Stingless bee honey – Natural medicine with a sweet taste
Stingless bees exists in most tropical or subtropical regions of the world, such as Southeast Asia, Australia, tropical America and Africa. They all are small, not bigger than 5mm and have no stinger, but varies in appearance and colour.
In Kerala stingless honey bees are known by the name ‘cheruthen eecha’ and their honey is called as ‘cheruthen’.
They make their hives in hollow trees and rocks. The tube like entrances to their nests is made with the help of resin. They make use of their sticky propolis or “bee glue” collected from plant resin to defend against ants, insects etc.
Stingless honey bees make honey from the nectar of flowers by a sequential process of swallowing, regurgitation and evaporation. The formed honey is then stored in honeycombs as a source of food. The delicious sweet flavour of honey is from the essential mixture of sugar, amino acids, vitamins, some trace enzymes and minerals.
Helps to reduce fever
According to Ayurvedic texts and many medical journals, honey from stingless bees is superior to normal honey. Stingless honey bees feeds on more medicinal plants when compared to normal honey bees. They collect nectar and pollen from small wild growing plants as well as trees. It is difficult for bigger normal bees to get inside these smaller flowers. Since stingless bees feeds on anti fungal and anti bacterial medicinal plants, its honey exhibits these qualities. Thus Stingless bees honey may be used to reduce fever.
Honey from stingless bees is known for its nutritional value. It is twice as nutritious as ordinary honey.
The honey production is much less when compared to ordinary honey. Normal honey bees can produce up to 40 times more honey than stingless bees. The average honey production by a stingless bee colony is about 350 grams to 1kg of honey in a year. This makes the honey from stingless bees more expensive and rare.
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Aids in treating infections
Honey from stingless bees can be used externally in treating infections. It can be applied to skin wounds to prevent infections. An untreated wound oozes liquid and excessive moisture can act as a catalyst in causing infections. Honey absorbs these excess moisture and fights off infection causing agents in these wounds.
Honey can be an effective medicine for burns. Soothing and antiseptic properties of honey from stingless bee can be useful in the treatment of burns.
Treats throat irritation and coughs
Stingless bees honey can be used as an effective medicine for cough and throat irritation. A warm drink of honey and lemon is advised for the treatment of coughs and sore throat.
Provides relief against ulcers and bacterial gastroenteritis
Honey from Stingless honey bees are advised for the treatment of ulcers and bacterial gut infections. Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria found in the stomach is known to be the cause of peptic ulcer. Antimicrobial property of honey is useful in eradicating these micro organisms and provides relief for ulcer patients.