Bees as weapons

At the last beekeeping club meeting, someone mentioned that bees were a medieval weapon — instead of pots of hot oil being poured on the enemy from the crenellations, guards actually threw bee hives. At the time, it sounded like movie producers wanted to ruin historical accuracy and go the easy route by filming people using liquids like pitch and oil.

Since that meeting, I have read the book Robbing the Bees, by Holley Bishop, and she confirmed that bees were used as weapons!

Before sophisticated box hives were invented, bees kept in twig, straw, or clay vessels of various sizes were adapted as weapons. Bee grenades could be hurled through the air or dropped on enemies.

She mentions several examples, with the oldest one predating the birth of Christ by at least 400 years.

I am very happy that where and when I live today, honeybees are given care as livestock for their hive products, not as weapons.

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