How do pollen grains differ from bee bread?
Bee bread is the same pollen, just in a preserved form. The preservation is done by bees, who process the pollen with their enzymes and compact it in cells. As a result of the enzymes' action, the outer shell of the pollen is degraded, allowing the human body to use it much more effectively. The fermentation process generates vitamins D, E, and K, which are not found in pollen. If bee bread is processed and packaged correctly, there are essentially no problems with storage. In contrast, it is advisable to use pollen fresh or frozen, as its value quickly diminishes when dried. They are very sensitive to moisture. If not dried sufficiently and stored in a cool place, the pollen immediately begins to mold and becomes unfit for use.


What should one pay attention to when purchasing bee bread?
There have been no reports of anyone counterfeiting bee bread. However, the granules should not be too hard (over-dried) or too soft and sticky (under-dried). Over-drying reduces their value, but if not dried enough, there is a risk that the product will start to mold when stored in a warm and humid place, which must not be allowed. Properly dried bee bread is as easy to chew as, for example, chocolate. The granules must be completely free of the shell without any impurities (wax residues). For long-term storage, it is recommended to keep it in the refrigerator, as is the case with all biologically active products.


Bees and wasps have flown into the room. How to get them out?
Leave only one window open, cover the others with an opaque blanket, and turn off the light. Ideally, choose a window that opens outward. Bees and wasps, drawn to the light, will immediately fly to it. All that remains is to open the window and let them out.


How to avoid bee stings?
Bees that fly around flowers and do their job never attack humans. At least, that has been my experience. However, if a person approaches the hive, the bees come to protect their nest. It is especially important to be cautious after the first sting, when the smell of bee venom is released into the air. This is a signal for the other bees to attack, even from neighboring hives. If stung, it is important to remove the stinger as quickly as possible to minimize the amount of bee venom entering the sting site and to reduce swelling for people who have not developed immunity to it. Bee stings are used in apitherapy to treat various diseases. It has been observed that beekeepers, who are stung regularly, do not suffer from many diseases at all. From my experience, I can say that your heart feels heavier after 100 stings in one day. The lethal dose for a non-allergic person is 1400 stings. It is better to work with bees in light cotton clothing. They dislike dark woolen clothing and the smell of sweat the most.


How do bees sting?
Bees do not have teeth. They have a stinger located at the rear of the body, resembling a tail. It is very sharp and forms about 10 barbs, similar to a fisherman's hook. Therefore, when inserted into the skin, the bee cannot pull it out. It breaks off, and later the bee dies. The venom is produced when two fractions, which are stored in blisters on the stinger and are not poisonous separately, merge.


Is your beekeeping production available in stores?
Unfortunately, no. I cannot produce in the quantities and at the price that supermarkets demand. It's possible to give it to resellers, but I do not want to risk my brand, as I work in the highest quality production segment. I do not want my honey to be used to increase the diastase number (the main indicator of naturalness) by mixing it with honey of dubious origin.


Why hasn't honey been affected by inflation?
With the increasing impact of globalization on the economy, competition becomes more global. If, for example, potato and cabbage growers compete with the nearest neighboring countries, then beekeepers have a much wider geography – Ukraine, Argentina, and China. Beekeepers are in a similar situation to electronics, toys, and knitwear manufacturers in Latvia, because honey can be stored for a long time and therefore transported. There is a possibility that this situation may change in the coming years, as bees are dying out en masse in many parts of the world, especially in industrially developed countries. The cause is the gradual increase in soil contamination with insecticides, pesticides, and fungicides, as well as the widespread distribution of genetically modified plants.


Why do some people rarely use honey or not at all?
When using products with flavor enhancers and improvers on a daily basis, over time, the sense of taste becomes dulled, and the ability to perceive subtle taste nuances disappears. Natural products without these additives start to seem bland and tasteless, and beekeeping products do not produce a narcotic effect, as many products do. Although it takes about two weeks for taste buds to gradually adapt, there are other factors. To switch solely to the use of natural products, willpower is required, because long-term consumption of unhealthy food and an unhealthy lifestyle change one's thinking and perception of life. In medical terminology, it changes the chemical background in the body.


What are the future prospects in beekeeping?
Poor quality honey of dubious origin, disguised in various ways, will continue to distort the market. There could be a larger share of rapeseed honey in the market, as the cultivation of this crop increases with European support, although scientists object to this. The objections are related to calculations that energy crop plantations provide little benefit to the ecosystem, so it is recommended to plant forests instead. The exclusive segment will become more apparent. People who have achieved a lot in life are increasingly serious about health, demand the highest quality products, and are willing to pay for them. Unfortunately, as conventional agriculture supported by agricultural subsidies expands both in Latvia and beyond, the amount of undestroyed natural areas decreases, affecting beekeepers' possibilities.


Why is bee bread rarely available for purchase globally?
The devices used to extract bee bread granules from the cells are not mass-produced anywhere in the world, only if someone constructs something individually. It is a current problem for many beekeepers, including in Latvia. On the other hand, in the south, where cheap honey comes from, bees almost do not need to create bee bread reserves to raise the new generation in spring, as the yield continues almost all year round. Therefore, bee bread is a priority for northern countries.


Is it economically viable to engage in beekeeping under current conditions?
Working in the highest quality segment, unfortunately, the answer is almost no, which requires very serious work in educating the public. The belief that people will start to understand what is what, increasingly appreciate the importance of healthy food, and adjust the food supply using market economy levers allows not to give up the started endeavors.

