to some
purpose in the business of nidification. It is very pleasant to see with
what address it strips off the pubes running from the top to the bottom of
a branch and shaving it bare with the dexterity of a hoop shaver; when it
has got a vast bundle, almost as large as itself, it flies away, holding it
secure between its chin and fore legs.'"

       *       *       *       *       *



[Illustration: FIG. 7.]

These are amongst the specially interesting of the bees in their habits.
They are dull-brown coloured creatures rather like a stout hive bee in form
(pl. C, 20). They all collect pollen on the underside of their body. They
burrow either in decayed wood or in the ground, but they make their cells
of pieces of leaves which they cut off from rose bushes or other plants;
these cells when completed are wonderful works of art. Probably some of my
readers may have noticed rose leaves with semicircular pieces cut out of
them, and often with almost circular ones; this is the work of the leaf
cutter (fig. 7).

[Illustration: PLATE C.

20. _Megachile maritima_, _female_. 21. _Coelioxys conoidea_, _male_. 22.
_Coelioxys conoidea_, _female_. 23. _Nest of Megachile willughbiella._

[_face p. 52._ ]

{53} She alights on a leaf, holds on to the edge of the piece she wants to
cut off with her legs, and then cuts it out by means of her jaws, or
mandibles; as soon as it is cut free she uses her wings and so prevents
herself from falling, and goes off with the cut off piece safely held under
her body by her legs. I have frequently seen bees flying home with their
leafy burden, and once or twice I have seen them cutting the pieces out.
They cut round the piece they select with great rapidity--the marvel is
that they can arrange so exactly as not to fall when the last attachment is
removed. The pieces they cut have to be of several shapes in order to build
up the cell they require; some are more or less lozenge shaped, some almost
circular; the cells they make are somewhat thimble-shaped. The
lozenge-shaped pieces are used to build up the sides and lower end of the
cell, and the circular pieces to close it in with at the top; it is all
cemented together with a gluey substance excreted by the bee. The burrows
of the leaf-cutters are made, as stated above, either in the ground or in
rotten wood. I have never had a subterranean nest to examine, but have had
several nests in rotten wood under my notice, one of which is now before me
(pl. C, 23). It is in a piece of very {54} soft willow, almost in a
touchwood condition. So that by carefully cutting away the wood I have been
able to expose the whole series of cells. Two distinct burrows run almost
parallel to each other; both of them are slightly curved and each has
contained six cells; these are about half an inch long, and they fit one
over another in the tube as closely as possible so as to look like two long
thick green worms. Each cell is composed of many pieces of leaf, and the
final plug which closes the cell is often made of several rounds of leaf
one over the other. The amount of labour taken by the mother bee to make
these cells must be enormous. The cells are provisioned like those of any
other solitary bee with pollen, etc., and the egg is laid upon it. Most of
the leaf-cutters have their attendant cuckoos, which are rather smaller
than themselves, of a deep black with white bands on the sides of the body.
The female has a very pointed tail, and the male's body ends in a series of
spine-like projections (pl. C, 21, 22).

       *       *       *       *       *



I have tried as much as possible to avoid scientific names, but the
misfortune is that there are hardly any popular names in use which can be
attached for certain to any particular species, and unless this can be done
it is of no use using vague names like the "Carpenter Bee", the "Mason
Bee", etc. There are many carpenter bees and many mason bees, and though
their habits may be alike in this one particular they differ among
themselves in the way they use their tools, and it is necessary to know
which one we are talking about. It is a common thing to hear people
inveighing against Latin names, etc., but they forget that there are no
English ones in use, and what is more important, that Greek and Latin names
are common property to all nations, so that we can all know what we are
talking about, whereas if we call an insect by an English name and the
Russians {56} call it by a Russian name, the difficulty of coming to a
mutual understanding is very great. This is only an aside to justify the
use of classical names. I quite feel that for popular use in this country a
good series of English names might be useful, but we have not got one, and
it would require a great deal of care and thought to frame a nomenclature
which would really be useable by the persons who require it.

I have made these remarks here because _Osmia_ is a genus whose members
vary very much in their habits, and some species of which, like sensible
beings, adapt their habits to their surroundings, so that no name such as
carpenter bee, etc., would apply to all the species, or, as a rule, even to
one. _Osmia rufa_ especially adopts several methods of nesting. This little
bee is clothed more or less all over with yellowish hairs; it is compact in
shape like all the other species of _Osmia_, and like them collects its
pollen on the underside of the body. It may sometimes be seen flying up and
down the walls of a house looking for a crevice to build in, but it is not
the least particular as to where to form its cells. In one memorable case
the female selected a flute {57} which had been left in a garden-arbour.
The bee constructed fourteen cells in the tube of the instrument,
commencing its first cell a quarter of an inch below the mouthhole. The
flute is preserved in the Natural History Museum at South Kensington. At
other times this species burrows in the ground, at others it makes its
cells in crevices of old walls; it has been known to build in a lock, and
is said sometimes to inhabit snail shells. Other species of _Osmia_ almost
always burrow in banks, but in no case does a habit seem to be uniformly
adopted by a species. One well known and rare species, _Osmia leucomelana_,
is a regular bramble-stick species, tunnelling down the pith in the centre
of the stalks, but I once found it to my surprise in fair numbers nesting
in a sandy bank. Other species again, as a rule, select snail shells to
build in; they find an old disused shell lying about in some sheltered
place and adapt it to their purposes, commencing their cells singly in the
narrow whorls of the shell and side by side as they approach its mouth,
i.e. if the shell be a wide-mouthed one like the common garden snail
(_Helix aspersa_). F. Smith, who gives a very interesting account of these
{58} creatures in his _Catalogue of British Hymenoptera in the British
Museum_, mentions a case where the bee finding the larger whorls of the
shell too wide constructed two cells across the whorl. Another very
interesting case given by Smith is of a nest of many cells of the rare
_Osmia inermis_ (which in his days was known as _Osmia parietina_). A slab
of stone, 10 inches by 6, was brought to him with 230 cocoons of this
_Osmia_ attached to its under side; when found in the month of November,
1849, about a third of them were empty; in March of the following year a
few males made their appearance and shortly afterwards a few females, and
they continued to come out at intervals till the end of June, at which time
he had 35 cocoons still unopened; in 1851 some more emerged, and he opened
one or two of the closed ones and found that they still contained living
larvæ; he closed them up again, and in April, 1852, examined them and found
the larvæ still alive; at the end of May they changed to pupæ and appeared
as perfect insects, the result being that some of the specimens were at
least three years before reaching maturity. {59}

There is a nest of yet another style adopted by one of our species (_Osmia
xanthomelana_). This is formed of a series of pitcher-shaped cells made of
mud, constructed at the roots of grass. The species which makes it is rare
and seems to have its headquarters on the coasts of Wales, although it has
occurred in the Isle of Wight and elsewhere. This species also is not
constant in its habits, as it has been known to make its cells underground.
A very curious habit was noticed some years ago by Mr. Vincent R. Perkins
in another species of this genus (_Osmia bicolor_; pl. D, 28); the species
nests in the ground or in snail shells, but, in the case under his
observation, Mr. Perkins found that the little bees covered up all the
snail shells in which they had built their cells with short pieces of
"bents" so as to make a little hillock over each about two or three inches
in height, somewhat resembling a miniature nest of _Formica rufa_, the
large horse ant, each mound containing hundreds of pieces. This is the only
record I know of this habit, which must entail a large amount of labour for
the bee.

These varying habits in the same species {60} show pretty clearly that
these little creatures are not driven by any blind instinct in the adoption
of their methods of nest building: they appear to have a distinct power of
choice and adaptation according to their environment, unless of course it
can be shown that the offspring of, say, a snail shell inhabitant follows
its parents' habits, and that that of a ground borer does the same--but
even that would not explain the case given by F. Smith, and quoted above,
where an _Osmia_ had filled up the whorls of a shell and then, finding the
final whorl too large, placed two cells horizontally to fill it: that seems
to indicate distinct design on the part of the bee and would be hard to
explain as due to instinct. Unfortunately, with the exception of a very
few, the species of _Osmia_ are rare in this country, so that few
opportunities are available for studying their habits, which are certainly
amongst the most interesting of any genus.

[Illustration: PLATE D.

24. _Anthophora pilipes, male._ 25. _Anthophora pilipes, female._ 26.
_Melecta armata, female._ 27. _Anthidium manicatum, female._ 28. _Osmia
bicolor, female._ 29. _Bombus terrestris, female._ 30. _Bombus lapidarius.
female._ 31. _Psithyrus rupestris, female._

[_face p. 61._ ]



_Anthophora pilipes_ (pl. D, 24, 25), one of our early spring bees, often
forms enormous colonies. I have sometimes seen sandpits in which the sides
were riddled all over with holes of this species, and where the insects
were in such numbers that a distinct hum was audible from the vibration of
their wings. In such colonies one is sure to detect some of their cuckoo
associates, _Melecta armata_ (pl. D, 26). They are deep black bees, much of
the same size as their hosts but with more pointed tails and with a small
spot of snow-white hairs on the side of each segment of the body; like
other cuckoos they sail about in a more demure way than their hosts, but a
more lively scene than a large colony of _Anthophora_ can hardly be found.
The _Anthophora_ provisions its cells with honey and pollen, and its egg in
consequence floats on the top--the {62} number of cells varies from five or
six up to ten or eleven.

