Domestic honey bee colony numbers have been declining over the past few decades, mostly due to habitat loss, pest invasion, pollution, over-harvesting and disease. Bees are an important part of our natural ecosystem, supporting our health and wellbeing in a number of ways.
Did you know that about one mouthful out of every three in our diet is a result of bee pollination? Bee pollination is responsible for more than $15 billion in increased crop value in the US each year and helps give our diet diversity, flavour and nutrition.
In fact, many crops such as almonds and other tree nuts, berries, fruits and vegetables are often dependent on pollination by honey bees. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations estimates that out of some 100 crop species which provide 90% of food worldwide, 71 of these are bee-pollinated.
Recent research by Comvita and the University of Technology, Sydney suggested that Medihoney®, Comvita’s medical-grade Manuka honey, may boost the effects of antibiotics in the treatment of infected chronic wounds and serious skin infections.
Medihoney is a sterile medical-grade honey used to help treat wounds and support skincare by naturally cleaning the wound of bacteria, reducing the risk of infection and creating a moist, low PH environment that promotes healing.
It also supports the natural barrier properties of the skin and helps to retain moisture, making it ideal for sensitive skin prone to dryness, eczema and dermatitis.
Bees use the natural resin produced by trees to create a substance call propolis, which they use to reinforce and seal the hive to protect it from the elements and infection. Propolis is a powerful natural antioxidant, making it a great way to support your immune system
Royal Jelly has been used throughout history as a tonic for maintaining general wellbeing and increasing vitality. With a mixture of proteins, minerals and B vitamins, the highly nutritious substance is created by worker bees and fed to the queen bee. The royal jelly allows the queen bee to become extremely fertile and may allow her to live up to five years, while worker bees only live a few weeks.
To encourage and support your local bee population, consider reducing the use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers in your garden, grow bee-friendly plants and choose natural honey sourced from pollution-free forests.
What other bee-related facts and uses do you know of? Do you have any tips to share?