For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Videos: YouTube

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fears of drug-resistant superbugs - bees

This was interesting:
" Potent type used as antibiotic amid fears of drug-resistant superbugs
TRENTON, New Jersey - Amid growing concern over drug-resistant superbugs and non-healing wounds that endanger diabetes patients, nature's original antibiotic — honey — is making a comeback.More than 4,000 years after Egyptians began applying honey to wounds, D... S.... Inc., a New Jersey company that makes medicated and other advanced wound care products, began selling the first honey-based dressing this fall after it was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.Called Medihoney, it is made from a highly absorbent seaweed-based material, saturated with manuka honey, a particularly potent type that experts say kills germs and speeds healing. Also called Leptospermum honey, manuka honey comes from hives of bees that collect nectar from manuka and jelly bushes in Australia and New Zealand. "
There is an old beehive tucked away in the corner of the yard and yesterday I dared to get fairly close to it to get some pictures. I did research on honey and came up with this interesting information:

Honey is a treat, and is man's oldest sweetener. It is an excellent substitute for sugar in our drinks and food. It is also good for many medicinal uses and treating certain conditions. Reliance on commercialized medicines which contain too many chemicals can become hazardous to our health.

Honey is composed of sugars like glucose and fructose and minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulphur, iron and phosphate. It contains vitamins B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3 all of which change according to the qualities of the nectar and pollen. Besides the above, copper, iodine and zinc exist in it in small quantities.

Several kinds of hormones are also present in it. Approximately one half of the human diet is derived directly or indirectly from crops pollinated by bees. Today honeybees are an essential part of a healthy agriculture economy.





If you have allergies, honey can be beneficial. If you eat honey that is local to your area, it may help prevent your seasonal allergies.

Bees use the pollen from local plants and eventually it ends up in your honey. Honey may also be good for your skin. It has the ability to attract water. It is also safe for sensitive skin. You can use it as a moisturizing mask for your skin as well as your hair. To use it as a conditioner, mix the honey with olive oil. Be sure to wash your hair thoroughly before you go outside.

If you have a sore throat, take some honey. [ Honey has powerful antimicrobial properties, which can soothe your raw tissues. Pour a teaspoon of honey into a large serving spoon and then top off the spoon with lemon juice. Swallow the concoction (without water) every few hours until symptoms clear up. Some people add a pinch of black or red pepper to increase blood circulation to the throat.] Due to its natural anti-inflammatory effect, it will help to heal the wounds more quickly. It also has different phytochemicals--chemicals found in plants and different foods--that kill viruses, bacteria, and fungus making it a good substitute for wound dressings. The taste may also take your mind off the pain. There is evidence that honey diluted in water will help with your stomach aches and dehydration. Do you have a cut? Honey is a natural antiseptic. Medical journals cite more than 600 cases in which honey was employed to treat wounds. By applying honey to your wounds, you prevent infections. Honey contains antimicrobial agents, which prevents infections by killing the bacteria in and around your wounds. When using honey it may help to heat it up before putting it on your wound (caution test the heat before you place it on the wound).Many types of bacteria can’t survive in honey, so wounds heal, swelling eases, and tissue can grow back.

Honey may also be effective in the treatment of your ulcers. In Europe, honey has been used internally to help cure ulcers, particularly stomach ulcers. Burns, too, heal better with honey, studies show. The advantage of honey is that it not only prevents infections from occurring, it actually accelerates skin healing.. Since the sugar in honey absorbs water it helps to trap some of the moisture so that the bacteria and other microbes can’t grow as easily as in other food.