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Indeed, the food of bees is of the very greatest importance, as it is owing to this that we meet with poisonous1 honey even. At Heraclia2 in Pontus, the honey is extremely pernicious in certain years, though it is the same bees that make it at other times. Authors, however, have not informed us from what flowers this honey is extracted; we shall, therefore, take this opportunity of stating what we have ascertained upon the subject.

There is a certain plant which, from the circumstance that it proves fatal to beasts of burden, and to goats in particular, has obtained the name of "ægolcthron,"3 and the blossoms of which, steeped in the rains of a wet spring, contract most noxious properties, Hence it is that it is not every year that these dangerous results are experienced. The following are the signs of the honey being4 poisonous: it never thickens, the colour is redder than usual, and it emits a peculiar smell which immediately produces sneezing; while, at the same time, it is more weighty than a similar quantity of good honey. Persons, when they have eaten of it, throw themselves on the ground to cool the body, which is bathed with a profuse perspiration. There are numerous remedies, of which we shall have occasion to speak in a more appropriate place;5 but as it will be as well to mention some of them on the present occasion, by way of being provided for such insidious accidents, I will here state that old honied wine is good, mixed with the finest honey and rue; salt meats, also, taken repeatedly in small quantities, and as often brought up again.

It is a well-known fact that dogs, after tasting the excretions of persons suffering from these attacks, have been attacked with similar symptoms, and have experienced the same kind of pains.

Still, however, it is equally well ascertained, that honied wine prepared from this honey, when old, is altogether innoxious; and that there is nothing better than this honey, mixed with costus,6 for softening the skin of females, or, combined with aloes, for the treatment of bruises.

1 This has been doubted by Spielmann, but it is nevertheless the truth; the nature of the sugar secreted by the glands of the nectary, being ana- logous to that of the plant which furnishes it. The honey gathered from aconite in Switzerland has been known to produce vertigo and even delirium. Dr. Barton also gives a similar account of the effects of the poisonous honey collected from the Kalmia latifolia in Pennsylvania; and Geoffroi Saint Hilaire says that, having eaten in Brazil some honey prepared by a wasp called "lecheguana," his life was put in very considerable danger thereby. Xenophon also speaks of the effects of the intoxicating or mad- dening honey upon some of the Ten Thousand in their retreat.

2 The rhododendrons and rose laurels, Fée says, which are so numerous in these parts, render the fact here stated extremely probable.

3 "Goats' death." Fée says that this is the Rhododendron Ponticum of Linnæus. Desfontaines identifies it with the Azalea Pontica of modern botany.

4 In reality, there are no visible signs by which to detect that the honey is poisonous.

5 B. xxix. c. 31.

6 See B. xii. c. 25.

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