Gifts From Honeybees!

beeswaxbarBeeswax - Nutritionally speaking, beeswax has little to offer. Beeswax does have a bit of vitamin A, but otherwise not nutritionally dense. However, beeswax is a very good source of roughage in ones diet.

Beeswax does have many practical uses outside of diet. Beeswax is a great natural addition to any skin care product. It serves as a natural moisturizing agent. Beeswax not only locks moisture into skin but also protects skin and lips. If you are looking for soft skin and lips beeswax should definitely be part of your routine. The Savannah Bee Company uses all natural beeswax in all of our skin and lip care products! Take care of your hands with our all natural Beeswax Hand Cream.  Beeswax and royal jelly replenish and nourish skin with essential nutrients. We add softening pecan and peach kernel oils, anti-oxidizing blueberry extract, and healing propolis to create Savannah Bee Company Beeswax Hand Cream. Fresh peach-scented with a rich and creamy texture, our long-lasting formula protects and softens hard-working hands with all-natural moisture.

Apart from skin and lip treatment, beeswax has many functional uses. Beeswax has been used for thousands of years to make candles. Beeswax candles are long-lasting, chemical free, and release the sweet smell of honey as they burn. Beeswax can be used to increase water resistant quality of boots and shoes.

I was raised in a house full of antiques. Periodically, I would be asked to rub beeswax on the inside rails of the drawers. I still use this great trick today on all my stubborn dresser drawers!

Beeswax luminaries are beautiful, decorative, and smell great. A luminary is a globe shaped   wax candle holder. The light from the candle passes through the globe illuminating it completely. Often leaves and flowers are pressed into the wax.

Bee Pollen - Before we begin discussing what bee pollen is, let’s first examine what bee

Pollen sacs on honeybees rear legs.

Pollen sacs on honeybees rear legs.

pollen is not.

Plant pollen at its most basic level can be divided into two basic categories,  anemophilous pollen and entomophilous pollen. As a general guideline, gymnosperm plant species are anemophilous and angiosperm plant species are entomophilous.

If you live near any pine species, chances are good you have experienced anemophilous pollen first hand. During periods of pollination, these species apply a thin coat of fine yellow dust to almost everything in sight. Anemophilous pollen is also responsible for triggering the histamine reaction causing people to suffer allergy symptoms.

Although rare, some insect species do collect anemophilous pollen. Anemophilous pollen is relatively low in protein compared to entomophilous pollen which is a staple of the honeybee diet.

Entomophilous pollen is found in flowers. Entomophilous is much larger than anemophilous pollen and often very sticky. This pollen adheres to the legs of honeybees as they visit flowers to collect nectar. The honeybees then transport the collected pollen to neighboring flowers which begins the fertilization process ultimately resulting in seed production. However, much of this pollen stays attached to the honeybees rear legs, known as pollen sacs, and is transported back to the hive where it is converted into a densely nutritious food source for the colony.

Once the pollen arrives back at the hive, it is stripped from the bees rear legs and mixed with honey, nectar, and enzymes. The enzymes are added as the honeybees ingest the honey and then regurgitate it onto the pollen. The end result is a densely packed ball of honey, nectar, pollen and enzymes known as a pollen granule.

Pollen Granules

Pollen Granules

Bee pollen is a super-food! Bee pollen is well known among nutritionists as a super-food. Bee pollen is approximately 26% protein and is the only source of protein for the hive.   However, bee pollen is very low in fat which makes it an ideal protein supplement for humans. Bee pollen contains all essential amino acids and and at least two non-essential amino acids. Listed below is the approximate amino acid constitution of bee pollen. Please keep in mind that the nutritional content of bee pollen will vary bases upon the floral array from which the pollen was collected by honeybees.

  • Arginine: 4.4 – 5.7%
  • Histadine: 2.0 – 3.5%
  • Isoleucine: 4.5 – 5.8%
  • Leucine: 6.7 – 7.5%
  • Lycine: 5.9 – 7.0%
  • Methionine: 1.2 – 2.4%
  • Phenylalanine: 3.7 – 4.4%
  • Threonine: 2.3 – 4.0%
  • Tryptophan: 1.2 – 1.6%
  • Valine: 5.5 – 6.0%

Bee pollen is also rich in vitamins and minerals.

Vitamins

  • Provitamin A (beta-carotene) – (carotenoids)
  • Vitamin B1 – (thiamine)
  • Vitamin B2 – (riboflavin)
  • Vitamin B3 – (niacin)
  • Vitamin B5 – (pantothenic acid)
  • Vitamin B6 – (pyridoxine)
  • Vitamin B12 -(cyamocobalamin)
    Biotin
  • Vitamin C – (ascorbic acid)
  • Vitamin D & Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Choline & Inositol
  • Folic Acid
  • Rutin
  • Vitamin PP (nicotinicamide)

Minerals

  • Calcium & Iron
  • Phosphorus & Copper
  • Potassium, Magnesium & Sodium (electrolytes)
  • Manganese & Selenium
  • Silica (great for the hair, skin & nails)
  • Sulphur & Titanium
  • Zinc (needed for the immune system)
  • Iodine & Chlorine
  • Boron & Molydbenum

In addition to amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, bee pollen also contains many enzymes, co-enzymes, fatty acids, and compounds thought to be powerful antioxidants.

Although bee pollen is densely nutritious, it is not for everyone. Individuals with a history of bee related allergies or a history of anaphylaxis should be very cautious when using any bee or honey related product as a dietary supplement.

propolisPropolis - Propolis is probably one of the most fascinating of all honeybee produced compounds. Propolis is a resin. It is very sticky when wet but dries into a dense, rigid, construction compound. Honeybees use propolis to seal small cracks and holes in their hives. Propolis itself is very resistant to fungal and bacterial infection and growth.

Honeybees are very meticulous in their housekeeping. Any and all waste produced by the colony is removed from the hive. However, should the hive be invaded by a large adversary like a lizard or large beetle that is then killed in the hive, the bees will encase the invader in propolis resin. This form of mummification prevents bacterial and fungal growth. In addition, the propolis interrupts the process of putrefaction.

Propolis is composed of many compounds including plant and tree resins, tree and flower sap, tree waxes, flower balsams, plant based essential oils, pollen and enzymes. The composition of propolis varies widely from location to location and even from hive to hive. Even the color of the propolis can vary from hive to hive!

Humans have discovered many uses for this incredible compound. Recently, propolis has been recognized by the natural foods and natural medicine communities for its medicinal qualities. The claims of these communities regarding the benefits of propolis include, anti-viral qualities, antibiotic qualities, treatment for burns, topical treatment for rashes and insect bites, treatment for ulcers, reducing inflammation, anti-cancer properties, and treatment for allergies among others.

 

 

 

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