Young worker bees secrete milk in their throat glands. It is a creamy substance with a tart taste. The worker bees and drones are fed with bees’ milk only during the first 3 days of their lives. But the queen bee eats bees’ bee’s milk all her life. Therefore the queen lives 4-6 years, but the worker bee lives only 30-35 days.
What does the bee’s milk contain?
The chemical composition of bee’s milk fed to the queen bees is very rich. The composition of bee’s milk includes more than 400 active substances. The most valuable for the human body are amino acids, minerals, enzymes, and vitamins.
Usually, one colony produces about 100 grams of bee’s milk in one season.
What does bee’s milk look like?
Bees’ bee’s milk resembles mammalian milk in the form of a thick paste, with colors ranging from light creamy to light yellow. It is characterized by a tart sour taste and a specific pungent smell, is heavier than water, and has an acidic reaction (pH between 3.4 and 4.3).
Getting and storage of bee’s milk
Bee’s milk is an unstable product, it turns yellow and dries quickly if stored at ambient temperature, and its biological activity is reduced because of the decomposition of many components. Bees consume milk regularly, so they do not store it for long periods.
Fresh milk is sensitive to light and high temperatures. An airtight container retains its properties for several days at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator at 32-41°F can be up to one year. Milk can be preserved with alcohol. Creating such a mixture allows you to store the finished product in an airtight vessel in a dark place for one year. An alternative is canned bee milk with honey. To prepare the mixture, milk is added to the liquid honey in an amount of 0.5% to 5%, stirred thoroughly, and for a long time. The most effective mixture was considered honey with the addition of 2% bee’s milk. It can be stored in a dark place for a year, and even longer in the refrigerator.
The action of bees’ milk:
- enhances the immune system;
- promotes the normal activity of the cardiovascular system;
- stimulates the potency;
- increases hemoglobin;
- normalizes the gastrointestinal tract;
- improves overall metabolism;
- stimulates the central and peripheral nervous system;
- regulates the function of the endocrine system;
- stimulates the work of the female body during menopause;
- stabilizes blood pressure.
Bee’s milk and cosmetics
Bee milk is also widely used in cosmetics. Because of its skin regenerating properties, it is an important component of creams, lotions, and care and nourishing lotions designed for dry, normal, and oily skin. Creams and balms with bee’s milk stimulate cellular metabolism and normalize the secretion of sebum. Bee’s milk has a beneficial tonic effect on the skin and improves its hydration and elasticity. Its content in cosmetic preparations ranges from 0.5 to 10%.
What kind of bees gives milk?
Bee milk is produced by the pharyngeal glands of young bees 5 to 15 days old. Later they lose this ability and turn into full-fledged “working” insects.