Acacia Honey in China

21 01 2013

Chinese Acacia Honey - yang huai feng miFrom time to time, I buy a jar of Chinese honey. It makes sense. After all, I live in China. Why not buy local? Of course, Chinese products are often suspect in some way – many Chinese folks I’ve spoken to are suspicious of honey coming from their own country, and as I’ve written about before, they have a reason to be. But I’ve also written that it’s impossible for us to avoid toxins completely given what we, as humans, have done to our world. So Chinese honey and whatever chemicals it contains makes their way into my kitchen.

Robinia pseudoacacia 004This time round, I secured a jar of acacia honey.  One of the more common monofloral honeys, this honey comes from the false acacia tree  (洋槐 yáng​ huái – black locust tree or Robinia pseudoacacia). The tree grows in warmer climates in Europe and North America, but it also grows in China. The honey is usually rather light in colour, but can have an amber hue (particularly if it has been pasteurized) like in the jar you see here.

Acacia honey has a higher fructose content than most honeys. As a result, it tastes sweeter – you will likely need less to sweeten your tea – and it probably won’t crystallize like most honeys will over time.

See other posts on my Chinese honey adventures:





Motherwort Honey

18 09 2012

One of the delightful things about being back in China is the availability of honey from crops that are uncommon or non-existent in Canada. I have written in the past about the notoriety of Chinese honey, and I stand by that. Many Chinese products are suspect and/or cheaply made, reality being lack of regulation, standards and labour laws, all in the name of capitalism.

Leonurus cardiaca - motherwort - yi mu caoBut, of course all bodies living in the modern world are filled with carcinogens and other poisons from numerous sources, including food. If I spent all my time worrying about what I put in my mouth, I’d eat nothing at all. Besides, research to date does not yet demonstrate that organic food, for example, is better for us (see this recent study done by Stanford University on the health benefits of organic food). I do support organic farming and beekeeping – it is good for the environment and the ecosystem – but I also eat notorious Chinese honey.

Motherwort honey from China - Leonorus - yi mu caoToday, as I am currently plagued by a recurring throat infection, I went honey shopping in my local grocery store. And I found some motherwort honey. Motherwort or Leonorus (most common varieties: L. cardiaca, L. sibiricus and L. heterophyllus), known in Chinese as 益母草 (yi mu cao), is an herb with healing properties. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, motherwort is used to energize the liver and the blood, and for menstrual issues. I found an interesting link to a Western blogger who has used it to calm emotionality.

Motherwort honey is light amber to amber in colour (see my colour standards guide at the bottom of this page). It is fragrant, and it is tangy, and almost spicy. After tasting it, I read others’ reports that it tasted of mint. I’m not sure that is what I tasted, but I could understand the interpretation.

In additions to the purported healing effects of motherwort listed above, the honey is recommended as a tranquilizer, sedative, and can soothe hoarseness and sore throats.

Wish me luck!





Support a Beekeeper! Bees Alive! Now Taking Advertisers

10 08 2012

Are you a beekeeper that sells honey, value-added products or offers other products, courses or services? Do you know and appreciate a beekeeper in your area? Then please read on.

Bees Alive! is now devoting space to the advertising of local honey, beekeeping services, workshops and other products.

This is an an established web site since June 2010 that serves to educate people about bees, what they do, and why they are important. We also support a ‘shop local and organic’ philosophy, and this kind of consumption does not exclude honey and honey products.

In the last month, I created a page on Bees Alive! devoted to advertising for local beekeepers to find out whether we’d get any interest/traffic (I can monitor search terms used to get to our site), and indeed, I’ve had visitors looking for honey in specific regions as well as for specific beekeepers, specific farmers’ market venues, and specific products. I’d like to open the advertising up to people in other regions than those I’ve tested. This is a site that attracts international visitors, and ideally, I’d like to see that reflected in the advertising.

Incidentally, I also cover farmers’ markets and local honey vendors at farmers’ markets on my more eclectic blog: The Good Villager, which attracts foodies, travellers, and those interested in responsible living. These visitors are also exposed to honey vendors advertising through Bees Alive!

So, why not advertise your or your favourite local honey and value-added products with Bees Alive!…?

Makes an affordable gift to the beekeeper in your life (even if they’re not selling honey, but might like some exposure to their projects). And if that beekeeper is you, all the better!

Check out fees below. If you have something a little different in mind than the options below, let’s talk. Further info, and a contact form can be found below.

Advertising Options 2012

Option Example Pricing
Business name that links to your web site Bees Alive! $5 / month
or
$55 / year
Name and address that links to your web site
ABC Honey and Honey Products
123 Bee Lane
Beeville, HB
12345
phone number/email
$6 / month
or
$66 / year
Business Card
that links to your web site
bee business card sample $10 / month
or
$110 / year
Blog Post
(once published, these details remain accessible to search engines until the end of time)
Jean-Marie Sempels: Local Honey in Quyon, Quebec $200 / post
$10 for later modifications such as address changes
(major changes require a new post)

To add a single line of text that lists your products or special features (organic, specialty crops, workshops, etc.), add $1/month or $11/year.

Listings will be categorized by country, then province/state/territory, then region.

Honey vendors who opt to advertise through a blog post will be listed as a FEATURED LISTING in their respective region.

See how this works: HERE.

We are currently taking payment through PayPal.

If you are interested in advertising with Bees Alive! or would like to talk about options, please fill out the form below, including a way to contact you via email.








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