It is amazing that everything that bees produce are useful for humans! There are five things produced in a hive, let us have a look at all of them and explore their potential use!
The combs are the furniture of the hives. It is made of pure wax, which is produced by young worker bees in the form of tiny wax plates under their abdomen. They make a perfect hexagonal cell and the honey is stored inside this cell. Their offspring, the brood, develops in the same cells. When a new bee hatches its first job is to clean the cell where she was born.
The wax can be used to make candles and cosmetic products that use pure beeswax.
Propolis is collected from the buds of trees and plants. It is a very sticky substance, this is why bees use it to fill in the gaps in their hives. The propolis is also a very strong natural antibiotic, and when the bees move to a new hive they "paint" the walls with propolis to keep the hive clean. This is why propolis is used in traditional medicine as a very strong disinfectant. It can be used as an ingredient for mouthwashes, against sore throat or simply added to the diet as an immun-enhancer. As a topical cream it is highly effective against eczema. Consumed regularly it is said to improve the flexibility of blood vessels, so it is really worth using it in cardiovascular diseases.
The Queens are fed with Royal Jelly. This is a type of super-nutrient, which contains fully nutrient proteins, vitamins, special trace elements and hormones. The Royal Jelly makes the Queen exceptionally fertile, being able to lay around 1500-2000 eggs a day. This is where its human use comes from, there are accounts that it has helped couples to have a baby even where modern therapy (IVF) had failed.
There are a lot of other animals trying to "steal" the bees honey, this is why they developped their sting. Despite common belief it is only used for self-defense, especially when they feel that their home is under attack. Strangely even their weapon is useful for us, bee poison has been used in medicine to cure joint problems, rheumatism and arthritis.
The real honey in most of the cases becomes set after a period of time (this period varies according to the type of flower the honey was collected from). There are only two types of honey which remain liquid even for years:
- clear acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia) honey
- clear mint honey (extremely rare)