Poisonous or drunk honey

Poisonous or drunk honey

Poisonous, or “drunk”, honey is known since ancient times. Ancient Greek commander and writer Xenophon of Athens in the historical narrative “Anabasis” (Retreat of 10 thousand Greeks from Asia Minor) dwells in detail on the episode when the warriors, who ate in the Colchis of honey, got sick: “In general, there was nothing here that could arouse surprise, but there were many beehives, and all the soldiers who ate the honeycombs lost consciousness, they vomited and diarrhea began, so that no one could stand upright. Who ate a little, he looked like a very intoxicated one, who ate more seemed crazy, some even died. a lot of sick people, like after the defeat, so that it was a great gloom, but the next day no one died, and about the same time (in which the patients ate honey) they began to regain consciousness;

Beekeepers in some districts of Batumi, not far from the places where Xenophon has been poisoned, are often forced to use only wax, as eating honey causes dizziness, intoxication, and vomiting.

In the mountainous areas of the middle and northern parts of Japan, the use of honey causes a disease in humans associated with the action of poisonous nectar collected by bees from the hotsutsy plant of the heather family. It is proved that honey from the flowers of azalea, aconite, andromed contains poisonous substances.

AM Gorky in the story “The Birth of Man” wrote: “… in the hollows of old beeches and limes you can find” drunk “honey, which in ancient times nearly killed Pompey the Great’s soldiers by his drunken sweetness, knocking down a legion of iron Romans the bees make it from the flowers of laurel and azalea. “

In the Far East, honey bees make poisonous honey, collecting nectar from the flowers of the marsh shrub cherub.

This shrub covers an area of ​​thousands of hectares,

forming huge thickets: it blooms for 20-30 days and gives bees up to 3 kg of honey per day per one bee family. Honey from the swampy heather is yellowish, slightly bitterish, quickly crystallizes (candied). The use of this honey causes a person poisoning, manifested in the appearance of cold sweat, chills, nausea, vomiting, headaches.

Observations showed that the use of 100-120 g of this honey causes a person to lose consciousness, delirium. Honey from marsh heather is completely harmless for bees. Feeding the bees of this honey in summer and winter did not have a harmful effect.

“Drunken” honey in the Khabarovsk Territory is collected from the beetroot flowers – a small shrub growing on marshy and peaty places. White, collected flowers in the scab, possessing a stupefying smell, attract bees. From the collected nectar they make poisonous honey. I. Molochny proposed a method of neutralizing “drunk” honey three-hour warming up at a temperature of 80-90 њ.

In this case, honey is stirred, not allowing its boiling. Long-term heating of honey destroys poisonous substances, and it becomes suitable for food. However, detoxification by prolonged warming leads to a loss of the wonderful taste of honey. In connection with this, K. Sh. Sharashidze (1951) developed a method for neutralizing “drunk” honey by heating at a temperature of 46 њ and a pressure of 67 mm. This method allows you to save all its properties.

Many more examples could be cited, which convincingly prove that along with the nectar of poisonous plants, bees carry poisonous substances into honey. The bees themselves annually feed on this poisonous honey without any detriment to themselves. These centuries-old observations are confirmed by experiments on animals. It has been established that poisonous honey, which does not differ in its properties from ordinary honey, contains a substance that causes poisoning.

Symptoms observed when poisoning with poisonous honey, coincide with the symptoms described more than 2 thousand years ago by Xenophon. Poisonous honey is also called “drunk” because a person who has eaten it, has dizziness, nausea, convulsions. Such a person resembles a drunk.

Later K. Sh. Sharashidze (1954) conducted a series of biological experiments that prove that the toxic properties of “drunken” honey depend on the virulence of the nectar of the flowers of azalea and rhododendron.

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Poisonous or drunk honey