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ARTICLE: Student receives grant to study health benefits of propolis

“Former Urangan High School student Karina Hamilton has once again forged ahead in the science world after taking out a prestigious government grant worth $75,000 to study if bee sap can heal wounds.

The 21-year-old won the grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council to undertake a three-year study.

Ms Hamilton will try to determine the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties of propolis from native Australian stingless bees.

Bees collect sap from trees and buds before returning to the hive to mix it with pollen or wax to create propolis.

“So far, no one has looked at the propolis from the Australian native bee.

“So we are hoping to discover that it has similar healing abilities (to other bee propolis),” Ms Hamilton said.

During the study, propolis from hives in the field will be applied to human cells such as white blood cells.

Ms Hamilton is the first student at University of Sunshine Coast to receive the grant…”

[click here to read the full article on frasercoastchronicle.com]

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All-natural honey from remote apiaries in the dense woodlands of Galicia, Spain. “Abella” means bee in Gallego, the language spoken in the region, where this pure, raw, unfiltered honey is handcrafted by beekeepers using age-old artisan techniques.

3 varieties: Abella Honey with Royal Jelly, Pollen, or Propolis

[click here to learn more about Abella Honey from therogerscollection.com]

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Honeybees ‘entomb’ pollen to protect against pesticides

By sealing up cells full of contaminated pollen, bees appear to be attempting to protect the rest of the hive. 

Honeybees are taking emergency measures to protect their hives from pesticides, in an extraordinary example of the natural world adapting swiftly to our depredations, according to a prominent bee expert. 

Scientists have found numerous examples of a new phenomenon –bees “entombing” or sealing up hive cells full of pollen to put them out of use, and protect the rest of the hive from their contents. The pollen stored in the sealed-up cells has been found to contain dramatically higher levels of pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals than the pollen stored in neighboring cells, which is used to feed growing young bees. 

“This is a novel finding, and very striking. The implication is that the bees are sensing [pesticides] and actually sealing it off. They are recognizing that something is wrong with the pollen and encapsulating it,” said Jeff Pettis, an entomologist with the US Department of Agriculture. “Bees would not normally seal off pollen.” 

But the bees’ last-ditch efforts to save themselves appear to be unsuccessful – the entombing behaviour is found in many hives that subsequently die off, according to Pettis. “The presence of entombing is the biggest single predictor of colony loss. It’s a defence mechanism that has failed.” These colonies were likely to already be in trouble, and their death could be attributed to a mix of factors in addition to pesticides, he added… 

Bees naturally collect from plants a substance known as propolis, a sort of sticky resin with natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal qualities. It is used by bees to line the walls of their hives, and to seal off unwanted or dangerous substances – for instance, mice that find their way into hives and die are often found covered in propolis. This is the substance bees are using to entomb the cells. 

Click here to read the full article – Fiona Harvey, environment correspondent

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