Hive

Hilltop Honey is a consistent
“Best in State”!

In operation since 1995, Hilltop Honey not only offers the best of bee products, but its proprietor Joe Lelinho provides public education on - and leadership in understanding the threats to - a species critical to our quality of life.

Joe is frequently consulted by local communities and the press to explain bee-related issues, deal with swarms, and assist in allaying human concerns in sharing our backyards with bees.

HONEY 

Honeybee Facts thanks to: Bee, MD • "Medicine from the Hive" • Dale Bellisfield, RN, RH(AHG), Medical Herbalist, copyright 2012 •www.herbaldale.com

History

Wild honey gathering is one of most ancient human activities, at least 15,000 years

  • Earliest evidence from Spanish rock paintings @13,000 BCE. 
  • Management/apiculture of wild bees at least 4,400 years from Egyptian tomb stone imagery @2,400 BCE. 
  • Actual archaeological beekeeping remains found in Israel @1,000 BCE.
  • Oldest known bee fossil found in New Jersey amber, dating from 140-160 million years ago.
  • Honeybees are one of the most studied creatures on the planet after humans. 
  • Bee genome sequenced in 2006. 
  • Function as a colony, a single “superorganism”.
  • Prime pollinators on the planet, responsible for 30-80% of all fruit and vegetable production.
  • These provide carbs, proteins, lipids, vitamins, minerals/salts, fluid.
  • All bee products & activities are therapeutic to humans & the greater environment.
  • Bees do not kill or injure any creature unless threatened.
  • Beeing improves the world. 
  • Apitherapy is “the medicinal use of products  made by honeybees to improve and maintain human health, to alleviate pain and disability.”
  • Humans using bee products as food &  medicine worldwide for many millenia.
  • Except venom (involves precise usage rules), all apitherapy products are free of toxicity & side effects (unless allergic).
  • Need more quality studies & scientific investigation to assess, validate traditional use.
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Honey

Bees are the only insect to produce human food!

  • Sugary nectar of flowers attracts forafer bees to visit and pollinat
  • Nectar is produced when pollen is mature.
  • Nectar sucked into bee gut’s “honey sack”.        
  • On return, bee regurgitates nectar with salivary enzymes, passed from bee to bee, concentrated.  
  • Deposited in wax combs for storage.
  • Bees wings fan honey stores until 17-18% moisture, to resist fermentation. 
  • Capped with wax lid for future use. 
  • Honey is 1.5 times heavier than water.
  • Used as bees’ main energy source (carbohydrate). 
  • One bee makes under ½ teaspoon in her life.
  • One bee load lasts @37 miles = 7 million mpg. 
  • Excess honey used for humans (and others).  
  • Raw, unprocessed, unfiltered organic honey contains the most variety of healthy substances (antioxidants, enzymes, flavonoids, pollen, propolis, etc.). 
  • Darker honeys (buckwheat, sage & tupelo) contain most antioxidants. 
  • Summer honey from flower-fed bees has digestive-friendly lactobacilli & bifidobacteria
  • Properties determined by nectar compounds– Wild Rose honey for angina, Linden for anxiety, Eucalyptus for respiratory infection, etc.
  • Store honey away from heat, air, humidity, light, metal to maintain flavor, preserve anti-bacterial action, and avoid fermentation.
  • Our sweetest wild food (as sweet as granulated sugar), a “supersaturated” sugar solution. 
  • Energy-dense 350 kcal in 100 g (3.5oz).   
  • Glycemic Index ranges from 31 (low) to 78 (high). 
  • Complex constituents, taste, color, consistency  vary depending on plant, pollen, soil conditions.
  • Contains: 97% = @80% carbohydrates (mostly fructose & glucose 65%, with maltose, sucrose, other sugars) and 17% water.
  • Plus: 3% = enzymes, amino acids, trace B vitamins, vitamin C, various minerals, lipids, inhibins, organic acids, pigments, aromatics and antioxidant flavonoids. 
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Bee Stings

  • Honeybees only sting when threatened or when protecting their hive.
  • Honeybees die within several minutes after stinging .
  • If stung, scrape a bee sting away with a fingernail of flat object (credit card). Never squeeze the stinger.
  • Africanized honeybees first seen in the U.S. in 1990, are darker in color and are found in five U.S. states and two territories Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands (ARS National Program Leader, Agricultural Research/March 2004)
  • Africanized honeybees are more defensive and sting in greater numbers with less provocation.
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Health Benefits

Democritus (philosopher 460-370 BCE) advised: If you want longevity, you should moisten your insides with honey and your outside with oil.

