Is Honey Good for You?

Honey is a healthier and natural alternative to sugar. As we all know, honey comes from bees, which they produce using nectar from flowers. It is composed of fructose and glucose but also contains trace amounts of vitamins and minerals. Its flavor and color may depend on several factors such as weather and the type of flower that the bees get the nectar.

What Are the Benefits of Honey?

Honey is high in phenolic acids and flavonoids, which are types of antioxidants. It is also known to aid wound healing and improve heart health by lowering blood pressure. Honey can also be used as a cough medication. Also, it can improve gut health and respiratory condition. Honey can also be mixed with water and used to boost your energy to prevent fatigue or after an intensive workout.

Possible Risks of Honey

Excessive consumption of honey may lead to weight gain. A single tablespoon of honey contains around 64 calories. Honey is also high in sugar, so you should limit intake. It could also lead to liver issues, and heart disease. It is also not advised to be fed to infants as it could cause botulism. Also, it can aggravate bee-related allergies.

Conclusion

Honey can be a better alternative to refined sugar. It has several health benefits, but consumption should be in moderation due to its high sugar and calorie content.

What Are the Different Types of Honey?

using a honey dipper on a jar of honey

There are several types of honey around the world. This mainly depends on the process of how bees create it. The properties of honey are determined by what local flora bees get the nectar from. Honey can either be monofloral or polyfloral. Monofloral means that bees collected pollen from a single type of flower. The polyflora type is made from bees that collect food from several sources. They are considered lower-grade when compared to monofloral kinds of honey. This is why they are either filtered or pasteurized. In stores, this is commonly labeled as Wildflower Honey.

Another way to classify honey is based on the processing that has been done to it. The raw variant is honey which is yet to be processed. It still contains all the other byproducts of honeybees such as royal jelly and beeswax. If you want to experience honey in its most natural form, then look into trying this one.

The second type is filtered honey. Filtering is done to remove solid chunks in honey. This is done as beeswax and other honey byproducts fetch a higher price and are used in making cosmetics. Filtered honey looks clear and lacks the texture that raw honey has.

Lastly, pasteurized honey is the one you are most likely to see in supermarkets. It is created by heating honey up to 160°F to ensure that mass-produced honey is safe as it increases shelf life. Another way to differentiate honey is by color. Lighter colored honey has a generally milder taste compared to darker honey. Here is a list of some of the more common types of honey you can get:

Clover Honey

bee getting nectar from clover flower

This is the most widely produced type of honey in America. It is thick, rich, mild to tangy flavor. It is the honey which mainly used in cooking and baking. Clover honey is also suitable for use as a spread for biscuits and other pastries.

Buckwheat Honey

Easily identified for its dark color and a robust, full-bodied taste. Buckwheat honey has a strong rich malty flavor. It also closely resembles molasses both in flavor and texture.  Buckwheat honey is commonly produced in the Great Lakes region. It is also rich in antioxidants when compared to lighter varieties.

Sage Honey

sage flowers

Sage honey is light in color. It is predominantly produced in the West Coast. It is fruity and has a similar mild flavor to clover honey. Sage honey is commonly used as an additive to other types of honey due to its very slow granulation.

Manuka Honey

Manuka honey is more known for its medicinal capabilities than its taste. It is produced from the Manuka bush indigenous to New Zealand. It has been used as an antibacterial agent for treating wounds. Applying Manuka honey to wounds helps regenerate the tissues and cells.

Manuka honey has a stronger flavor compared to other variants. Though, considering that it is one of the healthiest kinds of honey makes it worth a try. Drink one tablespoon each day to boost your immune system.

Tupelo Honey

Tupelo honey is obtained from the swampy regions of Florida and Georgia. It has a buttery taste. Tupelo Honey has a distinct complex taste when compared to other honey variants. It is considered as one of the premium kinds of honey due to limited harvest time (less than a month). It may be difficult to obtain pure Tupelo honey as it has already gained as strong following and easily goes out of stock.

