Steven Breitbach & Maryam Henein: Honey, We Shrank the Bees – #316
By: Dave Asprey
Why You Should Listen –
Maryam Henein and Steve Breitbach come to Bulletproof Radio as experts in the world of bees. Maryam is a journalist and founder of HoneyColony, an online community of healthy, quality food advocates. She also directed Vanishing of the Bees, a documentary exploring the causes and effects of bee colony collapses worldwide. Steven is a natural foods entrepreneur. He founded HiveMind Bee Pollen, a premium brand of pollen sourced from ethical, family run California apiaries. On today’s episode of Bulletproof Radio, the duo and Dave talk about pollen, pesticides, product labeling, allergies and treatments, cheap and raw honey, royal jelly and more. Enjoy the show!
Follow Along with the Transcript!
Speaker 1: Bulletproof Radio, a state of high performance.
Dave: Hey, it’s Dave Asprey with Bulletproof Radio. Today’s cool fact of the day is that it takes about 60,000 bees collectively traveling up to 55,000 miles and visiting more than 2 million flowers to get enough nectar to make 1 pound of honey. Talk about some massive teamwork. Warmer weather is finally here and that means it’s time for spring cleaning. You could spend time sprucing up the house and yard, but if you really want a fresh start, do what I did. Get a Casper. It’s 1 perfect mattress that will help you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to fully enjoy this beautiful weather. The mattress is engineered with 2 high-tech foams for supportive comfort that guarantees a great night sleep. Time Magazine named it one of the best inventions of 2015.
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Before we get into today’s show, I want to tell you about Bulletproof Glutathione Force. This is a product that I don’t talk about very often and something that completely can change how you feel in just a few minutes. It comes in a syringe. You squirt the stuff on your tongue. It taste kind of like orange clove thing and it increases your body’s levels of a natural antioxidant detoxing agent called glutathione. It’s become one of our top supplements and it’s something I was never talked about. It’s all word of mouth. When you have Tylenol or you have alcohol or something else that stresses your liver, it takes away your glutathione, it consumes it.
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Now, I may have foreshadowed where we are going to be talking about when I talk about bee teamwork and 60,000 bees. I live here on Vancouver Island and specifically planted a bunch of different pollinator attractants in the organic garden that I use to feed myself and my family whenever I’m home. We actually grow over vegetables. It’s not that hard to do and it’s pretty amazing, but it doesn’t work without bees. That’s why I’ve invited 2 different people onto the podcast today. If you are watching on YouTube, you can go to bulletproofexec.com/youtube if you don’t have that link to get to the Bulletproof channel. One of them is Maryam Henein who is a journalist, a filmmaker and an entrepreneur who directed a documentary called Vanishing of the Bees and she runs a company called honeycolony.com.
She had a near fatal car crash and have an amazing story of recovery. We’re going to talk about that in a little bit and ended up looking at health and nutrition and used that same health and nutrition knowledge to look at what’s happening with colony collapse disorder. It’s something that scares a heck out of me. Coffee relies on pollinators. Everything we eat relies on pollinators and the stuff that the food industry, big food is doing to kill bees or big agriculture you could say. It’s shocking and scary and it’s unacceptable. If you believe in the Bulletproof principles of doing things that make you kick more ass, eating makes you kick more ass and you need bees to do that. It’s that straightforward.
Our second guest who is part of the show who works with Maryam is Steven Breitbach. Breitbach is an entrepreneur in the health and wellness field for 20 years and pioneered one of the first fresh-pressed juice bars in Chicago and has been using pollen as a super food for a very long time and has now created company called HiveMind Bee Pollen and he sources that from ethical properly run apiaries. Bulletproof and the work I do there, I don’t have any bee products. I’ve used bee pollen. I recommend wild honey before bed for some people because it increases glycogen in the liver by 22% which is different than muscle glycogen. It’s little hacks like that you read in the Bulletproof Diet, but I was pretty stoked to be able to pull this 2 together to be on the Bulletproof Radio show so we can talk about bees, talk about how important they are, talk about what honey and honey products do for you, and just talk all things bees. Maryam and Steve, thank you for coming on.
Maryam: Thank you.
Steven: Thanks for having us, Dave.
Dave: Maryam, let’s start with how the heck a car crash started all of this?
Maryam: I am from Canada and I was here. It had been I think 5 years and I was outside of, actually, metaphysical bookstore that’s now defunct and had a near-death experience as you said. I was hit as a pedestrian and dragged 50 feet and suffered many broken bones and my body kind of just exploded after that with just a series of crappy things that happened to me from an ovarian cyst to several surgeries on my leg. As a Canadian, being raised with health insurance and finding out that I wasn’t covered and they didn’t even tell me that I should have physiotherapy.
I used yoga as physiotherapy and I really used myself as a guinea pig and found out how western medicine just really lacks. They are really good at doing surgery, issuing tests, and giving drugs. I really uses myself as a guinea pig and really delve into alternative health and medicine. Then, later on, the bees flew into my life and it really opened my eyes to the food supply and all the poison that is being doused in the air and in the food and in the water, so on and so forth. Kind of combined it all and launched HoneyColony to really empower people to be their own best health advocate and to put honesty back into the food supply.
Dave: What is colony collapse?
Maryam: Colony collapse back when it was discovered “by David Hackenberg” in 2007, it seem does a mystery. Now, the only thing is that they deemed it as a mystery when it’s really not. It’s a disappearance of the bees in a very short amount of time. There’s other characteristics and we now know today that at the root cause are the systemic pesticides that are killing bees and also now in our water, affecting human brains, killing other pollinators whether it’s bats or monarch, so on and so forth. It’s happening all over the world from in the United States to Greece.
