What better way to learn about honey bees than by watching movies? Luckily there are quite a few very good documentaries about the bees. When I first became excited to learn all I could I hit the library and checked out the entire row of books dedicated to bees and beekeeping, as I talked about here. I learned a lot from the books, but I ran out of time and several went back to the library barely skimmed.
Watching a movie is just plain old fun, even when you’re learning about a complex subject. These three films are about much more than just bee anatomy, beekeeping and honey. Since honey bees and entire beehives began dying and disappearing about a decade ago, what is now called Colony Collapse Disorder, anyone involved in beekeeping or concerned with our planet has been on a serious mission to get to the bottom of this alarming situation. These three films are no exception. Each one takes a slightly different approach, but all have similar aims of educating us about what is going on and what can be done to make it better. Spoiler alert: Human’s are at fault. It’s actually more intense than you might imagine, going into this world of interaction between us and honeybees. But hopefully you will come away with a better understanding of the state of things, the issues we are currently facing, and possibly an interest in getting involved on your own
Queen of The Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?
My favorite of these three is Queen of The Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us? directed by Taggart Siegel. It is actually free to watch on Amazon Prime, if you have that. All of these films can most likely be found at your local library as well. This is a fascinating journey into what has caused Colony Collapse Disorder. We get to hear from many beekeepers and scientists at the forefront of this worldwide crisis best natural weight loss supplements. We see organic beekeepers in France, Germany, Australia and the US and hear their differing opinions and relationships to bees.
We see how very recent human intervention through mechanisation, monoculture and chemical products may be forever changing the viability of bees. Continue reading 3 Movies about Honey Bees: A Fun Way to Learn About Bees→
Gwyneth Paltrow got some attention recently when she told the NY Times she had bee venom therapy:“I’ve been stung by bees. It’s a thousands of years old treatment called apitherapy. People use it to get rid of inflammation and scarring.”
And Gwyneth is correct, people all over the world have been using bee products for thousands of years in a wide variety of medicinal applications. That spoonful of raw honey for a sore throat is one way many of us use it. And there are MANY other forms of apitherapy. For some of the healing uses of manuka honey go here.
There is a lot of talk about the health benefits of honey. It seems that honey can do everything from prevent cancer to clear up your skin, depending what you read. But all honey is not created equal. The benefits depend on what kind of honey you are eating. And how you are eating it as well. We talked about the powerful benefits of true manuka honey in an earlier post. But what about the honey we use every day?
Raw Honey vs. Processed Honey: What’s the Difference?
Most of the honey in grocery stores has been filtered, processed and/or pasteurized. This means that all of the pollen and other good stuff has been removed and the honey has been heated. The pastuerization process heats honey to about 160° F. The process of heating honey destroys the enzymes, antibacterial qualities and much of the naturally occuring nutrients found in raw honey.
If you don’t quite know what manuka honey is, don’t worry. I didn’t either, until recently. I heard from a reader that she and other horse owners use manuka honey with their horses for treating lacerations. They apply it directly to the wound. This intrigued me so I dug a little deaper. Turns out there are lots of answers to the question: What is manuka honey used for? But first things first…
What Makes Manuka Honey Special?
The manuka tree or bush is native to New Zealand and only grows in parts of New Zealand and Australia. While regular raw, unfiltered honey has tons of nutritional benefits, manuka honey takes this to a whole new level. It is much more nutrient rich with much higher levels of the enzymes that convert to hydrogen peroxide and result in powerful anti-microbial properties. Continue reading What is Manuka Honey Used For?→
I was deciding how much honey to buy from a local beekeeper the other day. We met in a playground parking lot while her kids happily played in the rain. “It never goes bad!” she told me.
“They found it in Egyptian tombs.”
She knew I was interested in beekeeping so she went on to tell me which essential oils she uses to treat mites and how to tell when the hive starts to reject a queen. She had a squirmy baby in her arms and three other young kids in tow and I was the one who couldn’t follow the conversation! Once my brain cleared, I did a bit of research.
Does honey go bad?
Nope! My new beekeeper friend was right! Honey that was thousands of years old was indeed found in Egyptian tombs. I doubt anyone tasted it, but it had remained preserved in jars for that long. Continue reading Does Honey Go Bad?→