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  • noun Plural form of humble-bee.


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  • Now, the number of mice is largely dependent on the number of cats; and Mr. Newman says, 'Near villages and small towns I have found nests of humble-bees more numerous than anywhere elsewhere, which Iattribute to the number of cats thatdestroy the mice.'

    The Spectator's take on Darwin, 1882

  • I have, also, reason to believe that humble-bees are indispensableto the fertilisation of the heartsease (Violatricolor), for other beesfo not visit this flower.

    The Spectator's take on Darwin, 1882

  • Hence I have very little doubt, that if the whole genus of humble-bees became extinct or very rare in England, the heartsense and red clover would become very rare, or wholly disappear.

    The Spectator's take on Darwin, 1882

  • From experiments which I have lately tried, I have found that the visits of bees are necessary for the fertilisation of some kinds of clover; but humble-bees alone visit the red clover (Trifolium pratense), as other bees cannot reach the nectar.

    The Spectator's take on Darwin, 1882

  • Then others of the boys spread over the downs, looking for the holes of humble-bees and mice, which they dug up without mercy, often (I regret to say) killing and skinning the unlucky mice, and (I do not regret to say) getting well stung by the bumble-bees.

    Tom Brown's Schooldays

  • If then more than one summer is requisite for the metamorphosis of the butterflies, it appears to me still more likely that the humble-bees need more than one summer for their metamorphosis.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 520, December 19, 1885

  • If it is not surely proved that the humble-bees occur at so high latitudes, one would not, with a knowledge of their mode of life, be inclined to believe that they could live under such conditions.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 520, December 19, 1885

  • He knew, too, that humble-bees have stings though people often say they have not, and the reason people think they do not possess them is because humble-bees are so good-natured and never sting unless they are very much provoked.

    Short Stories and Selections for Use in the Secondary Schools

  • In flies and humble-bees, for example, the 'voice' is caused by air rushing out from the mouths of the air or breathing-tubes.

    Chatterbox, 1905.

  • The number of humblebees in any district depends in a great measure upon the number of field mice, which destroy their combs and nests; and Col. Newman, who has long attended to the habits of humble-bees, believes that “more than two-thirds of them are thus destroyed all over England.

    III. Struggle for Existence. Complex Relations of All Animals and Plants to Each Other in the Struggle for Existence


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