Dave: You mentioned the monarch butterflies. Just yesterday I was showing my kids, they are 6 and 8, a video of monarchs pollinating. Really cool high-speed photography and all that. They said, “What are those?” I said, “We wanted to go visit those in the Santa Cruz Mountains where they go over winter to hibernate.” I said, “But 90% of them have been killed. There’s almost none showing up anymore compared to what used to happen.” I’m like, “That’s really sad and it’s not okay that this is happening and this is something we can change.” They’re like, “Yeah. We can change that. That’s not fair. We like our butterflies.” It’s kind of funny that here we are the next day talking about those in Bulletproof Radio. What are the systemic pesticides? What are their names and who is using them?
Maryam: Systemic pesticides are neurotoxins. They are called systemic because they’re entrenched in the soil or they’re coded onto the seeds. They can be sprayed, but that’s not the common use. They are called neonicotinoids. They are nicotine based. There’s a whole slew of them, lots of long words, complicated. This family of systemic pesticides are the most popular in the entire world. They are manufactured by Bayer CropScience. They are also manufactured by Syngenta and they were deemed safer, but that’s not actually the case. What happens is that it uptakes into the plant itself, so the plant itself is toxic. What happens is that the bees take back the nectar and pollen and store it and then it affects future generations.
It’s very insidious because it’s not easy to point out and say, “Oh, this is what killed the bees” because there’s also all these variables and you’ll often come across magazine, articles that they’re like, “The bees are dying due to multitude of factors.” Sometimes pesticides are listed as the last factor and sometimes not listed at all. There’s a lot of disinformation out there, but there’s empirical evidence from beekeepers around the world and this has been happening since 2007. It started happening actually earlier in the middle ’90s in France. In France, they say that the government is afraid of the people where here we are afraid of the government. They rally, they sued. When those pesticides were removed, there was a comeback that was witnessed. However, they put forth more systemic pesticides. In a nutshell, that’s what systemic pesticides are.
Dave: This is a question for both of you. What do you think will happen if we keep using these pesticides for another 10 years?
Steven: The issue of these pesticides is not really my forte, but if I had to guess I would say we are going to be in a lot of trouble. If our bee population has declined as much as it has at this point, I don’t even know if we have 10 years. We could be in a lot of trouble as far as our ability to produce food to feed a civilization. It’s not a pretty picture from the way it looks from my perspective. I’m not an expert in that area, so Maryam, what’s your take on that? How would you answer that question?
Maryam: The plant is becoming increasingly toxic and if it’s in our water and if it’s affecting our brains. You see the increase in Alzheimer’s, autism, cancer. I suffer from an autoimmune condition that I manage most of the time to keep in remission and I tell people that just like the honey bees are environmental indicator, so are people with autoimmune. It’s the look good, feel bad disease where no one would ever know that I suffer from an autoimmune. I think it’s like this perfect storm of so many variables coming together.
I think we will continue to see an increase in disease and in pollution. Again, if it’s in our water, if it’s in our soil, these metabolites stay up to 18 years. A lot of the times the metabolites are even more dangerous than the parent compounds. People love to hate Monsanto and these genetically modified seeds, yes, genetically modified and that has repercussions in itself, but a lot of times they are coded with systemic pesticides. It’s important to make that distinction. I think these pesticides have to absolutely be banned. It’s long overdue.
Dave: Is there a country or an area that has banned these?
Maryam: Yes. There was an interim ban for 3 years in European Union. It’s now expired. Not all like Greece, for instance, was pro systemic pesticides, but in any case. There was an improvement and now they’re looking at that moratorium again. Yes, it has been banned in other countries, but not the United States.
Dave: What happens to the bee populations in that 3 years when those were banned?
Maryam: There was a comeback. There was a revival and, of course, I tell people for those beekeepers that organic or have a reverence towards the bee. They haven’t witnessed any loses. A bee can fly up to 5 miles. Of course, if there’s agricultural land around then there’s an impact. They have seen an improvement, but in the United States, we continue non-profit groups whether it’s Beyond Pesticides or Center for Food Safety are doing wonderful work at the frontlines trying to change legislation, but these companies are, as you know, have tons of sway and money.
Dave: It took you 5 years to make Vanishing of the Bees. Why so long? I did a documentary and it took me 2 years and it kind of kicks my butt. This is a documentary about toxic mold and water damage in houses and how this is causing neurotoxic exposure in humans. You’ve talked about neurotoxins that are affecting animals. Tell me the story of the documentary Vanishing of the Bees.
Maryam: George and I decided that we wanted to collaborate and his friend told him that bees were dying in 2007. I told people that at first the gravity of the situation really didn’t hit me. Then, I spent afternoon doing some research and I really resonated with the fact that the bees are a sister society and that they work together for the greater good and that really spoke to me. I wanted to make a global film. I wanted to travel the world and the bees brought me to different places and to show the impact and how grave this is. When I found out about the Sacred Feminine and in awe of what the bees do, I literally started having bee visitations that were quite magical and one thing led to the other. It took 5 years long because we were looking for funds. We didn’t have funding. If you look at documentary, if you look at the credits, usually there’s a big team. While if you look at our credits, it’s George and I.
Yes, we had an amazing editor and we had executive producers, but we didn’t have sound. We did everything. I researched, I produced, directed, I wrote the script, so on and so forth. The story kept unraveling and also we made a conscious decision to arm people with solutions because I’ve watched environmental films where I say I want to slit my wrist in the first 10 minutes because it was so kind of dismal. We wanted to give people hope. Also, there was a journey of trying to find. We decided we wanted to find a celebrity and that in itself was a journey. I tell people that a bee gave up her life to lead us to Ellen Page. It was all very magical and, yes, it took long and we had 300 hours of footage which we condensed into 87 minutes. We could have made a series of movies. It’s still ongoing. It’s still very relevant. David Hackenberg, who is the poster boy for colony collapse experienced even a bigger lose than he originally did in 2007.
