You have probably heard the saying "honey has been used since ancient times." Could that really be true? The answer may surprise you but yes, honey was used thousands of years ago all over the world in places like Greece, Egypt, and Spain! Some used it as a way to flavor or sweeten food while others realized its medicinal properties and used it as a way to heal wounds. But those that wanted to have beautiful skin realized honey was the answer. It is easy to look your best when you incorporate honey into your skin and hair care routine.
Thursday, April 1, 2021
Monday, March 1, 2021
Have you ever wondered what school would be like in the beehive?
Let me show you how honey bees use math, history, science, and biology to keep their home
organized and travel internationally!
To build the comb out of wax, honey bees eat about 8 pounds of honey in order to make 1 pound
of wax. The wax cells are in the shape of hexagons that have 6 sides. In these cells, bees can store
nectar, pollen, and brood. The brood are the baby bees that start as an egg and then grow into an adult.
A queen bee can lay around 2,000 eggs each day! After 3 weeks, those eggs will emerge out of
their cells and join the workforce of the hive, cleaning the hive, feeding the brood, foraging of food, and many other jobs. Each year, 1 hive can produce about 50 pounds of honey. Each worker bee makes
1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in her entire lifetime!Science
Honey bees can smell flowers from a few miles away! One way that honey bees communicate is
through smells. In the hive, these smells are called pheromones. Honey bees detect different smells
that help them locate flowers, identify the age of a larva (~4-8 days old brood), and find open cells
of nectar. Worker bees will put the nectar into their honey stomach, add enzymes to it, and dehydrate it
and make the nectar into honey. To preserve the honey, worker bees will make a wax capping for the
cell of honey. Honey does not require any processing before eating, so you can buy comb honey
from many stores.
Since the beginning of time, honey bees and honey have been deeply ingrained into human culture.
Honey bees are the only insect that produces food that humans can eat--honey! Humans have found
many uses for honey including beauty routines, wound care, and cooking with honey. Because of the
bees’ great benefit, the explorers brought beehives with them as they sailed across the ocean to find
new lands. In 1622, the pilgrims discovered the new world, which they later named America.
Whether it's making honey or pollinating flowers that grow into our fruits and veggies, honey bees
continue to serve an important role in our lives.
The biology of honey bees is different from that of humans. In order to breathe, honey bees have tiny
holes in their exoskeleton. According to Flow Hive, “These valves, called spiracles, are located on the
sides of their body."
Another feature of honey bees is their stinger. Worker bees have a barbed stinger so that they can
defend the colony from predators like bears, skunks, and mice. Since the queen bee’s only job is to
lay eggs, she has a smooth stinger to help establish herself as the only queen bee of the colony.
Since drone bees do not defend the hive, they do not have any stinger!
Honey bees have 5 eyes: 2 compound eyes and 3 ocelli. The compound eyes allow the forager bee
to see the large grouping of flowers and the ocelli helps the bee see the details of the flower.
What kind of details can she see? Honey bees see the world in ultraviolet (UV) light spectrum,
which means that yellow and purple flowers are brighter and look more attractive to bees while red
flowers look black and unattractive. In the pictures below, the flower on the left is seen as normal
and the picture on the right is the same flower in UV light. Each flower species has its own pattern
under UV light. These patterns on the flowers are called nectar guides and help lead the bee to the
sweet nectar that she is foraging for. With the help of her eyes, honey bees can locate and pollinate
Monday, February 1, 2021
Using natures sweetener has endless possibilities! From cooking to baking, maybe using it as a sweetener, or utilizing it in your meal as a flavorful glaze, your imagination awaits. Use these 8 sweet kitchen tricks to use honey like a pro.
- Get that last drop: Over the course of a worker bee's life, she will collect enough nectar to make 1/12 teaspoon honey. So make sure you get all of the honey out of your measuring cup so you can enjoy her hard work! Before measuring out your honey, spray the utensil down with cooking spray to help the honey glide out of the utensil.
- Crystallized to liquified: Honey will naturally crystallize but you can liquify it by placing the jar in a warm water bath and stiring until the crystals dissolve. You may also microwave a microwave-safe container with the lid off, stirring every 30 seconds until the crystals dissolve. To slow the process of crystallization, store honey at room temperature.
- Substitute: Honey can be substituted for granulated sugar by beginning to substitute honey for up to half of the sugar that is needed in that recipe. With some experimentation, some recipes can have all of the sugar subsituted with honey.
- Turn the temperature down: Honey can increase the speed of browning in the oven. For baked goods, reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees to prevent over-browning from occuring.
- Reduce the liquid: Honey naturally has more moisture than granulated sugar so to acheive the same consistency that you would with granulated sugar, you need to reduce the liquid used. For every cup of honey that is used in the recipe, reduce any liquid by 1/4 cup.
