BEE Amazed By Your Honey!

The Secret Is Out!!!

I took my mother to see The Secret Life Of Bees. She never quite figured out what the secret was!!!! Check out the trailer. Love that bee flying around!

While I couldn't relate to the bees in the story, my heart drew into Lily (Dakota Fanning) as she was a VA gal and a writer. Too, she had a love for Black Americans.

You see, as a young child, I grew up in the heartland of VA in the mid 60s, and surrounded myself with a struggling black generation of young people. Often I would disappear, only for my folks to find me in the deep part of the black community.

Lily says in one of the scenes, "Well, maybe she (August) didn't see my color." Personally, I find nothing wrong in seeing "us" in-color. We should celebrate "how" we were made. The issue isn't "color". It's attitude. We get to choose how we "see" people.

So did I see "color"? I don't recall thinking one way or the other. Did the black community see my color? My blond hair, fair skin, green eyes? I would think so. Did we each understand that we "looked" a little different? Of course!

But I never knew that I was so different from my black friends, nor they from me.

One of my best buddies was Winifred, a Black American. And to this day, I've often wondered what ever happened to her. She used to tell me that if you were buried on a day that rained that meant you were going to hell, but if it were a sunny day, you'd go to Heaven.

Boy, was I ever glad that when my daddy died just months later, he was buried on a sunny day!!! I never saw her again, but I've never forgotten her. I wonder if she continued to have some recollection of her little blond friend who was always escaping the world of White?

So What BEE The Secret?
I guess there were a few secrets flowing in and out of the story. Lily had some she was hiding and some she was trying to unravel! I won't spoil it for you.

OK, enough about the movie, what about "bee" secrets?

The only secrets I learned about bees when I was small were: You don't play with them. And you don't try and eat them. For sure they don't taste like honey.

Too, I learned you don't sit on them. When I was about four, I sat on a nest of them in church one bright Sunday morning. It was a personal matter. You see the congregation had been speaking to the pastor about getting rid of the bees. To their dismay, he would just flip it off by saying, "Augh, those bees aren't going to bother anyone. And I'll give $50 to the first person who gets stung." The members loved it when I was the elected one. You see, I was his daughter! By the way, I never did get that $50 he promised, but I did get a wad of tobacco on my beeee-hind.

It only took me one lesson to learn: Always look before you sit. To this day, I freak out if I think a bee is buzzing by. Goodness. They are such precious fascinating creatures.

Little did I know they were only protecting themselves from the likes of me!

A Very BEE-utiful Friend And Her Family!
My daughter's friend, Andrea, and hubby, Jon, raise bees right in their backyard. And they don't live in the country!!!! It's pretty cool. One day when I was visiting Andrea, I actually took a gander at the little boogers, and came away safe and sound. NO, not Andrea and her family!

For a better view of their bee adventure, please take a look at their site!

Looking at this pic of Jon at work reminded me of when I was a little girl. We had a neighbor who raised honey. I'll never forget watching "Mr. Swanson" in his coveralls working with his bees. He was as busy as they were. Those memories will forever be with me.

Was that honey better for me than sugar? For sure. Was it better than what we could have bought at the store? Without question. Why? As you may know, it's best to eat honey grown in your "local area".

Even John the Baptist lived off of honey and locusts. I would imagine honey would be the only way you could stomach locusts (Bible 101).

What's In Your Honey?

Lots of lovin' ?! Indeed! Honey is not only rich in sweetness but supplements! It's composed of sugars like glucose and fructose and minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulphur, iron and phosphate. It contains vitamins B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3 all of which change according to the qualities of the nectar and pollen. Besides the above, copper, iodine, and zinc exist in it in small quantities. Several kinds of hormones are also present in it (Sister's Page, Bee's Online).

If you get time, take a look at how bees make honey. Quite fascinating. Divine little creatures, are they not? Just one example: They fill the hexagon shaped wax cells of the comb with honey and cap it with beeswax. And who are they doing all this for?

Honey Do This, Honey Do That!