Eucalyptus Honey

eucalyptus flower

There are over 500 species of Eucalyptus plants which are mostly found in Australia and California. Eucalyptus honey has a mild flavor with a robust herbal aftertaste. It is not primarily used as a sweetener but can improve salads and other dishes. Eucalyptus honey also has a subtle aroma of menthol. It is recommended for people with cough and seasonal allergies.

Sourwood Honey

Sourwood honey is harvested from sourwood trees in the Appalachian Mountains. As opposed to its name, Sourwood Honey has a sweet, rich flavor with a pleasant lingering buttery aftertaste.

Orange Blossom Honey

This type of honey is produced in several parts of Texas, Southern California and Florida. It has a light color, fruity flavor and sweet citrus scent.

Although this is just a shortlist of the many types of honey around the world. Consistency, taste, smell and color are some of the things that make each honey type unique. Not only can it make your food taste sweeter, some variants also have medicinal properties that have been used by ancient civilizations. Remember what you have learned from this article the next time you are buying honey to find the perfect variant for you.

Health Benefits of Honey

honey poured on a white bowl

Honey is a very versatile food sourced from bees. It is used both as food and medicine. As early as 4,000 years ago, honey has been used by Ancient Egyptians as a topical ointment. Honey is a very thick, sweet liquid. One tablespoon of honey contains natural sugars. These include sucrose, fructose, maltose and glucose. Honey is also known to reduce cholesterol levels. Honey is also used in traditional medicine for burns and wounds.

Good Source of Antioxidants

Honey is rich in antioxidants. So, it can help you fight diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Antioxidants are also known to slow down cell damage due to free radicals. This can also help you strengthen your immune system.

Free radicals are substances that contribute to the cell aging process . This can lead to cell mutation leading to cancer, diabetes and cardiac diseases. Polyphenols are micronutrient compounds found in honey that can aid in this. Honey is also known to help reduce blood pressure.

Antiseptic Properties

Honey contains hydrogen peroxide. This can help prevent the growth of fungi and bacteria. Honey has low water content and high acidity. Once applied, it can help prevent the development of these organisms.

Wound Treatment

As mentioned, honey can be a potent germ killer. Aside from that, honey can also help with cell and tissue regeneration. When applied to wounds, honey acts as a source of nutrients to the body tissue, helping them heal faster. Honey is also used in treating gum problems such as bleeding and gingivitis

Nourishes Skin

woman marvelling at her skin

With the regenerative properties of honey, another application can be in cosmetics. When applied to the skin, honey can hold moisture. Thus, making it a good moisturizer. Honey can help with cracked lips, parched skin. It can also be used for dry scalp, making honey useful for people with dandruff. Honey can also be used for other skin diseases such as eczema.

Gut and Overall Health

man drinking water looking over a lake

Studies have shown that honey has antimicrobial effects against H. pylori. This the the bacteria primarily responsible for causing ulcers. Honey also contains probiotics. These are live microorganisms that improve gut health. This results in better digestion and nutrient absorption. And it boosts one’s overall health. Honey is also known to prevent acid reflux and aid with mild diarrhea.

When added to water, honey can make a refreshing drink which provides a quick boost and aids in endurance. Honey is rich in natural sugars making it a good way to recover energy. Honey is particularly helpful during long periods of physical activity.

Cough Medication

woman coughing

Drinking a tablespoon of honey or mixing it with lemon water or tea can aid with a cough. Drinking honey can help with the throat irritation. Not only that, but it can also help if you have a sore throat and even colds.

Honey can be an excellent alternative to artificial sugar. But it is still not suitable for people with diabetes as honey is 80% composed of monosaccharides. When consuming honey, you need to be mindful of your intake. It should also never be given to infants aged less than one year due to the risk of botulism. Honey has a lot of health benefits. With several proven studies on its medicinal properties, it should no longer be viewed as just a sweetener to food.

7 Things You Can Do to Save the Bees

bee on a flower

Honeybees are essential creatures to humans. They have been domesticated for pollination of commercial food production. Bees help produce billions worth of food each year. However, the global bee population is under threat. A disease called colony collapse disorder has been continually threatening its existence. Here are some things you can do to help save the bees:

Start a Bee Garden

two bees in a lavender garden

Make your garden a safe habitat for bees. Plant several native species of flowering plants that grow throughout several seasons so that bees have food all year round. Having bees and other pollinators such as butterflies can significantly improve the beauty of your home garden.

