“Most of the bees come to their end in the open fields. With wings frayed from the winds the summer workers reach the limit of their strength and expire. Bees that die within the hive are carried outside by the workers – yet this is a rare occurrence. As many observers have reported, dying bees will use their last remaining strength to creep beyond the landing board. A Law of the insect city apparently leads the exhausted bees to leave the interior of the hive and so save their fellow workers the task of removing their bodies. The queen seems to be guided by the same instinct, leaving the hive when her end is near. For cleanliness is one of the unwritten laws of the insect city. It is inherent in the bees. ”
From: ‘The Golden Throng’ by Edwin Way Teale – republished by Alpha Books of Dorset in 1968.