During the holiday season, we think about the gifts we get and the gifts we give. But what about the gifts we get during the rest of the year? When it comes to bees, they give us so much that it’s easy to take them for granted. From their inspiring hard work to their dedication to a task, bees give us much more than the physical things they produce. But speaking of their tangible gifts, here are 6 things that bees give us all year long.
We all know that honey tastes good, but it has some health benefits besides just sweetening your tea. Honey has a lower glycemic index than traditional sugar, making it a more suitable substitution for those with type 2 diabetes. It also can be used for medicinal purposes, like treating minor burns, thanks to its antibacterial properties. Honey is used at home to help with everything from coughs to acne, and can even soften your hair. When you look at all of the uses honey has in your daily routine, you realize that it really is a gift.
Everyone has a favorite fruit or vegetable. Thinking about a well-rounded and tasty diet without things like vanilla or avocados is hard to do. Bees are responsible for pollinating ⅓ of all crops we regularly eat, and make up a huge part of everyone’s diet, no matter what food restrictions or allergies you may have. Honeybees give us the gift of being able to eat in a sustainable, healthy way and our grocery stores would be sorely lacking without all that bees provide.
While you may not use pollen in your daily life, the medical community is taking notice of its benefits. Pollen is well known in research circles for its anti-inflammatory properties, and how it could be a possible remedy for a variety of ailments. It is also in the early stages of testing for its potential help with things like menopause, PMS, or prostate issues. Even though pollen might be flying under the radar, it is a gift that we’ve only just started fully unwrapping.
These tiny insects are powerhouses of the economy. Bees are responsible for 35% of food production globally and account for more than $15 billion of the US economy. Without bees and all of their gifts, the US economy would take a major hit, as would the global marketplace. Even if honey or pollen doesn’t interest you, the economic benefits bees bring is a gift that every single person can appreciate.
One of the most diverse things on this list, beeswax is not just something used to make candles and lip balms. Beeswax was used by the ancient Egyptians to preserve their writing and seal coffins. Nowadays, we use beeswax for everything from cosmetics to medical supplies to boat and car manufacturing.
Bees are also hugely responsible for keeping our plant and animal life diverse. They help feed wild animals by keeping the bottom of the food chain fed, which in turn helps support the diets of carnivores. Bees keep plants diverse because some plants, like squash or sunflowers, are only pollinated by very specific bees. These plants would disappear without the help of bees. Without bees supporting plants and animals, our ecosystem would never bee the same.
It’s great to take some time to appreciate the gifts bees give, but if you want to enjoy a bee-related gift, be sure to check out our shop.