Batman vppon Bartholome his booke De proprietatibus rerum, newly corrected, enlarged and amended: with such additions as are requisite, vnto euery seuerall booke: taken foorth of the most approued authors, the like heretofore not translated in English. Profitable for all estates, as well for the benefite of the mind as the bodie. 1582.
Bartholomaeus, Anglicus, 13th cent., Trevisa, John, d. 1402., Batman, Stephen, d. 1584.

Of Bees. Cap. 4.

ISidore saith, that Bées are called Apes for they are gendred without feature, or for that they knit themselues together with féete. Isidore sayeth, that they bée cunning and busie in office of making of honny, and they dwell in their own pla∣ces that are assigned to them, and chal∣lenge no other place but their owne. And they builde and make their houses, with a passing wonderfull skill, and of diuers flowers: and they make hony combes, wound and writhen with waxe very cu∣riously, and fill their celles, with many young. They haue an hoast and a king, and moue warre and battaile, and flye and voyde smoke and winde, and make them hardye and sharpe to Battaile, with great noyse. Many haue assayed & founden, that often Bees are gendred & come of carraines of dead flesh. And for to bring forth Bées flesh of calues, which be slaine, is beate that wormes may bée gendered and come of the rotted bloud, the which wormes after take wings, & are made Bées, as Béetles be of Oxe dounge, as Isidore sayth. And Ambrose in Exameron saieth, That the proper∣ties of Bées are wonderfull noble and worthy. For Bées haue one common kinde as children, and dwell in one ha∣bitation, and be closed within one gate. One trauaile is common to them all, one meate is common to them all, one com∣mon working, one common vse, one fruite and slight is common to them all, and one generation is common to them all. Also maidenhead of body without wemme, is common to them all, and so is birth also: for they be not medled wich seruice of Venus, neither resolued with lecherie, neither brused with sorrowe of birth of children, & yet they bring forth most swarmes of young. For where all other Fowles, bring foorth vnneth one birth in a yeare, euery one Bée bringeth foorth two, and passeth other, with dou∣ble plenteousnes of increase. Bées make among them a King, and ordayne among them common people. And though they be put and set vnder a King, yet they be frée and loue their King, that they make by kinde loue, and defend him with full great defence, and holde honour and wor∣ship to perish and be spilt for their king, and do their King so great worship, that none of them dare goe out of theyr house, nor to get meate, except the King passe out, and take the principalytie of flight. And Bées choose to their King, him that is most worthy and noble in hightnesse and fairnesse, and most cléere in mildnesse, for that is chiefe vertue in a King. For though theyr King haue a sting, yet he vseth it not in wreake. And kindly, the more huge Bées are, the more Page  179 lighter they be, for the greater Bées are lyghter than the lesse Bées. And al∣so Bees that are vnobedient to the king, they déeme themselues by theyr owne dome, for to dye by the wound of theyr owne sting. And of a swarme of Bees is none idle: some fight, as it were in battayle in the field against other Bées: some be busie about meate: and some watch the comming of showers: & some behold concourse and méeting of deawes: and some make wexe of flowers: and some make cels, now round, now square, with wonderfull binding and ioyning, & euennesse. And yet neuerthelesse among so diuers workes none of them doeth aspye nor wayte, to take out of others trauayle: neither taketh wrongfullye, neither stealeth meate, but each séeketh and gathereth by his owne flight & tra∣uayle among hearbes and flowers that be good and couenable. But Bées haue their stings, and they shedde venyme a∣mong honny, if anye thing ouersetteth them, and they put their lyues with a kinde of reuenge, for defence of theyr houses. Also though they be feeble in strength of body, yet they be full strong in might and vertue of cunning: theyr fruite is softe and swéete to all thing, by his swéetnes he maketh iawes swéet, and healeth woundes, and giueth medi∣cine to inward botches. Huc vs{que} Am∣brosius. Other properties Aristotle tou∣cheth libro decimo, where these be set in. Also among other things they saye, that workings of Bées are diuers, for some bring to the hiue, things that need to araye for hony, of sprayes and flow∣ers of trées, and of hearbes, and namely such things that be some deale gleymie and glewie, and bameth therewith the hiue, and that they do for noyful beasts. And if the entering of the hiue bee too large, they make it narrow and straight: and they gather honny, and first they be∣gin to make the house that the King shall dwell in, then they make houses for other Bées, that kéepe the hiue, and they take waxe of floures, and gather it with their forséete, and then they gather to the middle féete, and then to the ouer most ioynts of the hinder féete: & then they flye therewith, and then the heaui∣nesse of the Bee is knowen: and when a Bee flyeth, be taketh no heede of the diuersitie of flowers; nor leaueth one flower for another, all the while that he findeth therein that is needfull, and tur∣neth then againe to hir owne place char∣ged. But how they gather honny, and what is the matter of honny, we maye not lyghtly distinguish by feelyng: but they haunt much gladly leaues and flow∣ers of Olyue, and abide therevpon long time for thicknesse of leaues, and when their king may not flye, then a compa∣ny of Bees beare him. And if the rector be on liue, the males be in one partie, & the females in another partie, and if he be dead, the males be with females in one house: and the rectours females, is much more than the females of ye other Bées, and hath a more stōrg sting than ye male. And many males be wtout stings, & they flye, as though they would sting with stings, and yet they may not. The rectors be of two manners, the one is blacke, and that other is red, and this is the better, & is a good little Bee, round and thicke in it selfe, and small in the middle, as though he were girded, and meanly rough. And Bees are diuers in feeding, for some be fedde with flowers of gardens, and there be other manner Bees, which be fedde with flowers of Mountaines: and those that be fedde in trees of Mountaines be lesse than other, and stronger, and may better away with trauayle. Also Bees sit vpon the hiues, and sucke the superfluitie, that is in ho∣nie combes: and it is said, that if they did not so, thereof should spiders be gen∣dred of that superfluitie, and the Bees should dye, and when there is but little honnie in their houses, they forsake and come out of their houses, and fight with them that will take away their honnie: and therefore they be seene ofte sitting a∣bout their holes, as it were readie and a∣rayed to withstand and defend, and the shorter Bees fight with the longer with strong sight, when they eate much hony, and they busie themselues to driue these out of the hiues, which do not make ho∣nie and labour.

