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Diseases: Mad Honey Disease

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58027.  Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:13 am Reply with quote

Honey produced from the nectar of rhododendrons can cause “mad honey disease” or “mad honey intoxication” in humans. The symptoms are dizziness, weakness, excessive perspiration, low blood pressure, nausea and vomiting. (“Are you feeling quite well, Vicar?”)


My original source was a BBC web page which has since vanished, but type “mad honey disease” into Google and you’ll get hundreds. I just like the name.

58042.  Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:41 am Reply with quote

Xenophon talked about this disease waaaaay back in 401 B.C. And even the Plinster gets a few words in.

58043.  Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:42 am Reply with quote

Also not really a disease...

Molly Cule
58643.  Fri Mar 10, 2006 7:52 am Reply with quote

What is a bee inspector??

Someone who looks out for bee diseases. There are 6 full time bee inspectors in England who go around the country investigating hives.

Bees get bee dysentry. Called Nosema.

Their method of cleaning up is to eat up each others um.. excretement.. so, in seasons when bees are not flying the disease spreads really quickly and often a bee hive population will have to be wiped out to stop the disease spreading.

In flying season the problem may not be so serious as the bees fly to poop... when you take in your washing (rural idyll...ahh.. sweet smelling washing) you may notice yellow dots, which you might have throught were pollen. This is probably bee poo. Anyhow, since the bees are flying about they can deposit their diseases elsewhere and the infection has less change of spreading within the hive.

s - a bee enthusiast who was deperate to sign me up as a novice bee keeper.

58675.  Fri Mar 10, 2006 9:05 am Reply with quote

That does it, Molly - I'm sticking to marmalade from now on.

58688.  Fri Mar 10, 2006 9:24 am Reply with quote

And marmalade's sticking to you, ho ho.

Molly Cule
58693.  Fri Mar 10, 2006 9:43 am Reply with quote

American Foul Brood (AFB) is the most deadly of deadly bee diseases...AFB is spore forming and the spores, which are as in the same danger class as anthrax can survive for and be reactivated after 50 years or more. If a bee inspector finds a case of AFB he will destroy the colony, throw the contents of the hive into a pit and burn it, then bury it. The woodwork of the hive can be blowtorched and reused.

The Dorset Beekeepers' Association says if you find AFB
"get on the phone AT ONCE to Ian. He will drop everything and hurtle towards you ignoring all speed limits (unless he comes by car).

58702.  Fri Mar 10, 2006 10:22 am Reply with quote

Does he have to kill the bees one by one with a little gun, like they do with foot-and-mouth cows?

Frederick The Monk
58704.  Fri Mar 10, 2006 10:36 am Reply with quote

What if some of the bees are out? Does he lie in wait for them?

58711.  Fri Mar 10, 2006 10:55 am Reply with quote

Fairly unrelated, but there was a great quote on Radio4 by the guy who is responsible for collecting dead birds in light of the bird flu warnings.

"I always make sure I wear protection when I'm out picking up birds"

A lesson for us all I think.

Frederick The Monk
58712.  Fri Mar 10, 2006 10:56 am Reply with quote

Dracula's body was decapitated by the Turks and his head was sent to Istanbul preserved in honey, where the sultan had it displayed on a stake as proof that the Impaler was dead.

Molly Cule
58718.  Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:05 am Reply with quote

Did everyone lick it like a lollypop?

Here is someone else who picks up birds... erk.

-- A retired British entomologist, who says he eats roadkill, describes himself as a 'freegan' -- someone who tries to eat all his meals for free.

Arthur Boyt picks up dead animals on the side of the road and prepares it into a tasty casserole, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

'I don`t believe in waste,' he said. 'People regard me as an eccentric, but that doesn`t bother me. I think other people simply have very plain lives.'

Sixty-six-year-old Boyt said he has been eating roadkill since he was 15 when he discovered a dead pheasant near Windsor Great Park and his mother willingly cooked the bird.

Boyt wants to publish his accumulated knowledge into a book, if he can find a publisher

58723.  Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:13 am Reply with quote

The American Foul Brood has potential, surely? I can't think how it fits yet, but we wouldn't want to forget it.

Frederick The Monk
58731.  Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:32 am Reply with quote

Ancient Egyptians thought honey had medical properties, which of course it does - just look at how nicely Vlad's head was preserved (until someone licked it).

This from the Ebers papyrus:
Cure for Cataracts:
Mix brain-of-tortoise with honey. Place on the eye and say: There is a shouting in the southern sky in darkness, There is an uproar in the northern sky, The Hall of Pillars falls into the waters. The crew of the sun god bent their oars so that the heads at his side fall into the water, Who leads hither what he finds? I lead forth what I find. I lead forth your heads. I lift up your necks. I fasten what has been cut from you in its place. I lead you forth to drive away the god of Fevers and all possible deadly arts.

That should do the trick.

Frederick The Monk
58732.  Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:39 am Reply with quote

The Egyptians, Babylonians, Persians, Assyrians and Arabs used honey for embalming their prominent dead. Herodotus records that the Babylonians buried their dead in honey. The old Spartan Kings were embalmed in honey, as were Justinian, the Byzantine emperor, and Alexander the Great. Alexander the Great, as Statius records, ordered before his death that his remains be preserved in honey. Herod I, King of Judea (40–4 B.C.) in a fit of jealousy ordered his beautiful wife, Marianne, to be executed; after which he kept the dead body in honey for seven years—because, he avowed, he loved her. Aristobulos, whom Caesar had ordered to Syria and who was poisoned by the followers of Pompeius, was also embalmed in honey, until Antony sent the remains to Judea to be entombed in the royal sepulchre. The Assyrians and Persians (Herodotus I. 198) covered corpses with wax and then buried them in honey. Homer in the Odyssey (XXIV. 68) describes the funeral of Achilles, "buried in the garments of the gods and in sweet honey." The Iliad (XIX. 38 and XXIII. 170) also renders an account of how the dead were anointed with honey.



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