Zitavex Foundation takes pride in its lifesaving medical honey patents used to treat burns, injuries and stop bleeding but did you know that scientists rely on the honeybee for so much more.
DETECTING DANGEROUS CHEMICALS
The ATF uses trained bees to detect airborne chemicals faster and more reliably than laboratory air sampling. With the ability to sense more odors than a bloodhound, bees rely on odor to navigate their way from flowers to find acceptable nectar and pollen. Trained with just a few feedings, the chemical to be detected is wafted through the air and the bees are simultaneously feed honey. After just a few of these training sessions, the bees are ready to go to work. Packaged and shipped to the field, 5 bees are placed in a harness and if 3 or more stick their tongues out, that means they have detected the chemical in question. From lab to field, the bees can be trained and use faster than the long process of sampling, storing, shipping and testing the air sample in question.
THE BEE HIVE IS LIKE A MAMMAL
Just like mammals, the bee colony regulates its temperature to keep warm. Bees also have some of the most complex brains in the animal kingdom. Able to see magnetic lines of force, ultra violet and infrared light, bees keep a huge map of the surrounding area in their brains. When arriving back at the hive, the worker bee does a waggle dance so accurate that scientist now understand their meanings (direction and distance).
BEES USE NATURAL ANTIBIOTICS FROM PLANTS
Like little medical experts, bees gather and manipulate plant and tree sap to make a product called “Propolis.” This sticky, glue like substance is used to seal all entrances to the hive. During damp and cold months when all the bees huddle together for warmth, the Propolis coating also prevents the growing of mold and prevents the spreading of bacterial infections.
A STORIED HISTORY
Gathered for as long as history has been written, honey is a prized and cherished discovery when luck and patience allow. Used to preserve food, treat cut and burns and used in all kinds of medicine for millennia, nothing grows in honey. Found in clay jars, honey over 5000 years old is as edible as the day it was harvested. When sealed, or allowed to crystallize, honey keeps out oxygen and resists mixing with water, which allows crystallization and natural preservation properties.