Friday, September 16, 2011
By Greg Wright, Yorkshire Post, 9/13/2011
The next time you feel tempted to swat a bee, consider this fact:
You are attacking a flying pharmacy.
Mankind has mistreated bees for centuries, and our ignorance means we’ve lost the chance to eradicate a host of lethal diseases.
With help from a team of Yorkshire-based bee lovers, we could be about to get a second chance.
Entrepreneur James Fearnley plans to establish a centre in the North York Moors which will study how bees can improve our health.
Mr Fearnley predicts that the centre will create 10 jobs in the heart of the National Park, at a time when the public sector spending squeeze is making life harder for rural communities.
Mr Fearnley, who is the founder of Whitby-based Nature’s Laboratory, believes it would be the height of folly to take bees for granted. His company is behind the BeeVital brand, which develops products derived from bees.
The long term survival of the honey bee is in question while researchers are discovering some “astounding medicinal properties for products produced by honey”, according to Mr Fearnley.
”Everyone now knows about the antibiotic properties of honey, but we have discovered that bees are collecting a chemical antidote to Trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) but only in areas where sleeping sickness is found,’’ he said.
“In tropical areas, where bees are seriously challenged by micro bacteria, they are collecting material that is highly effective against MRSA.”
If Mr Fearnley’s initiative succeeds, Yorkshire could become a global centre for the study of bees.
He said yesterday: “Our vision is to develop an international focus for the better understanding of the medicinal values of bee products, or apiceuticals as we call them…
James Fearnley, the founder of the healthcare brand, BeeVital, has been involved in natural medicine since the early 1970s.
In 1992 he co-founded a company specialising in bee products.
He was one of the first people in the UK to commission scientific studies into propolis…