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and covered with a viscid liquor. This animal keep* his mouth open, and when flies, ants, little beetles, or other insects pass within his reach, he darts out his tongue, with the swiftness of an arrow, and when: he has once catched them, they cannot escape: they are stuck on the tip of his tongue, as they would be on the point of a pin, or they are retained by the gluey substance which adheres to it, as birds are with bird-lime.
Insects, which serve for food to certain animals,afford medecine to others. Poultry, when diseased, swallow spiders, which purge and cure them. Bears, when troubled with indigestion, dip their tongue in honey, (as Plutarch relates,) and thrust it into an ant-hill: when the ants have gathered on it, they draw it in, swallow the ants and are cured. To avoid prolixity, I (hall not adduce any more instances*
After mature reflection on what has jnst been said, concerning the uses of insects, we cannot surely hesitate in concluding, that the Being who formed them, is all-wife and almighty. His power appears, in his having conjoined so many qualities in such diminutive animals: and his wisdom, in having rendered them equally useful to men and brutes, in health, and in sickness. It is our duty to attend seriously to these circumstances; to have our hearts penetrated with gratitude to our Creator, and to offer him our continual thanks.
Man, endowed with reason, convinced of the utifity of many insects, cannot help acknowledging, that there are many still, whose uses are totally unknown. In this persuasion, what can he do better, than apply himself to the assiduous investigation 6f their properties? The objection that many are noxious, is not a good one. 1 (hall answer it in the
succeeding succeeding chapter. The inutility of many others, is by no means better; it is absolutely false. For 'it must be observed, in the first place, that we cannot? say a thing is useless, because we are unaquainted with its properties: Experience teaches us, that, by cartful examination of some things, which, for a long time, had been regarded as useless, they have been found possessed os very valuable properties.— Besides, we must distinguish between utility mediate, and utility immediate. All things are created fof the glory of God, and the use of man, although man does not enjoy the whdle immediately. It is but a small part of the insect creation which serves' as food for man, but how many species are devoured by birds, by fishes, and other animals, which afterwards afford him substantial aliment. Hence it sollows, that insects, useful to other animals, are useful to man. But further, many insects, as I have already shewn, are of immediate utility to man. And is there not a sufficient number to prompt him to examine, whether there are not others, that may be' equally serviceable to him?
. They may be collected in different ways. It is easy to take in the day time, those which eat only during the night, because, then they remain at rest, among the leaves. On the other hand, those that fly only by day, are easily taken during the night. A lighted candle in a lanthorn, attracts them, and brings them within our reach. In rainy weather too4 they take shelter under the leave?, or in other places where they are found without difficulty.
As caterpillars" feed themselves, it is Hot difficult to rear them when they arc taken. However, ther2 are several things worthy of observation on thii head. Whenever I took any, to observe their transformations, and to study their nature, I put ,them into to pretty large class vessels,as wide at top as at bottom. Before putting them into this vessel, I took care to fill it half lull os' earth. I afterwards covered it, leaving, however, free access to the air, and put it ia a place, where it was not exposed to the rays of the fun. I gave fresh food, every day, to such caterpillars, as I knew lived upon particular plants; but to such whose kind of food 1 was ignorant of, I gave at first, such leaves or other things as I had found them on. If-they did not touch thrfe, the next day I gave them other leaves, and I continued thus, till I discovered the food that suited them. As great prosit is derived from bees, it is of great importance for those who have opportunity, to know how to cultivate them. But as this subject; is too copious to be fully treated here, I shall confine myself to the principal circumstances.
Bees require great care and attention. In the first place, fheir hives must be judiciously placed. They should be situated in an air neither near a swamp nor moist. It is of advantage, to have*in the neighbourhood, little rivulets of running water, not surrounded with tall trees, nor having on their banks, too luxuriant herbacre. There should likewise be in
the vicinity of the hives, abundance of all forts of odoriferous flowers. The hives must be very clean; and free from all impurities, such as spiders webs, mouldiness, mortis, clefts, &c. During winter, they ought to be laid over with plaister, that the bees may be kept warm, and that no insect may penetrate to them. When the honey is taken in autumn, care must be had, to leave enough to serve them for food during winter. In the months of May, June, and July, they must be watched, that the swarms may not be lost. The hives which are strong swarm in Mav, those less so before St. John's Day, and the weakest after that time. If it is wished ro have the swarm remain in the hi"e destined for it, certain pre11 e cautions cautions must be used, and it must be* introduced ■with address. ITie diseases of bees are a fort of plague, and a diarrhœa. The first is occasioned by moisture falling on the hives in autumn, which communicates with the honey, renders it mouldy, and infects the bees. If it be discovered in time, it may be remedied, by cleaning the hives, and exposing them often to the air. The second arises, when they over-heat themselves in the spring, or light upon noxious flowers. It is remedied, by introducing some honeycomb into the hive by its aperture at top; or by mixing a certain powder with honey, and giving it to the bees. 1 he enemies of bees are the stork, iwallows, pigeons, jays, wood peckers, mice, snakes and ants. Some sptcies of these last eat the bees themselves, others the honey, such as drones, wasps and hornets. Amongst the things that are disagreeable to them, we must reckon savin, boxwood, wormwood, salt, putrid water, all sorts of strong and bad smells, or exhalations, smoke, thunder, lightning and great noises.
As to silk worms, the following is the method of treating them. To enable them to construct their cone with the greater facility, they are put into a paper, rolled up, so as to be pointed at one end, and wide at the other. This method is proper, only when a small number is to be reared* But if a considerable quantity is maintained, it will be better to put them upon branches of the white mulberry, which will procure them the advantage of living in a cleanly manner, without being surrounded by their excrement. There is another regulation to be observed with such as are just hatched. They are fed with leaves of lettuce, but with all the economy which the delicacy of their state requires, that too great a quantity of this food may not prove fatal to them. Supposing their Use divided into three stages,
the following rule is to be observed: One portion of lettuce daily is given to the youngest j the double to those in the second stage; but, when they have ar ived at their natural size or third stage, they will need more than triple of what they got at first, that is to fay, five parts must be given them.
These infects eat indifferently fig and young elm leaves, but those of the white mulberry are their most favourite food. When these are given them, care mult be taken, that they be neither moist, nor too succulent. Tht leaves of the young mulberries, or of those that grow in a moist foil, have this defects Such an aliment does not suit their Constitution. On the contrary, it is very hurtful to them, and almost always fatal. The best food for them is* the leaf of those white mulberries that grow in stony and dry places, on hills and mountains, which are open to the free air, beaten by the winds, and exposed to the violence of tempests. Such a tree has its juices purified, and fit for the nourishment of silkworms. Should the leaves happen to be surcharged with dew or rain, the situation of the tree soon (hakes off the humidity, and the wind restores its former dryness.
I would not, however, advise any one to trust in this case, entirely to chance. I would rather chuse to delay gathering the leaves till the fun has succeeded the rain, or till mid-day, before making a provision of leaves, nor would I feed my silk-worms, before I had wiped off all the humidity which has escape! the winds, or the heat of the fun.
1 cannot sufficiently recommend the keeping of the place where they are reared, neat and clean.— Great care must be taken in the cleaning, which is done with a delicate rush or with a feather, not to
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