Probiotics vs Antibiotics

radiolab fecal transplatnsAnother interest post about probiotics from Radiolab.

Before Probiotics

My first encounter with probiotics occurred 40 years ago. Back then, I knew nothing of the term. My landlord had a serious medical problem:

  • his tongue had quickly become swollen and extended
  • it turned a dark black color
  • and was painful

He couldn’t eat, barely drink through a straw, or breath through his mouth.

There was no specific diagnosis from the various specialists visited. So, their medical treatments consisted of applying every conceivable antibiotic with pain medication. All without effect.

After several more weeks, my landlord’s tongue and his health declined. He became desperate.

Hearing of a doctor with some unconventional ideas who might help, he flew to the Mayo clinic. That morning, upon seeing the tongue, the Mayo doctor instantly knew what to do. He took an envelop out of his desk drawer. And poured it’s contents on my landlord’s tongue.

My landlord described the instant relief as soon as it hit his tongue. Within 15 minutes the pain and swelling began to decline. In less than half a day his tongue became essentially normal. He took the evening flight home.

What was in the envelope? A super antibiotic? A powerful new drug? Nope. It was a mixture of yeasts and bacteria the doctor had mixed up. When on that tongue,  it sprang to life and restored the necessary balance the tongue needed.

Back then this was quite a story. It was almost unbelievable unless you knew the man telling it. And my landlord loved to tell it, which he did for great effect.

About 30 years later, I had my own probiotic experience. A decade after that, I feel better and am in better health than I was back then.

So What?

So what’s this got to do with bees? Maybe with all the ag chems and antibiotics in their environment, plus those put into hives by well meaning conventional beekeepers, our bees might be suffering more than we know. And they just might need an infusion of natural yeasts and bacteria to get healthy again.

And maybe a few beekeepers could use a healthful boost after handling all those ag chems and antibiotics they’ve put into their hives. I sure did. 😉


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