The diligence of the hive produces the wealth of honey.
I have spent a lot of time with honey. Okay, let me clarify before images of my bear paw stuck in the proverbial pot arise. I have spent hours and hours extracting it from combs, separating the raw liquid from debris, processing it within the acceptable unpasteurized temperature range, bottling it, and making value-added products. I love the stuff. I also love talking about it, so here are my two cents below…
|How Do Bees Produce it?
From the flower to your table, the process by which bees produce your favourite natural sweetener is fascinating. Beekeepers work hard, but it is the bees who are the most impressive.
What is the difference between creamed, raw and buttered versions? Why does the liquid form crystallize? Has it gone bad or can you rescue it?
Do ‘creamed’ and ‘granulated’ mean the same thing? They are related, but I differentiate between the two on the basis of intent. Read more in this section.
The quality of this beautiful stuff can vary vastly, and there are many factors involved. If you are buying directly from a beekeeper or bee product company, find out what you’re getting by asking questions about moisture level, pasteurization, crop source and colour or grade.
Overuse and abuse of the word organic has led to mass confusion and skepticism. What does it really mean? Are organic products related to the terms ‘raw’, ‘local’ and ‘unpasteurized’? Further, given the nature of bees, can this amber goodness truly fit the definition of organic?
|Honey in China
China produces a great deal of the stuff, and it currently has a bad rap in places like the United States for a variety of reasons. Luckily, I have lived in China, and did a little of my own exploration into what bees and their keepers get up to there…
|Manuka! New Zealand Gold
The stuff coming out of China is suspect, but that coming out of New Zealand is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Demanding a high price and the subject of significant health claims, Kiwi gold, aka Manuka, seems to be at the top of the food chain within this realm of bee product.
|Other Bee Products and By-Products
Amazing creatures, these bees. Find out about honeycomb, beeswax, royal jelly, and propolis, among other hive products…
|Animal Ethics and The Use of Bees and Bee Products
Ethical issues concerning the consumption and use of bee products. Do bees and humans work in concert or is the relationship unequal? Are bees truly enslaved to humans?