What is honey?
Honey is a sweet, aromatic and thick liquid produced by honey bees from flower nectar, honey-dew from the leaves of softwood and hardwood trees, sweet matter secreted by small insects as well as sweet juice from the fruits of certain plants. This honey is stored by bees in honey-combs. The color of honey may vary from almost colorless to a dark brown and its texture from thick liquid to crystal form. Its flavor and scent may vary and will depend on the predominant plant species contained in the honey.
How is honey made?
Natural bee honey is produced by honey bees largely out of flower nectar. Nectar is a sweet liquid secreted by special glands at the base of the flower. When circling around flowers, bees detect nectar with their tongue and suck it into their honey stomach. They carry the nectar to their hives and give it to other bees for processing and storing in honey-comb cells. In the days following its storage, redundant water is released from the nectar and sucrose is dissolved by the invertase enzyme to basic saccharine: glucose and fructose. Finally, the bees cover the processed nectar with white honey-comb wax covers for storage. This way, each wax cell becomes an individual natural storage unit and the whole honey-comb case a mine of rich therapeutic and energy-filled food.
Aside from flower nectar, bees collect other sweet secretions from leaves. This honey is called honey-dew. They also like the sweet matter created by plant louse and other plant insects. Plant louse, while sucking on plant juice, secrets the sweet liquid collected by bees. Honey produced in this manner is called honey-dew.
What does honey contain?
Depending on the type, natural bee honey contains an average of: 15–20% water, 75–80% saccharine (grape – glucose, fruit – fructose and sucrose to a lesser extent), as well as mineral matter, albumen, vitamins, ferments, organic and non-organic acids, alkaloids, fragrance and color.
What are different honey types ?
Depending on the herbal origin of nectar, honey can be divided into mono-floral honey and poli-floral honey. Mono-floral honey is made predominantly from the nectar of one plant species. Honey derived from at least 80 percent of a single plant species is considered to be mono-floral honey or high-quality honey. The types of mono-floral honey found in our country include: acacia, linden, sage-blossom, sunflower, chestnut, lavender etc. Poli-floral honey is derived from the nectar of many types of plant species. This type of honey is named after its origin such as: clover, forest etc.
What are the nutritious and therapeutic qualities of honey ?
Of all the food used in human nutrition, honey is considered to be the most significant biologically for its neat balance of sundry ingredients and its complex effects. It stimulates nearly all functions of the human organism, including the secretion of toxic matter. Due to its bactericide qualities, honey is irreplaceable as both a food and medicine – for children and adults, for the elderly and the weak, for people under extraordinary physical and mental strain, for both the healthy and the ill.
The nutritious and therapeutic qualities of honey are also seen in the fact that it is easily digestible, as it contains enzymes that stimulate digestion. Once inside a stomach, it quickly dissolves and enters the lymph system, and subsequently into blood and tissue, revealing its nutritious and therapeutic qualities. Honey contains large amounts of physiologically active substances and is therefore used as an additional medical agent in therapy.
Honey has a calming effect, prevents the increase of lipids and blood cholesterol, digestive organ disease, kidney disease, anemia and other diseases.
What are the characteristics of honey ?
Crystallization of honey is a natural physical and chemical process that doesn’t change the characteristics of honey, thus allowing it to keep all of its therapeutic and nutritious qualities. Crystallization predominantly depends on the type of honey and storage. Some types of honey crystallize quickly, others do not crystallize or do but very slowly.
Crystallization of honey will be slower if it contains more fruit than grape saccharine. It’s a process of transformation of liquid honey into a crystallized, more or less solid condition. It’s easy to transform such honey into liquid condition by putting the jar with crystallized honey in the water and heating it up at the temperature of 50°С.
How to store honey?
Honey can be packaged and stored in glass, ceramic, wooden, aluminum or plastic pots. The honey pot should be hermetically sealed. Honey should be stored in a cool, dry and dark place, free of strong outside odors.
What is pollen?
Pollen, or flower sperm as it is sometimes called, is an herbal product collected by bees. Its flavor and color depend on its botanical source. Pollen is extremely rich in nutritious matter such as albumen, lipids, enzymes, carbohydrates, vitamins, mineral matter, ferments and other active components. That is why it is a valuable supplement in the treatment of various diseases.
Nutritious and therapeutic qualities Pollen, or flower sperm, is often used in the treatment of prostate troubles, even in extremely difficult, chronic cases. Pollen improves fertility and lowers blood cholesterol. It improves cerebral blood circulation and is recommended to people under great mental and physical strain. Pollen’s extraordinary protein complex is a natural means to regenerate the liver. Pollen is also often used in cosmetics.
How is pollen consumed?
Pollen may be mixed with water, milk or tea. It is best to grind it and mix it with honey because it improves the taste and adds to its positive effect.
Warning! Pollen may cause allergic reactions, especially with children. Take smaller dosage in the beginning.
How to store pollen?
Pollen is stored in a cool, dry and dark place in a hermetically sealed pot, if possible.
What is Propolis?
