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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 (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2289,” accessed on 17 October 2021,

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