The Sweet Buzz

By Jennifer Rubenstein / Photography By Amanda Brinkman | July 01, 2014
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Graphics by Amanda Brinkman

"Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don't they should, for their fee are dusted with spices from a million flowers"

–Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine

The gentle buzzing of the honey bee is all around during the season. Flying from one flower to a stalk of lavender and back to another flower and then onward to their bee colony where they will greet the Queen Bee. Honey bees are fascinating creates who provide us with one of the most ancient super foods and they are considered a symbol of sacred femininity. But did you also know:

• Bees have been producing honey for at least 150 million years.
• Europeans brought the European Honeybee to America in 1638. The Native Americans referred to the honeybee as the "White Man's Flies," because wild swarms always preceded the arrival of the white man.
• There over 200,000 beekeepers maintain honey bee colonies within the United States.
• Beekeepers in Indiana harvest an average of 60 to 80 pound of honey per hives.
• Honey bees pollinate 50 different US crops valued at over $20 billion.
• Honey bees produce $150 million worth of honey and beeswax in the US.
• Honey bees have five eyes.
• Honey bees need to tap 2 million flowers to make one pound of honey.
• Bees have been producing honey for at least 150 million years
• A worker bee will make ¹/12 teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.
• Honey does not spoil. If it crystallizes in the container, just put in a hot water bath for it to become a liquid again. Do not heat it in the microwave, this could burn the honey.
• The fructose in honey makes it sweeter than sugar. At 21 calories a teaspoon, it is 1½ times sweeter than sugar.
• Honey makes baked goods brown faster and improves shelf life.
• When a honey bee stings a person, it cannot pull the barbed stinger back out. It leaves behind not only the stinger, but also part of its abdomen and digestive tract, plus muscles and nerves.

Honey, if it isn't, should be a staple in everyone's pantry and on everyone's counter. Not only is it a great substitute for sugar in any drink or dish, it has many health benefits as well. Raw honey (which has not been heated or pasteurized) has the most benefits of all honeys. Did you know:

• Honey contains flavonoids, antioxidants which help reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease.
• Recent research shows that honey treatment may help disorders such as ulcers and bacterial gastroenteritis.
• Buckwheat honey helps with coughs, particularly in children.
• Honey can be applied to an external burn or surface wound. The honey is known to be soothing, antiseptic and healing.
• It clears up your skin. You can take ½ teaspoon of raw honey and rub between your fingers until it is warmed. Add a few drops of water to thin the honey and smooth it gently on your face. Wait ten minutes and then rinse off with warm water, followed with your favorite toner.
• Honey has anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties and has been know to be the ultimate organic skincare brand. Apply a dab of raw, organic honey directly to blemishes, and let the skin absorb its overnight. Wash it off in the morning, and after regular use you may have clear skin!


For information Indiana bees and beekeeping:

Central Indiana Beekeeper's Association indyurbanbeekeeping.org

Indiana Beekeeping indianabeekeeping.com

Indiana State Beekeepers Association Indianastatebeekeepers.org

Southeastern Beekeepers Association indianahoney.org

Indiana Beekeepers Association indianabeekeeper.com

Graham's Bee Work grahamsbeeworks.com

Sources: DNR Indiana Department of Natural Resources, WebMD, Indiana Beekeepers Association

Article from Edible Indy at http://edibleindy.ediblecommunities.com/food-drink/sweet-buzz
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