In case you didn’t know, For Your Entertainment (FYE) from “the Can Tho Curmudgeon Geographic”….! ;+)
Don’t let a bee (not a wasp) sting you, it may be just painful (unless you are allergic and you are also in danger) and good for your arthritis, but for them it is a “life and death” situation, bees die when they sting humans…..
“A honey bee that is away from the hive foraging for nectar or pollen will rarely sting, except when stepped on or roughly handled. Honey bees will actively seek out and sting when they perceive the hive to be threatened, often being alerted to this by the release of attack pheromones.
Although it is widely believed that a worker honey bee can sting only once, this is a partial misconception: although the stinger is in fact barbed so that it lodges in the victim’s skin, tearing loose from the bee’s abdomen and leading to its death in minutes, this only happens if the skin of the victim is sufficiently thick, such as a mammal’s. Honey bees are the only hymenoptera with a strongly barbed sting, though yellow jackets and some other wasps have small barbs.
The sting’s injection of apitoxin into the victim is accompanied by the release of alarm pheromones, a process which is accelerated if the bee is fatally injured. Release of alarm pheromones near a hive or swarm may attract other bees to the location, where they will likewise exhibit defensive behaviors until there is no longer a threat, typically because the victim has either fled or been killed. (Note: A true swarm is not hostile; it has deserted its hive and has no comb or young to defend.) These pheromones do not dissipate or wash off quickly, and if their target enters water, bees will resume their attack as soon as it leaves the water.
The larger drone bees, the males, do not have stingers. The female worker bees are the only ones that can sting, and their stinger is a modified ovipositor. The queen bee has a smooth stinger and can, if need be, sting skin-bearing creatures multiple times, but the queen does not leave the hive under normal conditions. Her sting is not for defense of the hive; she only uses it for dispatching rival queens, ideally before they can finish pupating. Queen breeders who handle multiple queens and have the queen odor on their hands are sometimes stung by a queen.
The main component of bee venom responsible for pain in vertebrates is the toxin melittin; histamine and other biogenic amines may also contribute to pain and itching. In one of the medical uses of honey bee products, apitherapy, bee venom has been used to treat arthritis and other painful conditions.”
“In some Melaleuca forests of southern Vietnam, people use a traditional method of collecting honey and wax from Apis dorsata colonies. This method of “rafter beekeeping” was first reported in 1902 by Fougères
According to Vietnamese sociologists, in the early 19th century honey hunting or raftering was the most important occupation of the people who lived in the Melaleuca forest swamp. At that time people paid taxes to the government in exchange for living in the forest. Beeswax was used to pay tax and for making candles and was sold to visiting ships from Hainan, China.
Between 1945 and 1975 the forests were devastated first by wars, and then by forest clearing for wood and agricultural purposes. As a consequence rafter beekeeping dramatically decreased in the area. The technique is still used today at the state farm of Song Trem in Uminh forest, South Vietnam. According to a survey, there are about 96 beekeepers in the area. In 1991, they harvested 16,608 litres of honey and 747 kilograms of wax.”
“Melaleuca is a genus of plants in the myrtle family Myrtaceae known for its natural soothing and cleansing properties. There are well over 200 recognised species, most of which are endemic to Australia. A few species occur in Malesia and 7 species are endemic to New Caledonia.”
“The species are shrubs and trees growing (depending on species) to 2–30 m (6.6–98 ft) tall, often with flaky, exfoliating bark. The leaves are evergreen, alternately arranged, ovate to lanceolate, 1–25 cm (0.39–9.8 in) long and 0.5–7 cm (0.20–2.8 in) broad, with an entire margin, dark green to grey-green in colour. The flowers are produced in dense clusters along the stems, each flower with fine small petals and a tight bundle of stamens; flower colour varies from white to pink, red, pale yellow or greenish. The fruit is a small capsule containing numerous minute seeds.
Melaleuca is closely related to the genus Callistemon; the main difference between the two is that the stamens are generally free in Callistemon but grouped into bundles in Melaleuca. Callistemon was recently placed into Melaleuca[.
In the wild, Melaleuca plants are generally found in open forest, woodland or shrubland, particularly along watercourses and the edges of swamps.
The best-accepted common name for Melaleuca is simply melaleuca; however most of the larger species are also known as tea tree, and the smaller types as honey myrtles, while those species in which the bark is shed in flat, flexible sheets are referred to as paperbarks. The Tea tree is presumably named for the brown colouration of many water courses caused by leaves shed from trees of this and similar species (for a famous example see BrownLake (StradbrokeIsland)). The name “tea tree” is also used for a related genus, Leptospermum, also in Myrtaceae.
One well-known melaleuca, M. alternifolia, is notable for its essential oil which is both anti-fungal and antibiotic, while safely usable for topical applications. This is produced on a commercial scale and marketed as Tea Tree Oil.”
“Tea tree oil, or melaleuca oil, is a pale yellow colour to nearly colorless and clear essential oil with a fresh camphoraceous odor. It is taken from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia, which is native to the northeast coast of New South Wales, Australia. Tea tree oil should not be confused with tea oil, the sweet seasoning and cooking oil from pressed seeds of the tea plant Camellia sinensis (beverage tea), or the tea oil plant Camellia oleifera.”
“The indigenous Bundjalung people of eastern Australia use “tea trees” as a traditional medicine by inhaling the oils from the crushed leaves to treat coughs and colds. They also sprinkle leaves on wounds, after which a poultice is applied. In addition, tea tree leaves are soaked to make an infusion to treat sore throats or skin ailments.
Use of the oil itself, as opposed to the unextracted plant material, did not become common practice until researcher Arthur Penfold published the first reports of its antimicrobial activity in a series of papers in the 1920s and 1930s. In evaluating the antimicrobial activity of M. alternifolia, tea tree oil was rated as 11 times more active than phenol.
The commercial tea tree oil industry was born after the medicinal properties of the oil were first reported by Penfold in the 1920s. It was produced from natural bush stands of M. alternifolia that produced oil with the appropriate chemotype. The plant material was hand cut and often distilled on the spot in makeshift, mobile, wood-fired bush stills.”
“Nettle(Ortie in French) stems contain a bast fibre that has been traditionally used for the same purposes as linen and is produced by a similar retting process. Unlike cotton, nettles grow easily without pesticides. The fibres are coarser however.
In recent years a German company has started to produce commercial nettle textiles.
Nettles may be used as a dye-stuff, producing yellow from the roots, or yellowish green from the leaves.”
“Here are some examples of what nettle yarn has been used for:
Nettle is often used in Nepal for backing wool carpets
Nettle yarn was used in World War 1 and World War 2 as a substitute for cotton yarns that were unavailable
The uniforms from Napoleon’s Armada were made from nettles
In Nepal, nettle is used for both fine clothing and for sailcloth”
“No wonder Napoleon’s Armada ran all over Europe! They tried to escape the sting of their nettle’s(orties) uniforms………..” ;+)
A friendly and respectful salutation from the Nepal’s Mongoloid Rai/Kiranti people, who also use nettle (ortie) clothes during their yearly offensive to collect honey and wax from their “Apis Dorsata Laboriosa” bees……….
The Nepalese mention the few annual human casualties but do not have any statistics on the number of bee casualties (in the thousands or more), and one’s wonder why bees population is in recession? Figure!…………..