Dave: Wow! The problem is as big as it was when you started the film and it’s getting worse. Do you have hope about this? Do you think [crosstalk 00:17:09]?
Maryam: Do I have hope? I have come to the conclusion I feel like there’s a massive and this goes down a different route, but kind of a massive depopulation going to happen and at the same time there’s a revolution. I think there’s an abyss that’s occurring between people that are eating sugar and watching television and just completely checked out and then other people who are waking up. People like you who are looking at how can we heightened our performance, how can we do things in a more efficient way, how can we delete these programs that are limiting us? There’s these 2 camps occurring and I don’t know where it will end up, but we are definitely taking a revolution.
Dave: When you say depopulation, you don’t mean bees?
Maryam: No. I mean, humans. I think the Zika virus is a perfect example of disinformation where people think one thing is happening. When on the underneath, there are a lot of other things happening like justification to create a vaccine and genetically modified mosquitoes and crap being added to our waters and so on and so forth, but on the surface, there’s massive mayhem and a global virus happening. I don’t know if that answers your question.
Dave: It kind of does. I wrote my first book, The Better Baby Book, with my wife about fertility and what you can do before you even get pregnant to have healthier babies. My wife is infertile when I met her. She was 35 and started fertility and had 2 kids at 39 and 42 and what I learn from that 1,300 references and 5 years of research that went into that book was I’m not worry about a global population problem because the incidence of infertility is going up so dramatically like humans can’t reproduce very effectively. Like 1 in 8 couples now at reproductive age can’t do it. Next generation, it will be much worse. It will probably be 1 in 4. After that, it will be 1 in 2. If we don’t get our stuff together, it’s not going to continue.
I don’t really have a dark fear of the future, but I think it’s going to be increasingly harder to have kids and to feed kids and then have kids who are broken because they are the ones who pay the most for the crap we spray in our food and in our water. Just the unconscious things we do like create secondary effects that no one thought about. As a biohacker, the way hackers get into a system is we look for secondary effects. We look for little things no one thought of that weren’t supposed to go that way, but can and then we leverage those.
I see that’s happening all over the place and I’m concerned about it. I do what I can to remove the things that make me weak and to do more of the things that make me strong and conscious and aware and to teach other people how to do that. I don’t know what else to do. I’d like to just tell people, “Stop spraying some of these pesticides because they’re really bad.” I don’t know that I quite have the power yet, but millions people do have that power to be like when I need that anymore. If it was on there, it’s not food and that is working. Campbell just said, “Maybe we will talk about GMO labeling” and they broke away from the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which is a front group for pesticides as far as I can tell and they said “We are going to talk about that. We are going to actually label our products.” Maybe we can have bee-friendly label on products. I don’t know, but I thought there’s more to do.
Maryam: There are some bee-friendly labels. If you look at when we started filming in 2007 and where we are now, change is happening and we are raising our consciousness and it’s about education, it really is. I think education is the first step towards affecting change and continuing to share the information like we are all doing on the path to empower people. It takes critical thinking as well to really question these old paradigms question, things that have been told to us. It’s exciting times.
Dave: There are definitely really good opportunities and one of the things we can do is we can talk about what does honey do for us. Generally, I don’t like a lot of fructose. I’m under 20 to 25 grams a day, might have some benefits. There are lots of people who do very well on a zero sugar diet including zero fructose, but honey has weird effects that aren’t the same as fructose, although does fructose’s effects, which is one of the reason I’m curious about it. Steve, I have some questions for you as well around like how did you first get into honey? You are a raw juice guy. You’ve done all these things for a long time. How did you discover honey and more specifically all of the bee products and what they can do for you?
Steven: I’m glad you ask that. This is the thing about bee products. Most people the first thing they think of is honey and that’s really as far as their knowledge goes. They are not really aware of the other products of the hive which are actually considered if you go back and trace our history and these are the cornerstones of medicines. I know you are ayurvedic guy. The principles of the Bulletproof Diet are rooted in ayurvedic. You go back there you’ll find royal jelly, ancient Chinese medicine. You’ll find royal jelly as the cornerstone of that as well as beeswax in order to make salves and stuff like that.
Dave: I think most people listening don’t know what royal jelly is. Would you define what it is? I have a really quick story about how I discovered that stuff. Talk about it.
Steven: Cool, I’d be happy to. Royal jelly is actually a secretion that comes from nursing bees that are responsible for rearing the next generation of bees. Basically, if you look at the hive, there’s a division of labor that exist and it’s very regimented. The bees that are designated as nursing bees prepare the honeycombs for the queen to lay her eggs. What they’ll do is they pick up on a pheromone from the queen and that causes a secretion in a gland. What they’ll do is secrete the substance into the honeycomb. The queen comes along and lays her eggs. When those eggs hatched, there’s some nutrition. There’s something there for the larvae to feed on. All bees get a diet of royal jelly for a total of 3 days and after 3 days, they’ll switch to pollen as their primary diet.