_Anthophora pilipes_ has a very close relative in _Anthophora retusa_,
which also forms large colonies, but it is as a rule less common. These two
species are exceedingly alike, in fact it requires some skill on the part
of the observer to differentiate their females. They are both black and
clothed with black hairs, and both have yellow pollen-brushes, but in
_retusa_ the hairs are shorter and not quite of such a deep black as those
of _pilipes_, and the spurs of the tibiæ are pale, whereas in _pilipes_
they are black. The males, however, differ widely, although much alike in
colour; in _pilipes_ the feet of the middle pair of legs are clothed with
enormously long hairs, the basal joint has a dense fringe of black hairs in
front and some long black hairs behind (see pl. D, fig. 24); in _retusa_
the basal joint of the middle pair of feet have a fan-shaped fringe of
black hairs, and the rest of the joints are clothed with longer hairs, but
not long enough to be specially noticeable. _A. retusa_ is visited by the
same cuckoo as _A. pilipes_ and also by its rare ally _Melecta luctuosa_,
which only differs from _armata_ {63} (pl. D, 26) in the larger and squarer
spots of the body and various small structural characters hardly
appreciable except by specialists. The Anthophoras have other parasites
besides their cuckoos; one is a beetle, which, however, is rare, and which
lays its egg in the _Anthophora_ cells; the other is a very minute member
of the Hymenopterous family, whose larva when hatched feeds upon the larva
of the bee. Notwithstanding these disadvantages both species are abundant,
although _retusa_ is more local than _pilipes_. A very interesting fact
connected with this genus has just been communicated to me by the Rev.
F. D. Morice. John Ray, who lived in the seventeenth century, mentions in
his book _Historia Insectorum_ (published posthumously in 1710), p. 243,
that a large colony of a bee, which from his description was clearly an
_Anthophora_, as he specially calls attention to the great difference
between the males and females, inhabited a certain locality at Kilby near
"Hill Morton" in Northamptonshire. Mr. Morice, who for many years resided
at Rugby, knew Hillmorton, as it is now spelled, well, and tells me that a
large colony of _Anthophora_ was in that same locality when he knew it only
{64} a few years ago. Of course there is no proof that it has been there
throughout the intervening period, but there seems to be no reason to doubt
it, and if so it is a most interesting case of a persistent colony.

       *       *       *       *       *



Bees whether solitary or social enter flowers for the sake of the honey in
their nectaries and the pollen on their anthers. In some cases the flowers
automatically deposit pollen on the bees during the operation, which
enables them to fertilize other flowers of the same species, but the pollen
which the bee requires for its own use has to be worked for and collected
on organs specially adapted for the purpose. These vary very much in the
different families and genera; they exist only in the females, and, if the
males get covered with pollen, as they often do, it is probably more by
chance than purpose, and it is doubtful if it is of any value to the brood,
although no doubt useful in fertilizing other flowers. All our bees, as has
been pointed out before, are clothed more or less with branched or
feather-like hairs, which would appear to be admirably adapted for the
collecting of pollen. {66} At the same time some species which have their
bodies clothed with branched hairs have simple or spirally grooved hairs on
the collecting organ--others collect on very much branched hairs--so that
there seems to be no exact relationship between the plumosity of the hairs
and their utility in collecting. The collecting brushes are either on the
hind legs or, as in some cases, on the ventral surface of the body. In a
female _Andrena_, the hind leg has a tuft of curled hairs near the base of
the leg, and a more or less heavy brush on the outside of the tibia or shin
(fig. 8). When a female returns after a collecting expedition these
specially hairy regions are a mass of pollen grains, and the "beautiful
yellow legs", so often remarked upon in some bees, are not always due to
the colour of the hairs but to that of the grains of pollen adhering to
them. The genera which collect on the under surface of the body have to
visit flowers where the anthers lie in such a position that they can
transfer the pollen on to it; the pea flower tribe are favourites with
them, and also the _Compositæ_. All this section have long tongues so that
they are able to reach the nectaries of {67} [Illustration: FIG. 8.]
[Illustration: FIG. 9.] plants with long tubular flowers. In visiting these
the pollen is often deposited on the back of the bee; this it is able to
transfer to its under side by means of the brushes on its feet or tarsi.
The arrangements of the humble bees for pollen gathering are altogether
different from those mentioned above. They have the hind shin outwardly
shining and rather concave, with a series of long curved hairs running down
each side of it and partly curving over it, so that they carry their mass
of pollen in a sort of basket, scientifically called the "corbicula" (fig.
9); this would be impossible if the pollen were gathered dry, as it is by
most of the solitary bees, so the bee moistens it on the flower with the
nectar she has been sucking so as to make it sticky, and then transfers it
into her basket by means of her foot brushes. The pollen therefore on the
hind leg of a humble bee is all in one mass and can be {68} removed as
such. When the bee reaches her nest this must of course save her the
trouble which the solitary bee must have of cleaning off all the separate
grains of pollen which are mixed up among the hairs.

A word or two may be convenient here on the combs and cleaning apparatus of
bees. Any one who has watched a bee clean itself will have noticed that the
front legs work more or less horizontally--a bee will lower its head and
bring its front leg over it with a curved motion--and that it will clean
the sides of the face with a sort of shaving-like action, also that the
antennæ are apparently pulled through the foot-joint in a remarkable way,
often many times in succession. Now the foot of a bee consists of five
joints, and is clothed with bristly looking hairs. If these hairs be
examined through a microscope they will be found to be more or less
razor-shaped, having a thick back and a dilated wing or knife-like blade
(fig. 10). In some the blade is of some width, and the edge is evidently
very sharp: these hairs or spines no doubt do the cleaning work, and
admirably adapted they are to the purpose. The antennæ-cleaner {69}
[Illustration: FIG. 10.] [Illustration: FIG. 11.] [Illustration: FIG. 12.]
(it may possibly be used for other purposes too) is a still more wonderful
adaptation; in the basal joint of the foot there is a semicircular
incision, which, when examined under the microscope, is seen to be a small
toothed comb. The foot itself fits into the tibia or shin, and at the apex
of the latter is a modified spine which is dilated on one side into a wing,
or knife-like blade; this shuts down on to the semicircular comb, and the
insect by passing the antennæ between the two can clean off anything which
may have stuck to it (fig. 11). When we come to examine the other legs we
find that the inner surface of their tibiæ and tarsi, i.e. that which is
nearest the body, is clothed with hairs which have the points dilated and
spade-like (fig. 12), which {70} allowing for the different action of the
hind legs makes them just as good cleaners as the razors of the front pair;
the spurs at the apex of the tibiæ, which are known as the _calcaria_, are
also doubtless useful for cleaning purposes, and this is specially
suggested by the beautiful saw-like form which they assume in some species;
although there is no actual semicircular comb in the first joint of the
tarsi, yet there can be little doubt that the spur and this joint in
conjunction can act as a cleaning organ very much in the same way as the
more elaborate arrangement in the front legs. Any one who has the
opportunity of examining the hairs of bees under a microscope will be amply
repaid for the trouble in noticing the beautiful shapes and structures
which these organs assume. (Figs. 13-18; 17 showing pollen grains
adhering.) At one time, when I was specially examining bee hairs, I shaved
the various parts of a large number of species and mounted their hairs dry
in microscopic slides, merely securing the cover glass with liquid glue;
this was twenty years ago, and many are still quite good. It may seem a
difficult operation to shave a bee, but {71} the hairs come off very
easily, and with a sharp dissecting knife for a razor as many hairs as one
wants are almost immediately at one's disposal.

[Illustration: FIG. 13.]

[Illustration: FIG. 14.]

[Illustration: FIG. 15.]

[Illustration: FIG. 16.]

[Illustration: FIG. 17.]

[Illustration: FIG. 18.]

       *       *       *       *       *



In order to understand how a bee sucks honey it will be necessary to go
into some rather careful details as to the construction of its tongue and
mouth organs. These I will make as short and simple as I can, but the
apparatus is a very complicated one, and it will be impossible to describe
it without a good deal of technical phraseology.

The tongue has always been considered such an important feature in a bee's
structure that it has been made the chief basis of their classification. On
this subject I will only say that there are three principal types of
tongues--a short bifid tongue (fig. 19, 3[1]), resembling those of the
fossors; a short pointed one, shaped somewhat like a spear head (fig. 19,
2, 2a); and a long parallel-sided, ribbon-like tongue (fig. 19, 1, 1a). The
bees are classified on what is considered to be an {73} ascending scale,
beginning with the bifid-tongued species, through those with the short
spear shaped tongues to the higher forms, which have this organ elongate
and parallel-sided.

[Illustration: FIG. 19.]

The tongue is the central organ of an elaborate combination of mouth parts,
which I will now try to explain. If we turn a bee's head over and look at
its underside we shall find a deep cavity, filled up with the base of this
combination which fits into it. If we extend the tongue (a humble bee is a
good subject on account of its large size, fig. 20) so as to draw its base
out of the cavity, we shall find that in the edge of each side of the
cavity there is articulated a short rod (20, A), more or less dilated at
its apex, called {74} the _stipes_; on the flattened ends of these rods
there swings a joint shaped something like the "merrythought" bone of a
chicken, called the _lora_ or reins (20, B), to the central angle of which
are suspended the pieces of the apparatus which terminate in the tongue.
This V-shaped joint can swing over on its feet, and can therefore lie
either between the _stipites_ or rods with its angle pointing towards the
tail of the bee, or in the opposite direction with its angle projecting
beyond them and pointing forwards. It will at once be seen that by this
turn of the V the tongue can be projected a distance equivalent to twice
the length of the V.

This V-shaped joint varies much in the length of its arms, which are much
longer in the long-tongued than in the short-tongued bees.

When we examine the parts that are suspended from this joint, we shall find
that the actual tongue is separated from it by two distinct pieces; the
first (i.e. that next to the _lora_) a short joint (the _submentum_, 20,
C), the second (the _mentum_, 20, D) a long semi-cylindrical joint which
holds as in a trough the softer parts at the base of the tongue. From the
apex of the _mentum_ {75} project three organs; the central one is the
actual tongue (or _ligula_, 20, E), and on each side are the organs which
are called the _labial palpi_ (20, F); these in the long-tongued bees more
or less fold over the base of the tongue and protect it. There are two
other large and important mouth parts called the _maxillæ_ (20, G); these
articulate on to the flattened apices of the _cardines_, outside the
articulation of the feet of the _lora_, and extend on each side of the
_mentum_; they also have flattened blades sheathing, when closed, the whole
of the _mentum_ above, as well as the base of the tongue.

[Illustration: FIG. 20.]

