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Bees are also by nature liable to certain diseases of their own. The sign that they are diseased, is a kind of torpid, moping sadness: on such occasions, they are to be seen bringing out those that are sick before the hives, and placing them in the warm sun, while others, again, are providing them with food. Those that are dead they carry away from the hive, and attend the bodies, paying their last duties, as it were, in funeral procession. If the king should happen to be carried off by the pestilence, the swarm remains plunged in grief and listless inactivity; it collects no more food, and ceases to issue forth from its abode; the only thing that it does is to gather around the body, and to emit a melancholy humming noise. Upon such occasions, the usual plan is to disperse the swarm and take away the body; for otherwise they would continue listlessly gazing upon it, and so prolong their grief. Indeed, if due care is not taken to come to their aid, they will die of hunger. It is from their cheerfulness, in fact, and their bright and sleek appearance that we usually form an estimate as to their health.

(19) There are certain maladies, also, which affect their productions; when they do not fill their combs, the disease under which they are labouring is known by the name of claros,1 and if they fail to rear their young, they are suffering from the effects of that known as blapsigonia.2

1 The reading seems doubtful, and the meaning is probably unknown.

2 Injury of the young."

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load focus Latin (Karl Friedrich Theodor Mayhoff, 1906)
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