Friday, February 1, 2019

Love and Beekeeping

Happy Valentines Day! Did you know that Saint Valentine is the Patron Saint of Beekeeping? Valentine's Day is all about love and cherishing those around you. This is the same concept Saint Valentine shares with beekeeping. Being the Patron Saint of Beekeeping means Saint Valentine watches over the beekeeping industry, protecting the beekeepers and the honeybees.

This love for beekeeping is still cherished by many today. During winter months in northern states, beekeepers have to provide their bees with extra love to help them survive the winter.  The winter months of the north mean temperatures and snow are constantly falling. Beekeepers either keep their bees in the North or send the honeybees to the warmth of the Southern states.

Wintering in the North
Hives snowed in for the winter
Temperatures in the North can get as low as -30°F or colder. While the temperature of the air outside is that cold, the inside of the bee hive will be as warm as 98° throughout the entire winter! The honeybees are their own heating system. Honeybees will be in constant motion creating heat with their bodies, and then they fan their wings to move the heat around! To ensure the safety and warmth of the queen bee, she is at the center of the cluster of honeybees. 


A common path of states visited by Migratory Beekeepers
Migratory  Beekeeping
Migratory beekeepers move their honeybees throughout the United States to help pollinate crops. A migratory beekeeper might go to California to pollinate almond crops in the winter and then to Washington in the spring to pollinate apple blossoms. Summer could be spent in Wisconsin pollinating cranberries or North Dakota pollinating sunflowers. Migratory beekeepers are always on the move and help advance agriculture from coast to coast! 



Sunday, January 13, 2019

2019 Representatives Crowned in Myrtle Beach

The new American Honey Queen and Princess were selected at the 2019 American Beekeeping Federation Convention in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

2019 American Honey Queen
Hannah Sjostrom from Wisconsin

2019 American Honey Princess
Nicole Medina from New Jersey

Congratulations ladies! They will travel the United States promoting honey and beekeeping and post interesting articles about bees and honey along the way. Keep an eye out for the sweetest representatives in America!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Lessons from the Honeybee

Happy New Year! Here are some fun and educational activities to learn hands-on about pollination and honey. Try them at home or at school! Click on the "Lessons" tab above for more resources.

Cheese Balls Pollination Activity
Draw two flower shapes on a white piece of paper. Glue a white muffin cup in the center of one and fill it with cheese balls. Eat all the cheese balls--be careful not to lick your fingers! Then touch your fingers to the other flower. You just "pollinated" your flower! The cheese residue represents pollen and your fingers represent the fuzzy bees!


















Honey, I Love You!
There are so many ways to use honey! It is delicious to eat, can soothe a sore throat or heal a cut,  helps beautify skin and hair and provides energy! See if you can use honey in these four areas this month: baking, healing, beauty and energy. Print off the coloring sheet below (made by a former honey queen!) for ideas.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Happy Holidays


Happy Holidays to everyone! December is a busy month full of celebrations. Hannukah and Christmas are among the top most celebrated holidays. As American Honey Queen, I think of how to incorporate honey and other products of the hive into my celebrations!

Beeswax candles are used for Hannukah.
This year, Hannukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, runs from December 2-10, where candles are lit every day in celebration of the re-dedication of the second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. The candles used can be beeswax. Beeswax candles burn longer, give off a slight honey smell, and are environmentally friendly.

Like most holidays, there is always cooking and special foods involved. A traditional food for Hanukkah is fried latkes. Check out this recipe for honey inspired applesauce and latkes.

Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, takes place on December 25. This popular holiday is often filled with gift giving. If you need a last minute gift, consider giving a book on beekeeping or unique flavor of honey to a friend or family member. If you know a beekeeper that you still need to give a gift to, consider a new set of gloves or hive tool.

Another food filled holiday, most families sit down for a meal as part of their Christmas celebration. Your Christmas meal would be great if it included honey! Check out this recipe for Pineapple Honey Glazed Ham.

No matter what holiday you celebrate, I hope you have a sweet time!

Have a happy holiday!


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Honey Turkey Thanksgiving

You can't have Thanksgiving without the turkey! But, have you ever thought about using honey on your turkey?

