It is said that without bees, the world would end. How true this is remains a question. Bees are main pollinators in our forests and gardens. They varies in shape and sizes depending on their habitat and climate, yet they all produces the amazing health elixir – honey.
There are two main species of Bees that collects honey; the honey bees and the stingless bees (Apis & Trigona). One stings and the other bites. One build their comb on tree branches and one build their home inside the tree trunk. One live around the globe and one only can be found along the equator line.
For thousands of years, man has made use of honey for its medicinal values. The more famous honey from the honey bees in the market is the Manuka honey, bees that forage the Manuka tree. It is famous for its antioxidant, antiviral, anti imflammatory and anti bacteria benefits. The father of modern medicine, the great Ibn Sina prescribe honey as cure for many illnesess in its book ‘The Canon of Medicine’, which at the end he mentioned, ‘those who consume honey regularly will grow old happy’.
As an upcoming rival to the Manuka honey, the stingless bee honey has gone through many test and research on its benefits; it is claimed to carry the same properties of Manuka honey but varied in its strength. Stingless bee mainly live in a secondary forests, where plants are smaller and growing, this is where they thrive, pollinating trees and collecting nectar from even the smallest of blooming flowers and tree shoots. The size is a lot smaller than the honey bees, this give them access to more flowers in the wild; due to this researchers believe stingless bee honey is somehow contain more medicinal properties.
Stingless bees has been around for ages. The oldest fossil founded was in northern China, carbon dated millions of years ago. Scientists believed that, at that time the climate around the globe is similar to the equator today. A tribe in the Philipines honour the stingless bee so much that when someone in the tribe dies, they will inform the bee colony. In Australia the abrogines call them the Pot bees, due to the nature of how they keep their honey. In countries such in South America, the stingless bees are better know as the Queen Bees; a stingless bee colony activities revolves around the Queen! And in Malaysia it is better know as ‘kelulut’.
What does the honey from the stingless bee actually contain?
Its honey contain sugar. Not the granulated sugar that gives you sugar rush, its the kind of sugar that stays in your body longer and are processed gradually. This help providing energy throughout the day.
Anti oxidant is the main substance seek by most honey consumers. It is simple antioxidant which goes into your system very quick. Anti oxidant helps remove the free radical which open the door to many illnesses to the human body.
Micro nutrients is another important chemical elements. Traditionally, micro nutrients can be found in our daily food, but with the fast food, processed food, chemically laden food we have in the market today, we are simply lacking these little but important substance in our system. (Some says, lacking micro nutrients is the major cause of cancer)
A local researcher founded that the honey of the stingless bee contain up to 54 different types of probiotics. Probiotics are important bacteria that nourish our gut microbes. And as mentioned in our tradition, most illnesses comes from the stomach.
Natural Vitamin C that contains bioflavonoids. The synthetic Vitamin C (pharmacy shelf), stresses so much on its quantity, ie. 100mg/ 1000mg, but actual fact synthetic Vitamin C doesn’t contain bioflavonoids, which is in laymen term, extract of antibody of a living plant.
There are many other benefits of the stingless bee honey, but in testimonies of consumers, mainly as traditional remedies, for cough, athma and sore throat, and also well known to heal skin cuts. In the scientific world, a group of Doctors from the University of Beijing were assign to study the possibility as a cure for HIV. Some, have even tested it for people with autism.
But this amazing honey is more than that, the process of collecting nectar, processing it in their bellies, passing it from one bees to another, keeping it in the propolis pot, waiting for the fermentation process till its matured before consuming, is a natural wonder by itself; a scientists once said, honey is an intelligent being, it goes into your body and fix what is wrong. With its vast information harvested in nature, honey is a potent elixir that help boost your immune system, one should have it at home and to be consume regularly especially as we age. It is a natural supplements; a supplement from the heaven.
Then eat from all the fruits and follow the ways of your Lord laid down [for you]. “There emerges from their bellies a drink (honey), varying in colors, in which there is healing for people. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who give thought.” (The Bees 16:69)
Founder of Buluh Seri (www.buluhseri.com)