Spring has definitely landed in Alberta- and although we shouldn’t embrace our friends we can give Mother Nature a big hug. A beautiful crop of dandelions, intoxicating apple and cherry blossoms – what more could a bee – or person – ask for? Occasional rain in the forecast means a strong nectar flow will give the bees a good boost to re-build from winters hardships. The nucs (nucleus hives) we got from BC are also very strong and enjoying their change of address!
As beekeepers we feel fortunate to be protected by the medicinal bounty from our beehives. COVID-19 has really brought that home as we have bolstered our immune system with honey and propolis and increased our energy with pollen and royal jelly. We haven’t been so cavalier as to test our resilience with purposeful COVID contact, but recent studies in China has proposed the hypothesis – Beekeepers are less susceptible to COVID.
The research is preliminary, initiated by a physician involved with the prevention and control of coronavirus in China. When interrogating beekeepers from the province of Hubei (the COVID epicentre) including those from Wuhan none were found to have contracted COVID. That in itself isn’t conclusive evidence so they followed up with a study of apitherapists in Wuhan who were in contact with COVID. These apitherapists and their patients were being treated with bee sting therapy. Bee venom is known to stimulate the immune system. Again neither therapists nor their patients contracted COVID. Whether it was the bee venom activity itself or related to the fact that tolerance to bee venom replicates tolerance to the virus SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID is another question to be answered.
In the meantime we’re happy to be surrounded by bees!