When I was growing up my dad used to raise honeybees. One of my fondest memories of this time was when we would get a big chunk of honeycomb to chew on like gum. I also remember us all sitting together, putting the honeycomb sheets in the frames that go inside the hive in order to get ready for bee season. Interestingly, my dad made an observation hive and placed in one of our windows (outside, of course) for all of us kids to watch. Good times, warm memories!
WHY ARE HONEYBEES IMPORTANT?
“Globally there are more honey bees than other types of bee and pollinating insects, so it [the bee] is the world’s most important pollinator of food crops. It is estimated that one third of the food that we consume each day relies on pollination mainly by bees, but also by other insects, birds and bats.” Around 80% of the US crops are said to be dependent on honey bees.
“It’s not just farm-grown fruits and vegetables that rely on pollinators to thrive. Many species of wild plants depend on insect pollinators as well. Bees are responsible for the production of many seeds, nuts, berries, and fruit, which serve as a vital food source for wild animals.
WHERE WE WOULD BE WITHOUT THE HONEYBEE?
Since honeybees are our major pollinators, without them we would lose the food sources for all the animals that eat those plants and so it would go up the food chain. It’s estimated that globally, we would lose about half the vegetable and fruit production without bees to pollinate.
WHAAAAAT? BEE STINGS ARE GOOD FOR YOU?
You might say that there is one disadvantage of having bees around . . . their sting. While it’s true that bees sting are no picnic, it has been proven that the venom from a bee sting is good for arthritis and a variety of other ailments. “Bee venom has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and may benefit the health of your skin and immune system. It may also improve certain medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and chronic pain.” “Although bee venom has recently experienced a surge in popularity, bee-venom therapy has been used in traditional medicine practices for thousands of years.”
You can actually purchase bee venom products in the form of moisturizers, lotions and lozenges. For instance Bee venom face masks are available on Amazon. You also might check at a specialty store such as one of the many health food markets.
WARNING ABOUT BEE STINGS
All creatures are subject to a bee sting. This is not unusual, howbeit, annoying and uncomfortable. “To sting, a bee jabs a barbed stinger into the skin. Bee sting venom contains proteins that affect skin cells and the immune system, causing pain and swelling around the sting area.”
However, some people and even animals are highly allergic to bee stings. Causing anaphylactic shock, the bee sting can be potentially life-threatening and requires emergency treatment.
GOOD IDEA HERE
Bees react to your emotions. So if you do see a bee, you should remain calm and slowly walk away from it. The worst thing you can do is to start swatting at it. Also, when a bee stings, the venom attracts other bees.
ABOUT LOCAL HONEY AND YOUR HEALTH
“Raw honey is honey that hasn’t been heated or pasteurized, and it contains natural vitamins, enzymes, powerful antioxidants, and other important nutrients. Raw honey has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties, and promotes digestive health. Raw, local honey also contains a blend of local pollen, which can strengthen a person’s immune system, and reduce pollen allergy symptoms.”
In recognition of National Honeybee Awareness Day, Orange Blossom Beekeeper’s Association is hosting an all day event at the Orange County Extension Office located at 6021 S Conway Rd, Orlando, FL 32812, Phone number (407) 254-9200. Local beekeepers will be there to answer any of your questions and also have their honey for sale there.
★ Call Missy Donaghy for a FREE consultation 321-279-3301.