Native Bees in for Heal of a Time
James Clifton, Noosa News, 27th June, 2012
Bees and trees could hold the answer to wound healing problems if a University of the Sunshine Coast PhD student's research into Australian native bees proves a connection.
Biomedical Science researcher Karina Hamilton, 21, received a grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council to conduct Australian studies into whether native Australian (trigona carbonaria) bees or Australia's natural flora give bee propolis wound healing, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.
"The big picture is wound healing," Ms Hamilton said.
"We want to see if the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that we may or may not find contribute to the accelerated wound-healing process."
Her research project will focus on two major factors: to discover the role the bees and the environment play in the properties of bee propolis, and to isolate the compounds that are responsible for the healing qualities.
Ms Hamilton said propolis was more a plant product than a bee product and she believed a combination of the natural habitat, the fauna and flora as well as the native bee and the trees and resins the bees collected made Australian propolis unique.
Propolis is a complex substance and varies depending on what trees the bees are foraging on, while the season and climate make it quite a variable substance…
Her research will look at whether the resin from the corymbia torelliana (known as the cadagi gum) is similar in medicinal properties to stingless bee propolis…