1. Mel. Honey.
2. Cera Flava. Yellow Wax.
1. A saccharine secretion deposited in the honeycomb by the bee. 2. A product obtained by melting and purifying the honey-comb of the bee.
Habitat. N. America, Europe.
Syn. 1. Fr. Miel blanc; Ger. Honig. 2. Cer. Flav., Beeswax, Yellow Wax (Beeswax), Cera Citrina; Fr. Cire jaune; Ger. Cera flava, Gelbes Wachs. A'nis. L. a bee. Gr.
a giant - i. e., from its classical name. Mel-lif'e-ra. L. mellifer, honey-producing, fr. mel, mollis, honey, + ferre, to bear.
Animal. - About 15-20 Mm. (3/5-4/5') long, 4-5 Mm. (1/6-1/5') broad, grayish-brown, chin (mentum) elongated, tongue short, labium and terminal maxillary lobes lengthened into proboscides, labium hastate or cordate. It has been hived from the earliest times for its honey and wax; lives in swarms of 10,000-50,000 individuals, consisting of 3 kinds or classes - perfect females (queen bees), undeveloped females (neuters, working bees), and males (drones). In each swarm there is only one queen bee, much larger than the others, whose sole function is to propagate (laying about 2,000 eggs daily), and at whose death a young, 3-day-old, working bee is selected, her cell enlarged and food changed to royal jelly or paste, whereby she soon grows into a queen - the inspiration centre; the drones (several hundred) are gentlemen of leisure - an abundant supply from which the queen may be insured a rightful mate for her own impregnation, when those remaining are destroyed by the neuters, these being the numerous laborers that suck honey from flowers With their proboscides, swallow it with their mouths and later disgorge it into the honey-cells as food for the other bees, old and young - the pollen attaching itself to them simply being utilized as bee-bread for the larvae. Formerly wax was considered a formation from pollen, but now it is accepted as a secretion from honey. The neuters have a barbed sting attached to a sac of poison which flows into the inflicted wound causing severe pain. When the hive becomes overstocked a new colony is sent out under the direction of a queen bee (swarming).
I Mel, Honey. This is a thick, syrupy liquid, yellowish-brown, translucent when fresh, gradually becoming opaque and crystalline; characteristic odor; sweet, faintly acrid taste, slightly acid, laevorota-tory. The honey from hives which never have swarmed is virgin honey, the finest being allowed to drain simply from the comb, the impure grades with the aid of pressure. Tests: 1. Diluted with twice its weight of water - moderately turbid, non-stringy, sp. gr. 1.099, corresponding to sp. gr. 1.370 for the original honey. 2. Incinerate 1 Gm. - ash .3 p. c. Impurities: Starch, dextrins, chlorides, sulphates, azo dyes, foreign coloring matter, artificial or added invert sugar.
Constituents. - Grape-sugar or dextrose (becoming crystalline) 32-42 p. c, fruit-sugar or levulose (remaining liquid) 32-42 p. c, wax, volatile oil, proteids, mucilage, coloring matter, formic acid, ash .1-.3 p. c, usually suspended pollen grains.
Preparations. - 1. Mel Depuratum. Clarified Honey. (Syn., Mel Depurat., Mel Despumatum; Fr. Miel despume, Mellite simple, Sirop de Miel; Ger. Gereinigter Honig.)
Manufacture: Mix honey with 2 p. c. of shredded, Washed, soaked, expressed, and reshredded paper pulp, heat on water-bath at 70° C (158° F.), carefully removing scum rising to the surface, add distilled water q. s. for loss in evaporation, strain, mix with 5 p. c. of glycerin. Dose, ad libitum.
Preps.: 1. Mel Rosoe. Honey of Rose. (Syn., Mellitum Rosatum; Fr. Mellite de Roses rouges, Miel Rosat; Ger. Mel rosatum, Rosenhonig.)
Manufacture: 88 p. c. Mix fluidextract of rose 12 Ml. (Cc.) with clarified honey q. s. 100 Gm. Dose, 3j-2 (4-8 Ml. (Cc.)). 2. Hydrargyrum Cum Creta, 10 p. c. 3. Massa Ferri Carbonatis, 38 p. c. Unoff. Prep.: Oxymel (Br.) - purified honey 5, acetic acid 1, distilled water 1; sometimes used in cough mixtures, dose, 3j-2 (4-8 Ml.
Properties and Uses. - Demulcent, laxative; externally stimulant, nutritive, relieves dryness of mouth, facilitates swallowing; in gargles for aphthae, thrush, pseudomembranous deposits; in poultices for boils, carbuncles, fissures of nipples; in plasters for drying up mammary secretion.