Seems hard to believe that the humble little bee’s tiny brain, is being touted as hopefully providing treatments for human diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimers, Stroke and Depression.
Well scientist’s in Queensland, Australia are working on unlocking the mysteries of the bee’s brain and have recently opened a new All Weather Bee Flight Facility, housed at the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI). It will enable scientist’s to study the behaviour, brain function and brain development of the bee.
QBI director Professor Bartlett said “that although the bee’s brain is only the size of a sesame seed, it has many of the charecteristics of the human brain, including complex behaviours such as advanced memory and learning. Plus many of the bee traits such as vision, sense of smell and agression mirrored humans”
Given the bees short one month life span, it provides scientists with the ability to study several generations over a short time span. Thus the bee can be observed when given different stimuli.
“Our research will hopefully increase our knowledge of brain functioning, which will in turn lead us to finding new and effective ways to treat brain disorders like Parkinson’s, Alzheimers, strokes and depression” he said.
Honey in general has been widely known for its medicinal benefits, however the increased benefits found with Active Manuka honey with the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) are compelling. Active Manuka honey is made from native manuka bushes which are found only in New Zealand.
This honey contains more antibacterial compounds than does traditional honey, making it more medically effective than any other in existence.
Extensive research carried out over a number of years by a specialist team at Waikato University in New Zealand has established that Active Manuka honey is an excellent treatment for wound infections. In a nutshell, honey in general has an antibacterial activity. Active Manuka honey with UMF is the only honey however, that has been tested for its antibacterial activity.
It is recommended to use Active Manuka honey with a UMF of 10 or more to get the best results in treating wound infections. There are many anecdotal reports of patients being healed using this, who previously have not responded to conventional treatment.
During testing it was also found that the Active Manuka honey was also successful in combating the heliobacter pylori bacteria which can lead to ulcers.
So if you are looking for natural remedies for skin disorders or digestive problems, the evidence pesented for the use of Manuka honey is indeed encouraging.
Follow the link for more information on Active Manuka honey and its benefits.
Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) results from the loss of the foraging bees and also the house bees, leaving the hive so depleted it cannot maintain the standard temperature of 35 Degrees Centigrade required to keep the brood (the larva and pupa stage) viable and the hive dies out.
Why should this concern the general populous? Well bees play a vital role in the world food supply by pollinating fruit and vegetable crops, Europe as a whole has experienced a catastrophic loss in bees and England has reported a 50% loss in bee numbers in its most recent season.Despite the best efforts of scientist’s worldwide, the cause of CCD remains unknown.
A prominent suspect however is the introduction of a new breed of insecticide over the last 10 years, namely neonicotinoids that work by disrupting insects nervous systems. There is a widespread suspicion that these chemicals are finding their way into the nectar to be picked up by foraging bees.
Penn State University entomologist Maryan Frazier has said that the sheer number of chemicals in bee hives meant pesticides had to be suspected.
Tests on dead bees in one region in Germany showed that 99% of those examined had a build up of the neonicotoinoid Clothianidin sold by Bayer under the trade name Poncho.The company said this was as a result of an application error.
New Zealand scientist Dr Mark Goodwin of HortResearch believes that the evidence that insecticides cause CCD is not compelling .He says “Bees die for all kinds of reasons and insecticides is obviously a biggie”. He suggests the evidence does not explain why the house bees leave the hive, as well as the foraging bees, suggesting a pre-existing condition.
A varroa-borne virus is uppermost on the list of Goodwin’s suspects for CCD. To that end HortResearch has a programme based on Mercury Island (Close to North Island of New Zealand-8km from Coromandel) aimed at breeding a varroa resistant bee.
With the recent incidence of Colony Collapse Disorder in United States there has been a 36% reduction in the number of managed bee numbers for 2008. Managed refers to those bees raised by beekeepers rather than including wild bees.
Even more alarming to those numbers is that there is now less than half of the number of managed colonies as compared to the forties allied to this, the huge people population explosion worldwide and obviously the ever increasing demand for agricultural products.
Why then should we be concerned?
Well as well as producing honey for our consumption and enjoyment, bees play an integral role in aiding crop pollination. Indeed without bees we would lose one third of our food supply, those foods requiring bees for pollination.
As well as the reduction in bee numbers over time,there has been a reduction in beekeeper numbers. With the vital importance of bees to agriculture, a concerted strategy is required to emphasize the importance of beekeepers and beekeeping as a profession.
Today’s apiarists (beekeepers) have a large number of hives under management and are constantly on the look out for diseases that can strike their hives. These can include, infestation by the varroa mite and lately the on set of CCD. The constant monitoring of the bee population can prevent or at least minimize the decrease of bee numbers.
By transporting their various hives to where farmers or horticulturalists are requiring help in pollination of their crops, today’s beekeepers can earn a good living from this alone, on top of the honey and other related products.
So if your looking for a career give beekeeping some serious consideration.
The most common symptoms of an ulcer, that are most likely caused by the h pylori bacteria are stomach pain, nausea and a burning sensation. Helicobacter pylori, is the bacterium that is thought to cause the majority of all peptic ulcers. Peptic ulcers are stomach and duodenal ulcers.
A simple breath test by your doctor can test for helicobacter pylori.The bacteria itself are relatively common, for instance, in the USA 20% of the population under 40 are thought to have it. The good news is that the existence of the bug doesn’t necessarily translate to developing a peptic ulcer.
If you have the h pylori bacteria, the best treatment is to avoid eating hot, spicy foods and eat smaller meals,but more often.
A natural remedy gaining favor is the daily consumption of a tablespoon of manuka honey.
The University of Waikato in New Zealand have conducted research studies upon the effectiveness of various forms of honey including the special Manuka honey with the additional “Unique Manuka Factor” (UMF).
Amongst other medical benefits that were found during these clinical trials, is was shown that manuka honey with UMF completely controlled the helicobacter Pylori bacteria.
The clinical tests showed that many forms of honey have antibacterial qualities, Manuka honey with UMF however, has been found to possess additional antibacterial properties that allow it to be diluted up to 100 times and still be effective in controlling bacteria.
This is especially important as it means that the Manuka honey with UMF will still be effective even with the dilution of fluids within the stomach, in helping combat H Pylori.
Read more on Symptoms of an Ulcer….
The varroa mite has been devastating to the world’s bee population and efforts to find ways to eradicate the pest naturally, have, to now, been largely unsuccessful.
Natural remedies have tended to be thwarted in the past, ironically by the bees themselves, due to the bees natural desire to keep the beehive clean. This in bred housekeeping gene meant that any introduced varroa destroying organism would be removed from the beehive as part of their hive cleaning behaviour.
New Zealand scientists at HortResearch have announced that they have found a way to use a strain of the insect fungus Metarhizium to treat beehives infected with varroa mites.
Metarhizium is a fungus harmless to humans which occurs widely and is known to to infect a large number of insects. HortResearch scientists have discovered a New Zealand strain of Metarhizium fungus that is deadly to the varroa mite. They then found a way to make Metarhizium a part of the overall hive ecosystem. Dr Goodwin said “The Bees accept it and the fungus is able to get on with killing varroa”
HortResearch acting chief executive Bruce Campbell said the good news for beekeepers worldwide was that the science could be commercialized and made available in a short time frame. Hort research was now working with an international partner to produce a commercial version of the treatment before the end of the year.
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