Can Bees Get Diabetes?

It seems strange that this is even considered but if bees can get diabetes, how would that be possible? This article will discuss all the necessary details you need to know about bees and diabetes. For instance, how bees get diabetes, and how they can also manage it.

Bee Sugar Level and Attitude to Food

After breaking a hive chamber, a young female will leave the hive in a search for nectar to feed her siblings and queen. However, when she flies out, as incredible as it is, the pollen she selects totally depends on her sensitivity to sugar.

A bee’s attitude and preference toward food is driven by their sugar sensitivity, which is controlled by two master genes.

Also, their age when they first go out on a nectar hunt determines a lot and the pollen they prefer. This sensitivity is usually controlled by two master genes. Any time these genes are suppressed, the bee would become more sensitive to sweet tastes. However, it should be noted that any bee with a suppressed gene would have very high blood sugar level and would suffer from low insulin. Just like humans that have type 1 diabetes.

Their perception of thoughts is believed to have evolved as a result of the survival mechanism, this is because they would have to discover poisonous, unpleasant or energy-rich food. Just like it is in humans, this would allow them to control their food intake, or if it does not function, develop some metabolic diseases.

Life becomes really difficult for bees that have lost their control of sweetness. Bees that are more sensitive to sugar tend to get hungrier, and also drink more sugary water. Bees gain weight faster than any normal insect with normal sugar perception.

Gaining weight in bees does not mean that they necessarily have to gain weight in either length or proportion, they just gain weight. Since insects have their skeleton on the outside of their body, it would not be obvious that the bees are getting fatter because their body does not gain volume. They only get fat inside their exoskeletons.

Contents of Honey

Honey is usually made in the beehive and it is derived from flower nectar. This process is a collective effort which requires honey bees to consume, digest and also vomit the nectar repeatedly. This means that the nutritional properties of honey depend on the nectar available around the hive.

Honey contains water, some trace vitamins and minerals which is not present in Sugar. Honey is only 82% sugar by weight, while pure sugar, as you might expect, is 99.9% and that is the reason why honey contains fewer calories than sugar. It is also believed that honey contains about 200 different substances, especially antioxidants. It is believed that antioxidants would protect against many forms of disease.

Effects of Honey on Blood Sugar and Insulin

The impact of consuming honey on blood sugar levels is better than making use of regular sugar. A study discovered that 75g of honey would raise blood sugar and insulin levels over the first two hours. Also, 75g of pure glucose raised them both significantly more. Honey also has a smaller impact on blood sugar levels than pure glucose.

Honey is also believed to cause a greater rise in insulin than from sucrose. Considering that insulin removes sugar out of the blood, and this would explain why the blood sugar level dropped lower in the honey test group from 60 minutes onward. For type 1 diabetes, the effect of honey on sugar levels was also lesser than that of pure glucose or regular table sugar.

Surprisingly, it does not seem really bad for a diabetic to consume honey after considering the other human and animal studies which supplement honey alongside anti-diabetic drugs.

As a matter of fact, research shows that additional honey even provides more benefits to diabetic consumers. Though it seems safe to consume honey now for all diabetic patients, additional research and studies are needed for a clearer picture. You should always consult a medical professional before altering your diet.

Possible Health Benefits of Honey

When you discover that diabetes is a complicated metabolic disorder, and any food which improves metabolic health would most likely influence diabetes management also. This would give reasons to why honey would be beneficial alongside some anti-diabetic medications:

  • Dark honey contains antioxidants: Research shows that really dark, buckwheat honey contains lots of antioxidants. Antioxidants always help protect against lots of lifestyle diseases.
  • Improves the level of cholesterol and markers of disease: Research also has discovered that frequent honey consumption helps reduce the level of cholesterol and LDL, while it improves HDL, and lowers inflammatory markers of disease.
  • Topical Healing: This is not a metabolic benefit, but honey appears to display medicinal properties when applied to the skin. It also helps to kill bacteria and increases the speed of wound healing.

Can Diabetics Eat Honey?

If you are overweight, and you have not been able to manage your diabetes properly, then honey is not one of the foods you can casually eat, nevermind excessively.

Though the research done currently, looks quite promising to help diabetes management, the results are really inconsistent. It would be more advisable to reduce the level of sugar content in your meals, eat low sugar fruits and also go low-carb.

If you have diabetes, but it has been well managed, or you are not overweight or you are healthy generally, then honey is wonderful as a replacement for sugar, because it is more beneficial to your health.

Though this does not mean that consuming honey in large quantities is beneficial to diabetic evidence, there is not enough evidence to back it up. Since honey is sugar, this will certainly contribute to high blood sugar.

So, my conclusion regards honey is that you can consume honey if you are healthy and active and there is no need for weight loss. Honey is more nutritious and beneficial than sugar. Just note that while eating honey is better than sugar, it cannot be done to excess.

Similarities between Bees and Humans

The sense of taste is a necessary element in human evolution, and our survival depends largely on it. Generally, sweetness signals a high energy source while bitterness could mean that something is poisonous.

The sense of taste is really important to bees and humans as well. The sense has to be able to communicate clearly and correctly with our body’s energy level and general health so we would eat more or less what we need.

Without a good sense of taste, we could end up eating unhealthy foods and also have metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity.

Lots of lessons can be learnt by humans from the bees taste for sweets. Going back in history, it would also be discovered that humans and bees have the same origin because we split off from a common ancestor billions of years back, even if that was a single cell amoeba at the dawn of time!

Related Questions

Do people with diabetes get stung more by bees because of their breath and general smell caused by their medication?

Diabetes either type 1 or 2 could have issues with body odours increasing to their blood sugar variations. High blood sugar produces ketone bodies which are secreted through the breath, urine and sweat glands. A very good sign of low blood sugar is getting pale and sweaty. This can also increase body odour generally. Apart from this, insulin itself has a strong smell, but this would be a major concern to only individuals wearing a pump, and there is no certainty that bees care about the smell of insulin. Bees do not like it when humans smell bad generally, irrespective of whether you have diabetes or not.

Showering helps in reducing body odour, but a change in diet is more advisable because it would help maintain blood sugar balance which would decrease odours associated with diabetes. These means eat fewer refined carbohydrates, which would cause a sudden increase in sugar level and also avoid consuming greasy meats. Eating fruits, vegetables, lean meats and fish is more advisable because it would also help reduce any offensive odours as well.

People with diabetes do not have any tendency of getting stung more by bees because of their breath and general smell from their medication.

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