Oldest Beehive Found

We have read a lot about the demise of the bee colonies but recently the world’s oldest beehive has been found. Located in the medieval Scottish Rosslyn Chapel, which dates back to 1446, two ancient hives have been found, skillfully carved in the stone work under the roof’s peak. They are thought to be the first man-made stone hives ever found.

The discovery was made while some stone conservation work was being carried out which involved dismantling the peaks of the roof. Apparently the hives were still in use until just recently when the chapel was temporarily covered with a canopy and the bees de-camped.

The only clues to the hives’ existence were flowers intricately carved into the pinnacles — it is charming that there were holes through which the bees could enter and exit. These were visible from the outside.

beehive

The architects in charge of the restoration had no idea that this extra historical treasure existed. One said: “The hives themselves are the ideal size for bees to inhabit. It was a big hollow about the size of a gas cylinder and the hive had obviously been abandoned.” The inside of the hive is covered with some coating to protect the stone and stop the wild bees from eating away at it. Honeycombs were also found in the peak.

Since the hive was so high above the ground, it is clear that no one would be able to reach it to get the honey. It is thought that the ancient stone masons who built the chapel simply wanted to provide a safe location for a wild honeybee hive, protected from bad weather.

The hive has been sent to local beekeepers in an attempt to identify the type of insect that made them and it is hoped the bees will return once the renovation works are complete.

The Chapel was featured in the finale of the film of The Da Vinci Code. As a result, tourism has increased from around 25,000 visitors a year to up to 140,000. Hence it has been undergoing restoration work. Apparently there have always been bees in the roof.

According to the Times, reverence for bees dates back to Egyptian times. As depicted in temple pictures, they kept them in cylindrical hives and sealed pots of honey were found in Tutankhamun’s tomb. In Scotland, hives are often made of baskets which can be lifted and moved around.

Another Reason Why I Don’t Eat Sushi

It is the most expensive – and many would argue delicious – part of a sushi menu.

But one man’s love of sashimi nearly killed him after it led to his body becoming riddled with tapeworm.

The Chinese man had gone to his doctor complaining of stomach ache and itchy skin.

To his horror, scans revealed his entire body had been infected with tapeworm after eating too much sashimi – raw slices of fish.

Doctors believe some of the uncooked Japanese delicacy of raw meat or fish must have become contaminated. 

Chinese man tapeworms

He was treated at the Guangzhou No. 8 People’s Hospital in Guangdong Province, in eastern China.

Research has shown that eating raw or undercooked fish can lead to a variety of parasitic infections.

Tapeworm infections occur after ingesting the larvae of diphyllobothrium, found in freshwater fish such as salmon, although marinated and smoked fish can also transmit the worm. 

While cases have increased in poorer areas due to improved sanitation, cases have increased in more developed countries.

This is most likely due to the soaring popularity of sushi, say doctors writing in the journal Canadian Family Physician.

Study author Nancy Craig wrote: ‘The widespread popularity of Japanese sushi and sashimi (slices of raw fish) is a contributor. But other popular dishes might also be implicated, such as raw salted or marinated fillets – which originate from Baltic and Scandinavian countries – carpaccio – very thin slices of raw fish common in Italy, raw salmon and ceviche – lightly marinated fish.’

Dr Yin, of Guangzhou No. 8 People’s Hospital, told the website that eating uncooked food contaminated with tapeworms’ eggs could eventually cause cysticercosis, when the adult worms enters a person’s blood stream. 

Humans contract tapeworm infections from sushi by eating raw fish that has been infected with the worm in its larvae stage.

When fish eat tapeworm eggs, the hatching larvae attach themselves to the intestinal wall of the fish and the worms infect the fish flesh. 

Because sushi is not cooked, the larvae can in turn transfer into the flesh of any human that eats the fish.

Chinese man tapeworms2 

Once a human is infected, a tapeworm will grow inside the intestine to a length of up to 45 feet over a period of weeks. It can survive for years and go undetected for weeks or months, in turn releasing its own eggs that infect other parts of the human body. 

Symptoms include fatigue, constipation and abdominal discomfort – which can be so mild the victim may not notice anything is wrong. 

If larvae begin to migrate to other parts of the body they can start to eat away at the liver, eyes, heart or brain and cause life-threatening conditions. This type of infection is life-threatening once it reaches the brain.