Over the centuries, bees have been used many times as weapons of war. In the thirteen century, residents of the Aegean island of Astipalaia hurled beehives onto pirates storming the castle gates. During World War 1, Belgians trapped in an apiary used bees against the Germans.
Honey, too, has been used as a weapon. Certain members of the heath family produce grayanotoxins, chemicals that act as breathing inhibitors and hypnotics. Honey from these plants is referred to as toxic or “mad ” honey. Three squadrons of Pompey’s Roman troops were slain while under the influence of toxic honey provided by local tribesmen. In small amounts, toxic honey has been used in alcohol, as an additive to increase its punch, and in medicine.