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Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)

Perry 400 (Aphthonius 27)

A story about honeybees and a shepherd, urging us not to set our hearts on wicked gains.
Some honeybees were making honey in the hollow of an oak tree. A shepherd discovered the bees' work and attempted to carry away some of the honey. The honeybees flew all around him, stinging the man with their stings. In the end the shepherd exclaimed, 'I give up! I don't need the honey if it means dealing with the bees.'
Trouble awaits you if you pursue ill-gotten gains.

Note: Compare the Greek proverb, 'no honey, no bees' (Erasmus, Adages 1.6.62), which was used to refer to a person who rejected something pleasant because of some unpleasantness that accompanied it.

Source: Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura Gibbs. Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
NOTE: New cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.