It’s the royal jelly that’s fed to the bees that are designated to become queens and also known as Melissa. The name Melissa actually comes from that distinction. The Melissa will continue on a diet of royal jelly. They will mature into queens. What happens to them is they go through a metamorphosis, if you will. It extends their life by, say, like a regular bee will live for 5 weeks. The queen can live for 5 years. There’s this life extension quality that is triggered by royal jelly as well as just there size. They grow maybe I think it’s like 2/3 in size of a normal bees. Their body grows larger than a regular bee. Also, they become fully fertile. You are talking about fertility. Royal jelly is a huge part of fertility. It has been known for centuries to induce fertility or aid in fertility, but the queen bee will lay 2,000 eggs a day. She is like super fertile. She is super large and she has a life extension that goes on by an order of magnitude that’s unparalleled in nature.
Royal jelly really capture the imagination of humans way back in the earliest times. It’s like something of significant substance that’s unparalleled anywhere. Because of that, it became recognized as medicine. Through many centuries, it was considered very powerful medicine. In modern times, I think we kind of lost that. We’ve lost our connection to that. That’s part of what I do is hopefully bring that awareness back to this that nature does have a large amount of intelligence that we can still learn from. We haven’t outsmarted nature in a lot of different ways. You know what I’m saying, so anyways. You are talking about royal jelly.
Maryam: I just wanted to add and say that I broke my wrist a year and a half ago or so and Steve gave me some royal jelly because of the HGH. It has growth hormones and he had read that it was good for bones and I cut down with the regimen I did from 8 weeks to 4-1/2 weeks. I really do believe it was because of the mega dosing of royal jelly, which in my opinion does not taste very yummy.
Steven: Most people are put off by that taste of royal jelly. It is unique to itself. It’s hard to describe it. You can’t compare it to anything. It definitely has a distinct flavor. It’s very easy to be put off by that and to turn away from it because of it. I found that when you take it and you’ve had it in your diet on a regular basis that that flavor you do acquire a taste for it. Actually, you begin to appreciate it and you crave it almost. I remember that Maryam. I’m glad you recovered from that. Just as I suspected from my reading on royal jelly that it does have this restorative quality to the body. It’s known as an anti-aging agent. This is for centuries if you go back to ancient Egypt. It was like food for the gods. It was something that the Pharaoh would acquire on their path to immortality. The royal jelly was considered sacred.
Maryam: Yes, fountain of youth.
Dave: The Egyptians had a lot of interesting living forever sorts of things. I wonder if 10,000 years from now they’ll find a bunch of people whose heads are frozen in liquid nitrogen still like “Oh, this are the old Egyptian 2.0 who are trying to live forever.” Certainly, there are some really interesting alternative stuff around strange monoatomic gold things that the Egyptians were potentially working with.
Maryam: [t had a weird name.
Dave: ORMUS. I’ve read a lot of that stuff. I have some of the original research on that. It is interesting royal jelly does have a profound history there. I’ve never heard of the stuff. It was about 1995, I’ve lost 50 of my 100 pounds and I was in university. I had this professor who was like probably 50 at that time. He is retired now, but he just had tons of energy because he is the department chair and all of his classes. I was having real problems with my brains and it turns out I was drinking diet coke to try not have sugar and that was breaking my brain. I was like in class just zombified. I asked him one day and I’m like, “You are twice as old as me. How do you have all this energy?” He kind of looked at me funny and he is like, “I think it’s the royal jelly I take every day.” I’m like, “What is this crap?”
I didn’t know a lot of the stuff I know now. I looked it up on, I think, AltaVista because Google wasn’t really … I don’t think they were created yet. I looked at it and said this is kind of cool, so I bought some and I tried it. Honestly, I don’t know if I felt a difference. I was pretty messed up biologically. I just remember ever since then it’s always been in my mind that royal jelly is interesting and that it does have this huge tradition of use. What I found is almost everything with a huge tradition of use for thousands of years has some merit behind it. We’ve got royal jelly as one bee product most people don’t know about that is helpful, so there’s one anecdotal empirical bit of evidence there. What about some other bee products that aren’t honey? Tell me about those.
Steven: My specialty is bee pollen. That’s kind of what my business is HiveMind Bee Pollen. That’s basically what I consider, not only me, but in the realm of super foods. We talk about super foods, spirulina. They are very popular nowadays. Bee pollen is probably the most potent of the super foods mainly because bees are collecting it from a variety of sources, a variety of species of plant, all of which have medicinal qualities. They have nutritional qualities. Bees are over the course, let’s say, 150 million years or whatever bees arrived on this planet and started doing their thing. They’ve kind of learned which plants instinctively to go to and to collect from. They are putting the stuff together. It’s not man-made.
Wind occur naturally. Pollen would basically blow away in the wind if it weren’t for honey bees collecting it. They intrinsically recognize the value to the stuff and they are attracted to plants that have these qualities, these nutritional principles that they are looking for. Basically, when they collect pollen, it’s for their food source. Most people think of honey as what bees eat. They do eat their honey, but they also mix the pollen with the honey. It’s a combination and it’s the pollen that contains the sustenance. It’s got the minerals. It’s got the vitamins. It’s got the enzymes, amino acids.
Maryam: The protein.
Steven: The amino acids, it’s the protein. Before it becomes protein, amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. You are getting basically what they are collecting this basic nutrition that’s coming from the blooming flower in a microscopic form. It’s not synthesized in a laboratory. It’s created basically from sunlight and photosynthesis and all these basic principles of life and these insects they are very intuitive. They are out there seeking the environment, looking for the best quality nutrition that they can find because it’s basically how they are going to survive. Over the course of millions of years, what the way it seems is they’ve perfected this.
There’s something kind of, in my mind, something very profound about this stuff. One, it wouldn’t exist without the bees collecting this microscopic substance, balling it together, condensing it, and then bringing it back to the hive and concentrate it in that hive. Without them, we wouldn’t have not only the pollen, but there are so much we wouldn’t have. You kind of open up the show by saying that your garden wouldn’t work without the bees and the whole biosphere wouldn’t work without the bees. What they contribute to the biosphere and not only to just the Earth’s biosphere, but also what they contribute to us as a species.
