11 NOVEMBER 1932, Page 12


One of the small details that has made enquiry easier is the discovery that the cellulose paint or varnish (such as is used for adding a flourish to our motor-cars) is an ideal material for marking bees. Incidentally, might it not serve for marking small birds in lieu of metal rings 7 It lasts a long time and would involve no disqualification. Each county or part of a county might be accorded a particular tint, so that the colour would indicate the region where the bird was marked. However that may be, a spot of cellulose varnish applied to one particular . spot on a young bee'S back does it no harm. The youngster is perhaps slightly drugged at first, and for a few days the bee's proper scent is affected--or so we may suppose--and she may be ejected as an alien to the hive ; but thh soon passes ; and the marked bees thereafter suffer no social or athletic disqualification what- ever. The marks, of course, are invaluable to the observer and have revealed some quaint secrets of communal life.

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