Honey Bees and Products
There are various species of Honey bees available in our planet.The species Apis mellifera or European honey bee is the only one cultivated. The rearing of bees is called Apiculture. The honey bee is a social insect. It goes through various stages of development and develops into different forms for different functions, thus we have the Egg stage (3-4days) Larva stage (6 days) Pupa stage (8-14 days) and then the adult stage. The fertilized eggs develop into Worker bees or nurse bees which are sterile females. Their roles include care of the young; feeding the Queen, Collecting nectar and pollen; making honey, cleaning the hive and cooling the hive. They feed on Royal Jelly and switch to pollen and honey only.
The Queen: is a fertilized female. Her role is to lay all eggs. She feeds on royal jelly only. Unfertilized eggs develop into fertile males called Drones. Their role is to inseminate females. Life Expectancy: The Worker bees live for between 4-6 weeks; the Drones live for 50 days and the Queen lives for 5-6 years.
Products of Bees and Bee Keeping
Bees collect Pollen from the male element of a flower. Bee Pollen is a power packed food containing amino acids, vitamins B1, B2, B6, C,E, niacin, pantothenic acid, beta-carotene and folic acid. It is high in anti-oxidants helping to live healthier and longer life, it increases sexual health,relieves allergies by lowering histamine production. Additionally, the pollen is good for the skin and prevents wrinkling and aging. It contains more vitamins than meat, eggs or cheese. It helps to restore mineral and metabolic deficiencies.
Bee Propolis: Propolis is a material gathered from the buds or bark of trees. It is used as glue to seal up cracks or holes in the bee hive. It contains minerals, amino acids, fats, vitamin E, C, provitamin A and B complex. Propolis has anti bacterial, anti fungal and anti biotic properties and has no side effects. Flavonoids in propolis help in healing wounds. Propolis has been found effective in the treatment of arthritis, asthma and other allergies.
Honey: Bees produce honey from the nectar of blossoms and plants. The quality of honey depends on the plants the honey feeds on. Honey is easily digestible and it is a great energy boost for the body. Honey is a good supplier of energy containing riboflavin, thiamine and ascorbic acid. Raw unprocessed honey is the richest source of live, healing enzymes. Honey promotes beauty and well being and plays a significant role in strengthening the body’s natural defenses being rich in carbohydrates, trace minerals, proteins, amino acids, enzymes and B-complex vitamins.
Royal Jelly is a thick, milky substance secreted from pharyngeal glands of nurse bees. It is an excellent source of nutrition (protein, fat, carbohydrates, rich in vitamins, amino acids and several minerals, Potassium, Manganese, Magnesium, Calcium and Zinc). Royal jelly is food for the Queen Bee is a good food supplement for humans. It is used in cosmetics for removing wrinkles, keeping the skin rejuvenated and young.
Bee Wax: Wax is produced from wax glands at the abdomen of honey bee. Bee Wax is derived from honey combs and composes of esters of fatty acids and various long chain alcohols. It is nearly white in color but becomes yellow to brown due to oxidation. It is used in the pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and food industries.