Honey is a Yummy and an Amazing Food
Have you ever thought about the Bees that make the honey and the process involved? Turns out every third bite of food we eat is affected by honey bees. There are a variety of insects which perform the task of pollination however the honey bees are the premier pollinators because they work thru a variety of grow seasons and will pollinate from most any agricultural plant. One honey bee can produce about 1/8th of a teaspoon of honey in a life time. That is a lot of honey bees. I started thinking about all the “local “honey on the shelf at the grocery store and decided to do some investigating.
Honey bees follow scouts out to rich sources of nectar: flowers from gardens and fields. They collect the nectar, spread the pollen then buzz on back to the hives where the nectar is deposited. Worker bees and drones take over at the hive where fanning, cooling and packaging takes place in the honey comb with the final step placing a honey cap over the individual comb cell to store the honey. The Queen bee stays buzzy building the family year around.
Buzz- fact: MS. Queen is responsible for creating all the baby bees in the hood. As she ages a new queen will be chosen however the Elder Queen will remain until she passes. Family until the end.
The Beekeeper is the handler of this amazing honey to you process. They know just how and when to place the honey comb in the extractor and give it a good spin to collect the excess honey which we use in our diets as food and antiviral assistance. On average, a hive will produce about 65 pounds of honey in a year. During the winter seasons the bees use their store for food and energy, it is during these times the beekeepers will leave their bees alone and return when the weather improves and flowers are abundant again.
Buzz Fact: Honey is an amazing natural sugar and more – Did you know that if all else goes whako, a person could survive off water and honey alone?
Honey and the honey comb contains many secrets:
Honey is an Antibacterial : the FASEB Journal reports that honey has the ability to kill certain bacteria’s. A protein known as defensin-1 has been found in medical grade honeys and the ability to reverse bacterial resistance to antibiotics is under study. Manuka Honey in Australia has long been used for infections and is being tested as an agent to treat MRSA.
Honey is an anti-inflammatory: Some evidence suggests that honey may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers that can benefit the brain.
Honey is now used for wound healing: a natural antibacterial and antimicrobial agent. It contains hydrogen peroxide and glucose oxidase and has a low pH level, which means it can kill harmful bacteria and fungi. Also, because of its unique chemical composition, it does not help yeast or bacteria to grow.
Honey as an Antiviral agent: People have used raw honey (natural / unpasteurized) from the beehive for the health benefits for over 8,000 years. Honey in the raw contains bee pollen and bee propolis, which is a sticky, glue-like substance bee use to hold their hive together.
Honey contains dietary antioxidants – compounds that act as antioxidants, including phytochemicals, flavonoids, and ascorbic acid. Antioxidants reduce oxidative stress in the body by mopping up free radicals. Studies suggest that eating an antioxidant-rich diet, people can reduce their risk of chronic disease.
Honey nutrition benefits and possible effects on cholesterol: When organic farm grade honey is combined with Cinnamon there is an amazing potential to lower your risk of heart disease. The “bad” LDL cholesterol has been shown to decrease by 6 – 11% and triglycerides levels to also decrease as much as 11%. The “good” HDL cholesterol increases by about 2%. Try adding this bit of healthy sweetness to your Wheaties in the morning.
Natural honey also provides: amino acids and small amounts of the following vitamins and minerals:
Buzz Fact: Keto Diet- You can use the pollen collected at a bee farm in your cooking to address seasonal allergens and helpful anti-allergen effects
*As long as a person is not allergic to bee pollen, raw honey is generally safe to use*
The Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC)recommends honey should not be given to infants under the age of 1 because of the risk of infant botulism. Honey is safe from the age of 1 upwards. This applies to both raw and regular honey.
Raw honey will have a label that reads “raw honey.” If the label does not include the word “raw,” or does not come directly from a farmer or beekeeper who can confirm that it is raw, the manufacturer has probably pasteurized the honey. Labels may also describe the type of flowers that the bees pollinated to make that honey. The kind of flower determines the taste, color, and antioxidant and vitamin content of the honey. Many types of pasteurized honey have labels that read “pure honey.” Others may say “clover honey” or may state that they come from a local area. Even products labeled as “organic honey” may not be raw, as some manufacturers do pasteurize organic honey. It is very important to note once honey has been pasteurized or prepared for mass production the natural medicinal values are greatly decreased. The “local raw honey” in a grocery store is most likely only 2% honey. If you are seeking the full benefit of honey you must by from a local honey farm or bee keeper at the farmers market!
Now that you know what an important part of our lives this little blessing from God gives us what can you do to support and protect this little guy?
This falls under the Sustainable category
- Plant bee friendly plants in your garden. Here is a list of plants which will grow In central Texas with ease and Beauty: Russian sage, Lavender, Texas lilac, Rose Rock, Obella, Veronica, Star Night, Honey Suckle, Frog Fruits, Pink Skull Caps, and Verbena
- Pull weeds by hand and let the Dandelions grow naturally. Pluck the flowers and place them in a vase for your table. The greens are edible if they are free of chemicals. My dad preferred to keep things natural and would say the “weeds mow also and are just as green”. Spraying chemicals on your lawns effect the bee population in reducing numbers, and a bee will not pollinate on a plant sprayed with insecticide. Fewer food sources -fewer bees – less honey. Every time that chemical sprayed on your yard is wet it is absorbed into whatever touches it including you and your pets. Think about the chemicals you may be ingesting just from the lawn thru your skin. If you have problems with fleas and chiggers try Granular Garlic found at your local feed store.
- Bees need water to help make honey. Create a simple “bee-bath” with fresh water in a shallow basin with rocks or marbles for the bees to land on.
- Eat more honey. The good natural Honey will not be found in a store. There are bee keepers in your neighborhood which often offer classes and tours as well as sell their honey. To get the best go straight to the source.
In Your Backyard: Shop Local at Jackass Honey Farm – Liberty Hill Texas
We spent an afternoon out at Jackass Honey Farm in Liberty Hill, and want to thank Jodi the Queen Beekeeper for this little informative research paper. Jodi is an amazing wealth of information both for bee keeping and organic tips at the ranch. Jackass honey farm provides services such as bee keeper classes, Agricultural information, classes for kids and a honey shop for all your honey bee needs. Items for bee keeping, natural organic honey central Texas region, honey pet products which will help with wounds and hot paw pad injuries. Candles, skin care and more. Check out the website https://www.jackasshoneyfarms.com/shop and order that special basket for your family and a friend. Jackass Honey has a store front and also a Vendor location at Indian Mound Farmers Market on Saturdays in Liberty Hill.