Bees' role in superbug fight, finds Cardiff research

Beekeepers could hold the key to fighting a variety of drug-resistant superbugs, according to new research.

It has long been thought that honey's acidic qualities and low water content are antiseptic factors. Cardiff University's Welsh School of Pharmacy is beginning to isolate the importance played by drugs within flowers from which nectar is collected. Beekeepers are being urged to submit samples of their honey in the hope they may provide a clue to new drugs.

The earliest depiction of humans collecting honey is a cave-painting in Valencia, on Spain's eastern coast, thought to date from around 8000 BC. Since about 4000 BC, the ancient Hindi medical theory of Ayurveda outlined honey's medicinal qualities in treating burns, allergies and infections.

Western cultures have eventually caught up by devising honey-based wound dressings and oral medicines. But the composition of honey varies greatly, and it depends on the local flora in the bees' immediate environment.

Professor Les Baillie of the Welsh School of Pharmacy asked as many amateur and private beekeepers as possible to send in samples of their honey.

Source - BBC

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