RECORD: Darwin, C. R. 1862. Bee-cells in Jamaica not larger than in England. Journal of Horticulture and Cottage Gardener (22 July): 323.

REVISION HISTORY: Scanned, text prepared and edited by John van Wyhe 2003-8. RN4

NOTE: See record in the Freeman Bibliographical Database, enter its Identifier here.

[page] 323


I AM sorry that you did not append the closing sentence to my communication about the Jamaica bees,1 as it would have shown your readers that I was doubtful on the subject. I have now to confess that I have made a gross blunder. The cells which I measured were drone-cells, as I am informed by the "DEVONSHIRE BEE-KEEPER." I could offer some explanation and apology to your readers for making so great a mistake; but it is a personal matter and would not interest them. How the statement in French works arose that the cells in West Indian combs are larger than those in European combs, I cannot conceive.—C. DARWIN.

[We certainly did not understand, nor do we think our readers understood, that Mr. Darwin stated the increased size of bee-cells in Jamaica as an established fact, and we made our comment hypothetically. We have seen combs from Jamaica since then, and the drone and worker cells are of the same sizes as in England. When Mr. Darwin wrote, he, probably, had not seen the cells of the workers.—EDS.]

1 Darwin 1862. See Correspondence vol. 10, pp. 324-5. Thomas White Woodbury wrote under the pen name Devonshire bee-keeper.

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