The Flight of the Bumblebee
Run for your lives! It’s a bee! While you are running waving your arms about like a lunatic can we take a moment and actually appreciate the bee? While most people run in fear from these flying stingers, bees are actually beneficial to mankind. From the honey that they produce, to helping pollinate so that we have fruits and vegetables to eat. The bee plays an important part in our ecosystem and the dwindling number of bees should make everyone worried. Let’s see what the buzz is about and how we can help to make sure the bee will be around to scare future generations to come.
You wouldn’t bee-lieve how good honey is for you. It’s made from the nectar worker bees collect from flowers. Returning to the hive, the bees ingest the nectar and regurgitate it a number a times into the honeycomb. Under the constant fanning of the bee’s wings, the regurgitated nectar evaporates and creates the thick, sweet liquid that we know as honey. Besides being a sweet treat on toast or your oatmeal; honey has antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties. Do you have horrible allergies? Try eating some local honey! The honey in your region contains small doses of the pollens that cause the unbearable itchy eyes and constant sneezing. Eating the honey can help raise your immunity to the irritants. It also works wonders to exfoliate and moisturize your skin.
Soothing Honey Oatmeal Bath Soak
- 2 cups raw, uncooked oatmeal
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon honey
Directions: Draw a warm bath and add the oatmeal, milk, and honey. Soak for 10 minutes (or more, if you like), then rinse off and pat dry.
To Bee or Not to Bee
The bad news about bees is that they are dwindling at alarming rates. The survival of mankind depends on these little pollinators. Their impact on the environment is evident on a good proportion of our food crops. Bees pollinate most of the fruits and vegetables we eat. With fewer bees comes less availability of these crops and thus potentially higher prices for them. What seems to be a common factor in the decline of bees is the use of insecticides on gardens and global trade. Insecticides contaminate the nectar that the bees feed on either killing them or have crippling effects on their health. Global trade has introduced pathogens and deadly viruses that also kill off many bees.
Mind Your Beeswax
Have you ever walked down the street to see some young-en’s hair spiked in a way that leaves you wondering how the heck did they do that? You can thank a bee for that. A common ingredient used in the hair pomade that contorts our hair into crazy styles is beeswax. Beeswax is produced by wax secreting glands in the abdomen of the worker bee. It is then discarded in the hive, where the hive workers use it for the comb’s stability; storage for honey, larval and pupal protection. For us humans, we use beeswax in the production of food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Although not the best source of nutrients for humans, beeswax is used in chewing gum and as a glazing agent. Most cosmetics, like skin care lines, use beeswax because it provides protection against irritants but still allows the skin to breathe. Other notable products that use beeswax are moustache wax, hair pomades, shoe polish, candles, crayons, eye-liner, and lip gloss. Clearly, the uses for beeswax are endless.
Hive Never Heard That Before
Pollen. The cause of so many runny noses, itchy eyes and sinus infections. Allergy season is the worst season. While all of the pollen floating in the air is a nightmare for most, for the bees it’s their bread and butter. Bee pollen is the primary source of protein for the hive. Bees help pollinate flowers whenever they make their rounds from flower bed to flower bed. But, what bees also do whenever they are buzzing about, is collect the pollen and pack it together with nectar and bee secretions to form pellets. Once back at the hive, the bees give these pollen pellets to the queen to lay her eggs on. It is the pollen ball that humans harvest for food. Some of the medicinal properties of bee pollen include alleviating menstrual cramps and depression, speed the healing of wounds, normalize digestive problems, reduce cholesterol, and improve fertility in females and males. Bee pollen contains nearly all the nutrients we need and more protein than any animal source. One of nature’s most perfect foods? I’d say so.
So how can you help? Plant native plants from your region into your garden or yard and avoid the use of insecticides. Not hard right? It is an act to help the environment that any person can get bee-hind (last one I swear!). This encourages bees to pollinate and therefore you can help yourself with a lovely, thriving garden, as well as help the future of our planet.
*Calmer Sutra Tea: Ginger Infused Honey
*Whispering Willow Soap Company: Honey Oatmeal Natural Soap
*Bizalion’s Fine Food: Raw Wildflower Honey, USA
*Botanic Organic: Honey and Licorice Daily Cleansing Grains
*Z’s Bees: 100% Raw Beeswax
*Z’s Bees: Bee Pollen
Anna Terry attended Texas A&M University where she received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Communication. She is based out of Austin, TX and is a Marketing Assistant for Ecohabitude. Anna writes for Ecohabitude’s blog and hopes to inspire others to live a socially conscious lifestyle with easy, fun, stylish tips to incorporate into their everyday life.
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