Bees are a true gift and are an integral part of nature. As a natural- beekeeper and shamanic body worker, I have been on an incredible inner and outer journey with my bees,
Here in this article, I am going to share four gifts of the hive.
Pollen, honey, propolis and wax.
Pollen is one of nature’s most nutritious foods, and contains nearly all the nutrients humans need. Not only that, it’s the food of the young bee, or pip.
A working bee spends about one month to collect just one teaspoon of pollen.
Each pellet contains about two million flower grains. Pollen contains a high amount of protein, plus fats , minerals starch amino acids, and beneficial bacteria. It comes in a variety of colours according to which plant it has been collected from. Black pollen comes from poppies, yellow pollen from cherry tree blossoms, and grey pollen from borage.
What Are The Benefits Of Pollen?
Pollen is an energy enhancer, and immune booster, it fights fatigue, and has powerful healing properties which can support your immune system to fight against a whole range of diseases.
Pollen contains enzymes that help digestion, and can treat skin conditions such as eczema. It can also help with maintaining a good gut flora.
The importance of pollen for the bees
Bees make bee bread, which is a mixture of fermented pollen and digested enzymes. The bees mix this with their own enzymes to create food for the baby bees. This mix supports the health of the bees as they grow and defends them against illness and disease.
Here is a quote rom my favourite bee book talking about bee bread.
"Pollen is a blend of light and scents of the field, It contains food for the body, plus spiritual nutrition. “ Jaqueline Freeman- The Song of Increase.”
Honey is a natural preservative, even when it’s a thousand years old, it continues to be edible.
Egyptians used honey on a daily basis for this reason. They were the first bee-keepers , they kept their bees in clay pots, and knew the powerful healing properties of honey.
The Egyptians revered the honey bee, and much of their art portrayed bees, their hieroglyphs and some artefacts still show the importance of bees in their culture
Honey contains enzymes, essential oils, vitamins, and minerals all in balance.
The taste and colour of honey depends on the flower source, spring honey has a light colour, summer honey is more amber, autumn honey is more darker.
It is best to only buy honey from a bee -keeper or from a farmers market, so it will not be heated or filtered. Supermarket honey is contains mixed varieties, to make a mid range, which does not have much flavour.
Honey is essential for the bee’s survival, it is their food, they spend their whole life gathering and collecting pollen and honey. In the summer, many worker bees only survive 6 weeks, as their wings become tattered from thousands of flights to collect their food. This why it is so important to not take honey for granted.
Being a natural beekeeper, I have learnt how much hard work this is for the bees, and I have never taken their honey. I know some do take a small amount of honey, and make sure there is enough for the bees to survive.
I love honey, and I use it sparingly, I have used it when I have a sore throat or a cold. I have also used it for honey facials, for myself, and for others.
Rudolf Steiner said that honey was so precious, that no adequate price could be placed upon it
Speaking to the heart and soul of honey, what it is and what it can do, Rudolf Steiner said “That the bee is formed by the same force, finely distributed silica acid, that resides in the earth and constructs quartz crystals. Honey, having been worked on by the bees body ,helps create wax in a six sided form. Like bees, we humans need nourishment that produce a six sided effect.”
“Propolis comes from the sap of the trees, we are the alchemists who create our own medicine. It is the external immune system of the bee. “ Jaqueline Freeman” – The Song Of Increase.
Propolis is a sticky resinous substance ,which comes in many different colours. Bees mix the resin with wax, pollen, plus their own enzymes, and glandular substances.
The Propolis varies according to where it is collected what time of year and day.
Bees seal their hive to protect it from diseases, they also use it to seal the gaps so it is waterproof. They create canals from the propolis to remove condensation that builds up in the hive when they are fanning the nectar. The other benefit is that sealing gaps helps to keep the hive at a suitable temperature to be able to function.
This is the same as human body temperature, 37 degrees.. As soon as the temperature drops, the bees are in danger of getting cold, which is not good because they have to eat more honey, and spend more time and energy sealing up the gaps again.
This is why it is important to not open the hive very often. In natural beekeeping it is only opened twice a year to check they have overwintered ok, and then in the autumn, to make sure they have enough food to get through the early spring months.
What are the benefits of Propolis?
Strong resins and essential oils found in Propolis can be used for health, such as a healing balm for toothache, it can be placed in a cavity to prevent decay. I have personally used it for coughs and colds. I usually add a few drops to a glass of water and take a twice a day. The powerful oils strengthen your immune system, and fight whatever disease is going on.
Young bees, two or three days old, produce liquid wax, which hardens into platelets. The older bees chew into shape to create comb, then the bees connect to each others to build chains from one side of the other, to create the shape of the comb.
Wax is very thin, so also acts as a dance floor for the bees, because they can feel the movements of each other through the vibration of the comb. They know exactly what jobs are being done on the other side of the hive.
When the bees have been on a foraging flight, they come and do a waggle dance to show the others where the food source its. A number of bees start to dance in a series of 8 shapes, which show the direction of the food source in relation to the sun. It is like a dance off! The best dancer gets the rest of the foragers to follow them to the food source.
The other functions of bees-wax in the hive are; Storage for honey and pollen, brood nursery cells for the pips, and insulation for the hive in the winter.
What are the benefits of bees-wax ?
Beeswax is amazing for making candles, it is much nicer than the paraffin candles they sell in shops. I make my own candles by rolling wax sheets with a wick I place in the centre. I love to do this. It’s very quick and satisfying.
Wax is also great in beauty products, lip balm, hand cream etc. I use Bert's Bees products, which are ethical, and use wax with other eco-friendly ingredients.
I light my wax candle everyday to meditate and tune in with the bees.
If you would like to know more about what I do, check out my website, or email me.
The voice of the bees.