So far we have been looking at the back of the head and mouth parts; if we
now look at the front we shall see the _maxillæ_; if we open these we shall
see the tongue lying between the {76} labial palpi, and at the base of the
tongue we shall see two little sheaths called the _paraglossæ_; above these
the softer parts lying in the trough of the _mentum_; from the base of the
_mentum_, connecting with the _maxillæ_, there extends a membrane which
entirely invests the spaces between the bases of these organs and extends
up to the mouth. A membrane also extends between the _stipites_ and _lora_,
and closes the cavity at the back of the head. The back of the tongue in
the act of sucking can be formed into a tube through which, partly,
probably by capillary action, partly by the pumping action caused by the
dilating and contracting of certain parts of the mechanism, the liquid food
is drawn up into the æsophagus. This, I believe, has been shown to be the
principle on which all bees, short- or long-tongued, suck up their honey.
The subject could be treated at much greater length, and many other
structures connected with the mouth parts discussed, but more minute
details are unnecessary in an elementary work such as this, and I have
therefore limited myself to a description of the broad principles of the

       *       *       *       *       *



[Illustration: FIG. 21.]

Of all the evils to which bee flesh is heir, there can hardly be any so
terrible as the effects of the parasite _Stylops_ on the species of
_Andrena_ and _Halictus_ which it attacks. This very extraordinary
creature, which is now considered to be a beetle, lives during the early
stages of both sexes in the body of the bee, which it enters when the bee
is in the larval state. Its head protrudes like a minute flat seed between
the body segments (fig. 21), and so is visible externally, but the rest of
the creature, which is a grub-like larva, rests amongst the intestines of
the bee; the female matures in the bee's body and never leaves it. The
male, however, when mature, escapes, leaving the {78} [Illustration: FIG.
22. Stylops larva in abdominal cavity: after Perez.] great hole which he
inhabited open; he is provided with wings, and I have more than once caught
one flying in the open--but to return to our afflicted bee. This may be
attacked in either sex, and by one to five of the parasites. I have
specimens myself with four parasites in them, and a case of five has been
recorded. Mr. R. C. L. Perkins, writing on this subject, says: "On removing
the integument dorsally from the bee, the large body of the female parasite
will be seen lying above the viscera, often almost entirely concealing
them". If this is the condition of a bee nourishing only one parasite, I
must leave it to my readers to imagine the state of the poor wretch who is
supporting five! The outward appearance of one with several parasites is
generally much distorted; the abdomen is very much inflated, and the poor
creature is unable to fly any {79} distance, and can only crawl about, or
perhaps take short flights of a foot or so. The effects, however, seem to
be very different in different cases. I have caught _Andrenas_ with two
_Stylops_ in them, flying about as usual and apparently none the worse for
their inmates. Probably the position the parasite occupies may make a great
difference in its effects on the bee.

The most notable effect produced by _Stylops_ is the alteration in the
structure and colour of certain of the bee's characteristic features. In
_Andrena_ the males differ very considerably from the females both in form
and colouring. They have no pollen-brushes on their legs, and in some few
species the face above the mouth is white, whereas in the female it is
black. Now the effect of the parasite seems to be to unsex as it were its
victims so far as their outward appearance is concerned. This is no doubt
due to the internal effects it has on the larva of the bee. Anyhow, if a
female is attacked, in most cases the pollen-brush is much reduced, the
face tends to become more hairy, and, if it be the female of a white-faced
male, spots of white are often produced on the face. On the other hand,
{80} if it be a male subject, the hairiness of the face is diminished, the
white colour is often reduced or absent, and the hairiness of the legs is

Before the effects of the parasite were recognized, several new species
were described simply on specimens of unusual appearance in consequence of
its presence.

These effects, however, like the effects produced on the activity of the
bee, vary exceedingly in extent. On some the parasite seems to have no
effect, in others the alteration in appearance is very great. This, again,
is probably due to the position of the parasites and to the pressure they
exert on the reproductive organs of the body in the larval state.

       *       *       *       *       *



Now I feel sure many will be thinking "It is all very well to talk about
all these solitary and social bees, but I never see them. I certainly know
a humble bee with a white tail and another with a red tail, and a wasp, and
perhaps a hornet, but I never notice any others." The reason for this, no
doubt, is that people are not as a rule observant, and even if they notice
a creature one moment they probably forget all about it the next. If any
one goes out on a bright spring morning, late in March or early in April,
about 11 o'clock, into a garden well stocked with flowers, it will not, I
think, be many minutes before an insect darts on the wing along some
border, and, if attention be paid to the flowers, a little black hairy bee
with yellow legs, like a small humble bee, will be seen diligently at work
sucking honey from one of them. The darting bee, which is of a brownish red
colour, gradually {82} fading to grey after a few days' exposure to the
sun, is the male, and the black one the female. The male rarely settles,
but flies about courting the female. Often two or three males may be seen
dodging and crossing each other in their flight. The name of this bee is
_Anthophora_. It is quite a harbinger of spring, and I mention it
especially as it so forces itself on one's attention, and there are few who
will not meet with it without going especially on its quest.

Another opportunity of seeing several kinds of solitary bees flying
together may be secured by standing on a sunny day in front of a sallow
bush in full blossom, I mean what is commonly called "palm." Its catkins,
when the anthers are out and covered with yellow pollen, are most
attractive to all kinds of bees, humble bees, hive bees, and solitary bees,
and any one who can manage to watch a sallow bush for some time will
realize that there are many kinds of bees at work. Of course it is
difficult, without special knowledge, to recognize which are bees and which
are flies amongst the many which are coming and going, but the
yellow-pollened legs of the female bees will generally betray them, as well
{83} as their steadier flight. A fly turns about more rapidly than a bee,
and sits down much more abruptly. Bees are very captious about the weather;
they do not like an east wind and are, apparently, very sensitive to coming
wet. I have often gone out on a bright morning and been surprised to find
nothing stirring, and then clouds have come up and proved the wisdom of the
bees in staying at home. They also fly very little in cloudy weather,
especially in the early spring, when the temperature is reduced by cloud
below their fancy. One may be watching a sallow bush and see dozens of
insects flying about. A cloud shadows it, and almost immediately they
disappear, to appear again as suddenly with the return of the sun's rays.
It is interesting to watch bees at work collecting pollen, etc., but if any
one wishes to study them at home, their nesting haunts must, of course, be
visited. These are so various that it is impossible to point them all out,
but the best locality to select is a sandy bank facing south. In June or
July such a bank is often alive with bees, sand-wasps, etc.; here, again,
we want sunshine or the bees will stay in their holes. {84} Even when dull,
however, it is a very interesting spot, and we can notice the numbers of
holes bored in the bank, and their different sizes and shapes; most of them
are round, but some sandwasps make very irregular holes. If we look closely
at some of the holes we shall see something closing the aperture, and, if
we are too inquisitive, that something will disappear down the hole like
lightning; it is the face of the owner of the burrow waiting to come out
for the first ray of sunshine, but the owner is very timid and it will be
some minutes before she puts her face so near danger again. In most of the
sandwasps the face is clothed with bright silvery, or sometimes golden,
hairs, and it is a very pretty sight to see these little silvery faces
peering out of their burrows. Again, one may sometimes notice a little
stream of sand emerging from a hole; this is from some bee who is enlarging
her domain or clearing out some of the sand which occasionally falls in. In
some cases this ejection of sand is done with a great deal of action: the
sand comes streaming out and then the bee follows, quite up to the mouth of
the passage, kicking out the sand as hard as it can. {85} The moment,
however, that the sun comes out the whole bank is full of life; and just as
in the case of the sallow bush, one wonders where it has all been during
the shadow. Bees will now be seen flying home laden with pollen; they will
pause at the opening of their burrow and then disappear suddenly into its
depths. In a very short time they will reappear quite clean and ready for
another journey. Their cleaning apparatus must be wonderfully well adapted
to its purpose. I have often had to remove the pollen from a bee's leg to
see what colour the hairs are, and it takes some time even to brush enough
of it off to ascertain this, and yet the natural cleaning process seems to
take no time in comparison. But to return to our bank, numbers of bees will
be seen coursing up and down and hardly ever settling; these are males
paying what attention they can to any females who have time to attend to
them, and often falling foul of other males intent on similar pursuits. If
one has good luck in the choice of one's bank an elegant wasp-like creature
may occasionally be seen amongst the others; this is one of the cuckoos.
The flight of all the cuckoo bees is peculiar; it is much {86} quieter and
slower than that of the hosts, and a cuckoo may easily be seen solemnly
flying up and down the bank, over the various holes, no doubt watching for
the proper opportunity to enter one, and deposit its egg in it. This
deliberate flight seems a curious habit in a creature which one would think
would wish to escape detection. If it seemed to inspire fear in the mind of
its host it would be different, but they appear to fly about together
unconcerned at each other's presence, and the cuckoo sails along demurely
and imposes on its hosts' labours without any apparent resentment on the
latter's part; both seem to accept their relationship as a matter of
course. Another very interesting frequenter of sandy banks is a pretty
little stout sandwasp, about a quarter of an inch long, called _Oxybelus_.
It has a very bright silvery face which shines most brilliantly in the sun,
and the body has a row of white spots on each side, and it brings flies
back to its nest. It is very active and common, and may often be seen with
its fly going back to its hole. There is a rare species of the same genus,
which is clothed all over with silvery hairs, and this in some places,
curiously {87} enough, selects as its victim a fly which is also coated
with silver. There are, of course, many other inhabitants in such a bank as
this. There are sure to be ants, which are always interesting to watch, and
probably now and then a _Pompilus_ will appear on the scene. These
exceedingly lively creatures which run at a very rapid pace, vibrating
their wings as they go, and taking short flights between the runs, are on
the hunt for spiders. They will be seen to forage amongst any grass or
herbage there may be on the bank, and if they can only secure a spider it
is stung and paralyzed and carried off at once to the nest. Of course every
sand bank will not yield a great number of insects, but some, especially in
sandy districts like Woking, Oxshott, and other parts of the Surrey
commons, and the New Forest, simply teem with life--and would repay any one
for hours of watching and observation.

