Sunday, March 6, 2011

Hello Honey

Blog post by Tina Winterlik
Mar 6/2011

Some day...when Angel and I have our little home in the Kootenays, with our great big garden, I want to raise bees. Now I'm pretty allergic to bee stings but Angel has a natural talent for holding bees, so she will be the beekeeper. We need bees of course for many reasons.

One, so we can have a lovely healthy garden, two, so we can sweeten our tea with cinnamon and honey, three, so we can put it in all the wonderful soaps, lotions & goodies we are going to make and four, most of all because "We Love Bees!

Video by Tina Winterlik © 2006

Honey from Wikipedia

From Wikipedia

Honey (English pronunciation: /ˈhʌni/) is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees (the genus Apis) is the one most commonly referred to and is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans. Honey produced by other bees and insects has distinctly different properties.

Honey bees form nectar into honey by a process of regurgitation and store it as a primary food source in wax honeycombs inside the beehive. Beekeeping practices encourage overproduction of honey so that the excess can be taken without endangering the bee colony.


Honey gets its sweetness from the monosaccharides fructose and glucose and has approximately the same relative sweetness as that of granulated sugar.[1][2] It has attractive chemical properties for baking, and a distinctive flavor that leads some people to prefer it over sugar and other sweeteners.[1] Most microorganisms do not grow in honey because of its low water activity of 0.6.[3] However, honey sometimes contains dormant endospores of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which can be dangerous to infants as the endospores can transform into toxin-producing bacteria in the infant's immature intestinal tract, leading to illness and even death[4] (see Health hazards below).

Honey has a long history of human consumption and is used in various foods and beverages as a sweetener and flavoring. It also has a role in religion and symbolism. Flavors of honey vary based on the nectar source, and various types and grades of honey are available.

It is also used in various medicinal traditions to treat ailments. The study of pollens and spores in raw honey (melissopalynology) can determine floral sources of honey.[5] Because bees carry an electrostatic charge, and can attract other particles, the same techniques of melissopalynology can be used in area environmental studies of radioactive particles, dust or particulate pollution.[6][7]
Read more here

Ancient Honey
Honey collection is an ancient activity. Eva Crane's The Archaeology of Beekeeping states that humans began hunting for honey at least 10,000 years ago.[23] She evidences this with a cave painting in Valencia, Spain. The painting is a Mesolithic rock painting, showing two female honey-hunters collecting honey and honeycomb from a wild bee nest. The two women are depicted in the nude, carrying baskets, and using a long wobbly ladder in order to reach the wild nest.

In ancient Egypt, honey was used to sweeten cakes and biscuits, and was used in many other dishes. Ancient Egyptian and Middle Eastern peoples also used honey for embalming the dead.[24] Pliny the Elder devotes considerable space in his book Naturalis Historia to the bee and honey, and its many uses. The fertility god of Egypt, Min, was offered honey.[25]

The art of beekeeping appeared in ancient China for a long time and hardly traceable to its origin. In the book "Golden Rules of Business Success" written by Fan Li (or Tao Zhu Gong) during the Spring and Autumn Period, there are some parts mentioning the art of beekeeping and the importance of the quality of the wooden box for bee keeping that can affect the quality of its honey.

Honey was also cultivated in ancient Mesoamerica. The Maya used honey from the stingless bee for culinary purposes and continue to do so today. The Maya also regard the bee as sacred (see Mayan stingless bees of Central America).

Some cultures believed honey had many practical health uses. It was used as an ointment for rashes and burns, and used to help soothe sore throats when no other medicinal practices were available.

Royal Lady- Mayan Stingless Bees

Native meliponines (Melipona beecheii being the favorite) have been kept by the lowland Maya for thousands of years. The traditional Mayan name for this bee is Xunan kab, literally meaning "royal lady". The bees were once the subject of religious ceremonies and were a symbol of the bee-god Ah-Muzen-Cab, who is known from the Madrid Codex.

The bees were, and still are, treated as pets. Families would have one or many log-hives hanging in and around their house. Although they are stingless, the bees do bite and can leave welts similar to a mosquito bite. The traditional way to gather bees, still favored amongst the locals, is find a wild hive; then the branch is cut around the hive to create a portable log, enclosing the colony. This log is then capped on both ends with another piece of wood or pottery and sealed with mud. This clever method keeps the melipine bees from mixing their brood, pollen, and honey in the same comb as the European bees.

The brood is kept in the middle of the hive, and the honey is stored in vertical "pots" on the outer edges of the hive. A temporary, replaceable cap at the end of the log allows for easy access to the honey while doing minimal damage to the hive. However, inexperienced handlers can still do irreversible damage to a hive, causing the hive to swarm and abscond from the log.

On the other hand, with proper maintenance, hives have been recorded as lasting over 80 years, being passed down through generations. In the archaeological record of Mesoamerica, stone discs have been found which are generally considered to be the caps of long-disintegrated logs which once housed the beehives.

Honey, Pure Energy- National Honey Board

Save the Endangered Honey Bear- National Honey Board

Honey for Beauty -

Honey - Natural Energy Booster

Honey is also a rich source of carbohydrates, providing 17 grams per tablespoon, which makes it ideal for your working muscles since carbohydrates are the primary fuel the body uses for energy. Carbohydrates are necessary in the diet to help maintain muscle glycogen, also known as stored carbohydrates, which are the most important fuel source for athletes to help them keep going. 
Whether you’re looking for an energy boost or just a sweet reward after a long workout, honey is a quick, easy, and delicious all-natural energy source!

Honey as an Athletic Aid
Pre-exercise: For years, sports nutritionists have recommended eating carbohydrates before an athletic activity for an added energy boost.  As with many carbohydrates, pure honey may be an effective form to ingest just prior to exercise. When honey is eaten before a workout or athletic activity, it is released into the system at a steady rate throughout the event. Read more here

Natural Throat Soother 

Bee Maid Honey

Bee Maid Honey

Bee Maid Honey

Bee Maid Bee Store

More Resources

Beekeeping for Beginners-$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex3946
Wikipedia Beekeeping - 
Beekeeping in BC- 

Beekeeping has been practised in British Columbia for nearly 150 years. The first 2 hives of honey bees arrived by ship at Victoria in May, 1858.

During the intervening years, honeybees have spread to all parts of the province and more than 2,300 beekeepers now operate approximately 47,000 colonies as a hobby or as a full or part-time business venture. BC's topography and climatic diversity has caused agriculture to develop in pockets scattered over a large area. Climatic conditions and the availability of forage sources have equally affected beekeeping and its development in the province.

British Columbia Honey Producers Association

British Columbia Honey Producers Association

Cyber Help for Organic Farmers

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