Propolis is a resinous substance collected by working bees from tree buds and secreted by their glands. The color of propolis varies from dark green to coffee green – turning darker over time. It has a distinctive aroma and a somewhat bitter flavor. Propolis is composed of resin, wax, essential oils, pollen and is rich in minerals, especially iron and zinc.
What are the therapeutic qualities of Propolis ?
Propolis has long been used in folk medicine but is now also used in orthodox medicine as its invaluable therapeutic qualities have been widely recognized. It is used in the treatment of vascular disease, asthma, gastric and duodenal ulcers, gastritis and various mouth and throat inflammations.
Propolis is successfully used as a medical agent in the treatment of various skin diseases such as burns, different types of eczema, warts and hemorrhoids and it also stimulates tissue regeneration.
How is Propolis consumed?
Propolis is commonly dissolved in ethyl-alcohol or in an oil-solution. It may be used in its original state as well.
How to store Propolis?
Either dissolved or in its original state, propolis should be stored in a cool, dry and dark place in a hermetically sealed pot, if possible.
What is Royal Jelly?
Royal Jelly is an extremely nutritious, thick, milky-white creamy liquid, of distinctive scent, a slightly sour and somewhat hot flavor. It is produced by working bees, by the secretion of flower sperm, nectar and water. This jelly is fed to working bee larvae and drones at the beginning of their lives, while the queen bee is fed throughout her development as well as later in her life span. The most commonly used jelly is taken from the queen cell, hence the name “royal jelly”.
The main ingredients of royal jelly are albumen, vitamins, hormones, lipids, saccharine, water, amino acid etc.
What are the therapeutic qualities of Royal Jelly?
Royal Jelly is a wonder-working food that stimulates growth, restores strength, regenerates the organism, refreshes memory and regulates the metabolism. Royal jelly has a therapeutic effect on many ailments, while its effects in strengthening the organism’s immunity and improving blood count are especially noteworthy.
In recovering patients it speeds the road to health, while it can also improve the condition of patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease. In diabetics, royal jelly acts to regulate blood sugar level. Royal jelly also rejuvenates cells by supplying them with matter that disappears over time.
Royal jelly’s invaluable protein composition has a positive effect on children by stimulating growth and development, and strengthening the immunity of a young organism. Royal jelly is the best companion for a long and healthy life.
How to store Royal Jelly?
Royal jelly in its original state should be stored in a hermetically sealed dark glass pot and be kept in low temperatures (-20°С). It can also be mixed with honey, pollen or with a propolis solution that serves as a natural conserver, thus making it possible to store at higher temperatures. The most effective conservation of royal jelly can be achieved by using a special procedure (liofilisation) for water extraction that turns it into powder, allowing it to be kept for a long period.
What is beeswax?
Beeswax is a natural product, produced by different types of honey bees. Wax is secreted by wax-glands that are located on the inner side of a working bee’s stomach. During secretion, wax is liquid but quickly solidifies into a thick airy mass. After removal of wax panels from their stomach, working bees start chewing wax so it can be used to build honey-comb cells.
What does beeswax contain?
Beeswax consists of unattached fatty acids, ester, hydrocarbon, mineral matter, water, carotenoid, color and fragrance.
What are the properties of beeswax ?
Beeswax has no flavor, but has the agreeable scent of honey. It’s color varies from light yellow to darker colors. It turns to liquid at a temperature of about 60°С.
What is beeswax used for?
Beeswax is used for making wax for honey combs and also in the production of candles, etc. It is used in agriculture for making of graft-wax for fruit growing.
Beeswax is also used in folk and modern medicine for making medical ointment, creams and various cosmetic preparations. Beeswax is also used as a balm for burns. It dilates blood vessels, thereby improving blood circulation.
What is bee venom?
Bee venom, or apitoxin, is a thick, colorless liquid of a distinctive scent, similar to the scent of honey, and of a bitter-hot taste. It is produced by working bees’ special glands. This is actually the secretion of the bees’ stinger which serves for protection against enemies.
What does the bee venom contain?
Bee venom contains dry matter, water, n-amyl, isoamyl and ethyl acetate. It is in fact a mixture of several ingredients of organic and non-organic matter. The venom contains micro elements such as iron, iodine, potassium, calcium, magnesium etc. Albumen and peptides constitute around 80 percent of venom’s dry matter, which contain the most active biochemical and pharmacological ingredients. What are the therapeutic qualities of bee venom ?
In comparison with other animal venom, bee venom is quite similar to snake venom, the only difference being the amount of venom, which is lower in bees. Bee venom is used to treat rheumatism, alleviate pain, lower blood pressure and levels of cholesterol.
The impact of bee venom on humans depends on the number of stings, the affected area, as well as the sensitivity to bee venom by a given organism.
How to use bee venom?
Bee venom may enter the human organism through bee stings, injections or inhalation (of water mixed with bee venom). Advice Bee venom may be used in human treatment only by doctor’s orders and in his presence. In case you are stung, especially on the head, you should seek medical attention, but until then: squeeze out as much venom as you can and put a cold compress on the affected area.
[tags]bee products, honey, propolis, pollen, royal jelly, beeswax, bee venom[/tags]