We have very special relationship with bees. It’s a symbiotic relationship and we depend on them because we wouldn’t be able to feed a civilization without agriculture and we can’t have agriculture without bees. When you really break it down, there’s a tremendous amount of intelligence not only in these creatures, but in the substances that they are collecting. If you think about pollen, it’s the DNA material from the plant kingdom. It contains the blueprints of life. They go back to the beginning. It’s all there. It’s the nucleic acids and all that stuff. It’s like you are ingesting that. I’ve been influenced by people that I’ve read like Graham Hancock. He’s been on your show. I don’t know if you are familiar with the guy named Jeremy Narby.
Steven: He is an ethnobotanist, anthropologist, spend some time in the Amazon with the native people there with Ayahuasca. He wrote a book called The Cosmic Serpent.
Dave: I have read that book.
Steven: Good. You are aware that where he kind of theorizes on the function of DNA and the relationship between plant intelligence and animal intelligence and there’s a symbiosis that occurs. It’s not unlike the way our respiratory system. We exhale carbon dioxide and inhale oxygen. The plant kingdom does just the opposite. There’s this inherent symbiosis that occurs. If you break that down on the DNA level, my guess is there must be some exchange of information as well. When you are taking in that plant DNA that’s interacting with your own DNA, it triggers things and that leads into like Bruce Lipton’s theory of epigenetics, having these signals in the bloodstream that can affect the cellular behavior.
Maryam: That’s also what happens, let’s say, with CBD oil, the ECS system. The plant is basically interfacing with you because we have in the cannabinoid system within us. I wanted to say something about the bee pollen. I was in beekeeping in Costa Rica and I was working with some beekeepers. We ran their yard and there were 4 different hives. Just FYI that in Costa Rica they are all killer “Africanized bees”, very aggressive. Within these hives were just next to each other and we were checking for pollen and in 1 hive it was completely red pollen and then the other hive it was barely any pollen. Every hive has its own personality and also just to add that obviously we are tracking bees from monoculture to monoculture. That the bees themselves are not getting the variety that they want because they are just let’s put them on blueberries for 4 weeks and they are not having that variety and they are being malnourished because that’s not the way they would forage. I just wanted to add that.
Dave: There’s also the issue of a bee monoculture. There are 400 species of bees on the island where I live. The idea of having a single species of bee that, “Oh, this is the bee we have. We’re going to have all these hives. We are going to truck them somewhere.” That in of itself is pretty unnatural and all sorts of things. What you want to do is have distributed bee systems just like we have distributed food generation, distributed power generation.
Steven: That’s right.
Maryam: And polyculture.
Dave: Polyculture, right. What that’s called is what I work most in my career to build in Silicon Valley. It’s called the resilient architecture. It means it’s able to handle failure and you want to know how we could do what we are doing today, Google is based on resilient architecture. You can lose 1 unit and the whole thing doesn’t break, even our communication pathway. There’s dozens of different paths that the little bits between us right now can take in case one doesn’t work. What we built into our food supply is a non-resilient architecture. We have 1 species of bees or probably more accurately a few species of bees that are kept commercially, which means when we spray these pesticides we are actually killing bees species that maybe important that we don’t know about. Just like we are doing for all the heritage breeds of chickens and cows and apples and all the other things by monoculture and we are breaking it because we are taking what wasn’t really hard to break system and we are destroying the diversity that creates resilience.
Maryam: We are creating resistance too.
Dave: It means we have nothing to eat at some point.
Steven: Exactly. If you go back through history, what you’ll recognize is that when we were an agrarian society, it’s very common to keep bees. It was decentralized. Most people if they had a farm, they had bees on their farm and they were collecting these products of the hive as not only a food source, but as medicines. It was important to pollinate their crop just like in your garden. Now, we’ve gotten into this modernized world where it’s become centralized. You might have 1 beekeeper with 60,000 hives and you put them on trucks and drives them around the country. It’s completely unnatural. What’s what happens is over time we’ve gotten so far away from the original relationship, if you will. I think that’s where the crisis that we are facing is because it’s out of balance.
Maryam: There’s a disconnect that happened.
Steven: Yeah. Once that system gets out of balance, things start to unravel. You start to recognize it. You asked her earlier about hope. Are you hopeful about the situation? Personally, I am because I think that what it takes is something like a mysterious die-off of honey bees, disappearance of honey bees in order for us to recognize that we’ve abused the relationship and it needs to be corrected.
Maryam: Also, the collapse needs to happen. There’s collapse whether it’s in our education system, in our health system, in our political system, whether it’s with the bees. All these systems have to collapse in order for new paradigms to sprout forth.
Steven: That’s right.
Maryam: We say in our film that colony collapse is a blessing in disguise because it’s waking us up to what is really occurring and trying to reestablish a connection and do things more efficiently because these monocultures are really breeding grounds for pest and creating resistance and whether it’s resistance that’s round up and creating super bugs. We are living in a very real world where there’s antibody resistance, epidemic and it’s all causing us to look at the way we do things and to reassess and to revolutionize I believe. It’s a blessing in disguise.
Dave: It’s one of the reasons that the Buddhist, deity Kali exist. She is the god of death and rebirth. This is a deity whose job has to do with birth, but she has a necklace of skulls that she wears, which is always been fascinating to me. I learned about this when I was in Tibet learning meditation from meditation people out there. What you are saying is true. Sometimes stuff has to break for new stuff to come out and right now our medical system is breaking and our food system is breaking and good.
