A type of bacteria carried by bees and present in raw honey has healing and antibiotic abilities, new research suggests.
It has been found that 13 lactic acid bacteria in the stomach of bees produce antimicrobial compounds that could be a possible alternative to antibiotics, according to a report by researchers from Lund University in Sweden.
The research conducted included applying honey that was fortified with the bacteria to wounds that were having difficulty healing on 10 horses. It was reported that the mixture healed the wounds on all of the horses.
Tests with the bacteria have also been done on human wound infections including staphylococcus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE.) The lactic acid bacteria neutralized these infection agents when applied in laboratory testing.
The health benefits of honey have been utilized for centuries with raw honey being used to fight infections and heal wounds through the ages. Today’s processed, store-bought honey does not contain the healing lactic acid bacteria found in raw honey.
More research is to be conducted to further investigate the use of these bacteria against infections, but the recent decline in bee population the world over could be a concern.
In the last half decade alone 30% of the national bee population in the US has disappeared and nearly a third of all bee colonies in the country have perished, according to the Centre for Research on Globalization.