These are harmless solitary bees that construct their cocoon chambers from where they lay their eggs. They are excellent pollinators of carrots, fruits, vegetables and alfalfa which is a great source of proteins in livestock pasture. Due to this, they are commonly used for commercial bee pollination. Unlike honeybees, these species do not produce honey, they do not live in colonies and do not also have a queen. However, they are quite similar to honey bees in appearance, but their abdomen’s underside is orange. Several species of leafcutter bees exist in Britain though it’s hard to distinguish them. These bees are one of the most cost-effective bees that anyone can raise. Housing them is quite cheap considering that you do not have to mind about purchasing protective gear as they do not sting.
The craze for manuka honey doesn’t seem to have been one of those fads that peaked and then disappeared along with many other ‘super-foods’. The benefits of Manuka honey are plentiful and it isn’t just in the things we eat, but also in the things we drink and apply to our bodies and our hair!
Manuka honey is a native of New Zealand and Australia but produced by European honey bees foraging on the manuka or tea tree.
The Benefits of Manuka Honey
It is thought that manuka honey can be used for many ailments, including healing sore throats – which many of you will know if you drink honey and lemon, digestive illnesses, curing staph infections and gingivitis. The raw unrefined honey contains amino acids, B vitamins, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phospherous, potassium, sodium and zinc.
It’s antibacterial properties mean it is ideal for fighting infection and its soothing properties help to repair skin related disorders such as eczema and acne. It is also ideal for applying to wounds, burns and ulcers to help soothe and repair the skin.
Check Your Manuka Honey Source Before Buying!
Unfortunately, because manuka honey is so incredibly popular and so expensive, it is frequently counterfeited. Many suppliers have been found to be breaking standards and diluting the honey down with corn starch or just passing this honey off as manuka honey when it is an entirely different type of honey. If you are buying it, make sure it is from a credible and reliable supplier and you can check the validity of its origins.