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Bee gold: Honey as a superfood

From pesticide detox to increased longevity, the benefits of the sweet stuff go well beyond simply nourishing the hardworking insects in the hive. May Berenabaum answers questions for Knowable Magazine about honey and its health benefits.

It should come as no surprise that bees know a lot about honey. They aren’t only honey producers, they are also consumers, and pretty sophisticated ones at that. Offer a sick bee different varieties of honey, for example, and it will choose the one that best fights off its infection.

People, on the other hand, have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to the nutritional nuances of honey. Just a few decades ago, most lists of “functional foods”— those that offer health benefits beyond basic nutrition — failed to mention it, says entomologist May Berenbaum. “Even beekeepers — and certainly bee scientists — considered it nothing more than sugar water.”

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Publication Date: 10/20/2021
Editor: Berly McCoy