Thursday, February 1, 2024

Honey from Coast to Coast

Honey is produced in all 50 states, from Alaska to Florida and Maine to Hawaii. These honeys are all different. Honey varietals differ in color from almost clear to very dark brown. There are just as many flavors of honey as there are colors. The different colors and flavors are a result of the different flowers that the honeybees visit while they are out pollinating. 

Some of the colors of honey produced in the United States
The lighter colors of honey are usually lighter and more floral in flavor, and the darker colors of honey are more intense in their flavors. Honey doesn't just come in different colors and flavors, there are also different textures of honey!

Different Forms of Honey
Honey comes in many different forms. The form of honey most people are familiar with is liquid honey. Liquid honey can be used in many recipes to replace sugar (to substitute honey for 1 cup of sugar, use 2/3 cup honey. Decrease other liquids in the recipe by 1/4 cup). Another form of honey is cut comb honey. This is honey that comes straight from the hive like the honeybees store it. Cut comb honey can be eaten wax and all. Many people will put it on a charcuterie board with creamy cheeses. There is a mix between liquid honey and cut comb honey called chunk honey. Chunk honey is liquid honey surrounding a piece of cut comb honey. And the last form of honey is creamed honey. This honey is very smooth and spreads like butter. I encourage you to try a new honey color and form! You might find your new favorite flavor!

Saturday, January 13, 2024

2024 Representatives Crowned

The American Beekeeping Federation held their 81st Annual Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana. The new American Honey Queen and Princess have been crowned!

2024 American Honey Queen
Kaelyn Sumner from Wisconsin

2024 American Honey Princess
Lainey Bell from Maine

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!

Monday, January 1, 2024

How Honey Bees Communicate

Honey bees communicate through various ways since they do not have ears. They use two different ways to communicate which are movement and odor. 

Honey bees have a “waggle” dance that they show to one another to tell each other the direction and distance of floral sources outside of the hive. Scout bees will point their body in the direction of the food source and will move her body and wings to produce a buzzing sound. This dance is a figure-eight pattern, with the smaller the figure-eight the closer the food is to home and the bigger the figure-eight the farther it is. 

The honey bee in the center is doing the waggle dance to tell other
honey bees where the food sources are outside of the hive.

In addition to communicating through movement, honey bees also use odors. The queen honey bee lets off a special pheromone smell so that workers know where the queen is and that she is healthy. Bee stings also produces a pheromone that alerts other honey bees that there is a threat. They will also use alarm pheromones to tell other honey bees that they need help defend the hive from outside threats. Fun fact: the alarm pheromone is said to be similar in smell to bananas!

Honey bees also use pheromones to communicate important information, 
such as if there is a threat present.