       *       *       *       *       *



The number of insects of different kinds which live in ants' nests, either
as scavengers, stray visitors who have found a lodging for the moment, as
guests carefully taken care of and appreciated by the ants, or as lodgers,
either tolerated or hostile to their hosts and persecuted, and parasites,
is very great. The most interesting of these from the ordinary observer's
point of view are the true guests and the lodgers. The true guests are
carefully attended to by the ants; they include such insects as the
_Aphides_ or plant lice, and others which the ants use as "cows" to secure
the saccharine juices which they can obtain from them, and also certain
strange beetles which have tufts of golden hairs on their body, which the
ants lick--on account of what E. Wasmann[2] calls the etherealized oil {89}
given off by them. These beetles are fairly numerous and belong to several
quite distinct families; the one which perhaps is amongst the most
interesting is a creature called _Lomechusa strumosa_. This insect has
rather an interesting history in connexion with our British fauna. It used
to be considered as an indigenous insect, but so many years passed without
any one finding it, that the old records were suspected as doubtful, and it
was removed from the list of British species. In 1906, however, it was
rediscovered near Woking in a nest of _Formica sanguinea_ (pl. A, 1, 2, 3),
one of the large red ants, by Mr. H. Donisthorpe. The life-history of
_Lomechusa_ is a very curious one: it is taken great care of by the ants,
and its larvæ are even placed by them with their own, on which it feeds.
Its numbers are kept down apparently by the overzeal of the ants to take
care of them. The ants bring their own pupæ up frequently to obtain light
and air and with them it brings up the _Lomechusa_ pupæ--this seems not to
suit the latter and results in the death of many of them. It is a most
interesting case of how a due balance can be maintained, and what might
prove an enemy {90} kept in his proper place by kind intentions. There are
also in ants' nests what Dr. Wasmann calls "tolerated lodgers"; these are
mostly creatures which are supposed to escape the notice of the ants,
either by their small size or by their slow, lethargic, or on the other
hand very rapid movements--these in many cases act as scavengers, living on
the dead bodies of insects, etc., brought in by the ants.

The hostile lodgers are real enemies to the ants and devour their brood,
and in consequence they are always at war with each other. These creatures
generally resemble the ants considerably in form and colour and especially
in their movements.

Besides these lodgers there are numerous parasites of the ants, such as
mites, etc., so that an ant colony is a very wonderful mixture of diverse
inhabitants. The distinctions given above as to the habits of the various
lodgers are not always kept up, as, in some, two or more of these habits
are combined. The whole study of ants and their guests is a most
fascinating one: many of the latter are great rarities and much sought
after by collectors. Unfortunately, the great {91} drawback in collecting
them is the havoc caused to the nests of the ants. These structures have
been the result of enormous labour on the part of these little creatures,
and one cannot regard their destruction without sincere regret. I think any
one who, when collecting beetles, disturbs a large nest of the little
garden ant (_Lasius niger_) or the little yellow ant (_Lasius flavus_) by
turning over a stone, as the writer has often done himself, must have
experienced a like regret at having broken up all the beautiful passages
and galleries which the ants have constructed so carefully.

       *       *       *       *       *



This is not an easy question to answer. We cannot make hard and fast
definitions which will determine exactly what belongs to this group and
what to that; there are always some intermediate forms which present
themselves and make our classification unsatisfactory, but, I think, for
all purposes of practical observation in the field we may say that if we
find a creature with four membranous wings, burrowing in the ground or
making a nest in any way, it is an aculeate or stinger. Also, that if we
find a hairy-bodied insect with four clear wings collecting pollen or
sucking nectar from a flower it is a bee. There are, of course, characters
by which the stinging groups can be known almost for certain, but there is
no single one which can be given to recognize them by. {93} They are known
by a combination of many, and these are frequently small structural details
which do not appeal to the field observer; in fact, which are unappreciable
except under magnification. One of the chief difficulties experienced by an
observer who is not versed in classification is to avoid being deceived by
various flies, which in many cases greatly resemble bees, and especially
wasps or the wasp-like fossors. They may mostly be known by their flight,
and, when they settle, by their behaviour. A fly is more sudden in its
movements--those wasp-like flies, for instance, which poise themselves in
the air and appear quite stationary but dart off in a second when
approached, betray themselves at once by their alertness. _Anthophora_ and
_Saropoda_ poise in the air and dart somewhat after the same fashion, but
they never remain poised for long, and do not get away from their position
so rapidly. Also, a fly when it settles remains quiet, whereas an aculeate
if in a flower sets to work collecting pollen, or if basking in the sun on
a leaf rarely rests for many seconds without moving in some way. On a
flower, if an insect is seen quietly sitting with its head away from the
centre of the {94} flower, it is almost certain to be a fly. Most of the
little bees (_Halicti_) which visit dandelions and such like "composites"
fly in to them with some rapidity, attack them sideways, and move round the
"flower", no doubt getting pollen from each floret in succession and with a
businesslike action about it all, which is very different from the
behaviour of any fly. The flies which really closely resemble bees in their
flight are those which lay their eggs in the burrows of various bees and
sandwasps. They are really deceptive. Last summer on the sandhills at
Southbourne, near Bournemouth, I again and again was deceived by a small
fly with a red belt across its body, thinking it was a red-bodied sandwasp.
These it really only resembles on the wing. After having been taken in once
or twice one felt ashamed of oneself for not recognizing it. The flies also
which associate with the humble bees are often coloured very much like
them, and could easily be mistaken for small specimens of the bees were it
not for their behaviour and wings, which show a dark spot on the upper
margin, not existing in the wing of the bee.

       *       *       *       *       *



These differ from each other very greatly in many cases. Eccentricity in
structure almost always occurs in the male; excess of coloration usually in
the female. In size the male is generally the smaller and the less robustly
built of the two. Among the pollen-collectors, the male is usually less
densely clothed with hairs than the [female]. In the fossors this rule is
rather reversed, but in that section neither sex is densely clothed with
hairs as are most of the pollenigerous bees.

The male has normally thirteen joints in its antennæ, and the female only
twelve. There are exceptions to this rule amongst the ants and in certain
fossors of the genus _Crabro_, some species of which have the antennæ
considerably distorted, and have two joints welded apparently into one.
Another distinction between the sexes is that the male has seven dorsal
segments {96} of the body exposed to view, and the female only six. In the
males of some of those bees which collect pollen on the underside of the
body, the body above terminates with the sixth segment. This is because the
seventh is turned over on to the underside, and faces downwards, its apex
pointing towards the head. This arrangement of course leaves less room for
the regular ventral segments, and the usual apical segments are in
consequence "telescoped" up under the fourth, so that the apical opening of
the body lies on its underside between the fourth ventral and the inverted
seventh dorsal segments. This very curious structure occurs only in those
bees whose females collect pollen on the underside, and the reason of it is
to me quite inexplicable. The females of a few of the fossors are destitute
of wings; but in this country we have no wingless males, except in the case
of one little ant (_Formicoxenus_); this lives in the nest of the common
large red ant, and its male can hardly be known from the worker except by
the number of joints in the antennæ and the absence of a sting. In the
cases where the female is wingless, the male as a rule is much the larger
of the two sexes. {97} There are few more puzzling questions than those
which arise over these eccentricities of structure; they seem to have no
relation to any habits of the creatures' lives so far as we can judge,
neither can one suggest any useful purpose which they can serve. In some
groups the males of all the species seem built on one regular plan--in
others the males of each species seem to vie with the next as to what
eccentricity of structure in antennæ or legs or apex of the body it can
exhibit. In numbers, the males probably considerably exceed the females,
and are far more frequently met with, as they seem to be less particular as
to weather, and not being intent on obtaining food for their offspring they
fly about more casually, and certainly are more in evidence generally.

The great difference in structure, etc., between the males and females
makes the work of pairing the sexes very difficult, especially in those
genera where the males and females appear together only for a few weeks, as
is the case in _Halictus_ and _Sphecodes_. If one visits a locality in the
spring one may catch any number of females of _Halictus_, but no males
appear till the late {98} summer or autumn, and, unless one visits the same
spot again when both sexes are out, it is impossible to associate males and
females. I have at the present moment in my collection several males,
which, being in doubt about myself, I have communicated to continental
authorities, who have returned them to me as possibly the male of so and
so! and we shall have to remain in uncertainty about them till some one
happens to take both sexes together, when the mystery will be solved.

In time of appearance the males always precede the females--in burrows,
such as those of the leaf-cutting bees, etc., it may seem puzzling as to
how this is arranged, as one cell is placed over the other so that those
lower down in the tube cannot pass those higher up. This difficulty is got
over by the arrangement that the first eggs laid by the mother bee are
female and the last male, so that those at the top belong to this latter
sex; these emerge as soon as the warmth of the sun is great enough to
energize them sufficiently to break through their cell covering, when they
emerge and wait for the appearance of their females. The males of {99} some
species of _Andrena_ seem to take great pleasure in flying rapidly up and
down hedgerows, hardly ever settling, and apparently far away from their
females, which are probably pollen collecting in dandelions or some such
flowers in the neighbourhood.

