What Do Honey Bees Make Other Than Honey?
Bees are best known for producing honey. If you have your own apiary, you may want to know about what other bee products that you can make to make the most out of your apiary. Included in this list are bee pollen, beeswax, propolis and more.
Bee pollens are gathered by bees as they are used to make bee bread, a food source for bees. Bee farmers set up pollen traps at the entrances of beehives to collect the small balls of pollens that are attached to the bee’s legs. This is because bee pollens have health benefits such as reducing inflammation, reducing cell damage due to the presence of antioxidants and strengthening the immune system, alongside with fighting harmful bacteria. Hence, bee pollens are collected for their health benefits and can be used as a health supplement.
With the right tools, you may produce your own fermented honey vinegar which is sure to bring in demand as it is a cheaper alternative to the apple cider vinegar products out in the market. Furthermore, the fermented honey provides some health benefits. For instance, due to the fermentation process, it creates enzymes that are good for gut health and detoxification. In addition, the acidic nature of vinegar also helps to restore your pH levels. Lastly, honey vinegar may help to reduce blood sugar levels and aid in nutrient absorption.
Beeswax comes from younger bee workers who produce wax from their abdominal glands for the purpose of building the walls of the honeycomb. Beeswax is one of the most common bee products used as they can be used in cosmetic products such as lip balms, body butters and moisturizers, or even for pharmaceutical purposes to heal itch, scrapes and burns. More notably, it is also used to make candles and to polish wood. Beeswax is one of the most practical and multi-purpose bee products that you could harvest, to reap the most benefits out of your apiary.
More famously known as food for the queen, royal jelly is produced by nurse bees which secrete this white fluid from their head glands. It is highly nutritious food for the bees which enables them to grow fast. It may be beneficial for human health as well and is used more in traditional medicine than Western medicine. Although more scientific research is needed for it’s effect on humans, there is a possibility that royal jelly can help to reduce allergic reactions, aid in the neural system and improve cognitive functions. It also contains probiotics that may aid in the health of the tract connecting human’s digestive organs. Royal jelly may also increase collagen production to provide a more youthful appearance. Lastly, royal jelly may also help in the healing of wounds due to the presence of fibroblasts.
Propolis is made by bees which gather resins and sap from flowers and trees, and then combine them with their own secretions and beeswax. It is used by bees to seal openings in their beehive for protection, and especially when their hives are situated on trees where ants and insects are common. These ants and insects will get entrapped within the sticky liquid when they try to enter the beehive. Propolis is commonly used by humans as it is known for its antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties. As a result, it is often used as a treatment for sore throat, ulcers, wounds, areas of inflammation and infection. Propolis comes in different forms, such as in tablets, pills, liquids or even as an ingredient in toothpastes.
Bee bread is made up of pollens, saliva, and some honey as food for the bees. As it is made up of pollens, it is often compared with bee pollen, but bee bread is in fact more beneficial for health. Bee pollens have not been processed by bees as they were just transported by them. Bee bread, however, is fermented pollen which has bee secretions in it and is preserved and stored. Hence, the fermentation process adds more nutrients to the bee bread. In fact, it is said that bee bread is three times more nutritious than bee pollen. In terms of benefits to human health, bee bread is rich in antioxidants, may reduce liver inflammation and helps in blood circulation and anemia. Hence, some Olympic athletes consume bee bread to help with their oxygen intake for their aerobic activities.
In conclusion, bees are miracle workers that create healthy products that we can use to derive their nutritional benefits. If you own an apiary, you should gather these various bee products other than honey, to start making the most out of your bee yard. For those that do not make your own honey, fret not for we have some of the best manuka honey available, sourced from the finest beehives in New Zealand. They are UMF certified and exude a luxurious feel to it, so get some as a treat for yourself or as a gift!