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:


YIELD: Makes 6 servings
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.
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.


YIELD: Makes 4 cups
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
In a medium saucepan stir all ingredients. Heat to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes; stirring occasionally.
Cool and refrigerate.


YIELD: Makes 4 servings
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
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. 
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
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

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Products of the Hive

The wonderful world of a beehive has long been known as the location where our honey bees make honey. What many don’t know is that honey bees make and collect other products for the hive. Those products can be extracted and utilized by us in our daily lives.

Honey is the most common product of the hive.
Honey is the most commonly thought of product that comes from the hive. Honey bees collect nectar from the hundreds of flowers they visit in a day. That nectar gets returned to the hive where it is deposited into a honey comb cell. The nectar is then fanned by a worker bee’s wings to get a lot of the moisture out for it to be turned into the honey we enjoy. Honey can be used for cooking instead of granulated sugar, for treating minor cuts and scrapes, and is a great remedy for treating a sore throat.

Beeswax is made from honey bees' bodies.
Honey bees produce tiny scales of beeswax from their body that they use to build up the honey comb and cover the nectar that has been turned into honey. Beeswax that is extracted can be used to make beeswax candles, lip balms, and other skin care products.

Pollen is collected by honey bees to be used as food.
When a honey bee visits flowers to collect nectar, it is also collecting pollen. The pollen collected is stored on the back two legs of the bee on their pollen baskets. The pollen collected is returned to the hive where it is stored in a honey comb cell to be used for food. Some people use pollen as a protein supplement. They add it to their cereal, yogurt, or even in smoothies.

Pictured is royal jelly in queen cells
Royal Jelly
A worker honey bee has glands on their head that produce a special liquid we call royal jelly. This jelly is crucial for growing queen bees, but humans also use it. Royal jelly contains botox, which prevents wrinkles, it is shown to help with wound care and can be found in skin and hair care products like the shampoo I use!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

4th of July Honey BBQ

Gather your family and friends! It's time to celebrate July 4th! One of the best ways to celebrate this American Holiday is to host a Barbecue.

Here are some great red, white, and blue recipes to try out at yours this year:


YIELD: Makes approx. 2 quarts
1/4 cup - canola oil
3 cups - sweet onions, chopped
1 cup - roasted red bell peppers, chopped
1/2 cup - Italian parsley, chopped
2 cups - tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups - honey
1 cup - orange juice
1 cup - dry white wine
3 T - apple cider vinegar
2 T - lemon juice
1 T - garlic, chopped
1/4 cup - Worcestershire sauce
cracked black pepper
cayenne pepper
In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, peppers and parsley; cook, stirring occasionally until onions are translucent. Add tomato sauce, honey, orange juice, wine, vinegar, lemon juice and garlic; cover and simmer on low heat for 1 hour.
Add Worcestershire sauce and season with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Simmer, covered, for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Purée with a hand-held blender or transfer sauce to a blender and blend on medium speed for 1 minute.


YIELD: Makes 6 servings
1 - 9-inch baked pie shell
1/2 cup - semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
For Filling:
1 package (8 oz.) - cream cheese
1/3 cup - whipping cream
3 T - honey
2 T - almond extract
1/2 tsp. - vanilla
1/8 tsp. - salt
For Topping:
1 1/2 baskets - fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
2 T - honey
1/2 cup - red currant jelly, melted
Spread melted chocolate over bottom of baked pie shell. Chill.
Beat cream cheese with whipping cream, 3 T honey, almond liqueur, vanilla and salt. Spoon over chocolate. Chill 30 minutes.
Combine strawberries with 2 T honey and melted jelly. Toss gently to coat berries completely. Arrange over cream cheese filling. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 
Best served within 2 to 3 hours.


YIELD: Six 6 oz. servings
1-1/2 cups - fresh orange juice
1/2 cup - Orange Blossom honey
2 Tablespoons - lemon juice
2 Tablespoons - lime juice
1-1/2 cups - frozen blueberries
1 cup - crushed ice
In a blender, combine orange juice, honey, lemon and lime juices until honey is dissolved. Add blueberries and ice. Puree. Serve in beverage glasses garnished with a lemon or lime wheel.
Hope you enjoy these delicious recipes, and have a happy 4th of July!
For more honey recipes click here.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Honey Varieties

The Clover Honey pictured is made from the nectar of
the purple clover flowers also pictured.

Honey is a sweet treat that our honey bee friends make! The honey they make, and we enjoy, is made from the nectar of flowers. Each flower has a unique nectar that produces a unique honey. There are more than 300 different honeys in the United States, and more than 3,000 in the world. 

Those hundred and thousands of honey varieties have different tastes, textures, colors, and characteristics. Some honeys crystallize quicker than others, while others have an overall thicker consistency. You can have honey that is almost clear in color like Fireweed, but also honey that is so dark you can’t see through it like Buckwheat. With those different colored honeys comes different flavors and uses.

