Last week, our farmer friend Ann, another bee owner, and Keith harvested the bees hard work. Running it through our centrifuge and draining it into a large bucket, all I had to do was strain it again (several gallons worth) and bottle it, and cap it, and label it, and put it in the store.
None of that is technically difficult but still I mange to get one sticky kitchen by the time I am done. Cleanup is easy though. I just lay on the floor and start licking.
Like our milk, we sell our honey raw, never heated or pasteurized. Raw honey is an alkaline-forming food that contains natural vitamins, enzymes, powerful antioxidants and other important natural nutrients. These are the very nutrients that are destroyed during the heating and pasteurization process. In fact, pasteurized honey is equivalent to and just as unhealthy as eating refined sugar.
Why should you care? For the following reasons:
Raw honey from bees who thrive on local flora is best for those of you with allergies to those same plants. It has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
It can be used to heal wounds, (including acne) and to moisturize skin and hair. It can relive minor burns and rashes as well.
It promotes digestive health, can stabilize blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure and heal stomach ulcers. You can cook with it, bake with it, even wash your face with it!
It can decrease coughs, colds and it effectively helps with asthma and bronchitis. Got one of those dry irritating coughs that keeps you up occasionally at night? Chuck the Nyquil and swallow a tablespoon of honey instead. You'll be amazed at how well it works to stop the cough AND soothe your irritated throat.
It has a very long shelf life, some say it is indefinite due to its high anti-bacterial qualities so you can stock up in the summer, fill your pantry and be set for a very long time. If it crystallizes just throw the bottle in a pan of hot water and it will revert back to its liquid state.
It is also a natural sleep remedy. A spoonful of honey before bed on its own or in warm tea is far better than OTC medications. My Aunt Bernie's friend Helen (who died at age 100!) would put it in her small snifter of Brandy each night but of course that makes it a little difficult to assess which liquid was really helping her sleep. But at her age...did it matter?
Be warned, unless the bottle says "Raw Honey" it most likely is not. Buy your honey in your own area. Getting honey from several states away will not help with any allergies you might have to the native plants in your area. And honey from overseas is poorly regulated and often contains additional cane sugar, water etc...
Know your farmer, know your bees.