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Multipurpose Honey has Beauty, Health Benefits

Here are some tried and tested benefits of honey and tips on how to buy the best quality honey:

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Honey has more benefits in aspect of health and beauty than we ever thought of. Pixabay
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Whether it’s spread on toast or used as topping on a yogurt or as a natural sweetener in herbal tea – honey is used in various forms. The sweet nectar is also helpful in beautifying and healing the body if used in the right way.

Rich in minerals such as iron, calcium, phosphate, sodium chlorine, potassium and magnesium, raw honey can help in softening skin and repairing damaged hair. No wonder celebrities like Scarlett Johansson swear by honey products, reports femalefirst.co.uk.

Here are some tried and tested benefits of honey and tips on how to buy the best quality honey:

* Save dry skin: Honey is a fantastic moisturiser and works wonders on patches of dry skin. Use it to soften up those knees and elbows, and it will even work wonders on chapped lips. Just rub on some honey, leave it to work on your skin for up to 30 minutes, and then wash off.

* Boost your energy: Forget your coffee fix and ditch the energy drinks. It’s time to say goodbye to the sugar high that so quickly leads to an energy crash and burn. For a natural energy boost, use honey in place of sugars and sweeteners in your tea, baking and cooking. You’ll soon notice the difference in your energy levels.

There’s no need to splash out on expensive spa facials when you have some honey in the cupboard
There’s no need to splash out on expensive spa facials when you have some honey in the cupboard. Pixabay

* Rescue damaged hair: Looking for a naturally moisturizing conditioner? Honey provides a moisturizing hair and scalp cleanser that leaves locks silky smooth without stripping them of natural oils. Simply add a teaspoonful to your usual shampoo to soften your hair, or combine with olive oil for a deep conditioning treatment – leave to work on damaged locks for 20 minutes before shampooing out.

* Pamper and relax: When it’s time to soak in the tub after a hard day, give your body an added treat by pouring in a few drops of raw honey. The honey helps to soothe tired muscles and moisturise your skin, while adding other essential oils like lavender oil will help you relax even more.

Also Read: Honeybees Finding It Harder to Eat at America’s Bee Hot Spot

* Cure a hangover: Overindulged a little last night? Never mind, honey is here! A few tablespoons of fructose-packed honey – fructose is nature’s natural sweetener – will help speed up your body’s metabolism of alcohol.

* For a fabulous facial: There’s no need to splash out on expensive spa facials when you have some honey in the cupboard. Give your skin the benefit of honey’s powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and ultra-moisturizing properties and use it as a face mask. You can use it alone (around two table spoon) or combined with two teaspoons of milk – just cover your face, let the skin soak up its natural goodness for 10 minutes, then rinse off. For a naturally exfoliating facial, just add some sugar to create a moisturising scrub. (Bollywood Country)

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Honeybees Finding It Harder to Eat at America’s Bee Hot Spot

The conservation lands of the Northern Great Plains were a go-to spot

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FILE - Volunteers check honeybee hives in Mason, Ohio, May 27, 2015.
FILE - Volunteers check honeybee hives in Mason, Ohio, May 27, 2015. (VOA)

Bees are having a much harder time finding food in the region known as America’s last honeybee refuge, a new federal study found.

The country’s hot spot for commercial beekeeping is the Northern Great Plains of the Dakotas and neighboring areas, where more 1 million colonies spend their summer feasting on pollen and nectar from nearby wildflowers and other plants.

But from 2006 to 2016, more than half the conservation land within a mile of bee colonies was converted into agriculture, usually row crops such as soybeans and corn, said the study’s lead author Clint Otto of the U.S. Geological Survey. Those crops hold no food for bees.

For more than a decade, bees and other pollinators in America have been dwindling in numbers because of a variety of problems, including poor nutrition, pesticides, parasites and disease. And outside experts said this study highlights another problem that affects the health of bees.

This area — which Otto called “America’s last honeybee refuge” — lost about 629 square miles (1,630 square kilometers) of prime bee habitat, according to the study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

And bees that have a hard time finding food are less likely to survive the winter, Otto said. They may not be hungry, he said, but they aren’t healthy either.

John Miller, in his 49th year as a North Dakota commercial beekeeper, said the Dakotas and Minnesota were once the last best place for bees.

“Now they are the least worst,” he said.

FILE - A honeybee packs pollen from this almond tree blossom before returning to her hive.
FILE – A honeybee packs pollen from this almond tree blossom before returning to her hive. (VOA)

Miller, whose business was started in 1894 by his great-grandfather, has watched the average colony honey production drop from 120 pounds per hive 30 years ago to about 50 pounds now. But the price has gone up five-fold, and beekeepers like Miller are getting paid to truck their bees to California to pollinate crops there, mostly almonds.

The federal government pays farmers to keep some land wild and that benefits bees that feast on grasslands, flowers and weeds, Otto said. But the conservation program has a cap on how much land it will pay for — and during the ethanol boom, farmers found they could make more money in corn and soybeans.

“Commercial beekeepers are scrambling to try to find places to take their bees when they are not in a crop requiring pollination,” U.S. Department of Agriculture bee researcher Diana Cox-Foster, who was not part of the study, said in an email.

Also Read: Apple, Samsung Settle US Patent Dispute

“The conservation lands of the Northern Great Plains were a go-to spot,” she wrote.

More than one-third of America’s commercial colonies spend summer in the Northern Great Plains. The area east of the Dakotas is too developed, and the weather to the west is too dry, Otto said.

Bees are crucial pollinators for more than 90 percent of the nation’s flowering crops, including apples, nuts, avocados, broccoli, peaches, blueberries and cherries.

“Without honeybees,” Otto said, “our dinner plate looks a lot less colorful.” (VOA)