Here are some of my personal favorite Thanksgiving honey recipes:

HERBED TURKEY BREAST

YIELD: Makes 6 servings
INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup - honey
1/4 cup - orange juice
2 T - butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 tsp. - dried sage
1 tsp. - dried thyme
1 clove - garlic, minced
3/4 tsp. - salt
1/4 tsp. - pepper
1 - boneless, skinless turkey breast, about 2 lbs.
DIRECTIONS
Preheat broiler. Position oven rack 6 inches from heat source.
Combine honey, orange juice, butter, sage, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper.
Place turkey breast on rack set in broiler pan. Brush with some of honey mixture. Broil, brushing frequently with remaining mixture, turning turkey once, until no longer pink inside, about 40 minutes.
Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

CHUNKY APPLE CRANBERRY SAUCE

YIELD: Makes 4 cups
INGREDIENTS
2 cups - fresh cranberries
2 - tart apples, peeled, if desired, cut in 1/4-inch slices
1 cup - chopped onion
1/3 cup - olive oil
1/3 cup - honey
4 tsp. - red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. - ground ginger
1/4 tsp. - ground cinnamon
Freshly ground black pepper
DIRECTIONS
In a medium saucepan stir all ingredients. Heat to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes; stirring occasionally.
Cool and refrigerate.

HONEY CORNBREAD STUFFING

YIELD: Makes 4 servings
INGREDIENTS
4 cups - day-old Honey Cornbread, crumbled
1 (4 oz.) - Italian sausage
1 cup - chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup - minced onion
1/2 cup - chopped celery
1 T - minced parsley
1 tsp. - dried thyme leaves, crushed
1 tsp. - salt
1/4 tsp. - ground black pepper
1/3 cup - chicken broth
2 T - honey
DIRECTIONS
In large bowl, place crumbled cornbread.
Remove sausage from casing. In medium skillet, crumble and sauté sausage until brown. Using slotted spoon, remove sausage from skillet and add to cornbread. Drain all but 1 T of fat.
Return skillet to medium-high heat; stir in bell pepper, onion and celery. Sauté until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley, thyme, salt and pepper. Cool slightly, then add to cornbread.
In small bowl, combine broth and honey. Pour over stuffing.
Place stuffing in a greased 9x9-inch baking dish. Cover dish with foil and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes until stuffing is lightly browned. 
TIP
As an alternative, pack you may pack stuffing into poultry cavity before roasting.
I hope you have a wonderful honey-and-family-filled Thanksgiving! For more honey recipes, click here!


Monday, October 1, 2018

Honey Halloween


Happy Halloween! October is a great month for bonfires, playing in the leaves, and of course getting dressed up for a night of candy collecting. For most beekeepers, October is spent preparing the hives for winter. With the bees becoming less active, we can still be creative and pull inspiration from those fuzzy friends of ours.


This family wears bee, skep,
and beekeeper costumes.

If you don’t want to dress up as the usual witch, Frankenstein monster, or vampire, how about a bee inspired costume! Throw on a black and yellow striped shirt, a set of antenna, and a stinger and you are ready to be a honey bee.

Try putting a costume on your honey bottle for Halloween!
Who says only people can dress up for Halloween? Grab a bottle of honey, some craft supplies and your imagination for a decorating contest. A little bit of construction paper, tissue, paper, glue and markers will go a long way to make your ordinary bottle or jar of honey into a dressed up masterpiece! If you are having a Halloween party, a honey bottle decorating contest would be a great addition.

Honey sticks are a great
treat to give out at
Halloween!
If you love honey like I do, then you would be excited to get a honey stick or a piece of honey candy on Halloween. If you friends or family want to give something different out to "trick or treaters," suggest honey sticks or honey candy. Honey is a great treat for everyone, and I bet many of your classmates would enjoy some honey in their candy containers!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Happy National Honey Month

National Honey Month is a celebratory month in the United States held annually during the month of September. The awareness month was initiated by The National Honey Board in 1989.
Its purpose is to promote beekeepers, the beekeeping industry, and, of course, honey, as a natural and beneficial sweetener.
September is significant for honey producers, as it typically marks the end of the honey collection season for beekeepers in the United States.
Make sure to eat lots of honey, go to a beekeeping event, and talk to a beekeeper this month! 

honey jar