Bee Products for Animal Health
How can products from Bees be used for animal healthcare?
What is it?
Bee Pollen is different from the pollen you see floating in the air from flowers (and which frequently triggers hayfever), instead, Bee Pollen is the result of process that the bees use when collecting pollen from flowers. The bees collect pollen in special pollen baskets and do so in such a way that makes Bee Pollen an unique product, which cannot successfully be identically replicated synthetically.
When is Bee Pollen used?
As it comprises many nutrients (vitamins and minerals), Bee Pollen is even suggested by some medical experts and scientists to be a complete food, and with just the addition of water would enable you or your animal to exist healthily. Generally Bee Pollen is given to animals (or people) to help promote immunity, digestive health, provide energy and as an antibiotic. It's also often used to help counter the effects of pollen allergies. Bee Pollen can usually be found either in tablet form or as granules.
What is it?
It's a resinous substance secreted by trees, which is collected by bees who using their unique processes, turn it into a substance to line their beehives to protect them from germs. Beehives are considered to be sterile environments because of the presence of Propolis. Propolis has been used for thousands of years for the health of both people and animals, often due to its natural anti-bacterial properties.
When is Bee Propolis used?
Many animals can potentially benefit from Bee Propolis - from pets to livestock. It's often used for the health of the respiratory and immune systems, to more specific ailments where its antibacterial properties are needed. Bee Propolis can be found as a supplement in tablet form, as well as being included in other products - from toothpastes to skincare lotions.
What is it?
Bees gather nectar from flower and plant blossoms, and from this nectar, within their beehives produce honey. Although usually always sweet in taste, its flavour will vary according to the area within which its produced, this is because the nectar from different plant/flower blossoms will create a different taste.
Additionally, there are some varieties of manuka honey (nb not all!) which are understood to be especially and powerfully antibacterial. Manuka honey comes from the flowers of a bush native to remote, unspoilt areas of New Zealand. You can check the quality of your manuka honey product by seeing if it has the UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) quality trademark.
When is honey used?
Honey can be applied to wounds and also added to the diet, for health reasons. Its properties are thought to assist with the immune system, including with seasonal allergies. Many animals from horses to dogs, plus other pets or livestock can potentially benefit from the goodness of honey.
What is it?
Royal Jelly is a secretion produced by worker bees, and is effectively a "superfood", as it's only fed to the queen bee. It's also understood to contain several vitamins and amino acids, and has been used for hundreds of years as a method of healthcare.
When is Royal Jelly used?
It's often used to help combat fatigue and for skin health. You can usually find it as a supplement in capsule form, or in skincare preparations.
Here at Taranet, we regularly use both Bee Pollen and Bee Propolis for our animals (equine and canine), and ourselves as required, and so can recommend their use.
But it's important to note that whilst one feed supplement may work for one animal, it may not work for the next - each animal is different in how it will respond to medication and other supplementation. It can also take varying amounts of time for your animal (& you!) to notice a difference - some animals may respond to a bee supplement or skincare product within a couple of days, but other animals may take much longer to show any improvement.
Overall, in choosing your Bee product, do try and choose a product which is as pure and natural as possible, to help gain the maximum potential from what are intended to be natural products.
As with all complementary therapies do seek the advice of your Vet first before using a bee product, especially if your animal is on existing medication, although the products are generally safe, it's always best to be 100% sure there won't be any compatibility issues!
Caution - some people and animals maybe allergic to bee products, especially likely with those who're allergic to bee stings. If in doubt, do consult your Veterinary Surgeon (or GP) for advice before using. It may also be helpful to introduce the bee product to you or your animal's diet gradually, starting with small amounts - your Veterinary Surgeon or GP will be able to advise.
Lastly, when you regularly buy your natural Bee Honey, Bee Pollen, Bee Propolis or Royal Jelly you may find that there are variations in colour of the products. This should not be anything to worry about, as due to their being natural products it is quite usual to have inconsistency in the colour (e.g. sometimes they maybe light and other times dark), and aren't manufactured by nature to be identical!
For further information on Bee healthcare products or if you'd like to find a complementary therapist for your animal, please email firstname.lastname@example.org as we're happy to help!