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The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, September 21, 1902, Image 13

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1902-09-21/ed-1/seq-13/

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Uat^st D^ccv^y *n Mescal Scenes
M^SS S^S^y H^r^y B^ a
bury, living near Chestertown, Md., In
writing of his experience, says:
"I have tried the remedy by having
bees sting me at places where the pain
IN addition to its time honored repu
tation for industry, the busy little bee
has been recently found to possess
valuable medicinal properties. Taken
regularly and under proper medical
direction, a bee sting, it is believed by
many, is a valuable panacea for many
6erious disorders. Several remarkable
cures believed to have been wrought
eolely by the medicinal properties of bee
Etinps have been recently reported. Much
remains to be learned as to the exact ef
fects of bees' st!ngs. Being a somewhat
violent treatment, it should not be taken
freely, except by regular medical pre
The poison exuded by the sting of the
honey bee has long had a recognized
chemical value. It is known in commerce
as formic acid. This acid, which is ex
tremely powerful, is a recognized drug.
End as such has many uses. It has had,
besides, for years a recognized therapeutic
value among homeopaths. The sting of
the honey bee, it may readily be under
stood, serves to inject this powerful medi
cine directly into the system, quite as ef
fectively as though administered by a hy
podermic syringe.
In these days of free dispensaries her©
Is a cure which does net even need to
be given away. So difficult is the gather
ing and preparation of this acid that the
medicines which it dominates are natural
ly more or less expensive. The bee sting
cure is obviously within the reach of all.
Any bee may readily be induced to part
\rith its precious secretion. The new
cure — and many believe it to be a valua
ble treatment — has been discovered prac
tically by accident. Most medicines, of
course, are evolved as the result of much
chemical experiment. No one ever
thought of voluntarily taking the bee
cure. The cases already reported of sup
posed cures from stings have been sur
prisingly numerous.
The actual use of the sting of bees is
more or less familiar at present on the
Eastern Shcre of Maryland, In several
sections of Pennsylvania and in several
parts of Long Island. The medicinal
properties of bee stings are also familiar
In Scotland. It is only of late, however,
that the possibilities of the bee sting
nave attracted the attention of physi
cians. At present experiments along
these lines are being carried forward by
et least one physician near New York,
end the subject is attracting considerable
Among homeopaths medicines contain
ing formic acid, or concentrated honey
bee poison, have been effectively used for
years for a variety of serious diseases.
They are employed in the treatment of
Eright's disease, in dropsy, in certain
phases of diphtheritic throat and for
rheumatism. There Is, of course, nothing
surprising in this statement to homeo
paths. Thousands of sufferers have taken
the bee sting as a medicine, and are tak
ing it to-day without knowing the source
of the medicine.
Ch'-nce Sting Cured Rheumatism.
Many stubborn, even chronic, cases of
rheumatism •which have defied ordinary
medical treatment for years have been
relieved, even cured, by bee stings. One
of the most recent of these cases has
L-een the cure of William Snively of
Shady Grove, near Chambersburg, Pa.
Mr. Snively had been a sufferer from
tcute rheumatism for years, and despite
ordinary medical treatment had lost the
use of both arms, so that he was unable
to work. - He chanced to be in his garden
one day recently when a ewarm of bees
attacked him viciously, slinging him se
verely. Such was the stiffness of his
erms that he was practically unable to
defend himself.
seemed to start. Twenty-one bees stung
me in three different places and in less
than twenty-four hours relief was com
These reported cures will appear per
haps more natural to the layman when he
comes to know something of the actuai
The usual poisoning followed, and the
Injure* portion quickly swelled, with the'
Visual accompaniment of pain. Later,
•when the swelling gradually disappeared,
Mr. Snively was amazed to find that the
rheumatic pain and stiffness from which
he had suffered for y ars was disappear
ing a'so. The relief was so great that
wHhin a few days he was enabled to re
g-ain the normal use of his arms. The
•ufferer has since returned to his work,
¦which he carries on with all his old free
The bee sting treatment is reported to
be common en the Eastern Shore of
Maryland. A man named E. B. Salis-
likely to show a streaky or mottled ap
pearance, impossible to remove if once Jt
exists. This gentle movement of the tray
keeps the developer in constant motion
and prevents the settlement of any undie-
Eolved particles of the reducing agent on
the surface of the plate, where, if allow
ed to collect, they would act with greater
energy than in other parts and develop
ment would be uneven and Imperfect. .
With the approach of fall ana the drop
ping of the leaves from the trees, many
beautiful effects will be possible in_pho
tography which cannot be obtained at
any other time. These are to be found In
the photographing of distant landscapes
IN the development of glass nega
tives it is quite necessary that the
tray containing the developer should
be kept in motion by gently rocking
It to and fro during the whole proc
ess of development, as, if this precaution
is neglected, the negative will be very
If a negative is poor on development it
Bhould be destroyed and got out of the
way at once, and not be allowed to clutter
up one's shelves to be always In the way.