Steven: Exactly. Do you notice how it also creates an awakened consciousness?
Steven: These are almost like Maryam like to say the bees are the canary in the coal mine and in a way it’s true. They are very sensitive to the environment. They are an intuitive creature. When we see this happened, it triggers an awareness of it. There’s all kinds of communities around the country who have banned beekeeping simply because they’ve passed ordinance is because it’s bothersome. It’s like years ago people had chickens in their backyard. After a while, it’s like, “Okay, we got to rid of this whole idea of people having craving their own food and all this kind of stuff or whatever.”
Maryam: Miseducate. I mean, in Los Angeles, it was because of the mites and it was also because of the Africanized bees and it’s taken us how long to legalize beekeeping in Los Angeles. We just got it legalized this a couple of months ago.
Dave: Do you really want to eat honey from Los Angeles? The pollution there is so high.
Maryam: Yes, but that’s ironic thing that bees are doing better in the cities than they are doing in the country side. Now, if you think a moment to really think of how F up that is. It’s because there is less chemicals in the cities than in the country side and there’s a huge urbanization movement. Yes, there’s tons of pollution. I don’t know if I’d be eating honey in Los Angeles, but I definitely be, let’s say, in Montreal there’s a huge urban beekeeping movement happening. I have to question, what is safe honey?
Dave: Got it. Let’s talk about honey really quick, Steven, because there’s a bunch of Chinese honey that’s micro-filtered, so you can’t even tell where it came from. They are heating it. They are pulling out all the pollen. Talk about that for a little bit. What’s the difference between the bulk, cheap honey that you can buy and the raw honey or the unfiltered honey and all those things?
Steven: It’s purely economical. The reason why they have that micro-filtered honey is to give it a long shelf life and people are conditioned to believe that you have to see this clear, this clarity in the honey that if it starts to crystallize, that’s not good quality and just the opposite is true. That crystallized honey is actually that raw unfiltered honey. That contains the medicinal properties.
Maryam: The enzymes.
Steven: Yeah, the nutrition. When you denature it, the honey that we see in the store like the massive produced stuff, that’s mainly so that they can give it a long shelf and it looks pretty on the shelf, but it’s lost its …
Maryam: They mix it with crap. They mix it with lactose. They put antibiotics. They cut it with other artificial sweeteners. A lot of people maybe, I would venture to say, have not ever really tasted real honey. There’s a distinct difference.
Steven: That’s true. When you do taste it, you cannot go back to the stuff that you see in the grocery store. It’s like the best source for honey is to find a local source of beekeeper, something that you know is where the source is, the floral source as well. There’s lot of different varieties and you can taste the difference. If you have an avocado honey compared to a wildflower, there is a distinct difference in flavor. It’s almost a joy to try all these different types of honey. You could have like 6 different varietal of honey and they all are different.
Maryam: We used to do honey tastings during our fundraisers and just really educate people. When they see how the range, you are talking about the pine honey, avocado honey, just all different types, all different colors, all different textures. It’s amazing.
Dave: I’ve seen people with autoimmune conditions or lots of allergies actually in lab test come up is allergic to honey. Have you guys come across people with honey allergies?
Maryam: I’m not allergic. I see it as medicine and I have a lot of people like, “I’m on a Candida diet. I don’t do honey.” I see it as medicine. I haven’t come across that.
Dave: You haven’t?
Steven: In the business that I am in, I’m in the pollen business, I’d spent a lot of time in stores handing out samples to people and I have to clarify with people before I give them a sample. I always ask, “Do you have allergies?” Because there’s a small percentage of people who do have allergies to bees. Bee sting can be fatal.
Maryam: It carries over. Because I get this question a lot, “I’m allergic to bees and can I eat honey? Can I eat pollen?”
Steven: I don’t know. It’s an individual thing. You know what I mean. It’s not something that’s across the board and everybody has a different metabolism.
Dave: I’m talking in a lab test. They look for antibodies in the blood, IgG antibodies to specifically honey as an antigen, like a quantified thing. I’ve seen that in a few people and I’m just thinking maybe there are some sort of royal jelly, pollen cure for that sort of thing because the people who are allergic to honey that I’ve talked to aren’t super pleased about it because honey taste good and all that. You guys haven’t come across that very much.
Steven: I’ve come across people who have allergies to honey, to pollen, to bee products. I’m not marketing to them. You probably don’t want to get involved in this if it’s going to cause and wreak havoc on your body, but there are people who do have that. Like peanuts, for example, that’s something that can be terrible for people. Other people has no effect or whatsoever. It’s unfortunate, but we are all different in our own way.
Maryam: As an aside, the venom itself if you are not allergic is wonderful for MS, for arthritis to build up your immune system and there is a way to do it where the bees aren’t harmed.
Dave: I was hoping that you guys were going to have some magic cure for those people, but it was a distant hope, but I was hopeful. We didn’t talk about bee venom therapy, but we are running out of time on the show. Bee venom therapy is one of the earliest successful treatments for autoimmune conditions. It actually helps dramatically for some of these things where they kind of have the bee stinger on you a little bit and sometimes they inject you with it. These are creatures where I think we probably haven’t studied them enough.
Maryam: They are magic.
Dave: Yeah, really are.
Steven: The venom therapy, that’s something that is taking on more research nowadays. There’s much more focus on these things as potential cures for cancer and the degenerative diseases, but if you trace it back to, like I was saying earlier, the beginnings of our medicines, acupuncture, Chinese medicine.
Maryam: Original acupuncture.
Steven: Yes, the original acupuncture. Instead of needles, they were using the bee stinger injecting venom into the body’s meridian system.
