Honey is delicious. It goes great with so many recipes and works as a great alternative to sugar. It isn’t, however, easy to make.
Both bees and beekeeper have to put in a lot of effort just to create one of the iconic honey bears in the average grocery store. The art of maintaining beehives is an old practice that has benefited greatly from modern technology, but that doesn’t mean classic techniques have no place in today’s beehive. In fact, it’s the blending of the old and new that often delivers the best results. Beekeeping for beginners is more than possible with a little research. Let’s take a look at what goes into creating edible honey, as well as some of the lesser-known uses for honey in day-to-day life.
Did You Know?
Let’s look at some interesting facts concerning bee pollen. Believe it or not, honey is actually an acid, with a pH balance between 3.2 and 4.5 on average. A single pellet of bee pollen contains over two million grains of flower pollen. While honey is a classic American staple, after 2006 came and went the retail price of honey has nearly doubled. This is due to a few different factors, including the labor that goes into creating honey bears as well as the struggling population of honeybees in many parts of the country. A honey bee can fly up to 15 miles per hour and bee populations boast societies nearly as complex as some primate societies.
What goes into the creation of honey? Let’s break it down from the top. Bees are pollinators and responsible for cross-pollination, which helps as much as 30% of our crops as well as 90% of wild plants thrive. They take pollen from one flower to the next, helping them flourish while bringing ingredients back to the hive to create the honey we know and love. Beekeepers work with hives to encourage them to create hearty amounts of honey while helping them long and healthy lifespans. This includes upkeep, harvesting, cleaning, advertising and production.
Organic Bee Pollen Benefits
There are many wonderful uses found in bee pollen. Look around your average grocery store or drug store and you’ll likely find a few products right off the bat that use bulk honey or pollen in some form. Beeswax is commonly used in skincare products for its soothing results and ability to keep dryness at bay, whether it’s used in chapstick or applied to the hands and feet during the winter season. Honey is sometimes combined with other natural ingredients, such as avocado or cucumber, to create face masks to reduce blemishes, acne and dryness on the face.
Useful Beekeeping Equipment
No beekeeper should be without basic beekeeping equipment. Stings are always a potential factor when interacting with bees and those with allergies need to take extra care to make sure they’re always covered no matter what. The bee hive smoker is a necessary tool to calm bees down without harming them, as the smoke makes them sluggish and far more receptive to having their honey harvested. Other basic equipment also includes standard jackets, gloves and masks so you can move unimpeded throughout your bee colony.
The Future Of American Honey
A single honey bee will produce one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime. While that doesn’t seem like very much, this is a great way to appreciate the collective efforts of these little workers that make our world such a wonderful place to live. Back in 2014 there were an estimated two and a half million honeybee colonies in the United States alone, which is nothing to say of the number of colonies managed by human beings in general. With care and awareness we can ensure these famous honey bears will remain forever on our shelves without damage to the environment.
How will you cultivate your very own honey bears?