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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Charles Théophile Gaudin1   [15 August 1860]2

On a depuis peu d’années une nouvelle race d’abeilles qui ont une trompe plus longue et peuvent sucer le treffle rouge. Une ruche de miel pese jusqu’‘a 90 lb tandis qu’une bonne ruche de l’abeille ordinaire ne pèse que 60 lb. Cette abeille ne pique pas; elle aime l’homme    On l’appelle ligurienne. Elle est cultivée dans les Grisons3 et un Suisse en a emporté cet été une cargaison aux Etats Unis—

Je serais heureux de procurer ‘a M. Darwin tous les renseignemens qui pourraient lui être agréables sur ce sujet4

Charles Th Gaudin

Eglantine, Lausanne

Footnotes

For a translation of this letter, see Correspondence vol.8, Appendix I. This incomplete note, written in pencil, was given to CD by the original recipient of the letter, probably Hugh Falconer (see nn. 2 and 3, below).
The date is written at the top of the letter in Hugh Falconer’s hand. The letter may have been given to CD when he visited Falconer in London (see letter to Charles Lyell, 28 August [1860]). According to Emma Darwin’s diary, CD went to London on 21 August 1860.
Grisons is a canton in south-east Switzerland. At this point, the letter was torn into two parts. The parts were subsequently glued together and attached to another piece of paper, on which notes about the sequence of fossil elephants were written in Falconer’s hand. Gaudin, a Swiss palaeobotanist, studied the fossils of the Arno River valley and incorporated some of Falconer’s findings in Gaudin 1859. Gaudin refers to comments made about bees and clover in Origin, pp. 94–5. The information given in the note was used, without attribution, in the fourth edition of Origin (see Peckham ed. 1959, p. 184).
The information in the note relates to CD’s researches on the role of insects in the cross-fertilisation of leguminous plants such as clover; it also includes information about a new kind of bee, called the Ligurian bee, that had recently been introduced into Britain. On the first point, see the letter to the Entomologist’s Weekly Intelligencer, [20 June 1860]; on the second, see the letters to the Cottage Gardener, [after 8 May 1860], and to W. B. Tegetmeier, 20 July [1860] and n. 8.

Translation

From Charles Théophile Gaudin1   [15 August 1860]2

In recent years we have had a new race of bees, which have a longer proboscis and can suck red clover. A hive of honey weighs up to 90 lb., whereas a good hive of the ordinary bee weighs only 60 lb. This bee does not sting; it likes humans. It is called the Ligurian bee   It is raised in the Grisons,3 and a Swiss has this summer taken a shipment of them to the United States.

I shall be delighted to provide Mr Darwin with any information he would like on this subject4

Charles Th Gaudin Eglantine, Lausanne

Footnotes

For the transcription of this letter in its original French, see Correspondence vol.8, pp. 321–2. This incomplete note, written in pencil, was given to CD by the original recipient of the letter, probably Hugh Falconer (see nn. 2 and 3, below).
The date is written at the top of the letter in Hugh Falconer’s hand. The letter may have been given to CD when he visited Falconer in London (see letter to Charles Lyell, 28 August [1860]). According to Emma Darwin’s diary, CD went to London on 21 August 1860.
Grisons is a canton in south-east Switzerland. At this point, the letter was torn into two parts. The parts were subsequently glued together and attached to another piece of paper, on which notes about the sequence of fossil elephants were written in Falconer’s hand. Gaudin, a Swiss palaeobotanist, studied the fossils of the Arno River valley and incorporated some of Falconer’s findings in Gaudin 1859. Gaudin refers to comments made about bees and clover in Origin, pp. 94–5. The information given in the note was used, without attribution, in the fourth edition of Origin (see Peckham ed. 1959, p. 184).
The information in the note relates to CD’s researches on the role of insects in the cross-fertilisation of leguminous plants such as clover; it also includes information about a new kind of bee, called the Ligurian bee, that had recently been introduced into Britain. On the first point, see the letter to the Entomologist’s Weekly Intelligencer, [20 June 1860]; on the second, see the letters to the Cottage Gardener, [after 8 May 1860], and to W. B. Tegetmeier, 20 July [1860] and n. 8.

Summary

Offers to supply CD with information about a new "race" of bees with a larger proboscis. They produce more honey as a result of being able to probe to greater depths.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-2897
From
Charles-Théophile Gaudin
To
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Lausanne
Source of text
DAR 47: 164
Physical description
1p (French) inc

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2897,” accessed on 17 September 2019, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-2897.xml

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 8

letter