Saturday, August 30, 2008

Apitherapy Popular in Latvia

A Day in the Life of a Latvian Beekeeper
By Monika Hanley, Baltic Times, 8/27/2008

Even people who don’t insects like this one. The honey bee has had a symbiotic relationship with man for thousands of years but for Baltic people it’s very special. People like to make their own honey. Almost everybody who has lived in the region a while knows someone who keeps bees…

Alvis Gailis has been working with bees for over 20 years. “The process is really simple. You take the rack from the hive, check to see if the comb is capped, and if it is, then it’s ready,” he says.

He warms up a flat knife and cuts off the thin layer of wax capping that seals the honey in. He pops some in his mouth.

“This has many minerals and contains high amount of propolis. You chew it and it cleans out your mouth,” he says. Propolis is a waxy material that bees use as cement for repairs and maintenance on the hive.

This piece of folk medicine is taken seriously throughout Europe. Colgate even makes a propolis toothpaste.

Beekeepers in Latvia use nearly every part of the hive, including honey, propolis, wax, royal jelly and ambrosia, or bee bread. “Bees are the greatest creatures. Everything they produce is important,” says Alvis’ wife Jana…

Indeed, the uses of honey go far beyond the hive and the beekeeper. Beekeeping in Latvia has been documented since the ninth century and has been a sacred thing since the beginning. Many folk songs and sayings revolve around beekeeping and every Latvian, no matter how old, keeps the tradition alive and knows exactly which type of honey or bee byproduct is good for which ailment…

See: Natural Healers Sweet on Health Benefits of Honey

No comments: