A PICTURESQUE but quite " erroneous story told of St. Peter Nolasco (whose Feast falls on Friday of this week) states that when he was still in his cradle a swarm of bees built a honeycomb in his open hand. This was supposed to foretell the sanctity of the infant, but rather serves to show the almost reverence in which the people of his day looked upon the industrious bee. They were always inventing fresh tales about it and in most European countries It was treated with the greatest respect.
There were a number of odd beliefs about bees: they would not thrive with a quarrelsome family; stolen bees would fall sick; If a smarm were to alight on a dead tree there would be a death in the nearest household within the year. But the nicest of these was that if a death occurred in a family owning a hive. the bees must immediately be told and invited to the funeral, and a piece of black crepe must be tied to their hive otherwise they would desert it. In Germany, if the master of the house were to die some member of the family had to go at once to the hives and, shakiug the nearest tree, call out: The master is dead; the master is dead," and its occupants had then to be given the customary Invitation.
RRAND tells a tragic story of
a funeral just ready to set off when somebody called out: " Turn the bees!" and at once " a Servant who had no know. ledge of such a custom, instead of turning the Hives about, lifted them up and then laid them down upon their sides. The Bees thus hastily invaded. instantly nautical and fastened on the Horses and their Riders. It was in vain they galloped off; the Bees as precipitately followed, and left their stings as marks of their indignation. A general Confusion took place attended with loss of Hats, Wigs, &e., and the Corpse during the conflict was left an. attended, nor was it till after a considerable time that the Fun. mil Attendants could be rallied .n order to proceed to the interrnent of their deceased friend."
Bees are well known to be deadly when they snake any
kind of concerted attack. A Farming friend of mine once lost a litter of piglets, stung to death by bees, and bees base been known to kill a small donkey. They will also fight each other and if one swarm takes unlawful possession of a hive, the rightful owners will turn them out and force them to give battle.
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