From the hive, to your cupboard and onto your morning toast; honey is a key ingredient you should always have on hand. There are so many uses this gift of nature can provide you, both internal and external. It is one product you can be sure is a must to stock up, especially because it does not have an expiry date. Not even because it contains a bunch of preservatives, it’s actually the opposite. Straight from the hive you can eat this stuff raw and not have to worry about bacteria or fungi growing. Why you ask? Well honey is a solution of many sugars, making it too acidic and hostile a environment for bacteria. There are even enzymes that bees have to create their own antibacterial agent. What were left with is a nutrient dense sweet treat that can be stored indefinitely as long as it’s kept in a jar away from moisture.
I had the pleasure of speaking with one our own Ontario Bee Keepers, David Atwell who makes Tall Trees and Honey Bee’s honey. It all started when I sampled some of his honey at a mutual friend’s house and was amazed at how fresh and light it tasted. I’m going to be honest until now I was not the biggest fan of honey. Not for any particular reason, but I just never had honey this fresh from the hive, I suppose. I always believed honey was honey and they must all taste the same, since they’re made from the same insect, right? Wrong. Recently I have enjoyed it every morning on a slice of dark rye.
I asked David if he could share some bee knowledge with all of us Health Nuts out there and maybe get a better understanding of what were eating. “Local honey is a natural, unrefined, sweet fluid produced by honey bees from the nectar of flowers, it contains important vitamins and nutrients – such as Vitamin A,B,C,D and K along with niacin, riboflavin, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc but honey’s health benefits don’t stop there. It also contains flavinoids and phenolic acids which act as antioxidants which keep bad bacteria away,” says David.
David also explained to me about raw honey and how it can be in both liquid and crystallized form depending on temperature and how long it’s been stored for. Honey can also have many tastes depending on what flowers the bee gathered pollen from. David’s honey is mostly made from clover plants, providing it with a light and sweet taste. There was also a lot of chat about organic honey and the controversy about it.
You see bees can travel anywhere up to 2.5 miles to collect pollen, making it extremely hard to track whether or not it was taken from an organic plant source. For it to be organic the bee hive would have to surround by organic farmers or pristine areas. They would also have to use all natural methods for pest control and prevention of diseases. In my opinion unless you can speak to the Bee keeper in person to find out the location of the hive, and what methods they use, then don’t waste your money on organic honey in the grocery store. If you’re really concerned about organic honey then you should visit local farmers markets yearly and pick up your supply for the year.
Detailed information about honey bees and their health benefits can be found on the Ontario Beekeepers Association’s website.
Other ways to consume bee’s products:
Bee Pollen & Your Health
The overal benefits for taking Bee Pollen:
-Increases the body’s resistance to stress and disease and speeds up the healing process in most conditions of ill health.
– Possesses age-retarding and rejuvenative properties.
– Great energy booster
– Appetites suppressant
– Weight management (weight loss and control)
– Help relieves “seasonal allergies”
– Lowers blood pressure
– Pre-menstrual & Menopause
– Skin Conditions
– Feeling of Well Being
– Sexual Desire and Performance
– Increase libido and sex drive
– Athletic Endurance
Bee Pollen is the only known food which contains every essential nutrient needed by mankind for perfect health.
The Honey Bee
Maureen Vander Marel explains what makes the Honey Bee so special:
“The honey bee, although small, plays a very significant role in food, farming and the environment. The bees and the beekeeping industry are of the utmost importance to the health and vitality of Canada’s agricultural industry and the country’s economy. Honey bees play an indispensable role in the pollination of our essential crops. In fact, honeybees are responsible for the health of $170 million worth of crops in Ontario each year.We need to work very diligently to protect our bee’s existence, crops and environment. We have the healthiest bees, in the cleanest environment, and Canadian honey is the most delicious in the world!”
Peter Dickey – Dickey Bee Honey
David Atwell – Tall Trees & Honey Bees
Maureen Vander Marel – Ontario Beekeepers Association
Have a beeautiful day!
Your Health Nut,