       *       *       *       *       *



As a rule the male is rather smaller and especially slenderer than the
female, but there are notable exceptions; in one genus of the fossors,
_Myrmosa_ for instance, the male is many times larger than the female. In
this case the male is winged and the female is wingless. Also, if there is
a difference in brightness of coloration between the sexes, as a rule the
male is duller than the female--this is especially the case among the
bees--but if there is any eccentricity in the form of the limbs it is
almost sure to occur in the male, and I think one would not go far wrong in
saying that when peculiar features occur in the female, the reason for them
is more or less apparent, whereas for the eccentricities of the male there
really often seems to be no assignable cause. These male eccentricities are
often exceedingly marked. A very good {101} [Illustration: FIG. 23.]
[Illustration: FIG. 24.] example of them occurs among the small "keyhole"
wasps. All the British species are practically alike in coloration. They
may vary in having a greater or less number of yellow bands on the body,
but otherwise their distinctions rest on structure. In the females the
antennæ are slightly thickened towards the apex, but otherwise they are
simple. The males, however, are divided into three quite distinct groups.
In the first of these, the end joints of the antennæ are rolled up in more
or less of a spiral (fig. 23, 2); in the second, the apical joint is turned
sharply back like a hook (fig. 23, 1); in the third, the end joints of the
antennæ are simple and more or less like those of the female. Now if we
examine the legs of the males in the first group we shall find still
greater peculiarities; in two of our species there is a long yellow spine
at the extreme base of the middle leg on the little joint by which it
articulates on to the body (fig. 24, 2), and a curious pencil of hairs
{102} on each side of the mouth. In two others, the femora, or thighs of
the middle legs, are cut into two deep somewhat semicircular incisions
(fig. 24, 1)--a most curious character; but here again the females have no
corresponding peculiarities. There seems to be no explanation known for
these vagaries, and yet one feels that there must be some object served by
them. If we turn to the bees we shall find that in many species the face of
the male is white to a greater or less extent, whereas that character is
very rare in the female. The front feet are produced into a wide flattened
form in some, in others the middle legs are extraordinarily developed, and
provided with tufts of hairs, etc. Another form of male development lies in
the form of the head. This is sometimes very much enlarged--often varying
considerably in this respect in specimens of the same species; there is
often a projecting tooth or spine on the mandible or jaw at its base, or
frequently on the cheek just above it. Then in the fossors the males of the
genus _Crabro_ break out into numerous eccentricities; in some, two or more
of the joints of the antennæ are soldered together and curved or cut out
into {103} curious forms (fig. 26); in others the front shin or tibia is
formed like a concave shield or shell (fig. 25), and all the joints of that
leg more or less distorted; in another male (a rather doubtful native which
has not been taken in this country for fifty years) the head is narrowed
behind into an almost ridiculously small neck, being quite triangular in
form, viewed from above, with the eyes projecting from its anterior angles
(fig. 27, 1), the female head being of normal form (fig. 27, 2).

[Illustration: FIG. 25.]

[Illustration: FIG. 26.]

[Illustration: FIG. 27.]

In the males of several species of fossors and bees the eyes are enormously
developed, joining one another on the top of the head. This condition
occurs also in the drone of the hive bee. The male of _Astatus_, which has
this character, has also a peculiar habit. It sits basking in the sun on
some bare sandy spot, and when disturbed makes a sort of circular detour
and pitches down again exactly on the spot from which it started up. An
{104} increased length of the antennæ is another male characteristic. This
is carried to an extraordinary development in what is called the "long
horned bee"; this bee, which is pretty common in some places, has antennæ
which, when directed backwards, are almost as long as its body--the female
has quite an ordinary pair.

Another set of male characters which are of great value to systematists
lies in the hidden apical segments of the underside; although these are
hidden, being telescoped up inside the segments which close the apical
opening of the body, they often assume most curious and beautiful forms,
and are characters whereby the males of a species may be determined with
certainty when the females defy all one's endeavours to discover their

       *       *       *       *       *



There are few points about which we know less than the causes of
distribution and rarity, although there are certain tolerably well
recognized laws which govern the occurrence of some species in certain
localities. What I mean is that marshy spots, say salt marshes for
instance, attract certain beetles and bugs which are never found except in
such places; certain kinds of flowers attract bees which never appear to
visit any others, but these localities and kinds of flowers occur often at
great distances from each other, and why--given a certain flower you
probably find a certain bee peculiar to it; or given a certain kind of
marsh you probably find a certain beetle, although the localities may be
hundreds of miles apart--I think still awaits explanation. I will give an
example with which I am personally well acquainted. {106} There is a rare
little bee (_Macropis labiata_) which at one time was looked upon as an
extreme rarity, having only occurred three or four times in this country.
Mr. F. Enoch, comparatively lately, took a fair number on the flowers of
the greater loose-strife (_Lysimachia vulgaris_) along the canal at Woking;
now that its food-plant is known, it has occurred in several other places
in numbers, and no doubt wherever the _Lysimachia_ is abundant _Macropis_
will probably occur, but how the little creature has been distributed over
the places where this plant occurs, which are often far distant from each
other, seems to me to be an unsolved problem. Then there is another
puzzling point, and that is the extreme rarity of certain insects. No doubt
in many cases this is due to ignorance of their habits, as it has
frequently happened that species once considered of great rarity have
occurred in abundance when their habits have been discovered, as in the
case of _Macropis_, but there are some cases which do not seem to be
explainable in this way. I will again give an example which has been
specially under my own observation. _Dufourea vulgaris_, a little black
bee, {107} which certainly might not be recognized from its outward
appearance, as there are many which very closely resemble it, is still one
of our greatest rarities, only three British examples having been recorded.
The first was taken by Sir Sidney Saunders at Chewton, Hants, on the
twelfth of August, 1879; this was a male; the second, a female, was taken
by Mr. T. R. Billups at Woking, on the first of August, 1881; and the third
by myself at Chobham (about four miles from Woking) on the first of August,
1891. I believe in all cases these were taken on yellow composite flowers.
The flight and behaviour of the male I caught were so peculiar, as it
wriggled itself into the flower, that I knew at once I had caught a rarity,
and remarked to my companions that I believed I had got a _Dufourea_. I
also hazarded the remark that it was "ten years since it had been taken."
When I got home and looked up the former record it was ten years to a day.
Now there are few places in England that have been better worked for the
bee tribe than the Woking, Chobham, and Weybridge neighbourhood; it has
been worked by experienced men who would see a difference {108} in the
flight of an insect directly. The late Mr. F. Smith, in his day our leading
authority, the Rev. F. D. Morice, than whom no one has probably worked the
neighbourhood more thoroughly, Mr. T. R. Billups, Mr. E. B. Nevinson, and
the late Mr. A. Beaumont, have all been over the ground again and again,
and yet only these two _Dufoureas_! and these taken four miles apart. Here
again is a problem which is very perplexing! What part in nature does this
little rarity play? No doubt like everything else it has its duties, and
its corner to fill, but beyond that one can suggest nothing.

Other bees are often exceedingly abundant in one season and very rare the
next, or they will entirely desert a locality where they have been
abundant, and move somewhere else--the occasional scarceness is due
probably to continued wet weather, which often appears to kill the larvæ.
Cold winters seem to have no injurious effect, although at one time they
were thought to determine the scarcity or otherwise of the bees of the
following summer. It has, I think, been clearly shown that larvæ can stand
almost any amount of cold, although they succumb to {109} the effects of
mildew produced by wet, but there is often no apparent reason why a well
established colony should migrate to quite new pastures. Sometimes the
proximity of new buildings or the digging up of ground may disturb them,
but I know of colonies that have gone from where I knew them a
comparatively few years ago, and where I can detect no change likely to
have affected them. On the other hand there are colonies which one has
known all one's life and which still go on as strongly or more strongly
than ever--the case quoted under _Anthophora_, p. 63, shows what
persistence there can be in some.

       *       *       *       *       *



The Bees and the other stinging groups have four wings like all the
_Hymenoptera_. These wings are almost always clear and transparent, at any
rate amongst the British species, there being only one exception which I
can call to mind in the female of the cuckoo of our large red-tailed
humble-bee, which has the wings blackish; also they are never spotted, as
in some flies. The hind or lower wings unite with the upper by a series of
very beautiful hooks which extend along their upper margin and fix on to
the posterior edge of the front wing, which is folded back on itself so as
to receive them; in flight the two wings are united, but when at rest they
separate; these hooks are beautiful objects under a microscope; their
numbers vary; and in some cases this variation is useful in distinguishing
closely allied species from one another. The hum of a bee is caused, to a
great extent, by {111} the vibration of the wings, but it has been shown
that a loud buzzing noise can be emitted by bees which have lost their
wings; this proceeds from the spiracles or holes in the outer covering of
the creature through which it breathes. It is therefore not always easy to
say how much of the hum is caused by wing vibration and how much by the
action of the spiracles. Some, in fact most, of our solitary bees are
almost silent in flight, and their note can be heard only when large
numbers are flying together; others have a very peculiar shrill hum, by
which even the species can almost be recognized. In bright, hot, sunny
weather their flight is more rapid and their note attains a higher pitch.
The bees with the highest pitched hum with which I am acquainted are the
two smaller species of _Anthophora_ and _Saropoda bimaculata_.

In early spring, when it is hot in the sunshine and cold when a cloud
covers the sun, it is no unusual thing to see a bee drop to the ground. The
cold seems to paralyze altogether their powers of flight. When at rest a
bee folds its wings along the sides of its back, but only in the wasp tribe
is there the arrangement for them to be {112} folded longitudinally. The
shape of the wings varies very little, but the arrangement and number of
their cells vary considerably. There are some very interesting genera in
which the neuration of some of the cells is so slightly indicated that they
are hardly visible, and can be seen only when the wing is held in certain
lights; these faintly indicated cells are nearly always those towards the
apex of the wing, the neuration of the basal part of the wing being as
strong as in the other genera. There are a few moths in this country which
very much resemble, both in the colour of their bodies and their clear
wings, the wasp tribe, but they may be known by the brown band of scales at
the apex of the wings and also by the absence of the narrow waist, which
exists in all the stinging tribes. The only wingless forms which we know
are to be found amongst the ants and the fossors, and as a rule are
females, but in a few cases in the ants, and in some foreign species of the
genus _Mutilla_, the male is apterous also.

