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The clapping of the hands and the tinkling of brass afford bees great delight, and it is by these means that they are brought together; a strong proof, in fact, that they are possessed of the sense of hearing. When their work is completed, their offspring brought forth, and all their duties fulfilled, they still have certain formal exercises to perform, ranging abroad throughout the country, and soaring aloft in the air, wheeling round and round as they fly, and then, when the hour for taking their food has come, returning home. The extreme period of their life, supposing that they escape accident and the attacks of their enemies, is only seven years; a hive, it is said, never lasts more than ten.1 There are some persons, who think that, when dead, if they are preserved in the house throughout the winter, and then exposed to the warmth of the spring sun, and kept hot all day in the ashes of fig-tree wood, they will come to life again.

1 Cuvier says that a hive has been known to last more than thirty years: but it is doubtful if bees ever live so long as ten, or, except the queen, little more than one.

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    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), SE´RICA
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