One of my favourites podcasts is NPR’s Science Friday . On last Friday’s program was a segment – titled ‘The Buzz on Bees’ – about bees and honey. (To listen to or download it, go to the top left of this webpage ). I’ve long known peripherally that bees are remarkable creatures, and honey’s remarkable stuff. ‘The Buzz on Bees’ reinforces this via fascinating info about bees and honey that I didn’t know. Including that Manuka honey’s effective against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus [MRSA], i.e. the so-called superbug , and that the US’s FDA has approved its use . It’s approved by the Australian and UK authorities too. Manuka honey  is made by bees in New Zealand that frequent the manuka bush, Leptospermum scoparium (pictured) . In 2006 it was shown that Manuka honey’s active ingredient is methylglyoxal . Tests have found that a minimum of 150mg/kg of methylglyoxal’s needed required for the honey to have significant benefit . Isn’t that astounding: a bug that’s resistant to most of the most potent antibiotics known to man, is sensitive to a chemical in one type of honey . It has other medical uses too . For a honey, Manuka’s expensive . But it’s a whole lot less expensive than powerful antibiotics. And a whole lot safer too, with no known adverse effects. The closer one looks at Nature, the more she reveals her beauty and wonder.
4 days ago