According to the “Deutscher Imkerbund e. V.” there are around 150,000 beekeepers with a total of around 1 million bee colonies. They all share a fascination for bees. For most beekeepers, harvesting and selling honey is part of beekeeping. In addition to honey, bees provide many other valuable products. However, they usually remain unused. This applies, for example, to bee pollen, royal jelly or beehive air. The use of beehive air for respiratory therapy offers many advantages for beekeepers.
Using beehive air for respiratory therapy – how does it work?
Bees ensure a constant temperature of around 35 degrees Celsius in the beehive. They use there body heat, among other things, to systematically dry the honey that has been introduced. In the process, moisture evaporates, leading to a high humidity level of around 70 to 75%. The warm, humid air also contains valuable volatile ingredients from honey, bee propolis and beeswax. This beehive air can be used as part of apitherapy, in which patients inhale the air in a controlled manner. As an alternative naturopathic treatment, beehive air therapy has proven itself, among other things, for:
- Hay fever (pollen allergy)
- Bronchitis as an accompanying treatment
- Weakened immune system
To be able to use and offer beehive air for therapeutic purposes, beekeepers need:
- Bee colonies
- Inhalation devices with a suitable hose and mask system
- A bee-safe room in which patients can relax and inhale the beehive air
Benefits of beehive air therapy for beekeepers
At first, glance, using the beehive air for therapeutic purposes involves a lot of effort. On closer inspection, however, the use of bees for apitherapeutic purposes offers several advantages for beekeepers:
- In addition to the conventional proceeds from the sale of honey, therapy applications offer an additional relevant income source.
- Higher honey quality, which in turn can generate more revenue from honey sales.
A higher honey quality inevitably results from beekeeping for therapeutic purposes. Every time the beehive air is used, the hive air is exchanged. This exchange, in turn, supports the natural drying of honey in the bees. The result: The water content in the honey drops and the honey reaches a higher quality.
Another advantage arises from the special mode of operation that is required for the use of beehive air. Stringent standards apply to beekeeping for stock air use, which is above the usual organic beekeeping requirements. This is necessary to be able to exclude undesirable substances in the bee air systematically. Beekeepers can, therefore harvest organic quality honey from farm colonies that are used for beehive air therapy. This honey can ultimately be marketed at better prices than conventional honey.
What must beekeepers consider when using beehive air?
To be able to offer beehive air as respiratory therapy, beekeepers need to consider several points:
- The beehive air therapy can be carried out in the summer months from May to September.
- Beehive air can be extracted from a colony for 15 minutes per application.
- Two bee colonies are, therefore, necessary for a half-hour therapy session.
- One inhaler is required for each therapy station with two bee colonies.
- Each patient receives a personal patient box consisting of a heated hose, a special valve and a breathing mask.
- After each hive air extraction, a colony needs a break of at least 45 minutes before air can be extracted again.
- The therapy is always carried out in cooperation with a doctor or alternative practitioner.
Use of beehive air offers beekeepers another opportunity to use their bees in a species-appropriate manner. In addition to marketing honey, they generate additional income from the therapy applications. Simultaneously, the special mode of operation for the use of beehive air automatically increases the quality of the harvested honey. In this way, beekeepers benefit in two ways when they use their bees’ hive air apitherapeutical reasons. The beecura® system offers all components that beekeepers need for successful and safe apitherapeutic use of the beehive air.