Despite the common use of phrases such as “busy as a bee” and “make a beeline,” there is nothing routine about honey bees. In existence for approximately 125 million years, the honey bee provides many benefits to humans, our natural food sources and the planet. In honor of National Honey Bee Day on August 19, we’ve compiled 11 ways that bees make our world better.
1. Bee Products Fight Significant Disease
Bumblebee venom has been used to treat arthritis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and depression. Studies have found honey, venom and royal jelly help to shrink cancerous tumors.
2. Honey Doesn’t Spoil
Its water content, at approximately 17 percent, is much lower than that of fungi or bacteria. Honey is the only food whose shelf life is forever.
3. Honey Works As an Antibiotic
As a medicinal aid, it offers unique antibacterial benefits for safe and effective wound care. Cuts, burns, psoriasis, eczema and even fungal infections respond positively to mindful topical honey applications.
4. Honey Bees Predict Storms
Exceptionally sensitive to environmental electromagnetic change, bees sense oncoming rainfall and thunderstorms. If you notice a sudden absence of bee activity, get ready for some extreme weather.
5. Honey Offers an Excellent After-Workout Replenishment
Its unique glycemic index equalizes blood sugar spikes, which typically occur after intense exercise. Honey’s distinct mineral composition targets muscle recuperation and may increase the output of subsequent workouts.
6. Bees Are Distinctively Symbiotic
No other creature on this planet performs its exclusive pollination service. Bees derive pollen necessary for honey and wax production from a wide variety of plants and flowers that, in turn, utilize powder delivered by bees for reproduction. Without pollen-producing plants, bees would cease to exist, and vice versa.
7. Bees Pollinate One-Third of Our Food
A vast majority of fruits and vegetables depend on pollination, including one important plant — alfalfa, which, in turn, feeds our beef and cattle. In the United States alone, bee-pollinated crops account for approximately $6.8 billion in sales.
8. Honey Bees Catalyze Crop Growth
In fact, active bee pollination spurs plants to produce up to 300 percent more per season. It’s no wonder beekeepers are welcome neighbors to savvy farmers and often compensated for their service.
9. Just a Spoonful of Honey Offers a Myriad of Preventive Benefits
Honey eliminates free radicals in the human body. It contains 27 minerals, 22 amino acids and over 5,000 protective enzymes. It’s no wonder royal jelly, bee pollen and raw honey all repeatedly earn superfood accolades.
10. Beeswax Has a Multitude of Uses Outside the Hive
In cosmetics, its natural ability to lock in moisture makes it ideal for lip balms and skin salves alike. Beeswax candles burn longer and cleaner than conventional paraffin alternatives without any soot. Did you know beeswax prevents rust formation on cast iron pieces and tools? Or that it is commonly used to seal natural cheeses? In a pinch, you can even use beeswax for polishing shoes. As such, it also provides weatherproof protection.
11. Honey Bees Promote Biodiversity
Bees routinely pollinate over 150 crop plants as well as a plethora of wild flowers and native brush. Our planet’s vital green space could not survive without the consistent reproductive service they provide. A healthy ecosystem regulates climate, purifies water, maintains soil balance and provides essential natural resources.
In a trickle-down scenario, the mighty work of bees can be hailed as a crucial element to the healthy maintenance of our planet. Now that’s cause for celebration. Happy National Honey Bee Day, indeed.