Bees, particularly honey bees, produce substances (namely honey) from which humans can benefit. Here is a look at five different bee products, and the uses which we can derive from them.
The Importance of Bees
Bees are critically important for the existence of a large portion of the world’s plant-based food. Bees are one of the primary pollinators, responsible for pollinating roughly one-third of the world’s food! Simultaneously, bees are also endangered. Bee populations around the world are declining. The reasons for this include air pollution, habitat destruction, deforestation, and most damningly, the use of pesticides. The use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers is very destructive to bee habitats around the world.
The importance of bees to food production cannot be overstated. Bee pollination is necessary for the growth of a wide variety of plants. These include many vegetables including beans and green vegetables, fruits such as apples and watermelons, starches like potatoes, and so many more.
The Uses of Bees
Bees are critical for the production of the world’s food. As the primary pollinators of plants, they are also critical for the world’s ecosystem. The growth and flourishing of numerous plants, trees, and flowers is dependent on bees. Plants and trees, in turn, provide oxygen and make the world beautiful.
Bees are also useful to humans particularly through apitherapy, which is the use of bee substances to make products helpful to humans for medicinal purposes. These products include or are made from honey, beeswax, and others.
Five Bee Products
The following products are all bee products. We recommend that you talk to a medical professional before using any of the following products.
Bee pollen is rich in protein, and contains a range of vitamins, healthy fatty acids, and all of the essential amino acids. Pollen is produced by plants, and bees become covered in it as they travel from one plant to another collecting nectar. Along the way, bees enhance the pollen with different substances, before depositing it in a honeycomb. Bee pollen can be found as an oral supplement.
Bee propolis is a very unique substance. Propolis exists in beehives in order to “polish” the environment, and prevent disease. Bee propolis is rich with antibacterial and antioxidant properties. For bees, it combats germs, bacteria, fungi, and more. For humans, bee propolis can help rejuvenate cells so that they can combat free radicals and prevent aging.
Royal jelly is another unique substance with a specific role for bees. Royal jelly is fed to certain larvae to produce queen bees, which are highly important for a colony of bees. Royal jelly is a prized substance containing bee-derived proteins and antioxidants. Some studies have shown royal jelly to be helpful in reducing blood glucose and cholesterol.
Honey, an oh-so-popular and sweet substance produced by bees, contains antioxidants, minerals, and enzymes. It has a range of potential mild benefits. One is to help soothe a cough, which can be useful by the spoonful, or when added to hot tea. One type of honey, manuka honey, has even been used to help treat burns.
Bee venom is a substance with unexpected potential health benefits. Bee venom contains an antiseptic compound called melittin, which can help combat some bacteria. It has long been used as a traditional natural remedy. It has the potential to help combat the symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis, and perhaps even benefit those with Parkinson’s disease.
Bees are valuable to humans, and not just for their importance in food production and the world’s ecosystem. The substances from bees which we can harvest and use are unique in their nature, and in their potential uses. Consider the above products as potential home remedies for you and your family.