Steven: Yeah. That’s the origins of Chinese acupuncture. It’s one of the oldest forms of medicine known to man. It all comes from the honeys.
Dave: I can’t believe I didn’t know that. That’s so cool.
Maryam: I said it earlier. It treats MS and it does help with autoimmune. When we were in the field, George and I would sting ourselves on purpose a couple of times. Vicky first found us and like, “What are you guys doing?” Put the stings along my spine and it definitely bolsters your immune system if you are not allergic.
Dave: My wife’s grandfather was a farmer in the Czech Republic, lived very close to the land I guess in Czechoslovakia back then. He spent a couple of years in a concentration camp as a political prisoner because he’s created the Czechoslovakian anticommunist party the day before the communist took over, maybe not the smartest move. One of the things that she’s told me about is that every spring, he would go out and collect metals and smack himself with metals and then get stung by a bee. He kept bees and have them for long time in order to make sure that he didn’t get allergies. He never had allergies. He just said that, “I feel great when I do this.” You just reminded me of that story, but it’s pretty fascinating.
Maryam: Which is another thing Steve when you eat pollen you help with your allergies if you eat local honey if you want to touch up on that.
Steven: Absolutely, yeah. Pollen is known also as a treatment for allergies. Basically, we get affected by pollen in the air. We breathe it in or hits the respiratory system, wreaks havoc on the body. It’s known as a treatment for allergies by ingesting it. Your body is able to build up a resistance to it by building up those antibodies. Then, when it does hit the respiratory system, it doesn’t have the same devastating effect. It’s a slow inoculation, if you will. That’s been known as a treatment for allergies and I get that all the time from people the first thing they say about pollen is, “Oh, yeah, that’s good for allergies.” I said, “Yes, it is. It’s great for allergies.” At the same time, I don’t focus on medical issues. I’m not qualified to do that.
Dave: In the US, if you sell a food even it has medical products, if it has medical effects you cannot talk about the medical effects of the food because you are not selling drugs. The law is bizarre that way.
Maryam: You can’t make the claims.
Steven: I shy away from making any claims and you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Dave: I barely can tell people what coffee does. I’m like, “Hey, it just make you feel good.” That’s why we have Google.
Steven: Exactly. I always tell people do a little bit of research on bees and bee products and you will be blown away by what you find because there’s that information, that knowledge. I don’t know how it happened, but it seems to be a blind spot in the culture and just the consciousness of people. We are all aware of bees, but we don’t know exactly the full scope of their importance and their influence.
Maryam: I think that people are imprinted to have a fear of bees and it stays with them. Then, they have a negative association and part of the education is to reverse that. That’s why I took that 1 picture of me covered with bees because I wanted to show the communion and to show that if you emit love, they feel the fear. If you emit love, then there’s nothing to fear unless of course they’re aggro-Africanized bees.
Dave: My kids just the other day they found a bumble bee. It was a little too cold so they brought the bumble in and they put it on a little flower in the window. They want to spend indoors and brought it back outside. We don’t have a fear of bees in our house. That’s for sure.
Maryam: Good, nice.
Steven: It’s cool.
Dave: We are coming up on the end of the show. I want to make sure we get some time to talk about the question of the day or the question of all the episodes. Given that both you have unique experiences, I think we are going to get some pretty cool answers. In fact, I want to start with you, Maryam. If someone came you tomorrow and said based on all the stuff you’ve experienced, not just your film with bees, but all of the things you’ve done. They said, “I want to perform better everything I do. I want to kick more ass in my life. What are the 3 most important things that I should know?” What would you say?
Maryam: I would tell people to adopt critical thinking and to question everything for one. Two, I would definitely tell people to eat organic. I believe after my trials and tribulations and health issues and different testing with diets that every person is individual and they need to eat for their body type. However, the one universal thing is to eat clean food that’s not processed that’s real food. Third of all I would say that in order to perform better it’s very important to do things that help detoxify. I personally am a big fan of glutathione. I’ve been doing IV glutathione since 2014. I think that’s a huge thing to help detoxify your pathways. I think one of the things that you find the disease is that there’s an accumulation because we live in such a toxic world these days that people’s bodies are having a hard time detoxifying and that glutathione, the master antioxidant is I’m sure you’ve said many times in your show is hugely important. That would be my 3 tips.
Dave: Thank you and, Steven, what do you think?
Steven: For me, this whole journey with honey bees was not something that I sought out. It kind of sought me out. I had a unique experience that kind of led me down this path and as I follow that path it opened up this world to me that I found completely fascinating, profoundly important. I took it on what really strongly felt like a mission. I was being given a mission to deliver this message and that’s why I created HiveMind Bee Pollen in order to create a platform where I could deliver this message. What I would say is like #1 thing in addition to what Maryam said and what I often hear on your podcast from people, the nutritional principles that you talk about is also find your mission in life, explore different things, listen to your inner self because there is guidance there. There is guidance that helps you find what it is your purpose, why you are here and how you fit into the big picture.
The number 2 thing I would say is find your power. Once you find your mission, the universe tends to support you. By pursuing that, you find where your power is and it may surprise you. You challenge yourself in different ways and suddenly you realize I didn’t know I can do that. I don’t know I had that talent. I didn’t know I had that ability. It’s amazing. I would say find your mission, find your power. The third thing I would say is confront your fears. We all have limiting fears that talk us at doing things that we feel like we should do, but we were held back because of those fears. If that’s something you can confront on a daily basis, whatever it is that scares you, confront it, face it, defeat it because by doing so you build on that concept of finding your power. That’s where you do find your power is by confronting those fears.
Dave: Beautiful. Thank you both for being on Bulletproof Radio.