Developing tray, glass graduates and
all dishes used in the' dark room should
be carefully rinsed each time after use.
Even , with the best of care, however,
they will from time to time require 'spe
cial cleansing, as the dust and dirt ac
cumulate and traces of the chemicals re
main even after rinsing. It Is well to give
them a thorough cleaning two or three
times during the season with a pretty
strong bath of sulphuric acid or muriatic
acid, allowing this acid to remain in them
for several minutes and scrubbing them
at the same time "with a brush or coarse
cloth. After the acid is thrown out they
should again be carefully rinsed and put
away to dry, bottom upward.
of the operation a great deal of unneces
sary time and annoyance are saved later
on. . It Is, besides, an extremely unwise
policy to save negatives that are of all
degrees of badness, thinking that they
may some time be available for use.
'Another charming application of pho
tography is its use for decorative work,
and many beautiful subjects abound at
this season of the year. In the photo
graphing of clusters of . ferns, brakes,
meadow grasses, cat-o'-nine-tails and
such common subjects as clusters of su
mac, grape vines with bunches of ripened
.For work of this kind, lenses of long
focus only should be employed, and care
must be taken that the lens Is stopped
down small enough so that the nearer
objects are sharply defined on the plate.
It is also necessary that such work be
done on a very still day in order to avoid
blurring from the movement of the
leaves and branches in the foreground.
through the openings in trees and shrubs
near at hand, In such a way that while
the distant view Is plainly to be seen
through the open spaces,' the boughs and
few remaining leaves are, toade to form
a border to the picture, which gives
strength and character to the foreground
and adds to the effect of distance in the
rest of' the composition.
plan to bathe the plates before develop
ment in a restraining solution made up
of one gram of saturated solution of bro
mide of potash to one ounce of water..
If the plates are removed from this bath
without washing directly to the devel
oper they will be more thoroughly under
control than if the bromide is added to
the developer -after the evidence of over
exposure becomes apparent. This treat
ment, however, is only wise for plates
which are known to have been overex
posed. . . "
Spoiled negatives are the product of all
dark rooms, no matter how proficient the
workers bv whose hands they, are pro
duced. Inasmuch as the glass is often
available for future uses and as it is very
difficult to clean the film from a plate
after | it has . become dry, it Is • always
best, as soon as 'the negative is discovered
to have been lost, to leave it in the hypo
bath until all developing operations are
over and. then remove the film while, yet
soft and 'pliable. It will generally be
found to leave the glass very easily and
if the glass is thus cleaned at this stage
or ripening fruit, or the graceful mullein
stalk common to the hillsides of the coun
try all about, present an endless variety
of material for this work. Carefully se
lected pictures of such studies as the
above, even if made on the small size
plates, as 3^i by 4% or 4 by 5, are often
times exquisite when reproduced in direct
prints, but by far their greater value lies
in the possibility of their use for deco
rative purposes when enlarged to' consid
erable proportions and printed on bro
mide papers. (
The writer has seen several dainty and
effecfive friezes and border, decorations
that have been made from just such work
as this. The selection and aVrangement
of such subjects are extremely fascinat
ing to any one of an artistic temperament.
A collection of such views as this should
be made while it is possible to obtain it,
and the negatives kept for enlargement
at a later time when the long evenings
can be devoted to such work.
In cases where it is believed that a
batch of plates has received longer ex
posure than was Intended It is a good
commercial use of the poison of the honey
bee. Few persons are familiar with the
unusual method employed for extract
ing it.
To procure this powerful liquid a num
ber of honey bees are collected and placed
in a glass jar. The top of the jar Is
covered with netting, to allow plenty of
air for breathing. The chemist then pro
ceeds to stir up the bees vigorously with
a stick. The honey bee is, as a. rule,
harmless, unless angered. The persistent
stirring of a mass of bees drives them
to fury and as a result they soon com
mence viciously to sting, the eides of; the
jar. A small portion of the poison is thus
deposited on the sides of the Jar. When
the bees cannot be induced to sting any
more they are emptied out and the
poison is collected and held in solution of
In its pure state formic acid is extreme
ly powerful. Even when diluted to ex
treme weakness its action, on the tissues
is very marked. The sensation of being
stung by a bee is, of course, familiar and
scarcely needs description. The slightest
injection of the poison produces a pow
erful action, both locally and constitu
tionally. The tissues affected by the
sting almost instantly become hard and
of whitish color, and rapid swelling
quickly follows. It is impossible for the
blood to force its way through the swol
len portion. An abnormal amount of this
poison in the ' system will quickly prove
fatal to the most robust constitution. In
stances of men and horses being stung to
death by bees in a comparatively short
time are common. '
Though the therapeutic value of formic
acid has been neglected or little under
stood, its commercial value is widely rec
ognized. It is utilized in science to pre
serve : pathological specimens. Acting
upon such specimens much the same as
it, does upon living tissues, it quickly
hardens. them, and in this condition they
may be preserved for long periods. In
other words, the specimens are stung un
til they are hard enough to resist the ac
tion of the air. A similar use of the add
is made by embalmers under the name
of "formaline" , and . "formaldehyde,"
both words Being derived from "formic."
