In consequence, his lecture-room was thronged with people of all sorts, anxious to hear a man who shunned the barren obscurities of the alchemists, and did not regard the quest of the philosopher's stone and the elixir of life as the sole end of his science.
The bee signifies life that comes from death, the dark of the hive creating the golden elixir of life.
Has he been taking the elixir of life by any chance?
They contain, under the title Doctrine of Democritus, a fairly methodical treatise in ten books comprising the Argyropoeia and Chrysopoeia of the pseudo-Democritus, with many receipts for colouring metals, making artificial precious stones, effecting the diplosis or doubling of metals, &c. They give illustrations of the apparatus employed, and their close relationship to the Greek is attested by the frequent occurrence of Greek words and the fact that the 1 An alchemistical work bearing the name of Ostanes speaks of a divine water which cures all maladies - an early appearance of the universal panacea or elixir of life.
Unfortunately, mangosteen may be delicious, but it's not the elixir of life.