CONFERENCES: The Facts of Life

Hidden in a shadowy corner of the Luxembourg Gardens—where children, lovers and park bench sages still hold pre-eminence over visiting statesmen—stands a large, Government-owned bee colony. Its keeper, a white-bearded octogenarian named Ernest Baudu, lectures any stray stroller who will listen on the facts of life, both apiarian and human. "Within each hive all bees are devoted to each other. But when a tired bee drops into a foreign hive," he sighs, "he is immediately asked for his passport. Often, in times of scarcity, a group of bees swoops on a richer hive. War ensues. Always it is the...

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