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The woods, the rivers, and the meadows green,
Nor the rank grassy fens delights untried.
Mote please his fancy, nor him cause abide.
Him wholly carried, to refresh his sprites,
Pours forth sweet odours and alluring sights;
T'excel the natural with made delights:
From bed to bed, from one to other border,
Of every flower and herb there set in order;
Yet none of them he rudely doth disorder,
And change of sweetness (for all change is sweet),
Now, sucking of the sap of herb most meet,
Now in the same bathing his tender feet:
Other insects now observed, are field crickets (gryllus campestris), the chaffer or may-bug (scarabæus melolontha), and the forest-fly (hippobosca equina), which so much annoys horses and cattle. The female wasp (vespa vulgaris) appears at the latter end of the month. For a full account of that curious fabric, a wasp's nest, see T. T. for 1815, p. 193.
About this time, bees send forth their early swarms. Nothing can afford greater amusement than to watch the members of this industrious community in their daily journies from flower to flower.-(See our last volume, p. 149.)
The following is a list of trees, plants, and flowers,
from which the bees extract their honey and wax: apple, arbutus, apricot, ash, almond, althea frutex, amaranth, aspin, balm, blackberry, burrage, betony, box, beans, buck-wheat, broom, burnet, cabbages, cauliflowers, cherry, clover, chesnut and horse chesnut, currants, cypress, dandelion, endive, elm, elder, furze, gooseberry, golden-rod, gourds, melons, cucumbers, hawthorn, heath, hyacinths, iris, jonquil, lucerne, lavender, laurel, lily, lemon-tree, mignionette, melitot (trifolium melitotus officinalis), mustard, marshmallows, oak, parsley, pear-tree, parsnip (in flower), poppy, primrose, plum-trees, rosemary, radishes, raspberry, strawberry, sage, savory, saffron, sainfoin, sunflower, single roses, turnips, thyme, willow, wild marjoram, vetches, violets, and all resinous trees.
In the list of these plants and flowers, the goldenrod must be particularly noticed, as it begins to flower when all the other flowers have faded, and continues in bloom until the middle of November. This flower is always covered with bees during the last months of the summer, and the two first of autumn, provided the weather will permit the bees at that season of the year to leave the hive. This plant should be particularly cultivated in the vicinity of an apiary. It will grow in the worst of soils; and an acre of unarable land planted with the golden-rod, would furnish at the close of the season a sufficiency for a hundred hives to complete their winter stock.
In general, all those plants ought to be cultivated which begin to blow in February and March, and those which keep flowering to the close of the season. The bees, always active and laborious, turn to advantage with the same ardour the last as well as the first moments of vegetation, and the flowering of the plants.
All vegetables contain more or less the principles of honey, only in a greater or less degree; consequently, the bees can maintain themselves every where, and gather a stock of honey proportionate to
the abundance which is offered to them in the country which they occupy. It is, however, the rich and vast meadows well studded with flowers in which the useless daisy is not seen, the fields whitened with buckwheat, the plains gilded with the flower of the wild mustard, the turnip, and the cabbage, and the forests of oak, ash, elm, &c., that present to the bees a daily supply of excellent food, and an abundance of provisions, wherewith to fill their magazines '.
The BIRTH of the BEE.
With course unvarying, thus the mother bee
Soon as four days their destined course have run,
When twice six suns have on bright axle rolled,
'See Mr. Huish's Treatise on Bees, p. 371, the last on this subject, and containing a mass of curious information relative to the natural history and management of this interesting insect.
New to the light, as sense impulsive leads,
About the commencement of the month, the flowers of the lily of the valley (convallaria maialis) and the flowers of the chesnut tree (fagus castanea) begin to open; the tulip tree (liriodendron tulipfera) has its leaves quite out, and the flowers of the oak (quercus robur), the Scotch fir (pinus sylvestris), the honey-suckle, and the beech, are in full bloom. Towards the middle, the flowers of the white thorn are quite out, and the mulberry tree (morus nigra) puts forth its leaves; the walnut (juglans regia) has its flowers in full bloom; the flowers of the garden rose also begin to open.
Look, Delia, how w' esteem the half-blown rose,
The image of thy blush and summer's honour;
The WOUNDED CUPID.
No sooner spreads her glory in the air,
But straight her wide-blown pomp comes to decline;
So fade the roses of those cheeks of thine.
Whose springing grace adorns thy glory now;
Dissolves the beauty of the fairest brow:
The lilac (syringa vulgaris), the barberry (berberis vulgaris), and the maple (acer campestre), are now in flower. At the latter end of the month, rye (secale hybernum) is in ear; the mountain ash (sorbus aucuparia), laburnum (cytisus laburnum), the guelder rose (viburnum opulus), clover (trifolium pratense), columbines (aquilegia vulgaris), the alder (rhamnus frangula), the wild chervil (chorophyllium temulum), and the wayfaring tree, or guelder-rose, have their flowers full blown.
The germander (veronica chamadrys) is seen in hedges, and various species of meadow grass are now in flower. Heart's-ease (viola tricolor) shows its interesting little flower in corn fields. In allusion to this last flower, observes Mr. Leigh Hunt', it is pleasant to light upon an universal favourite whose merits answer one's expectation. We know little or nothing of the common flowers among the antients; but as violets in general have their due mention among the poets that have come down to us, it is to be concluded that the heart's-ease could not miss its particular admiration,-if indeed it existed among them in its perfection. The modern Latin name for it is flos Jovis, or Jove's flower,—an appellation rather too worshipful for its little sparkling delicacy, and more suitable to the greatness of an hydrangia, or to the diadems of a rhododendron.