  • Apitherapy is “the medicinal use of products  made by honeybees to improve and maintain human health, to alleviate pain and disability.”
  • Humans using bee products as food & medicine worldwide for many millenia.
  • Except venom (involves precise usage rules), all apitherapy products are free of toxicity & side effects (unless allergic).
  • Much anecdotal & some positive scientific data.
  • Need more quality studies & scientific investigation to assess, validate traditional use.
  • Bees, plants, humans interconnected in physical, spiritual, metaphoric ways for healing
  • Hippocrates (@360-470 BCE) & all major religious texts mention honey’s health benefits.

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    Cautions
    • Honey accounted for 35% of U.S. infant botulism (also in soil, water, air).
    • All cases occurred in infants under one year.
    • Omit from infant’s diet.
    Current benefits include:
    • Topically anti-microbial (several pathways).
    • Antioxidant (darker honeys).
    • Helps assimilate foods (enzymes, probiotics).
    • Promotes higher physical performance & faster recovery in sports.
    • Reduces gastric acidity in ulcers.
    • Stabilizes blood sugar swings.
    • Wound healing: speeds injured tissue regrowth.
    • Soothes cough.
    • Desensitizes seasonal allergies.
    • Hypertonic (low water/high sugar) content splits bacterial membrane, most can’t grow.
    • Acidic environment (pH 3.2-4.5) active against Staphylococci, E. coli, C. diptheriae, Strepto-coccus pyogenes. Salmonella, Pseudomonas.
    • Hydrogen peroxide, slowly released from honey in the presence of wound fluids-- cleansing and antimicrobial.
    • Clinical trials found effective in killing over 250 strains of bacteria, incl. MRSA, VRE.
    • Antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant anti-inflammatory properties.
    • Wound Health : Medihoney from Derma Sciences, Inc. (NJ!) FDA-approved manuka honey-based wound dressing, kills germs, speeds healing of foot ulcers, prevents MRSA, reduces wound pain, burns.
    • Human trial of manuka honey vs. hydrogel for efficacy in desloughing chronic venous leg ulcers showed honey effective, plus killed  MRSA from 70% of the wounds (hydrogel 16%), & reduced wound pain.(Gethin &Cowan , 2010)
    • 16 animal & 22 human trials honey beneficial as wound dressings. (Kochan , 2008)
    • Use only raw or Manuka honey on wound.
    • Immune Health: 5g/d Life-Mel Honey decreased the risk of low blood counts in patients undergoing various chemotherapies. (Zidan J et al, 2006)
    • Honey potentiated the anti-tumor activity of chemo-therapeutic drugs 5-fluorouracil & cyclo- phosphamide in rat and mouse tumors. (Gribel & Pashinskii. 1990)
    • Reduced the growth of bacterium in gastric ulcers. (Al Somal et al, 1994)
    • A single night-time dose of buckwheat honey was more effective as a treatment for relief of nocturnal cough and sleep difficulty in children 2-18 than a single dose of dextromethorphan. (Paul I, 2007)
    • Dubai studies showed topical honey reduced pain, healing time and duration of attack of both genital and oral herpes better than acyclovir. (Al-Waili NS, 2004)
    • Study found mix of honey, olive oil & beeswax (equal parts by volume) effective topically in reducing bleeding, itching & pain of hemorrhoids & anal fissures. (Al-Waili NS, 2006)
    • Dutch researchers discovered a potent antibacterial protein bees add to honey, defensin-1.
    • Attribute most of honey’s antibacterial activity to defensin-1, part of bee immune system. (Kwakman P et al, 2010)
    • Blood Sugar Health: Average 1:1 ratio of fructose to glucose may help modulate blood sugar swings.
    • Animal studies show diet with honey vs sugar resulted in results similar to sugar-free diet, significantly less weight gain than sucrose diet.
    • Doesn’t produce insulin spike following sugar ingestion, ensures adequate supply of glycogen (stored sugar in the liver for energy).
    • Honey diet significantly lowered HbA1c, raised HDL cholesterol in animal study after 52 weeks.(Chepulis & Starkey,2008)
    • Endurance Health: 3 clinical DBPC trials showed benefit of honey compared to other carbohydrates for athletes.
    • Honey effective pre-workout energy source that did not induce high or low blood sugar.
    • Honey-sweetened drink was only product to sustain blood sugar two hours post-workout.
    • Honey significantly increased power and speed, improved endurance capacity during activity over placebo (equalled dextrose).
    • Concluded that honey is carb option for athletes based on its “low glycemic index, positive metabolic response and effective energy production.”
    • Allergy Health: Raw, local honey helps prevent seasonal allergies???
      • Much anecdotal evidence, but no peer-reviewed scientific studies.
      • Theory: similar to vaccine activity, microscopic amounts of pollen in local honey familiarize the immune system to allergen, decreasing the chance of histamine release.
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Environmental Benefits

