To Bee or Not To Bee
By Molly Morse
One could dedicate their entire life to the history, mythology and science surrounding bees. Not only are bees the only insect to produce food for humans, they are life’s guardians. Albert Einstein once proclaimed, “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”
Bees, through their unparalleled work ethic, produce four major superfoods. They include honey, bee pollen, propolis and royal jelly. When honey is sold in a sea of jars in a plethora of flavors and colors, it is easy to take this golden treasure for granted. However, one gallon of honey equals the combined bee flight of traveling to the moon and back and it will take a single bee one month working eight hours a day to collect one teaspoon of bee pollen. In a world where archeologists have found edible honey in the ancient tombs of Egyptian pharos, these amazing creatures produce the only food that will never spoil.
Honey and bee pollen are familiar to Laguna Beach, a town known for its health conscious ways. Bee pollen, which is high in vitamin Bs, contains all 22 essential amino acids making it the most delectable complete protein found on earth. Honey, in its raw organic and unfiltered state, is filled with minerals, antioxidants, enzymes and probiotics. Manuka honey from New Zealand, both eaten and used as a topical antibiotic, provide relief for many disorders including the ability to interrupt cell division in MRSA, the antibiotic-resistant bacteria threatening many hospitals.
Propolis and royal jelly are quickly gaining notoriety having resumes that would impress any health nut. Propolis is an immune supporting and highly medicinal antibacterial substance used to protect crowded hives from the spread of disease. As we travel in crowded trains, planes and automobiles for the holidays, propolis will be sure to help us fend off the ubiquitous bug.
Royal jelly is in a class of its own. Royal jelly has been considered by many cultures “the fountain of youth.” Royal jelly rejuvenates our bodies, regulates hormonal imbalances, improves our thinking, and lifts our mood.
Produced by an elite group of young nurse bees, royal jelly is reserved for the queen. The queen bee will live up to five years in contrast to a worker bee’s month long life-span and will lay up to 2,000 eggs, more than twice her weight, in a single day as opposed to her infertile counterpart.
Royal jelly’s compositional complexity has flummoxed scientists that have tried to synthesize this amazing superfood in a laboratory. The tiny bee creating this powerful food has the densest neurological tissue of any animal, leading me to think she knows what she’s doing!
Unfortunately our beloved bees are in trouble. Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the mysterious deaths of bee colonies, are accounting for the recent decline of our master pollinators across the world. Parasitic mites, human pollution, insecticides, electromagnetic fields and genetically modified tampering with flowering plants all contribute to Einstein’s chilling premonition.
“Human beings have fabricated the illusion that in the 21st century they have the technological prowess to be independent of nature,” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General. “Bees underline the reality that we are more, not less, dependent on nature’s services.”
Though modern technology and habits may have resulted in the degradation of bees, the two now have an opportunity to save them. Electronics giant Philips offers the Urban Beehive, the latest in stylish home beekeeping operations adding to the already abundant apis abodes such as the Beepods, Bombus Shelters and the Beehaus.
Amy Cripps, secretary of Orange County Bee Keepers Association says, “Laguna is one of the only cities in the county that allows bee keeping.” Harvesting our own local honey contains unique stimulating properties helping us adapt to our environment. It is time we take matters into our own hands, Laguna.
To bee or not to bee, there is no question.
Laguna Beach resident Molly Morse is a holistic health therapist.
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