Bees' cells; is the hexagonal shape deliberate or merely the result of lateral pressure on cylinders?
My dear Darwin
Do you see the Zoologist?—in the last part in the proceed
Lastly I wish to ask you whether you are aware that Lord Brougham has communicated a paper on The Structure of Bees' cells to the French academy, with the view, as I learn, of showing what errors Naturalists & Mathematicians have fallen into with regard to this subject— I shall be curious to see the paper! I am also anxious to hear what your views are coming to—
I have just come back from Germany having been sent to Stuttgart by the Museum
authorities to examine & report upon, a collection of Fossils offered to
us— as a considerable portion of the collection,
however, was at Stockach a small village near Lake Constance I
had to extend my journey to the extreme South of Germany & had two voyages on
the Beautiful Lake Constance at which I was immensely delighted— on my way
home I thought I would do a little travelling on my own account, so when I got back as
far as Frankfort I started off to Berlin, and there I remained 4 or
5 days— from Berlin I came straight home without stopping (excepting
4 hours or so at Ostend because the wind was blowing great guns & the
vessel didn't like to put to sea—we had a bit of a splash when we
did) left Berlin on Saturday Evening at 6
I should be glad to hear that you are better than when I last saw you
faithfully Yours | Geo. R. Waterhouse
P.S. I do not know exactly how Tegetmeier performed his experiments—he offered to make an experiment for me, but it does not appear that he has done what I wanted, viz to give the Bees a mass of wax to work in & to stick little wooden pegs in it so near together that 2 bees could not work together in the interspaces—
- f1 2317.f1The passage ‘in the proceed
gpart … cells.’ was added in the margin with its position indicated in the text. Waterhouse's remarks on bees' cells were printed in the Zoologist 16 (1858): 6076–77, in a report on a meeting of the Entomological Society held on 5 April 1858. See also letter from G. R. Waterhouse, 17 April 1858.
- f2 2317.f2The Zoologist 16 (1858): 6185–90 gave an account of the meeting of the Entomological Society on5 July 1858 at which William Bernhard Tegetmeier had explained his views on the construction of bees' cells (see letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 8 [June 1858]). Tegetmeier's report formed the basis of a paper delivered at the 1858 meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (Tegetmeier 1858b).
- f3 2317.f3John Edward Gray's and Frederick Smith's comments on Tegetmeier's paper were reported inthe Zoologist (see n. 2, above) and also in the Transactions of the Entomological Society of London n.s. 5 (1858–61), Proceedings, pp. 34–5.
- f4 2317.f4Waterhouse had discussed the probable formation of bees' and wasps' cells at a meeting of the Entomological Society on 5 April 1858 (see n. 1, above). The printed account of his views to whichhe refers is [Waterhouse] 1835. At a meeting of the society on 4 October 1858, Smith challenged Waterhouse's theory on the grounds that the heads of many bees and wasps were too big to get inside the cell for excavation purposes (see Transactions of the Entomological Society of London n.s. 5 (1858–61), Proceedings, p. 41).
- f5 2317.f5Brougham 1858. See letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 8 June  and n. 3.
- f6 2317.f6Possibly the large collection of Cretaceous and Tertiary fossils purchased from August Eduard Brückmann in 1858. Brückmann's collection was drawn from deposits in Switzerland and the adjoining part of Germany (British Museum (Natural History) 1904–6, 1: 214). Waterhouse was keeper of the museum's geological collections.
- f7 2317.f7The passage ‘a small village near Lake Constance’ was added at the foot of the page with its position indicated in the text.