To W. B. Tegetmeier 9 May 1
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Sir
Very many thanks about Owls’ eggs,2 for your note, & nice little Treatise.—3 I am sorry to hear that the cylindrical cells are mislaid, for I shd. have very much have liked to have examined their bases or point of attachment.—4
My object in writing now is to know whether you often examine your Hives & slides.—5 If you do, & shd. stumble on the very first commencement of the comb, I shd. excessively like to see it. Huber says that first, a very thin & very low littleridge is made;6 & then one one face7 the base of a single cell is hollowed out, &on the opposite face, the bases of two cells. He states that first the outlines ofthese 3 primordial cells are arched, (section [DIAGRAM] ) & then made angular ( [DIAGRAM] ).
Now what I what I want so much to see is this rudiment of the comb in this state. I believe when the arched bases of the cells are made angular, the bases of other adjoining cells have just been commenced.8 The hexagonal tube or prism has not been at this period hardly been begun; & all must be very minute. Will you kindly aid me if you can, in this respect; though I can plainly see that it is very improbable that you can, for it wd require incessant watching or a rare piece of good luck.
I shall not be able to begin on my M.S on Pigeons for a fortnight yet.—9 This note requires no answer, & I know how busy you are.
My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | C. Darwin
Inquires about the structure and formation of bees’ comb; is interested in seeing its form at the commencement of building.
- Letter no.
- Charles Robert Darwin
- William Bernhard Tegetmeier
- Sent from
- Source of text
- Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Tegetmeier, W. B. ser.2: 36)
- Physical description