  • Honeybees pollinate within a radius of 2+ miles from their hive covering over 8700 acres.
  • One mouthful in three of the foods you eat directly or indirectly depends on pollination by honey bees. The value of honey bee pollination to U.S. agriculture is more than $14 billion annually, according to a Cornell University study. Crops from nuts to vegetables and as diverse as alfalfa, apple, cantaloupe, cranberry, pumpkin, and sunflower all require pollinating by honey bees. (ARS National Program Leader Biological Control Beltsville, Maryland, Agricultural Research/March 2004)
  • They also pollinate more than 16 percent of the flowering plant species, ensuring that we’ll have blooms in our gardens.
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Pollen

  • Flower’s male reproductive cells.
  • Transferred by bees (& others) to plant’s female parts for pollination.
  • Bee wings/hairs create + electromagnetic charge, pulls pollen grains from flowers onto its body.
  • Swept by front legs into concave part of back  legs “pollen baskets”, mixed with honeyed saliva.
  • Deposited into cells near brood, combined with regurgitated nectar, packed down by heads.
  • Bacteria from nectar help break it down to become “bee bread” via lactic acid fermentation.
  • “Bee bread” is more nutritious, digestible & mold-resistant than raw pollen for bees.
  • Bees’ most important product—only protein source (brood & adult growth & development).
  • Eaten by nurse bees to make royal jelly for brood and queen food, winter food, to stimulate egg production, make wax and enzymes.
  • Stored near brood to feed larvae which grow 1,300 times in @5 1/2 days.
  • Collected from hundreds of species daily for nutrient diversity.
  • Color depends on flowers, gray of raspberry to dark blue of poppy.
  • Bees’ most important product—only protein source (brood & adult growth & development).
  • Involved in hypopharyngeal gland development.
  • Eaten by nurse bees to make royal jelly for brood and queen food, winter food, to stimulate egg production, make wax and enzymes.
  • Stored near brood to feed larvae which grow 1,300 times in @5 1/2 days.
  • Collected from hundreds of species daily for nutrient diversity.
  • Contains:
    • @33% carbohydrates (sugars, starches).
    • @25% protein (amino acids, enzymes).
    • 10-12% water.
    • 1-20% lipids (fatty acids, sterols, hormones, aromatics, pigments).
    • Vitamins (B group, carotenes, C, trace others).
    • Minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, manganese, zinc).
    • Antioxidant flavonoids (high), volatile compounds, fiber, other
    • Richest nutritionally of all bee products.
    • Vegetable protein food, 50% more protein than beef, richest source of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin.
  • Not perfect human food (low in fat-sol vitamins) but nutritional composition surpasses virtually any food typically eaten.
  • Like many foods, heat, light, drying destroy or reduce antioxidants, therapeutic value.
  • After 3 years old, up to 50% of antioxidant activity reduced.
  • Must be quickly collected, cleaned, frozen to avoid being too wet, too dry, insect ridden.
  • Best preserved via freezing then vacuum-packing, or water-alcohol extract.
  • Athletic Health: British study of adolescent swimmers showed pollen group had significantly increased vital capacity (lung expiration), much fewer missed training days from respiratory infection.(Maughan & Evans, 1982)
  • Russian study of track athletes suggested runners who took bee pollen recovered faster after exercise. Other studies contradict.
  • Immune Health: In women undergoing radiation for cancer, those fed pollen reported less side-effects and had better blood chemistries.(Graham , 1993)
  • Animal & Cell Studies: Turkish studies show antibacterial activity, anticancer activity in vitro.(Aliyazicioglu et al, 2005, Basim et al, 2006)
  • Japanese study of hive products showed pollen exhibited strong antioxidant effects.(Nakajima et al, 2009)
  • Brazilian animal study showed bee pollen flavonoids inhibited allergic response & partially protected against anaphylactic response to eggwhite allergen.(Medeiros et al, 2008)
  • Japanese animal study showed bee pollen inhibited mast cell activation/allergic response. (Ishikawa Y, et al, 2009)
  • Study showed pollen of Gum Rockrose “significantly” prevented bone cell breakdown & calcium loss in animal tissue.(Hamamoto et al, 2006)
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Pollen Cautions

