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Thursday, November 21, 2013

13 Fascinating Facts About Bees

Lucas Reilly



Sure, you know that bees pollinate our crops and give us honey. But there's so much more to these buzzing insects than that.

1. Their sting has some benefits
A toxin in bee venom called melittin may prevent HIV. Melittin can kill HIV by poking holes into the virus's protective envelope. (Meanwhile, when mellitin hitches a ride on certain nanoparticles, it will just bounce off normal cells and leave them unharmed.) Scientists at Washington University in St. Louis hope the toxin can be used in preventative gels.

Bee stings may also ease pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers at the University of Sao Paulo found that molecules in bee venom increase your body’s level of glucocorticoid, an anti-inflammatory hormone. 

2. They work harder than youDuring chillier seasons, worker bees can live for nine months. But in the summer, they rarely last longer than six weeks—they literally work themselves to death.

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