More than Honey from the Hive
By Joseph Ajal, Daily Monitor (Uganda), 9/16/2009
Ask anyone you know, including children what the products of a bee hive are and almost immediately, you will get an answer that it is honey. However, there are many other amazing products from the hive which have some great properties and uses.
Take beeswax or propolis, bee venom or royal jelly, the most nutritious known food product. Royal jelly is a highly sought after product and is known to feature strongly in nutritional products sold by health companies like Swiss Guard, GNLD and Tianshi. It is the reason an ordinary worker cell will grow bigger than all workers in the comb cells and become a queen bee with a reproductive capacity of 1,500 to 2,000 eggs daily.
Yet the workers that would not have fed on as much royal jelly will not become anything else but workers. They also don’t have reproductive abilities. Therefore among food grades, nutritionists rate royal jelly high up there. As for propolis, its name comes from a Greek word, Polis, meaning protect. True to its name, propolis protects and defends one’s health by boosting immunity and fighting dangerous microbes.
Propolis is made by bees collecting sap from the buds of plants or the bucks of trees and mixing it with a secretion from the pharangyl glands in their heads to form bee glue, a dark resinous substance also known as propolis. It can be chewed in its raw form the mildly bitter taste notwithstanding, or dissolved in a food grade solvent to form a tincture and dropped in tea, fruit juice or water. It helps in cleansing the body of free radicals and microbes that are potentially dangerous. It can also be processed into an ointment or cream and applied to the skin.
Because of its antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, people who use it eventually develop a much better immunity and resistance to sickness. For cuts and sores, propolis can be applied directly onto the cut and because of its antiseptic properties, the cut will dry much quicker…
As for beeswax, it is derived from the honey comb after all the honey has been extracted. It is thanks to beeswax that the art with batiks industry is thriving. Many products like candles, cosmetics, shoe polish, floor polish, car wax and pharmaceutical capsules are also made from beeswax. Then there is the little known but very useful bee venom. In large quantities, it can be deadly.
It can lead to breathlessness and allergic reactions for those who are allergic to bee stings. However if harnessed and used in sparing quantities, it can be very useful in treating some conditions like rheumatism and arthritis…