Go Chemical-Free

You may want to maintain the beauty of your flowers, but in doing so, you might be doing more harm than good. Pesticides have been known to harm the development of bees. If you spray insecticides, chances are they remain in the pollen, which the bees come in contact with. If they do not kill them outright, it will heavily impair how they function. It is better to use organic and natural products for your garden.

Plant Trees

plant in a hand

Trees can also be a source of honey for bees. Aside from providing food, it also gives them shelter. The rapid deforestation to create more farmlands not only increases the risks of flooding, erosion and climate change but also destroys the natural habitat of bees.

Bee Friendly Structures

  Bees get thirsty too. Especially when considering the long distances that they travel just to get food. You can create a bee bath for them to use. This very easy to do. Simply place some pebbles on a small basin with water. Bees will then land on these rocks to drink water.

Aside from honey bees, most bee species are creatures. Some live underground, while others make tree hollows their home. You can leave a small patch soil for bees to burrow. You can also build bee homes from pieces of wood with holes and bamboo.

Educate Yourself and Others

young girl smelling flowers

Do your own research and learn more about the multiple factors which have amplified the effects of colony collapse disorder. Learn more about local beekeeping methods and the best sustainable practices. You can also participate in community events about the importance of bees to our food resources. Educating the young is especially important as they will need to take care of the bee species in the future. Tell them that honeybees aren’t dangerous and teach them how to tell them apart from wasps.

Support Local Bee Products

harvested honey in jars

Buying honey, beeswax and other bee products from your local beekeepers keep the bee industry thriving. Going local is the best way to get raw, untreated honey. Farmer’s markets are your best source for getting the best quality honey. Some other bee products you can buy are candles, soaps and royal jelly. You can support by buying fruits and vegetables that are being pollinated by them.

Donate or Get Involved

You can also help by donating to organizations that aim to save bees. Most of them have a donate-a-hive program. Wherein through the donations you gave, they can build homes for bees across the country and help them survive, especially during the winter. Some of the organizations you can participate in are the Pollinator Partnership, The Great Sunflower Project and Honeybee Health Coalition.

Another way to directly get involved is to become your own beekeeper. Start with just a few hives and produce your own honey while also helping save the bees.

10 Crazy things We Did Not Know About Bees

  1. The bee sting actually has benefits. Melittin is a toxin in bee bites that can kill HIV.
  2. Bee stings might also help ease the pain of Rheumatoid Arthritis. The bee venom actually increases the person’s body with anti-inflammatory hormones.
  3. Bees are able to see faces because they can see the parts of the nose mouth and eyes, it is called “configular processing.”
  4. Research showed that Bees fly the shortest distance between flowers. That makes them the only animal that knows how to solve the problem of the shortest distance between two places!
  5. Bees have super extraordinary vision! They use the sun to navigate. If it is a cloudy day they use their special photoreceptors to figure out where the sun is in the sky
  6. Bees are partial to flowers that have a landing platform, and a secret ultraviolet nectar guide that we as a human cannot see.
  7. Bees do not buzz. Their wings do. They beat their wings up to 200 times per second. That is where the sound comes from.
  8. Bees have 50 times more sense of smell than dogs!
  9. Did you know that during the summer the bee population outnumbers the human population at least in the UK, 30-1!
  10. It’s possible that bees could be the answer to curing dementia. When a younger bee takes over an older bee’s job, its brain stops aging.

Our bees, these tiny creatures are so amazing at what they can do.. and what they do for us.

So let’s help our bees. Don’t cut down the weeds, and don’t cut your grass that often, so bees have food and water.

How Do HoneyBees Talk to Each Other?

Honey bees do indeed have their own form of communication. They use it to find a new home, or where to go for nectar.

They use a form of dance. It has been named the waggle dance.

What is the purpose of the “Waggle Dance”?

The waggle dance is the method used to show other bees where the nectar is.

When the scout bee finds a really good source of nectar, she does this dance.

