Honey is the sweetest gift of nature to human! Its unique nutritional and healing qualities were known since ancient times! According to Mythology, Great Zeus was raised with honey by nymph Melissa (meaning honey). Hippocrates recommended it in many cases, while Democritus, the father of nuclear theory, who lived up to107 years, used to say: “You need to wet your insides with honey and your outsides with oil”
It is magical following the trip of a bee to honey-making. Bees collect sweet substances from nectar of plants or from secretions of living parts of plants or from excretions of plant-sucking insects. They transfer them to the beehive where they enrich them with extremely valuable components, making honey and storing it to honeycombs!
Honey contains 70-80% sugars, mostly glucose and fructose. 180 nutrients have been identified till now, but there is still work to be done! It contains 16% water, 18 different organic acids, proteins and amino acids, minerals in small quantities (potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, etc.), enzymes, protein complexes, vitamins (B2, B6, C, D, E, pantothenic acid, folic acid, etc. ), natural flavouring substances, etc.
The Healing Power of Honey
Apitherapy, the treatment of various conditions using honeybee products, has been around a long time. Honey is one of the oldest medicines we have, with proof of its healing power dating back more than 5000 years. Even Hippocrates found that honey “cleans sores and ulcers of the lips, heals carbuncles and running sores.” It has been a staple ingredient of folk medicines throughout the ages and now, it is even gaining credibility with current medical and scientific communities. British researchers have proven that applying raw honey to fresh wounds prevents infection as well as any medication and often eliminates the need for antibiotics. They have also learned that honey-treated cuts and scrapes heal quicker than those treated with medicated ointments. Other researchers have found that honey can alleviate asthma, calm nerves and induce sleep, ease pain and relieve diarrhea.
Dr Honey…the sweetest doctor!
Hippocrates recommended a solution with honey to soothe cough and heal sore throats caused by virus. Even nowadays, honey is thought as an effective and alternative to over-the-counter cough medicine. The bacteriostatic power of honey is one more unique quality, as it prevents the multiplication of bacteria. It is ideal for sore throats, wounds, burns! Consuming honey daily, it does not only mean that we eat something tasty and sweet, but it also means that we help our health! In addition to energy, it also offers well-being, regulates body’s metabolism, protects against stomach or intestinal disorders, enhances the heart function and blood flow, represses anemia, protects liver and kidney!
In summertime, a beehive contains:
1 Queen Bee
60.000 worker bees (of which, 20.000 are the collector bees)
Duties carried out by a worker bee, according to her age
- 1-2 Cleans the cells, ventilates, cools and heats the hive.
- 3-11 Feeds the larva.
- 12-17 Produces wax, builds cells from wax, brings nectar and pollen in.
- 18-21 Guards the hive entrance.
- 22-40 Gathers nectar, pollen, propolis, water.
- 35-45 End of life.
The Queen Bee
A virgin Queen bee, 5 days after she emerges from her queen cell, she will mate in flight with approximately 10 or more drones. Their sperm is saved in sperm cells and the Queen Bee returns to the beehive where she lays up to 2000 eggs per day. A mixture of substances is excreted by the Queen’s exocrine glands and it is called royal substance. This substance is responsible for the peaceful synchronization in the behavior between all the members in the beehive.
Drones are the male bees of the colony. They develop from eggs that have not been fertilized. Drones cannot sting because they do not have a sting, which is a characteristic of the females and only them.
Also, they cannot gather nectar or pollen.
Drone’s main function is to fertilize the Queen. The mating occurs in flight and away from the hive.
A strong colony has nearly 300 drones. But when the food is not enough, the worker bees drive the drones out of the hive. Hence, they die since they cannot gather food.