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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Richard Strachey   10 December [1873]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Dec. 10th

My dear General Strachey

I am very much obliged to you for having taken the trouble to write to me. The case of the Bees interests me much. In all parts of the world, I do not doubt from the size of their jaws that humble bees will be found to be the biters, & hive-bees to profit by their work.2 I think I have somewhere heard of land-shells descending in the curious manner which you describe by a thread of stiff slime—3 My son George will be pleased to hear that you will probably be successful in getting the Geograph. Soc. to have one of the new globes made—4

With many thanks pray believe me | yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Richard Strachey, 9 December 1873.
CD refers to bees’ cutting holes in flowers to get at the nectar (see letter from Richard Strachey, 9 December 1873 and n. 3).
George Howard Darwin had designed a portable globe (see letter from Richard Strachey, 9 December 1873 and n. 5).


The case of the bees interests CD. He does not doubt that because of the size of their jaws humble-bees will be found all over the world to be the biters and hive-bees to profit from their work.

Thinks he has heard of land shells descending in the manner described by RS.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Richard Strachey
Sent from
Source of text
British Library (IOL Mss Eur F127)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9177,” accessed on 8 April 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 21