Bees have a large impact on our everyday lives, but not only through their pollination services to agriculture across the U.S. Bees are also responsible for quite a few products that some of us use every single day. Some common products include honey and beeswax which has several applications such as makeup products, lip balm, and candles. However there are some lesser known by-products of bees that offer a plethora of benefits. For example, bee pollen, which is significantly different than normal pollen and is not known to cause allergies, rather it provides several benefits including “low calorie content, but high in proteins, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, beneficial fatty acids, carbohydrates, and bioflavonoids which are antiviral, antibacterial and helpful in lowering cholesterol, stabilizing and strengthening capillaries. Its ability to rejuvenate the body, stimulates organs, enhances vitality and accelerate rate of recovery makes it a popular tonic among athletes” (“Honey Bees Wondrous Products”).
Honey has several benefits aside from the sweet taste, it is a natural source of carbohydrates. Honey helps to boost our bodies energy and provides strength. It helps to reduce muscle fatigue and helps to create endurance. Honey contains natural sugars that help to prevent tiredness and fatigue during activities and exercise. The body absorbs the glucose in the honey quickly providing an almost immediate boost of energy. The fructose in the honey is absorbed more slowly thus giving a prolonged boost of energy. The sugar in honey has also been shown to keep blood sugar levels constant compared to other sugars. Along with these benefits honey can also be an immune system booster. “It’s antioxidant and antibacterial properties can help improve digestive system and help you stay healthy and fight disease” (“Honey Bees Wondrous Products”). Starting off each day with a little bit of honey can provide health benefits many people are not aware of.
Believe it or not, as mentioned in the above paragraphs, honey does indeed provide numerous health benefits the average consumer is unaware of. I’m sure I speak for many other individuals when I say how unaware I was of the benefits that bees bring to markets and commodities as well as everyday human lives. For example, honey has shown to help reduce some risks of cancer, heart diseases, ulcers, gastrointestinal disorders, as well as cough and throat irritation (10 Health Benefits of Honey). While honey can help regulate blood sugar, mentioned in the previous paragraph, it can also help external features of the human body as well. For example, honey has been shown to heal wounds and burns as well as improve skin. The drying effect combined with the antibacterial nature of honey are able to create this phenomenon of healing wounds (10 Health Benefits of Honey). However, the most interesting fact that many people may be unaware of is the potential increase in athletic performance that honey provides. Chelsea touched on this fact when she mentioned that honey can help reduce muscle fatigue and create an immediate energy but I also found that it can improve recovery time. Ancient Olympic athletes use to eat honey to maintain glycogen levels and enhance their recovery time (10 Health Benefits of Honey).
Bees provide important components in many products. Everyone knows the importance of beeswax in beeswax candles, but some more unknown uses are things like beauty products, chewing gum, and wax coating of cheese wheels. Beeswax candles are a very popular commodity, but also a common hobby that dates back to the 6th century A.D. (The Benefits of Bees). Many people also have allergies from inhaling pollen, and it is believed that consuming locally-produced honey can combat these allergies. This is the same logic as receiving vaccinations or allergy shots; ingesting this local pollen may help the ingestor become less sensitive to their local allergens (Honey For Allergens).
Where you get your honey from can make a huge difference. Organic raw honey can have many benefits as stated above. However, if you make the mistake of buying from a source who is not local or all natural you may be depriving yourself of all the health benefits. The benefits can become obsolete after a process that is called “ultrafiltered”. When this occurs, additives are put into the honey. A recent study was done and researchers declared that 76 percent of honey found in grocery stores was ultrafiltered. There is a huge difference in the two honeys. For example, organic raw honey can help stabilize blood pressure, as stated above, and ultrafiltered honey can cause diabetes. To a consumer, this can really pose a huge issue on where to get your honey. Local farmers markets are a perfect place to purchase real organic raw honey. When you buy honey locally it does not have the additives put in by bigger companies in the market. Not only are you helping out your local market, you are also ensuring better nourishment for your body.
Products from bee hives can provide commodities and benefits. Aside from those already mentioned and are the most popular (honey and pollen), propolis is a rich source obtained from beehives that is not mentioned often. Propolis is a resin material used by bees to seal cracks and gaps in their beehives. It is basically a combination of resin from trees and honey (Dr. Edward Group). This component is considered an antiviral and antibiotic substance with many benefits to bees and humans (PCC Natural Markets). Propolis contains flavonoids that gives it its strength as a protective barrier against bacteria/microbes. It has also been found to help support the immune system. It also contains components such as caffeic acid phenethyl ester which is used as an anti-inflammatory component (Dr. Edward Group). Other uses of propolis in health benefits have been found for dental care, blood sugar, and as a carcinogen fighter (Dr. Edward Group). Another commodity from bees is bee venom. Although it can trigger allergic reactions, bee venom contains anti-inflammatory components that can be used for minor wounds or abscesses (PCC Natural Markets).
Daniels-Zeller, Debra. “The Buzz That Makes the World Go round.” PCC Natural Markets. Sound Consumer, n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2017.
Group, Dr. Edward. “Raw Honey: The Healthy Benefits of Locally-Grown Nectar.” Dr. Group’s Healthy Living Articles. N.p., 05 Oct. 2015. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.
Group, Dr. Edward. “What Is Bee Propolis? 10 Great Uses.” Dr. Group’s Healthy Living Articles. Global Healing Center, 13 June 2014. Web. 19 Apr. 2017.
Herrington, Diana. “10 Health Benefits of Honey.” 10 Health Benefits Of Honey | Care2 Healthy Living. N.p., 22 Aug. 2012. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
“Honey Bees Wondrous Products.” Benefits-of-Honey.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.
“The Benefits of Bees.” PerfectBee. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2017. <https://www.perfectbee.com/learn-about-bees/the-benefits-of-bees/>.
Nall, Rachel. “Honey for Allergies.” Healthline. Healthline Media, 10 Mar. 2016. Web. 18 Apr. 2017. <http://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/honey-remedy#overview1>.
Pennington, Tess. “Buying Local Honey: What You Need to Know.” Ready Nutrition. Web 17 Apr. 2017. http://readynutrition.com/resources/buying-local-honey-what-you-need-to-know_22052015/