Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/83

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pronounced samples adulterated which were known to he the pure products of the flowers gathered by the bees. Every apiarian specialist knows that during the course of one good honey season, beginning with the early spring bloom of willow, maple, fruit, etc., and ending with the fall bloom of golden-rod, buckwheat, etc., he can get nearly a dozen different grades or kinds of honey—in color from the very light, almost transparent linden to the turgid and black buckwheat, and in flavor from the mild and delicious sweet to that which is strong, rank, and quite unpalatable to some tastes. Let a person with no special knowledge of honey be presented with the former for his sight and palate, and then with the latter, and, ten to one, he will declare that the one sample is not honey at all, but a vile imitation. Then, again, good, pure honey, through mismanagement, may become so deteriorated in quality and altered in taste as to at once provoke suspicion of adulteration.

Granulation was also regarded as a sure test of the purity of honey, but it is not so, as some pure grades, containing only the non-cry stallizable sugar, will not granulate; while other samples mixed with glucose will granulate. The light-colored and best grades of honey will be fine-grained in granulation, while other grades will be coarse-grained and present the appearance of sugar for certain to the uninitiated.

When an honest man falls into an error, he is always willing to correct it as soon as it is pointed out to him and proved to be such. Prof. Wiley was expected to do that much at least toward repairing the injury he had wittingly or unwittingly done the whole fraternity of bee-keepers. But Prof. Wiley failed to do so, so far as the public knows. He neglected—I may safely say refused—to make the amende honorable. The apiarists became incensed, indignant, and demanded proof of his assertion or a retraction. The professor of science vouchsafed neither the one nor the other. Finally, after years had elapsed, being still hotly pursued by the apiarists and bee journals, especially the American Bee Journal, Prof. Wiley did manage to make an explanation or "statement"; which, however, in no way improved his position before the public either as an honorable man or a professor of science. About seven years after uttering the slander to the world, he speaks, and makes this astounding admission:

"At the time, I repeated this statement more in the light of a pleasantry than as a commercial reality, for I did not believe that it was possible commercially to imitate the comb." (Letter dated Washington, D. C, May 29, 1888, addressed to W. M. Evans, and published in the American Bee Journal of June 13, 1888.)

In this attempted justification of himself Prof. Wiley says he had heard from a friend of his (now deceased) that comb-honey