Archive for the ‘Honey’ Category

How To Build a Honey Extractor

Friday, September 17th, 2010

In order to get Honey out of your Beehive you have to be able to take it out of the honey comb. If you are a top bar beekeeper, you do this by removing the whole comb and then straining the honey out. But if you use standard wired frames in a Langstroth type hive, then you will need to use a honey extractor to get the honey out.

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Harvesting Honey: 5 Tips

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Your own delicious Honey!

Harvesting honey is one of the most exciting jobs of a beekeeper (click here to see a video showing how to harvest honey). It is the time when all your hard work pays off, and it is such a thrill to taste the first honey from your own hive. But, as with everything to do with Beekeeping, there are a few pitfalls you need to watch out for! Here are 5 tips to help ensure that your first honey harvest runs smoothly.

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Health Benefits of Honey

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Honey is not just one of the most delicious substances known to mankind, it is also incredibly valuable for nutrition and healing – and has been for thousands of years. Here are 5 modern day health benefits of honey.

1. Honey as a Hay Fever Remedy

Healthy breakfast with honey

Healthy breakfast with honey

If you suffer from hay fever, locally produced honey may help ease your symptoms. All honey will contain traces of pollen – and if it is locally produced honey, it will contain the same pollen which causes your hay fever. So if you take small amounts of this honey every day, the theory is that you will de-sensitize yourself to your pollen allergy.

As yet there is no scientific proof that this works, but many people do swear by it, so if you are a sufferer it is certainly worth a try. Of course, the most local honey you can get will be that produced by your own bees in your own backyard! You can learn more about how to start beekeeping here.

2. Increased Energy

Honey is also a great natural source of carbohydrates giving us strength and energy and is a stimulant, giving an instant boost in performance and endurance and reducing muscle fatigue – particularly in athletes.

Honey is known to keep blood sugar levels fairly constant compared to other types of sugar. This is because it is a natural source of fructose and glucose, which are very quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, and play a crucial role in preventing fatigue during exercise. Of course, it is not just when doing exercise that a boost can be useful, but also in everyday life.

3. Boosting the Immune System

Honey is an important source of vitamins and minerals, and honey’s antioxidant properties help remove free radicals from the body improving your digestive system, and enabling you to stay healthy and fight disease. This is a key health benefit of honey, as a powerful immune system booster

4. Treating Minor Injuries

Honey for sale

Honey for sale

Externally, honey has been used as a first aid treatment for cuts, burns and wounds. Its antiseptic properties help keep wounds free of infection, and it can help promote healing. It is also thought to be anti-inflammatory, so it will reduce swelling and pain from injuries.

Manuka honey is made by bees feeding on flowers from the Manuka bush, principally found in New Zealand. This bush has antibacterial and antifungal properties, making Manuka honey the most antibacterial of all the different types of honey and so is it particularly good for wound dressing.

5. Treating Sore Throats and Colds

Honey is a great natural treatment for sore throats. It not only soothes the pain of a sore throat, but also helps kill the harmful bacteria that cause the infection. Studies show it is often better than over the counter remedies for coughs, colds and sore throats. Particularly for children, when taken before bedtime honey can help stop coughing and allow a good night’s sleep.

There are many other uses of honey, but there is no doubt that honey benefits health – it truly is one of nature’s wonder products.

Raw Honey Versus the Honey Most People Know

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Those familiar with the Bible have most certainly heard of Canaan. It was known best as the land of milk and Honey. What do milk and honey have in common? Both of these elements in their purest states are unpasteurized.

Pasteurization was named in 1862, and was realized as a way to kill bacteria that accelerate spoiling of consumable goods. This is done by heat treating the edibles. The majority of goods found in the market today have been pasteurized in order to extend their shelf life.

Unfortunately, this process can also cause the disruption of nutrients that are found in the natural byproduct of the animals. For years we have been stripping these nutrients in an effort to reduce spoilage and possible disease contamination, but most recently an effort has been made to go back to products found in a more natural state in order to reap their full benefits.

Some foods are clearly labeled as pasteurized, while others may need closer inspection of the label to determine what they are. One of these foods that needs extra consideration is honey.

There is a lot of work done by the bees in the manufacturing of honey. To begin, the worker bees will fly out as far as four miles from the hive in search of some local nectar. When the bee finds a flower, she will gather nectar and store it in her “honey stomach.”

Upon returning to the hive, the contents of the worker bees secondary stomach is removed or sucked out by a house bee. The house bee chemically breaks down the polysaccharides of the nectar into some more simple sugars. This makes the nectar more easily digestible and results in honey that is spread throughout the honeycombs.

The bees have processed this sugar in a way to make it  less vulnerable to bacteria within the hive as well. The bees will go one step further in their preservation process by fanning the honey with their wings to reduce it’s moisture content – making it even less susceptible to bacteria. Honey is then sealed with a protective beeswax and kept until it is ready for consumption.

In this still pure state, the honey is packed with nutrients, antioxidants, and is an amazing energy source. In the United States, it is quite common for honey manufacturers to pasteurize the honey that is collected in an effort to destroy bacteria and prevent fermentation by unseen yeasts. This is done to help increase the shelf life of the sweet syrup, but as a side effect it removes additional nutrients that are beneficial to humans.

How do you know the condition of the honey you have purchased? Unprocessed honey will be be labeled at 100 percent raw. You can obtain a fairly long shelf life with raw honey as long as you keep it stored under ideal conditions.

The bees have worked hard already to provide a product that is most beneficial in it’s pure state. Next time you go shopping for honey, do have a good look at the label.  Even better, keep your own bees and then you can be sure to have truly raw honey.