Honey do it all! Let's just take a look at some of the health benefits and "claims":

  • Skin Care: Used alone or as an exfoliator, honey moisturizes as well as feeds the skin. Honey has the ability to attract water!! A well known spa in Arizona (Mii Amo) shares a tasty recipe: 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup raw sugar, 1/4 cup olive oil. Mix and then apply to wet skin. Rub and wash for a silky feeling skin! (Health, June 2008) Considering our bodies absorb what we put on our skin, this recipe is perfect. After all, if it's safe to eat, then it's safe to apply it to our skin! One other fun recipe for a face mask: 1-2 T honey mixed with 1/3 cup of finely-ground organic oatmeal and a little rose water. Apply to clean face and leave for 10-30 min.

  • Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties: Honey contains many minerals and vitamins but mostly it seems to have more antibiotic properties which brings about quicker healing.

  • Allergies: Raw honey is supposed to be potent with agents that will clear allergies.

  • Teeth: While you would think because honey is sweet it would cause more problems with our teeth, it's quite the opposite. Due to the anti-microbial activity, studies show it to be effective in reducing acid production, which in turns kills bacteria causing dental caries, while blocking the growth of bacteria. Some of us have a predisposition to "gather" more cavities than others. Why? It's not as much about dental hygiene as you would think. Rather it's more about the bacteria you carry in your saliva. We produce bacteria at different levels.

  • Healing wounds: Honey's anti-bacterial properties has proven to speed up healing. Dr. Joseph Kellerstein (Toronto), says to apply twice daily and bandage for best results (Health).

  • Tummy Ache: Add honey with a little lemon for soothing the ache.

  • Digestion: Honey works in balancing gut bacteria, which provides the process of digestion to be more effective.

  • Coughs and Colds: How many name-brand cough drops do you see with "honey" as the main tag? Do you really think any of them have enough potency to amount to anything? While there may be a few that do, I would suggest trying 2 T of Honey with some REAL lemon (and I do NOT mean lemon in a bottle, please!). Fresh squeezed lemon. Dr. Ian M. Paul, of Pennsylvania State University, says honey will coat the throat and help thin mucus (Health 2008).

  • Weight Control: For one, honey is low calorie (64 cal per T) compared to its fake counterpart, sugar. Maybe not ounce for ounce, but when you compare the amount of teaspoons to equal the sweetness, honey comes out ahead. Compared to the same amt of of sugar, it gives 40% less calories to the body. The added feature with honey is longer sustaining energy, therefore you will probably burn more calories. And anytime you consume a natural product, the body will respond to it more favorably.

  • Blood: Honey supposedly aids in blood formation, cleansing the blood, and regulating and facilitating blood circulation. Too, it is said to protect against capillary problems and arteriosclerosis.

  • The heart: Honey, according to British researchers, slows the oxidation of "bad" LDL cholesterol. Dark honey is recommended.

  • Conjunctivitis (pus in the eye): Some mix it with an equal amt of warm pure water and then apply it to the eye like an eye bath.

  • Appetite: From what I understand it doesn't cause you to get hungry as much as it helps balance your need and control of eating.

  • Headaches and Migraines: One resource recommends you take 2 T at meals to prevent Migraine attacks. You can take a spoon of honey dissolved in a half a glass of warm pure water at the START of the migraine. Repeat in 20 min or so if needed.

  • Insomnia: Honey taken with warm water and or milk before retiring seems to aide sound sleep. It's been said Honey helps in nervous disorders including Insomnia.

  • Stress: Honey mixed in water is supposed to be a stabilizer. Thg claim is that it calms highs and raises lows. 1:4 honey to water.

  • Fatigue and Exhaustion: Remember it effectively gives you a lift unlike that of a sugar high. The glucose and fructose are the synergistic factors. The first gives immediate energy while the latter gives the sustained energy!

  • Old and Young: French doctors have been noted for recommending honey to children and elderly people who are in a weakened condition. NOTE: Do NOT feed honey to children one year old and under.

  • Osteoporosis: I tsp of honey a day helps calcium utilization, therefore helping to prevent osteoporosis.

  • Burns: Honey cools, and removes pain and aids healing without scarring (Health).

