Save the Bees, Save Yourself: The Anti-Allergy Virtues of Local Honey

Do you suffer from seasonal allergies? A natural remedy waits in your backyard: locally produced honey.

To date, science has not yet proved a link between eating local honey and allergy symptom relief. But there's no shortage of anecdotal evidence from allergy sufferers. Their testimonials suggest it may be worth your while to experiment with a local honey regimen of two teaspoons per day.

Why does it work? The theory is that bees in your region are collecting nectar from the plants that make you sniffle and sneeze. And so by eating honey produced from this nectar, you are ingesting trace amounts of those allergens, helping your body develop defenses against them.

Things get more complicated when you acknowledge the fact that honeybees are in serious jeopardy. Researchers continue studying their decline, but so far a few causes are suspected: manmade insecticides, naturally occurring parasites, and the proliferation of non-native bee species.

So what can you do to help save the honeybees?

Love the Bees. Appreciate the vital role that honeybees play in maintaining the viability of our food supply. Their pollination accounts for as much as one-third of what we eat!

Plant a Tree… and Some Flowers. Welcome honeybees-and beautify your landscape in the process-by planting flowers and trees; bees rely on these for survival.

Avoid Broad-Based Insecticides. While the demise of bee colonies is a complex issue, we know for certain that bees are insects and as such, they can be adversely affected by insecticides. Attempt to manage garden pests without using synthetic pest control products.

Support Your Local Beekeepers. Even if you don't have hay fever, go out of your way to buy local honey and honey-related products (e.g., beeswax candles). You may also support beekeepers in your area by contracting their services; these include crop pollination and bee removal.

For more on sustainability, consider:

Radio: Go Local
50 Shades of Green
Nature Inspires Sustainable Solutions for the Home