Best Honey Ever

Best Honey Ever

 

Honey on Toast? Honey on Tea? Sure, we’ve all enjoyed honey. If we think about it, we can remember exactly the taste and texture of it on our tongues. You may have had tiny plastic sticks filled with flavored-added honey as treats when you were little; blackberry, clover, cherry, but have you ever considered tasting a variety of honey types? Have you wondered what makes honey different and which is the best? The answer is all of them! Each honey has a distinct flavor or amino acid structure that makes it outshine the others when used a certain way. So instead of that one jar in your cupboard, you could have several of your favorites in no time at all: one for meat marinades, one for drizzling on yogurt and biscuits, another for herbal teas to soothe sore throats. The fun truth is that different honey types do different things when paired with various meals and beverages. With minimal effort, you can enjoy and share your new, improved honey game.

 

Different Honey, Different Benefit

 

While it’s easy to get sucked into the wide-world of honey varietals, there are a few quick cheats that will help you decide which types of honey you might want to start with or how you might want to cultivate your hives if making your own:

 

Clover and Floral Honeys

 

Clover honey is perhaps the most widely known and used. Its flower acts as a mild base that offers a uniform flavor people can recognize and expect, even when out at restaurants or traveling. Honey with floral tasting notes is excellent as a breakfast addition to your toast, biscuits, and yogurts, or tea. To branch out from clover, you can switch in orange blossom or blueberry– delicate additions that will offer you a bright, summery bite. Feeling adventurous? Go a step farther and try a sourwood honey! This North American honey is becoming more popular due to its spicy, anise notes and heady Fall flavor.

 

Savory Honeys

 

If you are proud of your stellar meat marinades or enjoy crafting beer in your basement, then savory honey should be your next challenge. Buckwheat honey is a luxurious, dark treat filled with flavors of molasses and malt that is perfect for brewing and also offers more iron and antioxidants than clover. Are you sparking up your grill? Try fireweed honey. Light and sweet, this honey still has a sophisticated flavor tailor-made for marinades.

 

Malady Honeys

 

Are you under the weather? Have you moved and are battling allergies? The right honey can help! Acacia, eucalyptus, or linden honey are must-haves for stubborn colds or ailments. Acacia honey is excellent for liver and digestive issues, Eucalyptus has a menthol flavor that helps soothe that aching throat, and Linden has strong antiseptic and relaxing properties making it perfect for before bed or pairing with chamomile tea to reduce anxiety. Never forget the power of raw, local honey either. When you’ve moved to a new place, make sure to try a local honey to help your body adjust to the new plants around you, you’ll be surprised how much this helps!

 

Anything Else?

 

For flavor profiles to come across with a distinct taste, the honey should be raw and unpasteurized. Once pasteurized, honey develops a similar flavor profile and can taste flatly sweet. However, raw honey is not suitable for everyone and children under one year should not be given honey of any type.

 

 

Best Well Known Trees for Bees

Did you know that bees pollinate over 85% of flowering plants and over 35% of crops? That is an astounding amount of work bees get to do, and they love to do it! Unfortunately, bees have been on the population decline at an alarming rate, due to human error. We not only kill massive amounts of bees with insecticides, but we also have more corn and soybean farms than ever before, leaving an unhealthy environment for bees to pollinate. With the addition of buildings, roads, lawns, etc. that do not have an abundance of flowering plants and trees, humans are going to cause bees to head straight to the endangered species list, and fast.

 

What can you do?

The best way for bees to make a comeback is by merely planting and growing bee-friendly trees and plants right in our backyards. Not too difficult right? Bees thrive on pollen packed trees and shrubs from all different kinds of species. Today I am going to give you the top five well-known trees to plant and enjoy, all while keeping bees off the endangered list and instead hard at work, doing what they are meant to do.

 

Top Five Trees for Bees

 

Magnolia

Magnolia Trees are a southern symbol with bright, sweet-scented flowers that attract bees with their large and pollen-filled blossoms. If you don’t live in the South, the similar Sweetbay Magnolia is also extremely useful in attracting bees.

Oak

Oak trees are certain species of bees favorite tree in the winter months, where bees will borrow in and have an ample shield from harsh weather. Although Oaks are not flowering trees, the benefits of its protection and the fact that bees still pollinate from the honeydew on the trees makes this a good staple sapling in any yard.

 

Cherry

Not only are any type of fruit-bearing trees beautiful and beneficial to you, but they attract thousands of pollinators such as bees, moths, butterflies, and other useful insects. Pollinating bees love Black Cherry trees, so that is how it made the top five list. You really can’t go wrong with fruit bearing trees no matter what you choose.

