The honey bee stores this nectar in their hive and dries it with their wings to make HONEY!! It is an amazing process!! The nectar must have a certain percentage of the moisture removed so that it can become the never spoiling sweet concoction that we all love. Did I mention...HONEY NEVER SPOILS!?!!
However, if a beekeeper takes the honey too soon and it is not dried out enough and not capped over with wax by the honey bee, it could ferment. This is a product that we call mead or honey wine. So the beekeeper must be careful not to take the honey too soon.
(Super - a bee box approximately 1/2 the size of a regular hive body)
Even if they continue to find more nectar as the summer progresses, I always want to leave a surplus for the bees. This is their food and I do not want them to be without food. I would rather that my bees have more than they need, rather than not enough!!
There has been much study about what is in honey. Doctors even agree that it is an amazing product. Here are some properties that you find in honey:
LET FOOD BE THY MEDICINE, AND MEDICINE BE THY FOOD
~Hippocrates, father of medicine (431 B.C.)
In those days Honey was a medicine.
Today it has been proven that honey is:
Many people take honey daily for seasonal allergies and I know first hand that it works. The only honey that will help seasonal allergies, however, is LOCAL HONEY!! Honey is considered local to you if it is within 50-100 miles from where you live. Anything out of that range will still taste good, but might not help with those allergies.
The only way that you can determine if a honey is local to you is if the label gives you an address of the apiary in which it was taken. Guidelines for local honey states that the label must have the address of the apiary on the bottle.
If you are purchasing honey from a grocery store and it does not have an address on the label, you cannot be sure where it came from. It is a known fact that some of the products that claim to be honey, are actually High Fructose Corn Syrup mixed with honey and some of these products are shipped from China.
SO BUYER BEWARE!!!!
It makes sense that honey is medicine for the bees. Just as fresh whole food is healthy for humans, so is the honey that is made by the bees, also medicine for them.
FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT BUY MY HONEY........
No, I have not taken my honey yet in my North Carolina apiary. The bees have not capped it off yet. It will be soon, as the nectar flow has ended.
My blog next month will show how I get all that delicious Honey off of those hive frames.
IT IS A PROCESS THAT IS VERY STICKY AND VERY TIME CONSUMING.....BUT WORTH IT!!!