November 28, 2023

What is the scoop on honey? How bees are making a difference

2 min read

Back to blog

If you like watching the bees in your garden each summer and you’re wondering what exactly they’re doing, it is time to look at what bees offer — and how it’s not just honey that can make a difference in your daily life. 

Honey expert Laura Stan, Ph.D., is an associate professor in sensory analysis of foods from the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, and is a visiting Fulbright scholar conducting research on honey at Kansas State University Olathe. She joined us to share a presentation called “From Bees to Bliss: Navigating Sensory Analysis of Honey.” 

One of the key points Stan shared with her audience is that while bees produce honey, they do a lot more than that. In fact, Stan launched her journey in the world of bees by studying propolis, which is a resin-like material created by bees. Propolis is known for being extremely useful and versatile. It also boasts many healing properties.  

“You can use propolis tincture on a wound to speed the healing process,” Stan explained. “It is also an exceptionally good anti-repellent. If you would like to go on a picnic, for example, and you don’t want to attract ants or mosquitoes, propolis is a great choice.”  

Propolis also has another important use. If you are ever enjoying a warm summer day and experience a bee sting, applying propolis tincture should be one of your first steps. 

“The propolis tincture has antivenom effect and helps reduce the pain from the venom,” Stan said. “It also keeps the other bees from coming and stinging you in the same place.”  

Bees are hard workers, which means that propolis is not the only thing they are busy working on. Stan has now shifted her focus to studying a bee product you have in your kitchen cupboards: honey. As a honey scholar, Stan conducts experiments on diverse types of honey and studies the honey-buying habits of consumers.  

In “From Bees to Bliss,” Stan explored some of the different medicinal uses of honey and encouraged attendees to try implementing honey into their daily lives.  

Attendees learned that even for consumers without experience using honey in their daily lives, there are many ways they can incorporate the use of honey into their routines. For example, have you ever added honey to your coffee? Your tea? What about spreading it on your toast?  

According to Mayo Clinic, incorporating honey into your day can help alleviate symptoms from a variety of ailments, including gastrointestinal tract conditions, burns and coughs, which makes it a beneficial option that is also easy to acquire. 

105 - Blog CTA

Sensory and Consumer Research at K-State Olathe

The Sensory and Consumer Research Center is a full service consumer research facility offering both qualitative and quantitative research in addition to consulting and project management. With staff experienced in testing a wide range of food and other consumer products, the center can work with clients to meet all of their objectives.

©️️ Kansas State University Olathe