E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Locking up a criminal in the trunk of a tree, bored through so as just to admit the body. Five holes were madeone for the head, and the others for the hands and legs. These parts were anointed with honey to invite the wasps. In this situation the criminal would linger in the burning sun for several days. (Greek, skaph, anything scooped out.)