How they do “it” can be learnt at a beekeeper or a local apiculture. They produce honey whenever possible, more precisely they collect pollen and flower nectar as soon as the first flowers and buds show up on flowers, bushes and trees, thus contributing to the fertilization of the plants.

But how to guarantee purity and variety, how long is a bee supposed to live, which species are distinguished, etc. The longer you think about it, you realize not to know many details of these diligent black-yellow animals. From the biology class you know that only the “queen” lays eggs and incubates the offspring. In order to support this breeding, so-called workers and drones (male bees) permanently take care of the “queen”.

Bees live all over the world, but not all species are honey bees. Some of them live in a swarm simply hanging on a tree trunk, others live as loners in crevices or tree cracks. However, most of the species we know in Europe are honey bees and live in populations in beehives, which are almost a pure “women’s household”. The classic round hay-beehive is rarely used anymore; today different wooden boxes with 8-10 hanger inserts are in use. Per hive expects estimate an average population of 30-50,000 bees – uff. Honestly, I’m always a bit queasy when I’m surrounded by more than 2-3 of them. Therefore, most beekeepers wear protective clothing or at least a net hat and gloves when they open the boxes. Mostly accompanied by a whistle, as smoke calms the animals.

But until the viscous golden-yellow fluid reaches our breakfast sandwich, a lot of work has to be done.

A “worker bee” lives only about six weeks and goes through an internal two-week learning and development phase after hatching. In the beginning she is solely responsible for brood care and feed procurement; only after this time she starts her four-week career as a collector.

In the center of the beehive around the queen there is a gross temperature of about 35 degrees Celsius, remote areas are kept on a minimum of 25 degrees. Deviating temperatures cause pain to the animals. In Scandinavia and Siberia, in the winter, the beehives are digged  1.5 meters into the ground to protect them from frost and uncompensable cold.

Bees, unlike humans, can only see certain colors. They are marked to always exactly return to the hole where they flew out. The maximum range are usually three kilometers, otherwise they will not find their way back (the collection radius is only one kilometer). If the box is moved by only one meter, it will cause major irritation upon return and they fly around criss-cross lacking orientation. Only after some time, they may try to get into a beehive in the neighborhood. If it is the wrong one, intruders / strangers are generally not very welcome.

One of the most amazing phenomena among bees is their ability to communicate with each other. Specially trained search bees start looking for food and then return to the hive with the appropriate information. Through a dance on the honeycomb, they tell where the food source is located. Incidentally, bees only produce honey when enough flower nectar or honeydew has been collected (the flowering plants exude juice as nectar to attract insects such as the bee).

The relative varietal purity arises solely through the seasonal offer. The starting point is usually the rape blossom, whereby the beekeeper no longer takes off honey from July, in order to leave the bees enough winter reserves. Depending on the plant you get honey in different brown-yellow tones and firmness. The annual output per beehive is on average 4-5 kilos of honey.

Finally, a rather surprising fact: the best output – as you might expect – is not delivered in the countryside, but in the city regions. According to the experts, almost all year round various blossoms are available in sequence, so that the collection season is quite long. Only in winter there is a kind of rest. But again, this does not mean that there is no activity in the hives, because the bees continue to build and maintain the honeycomb cells. Furthermore, the bee queen (larger than the so-called worker bees) needs permanent care, kept warm and much more.

Special product Propolis: Propolis is created when a group of collecting bees does not fly to nectar or honeydew sources; instead targeted trees, especially poplars, alders, birches, elms and horse chestnuts and coniferous trees. These are tree species that secrete particularly intense resin on their buds.

Analyzes show that local domestic products are less polluted after the spinning, than many of the  (expensive) exclusive bio-honeys in the shops (mostly from countries far away). But pollutants and pests, such as the Varroa mite, are a separate issue.  https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honigschleuder

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varroamilbe

The fact there are countless products of very different kinds, in which beeswax and / or honey is included. Whole industries such as the cosmetics and food industries are based on that, just think of candles and met (=honey-wine). Met was already drunk by the old Germans and Romans, the latest hit however, is “honey beer“. Initial trials have been running for a year at the University of applied sciences for (Bio) Technology, Design & Social Affairs in Mannheim. Anyone who thinks that the drink is a kid’s beer or more a “limo” is wrong. Only recently I had the privilege of tasting a bottle on the occasion visiting a bee nature trail. It looks like an elegant Belgian “Brune” and tastes wonderfully herb and spicy. The ingredient “honey” cannot be tasted, just when you smell the edge of the bottle, a discreetly typical honey fragrance rises in the nose.

The palette of wax and honey is truly broad. Even from the wax remains, wonderful skin care pellets can be made: some bee-wax, shea butter, coconut oil, possibly a bit of argan oil and ready is a fantastic sustainable hand / body cream, which is also super economical in use. Everything a bee produces is simply “worth like gold” and finally well networked.

Speaking of “golden” care: After the long summer – and probably a few sunbaths too much – my skin needs a refreshing kick. I really feel dried up inside, which unfortunately is significantly obvious in the face and of course other bodyparts would also seek some improvements. “True beauty comes from inside” – well, you certainly cannot consume enough smoothies in order to supply all your body cells with the right additional nutrients. Especially being a woman of mature age and due to my previous work in the pharmaceutical industry, I tend to rely on proven high-dose vital substances. Beauty by drinking? Too good to be true, but after all, these beauty shots have been on everyone’s lips for some time now.

About three weeks ago, I decided to test a product called DermaGold with Verisol – a drinking collagen (collagen-peptide) that – according to the manufacturer – also reaches deeper skin layers and sustainably cushions from the inside out. ATRO ProVita (a subsidiary of the company Gelita I already know) has developed the product itself and manufactures it in Germany. In advertising such beauty drinks as veritable wonder weapons against wrinkles, blemished skin, pale complexion, brittle nails and straw hair, etc. According to studies improvements of up to 35% are within range. Well, sounds like: Impossible things immediately, wonders take a bit longer.

I will gladly report on my experiences with DermaGold from ATRO ProVita soon. Curious readers may of course take a look at the product right away. Just click here for further information: https://atro-provita.de/atro-dermagold.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIkPGAjaDY5AIVwtmyCh2uUQKIEAQYAiABtEgJG1PD_BwE

 

Note: partially advertising / cooperation

 

Petra
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