Excerpt from “The Modern Art of Breeding Bees, a Poem” by Joshua Dinsdale

The Bees, who loaded at the Dome arrive,
First store the Golden Honey in the Hive,
Then from their sep’rate Cells suspended cling,
And buz and flutter with a trembling Wing,
Immediately you’ll see the others come,
With Signs of Gladness to the Lab’rers Hum,
Then pick the waxen Treasure from the Thigh,
And back the Lab’rer cuts the smiling Sky,
Triumphant o’er the flow’ry Kingdom reigns,
And tributary makes the blooming Plains.

But while the Youth pour o’er the shining Field,
And the sweet-smelling Cowslips Forage yield,
The Seniors in the public Care have Part,
And form the angled Cells with curious Art;
Or, for the Young prepare the downy Bed,
And soft the od’rous flow’ry Powder spread.
For if they early in the Summer’s Days,
Begin the Structure of their Comb to raise,
Before descends the golden Globe of Light,
And o’er the shaded Landschape steals the Night,
Four Thousand Cells their Diligence declare,
A Monument of nice instinctive Care!

Each has his Task; this makes the City’s Walls,
On this the shapeless Wax to Labour calls;
Another, for mechanic Judgment known,
Reviews the Buildings of the waxen Town;
That none with useless Weight o’erbear the rest,
But all alike be in Proportion prest.

Others obsequious th’ Artist’s Steps pursue,
And give by Order the Proportion due;
Here add, and there with Caution take away,
And Skill perfective, beyond Man’s, display.

While some are busy in a nicer Art,
And glaze and polish the sweet Cells with Art.

No City, with proud Heav’n-ascending Spires,
The human Mind with juster Cause admires,
Than that nice Art by which the Bees contrive
The curious Combs within the strawy Hive,
And that Variety of useful Ways
Which thro’ the Citadel the Swarm conveys.

From: Dinsdale, Joshua, The Modern Art of Breeding Bees, a Poem, Joseph Davidson, London, pp. 11-13.

Date: 1740

By: Joshua Dinsdale (fl. 1740-1751)


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