THE HUMBLE BEE'S NEST
LAST March, when the days began to be warm, we saw a big
Humble Bee, or Bumble Bee, as the little ones call it,
buzzing along across the field.
"Look out, Peter," said Peggy; "that is a mother humble
bee, who has been asleep all the winter. She must be
making a nest." So Peter followed her. She flew to a
bank, and went in among some tufts of grass. Peter put
a large stick there and we went to see her every day.
We used to find her dragging in little pieces of moss.
But we did not look in, for fear she should go away.
After a fortnight Paul said we might look, and, hidden
in the grass, we found a small round patch of moss
lined with bees-wax.
 It was like a tiny saucer turned upside down. We lifted
it up and found under it a few round flat pockets, some
as big as a halfpenny, some not larger than a farthing.
They were made of brown, sticky wax, and when we opened
one we found inside seven tiny eggs, as small as poppy
seeds, and some little brown balls. The balls, Paul
said, were made of honey, and of the yellow dust from
flowers. In another pocket we found grubs which had
already been hatched from eggs. These were feeding on
the brown balls near them.
A HUMBLE BEE'S NEST
The mother bee was very uneasy while we were looking at
her nest. She sat down quite
 near. We could see how big and stout she was. She was
so handsome. Her brown body was covered with soft
yellow hairs, with stripes of black hairs between. Her
wings were broad, and shone so brightly in the sun. She
did not sting us. Paul says that humble bees are very
gentle. But she was afraid we would hurt the grubs,
which were going to grow up into working bees. We put
the cover back and waited two months. Then it was June.
We were afraid the horses might tread on the nest when
the hay was cut. So we went to look at it.
Oh! How big it was now. There was a large round moss
roof. It was lined with wax, and was so strong that we
had to cut it with a knife. The only way for the bees
to get into it was by a long tunnel just under the
ground. Under the roof were a number of dirty yellow
silk cocoons. In these were the grubs, growing into
humble bees. The cocoons were stuck together with wax.
Some of them were open, for the young bees had come
out. These had honey in them.
HUMBLE BEES GATHERING HONEY FROM PEA-FLOWERS.
There were a great many humble bees going in and out.
These had all come from eggs laid by the mother bee in
two months. They were very busy bringing in honey and
bee-bread for the grubs to eat. But Paul says they do
not store honey, like our hive-bees. For when the cold
damp weather comes, they all
 die, except a few mothers. These creep into holes in
the trees or into a warm haystack, and sleep till the
spring comes again.
About Christmas time we went to look at the nest. The
roof was broken, and the cells all crushed. There was
not one humble bee to be found.