Health

The buzz behind our need for bees

I recently had the chance to preview a series of short films created in joint effort by renowned natural skincare line Burt's Bees and Italian actress Isabella Rossellini in support of bee education.

Bee and honey

Masterfile

I recently had the chance to preview a series of short films created in joint effort by renowned natural skincare line Burt’s Bees and Italian actress Isabella Rossellini in support of bee education.

Focusing on major threats to bee health, why we rely on them, and what can be done to help their declining population the shorts presented me with a varied importance of facts. The more fun facts: a queen lays up to 1,600 eggs a day, and the more pertinent: that one in three bites of food in Canada are pollinated by bees, that North America has its first endangered bee, and that “colony collapse disorder” is a big deal.

Burt’s Bees has been working with The Pollinator Partnership, a not-for-profit organization whose mission it is to protect and restore the populations of pollinating creatures, especially bees. Their focus is on showing how bees have suffered from a loss of habitat, chemical misuse and diseases, and their disappearance from natural environments. Without pollinators like bees, not only will the honey (for both eating and skincare) disappear, but we could also lose many of the crops (apples, blueberries, chocolate, coffee, peaches, melons, pumpkins, potatoes and almonds) that they pollinate.

So what can you do to help? Bee advocates recommend supporting organic farms that use fewer pesticides, planting wildflowers that nourish bees instead of grass, and buying local honey.

Honey has a huge number of nutritional benefits, and I’ve been advised that a spoonful a day will keep the doctor away. It has loads of nutrients, antiseptic and antibacterial properties, and it’s great for the skin! One of the best pieces of skin advice I’ve ever received was from a book by English nutritionist Gillian McKeith. She wrote about “honey masks”: slathering a layer of honey all over your clean face and then letting it sit for at least 30 minutes. I do this and then hop in the tub for a soak. When I do this on a regular basis, my skin gets back a bit of the glow and plumpness of a younger me; it creates a surprisingly radiant glow, far more effective than most of the pricey facials I’ve had in my life.

Click here for more information about Burt’s Bees-related campaigns and to watch the short films