Bees are key promoters of flowering plants diversity, making them a pillar of our planet’s health.
No other pollinator has so much influence on our food production than the bee. More than a third of what we produce and eat depends on this particular insect. In addition, bees are key promoters of flowering plant diversity, making them pillar in the planet’s health. An active colony may pollinate more than several million of flowers in one day. When there are bees, there isn’t a single plant that dies without having been pollinated.
Pollination is an act that allows the formation of fruit and the emergence of seed: both symbols of hope, potentiality, and future. A single bee may visit more than 3000 flowers a day, and the beauty of this is that it only visits one type of flower, making it the perfect pollinator.
At Fundacion Valle La Paz we have worked with different types of native bees: Scaptotrigona mexicana, Melipona fasciata, Nannotrigona perilampoides, Partamona bilineata and Apis mellifera.
The aspects we are interested in include the study of their biology, their health, their effect on biodiversity, and the products that they can offer us to treat various human pathologies.
Bees play a vital role in our medicinal garden’s fertility and in the forest that surrounds us. In our lab we use all of their products, from honey and propolis to wax, during our products’ handcrafting.
Hives receive particularly respectful care and all handling is done in accordance with biodynamic apiculture guidelines, which allows this organism to develop with a minimum amount of human intervention.
Within the sub-family of Miliponinae bees which lack a stinger, there is a particular species, Melipona fasciata guerreroensis, that can survive altitudes of more than 6,500 feet. At Rancho La Paz, located about 7,000 feet above sea level, we treat with special care this species that is in the brink of extinction. Since this ancestral bee is able of pollinating endemic species from the pine and oak forests found at these altitudes, their survival and propagation is vital.
During the preparation of our medicinal extracts, we use their honey to accelerate certain fermenting processes with the goal of obtaining an alcohol that confers stability to the extract. We also process propolis in order to elaborate different remedies and functional creams and balms. Human ancestors used to call it “virgin honey” and to date it is used directly in the eyes to reverse or slow cataract formation.
This small bee is another genus of the great Apiade family that is also adapted to the high altitude pine and oak forests. This minute worker visits small flowers and collects propolis intensely, which is particularly rich in the number of resins that it contains, allowing the hive to live practically free of any external pathological intrusions (fungi, bacteria and viruses). A small part of of this propolis strengthens the bees’ immune system, since it is always mixed in with its honey. At La Paz Pharma we especially value this resin mix, using it in different remedies.
Medicinal gardens full of nectar and diversity
For the bee, the essence of a flower is fountain of life, and, for the flower, the been is a fountain of love.
At Rancho La Paz Foundation we cultivate a great variety of medicinal plants that offer nectars with varying characteristics to the bees. At the end of their life, each plant excretes its essence in the flower, transmitting its own seal in its nectar. Then, the bee collects this nectar, which is light materialized in the form of sugars, and of environments rich in humus, minerals, bacteria, light, heat, and water, the plants are able to produce a healthier and more nutritious nectar.
Part of our soil is cultivated with “acahuales”, a varied flowering vegetation that emerges spontaneously around farm land when herbicides are absent from the soil. During autumn, a great variety of sunflowers nurture the hives with an exquisite nectar that is transformed into one of the richest honeys in the world: Mexican honey.
Nectar transformed into honey is an elixir for human health. There probably is no other substance healthier for human consumption than the mature honey sourced from a strong hive that lives in a diverse environment without contaminants.