Can every pet be a psychic pet?
Just as there are intellectual and emotional limits in humans, there are limits beyond which many a pet cannot pass. In fact, some animal companions are even dull, due to such factors as over-breeding, in-breeding, biochemical misfortunes, or psychological traumas. There are also certain limits characteristic of the different species. Yet despite all of the innate. qualities which can affect a pet's psychic ability, none is quite so important as the human's ability to communicate with the animal. . Even the least psychic of animals can, if properly approached, teach us a great deal about the sixth sense.
Nowhere is the complexity and psychic rigorousness of nonhuman social life better illustrated than in the kingdom of the honey bee. One of the most cogent descriptions of the intricate world of
the bee appeared in The First New England Catalogue. The author, Eugene Keyarts, brilliantly captures the intense social life of this common insect:
In a colony, the queen is capable of laying 2000 eggs every day. She has the ability to control the sex of each of these eggs and determines whether an egg shall hatch as a worker (female) or drone (male). There is no such thing as a `queen bee egg.' It is impossible for a queen to reproduce one of her own kind. The creation or conception of a queen bee is solely the decision of worker bees.
When an old queen dies or abdicates, potential queens are selected by the workers. Any worker egg or larva, not more than three days old, may be chosen for the dubious honour. Incredible as it may seem, a worker egg left to develop without interference develops the complex organism that is a worker bee. She nurses the larvae, makes wax and comb, keeps the hive clean and guards against intruders, then spends the last days of her brief life . . . foraging in the fields for pollen and nectar. The worker bee performs all those chores necessary for the welfare of the colony, with one exception, that of egg-laying. But give the same worker larva a little more `Lebensraum', keep it on a strict diet of `royal jelly' and it becomes an equally complex organism - that of the queen bee - following an entirely different route of development and accomplishment. One notable change is the queen's life span, which may extend from six to eight years in comparison to the worker's short six weeks.
A queen bee does not gain her high office by descending from a royal line or by divine right. She and several other worker eggs are nominated candidates by groups of their peers throughout the hive. Those selected are given special attention and fed royal jelly, which actually transforms and prepares them for their royal duties.
When the workers have chosen an egg or larva, harbinger of a queen that may eventually reign over them, they tear down the walls of the cell in which the candidate lies and start building a queen cell around her. When completed, a queen cell, made of wax and usually attached to the side of the comb, resembles a peanut shell in size, shape and colour. As the princess advances through the larval stage, she is fed by nurse bees. The candidates feed so copiously, they actually float in a sea of royal jelly inside their cell. Royal jelly is a secretion produced by glands in the nurse bee's head. Sixteen days after the egg is laid, the fully matured princess gnaws her way out of her cell to declare her sovereignty.
Once free of her confining quarters, she sounds a high-pitched challenge to any other pretenders who may be ready to contest her right to be queen. Customarily, the workers nominate more than one candidate to strive for the high office of ruling monarch and build several queen cells at about the same time. The first princess to emerge rushes to those queen cells from which come answers to her challenge; tearing the cells to shreds, she stings her competitors to death. These assassinations continue until all her rivals have been vanquished, after which she takes a well-earned rest, then swiftly walks about on an inspection tour of her domain. She is not yet accepted by her sisters, they do not crowd around her, she must first prove herself by returning from a successful nuptial flight.
Four to ten days after her victory over her rivals, the surviving princess prepares for her wedding flight. On a bright, sunshiny day she takes wing, to mate, high in the air, with the fastest flying drone of those who pursue her. He couples with her in mid-air, dying in the act, actually exploding and depositing millions of spermatozoa in a pouch within the bride's body. The queen seldom mates more than once in her lifetime, thereafter becoming both mother and father to all the eggs she may lay . . .
Arriving home, she is immediately surrounded by the royal attendants who take care of her every need from now on. They wash, clean, massage, comb, feed her.
The new queen starts laying within forty-eight hours after mating. She inspects each cell carefully to see that it is properly cleaned and polished. Having satisfied herself that a cell is ready to receive an egg, she straddles the cell, inserts her long slender abdomen into it and leaves a single egg. Even during the few seconds required to lay an egg, the queen's royal ladies-in-waiting groom and feed her.
The endless round of egg laying is repeated over and over for the rest of the queen's life . . . A queen may lay millions of eggs in her lifetime. She controls the sex of each egg by touching it with a speck of the father's sperm to produce a sterile female worker or withholding the sperm to produce a drone. But she does not decide when or how many eggs to lay. This decision is made by the nurses. When there is sufficient pollen being harvested to feed the larvae, the nurses stuff the queen with royal jelly and she continues to lay at top speed.
When the pollen supply falls off, the nurses restrict the queen's intake of royal jelly and she immediately slows down or stops her egg laying activity