The honey bee walks and begins moving its abdomen all the while making a buzzing sound with her wings.

How far she walks and the speed of her wings tell the others how far the nectar is.

As the other bees get the direction they fly out of the hive right to the nectar.

If the nectar is considered close about 165 feet. the waggle dance is a series of round movements, to show that it is closer.

The sickle dance tells the others the nectar is further away.

This waggle dance is indeed quite a fascinating way to communicate!

Let’s Talk About the Birds and The Bees! (0r at least what the Bees do)

bees and pollination
Bees collecting nectar

So what is the relationship between flowers and Bees?

We have heard since childhood about “the birds and the bees” the euphemism about explaining sex.

Well, it turns out that Bees make sure that flowers do have a sex life.

The most important thing that bees do is pollinate. And pollination is how flowers and plants reproduce.

This Is How Pollination Happens

A bee is the collector of nectar and pollen. So as she goes from the flower of a plant she takes some pollen from the stamens—the male reproductive organ of the flower— and she sticks to the hairs of her body.

She then goes to visit the next flower. There some of this pollen is rubbed off onto the “stigma”, or tip of the pistil—which is the female reproductive organ of the flower.

When this happens, fertilization is possible, and a fruit, carrying seeds, can develop.

So the bee is totally the matchmaker for the flowers.

And Here The Story Gets Even Better

The flowers know they need the bees. so each flower has a scent that attracts the bee.

The bee is also attracted by the color of the flower.

Bees just happen to be attracted to flowers that are tubular or flat and open so the nectar is easily available.

So that is how the flowers and the bees work together to keep our food system in full bloom.

Amazing that tiny bees are responsible for flowers blooming, plants producing crops and honey as well. They are the only insect that provides food for us.

Do Bees Kiss? And Other Bee Questions

honey comes from bee kisses!

Yes, they do!

That is how they pass the nectar from Bee to Bee! So when the worker bee goes and collects nectar she stores it in her second stomach (that is only for nectar).

When she gets back to the hive, she transfers it to other bees.

So isn’t it amazing that we can say honey is made from Bee kisses?

HOW MANY LEGS DOES A HONEY BEE HAVE?

 The honey bee has three pairs of legs. They are divided into 6 segments so they are very flexible.   The front legs clean the antennae, while the rear legs have pockets so that the pollen can be collected. It is called a pollen basket.

DO BEES SLEEP?

No! But they do remain motionless during the night so that they have the energy for all the work they do the next day!

HOW FAR CAN BEES FLY PER DAY?

The bee has the capacity to fly 5 miles per day. But usually about a mile per day. But get this fact.

An entire bee colony can fly the distance between the moon and earth each day! Truly phenomenal!

HOW HIGH CAN A BEE FLY?

Depending on the obstacle in its path is how high a bee will fly. But mating drones will fly higher to find the Queen.

WHY DOES A HONEY BEE STING?

Only when the bee is frightened or feels the need to protect the colony.

DO BEES SEE COLOR?

Yes, they do! They see the ultraviolet and blue spectrum. And flowers reflect ultraviolet light so they are quite easy for the bees to find and see.

An interesting fact about color? Bees cannot see red!

HOW MANY EYES DO BEES HAVE?

Bees have 5 eyes! 2 large compound eyes. 3 smaller ocelli eyes in the center of their heads. Ocelli mean those eyes are simple eyes used only to see movement.

DO MALE AND FEMALE BEES HAVE STINGERS ?

No, they don’t! Only the female has a stinger.

What Does A Beekeeper Do?

The work of the Beekeeper is vital
A beekeeper at work with a hive.

First Off, What is a Beekeeper?

A beekeeper refers to the person who keeps honey bees in hives or other receptacles. Beekeepers are also known as honey farmers or apiarists.

What Kind of Training Does A BeeKeeper Need?

A high school diploma is quite enough. But there is also the ability to get degrees in Apiary and beekeeping if people want to do this professionally or for reasons of research.

For the backyard enthusiast, there are online courses to help get you started.

Anyone who wants to become a beekeeper can. You just need to educate yourself on all aspects of Beekeeping and honey making.