Honey’s beautiful spectrum of colors provide endless opportunity. Darker colored honeys have a stronger taste and can be great for cooking with meat. The lighter colored honey varieties are sweeter and perfect for using in baked goods.

A small sample of the varieties of honey
made by honey bees.
Some honeys even have very unique flavors based on the flowers the nectar came from. Orange Blossom Honey is a lighter colored honey, almost orange in color! It is sweeter and you can taste the citrus in it. Another unique honey is Sage Honey. It is a lighter colored honey that granulates (gets hard) slower than other types of honey.

The next time you are at a farmer’s market or see a honey booth at a fair or festival, look at the different honey for sale. You might see a wide variety of colors, and if you get the chance, you’ll be able to taste the different flavors and textures.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Kid-Friendly Honey Recipes

Everyone loves a good honey recipe, but sometimes they're a little too hard to do on your own. I found some delicious recipes that are great for kids! Before starting, always have an adult in the kitchen with you, but let us know how you liked making these yummy spring honey recipes!
Honey Bear Lunchbox
YIELD:  Makes 1 serving
1 1/2 tsp. - honey
2 slices - whole-grain bread
1 T- peanut butter
1/4- honey-crisp or granny smith apple, thinly sliced
Fresh berries and veggies for the lunchbox
Place bread on a flat surface and spread peanut butter onto both slices of bread. Place apple slices onto one side, drizzle with honey and close sandwich.
Serve with freshly washed berries and veggies.

No-Bake Chocolate Honey Brownies
YIELD: Makes 16 servings
1/2 cup - honey
1/4 cup - coconut oil
1/4 cup - almond butter
1/4 tsp. - sea salt
1 tsp.- vanilla extract
1 tsp.- ground cinnamon
1/2 cup - chopped almonds
1/2 cup - chopped walnuts
1/2 cup - semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup - sunflower seeds
1/4 cup - dried cranberries
1 cup - rolled oats
1 T- butter
In a medium-sized saucepan, heat honey, coconut oil, almond butter, sea salt, vanilla and cinnamon over low heat.
Next, in a large bowl combine chopped almonds, chopped walnuts, semi-sweet chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries and rolled oats. Add the honey mixture from the saucepan into the bowl and mix.
Using your hands or a spatula, grease an 8" x 8" pan with the butter.
Press the brownie mixture into the pan and refrigerate until hardened. Cut into 16 bars and serve.
Recipe courtesy of Fitness Expert Bárbara Trujillo Gómez

Honey-Yogurt Popsicles
YIELD: Makes 8 servings
2 cups - plain yogurt
1 cup - milk
1/3 cup - honey
1 tsp. - vanilla extract
1/4 lb. - cherries, pitted and quartered
1/4 cup - blueberries
In a large bowl, stir together the yogurt, milk, honey and vanilla extract. Taste the mixture and add a little more honey if needed.
Divide half the fruit among 8 ½-cup popsicle holders.
Add ¼ cup of the yogurt mixture to each popsicle holder, then add the rest of the fruit. You'll need to press the fruit down a bit to distribute it evenly in the popsicle. Top off with more yogurt mixture if needed, leaving at least ¼ inch of space at the top of the popsicle holder because it will expand as it freezes.
Freeze the popsicles for several hours, until completely solid.

You can find more amazing kid-friendly honey recipes here.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Helping Bees in Your Backyard

Your backyard is the perfect place to help honeybees! All it takes is the right food sources for bees, along with providing them with water.
A honeybee collecting from a dandelion.

Spring has officially arrived, and soon dandelions will start popping up everywhere! Before your dad (or whoever has the task of taking care of the lawn) starts up the lawn mower, tell them to wait a couple weeks. Dandelions are a honeybee's first food source before the other flowers start to bloom.

When it comes to other food sources for honeybees, we can help by planting what they like. Honeybees like plants and flowers that provide plenty of nectar and pollen. Some great flowers to plant for the spring are crocus and hyacinth. For summer and later blooms, try planting asters, goldenrod, cosmos, and zinnias. 

Honeybees safely drinking water.

With all the flying and work honeybees do to collect nectar and pollen, they get thirsty. Getting that drink of water can sometimes be difficult. To help the bees out, place marbles or rocks in a shallow dish, and add fresh water. The bees can land on the rocks without risk of drowning. Place the water container near your newly planted bee-friendly plants for easy access!

I hope you see how easy it is to help honeybees in your very own backyard! Check out this article for tips on how the average gardener can protect the bees. By simply planting the right flowers, letting your dandelions live longer, and providing a safe place for bees to drink, you are helping our bees to survive.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Honey is More Than a Sweet Treat!

Honey is an amazing substance. It is a health-conscious sweetener, the only never-spoiling food, and is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Honey comes in more than 3,000 varietals worldwide, depending on the nectar source from the honeybee! This causes each honey varietal to have a unique color, flavor, and chemical makeup. While most people know honey as a sweet food, many do not know about honey’s other uses.

