RECORD: Anon. 1879. [Review of Variation]. Variation as law in nature. American Bee Journal, vol. 15, no. 1 (January): 35.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe. 7.2021. RN1


[page]  35

Darwin, in his great work, calls attention to the indisputable truth, that variation is a law inherent in all organisms; every skillful breeder of any of our domestic animals recognizes this law. Go to the most famous herd of short-horns in existence, and will you find perfect uniformity? Avery & Murphy's celebrated Duke is a fine rich red; their Young Duke yearling is a light roan. In every breeding stable or yard the world over this same truth is exemplified. As this law applies to all organisms, vegetable no less than animal, we should not expect to find our bees an exception; nor do we. Why all the talk about a standard of excellence for Italians, except that our breeders know and recognize this principle of variation. Breeders of poultry state in so many words, that even among the best breed of fowls undesirable sports are constantly appearing, and that careful selection alone can maintain superiority in the poultry-yard. Bee-keepers note variation, and think it denotes impurity. Breeders of black bees with no Italians near, have observed great variations in color and habits.

In fact, General Adair and others talk of a gray bee as well as a black. Mr. Moon says Italian queens vary from golden yellow to black. Mr. E. Gallup spoke of these dark queens and their less highly-colored workers, and said they were the best. I have had two very dark imported queens, yet they were very excellent -I think them pure, and that Italians are surely a fixed race, but that perfect uniformity of color is not a characteristic.


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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (http://darwin-online.org.uk/)

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