 

Crabapple

You cannot go wrong with a crabapple tree. There are several different species and numerous colors for blooms. The Crabapple’s referred to as the “jewels of the landscape, ” and it is easy to see why, they are beautiful throughout all four seasons and have an impressive visual impact. It’s no wonder why bees love them!

 

Redbud

The redbud is a staple sapling known throughout the United States. Bees love pollinating from these tiny, but numerous, buds that cover these trees. Well known and easy to keep, redbuds are sure to be a perfect addition to your home.

 

Be the Change

The simple fact that we can make such a significant impact with one small act of concern for the bees should encourage everyone to take a step and plant a tree, to be the difference. Bees may be on a dangerous decline, but they don’t have to be. You can help bees and beekeepers throughout just by simply planting a tree, how much easier could it be?

Choosing the Right Hive for Your Bees 

hives

Honey bees can be successfully raised in any type of hive, regardless of size, shape, or material; however, all of these hives must be hollow and elevated to properly allow honeybees to make their honeycombs and make it easier when you are harvesting the honey. Depending on how strong you are and how you prefer to harvest honey, there is a different hive type that is best suited for your needs. Therefore, the following gives a brief description on the different types of hives and who each hive may be best for.

Top Bar Hive

Generally, due to the way these hives are constructed and shaped, these hives often weigh less than 40 pounds, making it easier to carry and transport from place to place. Because these hives are frameless, honeycombs form on removable bars, making it easier to harvest honeycombs quickly.

However, a downside to this type of hive is that it requires frequent checkups and maintenance to ensure that the honey is being formed properly and that the bees are comfortable. Another downside is that these bar hives, due to their smaller size, can only accommodate a smaller number of bees.

Warre Hives

This is another frameless type of hive, but rather than being horizontal like the Top Bar, the Warre Hive is stacked horizontally. What’s great about this type of hive is that it requires very minimal supervision or maintenance, as the edges of the hive are properly suited in guiding bees to form perfect honeycombs that are easy to harvest. The smaller size, however, like the Top Bar, only accommodates a lesser number of bees so the formation of honeycomb may take longer.

These hives can also be fitted with observation windows in case you do want to check up on your bees regularly, but this is not required.

Langstroth Hive

The Langstroth hive is probably the heaviest of the three types of hives mentioned so far. The reason for this is because they both accommodate a great number of bees as well as hold an immense number of honeycomb.

Even though this hive is large, it requires very little maintenance due to the shape and structure of the hive. However, if you do want to observe your hive through a window from time to time, you’ll be disappointed. Due to the shape of the hive, an observation window is impractical and therefore cannot be fitted on.

Anything Else?

All of the hives mentioned have a hollow interior, which is an absolute must in order for honeybees to make a colony in the hive. These hives also have a natural shaping that makes it easier for honey bees to make honeycombs to store both honey as well as larva. Depending on your needs, whether you want many honey bees or just a small amount, and whether you want to constantly observe your bees’ progress, there is a different hive that is perfect or you.

This post was sponsored by the tree service Wichita, KS trusts – Wichita Tree. Thank you for your continued support of safe bee-keeping practices!

How to Properly Raise Honeybees And Harvest Honey 

Maybe you’ve been itching to make your own delicious honey for your delicious culinary creations, or maybe your want to start selling some honey to make a bit of side income. Regardless of what your reason, raising honeybees is both a fruitful and enjoyable task but only if you know what you’re doing. Many beginners who want to start off are usually afraid of one thing: getting stung. And even those who aren’t allergic or afraid of getting hurt a bit from time to time still don’t know exactly how to properly care for their honeybees. Therefore, the following is a quick guide in effectively raising a colony.

Get Your Protective Gear and Honeybees

The first two things you need to take care of honeybees are protective gear and the bees themselves. Luckily for you, there are numerous ways to get honeybees as you can purchase an entire hive from a local beekeeper or even have a bunch shipped to you in the mail.

In terms of protective gear, it is essential to have a hat with a veil, durable gloves, and a jacket that protects your entire body. Other equipment like a smoker and honey collectors are also great to make the process of maintaining your bees easier.

Find a Proper Place to Put Your Bees

Not only will this help keep your bees comfortable, but also make it easier for you when it’s time to collect honey. Prebuilt hives can be purchased in many local stores, and once bought should be placed off the ground. A hive stand or other durable structure can do just the trick.

