Royal jelly is a special food used to by the bees to nourish the young larvae and the Queen Bee. Worker bees produce royal jelly by mixing pollen with a secretion from glands in the hypopharynx to create a food high in protein and vitamins.
Royal jelly is a white gelatinous substance with a slightly sweet acidic taste fed to larvae in the honeycomb. Larvae whom are fed on royal jelly for a long enough period eventually become queen bees.
It is not difficult to appreciate how a substance so important and precious to life in the beehive can have great health benefits for mankind.
The benefits of royal jelly
The benefits of royal jelly are mainly nutritious, and related to stimulation of the bodies metabolism. Royal jelly is used to combat work related stress, chronic tiredness, to aid recovery and in the healthy development of children.
How to take Royal Jelly
There are many ways to take royal jelly, including capsules, pills, freeze-dried, fresh, or mixed with honey or other beehive products. Possibly the best and natural way is the oral consumption of fresh royal jelly.
Propolis is a mix of resins collected by bees from tree bark that has been re-worked with digestive secretions from the worker bees and then used to seal and protect the beehive. This helps keep the hive and its busy occupants disease-free and in an excellent state of health.
In nature, propolis is usually a sticky reddish-brown substance that is spread all around the inside and outside of the beehive to stop bacteria and other harmful organisms from entering and spreading, keeping the bees healthy.
The benefits of propolis
Propolis is one of the best natural antibacterial agents known to man, as well as boasting excellent anti-inflammatory, antiviral and fungicidal properties.
How to take propolis
You can take propolis as a syrup (a handy alcohol free method for kids), a throat spray, as a propolis extract, as an ointment for dermatological use, in pastilles, or inhaled in a vaporized form using a Propolair Propolis Diffuser.
» read our complete guide to Propolis
Raw, whole honeycomb
Honeycomb is the name given to the group of hexagonal wax cells where bees store honey and propolis. Honey is commonly mechanically extracted from these cells and sold in a jar as honey, or can be sold in the form of raw whole honeycomb (see picture).
Raw honeycomb offers a holistic mix of beehive ingredients such as pollen, honey, propolis and royal jelly, all unmodified, as found in nature. So in addition to the beneficial properties of honey, honeycomb offers the extra benefits of bee wax, propolis, royal jelly and pollen.
The benefits of raw honeycomb
Raw honeycomb is a high energy product containing sugars, proteins, trace elements and enzymes as well as vitamin K. When extracted by natural methods, and left unpasteurized, honey comb maintains its nutritious properties.
Honeycomb is recommended for an instant energy boost, as a re-energizer after long periods of physical or mental fatigue, for poor appetite, to aid recovery and whenever an energy boost is required (such as during pregnancy or breastfeeding).
How to consume honeycomb
Honeycomb can be dissolved in a drink or spread on bread (recommended 1 or 2 spoons a day).
Pollen harvested and re-worked by bees is one of the foods chosen to nourish both bee larvae and young bees. Bees collect the male pollen flowers, amalgamate it into little balls and transport it to the beehive in the form of small golden-yellow grains.
Pollen composition varies depending on the type of flowers chosen by the bees, the environmental conditions, and the season (for example certain plants only flower in summer).
The health benefits of pollen
Pollen is a precious, highly nutritious food, high in proteins, energizing that acts as a catalyst - greatly facilitating the absorption of nutrients that are otherwise often expelled by the digestive system.
Pollen is recommended to combat fatigue, tiredness, to stimulate growth in children and to boost energy levels.
How to take pollen
Thanks to its small, soft consistency and sweet taste, pollen can be consumed in pure granular form, or added to food and drinks. Pollen is often sprinkled over natural yoghurt, fruit shake, fresh fruit or on breakfast cereals.
The best time to eat pollen is in the morning. Dosage depends on your need as well as your physical size and weight, but varies from 7-15 grams a day.
Probably the best known of all bee products, honey has been consumed by humans and animals for centuries. Honey is produced by honey bees who work together plant nectar and honeydew, first mixing with simple sugars before drying. Once ready, the honey is stored and sealed in special cells within the beehive.
Once the flowering season is over, beekeepers begin collecting the honey before filtering and bottling for sale.
Honey is made up of 70-80% sugars; a number of trace elements (such as iodine, iron, magnesium and copper); vitamins A, B, E, K, C; enzymes; as well as a number of antibiotic compounds. Honey is also rich in antioxidants.
The benefits of honey
Honey is used to treat skin problems such as acne - it is used in Ayurvedic medicine, cosmetics and to treat burns and grazes. Honey is an excellent anti-inflammatory, a detoxifier and even used to soothe a cough or tickly throat. High polyphenol content means that honey is a good antioxidant.