Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Queen Bee

Battling the cold and flu season day after day is quite rough on the immune system and it seems that this year I'm fighting quite the losing battle.  Joseba has had his bouts with coughs and colds too.  So, when he saw some 'jalea real' (Royal Jelly) on sale, he snatched up a supply for each of us to help us make it to Spring healthy.

Living in the States, I had never heard of this Royal Jelly, but here, in ecological and bio shops it's a top seller.  Essentially it is a small dose of 'jelly' (actually a liquid) that nurse bees use to create a queen bee.  Apparently, I did not know this, queen bees are not born, but are made by only eating this special type of jelly.  Filled with vitamins, amino acids, protiens and more, it helps the queens grow 60% bigger than the worker bees and prolongs her life by 42% as well.  Every bee gets 3 days worth of royal jelly, which comes from the head glands of worker bees, but the queens receive a lifelong supply.

Put some beekeepers in the mix and this juice, extremely rich in nutrients, becomes something that humans want too!  The Royal Jelly claims many health benefits due to the fact that it is packed with multiple types of Vitamin B, protiens, amino acids and fatty acids.  Among a laundry list of benefits (fatigue, memory, skin, infertility, diabetes, ulcers and tons more), we buy it for the fact that it helps boost your immune system.

Keeping with the hive craze, here you can also find another bee product - propolis.  Collected from tree buds, sap and other natural sources, the bees create this sticky gel to close up unwanted holes in thier hives.  A dark brown color and definitley not tasty, it is also said to have beneficial effects on the immune system when attacked by viruses.  While the bees use this propolis to make thier hives stronger and protect them from disease and vibration, us humans use it in various different ways too; not only do we mix it with water to combat a cold, but it can be found in car wax, instrument wood polish and even in gum (anyone every tried Propolis Gum?  I imagine it's gross).

Before shopping in bio shops, I never would have had any ideas bees could give me such amazing products besides honey!  Next time you have a cold, maybe stop by your local natural food or bio shop and see if it offers this - because it seems to be working wonders for us!


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