When people think of bees, the first thing that comes to mind is honeybees. It goes without saying why it’s the first thing that we think of, but honey isn’t the only product that bees are working away at in that hive. At Blythewood Bee Co., we are able to work closely with bees and watch them as they colonize and create all of these different products that contribute to the production of the honeybee and their honey. If you’re racking your brain trying to think of what other things are inside of the hive, we’ve broken it down to make it a little easier for you.
This is a fine substance that is powdery. It can be a little sticky when you rub it between your fingers, too. Usually yellow in color, this part of the hive consists of microscopic grains that are discharged from the male part of a flower. This pollen is then used to fertilize the female part of the flower. Bees are one of the most well-known pollinators on the world, so their existence is extremely important in order for us to maintain the plants we encounter in nature.
How Pollen Helps Bees
In the hive, pollen is used as food for younger bees. This is actually one of the major food sources for bees to consume when they are building their colony. It is this pollen that becomes honey. The nectar from flowers and pollen is stored within the stomachs of bees and is passed along the worker bees. Over time, the water within the pollen is diminished and becomes honey, that is then stored in one of the cells of the beehive.
How Pollen Helps People
Pollen isn’t directly consumed for the most part, but it is included in quite a few items that we do benefit from. The ingredients of pollen alone are some of the most needed vitamins that we need as humans. You can count on finding Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B12, C, D, E, folic acid, calcium, copper, iron, phosphorus and potassium in the pollen. Because of all these added ingredients, pollen helps with colds and flu symptoms and can relieve an upset stomach or indigestion. Aside from that, pollen is also known to minimize the chances of developing heart disease and is known to treat bladder infections. Overall, the benefits of pollen are much more noteworthy for humans, than they are for worker honeybees.
Another fantastic thing to come from the beehive is beeswax! This particular creation of the hive is something that we have all heard of at one point or another. This is a natural product that is produced by the wax-producing glands that are located in the abdominal of working bees, who then discard the wax throughout the hive. This particular part of the hive is able to produce a lot for both bees and humans, as well.
How Bees Use Beeswax
The primary way that bees utilize beeswax is as a building tool. Bees take the little flakes of wax that their wax glands produce and they chew them up. Once these pieces of wax are softened up, bees use them to create comb, that is later used to store pollen. These combs that are made are used to raise babies in later on.
How Humans Use Beeswax
The same way that humans use pollen for more things, we take much more advantage of beeswax, and most of them you won’t even know of. This natural wax is used for soothing and protecting any dry skin or chapped lips. The reason behind this is that they contain a ton of vitamin A! This vitamin is known for its ability to keep skin healthy and boost the immune system, which is great in itself. The one use that we see them commonly used for that most people don’t know about are in candles. Any candles that are made from beeswax are known to last longer. One of the added benefits of this is that candles made from beeswax produce negative ions, which are able to reduce pollen, dust, mold and any other toxins in the air that are commonly tied to allergies.
Our post today only visited two of the different parts of the hive that humans and bees are able to use through the honey making process, but they aren’t the only two. In our next blog post, we will go over a few other parts of the hive and how we are able to benefit from them. By the end of these posts, we hope that you’ll have a better understanding of just how beneficial these various parts are and realize how many different things bees are capable of providing because it is most certainly more than just honey. All of these things are capable through high-quality beekeeping supplies and a passion for bees!