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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. B. Tegetmeier   22 June [1858]1

Down Bromley Kent

June 22d

My dear Sir

I enclose with many thanks a P.O. for the Hive,2 which my learned Apiarian neighbour says is the best of kind, which he has ever seen.—3

I shall be very glad to see your Scotch Hive with bits of new comb.— And I am still gladder you are going to describe your cell, excavated in wax before the Entomolog. Socy. 4 If at any future time you remove it, perhaps you will let me see it.— I shall have another window made in your Hive on opposite face, with glass removable.

I have begun on my Pigeons & hope in week or two to have finished with them, but I fear they will be of very little value to you.—5

My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | C. Darwin


Dated by an entry in CD’s Account book. See n. 2, below.
See letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 8 [June 1858]. CD recorded a payment of 18s. to Tegetmeier in an entry in his Account book (Down House MS) dated June 1858.
Probably Louis Bruce Knight (see letter to W. E. Darwin, [26 May 1858]).
Tegetmeier reported on his experiments on the construction of bees’ cells at a meeting of the Entomological Society of London on 7 July 1858 (Transactions of the Entomological Society of London n.s. 5 (1858–61), Proceedings, pp. 34–5). In his report, Tegetmeier stated his conviction that the cells were formed in the first instance with a hemispherical base and that bees afterwards excavated the wax to make the cell walls. The cells, he stated, were invariably cylindrical until a fresh cell was added, and then the shape became hexagonal.
CD recorded in his ‘Journal’ on 14 June 1858 that he had begun writing his manuscript on pigeons (see ‘Journal’; Appendix II).


Thanks for hive.

Has started [writing up] pigeons and hopes to have finished with them in a week or two.

Letter details

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: 53)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2289,” accessed on 25 October 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 7