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LIGURIAN BEES - LATIN NAME
The latin name for Ligurian bees is ‘Apis mellifera ligustica’. It is a subspecies of the western honey bee ‘Apis mellifera’. »»
THE CHEMISTRY OF HONEY
Honey may be older than we believe. The first signs of humans using honey dates back thousands of years. The first evidence of humans harvesting honey is seen painted on a rock wall in Valencia, Spain, dated over 8,000 years ago. Archaeologists discovered honeycomb in Egypt that had been buried with the pharaohs in their tombs, the honey was preserved and still edible.
Humans have eaten honey, bathed in it, used it to heals wounds and traded with it since history began. It is difficult to appreciate the organic abilities of the honey we use in today's world. We are exposed to so much junk food and preservatives that we forget the power of natural food.
Honey is a wonderful, natural sweetener that we take for granted these days It is a sweet, sticky yellowish-brown fluid made by bees from collecting nectar from flowers.
Honey is composed of:
- Sugar makes up about 95% of honey's dry weight.
- Carbohydrates: 82% Fructose & Glucose.
Glucose and Fructose are known as monosaccharides. They are the most basic form of carbohydrates, sugar is a type of carbohydrate, they are what gives us the most energy.
- Proteins and Amino Acids: Proline.
- Vitamins, Minerals and Antioxidants : Vitamin B, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folic acid, Pantothenic acid, and Vitamin B6.
- Other Minerals: Acetic, Butanoic, Formic, Citric, Aromatic acids. Gluconic acid is the main acid present and is formed when glucose breaks down by glucose oxidase
Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components
- Water - (H2O)hydrating
- Sucrose - (C12 H22 O11) = [ half fructose (C6H12O6) Sustained Energy, & half glucose (C6H12O6) Instant Energy ]
Fructose and Glucose and both made in plants. When the plants absorb the sun's energy they go through a process called photosynthesis and then produce these two sugars, humans then take them and put them in a factory(sugar beet factory) and continue to strip the plants down to pure sugar.
Fructose and Glucose and simple sugars that can be combined to make more complex sugars such as Sucrose (vice versa, sucrose can be broken down into fructose and glucose) - OR bees get nectar from the flowers that is about 80% water and then about 20% sugars.
Enzymes the bees make turn the sucrose into fructose and glucose which produces a very watered down honey. The bees store this liquid in the hives where the water evaporates leaving only about 18% water. Humans then strip the hives of the honey and package it into bottles for us to consumption.
The island is an ideal and isolated sanctuary for perpetuating a secure breed of robust, hygienic Ligurian bees, all of which are descendants of the original Ligurian queens.
Since the arrival of the Ligurian bee onto Kangaroo Island, no other race or strain of honeybee has been introduced, and the population is believed to represent the purest stock of this Italian race found anywhere in the world.
The pristine environment, together with selective breeding of the Ligurian bee, has the potential to protect from colony-collapse-disorder and other common diseases experienced in other parts of the world.
HISTORY & FUTURE
An act of parliament in 1885 declared Kangaroo Island a sanctuary for the Ligurian bee. Now the bees are considered an important genetic resource for queen breeders and for apicultural research.