To Charles Hardy 27 July 1
(Down Bromley Kent) | (now staying at Miss Wedgwoods |
Hartfield | Tonbridge Wells.)
Absence from home has prevented my answering your note & thanking you very sincerely for it.2 The correction of a blunder is a greater kindness than a new fact.— I did not speak rashly, for I watched a large clover-field for many days, & never saw any Hive Bees at work.— An experienced Apiarian also assured me of the truth of the statement; & the statement is made in Maunder’s(?) American Bee Keeper.—3 It has been a great evil to me publishing in abstract: for it was not possible for me to guard my statements sufficiently.—
I have twice seen Hive-Bee sucking single stunted plant of T. pratense. In the large clover field above alluded to which I had watched, was joined by a field of Sanfoin, & which was visited by thousands of Bees, when this was cut one morning, the Bees came to the Clover & tried to suck it & succeeded with some of the withered flowers & those at the bottom of the heads. So that if the flowers are smaller of the second-growth I can well believe that they could be sucked. This would be a very interesting little fact for me, & I will take the liberty of quoting your note4 & shd be extremely much obliged if you would make & communicate any further observations on subject to me—
Pray accept my sincere thanks for your kindness. & believe me | Dear Sir | Yours truly obliged | Charles Darwin
If Mrs. Hardy has not forgotten me, pray give her my best compliments.5
Thanks CH for correction of blunder in Origin about hive-bees sucking clover: "a greater kindness than a new fact".
- Letter no.
- Darwin, C. R.
- Hardy, Charles
- Sent from
- Wedgwood, S. E. (b) Hartfield
- Source of text
- Smithsonian Institution Libraries (Special collections)
- Physical description
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2879,” accessed on 24 January 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2879