- Neutralize: Honey has an acidic nature making it great for marinades as the acid can tenderize meat. To neutralize the acid when baking, add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda for each cup of honey that is used. The acidic nature of honey is what makes honey self-preserving.
- Choosing honey: There are over 300 varieties of honey available in the United States, each with a different flavor because of the floral source. So how do you choose which type of honey to use for each recipe? A lighter colored honey typically has a milder taste while a darker honey will have a more bold flavor. A dark honey is great to use in sauces and a lighter colored honey tastes splendid in tea or lemonade. Experiment with the many different varieties of honey to see which honey works best in your favorite recipes.
- Honey conversions: If a recipe calls for 1 cup of honey, all you will need is a 12 ounce jar of honey. The conversion is 1 cup = 12 ounce jar of honey.
|Experiment with the over 300 varieties of |
honey available in the United States!
Saturday, January 30, 2021
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cooking Chinese
1 whole large chicken breast, skinned, halved lengthwise and boned
1 ½ cup water
⅓ cup soy sauce
¼ cup dry sherry
2 ⅕ Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp Honey
2 tsp instant chicken bouillon granules
1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained
1 cup fresh pea pods or 3 ounces of frozen pea pods, thawed
½ cup fresh mushrooms
4 to 6 green onions
2-3 Tbsp fresh ginger root
2 Tbsp cooking oil
1) Partially freeze chicken; thinly slice into bite-size strips.
2) In a small mixing bowl, stir together the water, soy sauce, dry sherry, cornstarch, honey,
and instant chicken bouillon granules; mix well.
3) Slice the drained water chestnuts; set aside. Halve the pea pods crosswise; set aside.
Slice the mushrooms and green onions; set aside. Grate the ginger root; set aside.
4) Preheat wok or large skillet over high heat; add oil. Add the chicken to wok or skillet;
stir-fry 3 to 4 minutes. Remove chicken. (Add more oil, if necessary) Stir-fry water
chestnuts, pea pods, mushrooms, green onions, and ginger root 3 to 4 minutes.
5) Return chicken to wok or skillet. Stir the bouillon mixture and stir into chicken. Cook and
stir till thickened and bubbly. Cover and cook 2 minutes more or till heated through.
Sunday, January 17, 2021
- 1 Stick butter (1/2 C.)
- 1/2 C. Honey
- 1 tsp. Cinnamon
- 8 oz. Cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 C. Honey
- 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1/2 C. Dried cranberries
- 1/4 C. Pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
- Beat the cream cheese with a mixer until it is fluffy.
- Add the honey and cinnamon and beat until combined.
- Fold in cranberries and choice of nuts.
- Chill until firm.
- Serve with graham crackers and fresh fruit.
Sunday, January 10, 2021
Congratulations ladies! They will spend the year promoting honey and beekeeping throughout the United States and post interesting articles along the way. Keep an eye out for the sweetest representatives in America!
Friday, January 1, 2021
Have you ever seen a cartoon or show where a large cloud of bees chase someone, flying over their head and stinging them everywhere? That's a swarm, right? Thankfully, a real swarm is much more gentle and an interesting phenomenon!
In a normal hive taken care of by a beekeeper, a honeybee hive is made out of wood, and can be stacked to add more room for bees. One hive of bees has between 60,000 to 80,000 bees, with the majority of that number being workers. Sometimes, the honeybees may feel overcrowded in their home. After all, it is a large population for such a small home. If the hive isn't getting enough honey supers added for the bees to store their honey in, they prepare to fly away and make a new home somewhere else in the wild. Half of the bees will search for a perfect spot to create their new home, while others will stay at their current home and continue to live there.
In preparation for the swarm, the queen of the hive has to stop laying eggs about two weeks before they leave. She is too heavy to fly herself outside of the hive, so when she discontinues laying eggs, her body will shrink a little smaller, so she can carry her own weight and fly with the swarm. Before she stops laying eggs, she has to prepare new queen cups for the old half of the hive. She will then lay eggs in the queen cells, and the workers will feed them their royal jelly. Once the old queen and the half of the hive leaves or "swarms," the new queens will be born, and they will have to fight to the death for a new queen to take over.
When the swarm of bees look for a new area for their home, they like to find places high and away from living things, or in small and dark spaces, where they feel safe. During a swarm, honeybees are very docile. This is because they do not have anything to protect yet. They need to have the queen lay more eggs, and they need to start building their new home so they can store honey and pollen again. Sometimes bees will swarm in places that humans aren't very fond of, so they will call a beekeepers to safely remove the swarm, and rehome them back into a wooden hive.
If you ever happen to see a swarm, it's best to stay a safe distance away, call an experienced beekeeper, and let them do the rest!