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Posts Tagged ‘honey bee’

Not Just a Sweet Treat

I love honey. Love it! There are so many raw, wild, organic varieties – light, dark, different levels of sweetness, thick and creamy or light and syrupy… the list goes on and on. I use it instead of sugar. It’s sweeter and tastes infinitely better. Who knew it could have so many benefits! And honey is only the beginning! Bee products take up quite a bit of real estate on the list of superfoods.
Well, let’s start with honey. For starters, the use of honey dates as far back as the ancient Egyptians, if not farther. They offered honey and pollen to the gods and used bees and their products in rituals. Clearly they must have had a high regard for it! There are countless references to honey throughout literary history as a key to good health and long life. Did you know that honey never spoils? (Many items on fast food menus may not either, but it’s much more impressive from a natural source such as this.) Raw honey is loaded with live enzymes, which help us with our digestion, along with every other chemical reaction that happens in our bodies. It also has been shown to have antibiotic and antiviral properties and it fights against a host of ailments from gastrointestinal/digestive disorders to ulcers. And it tastes delicious!!

And so does royal jelly. Yum. Well, OK, I admit I found it to be an acquired taste. Royal jelly is basically a combination of honey and pollen, but it’s whipped up by a particular type of bees rather than a human chef. It is really the only thing that distinguishes the Queen bee from just any ol’ bee, and she lives about six times as long! Reason enough to try it? It is thought to have serious anti-aging qualities. You may have heard of honey’s benefits for the skin, royal jelly may be even better. Royal jelly is said to be mood-enhancing, energy-lifting… Well I do know that it contains a huge dose of some important vitamins like B (especially B!), calcium, iron, zinc, potassium. The list goes on and on.

Bee pollen is stuffed with antioxidants and is said to help with allergies, energy and strength – even fertility! Propolis (the bees use this as sort of a sealant for their house that is the hive) is known best for its healing properties. I have yet to try either of these so I cannot vouch for their taste, but they are PACKED with nutrients.

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The Honey Bee

Bees are amazing. For annoying buzzy little things, they are awfully complex. Not to mention hard working! Take a look at some of these facts from David Wolfe’s book Superfoods:

*Bees produce the only food that will never spoil. Edible honey has been found in Egyptian tombs.

*When Alexander the Great died, he was carried back to Greece in a golden coffin filled with honey.
*A bee’s life span ranges from 3-6 weeks. But the lifespan of the Queen lasts four to five years – and the only distinctive difference between the worker bees and the Queen is what? Nutrition!
*A queen bee can lay up to 3,000 eggs in one day – at a rate of 5 or 6 a minute.
*All worker bees are female.
*The brain of a worker honeybee is about a cubic millimeter but has the densest neurological tissue of any animal.
*One hive may hold up to 80,000 bees – one queen, a few hundred drones (males), and the rest of the female workers.
*Bees communicate to one another by dancing, which they can understand even in complete darkness.
*Bees have a magnetic band around their brains to help them navigate.
*Honeybees are the only insects that produce food for humans.
*Bees gather from only one kind of flower at a time. When two different flowers of the same dark purple color grew side by side, bees were noted to nearly collide in the air, but never did a bee touch the pollen of the wrong flower.
*The honeybee can pollinate at the rate of 30 flowers per minute.
*An average worker bee makes 1/12 of a tablespoon of honey in her life.
*Bees from the same hive visit about 225,000 flowers per day. One single bee typically visits between 50 and 1,000 flowers a day, but can visit up to several thousand.
*A hive of bees flies 55,000 miles to make one jar of honey.
*One gallon of honey equals the combined bee flight distance of going to the moon and back.
*It takes one bee working eight hours a day for a month to gather 1 teaspoon of bee pollen pellets, which contain over 2.5 billion grains of flower pollen loaded with macronutrients, trace elements, minerals, and antioxidants.
*Bees are the chief engineers of cross-pollination.

*According to the planetary geological sequence and dating theory, bees are estimated to have survived on Earth for over 150 million years. There are now over 30,000 different bee species.

How’s the for impressive?

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