  • Contaminants: Highest number of toxic compounds found in hive pollen, multiple residues-- 98 in Mullen, 34 in Ostiguy studies. (Mullen et al 2010, Ostiguy N, 2010)
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Propolis

  • Sticky resiny substance exuded from tree wounds, developing leaf or flower buds.
  • Forager bees collect by scraping off with mandibles, pack in pollen baskets.
  • Seal cracks, coat interior walls, prevent fungal & bacterial growth, embalm invaders.
  • Bees will coat hive inside walls if rough surface.
  • Color varies based on source, but major compounds similar from all sources.
  • Complex  mix of 55% gums and resins, 30% beeswax, 10 % volatile oils, 5% bee pollen, vitamins and minerals, flavonoids and others.
  • Used as folk medicine since antiquity   (Hippocrates 460-377 BCE found healing properties) to treat infections, heal wounds, embalm dead, fill teeth.
  • Many current studies, clinical use shows:
    • Antibacterial
    • Antifungal
    • Antiviral
    • Anti-amoebic
    • Antioxidant
  • Used topically in ointments, salves, throat sprays, suppositories, internally as lozenges, extracts.
  • Immune Health: Radioprotective, antitumor & protects against low blood cells from chemotherapy, enhanced clarithromycin activity in inhibiting H. pylori (Winston & Kuhn, 2008)
  • Respiratory Health: Prevented respiratory tract infection in children(Winston & Kuhn, 2008), Improved pulmonary function and markedly reduced incidence/severity of nighttime asthma attacks when added to theophylline in mild to moderate asthma.(Khavyal et al, 2003).
  • Oral Health: Successfully used to treat oral candidiasis(Santos et al, 2005), oral herpes (Huleihel & Isanu, 2002), mouth ulcers(Kinderman et al, 2001), as a sterilizing agent for root canal surgery(Oncag et al, 2006), inhibits dental cavities and infections,(Minton B, 2009), anesthetic.(Graham, 1993)
  • Heart Health: Atherosclerosis benefit.(Kuhn & Winston, 2002).
  • Animal & Cell Studies: Japanese study showed animals with Ehrlich ascites carcinoma receiving crude water-soluble propolis orally along with chemo (5-FU or MMC) resulted in significantly increased tumor regression and reduced the cytopenia caused by the chemotherapeutic agents.(Suzuki et al, 2004)
  • Iranian study showed propolis water extract could distinguish normal from cancer cell lines, stimulate growth of the normal and inhibit the cancer cells via various mechanisms. (Najafi et al, 2007)30
  • Recent study showed 3 types of propolis (Bio 30, Brazilian Red, Braz.Green) almost completely supressed the growth of human neurofibromatosis tumor grafts in animals via mechanism also required by breast and prostate cancers. (Messerli S et al, 2009)
  • Propolis hydroalcohol tincture, @80% alcohol, 20-30 drops 3x/d.
  • Animal & Cell Studies (cont’d.): Turkish propolis extracts inhibited release of reactive oxygen species (protective antioxidant effect) in cancer cell lines. (Aliyazicioglu et al, 2005)
  • German study showed propolis and costituents have a direct regulatory effect on basic immune cell function, and considered a “powerful anti-inflammatory medicine.”(Ansorge et al, 2003)
  • Japanese study showed propolis exhibited the most powerful antioxidant effects of all bee hive products. (Nakajima et al, 2009)
  • Serbian study showed significant antimicrobial activity against gram-positive bacteria & yeasts, synergistic with antibiotics, antifungals. (Lifetime Health Products, 2004)
  • Animal & Cell Studies (cont’d.): Extracted propolis compound (pinocembrin) alleviated cognitive impairment and protected brain tissue in brain-damaged animals. (Guang H & Du G-H, 2006)
  • Italian study showed propolis had greater protective effect on human cartilage cells than indomethacin/Indocin. (Lifetime HealthProducts, 2004)
  • Propolis has immune-modulating, kidney and liver-protective, anti-ulcer effect. (Kuhn & Winston, 2008).
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Propolis Cautions

