The bees offer us precious medicines that have been collected and used for thousands of years. It is one of our oldest foods. Apitherapy or bee therapy is the use of bee products for improving health. These include honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly and bee venom.
Honey: Background Bees must fly over 55,000 miles and visit approximately 2 million flowers to make 1 lb. of honey. On average, a worker bee will make 1/12 teaspoon of honey in her three-week lifetime. During the process of collecting the nectar and pollen used to create honey back at the hive, the bees are also responsible for the pollination required for our own food supply. In fact, ¾ of our agrarian food supply depends on the work of the honeybee. This is a vital role which has in recent years been fraught with serious concerns as the honeybees have succumbed to a mysterious condition called colony collapse disorder in which hives spontaneously die and disappear.
A National Academy of Sciences report last fall documented a crisis among North American pollinators – especially honey bees. It stated that losing bees would have significant repercussions throughout the food supply chain. “Honeybees are so integrated into so many different markets that I imagine there would be all kinds of collapses,” said May Berenbaum, who was chair of the NAS committee that developed the pollinator report.
If honey bees in North America disappeared, she said, the price of food would immediately go up, as we would have to rely on more and more imported foods. Lower income families would find it difficult to eat a nutritious diet. If all honeybees disappeared worldwide, food would be scarce, as colonies of bees stopped pollinating fruit, nut and vegetable crops. (“Except for grains,” Berenbaum said. “There would be plenty of bread.”) Honey would disappear from the market, and the surprisingly varied users of wax would be forced to turn to more expensive alternatives. The ripples through the world economy would be profound and prolonged.
If all 7,000-plus species of bees disappeared from the Earth, those ripples would grow into tsunamis ruffling entire ecosystems. In some ecosystems, bees are “keystone” species – a reference to an arch’s top stone, without which both sides collapse. As the plants that rely on bees died off, species that relied on those plants would suffer, leading to the decline or death of species that rely on them, and so on. So with pollinators in decline in general, and honey bees doing a disappearing act that could well be unprecedented in magnitude, there is reason for worry. “That’s the rude awakening on this one,” Berenbaum said. “What may have once been a localized phenomenon could well be a global phenomenon.”
Five Actions to Protect Honeybees and Bee-Friendly 1. Plant your garden with friendly honeybee flowers. 2. Don’t use chemicals in your gardens. 3. Become a beekeeper. 4. Learn about these magnificent creatures. 5. Use local honey and other bee products for your health and well-being.
Honey comes in different colors and flavors depending on what plants the honey- bees collected their nectar and pollen from.
Healing Properties of Honey Honey can be used as a great energy source and has significant antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. In Chinese medicine, honey is said to be sweet (making it a tonic), balanced, moistening and nourishing. It supplements the digestive center, relaxes tension, and moistens dryness for an unproductive cough with blood and for constipation. In addition, it resolves toxins in the body. Avoid consuming honey if you have abdominal fullness, stagnation, damp obstruction, damp-heat with phlegm, diarrhea, or bee allergies. Honey is excellent for sore throats and to soothe coughs. It is also great as a topical to assist in wound healing and burns. Honey reduces infection, inflammation, swelling, pain and hastens the healing process. One of the strongest sources of medicinal honey is the manuka honey, made from the flowers of the manuka bush (Leptospermum scoparium), that comes from New Zealand. Some varieties of manuka honey contain an antibacterial component called UMF (Unique Manuka Factor), which has been found to be even more useful than ordinary honey in aiding infections.
For wound cleaning: drain pus, remove necrotic tissue, clean with hydrogen peroxide, spread honey on gauze and apply to wound. Clean wound and change dressings once daily.
Tip: Don’t heat your honey if you want to access it’s healing properties.
Recipe: Apple Cider Vinegar with Honey Drink apple cider with honey for.... Circulation enhancement, soothing the nervous system, promoting deep sleep, reducing stress, relief of rheumatism and arthritic symptoms. Mix organic apple cider with honey and drink before bed. Great for calming nerves, promoting relaxation and relief of bone related ailments.
Adjust the amount of vinegar to honey ratio for taste. Start with: 8oz warm water, 1-2 tsps. apple cider vinegar, 1-2 tsps. honey