Bees show that social interaction can heal the brain; loneliness whilst foraging ages their minds.
A honeybee lives about six weeks depending on the season and various factors. In the summer they work much harder having to forage, going out alone in search of flowers and sometimes water. They meet up with others from the same hive or other colonies but most often it's a lonely world.
In the early stages of a bee's life she is busy in the hive. Perhaps she is feeding the queen, building new comb or helping guard the colony. These are social activities with her fellows all about her.
Then at about two to three weeks after hatching the honeybee becomes a forager; this means leaving the hive for long periods. Much of the time she will be out collecting nectar and pollen, working on her own.
Scientists have found that when the honeybee becomes a worker, going out to forage on her own and isolated from her sisters for long periods that her brain actually begins to age. Despite all the varied experiences of visiting exciting places, finding fragrant flowers and certainly encountering new challenges her mind begins to show early signs of dementia. Soon she will die; at about six weeks old.
But these scientists have found that if these workers are then forcibly made to stay in the hive, say by inclement weather, that their brains snap right back. They can remember new things again, an ability that was lost when they became foragers.
It is often assumed that deterioration of the mind is something quite beyond our control; or perhaps determined by a healthy lifestyle and the opportunity is now long lost. But these scientists have revealed that bees show that social interaction can heal the brain in ways not formerly understood; and that this is perhaps pertinent to us too.
In Slovenia there is a very odd practice, or so we might think, of breathing air from beehives; they believe that it's good for our health.
It's long been suggested that 'keepers enjoy longer and healthier lives; they suffer from far less cancer, for example. Is it from the air they breathe, the natural honey they enjoy or even the bee-stings that go with the hobby? Or some other factor we never considered perhaps may come into the equation. Eventually science will distinguish between fact and fiction.
Australians scientists are experimenting with great success using bee venom to treat malignant breast tumours; with none of the side effects of modern chemotherapy. The next question to be researched is whether 'keepers specifically suffer from fewer neoplasms of the female organs compared to other women.
Scientists from the Berlin Cancer Institute in Germany report they have never encountered a beekeeper who died from a neoplasm.
A French study found that only one in a thousand beekeepers died of cancer.
It's long been believed that longevity is the keyword with beekeeping. Is it the honey, the pollen or the social interaction?
The ancient Egyptians portrayed bee pollen as "life-giving dust." It is in fact a mixture of that from the flower together with secretions from the mouth of the insect and honey.
Or even the stings that every beekeeper experiences periodically.
Most likely it's for none of these reasons that most beekeepers get started with a hive or two in the garden. More probably it had to do with the fact that unadulterated honey was becoming increasingly difficult to find; and today is certainly going to be very expensive.
Just as bad is that commercial bottlers ruin good honey by heating it and straining out all the pollen; it is most likely little less detrimental than sugar as a sweetener.
An esteemed researcher came to this conclusion; Campbell's twenty year diabetes rule. Nobody has yet contradicted his findings. 20 teaspoons of sugar per day for two decades is a certain cause of the disease; and much sooner if one is also eating highly-refined glycaemic starch. One slice of chocolate cake has over 50g of net carbs; google it.
Yet German researchers have found that natural unprocessed honey has a low glycaemic index; it has much less of an effect of blood glucose than sugar or the commonly available commercial form.
Most 'keepers meet regularly with other enthusiasts, sharing ideas. Not only do they benefit from all of the blessings associated with true natural honey but unwittingly they are confirming that bees show that social interaction can heal the brain; and prevent early dementia.
There are sound reasons why most folk are hesitant to start beekeeping; the stings are painful and it's fairly hard physical work. Very often it is the fact that an average hive will produce 50 or more pounds of magnificent, unprocessed honey in a good year that gets them interested.
Potentially it is also a very lucrative business. That honey would retail for five hundred dollars or more; with very small overheads. That is double the cost of one hive.
How many jobs are there where you can double your capital in the first year? However let's be honest; like any other job it takes time to acquire the knowledge and skills that make a competent beekeeper.
Bees show that social interaction can heal the brain; and that social isolation leads to early dementia.
Our newsletter is entitled "create a cyan zone" at your home, preserving both yourself, the family and Mother Earth for future generations. We promise not to spam you with daily emails promoting various products. You may get an occasional nudge to buy one of my books.
Here are the back issues.
Did you find this page interesting? How about forwarding it to a friend, or book and food junkie? Better still, a Facebook or Twitter tick would help.
56 Groenekloof Rd,