       *       *       *       *       *



Any one who wishes to study the life-histories of these insects, and has
leisure to do so, can easily obtain various larvæ by digging for them in
suitable places. If, for instance, during the summer, bees, etc., have been
noticed entering holes in a certain bank or sandy spot, their larvæ or
nymphs can be got in the autumn by digging down for about a foot in the
direction of the holes, and if they be brought home and put into glass-top
boxes they will generally emerge at their right time without giving any
further trouble; it must, however, be remembered that the grubs are very
soft and tender skinned, and it is better to avoid handling them if
possible; they should be moved with a small soft camel-hair pencil, and it
is well to put something soft at the bottom of the box so that if they fall
in they will not be damaged. If the wood-boring {114} species are being
collected, care must of course be taken in splitting the wood; most of
these make a pupa case over themselves, and are in that respect easier to
deal with. A label should be put in each box to show where the larvæ, etc.,
were found. An old rotten stump of a tree will often produce a good number
of species. Then there are the bramble-stem borers; these can be left in
the stems. I have generally found it convenient, after arriving home, to
split the stems down, to see if there are any living creatures in them,
and, if there are, to close them up again, and, tie a little very fine net
or gauze bag over the top of each stem; in this way one can find out
exactly what insects come from what stem, and determine the cuckoos (if
any) which belong to each. As the season advances towards May, it is well
to give all the larvæ, etc., an occasional glimpse of the sun; they should
not be left in the sun long enough for them to get dried up too much, but
the sun is a very important factor in tempting them to emerge; naked larvæ
and nymphs, in glass-top boxes, should be treated very carefully in this
respect, as they are deprived of their {115} natural surroundings, in which
the actual sunshine would never reach them--it would be better to place
them in a sunny room, screened off from the actual rays of the sun, so that
its warmth only would be felt. If they do not emerge the first year, it
should not be taken for granted that they are dead, as very likely they
will appear in the following spring. I have bred leaf-cutting bees several
times with great success, and others I know have been successful with many
species. The fear is to get them dried up too much; it is therefore not
desirable to keep them in a very hot room. When first the insects emerge,
their hairs are often more or less matted together, and they should be put
in the sun in a larger box, so that they can crawl about and clean
themselves; portions also of the skin in which they have been enveloped
frequently adhere to them for some little time, but as a rule, unless the
creature be too weak, these are very soon cleaned off. Breeding is a
fascinating amusement, but it requires a great deal of attention when the
emerging season begins, as the boxes want constant watching, or the insects
will emerge unnoticed, and, if not given proper {116} air and sunshine, may
die without cleaning themselves properly.

If it is desired to preserve the specimens, they should be killed either
with cyanide of potassium, ether, or chloroform. If the first of these
agents is used, a piece of about the size of a small hazel nut should be
put at the bottom of a bottle (for collecting purposes, an ordinary
"Coleoptera bottle", which can be obtained from any naturalist's shop, is
the most convenient) and should be kept down by a wad of blotting paper,
well pressed down upon it; this prevents the cyanide, as it liquifies, from
wetting the hairs, etc., of the insects. Over this a piece of white paper
should be placed; this will get stained at once when there is much damp,
and should then be changed. The objections to cyanide are its very
poisonous nature, and the stiffness which is caused by its use to the
specimens killed by it, and also its tendency to turn yellow colours red. I
always use it myself as I think it is preferable to the other insecticides,
notwithstanding its demerits, but then I do not extend the legs and wings
of my specimens, but simply leave them in whatever position they happen to
{117} die. Ether is a very favourite method of killing with many; a few
drops in a bottle with some paper in it is sufficient to last for some
hours; it however soon evaporates in hot weather, and it is necessary to
carry a small phial of it in one's pocket to replenish the supply when
exhausted; this makes one smell of ether perpetually, which is more than I
can stand. But the insects killed in this way are beautifully supple, and,
for those who wish to set their captures as they would _Lepidoptera_, it is
an excellent medium, i.e. if they don't mind its smell; it has also the
benefit of not affecting colour. Chloroform acts much as ether does. When
killed, I strongly recommend collectors to pin their specimens through the
thorax with a very fine pin (those used for micro-lepidoptera are the
best), and then to pin this through a narrow strip of card, mounted on a
long stout pin; in this way the insect can be moved about by the strong
pin, and the thorax of the insect itself is not destroyed, as it often is
in the case of the smaller species by the use of thicker pins. The cards
should be cut as small as possible; they need not be more than a quarter of
an inch long. The insect {118} should be pinned at right angles to the long
axis of the card, and the long pin should be inserted on the right-hand
side of the insect so as not quite to touch it. In this way the insects
look quite as neat as if they were pinned direct. Locality labels, etc.,
should be affixed to the long pin, and the insects should be stored in
cabinets or boxes.

       *       *       *       *       *



There is but little tendency towards brilliant coloration amongst our
native aculeates. No doubt our comparatively high latitude accounts for
this to some extent, as also the fact that the aculeates do not, as a rule,
elsewhere assume great brilliancy. Even in the tropics and other warm
regions, where bright green, blue or coppery coloured species occur, they
are comparatively few in number. In this country metallic colours are to be
found in less than a dozen species, and in most of these it exists only as
a tinge. Amongst our ants and wasps it does not exist at all, unless the
slight bronziness of the typical form of _Formica fusca_ be so considered.
The fossors can exhibit only a bluish tint in _Mutilla Europæa_ (pl. A, 4,
5), and a slight bronzy tinge in two of quite the smallest species,
_Miscophus maritimus_ and the [male] of _Crabro albilabris_. The bees can
do a little better; five species of _Halictus_ have a distinctly {120}
bronzy head and thorax, and in three the bronzy colour extends to the
abdomen; there is also another with a very dull green tinge on the thorax;
besides these there is a little bright blue bee, _Ceratina_ (unfortunately
a great rarity in this country) and two or three species of _Osmia_,
showing more or less tendency to bronziness, and one which is distinctly
bluish; but, considering our indigenous species number nearly 400, this is
a very small, and compared with other countries I should think an
abnormally small, proportion.

Species with bodies banded like a wasp's are much more abundant--no less
than eighty of our native kinds having this style of coloration. The bands
may be reduced to lateral spots, but such cases, I think, are only
modifications of the banded scheme.

Black species with a more or less pronounced red band across the body
number about seventy, and a general testaceous or yellowish colour occurs
in a few ants, but not elsewhere among the British aculeates. Nearly all
the rest are black or dark brown so far as the actual surface of the body
is concerned; but amongst the bees {121} there is often a dense clothing of
coloured hairs sometimes so dense that the surface of the body may be
rendered invisible. These coloured hairs may be distributed into brilliant
bands, as in the humble bees, or they may be uniformly black, as in some of
their varieties and in the females of the spring species of _Anthophora_
(pl. D, 25), or entirely red as in _Andrena fulva_ (pl. B, 16), or black on
the thorax and red on the abdomen as in _Osmia bicolor_ (pl. D, 28), or
vice versâ as in _Andrena thoracica_, etc., but the most usual condition is
that where the hairs form more or less pale bands along the joints of the
segments, either immediately above or below them or both; sometimes these
bands are very obscurely indicated, and visible only in certain positions.
At others they are vividly white; to a certain extent this banded condition
recalls the waspy coloration. The hairs, however, of the bands are rarely
yellow, but as a rule greyish or white, or of a grade of colour slightly
paler than those of the disc. There are some rather interesting points
which arise out of this rough analysis. Among the bees, all the species
which have a waspy coloration are cuckoos, with only one exception
(_Anthidium_) {122} (pl. D, 27), as are also nearly all those which have
red bands. With the exception of the males of three species of _Halictus_,
and both sexes of three or four species of _Andrena_, all the red-banded
forms belong to the genus _Sphecodes_ (pl. B, 11), which is a cuckoo genus.
The red coloration occurs chiefly on nearly naked surfaces; this is
specially noticeable in those bees which have two varieties, such as
_Andrena rosæ_, one dull coloured and the other red-banded: in these cases
the dull form is hairy and the red nearly naked. The greatest proportionate
number of banded species occurs amongst the fossors, and these are seldom
clothed with hairs to any extent. These bands seem to me probably to depend
a good deal on retarded development. Dark and hairy bands, both as a rule,
follow the joints of the segments, as stated above. I only say as a rule,
as there are many where the banding does not follow this principle, but in
far the larger majority the bands, whether of dark colour or hairs, are
apical. As the segments overlap at the joints it is evident that their
discs would tend to mature more rapidly than the overlapping bases and
apices, {123} and the longer period spent in hardening and drying of the
overlapping parts would favour the development of dark pigment and of
hairs. Many species have the extreme apices of the segments pale, but with
the apical integument so very thin, often looking nearly transparent and
membranous, that its development would be very rapid. Again, in the case of
red coloration, the red generally occurs on the discs of the segments, the
apices and sides often being dark, and in cases where in one species both
black and banded forms occur, with intermediate varieties, the last remnant
of red colour is generally situated in the centre of the segment. By far
the gayest effect is displayed by our humble bees, and, but for them and a
few of the species of _Andrena_ and the wasp-coloured species, our
aculeates would be a very sombre lot.

       *       *       *       *       *



Although this and the following chapter may not be interesting to all my
readers, I think it is only right to add some remarks on the structure and
classification of insects, so that any one who wishes to follow up the
subject may gather a few general ideas which may induce them to take up
some technical and scientific work in which they will get fuller and more
exact data on the difficulties which are involved in such simple questions
as "What is an insect?" "How are the different orders of insects
distinguished from each other?" "What is a species?" etc.

To realize the characters of an insect in its perfect or "imago" state, we
may for the moment forget what often seems to be its most important
features, and which are frequently its most extensive parts, viz. its limbs
or {125} appendages; by limbs are meant its wings, legs, horns or antennæ,
jaws or mandibles, etc.: strip these all off, and we have a limbless trunk,
which many would not recognize as belonging to an insect at all; still this
limbless trunk possesses characters which assert its insect nature, as it
may be known from other limbless trunks by being divided into three parts
by two great transverse divisions; in most insects these are extremely well
marked, and in all they have a very real existence. The parts thus divided
off are known by the names of head, thorax, and abdomen. Anybody knows how
easy it is to break off the head or body of a dried insect. Now the head or
body breaks off at one of these divisions, and it is this partitioning of
the body into three sections which makes one of the strongest characters in
the definition of an insect. The three parts, thus divided off, each
possesses special functions in the life of the creature. In the head are
contained the principal organs of sense and brain; in the thorax, the
organs of locomotion; and in the body those of digestion, reproduction,

This division into three parts does not however {126} always hold good in
the early stages of the insect's life, and we must remember that the
creature commences life on leaving the egg, and not merely on its emergence
from the chrysalis, so that we have to reckon with caterpillars, grubs and
all sorts of curious immature forms in our conceptions of an insect.

