To Cottage Gardener [after 8 May 1860]1
– “A Devonshire Bee-keeper” states (page 94) that he caught
a common drone entering one of his hives of the pure Ligurian stock.2 Will he have the kindness to state at what distance in a straight line there are hives of the common bee? I believe it is not known how far the drones commonly wander from their own hive. Andrew Knight believed, as stated in the “Philosophical Transactions,” that the queen was seldom fertilised by her own blood-relations, the drones of her own hive.3 Does “A Devonshire Bee-keeper,” who seems to be so conversant with the habits of bees, believe in this doctrine of Andrew Knight?— 4
Inquires whether "a Devonshire Bee-keeper" [T. W. Woodbury] who reported a common drone entering a hive of Ligurian bees [Cottage Gard. 24 (1860): 94] believes, with Andrew Knight, that queen bees are seldom fertilised by their own blood-relations. Asks how far a hive of common bees was from that of the Ligurians.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2777,” accessed on 7 December 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2777