Image result for honey varietals
Honey comes in over 3,000 varietals worldwide.
One of the most remarkable things about honey is that it is antibacterial. With Spring just around the corner, more and more folks are outside to enjoy the fresh season! However, between gardening, hiking, and other outdoor activities, there’s bound to be some scraped knees here and there. An incredible and natural way to care for minor wounds is honey! Some years ago, my dog Chuck ran away from home. When we finally caught up to him, he had a large cut on his paw. We took Chuck to the veterinarian, and after getting a number of stitches, she asked us to put honey on his wound. Because honey is only 17% water, bacteria cannot live in it. Additionally, honey is so viscous and thick that when it covers a wound it not only blocks bacteria from entering the wound, but it actually draws bacteria out. At the same time, it secretes a minute amount of hydrogen peroxide which actually promotes the healing process. Today, Chuck has minimal scarring and his paw is just fine. Honey works the same way on humans as it did on Chuck. Many hospitals now order honey in bulk for its medicinal purposes.
Chuck wearing a veterinarian- recommended honey cast for his wound.
Honey and other hive products are also often used in natural cosmetics. Being allergic to many artificial substances, I opt for all-natural cosmetic products, which typically feature honey. For example, the honey in my shampoo creates beautiful iridescent bubbles and develops a natural sheen to my hair because of its many vitamins and minerals.
Honey is truly a miracle substance. While many people only see honey as a delicious sweet treat, it is so much more than just a food!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Will You Bee Mine?

With Valentine's Day around the corner, you might be wondering what to give that someone special. I would suggest something honey or honeybee themed! If you want to be crafty, try making thumbprint bees on your Valentine's Day cards. You will need:

A blank card
Yellow paint or ink pad
Black marker
Other markers to decorate

Thumbprint bee valentine
Start off with making your thumb print bees. Get your thumbs full of yellow color and press onto your blank card. Once the paint or ink dries, use your black marker to add details like wings or a smiley face. Then add other decorations, such as drawing flowers or writing a message like, "Will you bee mine?"
Great gift idea!

If you really want to give a sweet treat, try making this delicious recipe for honey filled chocolates. This recipe will definitely require some assistance from an adult. 

Honey is a great gift any time of the year, but with Valentine's Day, you can show how sweet you think someone is by giving out delicious honey treats. Check out these cute homemade valentines that use honey straws! Or, simply make a "Bee Mine" or "You're So Sweet" tag and attach it to your favorite honey bear with a ribbon. As the American Honey Queen, I would love to receive honey for Valentines!

Monday, January 15, 2018

2018 Representatives Crowned in Reno

The new American Honey Queen and Princess were selected at the 2018 American Beekeeping Federation Convention in Reno, Nevada.

2018 American Honey Queen
Kayla Fusselman from Pennsylvania

2018 American Honey Princess
Jenny Gross from Wisconsin

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!
2018 American Honey Queen Kayla Fusselman and 2018 American Honey Princess Jenny Gross

Monday, January 1, 2018

Honey's Top Ten for 2018

Happy New Year, Honey! A new year equals a new you, and 2018 promises to be the sweetest yet. Start your year off right with these TOP TEN honey tips and tricks!

You're going to need a lot of energy to make it a great 2018! Try this recipe for Honey Energy Bars. Honey is often called "nature's perfect energy." Whereas refined sugar simply has empty calories, honey contains small amounts of proteins, enzymes, amino acids and minerals.

Sadly, it's likely you or someone in your family will get sick this winter. Try this recipe for Honey Cough Syrup to soothe your sore throat.

Homemade slime, putty and play dough is all the craze among young people! Try this easy recipe for Honey Play Dough.

There are more than 300 varieties of honey in the US. It all depends on the flower the bee got the nectar from! Make a goal to try at least two new kinds of honey in 2018. Buckwheat honey is great in BBQ sauces and wildflower honey would be delicious in honey butter!

When Spring arrives, plant a bee-friendly garden in 2018! Plant native flowering plants like Bee Balm, Blackeyed Susan or Goldenrod, and choose flowers that bloom at various times throughout the growing season so the honeybees will have a continuous supply of food.

Honeybees add nearly $20 billion to the value of US crop production through pollination! As honeybees gather pollen and nectar for their survival, they pollinate crops like apples, cranberries, melons and broccoli. Try this pollination experiment that uses Cheetos!

Read a book about honey, beekeeping or honeybees in 2018! Check your local library or read one of our favorites: Jump into Science: Honeybees, The Honeybee Man or What if There Were No Bees?

Use honey to help with your seasonal allergies! By eating a few teaspoons of local honey each day, your body can build up an immunity to the pollens in your area.

Did you know Cleopatra used to take baths with milk and honey for soft and silky skin? You can, too! Try this recipe for Milk & Honey Bath Melts.

Start every day out right by eating honey for breakfast! Try spooning some into hot tea, drizzling it on your peanut butter toast or sweetening up your oatmeal.