Many people think honey is the only bee product. Although honey is the major product got from bee, there are many other useful products.
Beekeeping as it exists today is concerned with the management of the species of honey bees that live in colonies of as many as 100,000. Breeders are constantly striving to hybridize these honey bees to increase honey production and other desirable characteristics.
The study of bees and characteristics is known as Apiculture, while the bee farm itself is called Apiary. Successful apiarists must understand bees’ requirements in terms of habitat, disease control, food supply and many other important factors. Beekeepers must also understand the structure of a hive, and how the different ‘castes’ queen and workers and drones function together. A bee hive is a natural habitat where the bees reside.
The best known primary products of beekeeping are honey and wax, but pollen, propolis, royal jelly, venom, queens, bees and their larvae are also marketable primary bee products. All these products are essential to the bee itself and it is also useful to humans. While most of these products can be consumed or used in the state in which they were produced by the bees, there are many additional uses where these products form only a part of all the ingredients of another product. Because of the quality and sometimes almost mystical reputation and characteristics of most primary bee products, their addition to other products usually enhances the value or quality of these secondary products.
Bees produce honey by collecting pollen, mead, nectar and other sweet syrups from plants, which they enrich with substances from their own body and place into honeycombs, where this mass matures into honey. Honey was originally used as a sweetener and a nutritional additive, to be increasingly used later in pharmaceutics and medicine. The benefits of honey go beyond its great taste. A great natural source of carbohydrates which provide strength and energy to our bodies, honey is known for its effectiveness in instantly boosting the performance, endurance and reduce muscle fatigue of athletes. Its natural sugars play an important role in preventing fatigue during exercise. The glucose in honey is absorbed by the body quickly and gives an immediate energy boost, while the fructose is absorbed more slowly providing sustained energy. It is known that honey has also been found to keep levels of blood sugar fairly constant compared to other types of sugar.
Propolis is used by the bees to reinforce the honeycomb and to seal the gaps. It performs the role of disinfecting the wax cells and the entire beehive. Propolis contains easily volatile etheric oils possessing clearly marked antimicrobial effects. Bees make propolis, which they use to glue the materials of their hives together, by mixing beeswax and other secretions with resins from the buds of conifer and poplar trees. Those resins have natural germicidal properties. For centuries, people have used propolis on wounds and as a remedy for ailments ranging from acne to cancer, osteoporosis, itching, and tuberculosis. Today, propolis is used in the manufacture of chewing gum, cosmetics, creams, lozenges and ointments and is being investigated as a dental sealant and tooth enamel hardener. A number of studies have tested its effectiveness in humans and animals as a treatment for burns, minor wounds, infections, inflammatory diseases, dental pain, and genital herpes. While promising, the results of these studies are preliminary.
Beeswax is used by the bees to construct the honeycomb, where they afterwards lay their larvae and store food reserves. Since it is very dark in a beehive, bees use the honeycomb as a means of communication, utilizing its vibrations to communicate. The health benefits of beeswax for the skin are almost too many to count. Obviously, one of the best benefits of using beeswax on the skin is the moisturizing and the softening. Unlike the artificial and often petroleum based chemicals added to many moisturizers and skin care lotions to aid in absorption, beeswax contains Vitamin A and provides long-term moisturizing, actually locking moisture into the skin. Unlike petroleum based parabens, beeswax remains biologically “alive” even after it is processed.
Besides offering your skin a natural moisture and glow, the anti-allergenic and anti-inflammatory properties of bees wax can actually soothe easily irritated skin, making it one of the best skin care ingredients for those who suffer from allergies or other skin problems like rosacea or eczema.
Along with being a good alternative skin care ingredient for those with allergies, the anti-germicidal properties of beeswax have been found to help heal minor skin cuts, abrasions, scrapes and wounds. Beeswax also acts as a layer of protection when applied to the skin, protecting the skin from environmental irritants and even the weather. Beeswax lip balm is one of the best ways to keep your lips from getting chapped during cold and windy winter months!
Bee venom is what the bee stings out for self defence against many aggressors desiring to take their riches. Its main field of application is in medicine, it is used as antidote for body pains and fractured bones.