Where Have All the Honeybees Gone? Samantha Hatfield, Martlet (Canada), 6/11/2009
…John Defayette is the man behind B’s Honey and the proud keeper of seven hives. The bees live in his backyard, near a cherry tree with some string-suspended suet hanging from a branch to lure the birds. He’s been retired for 25 years, which helped him turn his preoccupation with beekeeping into a full-time hobby…
Nature’s wonder drugs
As a retired Ottawa college professor of marketing and management, Defayette recognizes the value of his products. He sells beeswax for candles, honeycomb, pollen (which sells out quickly), raw, unpasteurized honey and propolis. Honey is not only tasty; it also works as an antiseptic for infected wounds. Bee pollen is considered a wonder food by the health food community because it is very high in protein. It contains 18 amino acids as well as a long list of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B complex and iron. But that’s not all. Defayette says if you consider pollen, wax and honey in terms of what a human needs to survive, “you’ve got three of the most important elements of life: the protein, the fat and the carbohydrate.”
Although less marketable, bee stings even have their benefits, as they produce cortisol in the lymphatic system, which treats Defayette’s arthritis. Bee venom is also a known treatment for Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Defayette holds out his right hand; his pinkie finger looks stiff and a little red.
“Doctor said it [the arthritis] was going to be worse, but it’s not,” he says. “But I need a sting for the spring.”
His favourite product is propolis. “Bee glue,” as he calls it, is made from resin collected by the bees, and is used to cement the frames together in the hive. It’s also useful for humans in ways one wouldn’t expect, such as treating colds, mouth sores, gingivitis and wounds. It has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-oxidant properties.
“There are very few products that have all four of those things,” says Defayette.
It is a bit sweet, but mostly bitter, with pure booze as its carrier. I squeeze out a drop above my open mouth. The tincture makes the tip of my tongue twitch. Alcohol tangs my mouth. The aftertaste hangs like a sharp note in my throat.
In 2007, Defayette self-published a book entitled B’s Honey — Using Bee Products for a Natural Lifestyle. In it, he provides recipes for hand cream, honey soap, lip balm and other useful household products. There are also sweet and savoury recipes like honey orange squares and roast honey pork. He mentions uses for pollen, like putting some in your shampoo or making a dandruff rinse, and gives instructions on how to make a propolis tincture…