The honeybee, Apis Mellifera provides mankind with more than a sweet creamy honey. They form a prime part of earth's eco system, carrying pollen from one plant to the next, ensuring the continuation of the prime food source, hence our logo "essential to life". Recently there has been a dramatic decrease in the amount of working bees resulting in very poor produce for commercial orchards; which apparently is to be blamed on the resent blast of wireless technology that has seriously distorted the natural navigation of bees.
The power and abilities of bees are not known to many; hence their importance is seriously undermined. Bees do not only distribute pollen and hover over cool drink cans. They are producers of nature's most mighty products - honey and beeswax.
Beeswax is a liquid secreted by the honey bee and used to construct the honey comb. The semi solid substance is molded into six sized cells which are filled with honey and sealed with more wax. Propolis, collected by bees from tree bark and flower buds, is a critical component to hive hygiene and maintenance. It contains strong anti -viral, anti -fungal and anti -biotic properties. It is the only anti –biotic substance to which no strain of virus can become immune to. In addition to this it is claimed that propolis is more sterile than the most advanced laboratory in the world. Hence it serves to protect the hive, honey and bees from infection and bacterial invasion. Veins of propolis, which is sticky and black in appearance, run through beeswax, serving as a cement to repair cracks and crevices. It also lines the front entrance of the hive, forming the first line of bacterial defense. Propolis is one of the reasons why honey does not spoil easily; making it a natural preservative that was used to embalm corpses in Ancient Egypt. Unfortunately modern beekeeping methods strip the hive of its natural power; hence the amount of propolis in refined honey is diminishing. Only raw, non -irradiated honey remains packed with propolis and other marvelous substances.
Beeswax does however remain biologically active after being processed. It is composed of 10 -15% paraffin carbohydrate, 30 - 35% esters of C16 - C36 fatty acids, 15% cerotic acid melissic acid and their homologues. All these fatty acids are essential in manufacturing and repairing cell membranes, enabling cells to obtain optimum nutrition and expel harmful waste products.
Beeswax is also rich in a variety of vitamins such as Vitamin E, which is rich in anti-oxidants, the powerful bodies that fight against harmful oxides and free radicals that cause aging and non-repairable cell damage. Beeswax also contains large quantities of Vitamin A, a substance crucial to cell development and repair.
Beeswax is a highly sought after emulsifier and humecant for cosmetic uses as it has an irritation potential of zero and a comedogenicity rating of 0 - 2, making I t a natural hydrating agent which penetrates through the skins surface without clogging pores.
Raw Honey when harvested without being irradiated or heated retains its power to nourish, heal and preserve. It is a sugary solution manufactured by honeybees through the processing of pollen and nectar and stored as sustenance for bee lava to feed from. It is a richly nourishing food, containing fructose, glucose, water, several different kinds of enzymes and fatty acids. It is known to have strong anti- biotic and anti –bacterial properties making it an effective anti-microbial agent. These properties are formed as a result of the following:
Honey has a low water activity. Most of the water molecules are tightly attached too the plentiful sugar particles, leaving few water molecules freely available which creates an unsuitable environment for bacteria related growth and development.
Honey is rich in enzymes and contains a specific enzyme known as glucose oxidize which becomes active when honey is diluted with bodily fluids, such as the ones found in open wounds. In the presence of oxygen it gradually releases hydrogen peroxide which is a strong anti-septic.
Honey is a relatively acidic substance with a ph level of around 3.2 to 4.5. This prevents the growth of bacteria making honey a natural preservative.
Raw honey is also rich in pollen, gathered from flora nectar. Pollen contains bountiful amounts of vitamins, especially Vitamin B12 and E; it has 22 amino acids and 27 minerals including zinc, calcium, copper, magnesium and iron. Made up of 35% protein and containing many enzymes and coenzymes, it is a source of stamina, energy and vitality. It provides the entire hive with intense nourishment and bees with the basis for optimal performance.
All these factors make honey an anti-body that can be used to kill stubborn drug resistant viruses and is claimed to cure numerous complaints and ailments such as sore throats, coughs, allergies, as well heal diabetic ulcers that don't respond to standard anti-biotic treatment. The effectiveness and potency of honey depends on its quality which is determined by the source of pollen and nectar. For example the highest quality honey is manufactured from orange blossom, clover, alfalfa, sunflowers and eucalyptus pollen. The lowest grade honey is produced from buck wheat nectar. Bees gathering pollen will however only collect the best pollen out of the selection available, ensuring that honey is of a consistent quality. However in an attempt to increase sales and profit, many bee keepers mix pure honey with syrup which has a taste similar to honey making certain honey found on the self nothing better than household syrup.
Bees are mighty, hardworking creatures. They string together earths food chain, and are thus truly essential to life. Let us make use of their products, appreciate what they are capable of and move towards undoing the damages we have incurred on nature.