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The persons who understand this subject, call the substance which forms the first foundation of their combs, commosis,1 the next, pissoceros,2 and the third propolis;3 which last is placed between the other layers and the wax, and is remarkable for its utility in medicine.4 The commosis forms the first crust or layer, and has a bitter taste; and upon it is laid the pissoceros, a kind of thin wax, which acts as a sort of varnish. The propolis is produced from the sweet gum of the vine or the poplar, and is of a denser consistency, the juices of flowers being added to it. Still, however, it cannot be properly termed wax, but rather the foundation of the honey-combs; by means of it all inlets are stopped up, which might, otherwise, serve for the admission of cold or other injurious influences; it has also a strong odour, so much so, indeed, that many people use it instead of galbanum.

1 Or "conusis," "gummy matter."

2 Pitch-wax.

3 A kind of bee-glue; the origin of the name does not seem to be known. Reaumur says that they are all different varieties of bee-glue.

4 See B. xxii. c. 50.

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