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On The Generation Of Animals   


is, since those occupied with the tendance of these creatures deny
this, it remains that the kings must generate both their own kind
and the bees.

As bees are a peculiar and extraordinary kind of animal so also
their generation appears to be peculiar. That bees should generate
without copulation is a thing which may be paralleled in other
animals, but that what they generate should not be of the same kind is
peculiar to them, for the erythrinus generates an erythrinus and the
channa a channa. The reason is that bees themselves are not
generated like flies and similar creatures, but from a kind
different indeed but akin to them, for they are produced from the
leaders. Hence in a sort of way their generation is analogous. For the
leaders resemble the drones in size and the bees in possessing a
sting; so the bees are like them in this respect, and the drones are
like them in size. For there must needs be some overlapping unless the
same kind is always to be produced from each; but this is
impossible, for at that rate the whole class would consist of leaders.
The bees, then, are assimilated to them their power of generation, the
drones in size; if the latter had had a sting also they would have
been leaders, but as it is this much of the difficulty has been
solved, for the leaders are like both kinds at once, like the bees
in possessing a sting, like the drones in size.

But the leaders also must be generated from something. Since it is
neither from the bees nor from the drones, it must be from their own
kind. The grubs of the kings are produced last and are not many in
number.

Thus what happens is this: the leaders generate their own kind but
also another kind, that of the bees; the bees again generate another
kind, the drones, but do not also generate their own kind, but this
has been denied them. And since what is according to Nature is
always in due order, therefore it is necessary that it should be
denied to the drones even to generate another kind than themselves.
This is just what we find happening, for though the drones are
themselves generated, they generate nothing else, but the process
reaches its limit in the third stage. And so beautifully is this
arranged by Nature that the three kinds always continue in existence
and none of them fails, though they do not all generate.

Another fact is also natural, that in fine seasons much honey is
collected and many drones are produced but in rainy reasons a large
brood of ordinary bees. For the wet causes more residual matter to
be formed in the bodies of the leaders, the fine weather in that of
the bees, for being smaller in size they need the fine weather more
than the kings do. It is right also that the kings, being as it were
made with a view to producing young, should remain within, freed
from the labour of procuring necessaries, and also that they should be
of a considerable size, their bodies being, as it were, constituted
with a view to bearing young, and that the drones should be idle as
having no weapon to fight for the food and because of the slowness
of their bodies. But the bees are intermediate in size between the two
other kinds, for this is useful for their work, and they are workers
as having to support not only their young but also their fathers.
And it agrees with our views that the bees attend upon their kings
because they are their offspring (for if nothing of the sort had been
the case the facts about their leadership would be unreasonable), and
that, while they suffer the kings to do no work as being their
parents, they punish the drones as their children, for it is nobler to
punish one's children and those who have no work to perform. The
fact that the leaders, being few, generate the bees in large numbers
seems to be similar to what obtains in the generation of lions,
which at first produce five, afterwards a smaller number each time

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