Stingless bee the Mayan Queen! This ancient bee known as Melipona bicheii or “Xunan kaab” by the locals in the Yucatan Peninsula, is the stingless and endangered bee that produce a special type of honey. This “elixir” is an antioxidant that contains healing and nutritional properties so it is considered a “superfood” as well as being an essential tool in traditional Mayan medicine.
These bees are extremely selective with the type of flowers they forage, they search for only the best to produce the richest and finest nectar, and because we only work within Protected Natural Areas, this guarantees the purity and selection of the best flowers of the Mayan forest obtaining a high-quality honey with an unparalleled taste.
Because of this selective behavior, Melipona beehives only produce up to 3 to 4 liters of honey per year, which makes it a unique and highly valued honey.
At risk of dying along with the insect is a beekeeping tradition that for centuries has been sacred to the Maya for its spiritual benefits. To the Maya, bees are imbued with mystical power, said to appear as messengers between the living world and the underworld.
Melipona bee, along with other types of stingless-bee species (Escaptotrigona pectoralis, Nanotrigona perilampoides, among others), are responsible for the pollination of the 60% of the Mayan Forest. Actually, some bee colonies have to visit about two million flowers to make one pound of this sacred honey.
Although stingless bees do not have a sting to fend off enemies, they are nonetheless able to defend their hives against attacks.
Stingless bee honey – the Mother Medicine
The efficacy of stingless bee honey for the treatment of bacteria-induced conjunctivitis in guinea pigs. The efficacy of the conjunctival application of a crude concentration of stingless bee honey (SBH) for the treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis was investigated in an animal model. Bacterial conjunctivitis caused by Staphylococcus aureus or Pseudomonas aeruginosa was induced in Hartley guinea pigs.
The conjunctival application of SBH or gentamicin was used for treatment, and the results of this treatment were compared with control values. Inflammatory signs, duration of infection (ie, positive culture), and time for the complete resolution of infection with S. aureus or P. aeruginosa were shortened by the conjunctival application of 1 drop (70 µL) of crude SBH twice daily. The potency of SBH was comparable with that of gentamicin. SBH may be a rational agent for the treatment of infective conjunctivitis in humans; it is inexpensive and commonly available to the rural population.
Stingless Bees are an Eye Opener
Infection of the eye can result in conjunctivitis, keratitis, endophthalmitis, and other infections that are responsible for increased incidences of morbidity and blindness worldwide.1 These infections are common occurrences in the tropics and in resource-poor countries as a result of poor hygiene and environmental contaminants. Furthermore, the problems of resistance, adverse responses, and the high cost of established antibiotic compounds have given rise to the search for new anti-infective agents from natural sources for better therapeutic effects.
Stingless bee honey (SBH) – a natural product from a diverse group of highly eusocial bees (ie, meliponines) that comprise the tribe Meliponini in the family Apidae – has shown therapeutic potential in current research. Undiluted SBH was found to be bactericidal for many pathogenic organisms, including various Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria.4 In another study, SBH was more potent than the standard antibiotics against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.6 In a recent study, undiluted SBH and SBH at concentrations of 60% or more were effective against isolated agents of conjunctivitis.7 However, in most of these studies, the inhibition of bacterial growth was demonstrated with the use of in vitro methods. There are very few in vivo studies of the use of SBH for the treatment of eye diseases. In the current study, guinea pig conjunctivae were infected with isolates of Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa from infective human conjunctivitis and treated with SBH or a standard antibiotic, with the aim of investigating the efficacy of SBH for the treatment of infective conjunctivitis.
Biological and therapeutic effects of honey produced by honey bees and stingless bees: a comparative review
Honey is a natural product produced by both honey bees and stingless bees. Both types of honey contain unique and distinct types of phenolic and flavonoid compounds of variable biological and clinical importance. Honey is one of the most effective natural products used for wound healing. In this review, the traditional uses and clinical applications of both honey bee and stingless bee honey – such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antihyperlipidemic, and cardioprotective properties; the treatment of eye disorders, gastrointestinal tract diseases, neurological disorders, and fertility disorders and wound healing activity are described. (Read More)