These early stages do not as a rule interest the public much, but it is
well to bear in mind that the "perfect insect" stage is reached by some
insects along apparently a very different road from that travelled by
others. Some leave the egg as caterpillars or grubs, and after various
changes of skin become apparently lifeless chrysalids, from which they
emerge as perfect insects. Others leave the egg as diminutive likenesses of
their parents, and run or hop about much as they do, attaining the perfect
insect stage simply by a series of changes of skin, without any definite
quiescent or chrysalis condition.

The observation, therefore, which one often hears that insects never grow,
has to be taken with caution; all insects grow in their early stages, but
it is an obvious truth that insects do not {127} grow after they attain the
imago or "perfect insect" condition. A small fly will never become a large
fly, nor a small beetle a large beetle. This is only because we do not
recognize their caterpillars or grubs as flies and beetles; but a
grasshopper we know grows, because its early stages are of the same general
form as the perfect insect, and we see the little ones hopping about in
some places, and if we visit the same place later on we notice that they
have grown, but as soon as they cast their last skin and obtain the free
use of their wings, growth ceases, as it does in a fly or a beetle or in
any other insect.

It must not be supposed that the limbs of insects are of no value in their
identification. We only removed them in order to emphasize the great
importance of the character derived from the regional constrictions of the
body, which is considered to be certainly one of the most, if not the most,
important of any. Besides this character every perfect insect should have
six legs, four wings, and various appendages on the head, such as antennæ,
mandibles, maxillæ, labium, etc.; some of these may be so modified as
hardly to {128} be recognizable, but they are hardly ever absent
altogether; for instance, the two fore wings of a beetle are modified into
what are called wing cases, and fold over its back, protecting the two hind
wings, which are more or less membranous, as are those of a bee. They have
not the functions of locomotive organs, and are used in flight as poisers.
Again in the case of a fly, the hind wings seem to be absent, but they are
considered to be represented by two little projecting organs which look
like large headed pins or nails, but which are quite useless for locomotive

The organs of the mouth are especially liable to modification, and on these
the older authors used to frame their classification. Insects were divided
by them, primarily, into two great divisions, viz. those which had a biting
and those which had a sucking mouth; treated in this way, the following
orders fall into the division with biting mouths:--

_Coleoptera_, or beetles; _Hymenoptera_, or bees, wasps, ants, etc.;
_Orthoptera_ and _Neuroptera_, which include the grasshoppers, earwigs,
cockroaches, dragonflies, May flies, etc. {129}

And into the division with sucking mouths:--

_Lepidoptera_, or butterflies and moths; _Diptera_ or flies, gnats, etc.;
_Hemiptera_, or bugs, including the plant-lice, etc.

These divisions, however, have not been found to be very satisfactory,
although very simple when dealing only with the perfect insect stage. In
the first place, being framed on this stage only, they are not always
applicable to the earlier phases of the insect's life--for instance,
although a butterfly or moth has a sucking proboscis, their caterpillars
have strong biting jaws, as any gardener well knows. Also bees, wasps,
etc., rather upset the arrangement, as they have not only a sucking mouth
but also strong biting jaws.

This system of classification has therefore been discarded by most
entomologists in favour of that based on the difference between those
insects which pass through the distinctive stages of caterpillar and
chrysalis on the one hand, and those which emerge from the egg as
diminutive likenesses of their parents on the other. In this arrangement,
the _Coleoptera_, _Hymenoptera_, _Lepidoptera_, _Diptera_ and _Neuroptera_,
fall into the {130} first division, or _Heteromorphæ_ as they are called;
and the _Hemiptera_ and _Orthoptera_ into the second or _Homomorphæ_. The
dragonflies are the only slightly discordant elements in this arrangement,
as, although their larvæ have six legs and walk about under the water and
never assume an actual chrysalis condition, still they can hardly be said
to resemble their gorgeously coloured parents which fly about so
majestically over our ponds, etc.; still this is only one of the many cases
which show that nature cannot be held down by any of the arbitrary rules we
make for her classification.

The _Hymenoptera_ are therefore characterized and distinguished from other
insects by having both a biting and sucking mouth, four clear wings, and by
passing through the distinctive liveries of caterpillar or grub, and
chrysalis or nymph. It is with this order only with which we have been
dealing. To distinguish the aculeate section from the many other forms of
the _Hymenoptera_ is too complex a task to undertake here, but the presence
of a narrow waist between the thorax and the body, the number of joints in
the antennæ never exceeding thirteen in {131} the male, twelve in the
female, and the presence of a sting capable of ejecting poison in this
latter sex, are the most prominent features by which the aculeates may be

       *       *       *       *       *



Although in the foregoing chapter a little has been said on this subject,
there is a great deal more that a student should learn about the general
form of these creatures.

They begin life as white or nearly colourless grubs, which, after various
changes of skin, assume what is called the nymph or pupa stage, during
which a change occurs, believed to be peculiar to the _Hymenoptera_; the
fifth segment of the larval body is transferred to the mass which is called
the thorax, so that a portion of what looks like thorax is really the first
segment of the abdomen. Continental writers call this portion sometimes the
first abdominal segment and sometimes the median segment, but Newman gave
it a definite name, the "propodeum", and the most convenient method seems
to be to call it so, and treat it as a part of the thorax, calling the
first or basal segment of the abdomen {133} that which immediately follows
the regional constriction, which occurs between the propodeum and the


    FIG. 28.

    _a_ Head. _a_^1 Antennæ. _a_^2 Ocelli. _a_^3 Compound eyes.

    _b_^1 Prothorax. _b_^2 Scutum of Mesothorax. _b_^3 Scutellum of
    Mesothorax. _b_^4 Post-Scutellum of Metathorax. _b_^5 Propodeum.

    _c_^1 _c_^2, etc., Segments of Abdomen.

    Legs. _d_^1 Coxa. _d_^2 Trochanter. _d_^3 Femur. _d_^4 Tibia. _d_^5
    Tarsi. _d_^6 Calcaria or Spurs. _d_^7 Unguiculi or claws. _d_^8

    _e_ Front wing. 1 Costal nervure. 2 Post Costal nervure. 3 Median
    nervure. 4 Posterior nervure. 5 Basal nervure. 6 Cubital nervure. 10
    1st Recurrent nervure. 11 2nd Recurrent nervure.

    _f._ Hind wing. 7 Anterior nervure. 8 Median nervure. 9 Posterior

    Cells. _A_ Marginal. _B_ Upper basal. _C_ Lower basal. _D_ 1st
    Submarginal. _E_ 2nd Submarginal. _F_ 3rd Submarginal. _G_ 1st
    Discoidal. _H_ 2nd Discoidal. _I_ 3rd Discoidal. _J_ 1st Apical. _K_
    2nd Apical.

{134} The perfect insect when it emerges has therefore a head, a thorax of
four segments, and an abdomen of seven visible dorsal segments in the male,
and of six in the female. The [male] has six ventral segments exposed, and
often the apex of the eighth, which is frequently elongate, the seventh
being almost always short and hidden; the eighth dorsal segment can be
discovered hidden under the seventh, but it is very rarely exposed. The
head (_a_) bears numerous appendages; a pair of antennæ (_a_^1), usually of
thirteen joints in the male and of twelve in the female; two compound eyes
(_a_^3), composed of many facets; three simple eyes (or ocelli) (_a_^2),
which are situated on its vertex; two _mandibles_; two _maxillæ_, bearing
_palpi_ on each side, of a varying number of joints; and a _labium_, or
tongue, which also bears at its base two four-jointed palpi (cf. fig. 20).

The thorax, as we are considering it, consists of four segments--the
_prothorax_ (_b_^1), which bears the two front legs; the _mesothorax_
(_b_^2), which bears the intermediate pair of legs and the anterior pair of
wings; and the _metathorax_ (_b_^3), which bears the posterior pair of
wings and the hind legs. The {135} propodeum has no appendages. The
mesothorax above has two parts, a larger portion in front called by some
the _scutum_ (_b_^2), and a smaller portion behind called the _scutellum_
(_b_^3). These are separated from each other by a transverse impression,
and the scutellum is often raised into a sort of little shield; behind this
is another little elevation called the _post-scutellum_ (_b_^4); this is
really the dorsal apex of the metathorax, and behind this lies the
_propodeum_ (_b_^5). Each leg is composed of various parts, and articulates
into a cavity of the thorax called the _acetabulum_. The first two joints
of the leg, the _coxa_ (_d_^1) and the _trochanter_ (_d_^2), are very
short; then follows the _femur_ or thigh (_d_^3); then the _tibia_ or shin
(_d_^4); and finally the _tarsi_ (_d_^5), which compose the foot. At the
apex of the _tibia_ are usually two spines called the _calcaria_ (_d_^6).
The _tarsi_ are five-jointed, the joints following each other in a linear
arrangement, and in the _Anthophila_ the basal joint is more or less
dilated; the apical joint bears two claws (_unguiculi_, _d_^7) which are
sometimes toothed, and between them, in some genera, there is what is
called a _pulvillus_ (_d_^8) or cushion; this is very large and dilated in
some of the fossors. {136}