Once you have a hive box, you have to place bees inside this hive. Unlike what most people think, this process is extremely easy as bees without a hive are pretty non threatening. If you received bees through the mail, first place the separately caged queen bee in the hive first and then pour the rest of the bees over the queen. You’ll notice in the coming weeks and months that the number of bees is steadily increasing; during this initial period you won’t notice any honey. However, once the colony has a great enough number (which usually occurs in the second year), you’ll start noticing honey that can be harvested.

Checking Up On Your Bees

To ensure everything is going smoothly, you will most likely be checking up on your bees frequently. During this phase, it is advised to be a bit more careful, and to try to check up on the bees on warmer, sunnier days as more of the bees will be away from the hive. When checking up on the bees, make sure to wear your protective gear, optionally using the smoker if there are a great number of bees still present in the hive. Once most of the bees are incapacitated by the smoker, you can use a knife to cut apart honeycombs for consumption later on.

Make Sure There are Flowers Near By

Bees like most insects require nectar as a source of nutrients. As such, ensure that you live in an area that has a good number of flowers nearby. Otherwise, the bees may not stay around and try to leave your hive to find another.

Anything Else?

Honeybees are most active during warmer days and less mobile during the winter months; so expect to get most of your honey during the summer. In the end, once you have a hive established, the colony will self-maintain themselves long as there are flowers nearby.

How to Gather Honeybees

It might sound like a daunting task, raising thousands of honeybees in your backyard. However, it’s actually quite easy with a bit of practice and understanding of how to properly raise honeybees. It is also tremendously rewarding when caring for honeybees successfully. Therefore, the following are few key guidelines that must be followed if you want to successfully raise honeybees and enjoy some of your very own fresh honey.

Buy Your Bees a Home

It may be tempting to just allow your bees to take refuge in a dead log or hollowed out tree trunk in your backyard, but this may make it much more difficult for you to harvest honey. That’s why it is advised to go out and purchase a sturdy and more accessible home for your bees. Most of these pre-made structures will have a hollow interior with multiple moving parts, allowing you to examine and harvest honey more conveniently and with less disruption to the bees. This also reduces the chances of a honeybee potentially wanting to sting you.

Once you’ve purchased home, you can either place the hive in a large enough backyard to parking lot, but first ensure what your district’s rules are regarding keeping a bee colony on your property.

Purchase Gloves and Other Protective Essentials

Though honeybees will normally not want to sting you unless riled up, it is still important to purchase protective gear such as durable gloves, a hat with a mesh-like veil, as well as a jacket with no holes in them. Gloves should always be worn when attempting to harvest honey or touching the hive, while a hat and veil should be worn whenever you’re near the colony.

A smoker is also essential and helps keep bees calm while you’re checking up on the hive. These cylindrical containers can carry around a lit fire, helping you dispense smoke that can sedate and interfere with the honeybees’ communication.

Gathering Your Honeybees

There’s no point in purchasing a pre-made hive if you have no bees to put in. Luckily for you, there’s a few different ways you can get your hands on some honeybees.

The first method is catching a colony in the wild. However, do note that though this is the least expensive method, it is the most dangerous and only individuals who are experienced enough should attempt to catch wild honeybees. During spring or summer, you can more easily find a colony of bees resting on branches or logs as they try to find a new home; this is a perfect opportunity for you to introduce your hive and have the bees relocate into it. If you notice that there is a swarm resting on a tree branch, make sure you have your protective gear on and a hive set up near the branch. Carefully sawing off the branch will force the bees to relocate and will usually make their way to your hive. Then simply seal it off and transport it to a proper location.

The second method is a bit more expensive; costing upwards of $120, you can purchase a fully stocked hive from local beekeepers. Not only is this easier and less risky, but will also give you access to a professional beekeeper who can offer advice and answer any of your questions.

The last method is a bit surprising but is both efficient and cheap: ordering bees through the mail! These orders can cost around $40 and can include thousands of bees as well as a queen bee. The only downside to this option is that if the box is not stocked with an appropriate amount of food or sugar water, then you might find that many of your bees have died in transit.

Final Thoughts

Getting access to honeybees isn’t as hard as most people think. You can catch bees yourself or opt to have them mailed or bought from a local beekeeper. Regardless of which you choose, always make sue you have the appropriate gear to handle such bees with little risk of hurting yourself!

Types of Honeybees and Their Roles 

Honey Bees

Not only are there numerous types of bees, but there are also a number of types of honeybees; each with their own specific role in the colony. Needless to say, the function of a colony of honeybees would not nearly be as efficient if only one of the three types of honey bees (the worker bee, drone bee, and queen bee) were present. And because each one is so important, the following gives a brief breakdown of what they each do.

