Bee products have long been a significant ingredient in beauty products. We know from ancient records that Cleopatra used honey for her baths, while beeswax was an important ingredient in the first creams whose recipes were compiled by the famous Roman physician Galen. Beeswax is still very important in the cosmetics industry and can be found in various creams, while honey and royal jelly are again becoming important ingredients in both industrial cosmetics and those that are prepared in small batches by hand. Honey was used by ancient peoples to make preparations for skin hydration and healing of skin injuries. Filtered honey is even today an integral part of various hand care products, face masks, preparations for depilation, soaps and hair lotions. Quaternized honey has the property of penetrating the hair shaft, so it is often used in shampoos and hair conditioners.
Bees are an everyday part of our lives: we remember cute cartoon characters we enjoyed as kids, we watch them do their job in our gardens, and surely every one of us reading this blog has at least one jar of honey in the pantry... but, how well do we know them? True bees (Apinae) are a subfamily of insects from the order of aphids, a family of bees (Apidae) to which the closest relatives are bumblebees. There are approximately 20,000 species of bees in the world that live on all continents except Antarctica. The most common species is the honey bee (apis mellifera); it originated in Africa from where it settled in Mediterranean countries and Europe, and later spread to Asia, Australia and North America.
Royal Jelly, propolis, 10-HDA... terms that sound mysterious and almost mystical. But there is no big secret here - these are the basic ingredients we encounter in apitherapy, a method of traditional medicine that involves applying the gifts of the honey bee to improve and preserve health. We present some of these gifts provided by valuable bees more closely, in order to introduce you to their positive effects, which are evidenced by the knowledge of beekeepers and folk healers gathered over the years and the personal experiences of satisfied users.
In recent years, much has been said about the importance of bees and the problem of declining of bee colonies. Although many efforts are being made to save bees globally, they are often not enough - we need an approach that includes all of us, in our homes, yards, gardens and the environment that surrounds us. Here's how each of us can help busy little bees: