Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Honeymania for Your Mind, Body, and Spirit

September is National Honey Month!
National Honey Month is a celebratory and promotional event held annually during the month of September. Its purpose is to promote US beekeeping, the beekeeping industry and honey as a natural and beneficial sweetener.
The awareness month was initiated by The National Honey Board (a US government established, USDA-overseen, organization) in 1989. September is significant for honey producers as it is the month that marks the end of the honey collection season for many beekeepers in the United States. *
 By Cal Orey

Buy the Book (Click)
v  Eating honey can help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes—even help reduce body fat and unwanted weight!—and increase longevity.
v  Pure, raw, unprocessed honey is a healthier sweetener than table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. It’s chock-full of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins—and only has 21 calories per teaspoon.
v  Super “bee foods” (including nutrient-rich bee pollen, propolis, and royal jelly) are used and touted for their healing powers by beekeepers and medical experts in the present-day.
v  Honey can relieve a variety of ailments, including coughs, colds, fatigue, pain, and seasonal affective disorder, as well as boost libido.
v  You’ll also enjoy Cleopatra’s milk-and-honey beauty treatments and eco-friendly beeswax household uses—all made with the amazing honey bee’s gifts!

 * * *
The Vanishing Honey Bees
“If the bee disappears off the surface of the globe then man would only have
four years of life left.”

–Albert Einstein
On September 26, the UK’s Daily Mail reported the chilling story that up to 12 million bees dropped dead from hundreds of apiaries in the Brevard County, Florida. Local beekeepers and authorities pinpointed pesticides (perhaps from spraying one night by a helicopter for mosquito control) as the culprit. These bees within a one-and-half-mile distance died at the same time and were found on the premises.
So, while this chilling story is about the demise of honey bees and their beekeepers, is the honeymoon over and how will the absence of this insect affect our planet? Here are some questions and answers, straight from experts I interviewed for my book The Healing Powers of Honey: A Complete Guide to Nature’s Remarkable Nectar! And the problem has humans in the U.S. and around the globe buzzing.

5 Questions:
Where Have All the Honey Bees Gone?

Q. Colony Collapse Disorder was excluded as a cause of the dead bees in the Florida incident. So, what exactly is this term?
A. Back in 2006, an apiary owner in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, made the problem known. Penn State researchers took note of the bee colony decline, due to a condition now known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). This condition causes honey bee colonies to simply vanish without a trace—go AWOL leaving their hives in the dust—lending to eerie images of The Happening and I Am Legend sci-fi films of human and animal extinction.
Q. What are some of the theories behind CCD?
A. Theories include climate change, diet, mites, pesticides, and viruses. Also, the stress of traveling for pollination of crops and the usage of cell phones (perhaps due to the radiation) are in the mixed bag of possibilities for why the bees are vanishing and leaving their beekeepers out of work and shocked by losing half or more of their prized colonies to an unknown cause.
Q. How will the die-off of the honey bee affect our food chain?
A. Millions of acres of U.S. fruit, vegetable, oilseed, and legume crops depend on insect pollination—and that includes the sacred honey bees. This little insect gives human gifts from the hive but also helps pollinate our crops, home gardens, and wildlife habitat. And don’t forget most beef and dairy products enjoyed in the United States count on insect-pollinated legumes, such as alfalfa and clover. Worse, if the bee disappears our food chain would decline in diversity and quantity, and images of the futuristic doomsday films without fresh food like Soylent Green and The Road could become a grave reality.
Q. What are scientists doing about CCD?
A. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is trying to help get a handle on Colony Collapse Disorder. In 2010 it dished out $6 million in emergency assistance to beekeepers who had lost their bees. And scientists are busy at work trying to discover what exactly is causing the vanishing of honey bees.
            California bee expert Dr. Eric Mussen of UC Davis says, “None of us know why the bees are not as vital as they used to be. In many cases this may be due to limited access to a good varied supply of pollens.” He hopes in our lifetime scientists will discover what is killing the honey bees. “But,” he adds, “even if we find the cause, will we be able to overcome it?”

Q. What can you do to help keep the honey bee alive and well?
A. Devote a portion of your property to growing annual and perennial plants the bloom consecutively over the whole season that honey bees are collecting nectar and pollens for food. Reduce the pesticides of all kinds to a minimum.  In areas with extended dry periods, supply fresh water in a way so that visiting bees don’t become a nuisance.
Consider donating funds to bee researchers around the country who are trying to determine the cause of CCD and what can be done to bolster the bee populations.  Support honey bee research at UC Davis: http://beebiology.ucdavis.edu/HAVEN/haagendazshbh.pdf

* * *

7 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes                1 cup Savannah Bee
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg                                        Company Orange
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon                                     Blossom Honey
2 tablespoons vanilla extract                                      4 jumbo eggs
2 teaspoons lemon juice                                              2 deep-dish pie shells
2 ¼ cups sugar

            Preheat oven to 350 F. Place sweet potatoes, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon, juice, sugar, Savannah Bee Company Orange Blossom Honey, and eggs in large bowl. Blend ingredients together until they are thoroughly mixed. Equally distribute the sweet potato mix into the pie shells. Place some aluminum foil on and around the edges of the pie shells so the crust will not burn when the pies are baked. Place pies in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before serving. Serve with whipped cream. Makes 2 pies/16 to 20 servings.

(Source: Courtesy Savannah Bee Company.)

 Since the honey bee and mankind are connected because of our food chain, it makes sense to dish out a spoonful of honey trivia to show you just the honey bee is a un-bee-lievable man’s best friend (click for amazing trailer). Take a look at these ten factoids that’ll get you thinking about the amazing small creature and what it can do.
It takes about two million flowers for honey bees to tap to make one pound of honey.
1. The average honey work bee makes a mere 1/12 teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.
2. Utah is known as the beehive state.
3. Honey bees communicate by dancing. The waggle dance alerts other bees where the nectar and pollen are.
4. A honey bee must tap about 2 million flowers to make one pound of honey.
5. On average, each person in the United States consumes about 1.31 pounds of honey each year.
6. The USDA estimates that there are approximately 3 million honey producing colonies in the United States.
7. It would take about two tablespoon to fuel a bee’s flight around the world.
8. A worker bee visits about 50-100 flowers during each trip
9.  A honey bee flies about 15 miles per hour.
10. A hive of bees flies more than 55,000 miles to bring you one pound of honey.
(Source: National Honey Board)

            As you can see, the remarkable honey bee flies the extra mile so it can produce honey—a superfood (a food that has super health benefits) for people, like you and me—that can be enjoyed solo or in a cup of tea or both. Here is a perfect recipe to whip up and savor with a cup of tea and honey as you fly away with me on a journey into Honeyland. 

* * *
8 ounces raisins                                                     3 ounces set honey
½ pint freshly made strong tea                             2 eggs, size 3, lightly beaten
10 ounces whole wheat flour                                ½ teaspoon ground mixed spice
1 tablespoon baking powder

Place the raisins in a bowl. Stir the honey into the tea and pour this over raisins. Leave to soak for 2 hours. Stir the eggs into the raisin mixture. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the flour with spice and baking powder then mix these dry ingredients into the raisin mixture. Transfer to a greased two pound loaf tin and bake for about 1 hour 10 minutes. Cook on a wire rack and serve sliced and buttered. Makes one two pound loaf.
(Courtesy: The Honey Association)

            Research, especially in the past decade, shows that quality, dark honeys, which are derived from a variety of flowers, plants, and trees produce the nectar for the honey around the globe—may help you to:
ü  Lower your risk of heart disease.
ü  Enhance your immune system.
ü  Stave off diabetes.
ü  Treat respiratory diseases.
ü  Heal wounds.
ü  Slow the aging process.
ü  Add years to your life.
* Wikipedia facts 

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