The Apiceutical Research Centre is a not-for-profit organisation with the symbiotic aims of developing sustainable medicines and promoting natural beekeeping.
There are numerous challenges that we now face on both a microbiological and macrobiological level, which we believe can be addressed by turning our attention to bees.
Microbiologically we are beginning to see the devastating results of antibiotic overuse, both medically and within commercial livestock farming. As Dr Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Security, explains:
“Without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill.”
We believe that healthcare solutions in a ‘post-antibiotic era’ will be shaped by a new understanding of complex natural substances rather than simplistic synthetic pharmaceuticals. We believe that Apiceuticals (medicines derived from bee products) will play a key role in this new paradigm.
Macrobiologically we are in an era of unprecedented species loss of flora and fauna, due to disease, habitat loss and climate change. Achim Steiner, the executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), said:
"Humanity has fabricated the illusion that somehow we can get by without biodiversity or that it is somehow peripheral to our contemporary world: the truth is we need it more than ever on a planet of 6 billion [people], heading to over 9 billion by 2050. Business as usual is no longer an option if we are to avoid irreversible damage to the life-support systems of our planet."
We have seen alarming declines in global bee populations over the last 10 years, with average annual losses in the United States running at 28.6%. It is widely agreed that the bee is a useful bio-indicator of wider environmental changes and as such can be seen as the canary in the coalmine, when assessing the health of the biosphere. Moreover bees are key pollinators and are crucial in propagating many food crops, whilst directly producing essential items such as honey, wax, propolis and pollen.
We believe we must find ways of working in partnership with bees and respecting the natural rhythms of their existence if we are to benefit from their numerous gifts and support the ecosystems in which they and we live.