Maryam: Thank you, Dave.
Dave: Actually, more importantly, can you tell our listeners where they could find more info? Maryam, go first, what URL should people go to find that more about your film?
Maryam: I would love for people to visit honeycolony.com which is full of resourceful, solid information. We, as I say, don’t like cosmo fluffy BS stories. We have amazing products that are curated, that are organic, that are simply transformative. As far as seeing the film, you can check it out on Netflix or iTunes. It’s called Vanishing of the Bees and it’s narrated by Ellen Page, another tiny, mighty Canadian.
Dave: Awesome! Steven.
Steven: You can find more information at hivemindpollen.com. That’s the website that I set up to make pollen available to anybody who is interested in it. I sell my products there. I also try to put some information out there too. I’m in the process of revamping that website. A lot of the pages that I had on there have been taken off. I can’t explain why. Also, I created a podcast. Dave, you’ve been a big influence on me as far as podcasting stuff. I created a podcast called the thebestvibrance.com. You can find it at thebestvibrance.com. It’s also on iTunes, Stitcher.
I bring on guest and we discuss the majesty of bees, the mysteries of the hive and it extends into so many different areas in life. We scratch the surface of this show. I try to use that podcast as a way to expand consciousness around honey bees so that people can recognize that we have a deeply profound relationship with these creatures. It’s a codependency. It’s a sacred trust that we have. There’s hope for us and in my opinion it’s in the hive. I just wanted to leave you with this. There’s a German philosopher from early 20th century named Rudolf Steiner. I don’t know if you’re familiar with him.
Dave: My kids are on Waldorf School [crosstalk 00:59:25].
Maryam: That’s awesome.
Steven: He did a series of 9 lectures on honey bees and it was basically on the metaphysical aspect of honey bees.
Maryam: That’s prophetic.
Steven: Yeah. It’s like the stuff he was saying in the 1920s about honey bees is like we are experiencing all that stuff right now. It’s profound. It’s amazing. When I discovered these lectures, you can Google them and find them, but I was just stunned because the stuff that he was saying are the things that I’ve been saying. I don’t even know where he is pulling this stuff out of, but it just reaffirms what I’m trying to do. Dave, I appreciate everything that you do as well. I think you are what I consider one of the thought leaders of our generation and I support you 100%. I’m just glad that there’s people like you and Maryam, who are following your passion and creating a better world.
Maryam: Thank you, Steven.
Dave: Thank you, Steven and thank you, Maryam for being on Bulletproof Radio and for all the work you are doing. There’s some good bee goodness going because I really like my honey. I like my garden, all that kind of stuff. Thanks for your work. I just really appreciate it.
Maryam: Thank you.
Dave: If you enjoy this episode of Bulletproof Radio and I said this every time. You know that you enjoyed this episode of Bulletproof Radio. Otherwise, you wouldn’t been subscribed. This is like episode 300 and something like seriously now, anyway, just kidding. Since you enjoyed this episode of Bulletproof Radio, I’d love it if you check out the work that Steven and Maryam are doing. I love it if you went to iTunes and you said, “Hey, I really like this stuff. It’s good.” If you give good ratings, other people can hear about it and that actually makes a really big difference. Just little act can help 10 or 20 other people find this out and 10 or 20 people sounds small. There are almost 30 million downloads of Bulletproof Radio. There’s a really good chance that this episode you just listened to is actually 1 of maybe 500,000 copies of it that will be downloaded and listened to.
Maryam: Nice. It’s awesome.
Dave: What that means is that you might not understand is that in the entire history of Bulletproof Radio, I actually do the math, that if you look at the number of hours that human beings are awake. That Bulletproof Radio has now consumed 62.5 human lifetimes with the number of things we’ve done and that means 1 of 2 things. It means either I’m a mass murderer because I wasted 62.5 human lifetimes or it means that the content that I’m doing my really, really best to create and to bring together the extra stuff for you that those are valuable and that those have actually been additive to our human species. That’s the way I measure my podcast and my writing and my work on the blog. It’s the number of human lifetimes I’m consuming, not the number of eyeballs I get and not the number of dollars which is a very tiny fraction of number of people that come to the website that it generates, but it does pay for the website.
If you appreciate Bulletproof Radio, say thanks by doing that. Say thanks by getting some Bulletproof Coffee. You’ll receive the benefits from that too and say thanks by going out and checking out the 2 websites you just learned about. By the way, all of those are free in the transcript which is also free. If you missed any of the stuff and you wanted to hear about it including the links of Rudolf Steiner’s work on bees. All of that is going to be in the Bulletproof Radio transcript. You can download that and thanks for listening.
Maryam: Thank you.
Steven: Thanks a lot, Dave.
Dave: Thanks for watching. Get tons more original info to make it easier to kick more ass at life when you sign up with the free newsletter at bulletproofexec.com. Thanks for watching and stay bulletproof.
What You Will Hear (note: timestamps represent audio, video may differ)
- 0:00 – Cool Fact of the Day
- 0:35 – Casper Mattresses
- 2:48 – Introducing Steve Breitbach & Maryam Henein
- 5:30 – Maryam’s pivotal car crash
- 7:10 – What is a colony collapse?
- 10:49 – Effects of continued use of pesticides
- 14:22 – Making Vanishing of the Bees
- 20:20 – Changes in product labeling
- 21:55 – Discovering the effects of honey
- 29:38 – Other non-honey bee products
- 38:18 – Bees in the modern world
- 43:00 – Cheap honey vs. raw, unfiltered honey
- 45:18 – Honey allergies & treatment
- 52:24 – Top 3 recommendations to kick more ass and be Bulletproof!
Casper.com code: bulletproof
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