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A new champion has arisen to defend the honey bee from the obloquy under which:it has always rested. Mr W. F. Clarke, of Canada, claims to have discovered from repeated observations that the most important functions of the bee's sting is not stinging. In a recent article' he says : —"My observations arid reflec- 1 tions have convinced me that; the most: important office of the bee's sting is that which is performed in doing the artistic, cell work, capping the comb, and infusing the formic acid, by means of Avhich honey; receives its keeping qualities. As I said at Detroit, the sting is really a skilfully contrived little trowel, with which the bee finishes off and cajjs the cells when they are filled brimful of honey. This explains why honey extracted before it is capped over does not keep well. The formic acid has not been injected into it. This is done in the very act of putting the last touches on the cell work, As "the little pliant trowel is worked to and fro with such dexterity, the darts, of which there are two, pierce the plastic cell surface and leave beneath tiny drops of the fluid which makes it keep well. This is the 'art preservative' of honey. A most wonderful provision of Nature, truly ! Herein we see that the sting and the poison bap, with which so many of us would like to dispense, are essential to the storage 1 of our coveted product, and that without them the beautiful comb honey of commerce would be a thing unknown,"

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Bibliographic details

BEES., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2477, 29 July 1890

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BEES. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2477, 29 July 1890

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