There is now evidence that honeybee colonies whose queen mated with many male bees show a more diverse beneficial microbial population. Mating with many males is what queens do in nature–it is only through human-controlled artificial insemination or other breeding programs that queens are not able to mate with many genetically diverse males.
Needless to say, none of The Chassidic Beekeeper queens were mated in controlled breeding programs. Rather, they were born and bred naturally and that is one of the many reasons these bees are more naturally robust and do not require human interference in the form of miticides, medicines, or artificial feeding.
The research identified, for the first time, important food-processing genera in honey bee colonies: Succinivibrio and Oenococcus were the dominant genera found in the study and there was 40 percent greater activity of the probiotic genera Bifidobacterium and Paralactobacillus in colonies that were genetically diverse compared to those that were genetically uniform.
Genetic diversity is created in a colony when a queen mates with many male bees, an act that is known to improve colony health and productivity.
“What we observed in our work was that there was less likelihood of potentially pathogenic bacteria showing up in genetically diverse honey bee colonies compared to genetically uniform colonies.”
“What we found was that genetically diverse colonies have a more diverse, healthful, active bacterial community—a greater number and diversity of bacterial sequences affiliated with beneficial genera were found in genetically diverse colonies,” Newton says.
“Conversely, genetically uniform colonies had a higher activity of potential plant and animal pathogens in their digestive tract—127 percent higher than workers from genetically diverse colonies.”
The Mother Nature Network published an article yesterday titled “The 11 healthiest foods in the world” based on the thinking of J.I. Rodale, the father of organic gardening in the United States.
Honey makes it on their list, and with good reason. As the article reports, “Honey is rich in antioxidants and is often used as an antiseptic treatment on wounds. As Rodale said, it also contains phytoestrogens, and studies on Greek honey have found that those phytoestrogens can blunt the growth of breast, prostate and endometrial cancers. Honey also has a low glycemic index, so using it to sweeten tea or coffee won’t lead to energy-busting blood sugar drops later in the day.”
Yesterday was also Purim, a day on which much refined sugar, flour, and oils are shared and consumed (which all increase disease). Not sure what to think about that.