On the Relation Between Flowers and Insects 1

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THE habit possessed by our honey-bee of feeding itself from flowers, and its corresponding faculty of deciding amongst different species and divining the situation of the honey, is, in the first instance, derived from the common parents of all the Hymenoptera. It probably even comes from such remote ancestors as the leaf-cutting wasp, from them passes to the gall-flies, the ichneumons, and the hunting-wasps, from which latter it goes to the allied species of ants and bees. We may see all these families of Hymenoptera feeding on the honey and pollen of flowers, and manifesting a certain, if not always very obvious, intelligence in choosing the flower to be visited.

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D., A. On the Relation Between Flowers and Insects 1 . Nature 15, 178–180 (1876) doi:10.1038/015178d0

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