  • Infertility: It is said that honey consumed with milk increases human sperm count to an astonishing level.

  • Constipation: Honey with warm pure water a few times a day should help with natural elimination. A glass of warm water with about a half of a tsp of honey.

  • Diarrhea: Gut bacteria, as you may know can cause us issue. Honey, at a concentration of 40% has a bactericidal effect on a variety of gut bacteria known to cause this problem.

  • Hay Fever: One report I read said chewing the tops of the honey comb stimulates the immune system due to the small amts of pollen. This is supposed to be helpful for asthma sufferers as well.

  • Anaemia: Honey is known to be a blood enricher. Use darker honey as it will have more minerals. One T a few times a day.

  • Ulcers: In Europe, honey is given to people to cure ulcers, especially stomach ulcers (bees online).

  • Insect bites...including bees???? Again, the antibacterial agents help in the healing and soothing of a bite or wound (Health).

BEE- OUT with Sugar!

Honey is a much better option than sugar as it's digested in a manner that the body is familiar with, unlike processed sugar. Since the introduction to "sugar", our health has suffered in paramount proportions!

So Don't BEE Secret About This Info!

Tell others about the amazing health benefits of honey.

Bee Raw!

Raw honey may not be easy to find but it will be worth your trip. "Commercial" honey is not the best option. Most commercial honey has been diluted in one way or the other. Whether it be by the heating process or additives. If it's the only kind available, then by all means use it. However, if you have access to a whole food market, elect purchasing your honey there! Too, if you have a local bee-keeper, like Jon, maybe you could convince him to let you buy a few jars! It's always best if you to use "local" honey.

Why BEE Local?

It's been observed that eating honey made by the bees in your local area may help you with your allergies. I'm stopping the next time I go by the "Honey 4 Sale" sign down the street from me.

"When people living in these same areas eat honey that was produced in that
environment, the honey will often act as an immune booster. It may seem odd that
straight exposure to pollen often triggers allergies but that exposure to pollen
in the honey usually has the opposite effect... In honey the allergens are
delivered in small, manageable doses and the effect over time is very much like
that from undergoing a whole series of allergy immunology injections. The major
difference though is that the honey is a lot easier to take and it is certainly
a lot less expensive. I am always surprised that this powerful health benefit of
local honey is not more widely understood, as it is simple, easy, and often
surprisingly effective."
Thomas Leo Ogren

I wish I lived near Andrea and Jon! I'd bee bee-ging for some of their honey!!!! Hey, Andrea, I did see where Jon said he was trying to convince you to put more hives out at your dad's ranch! Does my vote count??? (I do have a vested interest, folks. Her dad lives within a few minutes of my "farm".) Hey, what if I give you permission to "bee" my property?

I don't claim to understand the mind of a BEE-Keeper, but from what I understand they find the process magical. Especially when it comes to the final outcome of bottling their very own honey. You know I never gave it much thought until I felt this buzzing in my mind (pardon the pun) to write an article about honey. And I can't write about anything without a hurricane of research!!!!

Back to magical. You have to admit, raising your own bees, watching them flourish right before your eyes, creating this delicious product that promotes health, has to be humbling and yes even magical. And to not get stung? That does it for me!!!!

So I salute you Andrea and Jon and Luke for your dedication to allowing this delicate process to take place in your very own backyard. How I wish I had the bee-bug. Well, I may have it, but I'm probably too bee-zee or should I say blog-zee to make the effort. However, if the truth were known, it's more about overcoming the fear of those horrible bee stings.

Bee A User!

For sure, I'm more convinced than ever that I need to keep my honey on hand! Honey in a jar. And honey from my own local area. Well, more than just "have" it. I already have it. But to use it inside and out in my daily routine, with beeeutiful results.

One of the best websites I found for info on honey: click here!
PHOTO Of Movie: Yahoo

PHOTOS: Taken from Jon and Andrea's bee blogsite. Permission granted!!!! Thanks, Andrea!

Movie based on the novel: By Sue Monk Kidd

A local bee-keeper in the boston area: http://www.eatlocalhoney.com/

Comments on honey helping with allergies click here! And here!

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