The wing neuration is always rather troublesome, as various authors use
different names for the veins and cells. To begin with the anterior wing
(_e_), there are four nerves which start from the base and run
horizontally; the first of these, which forms the anterior margin of the
wing, is called the _costal nervure_ (1); immediately below this, and
running almost parallel to it with scarcely any space between them, is the
_post-costal nervure_ (2); these end in the _stigma_ (_s_), a dark
in-crassation towards the apex of the wing; from the stigma a nerve,
curving first downwards and then up to the anterior margin of the wing,
encloses the _marginal cell_ (_A_). Below the _post-costal_ nervure, and
situated about the centre of the wing, is the third longitudinal nervure
called the _median nervure_ (3); behind this again runs the _posterior
nervure_ (4), and behind that the actual margin of the wing which is not
provided with a protecting nervure, but is only folded back so as to
receive the hooks of the posterior wing. Across the wing at, roughly, about
a third of its length from the body runs the _basal nervure_ (5); this
extends in a somewhat zigzag line from the _post-costal_ to the _posterior
nervure_ crossing the _median_, and {137} thereby enclosing two cells, the
_upper basal cell_ (_B_) and the _lower basal cell_ (_C_). From the centre
of the apical nerve of each of these cells extends a longitudinal nervure;
the upper of these runs out nearly to the apical margin of the wing and is
called the _cubital nervure_ (6); this is united to the nervure of the
_marginal cell_ by one, two, or three cross nervures, enclosing thereby
one, two, or three cells called the first (_D_), second (_E_), and third
(_F_) _submarginal cells_. The nervure from the lower basal cell is a short
one, as it is met by a cross nervure called the first _recurrent nervure_
(10), which runs from the _cubital_ to the _posterior_, thereby enclosing
two cells, the first (_G_) and second (_H_) _discoidal_. The _second
recurrent_ (11) leaves the _cubital_ nearer the apex of the wing than the
first, meeting a nervure which, springing from the outer posterior angle of
the second discoidal, closes the third discoidal (_I_), and, curving
slightly upwards, nearly reaches the apical margin of the wing. Beyond the
second recurrent, and behind this last nervure which we have been talking
about, are two spaces not actually enclosed, but called the _first_ (_J_)
_and second_ (_K_) _apical cells_.

The posterior wings have very few cells. {138} Like the anterior pair they
have three longitudinal nervures; the _anterior_ (7), which runs close and
parallel to the anterior nerveless margin, and often touches it at about
half the length of the wing; the _median_ (8) and _posterior_ (9) run in
diverging lines from the base towards the exterior margin of the wing, the
anterior and median nervures being almost always joined by a cross nervure,
and the median usually united to the posterior by a cross or curved
nervure. The actual base of the anterior wing is covered by a little convex
somewhat shell-like cap, called the _tegula_ (_T_). The abdomen is composed
of a series of segments in linear arrangement (_c_^1 _c_^2, etc.). These
call for no special remark, beyond what has been said in the chapter on
males and females, but those who wish to investigate the very interesting
questions connected with the terminal segments of these creatures should
consult some more technical work.[3] The arrangements of the mouth parts
and of the apical segments of the Hymenoptera afford perhaps the most
important structural {139} characters of the order, but they involve an
amount of dissection and study which can only be undertaken by those who
are inclined to give themselves up to this subject as a speciality.

       *       *       *       *       *



  Abdomen, 125
  Acetabulum, 135
  Ammophila, 22
  Andrena, 9, 12, 15, 48, 77, 79, 122, 139
    -- fulva, 121
    -- rosæ, 138
    -- thoracica, 121
  Antennæ, 101, 103, 134
  Anthidium, 50, 121
  Anthophila, 6
  Anthophora, 48, 61, 82, 93, 109, 111, 121
    -- pilipes, 61
    -- retusa, 62
  Ants, 28, 31, 88
  Aphides, 88
  Apis, 16
  Astatus, 103

  Banded bodies, 120
  Beetles, 20
  Biting, 3, 32
  Black Species, 120
  Bombus, 16
    -- terrestris, 41, 42
  Brain, 125
  Bramble Stems, 12
  Breeding, 113
  Broods, 13
  Burrows, 9

  Calcaria, 70, 135
  Carder Bees, 40
  Cardines, 75
  Carpenter bee, 55
  Caterpillar, 19, 20
  Cells, 10, 12, 28, 29, 40, 58
    -- hexagonal, 28
    -- pitcher-shaped, 58
    -- waxen, 29, 40
  Ceratina, 47, 128
  Chimneys, 25
  Chloroform, 118
  Chrysis, 27
  Cilissa, 48
  Cleaning hairs, 68
  Clover fertilization, 39
  Cockroaches, 128
  Cocoons, 33, 58
  Coleoptera, 128, 129
  Colletes, 44
  Colonies, 5, 63
  Colour, 100
  Colour schemes, 22
  Combs, 23, 68, 69
  Corbicula, 67
  Coxæ, 135
  Crabro, 95, 102
    -- albilabris, 119
  Cuckoos, 3, 14, 30, 54
    -- flight of, 85
  Cyanide, 116

  Dasypoda, 48
  Development, 124
  Digestion, 125
  Diggers, 6, 7
  Diptera, 129
  Distribution, 105
  Domestication, 41
  Drone flies, 3
  Dufourea, 106

  Earwigs, 128
  English names, 55
  Epeolus, 45
  Ether, 117
  Eyes, 134

  Females, 95
  Femur, 135
  Figwort, 36
  Figure of insect, 133
  Flies, 3, 129
  Flower lovers, 6
  Flute, 57
  Food, 6, 28
  Foot, 135
  Formica, 34, 59
    -- fusca, 119
    -- sanguinea, 89
  Formicoxenus, 96
  Fossors, 6, 7

  Galleries, 28
  Grasshoppers, 19, 128
  Growth, 126
  Guests of Ants, 89

  Hairs, 65, 71
  Halictus, 13, 15, 17, 77, 94, 97, 119, 122
  Head, 125
  Hemiptera, 129, 130
  Heterogyna, 28, 31
  Heteromorphæ, 130
  Hive bee, 2, 16
  Homing instinct, 21
  Homomorphæ, 130
  Honey pots, 29
  Hornets, 35
  Humble bees, 39
    -- mutilated, 41
  Hymenoptera, 128, 129

  Ichneumons, 21
  Inquilines, 3

  Jewel flies, 21, 27

  Keyhole wasps, 101
  Killing bottles, 126
  Knife-like hairs, 68

  Labels, 118
  Labial palpi, 5
  Labium, 127, 134
  Larva, 11, 13
  Lasius niger, 91
    -- flavus, 91
  Latin names, 55
  Lawn bee, 9
  Leaf-cutting bees, 52
  Lepidoptera, 129
  Ligula, 75, 134
  Limbs, 125, 127
  Locomotion, 125
  Lodgers with ants, 89
  Lomechusa, 89
  Long-horned bee, 104
  Lora, 74
  Lysimachia, 106

  Macropis, 106
  Males, 95
  Male wasp, 2
    -- hornet, 2
  Mandibles, 127, 129
  Mason bee, 55
  Maxillæ, 75, 127, 134
  Mayflies, 128
  Melecta armata, 61
    -- luctuosa, 62
  Mentum, 74
  Metoecus paradoxus, 38
  Mimicking flies, 94
  Miscophus, 119
  Moss, 29
  Mouse's nest, 29
  Mouth, 128
  Mutilla, 112, 119
  Myrmica, 34
  Myrmosa, 100

  Nests, 24, 26, 31, 35, 45, 49
    -- in bramble stems, 45
    -- Humble bees, 40
    -- of leaves, 53
    -- of paper, 37
    -- in wren's nest, 41
  Neuration, 136
    -- figure and explanation of, 133
  Neuroptera, 128, 129
  Nodes, 33
  Nomada, 15, 48
  Non-predaceous hymenoptera, 3
  Nymph, 11

  Odynerus, 24
  Orthoptera, 128, 130
  Osmia, 48, 56, 120
    -- bicolor, 59, 121
    -- inermis, 58
    -- leucomelana, 57
    -- parietina, 58
    -- rufa, 56
  Ovaries, 4
  Ovipositer, 1
  Oxybelus, 86

  Palm, 82
  Palpi, 134
  Panurgus, 49
  Paper, 37
  Paraglossæ, 76
  Paralytics, 18
  Plant lice, 19
  Poison bags, 1
  Pollen collecting, 65
  Pompilus, 87
  Ponera, 33
  Porterage, 34
  Post-scutellum, 135
  Predaceous species, 3
  Preservation, 116
  Propodeum, 132, 135
  Prosopis, 44, 46
    -- cornuta, 47
  Pulvillus, 135

  Queens, 4

  Rarity, 105
  Ray, John, 63

  Sallows, 82
  Sandy bank, 83
  Saropoda, 93, 111
  Scale, 33
  Scrophularia, 36
  Scutellum, 135
  Scutum, 135
  Segments, 96
  Setting, 117
  Sexual structure, 100
  Shin, 135
  Snail shells, 12, 57
  Social species, 3, 4, 28
  Solitary species, 3, 4, 6
  Spade-like hairs, 69
  Sphecodes, 13, 15, 17, 48, 97, 122
  Spiders, 19
  Stinging, 2, 38
  Stings, 2, 32
  Stipes, 74
  Straws, 12
  Structure, 132
  Stylops, 77
  Submentum, 74
  Swarming, 29

  Tarsi, 135
  Tegula, 133, 138
  Thigh, 135
  Thorax, 125, 129
  Tibia, 135
  Tomtit, 42
  Tongues, 15, 39, 44, 49, 66, 72
  Trochanter, 135
  Tubular entrance, 25

  Unguiculi, 135

  Vagaries of structure, 104
  Velleius dilatatus, 38
  Vespa sylvestris, 36

  Walls, 12
  Wasps, social, 35
    -- solitary, 24
  Waspy coloration, 120, 121
  Wings, 110
    -- cells, 112, 133
    -- folded, 24, 28
    -- hooks, 110
    -- nervures, 133
  Workers, 4
  Wrens' nests, 41

  Yellow-coloured species, 120

       *       *       *       *       *


[1] In this case, only the actual tongue (or _ligula_) and its _paraglossæ_
are figured.

[2] _The Guests of Ants and Termites_, by E. Wasmann, S. J., translated by
H. Donisthorpe, F.Z.S. (_Ent. Record_, Vol. xii., 1900.)

[3] cf. _Transactions of the Entomological Society of London_, 1884, p. 251
et seq.: Hymenoptera Aculeate of the British Islands, etc.


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