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On The Generation Of Animals   


kings from that of kings, or (2) that all the others may be
generated from one, as from what are called kings and leaders, or
(3) from the union of drones and bees, for some say that the former
are male, the latter female, while others say that the bees are male
and the drones female). But all these views are impossible if we
reason first upon the facts peculiar to bees and secondly upon those
which apply more generally to other animals also.

For if they do not generate the young but bring them from elsewhere,
then bees ought to come into being also, if the bees did not carry
them off, in the places from which the old bees carry the germs. For
why, if new bees come into existence when the germs are transported,
should they not do so if the germs are left there? They ought to do so
just as much, whether the germs are spontaneously generated in the
flowers or whether some animal generates them. And if the germs were
of some other animal, then that animal ought to be produced from
them instead of bees. Again, that they should collect honey is
reasonable, for it is their food, but it is strange that they should
collect the young if they are neither their own offspring nor food.
With what object should they do so? for all animals that trouble
themselves about the young labour for what appears to be their own
offspring.

But, again, it is also unreasonable to suppose that the bees are
female and the drones male, for Nature does not give weapons for
fighting to any female, and while the drones are stingless all the
bees have a sting. Nor is the opposite view reasonable, that the
bees are male and the drones female, for no males are in the habit
of working for their offspring, but as it is the bees do this. And
generally, since the brood of the drones is found coming into being
among them even if there is no mature drone present, but that of the
bees is not so found without the presence of the kings (which is
why some say that the young of the drones alone is brought in from
outside), it is plain that they are not produced from copulation,
either (1) of bee with bee or drone with drone or (2) of bees with
drones. (That they should import the brood of the drones alone is
impossible for the reasons already given, and besides it is
unreasonable that a similar state of things should not prevail with
all the three kinds if it prevails with one.) Then, again, it is also
impossible that the bees themselves should be some of them male and
some female, for in all kinds of animals the two sexes differ. Besides
they would in that case generate their own kind, but as it is their
brood is not found to come into being if the leaders are not among
them, as men say. And an argument against both theories, that the
young are generated by union of the bees with one another or with
the drones, separately or with one another, is this: none of them
has ever yet been seen copulating, whereas this would have often
happened if the sexes had existed in them. It remains then, if they
are generated by copulation at all, that the kings shall unite to
generate them. But the drones are found to come into being even if
no leaders are present, and it is not possible that the bees should
either import their brood or themselves generate them by copulation.
It remains then, as appears to be the case in certain fishes, that the
bees should generate the drones without copulation, being indeed
female in respect of generative power, but containing in themselves
both sexes as plants do. Hence also they have the instrument of
offence, for we ought not to call that female in which the male sex is
not separated. But if this is found to be the case with drones, if
they come into being without copulation, then as it is necessary
that the same account should be given of the bees and the kings and
that they also should be generated without copulation. Now if the
brood of the bees had been found to come into being among them without
the presence of the kings, it would necessarily follow that the bees
also are produced from bees themselves without copulation, but as it

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