Quotation: Maurice Maeterlinck’s The Life of the Bee

“The Apinae has characteristics so distinct and well-marked that one is inclined to credit all its members with one common ancestor. The disciples of Darwin, Hermann Müller among others, consider a little wild bee, the Prosopis, which is to be found all over the universe, as the actual representative of the primitive bee whence all have issued that are known to us today.

The unfortunate [primitive] Prosopis compares to the inhabitants of our modern hives as cave-dwellers to those who live in our great cities. You will probably more than once have seen her fluttering about the bushes, in a deserted corner of your garden, without realising that you were carelessly watching the venerable ancestor to whom we probably owe most of our flowers and fruits for it is actually estimated that more than a hundred thousand varieties of plants would disappear if the bees did not visit them and possibly even our civilisation, for in these mysteries all things intertwine.”

Maurice Maeterlinck, 1901, The Life of the Bee