Page  [unnumbered]Also the Kings be not séene without the hiues alone, but they haue a great com∣pany of Bées about them: and the king is in the middle, and he passeth out three dayes before the out passing of ye young Bées: then few Bées come out and flye about the hiues, and departe themselues in companies, and with euery King go∣eth one companie. And if it happeneth, that one part of the Bées set against the other, then these few Bées that remaine, goe to another King, and forsake theyr first King, and they goe to the King that hath most number: and if the King whome they forsake, doeth followe after them, they kill him. Also when Bees sting, they dye right soone after, if they sting in all their sting, and drawe it not out of the place that is stung, for ye sting may not all come out, except some gutte come out therewith, and the rectours of Bées sting seldome. And if any Bee dye in the hiue, the other Bées drawe him out: for this beast is more cleanly then other beastes, and therefore they cleanse flieng, and not in their hiue, for stinking sauour grieueth them full sore, & likwise so doeth winde also. Therefore if there be great winde, the wardene of the Bées shall couer the mouth of the hiue, that the winde come not into the Bees: and if the hiues stinke in any wise, they will forsake their hiues, & if it hap that the Bées abide therein, they shall take sick∣nesse of the stench. And when they rest too much, they were sick, and they throw and put out idle Bées from their compa∣ny. And hot places be according for thē in Winter time, and colde in Summer time. And if a man leueth to them much hony, they will not worke much there∣after: and if he leaueth too little, then they wexe slow to worke hony. There∣fore the warden shall leaue them hony, as the multitude of thē is more or lesse, and if they lacke honny to ease, then the warden shall féede them with figges, and other swéete meates, least they shoulde dye. And when they gather them toge∣ther and striue within the hiue, it is a token that they will depart thence and forsake the hiue: and therefore the war∣den must powre some swéete wine into the hiue, and then they will abide still. Huc vsque Aristoteles. liber. 8. sie 9. Also liber. 4. he sayth, that Bées make no noyse but in styeng and spreading out and drawing in their wings by the a••e, that falleth betwéene the wings and the bodyes. Also the hinder féete of them bée longer then theyr fore féet for going, that they may soone arise from the earth, whē they will flye, as he saith. lib. 14. Also sometimes Bées haue a sicknesse, that Aristotle calleth Karoys. l. 8. And that euill commeth of little wormes, which be gendered in the hiue, and commeth of corrupt hunnie combes. And when those worms he waxen, they make a web like to the web of a Spider, and hath mastry ouer all the hiue. And therefore the hun∣ny waxeth corrupt, and the Bees waxe sicke and die.

Also li. 16. hée sayth, That Bées are not gendered by the seruice of Venus. In those yéeres that be dropping, many Bees are bread and gendered. For by moy∣sture superfluities be multiplyed in bo∣dies. And in temperate yéeres bée fewe birds of Bées, as he saith. Item in dietis particularibus it is sayde, that Bées that eat flowres of Almond trées, make more temporale hunnye then other, and more sauoury, and lesse sharpe: and that hun∣ny most cleanseth spirituall members. And Bées that eat wormwood and other bitter hearbes, make hunnie lesse swéet: But yet that hunnie cleanseth most the stopping of the splene, and openeth the li∣uer, and helpeth them that haue the drop∣sie, and helpeth the biting of a madde dogge. Look more of hunny in Tracttau de liquoribus. And the other propertyes of Bées, shall ye finde in Littera. A. in Tractatu de animalibus secundum Pth. et Auicennam.