Honey has a venerable history when it comes to the role it has played not only in enriching the human diet, but also as a valued medicinal compound. In ancient Greek, Roman, Indian, and Islamic texts, there are references to the diverse healing properties of honey. It was used for everything from treating imbalances in the body to healing cuts and burns to helping extend one’s life to embalming bodies.
Bee America is proud to announce the launch of its American Heritage Collection. The collection is comprised of three new honey blends based on original honey that sustained Americans as they explored and settled in the United States. These artisanal honeys recreate the adventure and spirit of our forefathers and tell a story of the formative era in American history—a period dating from the mid-eighteenth century to the nineteenth century.
At Bee America, we are careful not to heat our honey as we want to preserve the enzymes and probiotics that make it a healthy food product. However, in medieval times, mead makers actually cooked honey in big iron cauldrons over an open fire pit. The honey would simmer and bubble for hours and eventually burn, which lent it the perfect flavor for creating Bochet, a mead made from burnt honey.
This past weekend, we sold our honey at a local holiday craft fair. While most of the people who came by the Bee America booth were looking for gifts for family, friends and coworkers, there were a few who were curious to try our local honey. Inevitably, these were who people had lots of questions about beekeeping, the plight of the honey bees and environmental conservation.
While raking leaves this past weekend, a neighbor walking by stopped me to ask which one of our Bee America honeys would go best in her tea. With the weather taking a definite turn toward chillier temperatures, hot tea seemed just the thing after hours spent outside. However, there are so many more uses for the golden nectar than flavoring a pot of tea. Throughout history, humans (and lots of animals) have been eating honey for its nutritive sweetness.
It’s not too early to start preparing for winter. About this time of year, I set about cleaning out the gutters, changing the furnace filter, inspecting the chimneys, reversing the ceiling fan…and all the other items on my honey-do list.
With federal employees on furlough and vital government programs and services on hold, the impact of Washington gridlock is spreading across America. I believe that “honey bee politics” might be able to provide our Congressional leaders with some profound insights about governing. As revealed by the prominent animal behaviorist, Thomas Seeley in his fascinating book, Honeybee Democracy these amazing insects have much to teach humans when it comes to collective wisdom and effective decision-making.
Albert Einstein was rumored to have said, “If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live." While it is a strikingly dramatic and dire statement, there is no compelling evidence that Albert Einstein ever made such a claim. In fact, if you attempt to trace the history of the quote via Google, it looks like it surfaced in the early 1990s.
Want more sweetness in your life? Try baking with honey. Honey will enhance your baked goods and make them irresistible to family and friends. By substituting honey in your recipe for sugar or other sweeteners, your baked goods will have a beautiful golden crust, enhanced flavor and superior moistness. There are a variety of honey flavors to choose from when deciding how best to compliment your recipe. A honey’s particular flavor is based upon the type(s) of flowers the bees gathered nectar from in preparation for producing the honey.
Beekeepers often develop personal attachments to their hives and can lose themselves in the Zen of beekeeping. While some beekeepers have naturally calm personalities, others—like myself—have acquired a sense of serenity when dealing with the buzz of 80,000 thousands insects out of necessity. Honey bees respond positively to a peaceful atmosphere—if I am relaxed and not stressed, so are they. So, it’s often easy to forget that it is the very nature of the honey bee that makes it so valuable. Throughout history humans have benefited from their ability to manage these social insects.