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The Importance of Honey & Bee Pollen

You know when you start hearing about the same thing from different people at around the same time? This has been happening lately in regard to, well, bees. I was recently given “bee venom therapy” for an old injury and it disappeared. I was recommended bee pollen, raw honey and propolis for various purposes. So far, these recommendations have worked for me. I started to research and found some very interesting facts, products and recipes, which I thought I would share with you.

Love, gp

The Beehive Glossary

Beyond producing honey, honey bees, or apis mellifera, in the course of building and maintaining a hive, produce a variety of products including propolis, bee pollen, bee venom and royal jelly.

Raw Honey

It’s a vector for royal jelly, bee venom, propolis and pollen. Raw Honey specifically is obtained by beekeepers without heating the honey above 120°F.

Manuka Honey

A honey produced in New Zealand that is monofloral and must be produced with manuka pollen in order to be considered a proper manuka honey.

Propolis

Bees collect resin from trees and plants and combine it to seal and sterilize their hive. Propolis is rich in vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidant phytonutrients and flavonoids.

Bee Pollen

Bees are selective about the pollen that they collect from flowers to take back to their hive. They collect pollen on their legs and take it back to the hive where it is mixed with honey and traces of propolis, and then fed to larvae for their growth and development. This substance contains amino acids, vitamins B, C, D, E and anti-oxidants.

Royal Jelly

This is what only the queen bee eats. It’s produced by a gland on the worker bee and is packed full of Vitamins A, B and E and anti-oxidants.

Bee Venom

This is the substance that is contained in a bee’s sting. Frederique Keller, an acupuncturist and owner of BeePharm, Apitherapy for Health & Beauty says, “It’s a complex substance with over sixty components, mainly proteins, enzymes and peptides.”

Bee-Sting Therapy

A little-known therapy practiced by “apitherapists” that has been used for centuries uses real bee stings for ailments.

Apipuncture

A form of acupuncture that combines bee venom with acupuncture. Bee venom is injected in select acupuncture points.

Products From the Hive

Miele Mario Bianco

This honey was recommended to us by Edward Behr of The Art of Eating for being one of the world’s best honeys with amazing flavor. The Bianco family has been producing honey for generations. Today, Mario Bianco’s son, Andrea, runs the business and keeps bees in the Alps near Turin and also in Sicily. They cultivate hives in the places they’ve found to provide the purest single varietal honey—these are honeys that have very pure, very distinct flavors because the bees are placed near certain kinds of plants from Acacia, to Thyme, to Rhododendron, etc. In the US, Mario Bianco’s honey can be found here.

Bee Raw Honey

This is a great and slightly extravagant gift for honey lovers. Bee Raw Honey gathers distinctive single-varietal honey from beekeepers across the United States. This “flight” of nine honeys includes Raspberry, Blueberry, Orange Blossom, Cranberry, Buckwheat, Sage, Sweet Yellow Clover, Basswood, Sourwood and Star Thistle. This is a great set for pairing with different cheeses or for adding a very special touch to breakfast yogurt and granola dishes. They also have smaller “flights” and honey by the jar.

Unbeelievable Health

Unbeelievable Health makes BeePrepared immune support capsules that combine propolis with elderberry, olive leaf and beta-glucan vitamins. According to Unbeelievable Health, the MaxStrength is for when you feel like you’re coming down with something and DailyDefence works as a daily supplement especially during flu and allergy season.

Abe’s Market

This site is a true resource for natural and organic products for the home, and among them, there’s a considerable selection of natural bee-based products, including raw honeys from different parts of the US, and plenty of propolis, pollen and royal jelly goods.

A Few “Unbeelievably” Easy Recipes:

Oat, Pecan & Manuka Honey Breakfast/Snack Bars
Yogurt & Berries with Bee Pollen

Oat, Pecan & Manuka Honey Breakfast/Snack Bars

Here’s a honey-packed snack bar recipe from Sarah Orecchia of Unbeelievable Health.

Get Recipe

Yogurt & Berries
with Bee Pollen

Vicky Vlachonis recommends it for a yummy mid-morning snack. Add 4 teaspoons of Bee Pollen to a bowl of Probiotic Natural Goat’s yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon, blueberries, raspberries and walnuts.

Get Recipe

Bee Pollen Shake
Bee Propolis Balm

Shake

Add one and a half tablespoons of ground bee pollen granules to a fruit and berry shake of your choice for an energy kick. Our friends at Crussh make a “Love Juice” with one banana, 1 juicy peach, 8-10 strawberries, and 5-6 oranges. Blend in the bee pollen.

Get Recipe

Bee Propolis Balm

This home-made balm was recommended to us by the Unbeelievable gang.

Get Recipe

Raw Chocolate Truffles with Honey & Bee Pollen

For a mid-afternoon snack, some ridiculously easy to make chocolate no-bake truffles from Sarah Orecchia, of Unbeelievable Health.

Get Recipe

Colony Collapse Disorder

Entire bee populations have been mysteriously disappearing for the past few years, which presents a serious concern as, according to our friends at Bee Raw Honey, “commercial beekeeping operations pollinate crops that make up one out of every three bites of food on our tables.” What can you do? Support beekeeping by continuing to buy regional raw honey and natural bee products. To learn more, there’s also a documentary about Colony Collapse Disorder called The Vanishing of the Bees.

A very special thanks to Sarah Orecchia and Erin McCann of Unbeelievable Health, Frederique Keller, and Zeke Freeman of Bee Raw Honey for providing all sorts of helpful information on bees for this newsletter.

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