Friday, December 30, 2011

Bee Good

Beekeeper crop

When Wined and Died came out last July, I guest posted on Killer Crafts and Crafty Killers about many of the benefits of honey.

As it happens, Lois Winston will be guest posting here on Hearth Cricket next Tuesday, which got me to thinking about that post and checking my supply of local honey.

Then, less than an hour later I stumbled across Honey, Nature’s Golden Healer by Gloria Havenhand at the library. Literally stumbled, as the community college library I frequent is taking advantage of the holiday break to renovate parts of the facility, and things are in disarray. It doesn’t help that I’m a total klutz somewhat uncoordinated, either.


510tzTI5hrL._SL500_AA300_ Havenhand is a beekeeper (naturally), and her book is chock full of interesting bits about bees, honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, and beeswax. She provides yummy looking recipes – and the photos are simply gorgeous.

Yes, once again I’m thinking about making this top-bar hive and giving bee keeping a go next spring. Because it’s winter now, and I can imagine all the things I really don’t have time to do. This year, I’ll have even less time than usual. Still, let a girl dream, eh? 

One of the things that struck me as I read the book is how unique honey is. Havenhand says,

“Honey only comes from honeybees – nobody has been able to invent or develop a machine (or the materials) to manufacture honey – and for them honey-making is an industrial process that mocks the modest attempts at industry plied by man. The raw material, nectar, is gathered laboriously from thousands upon thousands of flowers. Bees are an enviable workforce: they can work nearly 24 hours a day and swear unswerving allegiance to their “boss,” the queen bee. They ask for nothing in return except their tiny food collections.”

As much as I’d learned about honey’s amazing antibacterial and healing properties when researching Wined and Died, Havenhand provides even more therapeutic uses, including:

  • Taking honey with calcium supplements to increase the body’s calcium uptake
  • Taking 2-3 teaspoonfuls to counteract water retention
  • Combining honey with cinnamon and propolis to fight arthritis
  • Using borage honey specifically to regulate blood pressure
  • Taking honey before bed to battle insomnia and wake up refreshed since the glucose stored in the liver regulates blood sugar overnight
  • Taking honey before bed to ease leg cramps
  • Mixing honey into warm milk to calm the nerves and battle depression

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. She also talks about bee sting therapy, preserving with honey, and even using it to heal wounds on trees.

I’m so glad I tripped onto this book!

(And yes, that’s me in the beekeeping suit above, courtesy of our apiary-owning friends who let K and me help with the harvest one year.)


  1. That's such a cute photo, Cricket. Whenever I think of honey, I also think of biscuits...which means I shouldn't think about honey very often. :)

  2. When I think of honey, I think of (besides my sweetie) a cup of hot tea, and yes, biscuits, or honingkoek, that great Dutch honey cake.