A few years ago, it may be recalled,
considerable excitement was aroused by
the repojrt that formaldehyde was being
used /extensively to preserve milk
in the large cities. The acid is also
used as a germicide and disinfectant.
Some Idea or its power may be obtained
from the fact that a solution of one part
of formic acid to 500,000 parts water Is
considered an effective "germicide. The
power of the insignificant little stinging
apparatus of the bee, It will be seen, is
not one to be trifled with.
When the effect of the bee sting comes
to be more understood it is .probable that
this novel and very powerful way of tak
ing medicine will be a common practice.
Exactly what happens when one has been
stung by a bee, whether by accident or
as the result of a medical prescription, is
as follows: J
The sting of the bee breaks the skin
slightly, 'so 'that* the aperture which ex
udes the poison or natural formic acid
reaches' the smaller veins. As the poison
is injected it rapidly Bpreads to the sur-
rounding tissue. The action is very rapid.
Its effect is both local and constitutional.
The injection of the acid causes instant
swelling, shutting off the circulation. The
local nerve centers are paralyzed. The
accompanying pain is extremely sharp.
To alleviate this pain and reduce the
swelling the sting must be treated lo
It Is impossible, with the present llmlt
eu knowledge of the subject, to explain
exactly how this injection of formic add
brings relief, even works a cure, in cases
of rheumatism. If such a cure be gen
eral and permanent the inevitable con
clusion is that the effect of the sting la
constitutional, since rheumatism is a con
stitutional disease. .-.. .-• S
Dr. Louis B. Couch of Nyack on Hud
son, who has been experimenting along
these lines, announces that the sting of
the bee offers to physicians a rich field
for original investigation as a therapeutic
remedy for rheumatism. Dr. Couch has
done much valuable original investigation
and is the Inventor of many surgical in
struments highly considered in the pro
"The poison of the honey bee," he an
nounced In a recent Interview, "has long
been known to the profession, if not to
the public, as a cure for rheumatism. Its
therapeutic value has been - familiar to
homeopaths for several decades.
"It is at present in dally use among
them.' It has been found by analysis that
the principal ingredient of the honey be*
virus Is formic acid. The acid i3 obtained
for commercial purposes, I believe, from
tees, from the glands of stinging nettles,
from certain kinds of caterpillars, from
ants, etc. The therapeutic value of the
honey bee sting is mainly. If not entirely,
due. it seems to me, to this formic acid.
,"I have bee . -working on this line of
investigation for some time. I have not
yet decided whether the action of th«
sting of the Injection of the acid Is local
or constitutional. This may only be de
termined by many actual tests. From my
experience I am led to believe that it la
"I should like to add a word of -warning
to those who are experimenting by ac
tually submitting to the bee sting treat
"It should be borne In mind that ther«
Is some danger in being stung by too
many bees in any limited space. The con
sequent swelli^". hardness of the tissues
and inflammation are likely to check trie
circulation because of the pressure on the
Mood vessels. As a result, a certain
sloughing of the tissues may follow.
"A similar result is found in the case o!
boils or carbuncles. When ?>*•• circulation
of blood is shut off the cores, as they are
commonly called, mortify and slough
away uue to the fact that the centra!
tissues are deDrived of their vitally lm
lortar.t circulation. Any one who has
taken the new cure will greatly oblige
me by communicating his observations tc
Dr. W. C. Gilday, In an interview or
the general subject, said: "This formic
acid, though little known to the puotlc
is not unfamiliar to the medical profes
sion. : It is a drug of recognized value. It
is very powerful, being in . fact danger
ously caustic, causing * intense pain and
ulceration on coming in contact with the
skin. The only practical use found foi
It in the profession; so far as I know. It
as a disinfectant and a preservative. ";It
Is a powerful preservative and a very en
ergetic germicide."
A most Ingenious theft is reported -or
one of the railways in Burma, reports the
London-- Express. The Burmese head
covering, it must be understood, is a silk
kerchief, often of considerable value
called "gaungbaung." Some young dare
devils attach prickly bushes to long bam
boo poles, and when thernail train passe!
they will yell out. which causes the native
passengers to stick their heads out of the
carriage windows.- The train is then rakec
from end to end by means of the scrubhj
poles, with the result that the Burm^c
male passengers are deprived of thelt
gaungbaungs. Some " twenty-seven sills
head-dresses were thus acquired by ttw
young scamps In one night.

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