Honeybees are considered among our more familiar group of insects, being found in many children’s television shows, stories, and even in some peoples’ backyards. Our interest here at Canton Termite and Pest Control is to inform you as the reader in every important aspect of honeybees, whether it be their benefits to your home or their downsides. Let us start with their benefits.
Honeybees provide, well, honey. This thick liquid isn’t given nearly enough credit for its benefits to mankind over the years. Dr. Mercola, D.O., mentions in an online article several key roles honey can play:
“1. Honey Makes Excellent Cough “Medicine”
The World Health Organization (WHO) lists honey as a demulcent, which is a substance that relieves irritation in your mouth or throat by forming a protective film.5
Research shows honey works as well as dextromethorphan, a common ingredient in over the counter cough medications, to soothe cough and related sleeping difficulties due to upper respiratory tract infections in children.6
- Honey Can Treat Wounds
Honey was a conventional therapy in fighting infection up until the early 20th century, at which time its use slowly vanished with the advent of penicillin. Now the use of honey in wound care is regaining popularity, as researchers are determining exactly how honey can help fight serious skin infections.
Honey has antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidants activities that make it ideal for treating wounds. In the US, Derma Sciences uses Manuka honey for their Medihoney wound and burn dressings.
Manuka honey is made with pollen gathered from the flowers of the Manuka bush (a medicinal plant), and clinical trials have found this type of honey can effectively eradicate more than 250 clinical strains of bacteria, including resistant varieties such as:
MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)
MSSA (methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus)
VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococci)
Compared to other types of honey, Manuka has an extra ingredient with antimicrobial qualities, called the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). It is so called because no one has yet been able to discover the unique substance involved that gives it its extraordinary antibacterial activity.
Honey releases hydrogen peroxide through an enzymatic process, which explains its general antiseptic qualities, but active Manuka honey contains “something else” that makes it far superior to other types of honey when it comes to killing off bacteria.7
That being said, research shows that any type of unprocessed honey helped wounds and ulcers heal. In one study, 58 of 59 wounds showed “remarkable improvement following topical application of honey.”8
- Honey Improves Your Scalp
Honey diluted with a bit of warm water was shown to significantly improve seborrheic dermatitis, which is a scalp condition that causes dandruff and itching. After applying the solution every other day for four weeks, “all of the patients responded markedly.” According to the researchers:9
“Itching was relieved and scaling was disappeared within one week. Skin lesions were healed and disappeared completely within 2 weeks. In addition, patients showed subjective improvement in hair loss.”
- Help Boost Your Energy
A healthy, whole-food diet and proper sleep is the best recipe for boundless energy, but if you’re looking for a quick energy boost, such as before or after a workout, honey can suffice. This is particularly true for athletes looking for a “time-released fuel” to provide energy over a longer duration.10
- Reduce Allergy Symptoms
Locally produced honey, which will contain pollen spores picked up by the bees from local plants, introduces a small amount of allergen into your system. Theoretically, this can activate your immune system and over time can build up your natural immunity against it.
The typical recommendation is to take about a teaspoon-full of locally produced honey per day, starting a few months PRIOR to the pollen season, to allow your system to build up immunity. And the key here is local.”
Now, just as a disclaimer, we do NOT recommend using honey as a “cure-all” of any kind! Proper medical treatment of all conditions is recommended. Honey is fun to use for a variety of healthful purposes, but it is not a replacement for modern medicine and techniques. On that note, let’s move on to the negative side of honeybees around your home.
Honeybees have a few different deviations in their genus and species, and this is very important to note with respect to their threat to people interested in gathering honey or living near colonies. The subgenus Micrapis is relatively harmless, as most of their stings cannot even penetrate human skin; however, their close relatives, of the Megapis subgenus, are larger, more aggressive, and more dangerous. These larger bees are easily aggravated and can sting most invaders to death if the colony is threatened. Africanized bees, more commonly known as Killer Bees, are a result of the mixture of European and Asian honeybees. They are much more aggressive, and also do not produce as much honey as other honeybees.
If you have a colony of bees near your home, call a professional today http://www.honeybeeexperience.com.
If you have wasps or hornets call Canton Termite and Pest Control can be reached at 770-479-1598. Honeybees are hugely beneficial, but they need to be respected as well. If they are too close to your home, then Canton Termite and Pest Control can handle the problem. For more information and details regarding a treatment plan, call at 770-479-1598 to find effective and friendly care from Canton Termite and Pest Control in the 30115, 30114, 30183, and 30107 areas. Thanks for reading!
In a recent film, Mr. Holmes, starring Ian McKellen as the great detective, honeybees play a subtle yet surprising role in the plot line. Sherlock Holmes takes up beekeeping as a hobby in his retirement, and he has hired a maid to care for his home, where she and her son live. The honeybees are falsely accused of stinging the young boy and causing an allergic reaction, when in reality the boy was stung by wasps from an unseen colony. Honeybees do, in fact, sting, but they are not nearly as aggressive as other insects might be, such as the wasps mentioned above.