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The beehive provides an ideal environment where pathogenic microflora (bacteria, fungi, viruses) could thrive. It has warmth, food, energy, moisture, and lacks direct sunlight exposure. However, nature has found a brilliant solution by creating the most healing and sterile product - propolis. Bees use it to disinfect their home and seal holes. Thanks to propolis, bees can maintain such sterility in the hive that surgical instruments could be stored there.

In nature, young plant shoots and buds are covered with an aromatic, thin layer with antibacterial properties, visually resembling resins, to protect against pathogenic microflora. This layer contains polyphenols, known for their strong antimicrobial effect, and bioflavonoids, or antioxidants, which reduce susceptibility to infections. It also contains substances that repel harmful insects. Bees collect this layer, process it with their enzymes, add wax, and use it to disinfect the hive and seal cracks. Propolis collected in different seasons varies in color and scent. For example, the scent of new spruce and pine buds is distinctly noticeable in propolis collected during their formation. In appearance, propolis is very heterogeneous, mostly in brownish-gray tones. It is sticky and difficult to wash off at temperatures above +30°C, but brittle and hard at 0°C.

Composition of propolis: balsams and resins 55%, wax 30%, essential oils 10%, and pollen 5%. These are the general basic components, but a closer look reveals about 400 substances in propolis. As pathogenic microflora continually change their sensitivity to microbicidal substances through genetic mutations, plants, in defense, are also forced to adapt. This means that propolis also changes, making it the most effective against pathogenic microflora.

Propolis was known in ancient Egypt and used for mummification - embalming pharaohs. Propolis has a very wide range of applications, especially in medicine, because unlike antibiotics, microbes do not develop resistance to it. This could be due to the variability of its composition because of plant diversity, making it impossible to collect two propolis samples with identical compositions. Propolis is a powerful antioxidant with regenerative effects. In apitherapy, it is used as an analgesic, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and immunomodulatory agent, as it does not cause side effects. Scientists have also discovered very strong anti-cancer properties and continue to research the use of propolis in oncology.

About 30% of propolis consists of phenolic compounds, which have strong antioxidant properties. This means it has potent anti-aging properties while also reducing the risk of cancer. It improves the body's ability to resist radiation exposure. Studies have shown that propolis can successfully address infertility issues in women.

As the strongest natural anti-inflammatory, propolis is successfully used in the treatment of endometriosis. Endometriosis is a common female disease associated with lower abdominal pain, poor well-being, and infertility. Folk medicine has long successfully treated this disease with propolis, which just needs to be prepared correctly to retain its healing properties.

Compared to chemically synthesized drugs widely used in medicine, propolis has no side effects. It does not negatively affect the kidneys, liver, or spleen, unlike antibiotics. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), global antibiotic use has increased by more than 30% in the last decade, with mortality from microbial resistance on the rise.

Propolis cannot strictly be called an antibiotic, as it only destroys pathogenic bacteria, not affecting good bacteria but promoting their growth. It also acts as an antifungal and antiviral agent. It would be more accurate to call propolis a natural anti-inflammatory.

Propolis is most commonly prepared by dissolving it in alcohol or oil, incorporating it into honey, or even chewing gum. Dissolving it in alcohol or oil results in the loss of more than half its value. Therefore, technologies have been developed to mix propolis in water without heating above +35°C, thus preserving 99% of propolis's value.


Propolis in Water
A mixture of propolis with water is made by finely grinding propolis and mixing it with high-quality water, which has been altered to be more beneficial for the human body. Since no component of propolis is removed, some components tend to settle over time. Therefore, the mixture must be shaken vigorously before use. Water serves as a vehicle for propolis's easy delivery to the gastrointestinal tract, ensuring it is evenly dispersed and can reach everywhere, while the fat-soluble fraction dissolves with the help of bile. For comparison, swallowing a piece of propolis could result in too high a concentration in some areas, while in others, it may not reach at all.

A 5% propolis solution in water is intended for daily prophylactic use, both externally and internally. It is recommended as a daily anti-parasitic agent against fungi, viruses, and pathogenic bacteria. Use a tablespoon daily between meals.

Regularly rinsing the mouth with propolis in water, along with, of course, adequate nutrition, can prevent tooth decay, i.e., caries, almost 100%.

Propolis in Honey

Using a special technology, propolis is ground to a flour-like consistency and evenly incorporated into honey. In this form, propolis in honey ideally retains its healing properties and is supplemented with an additional energy source. Compared to propolis in water, this form of propolis usage is much more convenient, as it does not require vigorous shaking each time.

It is useful for various inflammatory processes, fits into different detox programs, and also for daily prevention. It can be used both externally and internally.


What do propolis and vaccines have in common?
The common factor is time. It is important to understand that neither propolis, vaccines, nor medications kill viruses; the immune system does. However, to do so, the immune system needs to prepare the respective antibodies, a process that takes time, sometimes measured in several days, depending on the resources available to the immune system (energy, nutrients, workload, etc.). If a person is vaccinated against a specific virus in time, it means that there is already a reserve of antibodies in the body, which immediately starts to fight, preventing the virus from rapidly multiplying. Thus, the disease proceeds in a milder form or goes unnoticed. The downside of vaccines is that they only work against a specific virus, and considering the continuous mutation process of viruses, new, different strains emerge, especially regarding mRNA-type viruses. Since the number of known viruses in nature is in the thousands, logically, one cannot vaccinate against all of them.

Propolis works differently; it does not prepare antibodies. Propolis interferes with virus replication, preventing them from rapidly multiplying. During this time, the immune system has the opportunity to prepare the respective antibodies. As a result, the disease proceeds in a milder form or even without symptoms.

Garlic also partially possesses a property similar to propolis, but going to a public place, where infections usually occur, with a specific smell may not be appreciated by others. In contrast, propolis has a pleasant smell.