In recent years, the therapeutic potential of air from the beehive has been widely reported for bronchitis and asthma patients. So far, however, only experience reports from individual patients are available. Therefore, the stick air was the focus of a scientific study by researchers from the TU Dresden.
With beehive air therapy, the patient, who is sitting next to the beehive either outdoors or in a small wooden house, inhales the beehive air, which is around 35 degrees warm and very humid, which the bees circulate with their wing beats. Breathing takes place via an inhalation mask with attached hose, whereby the air is transported from the floor by a fan. Thanks to the built-in filter, neither bees nor pollen can get into the hose. Season is from May to September with an outside temperature of at least 18 degrees.
In their study, the chemists at the TU Dresden took air samples from the beehives and analyzed their composition using gas chromatography mass spectrometry: this enables a mixture of many components to be separated into individual substances and also assigned to compounds of a defined structure. One beehive each in Dresden and one in the forest botanical garden in Tharandt were prepared in such a way that an external entry of aroma substances by the materials used could be excluded. The scientists used the ambient air around the beehive as control samples.
Removing the beehive air from the hive was a difficulty: how do you remove the air evenly, in what quantities and, above all, how does the extracted air get into the analyzer? Since there were no studies on beehive air, the air sampling and transfer had to be optimized in laborious preliminary work.
Despite the small amount of substances in the beehive air, the research team has already identified over 50 different ingredients. In addition, it was possible for them to show - through comparative studies - that the compounds in the beehive air mainly come from bees resin ("propolis") and beeswax, while the honey stored in the honeycomb, as actually expected, only makes a small contribution to the air in the hive delivers. More information can be found here.