The Worker Bee

This is the most common and abundant type of honey bee. Making up almost 98% of a honey bee colony, these bees are essential in both producing honey and pollinating neighboring flowers. However, each worker bee has a relatively short lifespan with most dying within 50 days from birth. But within these 50 days, worker bees are tasked with doing practically everything within a hive, from feeding the young, to constructing the honeycomb, to acquiring food and caring for the queen bee. These are also the only type of honeybee that can actually sting!

Queen Bee

Unlike worker bees, there is only a single queen bee within a colony, and she directs all of the other bees; as such, she never leaves the hive unless the colony is searching for a new home. Being the queen bee, she is also the only member of the hive that can lay eggs and survive up to 6 years.

When the queen dies, the rest of the colony will simply pick one of the healthiest young ones that hatch from an egg. The selected young one is then fed a special type of jelly that promotes growth and allows then ew queen to lay thousands of eggs once matured.

The Drone Bee

All of the worker bees are females; on the other side, however, all male bees are called drones. These drone males have only one job: to mate with queens from other colonies. Also, unlike the other worker bees, drone bees can live up to 100 days or until the drone bee is able to successfully mate with a queen.

Life of All the Bees

With these three types of bees, a colony is formed. When searching for a home, these bees can set up a hive in practically any hollow space: from tree trunks to logs, practically any space can be called their home. Once inside these spaces, worker bees will use their own beeswax to create the honeycomb-like structure which is used to house both honey and freshly laid eggs.

Communication between the bees is also especially important, and though it may seem like it would be difficult to coordinate thousands of bees, it is actually quite simple. Firstly, bees will release pheromones or special scents to signal to the rest of the colony if everything is okay. Bees can also use special movements or dancing to signal to the others if a food source has been located.

Anything Else?

Honeybees are quite hard workers and have a very organized power structure; all three types of bees have a very specific role and none of them can function without the help of the others. So next time you see a honeybee, remember: there’s a lot that’s going on in the life of that honey bee to promote a cohesive colony.

 

5 Fun Facts About The Mighty Honey Bee

Farming Honey Bee
  1. What are Honeybees and What Do They Do? 

You’ve probably heard a lot about bees on the news and why bees are so important for the environment and for economies worldwide. However, there is a multitude of bee types, with the honeybee being one of the most important and numerous of any of the bee types.  So the question then is what exactly is a honeybee. Not many people understand the great importance of these tiny little creatures, and therefore the following gives a brief background on what a honeybee is, what they do, and why they are so important.

2. What are Honeybees and Where Can They Be Found?

Firstly, as with any other bee, honeybees are flying insects and can be found in any region of the world except for the North or South poles. Usually, you can find honeybees living together in a colony, led by a single queen bee and a few thousand worker bees all scouring together to make honey and pollinate flowers. Rarely will you ever see a honeybee by itself, but if you do just remember that there are probably hundreds right around the corner.

3.How Do They Pollinate Flowers?

The honeybee is, in fact, the most important pollinator of flowers in the world; without them, many of the fruits and vegetables that we eat would simply not exist. And there is a good reason why honeybees are the greatest population of successful pollinators in the world.

Firstly, honeybees can trap pollen on their bodies thanks to their thick fuzz or body hair, making it much easier to transfer between flowers. Also, because these bees require great amounts of nectar to properly care for their young, honeybees will visit numerous flowers before returning to the hive; and many honeybees are doing this simultaneously, achieving an even greater number of flowers being pollinated.

3. How do They Make Honey?

Worker bees can be frequently seen pollinating flowers and collecting nectar, which is brought back to the hive. Inside the hive, bees will break down the nectar into two sugars that are much easier to work with — glucose and fructose. These sugars are then carefully placed in individual cells of a honeycomb. However, the “honey” isn’t just left like that; rather, the bees will use their wings to remove excess moisture and other substances to help make the honey have the consistency that we are all so used to. And once the moisture is all removed, the bees will surround the cell with beeswax, helping to preserve it for a later use. This is the stage that we are normally used to eating!

3. Anything Else?

Honeybees are important, not just for making delicious honey that we put on our toast, but also for ensuring that other fruits and flowers are also produced. Found in practically all regions

Honeybees are important, not just for making delicious honey that we put on our toast, but also for ensuring that other fruits and flowers are also produced. Found in practically all regions of the world, these little insects work long and hard, going from flower to flower and ensuring that pollination occurs