  • Allergy: Can cause contact dermatitis, mucous membrane ulceration, anaphylaxis.
  • Caution in patients with allergic asthma, pollen allergies.
  • Skin test prior to using
  • Contamination: Lead contamination from hive paint.
  • Want manufacturer tested, certified lead-safe.
  • No studies on pesticide or chemical resides.
  • Propolis: Cautions
  • Allergy: Can cause contact dermatitis, mucous membrane ulceration, anaphylaxis.
  • Caution in patients with allergic asthma, pollen allergies.
  • Skin test prior to using
  • Contamination: Lead contamination from hive paint.
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Wax

  • Made by wax-secreting glands on underside of abdomen in honey-gorged (then rested) workers.
  • Consumed sugars converted into wax scales.
  • Scales picked off by back legs, grabbed by front legs, chewed with enzymes for flexibility.
  • Worked into double-sided hexagonal comb.
  • Scales picked off by back legs, grabbed by front legs, chewed with enzymes for flexibility.
  • Worked into double-sided hexagonal comb.
  • Workers hang in festoons to build or repair comb, hooked together, bodies as scaffolding.
  • Much nectar & honey reserves to make wax  (nursery, pantry, home, pharmacy, dance floor).
  • @ 20:1 sugar intake to wax output.
  • Used since ancient times, Australian aborigines used wax for ceremonial figures, from @40,000 years ago to present.
  • Used throughout human history for religious rituals, mummification, currency, metal casting, waterproofing, sealant, adhesive, light, pigment binding, dyeing, polish, lubricant, food coating.
  • Fresh combs are bright white, become yellow/tan with brood or storage, become brown/black after several years.
  • Over 300 compounds, complex mix of lipids (fatty acids) and hydrocarbons (esters, alcohols).
  • Hydrophobic (repels water), used as thickener, emulsifier, soothing, emollient, helps skin retain moisture (humectant).
  • Acts as coating, carrier or binder.
  • Single largest consumer is cosmetics & pharmaceuticals: creams, ointments, salves, lotions, lipsticks, mascara, lip gloss, etc.
  • Candle industry and beekeepers also large users.
  • Mixed with softener, stops bone bleeding during surgery (bone wax).
  • Cuban study isolated compound D-200, that had anti-ulcer effect in patients treated with NSAIDs.
  • Soluble in turpentine as a furniture finish.
  • Emits negative ions, cleans the air when burned?
  • Not a food, contains no digestible products.
  • Acts as a filler and will be excreted unchanged.
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Wax Cautions

  • Contaminants: High prevalence of insecticides found in brood nest wax, unprecedented amounts of fluvalinate.(Frazier M et al, 2007)
  • Fluvalinate, coumaphos in 100% of samples.
  • Fluvalinate (Apistan, Klartan, Mavrik, Mavrik Aqua Flow, Spur, Taufluvalinate,Yardex) now considered toxic to bees.
  • Numerous insecticides, fungicides, herbicides also present.
  • Synergy between coumaphos & fluvalinate—pre-exposure of 1 leads to increased toxicity of the other. (Ostiguy N, 2010)
  • No acute effect in humans. Unknown in bees.
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CONTACT INFO
Hilltop Honey • 15 Hill Street
North Caldwell, NJ 07006
Joe Lelinho: klutch.cargo@verizon.net

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