Honey Bee Products

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Undoubtedly, honey is one of the most popular products from honey bees. But, these important insects provide a wide range of useful substances. Herein, you will learn about the wide world of honey bee products and how these gifts from the beehive can make your life sweeter.

Honey, beeswax, pollen and propolis products from honey bees .

Useful Products from Bees

Honey bees are renown for the vital role they play in crop pollination. But, these buzzy friends also provide several useful products that you may be unfamiliar with.

These products from honey bees have been treasured for years for culinary, medicinal and cosmetic purposes. Beehives were a valued part of any farm or homestead for many different reasons.

Things that bees provide:

  • Honey
  • Beeswax
  • Bee Pollen
  • Propolis
  • Bee Venom
  • Royal Jelly
  • Beehive Air Therapy

Honey- Natural Sugar

We must begin with the most common bee product – raw honey. Workers gather plant nectar from millions of blooming flowers – bees make honey from this nectar.

They do such a great job that beekeepers can harvest honey without causing harm to the colony. Depending on the nectar source – different types of honey that vary in color and taste.

In addition to regular liquid honey, some people love to eat honey in the comb.

What Honey is Used For?

The uses of honey ranges in the thousands. It is rich in antioxidants. And honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help fight off infections.

In addition to use as a sweetener, honey is a bee product that is used for health and wellness, skin care and ritual practices. You will find several mentions of honey and bees in the bible.

During cold season, you can make honey, lemon, ginger tea to soothe a nagging cough or sore throat. This homemade burn salve is great to keep on hand for minor burns and scratches.

Clear glass with honey wine mead image.

Making Mead from Honey

Mead is often called honey wine. It is made using honey, water and yeast. This alcoholic drink varies in potency but it dates back through the ages.

Today, there are many new mead makers who are trying their hand at making the perfect cup.

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Raw beeswax bee product made from  pieces of honeycomb.

Beeswax: Worth More than Honey?

Raw beeswax is also collected from beehives. Honey bees produce wax from glands on their body to create honeycombs in the hive. This makes up the structure of their home and is used for food storage and rearing young.

Beeswax is antibacterial and has moisturizing properties. It is popular for use in cosmetics because it is considered to be a low-irritant. This is why beeswax skin care products are so popular.

Beeswax is so valuable that beekeepers can often sell it for more money than honey.

What Beeswax is Used For?

A natural non-toxic wax, beeswax is used to create many items that we enjoy. From making beeswax candles to cosmetics and even beeswax furniture polish, beeswax is a valuable product from honey bees.

While you can eat beeswax, it is normally considered a product to be used externally. Yet, those who love to eat comb honey (chunk) feel the wax comb is the main event.

Honey bee with pollen, various honey bee products in jars, honey, bee pollen and beeswax comb.

Bee Pollen

Bees gather raw pollen from blooming plants and store it in the hive as bee bread. This protein source is needed to rear young or bee brood

The actual chemical composition of bee pollen varies depending on the plant source. It is a protein rich substance with vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and essential amino acids.

How We Use Bee Pollen

In addition to being a vital protein source for the colony, people also collect bee pollen. Some sources believe that there are nutritional benefits of humans consuming bee pollen. Some people eat raw pollen supplements as part of their daily diet.

Collected hive product honey bee propolis and a propolis tincture in a jar.

Propolis from the Beehive

One of the things that bees collect for their hive is plant resin (sap) from needle leafed trees and conifers. This resin is mixed with salivary enzymes and called propolis or “bee glue”.

Bee propolis has antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. It contains polyphenols (flavonoids) that are a type of antioxidant.

Bees use propolis to sanitize the interior of the hive and seal every crack and seam. Beekeepers collect and sell propolis from their hives to people interested in its health benefits. It is considered one of the most valuable products from honey bees.

How We Use Propolis?

Propolis has been used for centuries because of possible health benefits. It is often mixed with other ingredients to create various healthcare products, such as tinctures.

Propolis is used in oral care products: toothpaste, mouthwash, etc. It is also used in wound care and some take it internally for possible health benefits.

Bee Venom

Bee venom is a clear liquid produced by worker honey bees. It is used as a defense against predators or threats to the hive. The bee stinger is used to inject venom into a predator.

Bee venom contains a complex mixture of proteins, enzymes, peptides, and other bioactive compounds. It may seem strange to consider venom a valuable honey bee product – but it is.

What Bee Venom is Used for?

Under the supervision of a physician, some people use bee venom to therapeutically desensitize themselves to bee stings. Over time, this may result in them having a less severe reaction to a sting.

Other uses for bee venom include a remedy for soothing arthritis pain. Proponents of the practice swear that regular venom therapy helps ease some of the painful symptoms.

Royal jelly and brood food with bee larva in wax cells.

Royal Jelly

Royal jelly is a white, pasty liquid food produced by nurse bees. This nutritional substance is fed to developing baby bees All honey bee larvae consume royal jelly for the first few days. Those larvae destined to become a queen bee are fed large amounts of royal jelly.

At one time, people believed that royal jelly was the sole substance responsible for producing a new queen, but in recent years, researchers have discovered that queen making involves more than just royal jelly

How Royal Jelly is Used?

Some people consume royal jelly from the hive as a dietary supplement. There is some evidence that royal jelly make have therapeutic benefits for certain conditions.

It may help boost immunity, increase stamina, and maintain cholesterol levels. However, studies firmly supporting the claims are not yet available.

Infographic chart of various honey bee products, royal jelly, beeswax, honey, venom, propolis, pollen.

Beehive Air Therapy

The use of beehive air for therapy is somewhat of a newcomer on the scene in the United States. In some countries, such as Germany, Hungary, and Austria, people believe that inhaling air can provide health benefits.

Perhaps it gives the recipient some relief from various respiratory ailments (asthma, bronchitis, etc). Due to a lack of scientific supporting data, more research is needed to valid this product from bees.

Sustainable Practices

People have been using bee products for centuries due to their potential health benefits. However, there is always a risk involved when using natural products.

Anyone can have allergic reactions to any substance-some people are even allergic to honey! Taking any of these products for healthcare purposes should be discussed with your doctor.

Taking honey from bees is not harmful when done responsibly. Therefore, harvesting these products from honey bees should not harm the colonies.

Responsible beekeepers take only the excess and leave their bees with everything they need to thrive.

FAQs

How can bee products be used in natural medicine and home remedies?

Bee products such as honey, propolis, royal jelly, bee pollen, and bee venom have been used in traditional medicine and home remedies for various health conditions. They can be incorporated into teas, tinctures, balms, and other natural remedies to support immune function, soothe ailments, and promote overall well-being

What are the environmental benefits of supporting honey bee products?

Supporting honey bee products, such as honey and beeswax, can have positive environmental impacts by promoting beekeeping practices that help sustain bee populations.

Are there any ethical considerations to be aware of when using honey bee products?

Ethical considerations in beekeeping include ensuring the welfare of bees, minimizing environmental impacts, and supporting sustainable practices. It’s important to choose honey bee products from sources that prioritize bee health, habitat preservation, and responsible beekeeping practices.

In Conclusion

From a jar of sweet honey to homeopathic medicine – the beehive provides many beneficial substances. By taking advantage of all possible honey bee products from the hive, beekeepers can expand their income.

This helps offset some of the costs associated with keeping bees. Maybe they are not all the perfect remedies that some people think. But, it is clear that some people experience benefits from using products from bees.

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