Martin and Bee-Martin Very Different

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Steven T. Byington

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Martin and Bee-Martin Very Different.

Page 717, E. G. Baldwin says "the pretty bee-martins are housed by my neighbors." Surely he must be mixing up martins and bee-martins. A bee-martin can't be made to live in a martin-house. It makes its nest out on the end of a branch. A martin and a bee-martin are no more the same thing than a chestnut and a horse-chestnut, or wheat and buckwheat. So far as I know, authorities all agree that the bee-martin does not ordinarily eat worker-bees, but eats drones, queens, and roscbugs, and drives away the enemies of small birds in general; so that it is a good neighbor except where there is queen-rearing, but a bad neighbor there.

If we could all agree not to call it beemartin, but use the name by which I believe it is better known to the general public, "kingbird," there would be less danger of getting it confused with martins in our talk.

Steven T. Byington.

Ballard Vale, Mass., Sept. 7.

  • Steven T. Byington, “Martin and Bee-Martin Very Different,” Gleanings in Bee Culture 44, no. 21 (November 1, 1916): 1038.