How Much Time Does It Take To Be A Beekeeper?

During the winter there is little to do. So it is mainly seasonal work. An experienced beekeeper can expect to spend anywhere from 10-35 minutes per week per beehive.

A beekeeper also provides services to vegetable and fruit farmers for pollination by raising Queen bees to sell to farmers.

What Is The Job of The Beekeeper?

  1. The Beekeeper manages the bees.
  2. It is their job to monitor the hives
  3. Remove the honey for human consumption
  4. Maintain healthy bees
  5. Prepare the colonies for production
  6. Inspect the colonies for any infection or infestation
  7. Replace the Queen bee when necessary
  8. Follow safe food safety guidelines for harvesting the honey

Springtime is a busy time for the beekeeper. Getting the hives ready for production.

Beekeepers collect honey for an added income

When Beekeepers Harvest Honey

  1. The beekeeper must wear protective gear including gloves and a veil.
  2. A smoker, it gives out puffs of smoke, is sometimes used to calm the bees
  3. After the beekeeper removes the comb, the wax coverings are removed and the honey is extracted
  4. The beekeeper can do this by hand or by a mechanical extractor
  5. The beekeeper then strains and purifies the honey so that it can be consumed and sold.

Why is Being A Beekeeper Important?

  1. Most importantly they help the bees grow their population

2. Beekeeper ensure that bees will continue to thrive

3. Beekeepers by keeping bees help to pollinate the flowers and crops for the food that we all eat

4. The genetic gene pool is kept stronger by adding new bees.

5. Just two hives can pollinate an entire garden and produce thriving plants and crops.

6. Beekeepers are the keepers of the bees helping to make sure we do not lose our food source.

Beekeepers are actually changing the world by helping the bees to pollinate and keep us in food

What Are The Benefits of Being A Beekeeper?

  1. You get to wear an astronaut outfit
  2. It is very calming and awe-inspiring
  3. The beekeeper is actually changing the world by saving and helping the bees
  4. Bees produce products that can provide an income, from propolis, beeswax, and honey.
  5. Bees can fit anywhere. It does not take much space.
  6. You get to be working outside in nature.

The job of a beekeeper is vital to our world. If you are thinking about becoming a beekeeper do let us know.

Next time you see a bee, thank it for the food it gives us.

If Bees Go Extinct

Help save our bees from going extinct

Those little insects that some of us think of as pesky, are actually lifesavers. Because of all they do, they are responsible for most of our food.

So what would happen if Bees do go extinct?

It is actually mind-blowing how these awesome tiny creatures are vital to the health and welfare of our lives.

If our bees go extinct we go very hungry

10 Things That Would Happen If Bees Go Extinct

  1. All the plants that bees pollinate will disappear.
  2. In turn, all the animals that eat the plants will disappear.
  3. Bees pollinate over 30 billion dollars of crops.
  4. Do you like these? Apples, mangoes, peaches, sunflower oil, kiwi, pomegranates, strawberries, onions, AVOCADOS (that means no guac), cherries, coffee, walnuts, cotton, lychee, macadamia nuts, limes, lemons, carrots, cucumber, watermelon, coconut, chili peppers, cocoa, tomatoes, and grapes, we would lose all of this list and more.
  5. Everyday clothing and other items would become unavailable as cotton would no longer be available.
  6. Sustainable and renewable resources would be decimated and have to be replaced with non-renewable outdated wasteful resources.
  7. Did you know that morphine is from the Poppy flower? Well, many pharmaceuticals would no longer be available.
  8. How much do you like honey? That would disappear!
  9. Food costs will skyrocket & malnutrition will be rampant
  10. Simply said, if bees don’t have enough to eat, we don’t have enough to eat!

How much would you miss your morning coffee? That would become so rare and expensive that most people will never be able to drink it again.

bees go extinct
If our bees go extinct say goodbye to your beloved coffee. For real!

So these little “pesky” buzzing bees are doing their job of keeping us healthy and fed.

Quite amazing, yes? What other insect gives us food?

Want to make a difference just by doing a few simple things?

Check out our posts that tell you how you can help keep your coffee and save the bees.