It is a little more than a hundred years ago that Huber's researches gave the first serious impetus to our study of the bees, and revealed the elementary important truths that allowed us to observe them with fruitful result.
One wagon was stopped at Huber's store; the rest continued on through to Demarest, Spruce & Tillou's Camp Number One, a half mile beyond the town. It was Jo's whites that had been brought to a halt before Huber's. The proprietor came out and asked that the load be discharged in the rear, as he had just completed a new freight platform at the back entrance. "Right!" called Jo. Then, "Annie! Ned!
Three of the wagons and trailers groaned on through the town toward Demarest, Spruce & Tillou's Camp Number One, while the fourth Heine Schultz driving entered the alley to reach the rear of Huber's store. Twenty minutes later Schultz suddenly presented himself at the shooting gallery. "Howdy," he greeted Al and Lucy, touching the broad brim of his hat with a forefinger. "Jo's sick.
Huber's statement that the very first cell is excavated out of a little parallel-sided wall of wax, is not, as far as I have seen, strictly correct; the first commencement having always been a little hood of wax; but I will not here enter on these details.
Such, in full sight of Continental and other Universities, is Huber's opinion. Alas, the question of University Reform goes deep at present; deep as the world; and the real University of these new epochs is yet a great way from us! So that, in these bad circumstances, Sterling had perhaps rather made a hit than otherwise?
But I am not treating this subject technically; and while referring when necessary to Huber's admirable studies, I shall confine myself generally to relating what is patent to any one who may gather a swarm into a glass hive. We have to admit, first of all, that we know not yet by what process of alchemy the honey transforms itself into wax in the enigmatic bodies of our suspended bees.
Pierre Huber's Les fourmis indigees, Geneve, 1861; Forel's Recherches sur les fourmis de la Suisse, Zurich, 1874, and J.T. Moggridge's Harvesting Ants and Trapdoor Spiders, London, 1873 and 1874, ought to be in the hands of every boy and girl.
"I should not know," he said, "to what extent a person in my situation could be beloved; besides, to me my wife is always young, fresh, and pretty, which is no light matter." Huber's great work on 'Bees' is still regarded as a masterpiece, embodying a vast amount of original observation on their habits and natural history.
You and I will make it to Julia and drive sixteen each back here with Huber's hay. That's the very best we can do, but we'll do that the best we know how. I'll be out by the time you get 'em hooked up. We'll nibble our breakfast as we travel. Shoot the piece, Hiram boy, my knight from Wild-cat Hill!"
And yet the ordinary conditions had all been changed; the cells had neither been scooped out of a block, according to Huber's description, nor had they been designed within a waxen hood, and, from being circular at first, been subsequently converted into hexagons by the pressure of adjoining cells, as explained by Darwin.