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The World Honey Bees Day

by Rinku Khumukcham
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By- N. Munal Meitei
Today is the Independent day of India which we got after the supreme sacrifice of our millions of freedom fighters. We salute to all those known and unknown forefathers for giving us the taste of freedom. Today is also the World Honey Bee Day, one of the most precious living beings on the planet. Insect pollinators are the integral to a healthy environment and the planet’s survival. Amidst, the COVID-19 pandemic, the whole world is standstill but there are communities serving the world without a stop and the bees also one of them.
In July 2019 the Royal Geographical Society of London, the Earthwatch Institute declared bees the most important living species on this planet. This declaration is concerning because, according to wildlife scientists and experts, bees are on the endangered species list.
Recent studies show almost 90% of the bee population has disappeared in the past few years. The main reasons for their extinction include deforestation, the use of pesticides, or lack of flowers. Bees are titled the most important living being on earth because 70% of the world’s agriculture depends exclusively on bees. Without the hard work of bees’ pollination, those plants would not be able to reproduce.
Forest is the heart of environment. Though silent, it provides an everlasting, priceless service to the world. Environment supplies every need of the forest and reproduction is essential in maintaining this chain. The reproduction of plants helps to maintain the equilibrium of the environment and bees help on this by the process of pollination. The flowers which give beauty to the forest also provide foods to bees which latter we got as honey.
A study conducted by the Universidad Mayor and the Apiculture Corporation of Chile with the support of the Foundation for Agrarian Innovation (FIA), concluded bees are the only living being that does not carry any type of pathogen – regardless of whether it is a fungus, a virus or a bacterium.
The life of a honey bee colony is perennial. There are three castes of honey bees: queens, which produce eggs; drones or males which mate with new queens; and workers, which are non-reproducing females. The queen lays eggs singly in cells of the comb. Larvae hatch from eggs in three to four days. They are then fed by worker bees and develop through several stages in the cells. Cells are capped by worker bees when the larva pupates. A colony may typically consist of tens of thousands of individuals. Development from egg to emerging bee varies among queens, workers and drones. The average lifespan of a queen is three to four years. Drones usually die upon mating.
Honey is one of the foods which have many religious significance. In all the religious, honey occupies the highest place. Bees produce honey by collecting sugar-rich nectar from flowers, which is a clear liquid consisting of nearly 80% water and complex sugars. Honey is a mixture of carbohydrates, proteins, aminoacids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other compounds. It contains a number of enzymes, including invertase, glucose oxidase, catalase, and acid phosphorylase. Honey also contains eighteen free amino acids, the most abundant of which is proline.
Experiments and studies of modern science on honey have shown that honey is antiseptic, antimicrobial, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, antiallergent, antitoxic, sedative, laxative, antiemetic, antioxidant, healing and cleansing both external and internal, moisturizing and blood-purifying. It promotes rehydration, easily digestible, stimulates immunity and is beneficial for all types of skins diseases. Bee’s honey is used in treatment of various ailments and as a popular home remedy.
Bee’s honey is one of the most valued and appreciated natural substances known to mankind since ancient times. Fresh bee’s honey is used in treatment of eye diseases, throat infections, bronchial asthma, tuberculosis, hiccups, thirst, dizziness, fatigue, hepatitis, worm infestation, constipation, piles, eczema, healing of wounds, ulcers and used as a nutritious, easily digestible food for weak people. It promotes semen, mental health and used in cosmetic purposes. Old bee’s honey is used to treat vomiting, diarrhea, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, diabetes mellitus and in preserving meat and fruits.
Highly popular in cosmetic treatment, bee’s honey is used in preparing facial washes, skin moisturizers, hair conditioners and in treatment of pimples. Bee’s honey could be considered as one of the finest products of nature that has a wide range of beneficial uses.
Honey bees are eusocial insects native to Eurasia but now spread to four other continents by human beings. There are eight surviving species of honey bee with a total of 43 subspecies. Six species of honey bee are found in Manipur. Most species have historically been cultured or at least exploited for honey and beeswax by humans from their native ranges.
In winter, honey bees stop flying when the temperature drops below about 10°C and crowd into the central area of the hive to form a “winter cluster” around the queen bee to keep the temperature upto 34°C to start the queen resumes egg laying. The worker bees rotate through the cluster from the outside to the inside so that no bee gets too cold.
Lately, people started to realize the importance of the bees and celebrities like Morgan Freeman transformed his huge 124-acres land in Mississippi, into a bee sanctuary, in order to protect the species. He once said, “There is a concerted effort for bringing bees back onto the planet. We do not realize that they are the foundation, I think, of the growth of the planet, the vegetation,”
Since the bees’ importance is crucial in our planet’s ecosystems and they have also been declared an endangered species, we really need to step together to save the species.
Thus, in order to protect these hard-working creatures, we should immediately prohibit/stop the use of pesticides, insecticides and promote completely natural agricultural alternatives and we should carefully monitor their health and welfare. Therefore with the coming of World Honey Bee Day, 2020, let’s celebrate this day with the objectives to save the bees for the sack of our future generation.

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