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Bees and beehives, too, are a subject extremely well suited to a description of gardens and garland plants, while, at the same time, where they are successfully managed, they are a source, without any great outlay, of very considerable profit. For bees, then, the following plants should be grown—thyme, apiastrum, the rose, the various violets, the lily, the cytisus, the bean, the fitch, cunila, the poppy, conyza,1 cassia, the me- lilote, melissophyllum,2 and the cerintha.3 This last is a plant with a white leaf, bent inwards, the stem of it being a cubit in height, with a flower at the top presenting a concavity full of a juice like honey. Bees are remarkably fond of the flowers of these plants, as also the blossoms of mustard, a thing that is somewhat surprising, seeing that it is a well-known fact that they will not so much as touch the blossoms of the olive: for which reason, it will be as well to keep that tree at a distance from them.4

There are other trees, again, which should be planted as near the hives as possible, as they attract the swarm when it first wings its flight, and so prevent the bees from wandering to any considerable distance.

1 See B. xix. c. 50.

2 "Honey-leaf." The Melissa officinalis of Linnæus: our balm- gentle. It is the same as the "apiastrum," though Pliny has erroneously made them distinct plants.

3 "Wax-flower." The Cerinthe major of Linnæus: the greater honey- wort.

4 See B. xi. c. 8. On the contrary, Virgil says, Georg. iv. 1. 20, that a wild olive-tree should be planted near the hives, to protect them with its shade. Varro says also, De Re Rust. iii. 16, that the bee extracts honey from the olive-tree; but according to Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. ix. c. 64, it is from the leaf, and not the flower of that tree that the honey is extracted.

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