The Role of Bees and Honey
A single worker bee makes only about 1/12 teaspoon of honey in its entire lifetime. To produce just one pound of honey, foraging bees must visit approximately two million blooms. Most microorganisms don’t grow in honey, so a sealed container of honey can last for a very long time, probably hundreds of years.
Honey bees store up honey as a cache for colder months. Bees, under the right conditions, will produce far more honey than is needed for winter. This allows a beekeeper to harvest the excess. Bees store honey in wax honeycombs. In the case of domesticated beehives, these honeycombs are on removable frames so that honey can be harvested without damaging or destroying the colony. The real importance of honey bees is their service to ecology. Honey bees are the invaluable pollinator “workhorse” of fruit and vegetable agriculture and make possible one in three bites of food we consume by pollinating the flowers of the plants that grow our food.
Honey Taffy | Homemade Honey Mustard Dressing (Lightened Up!) | Honey Apple Bars | Baked Goat Cheese Orecchiette with lemon, shallots, and honey | Salted Honey Sweet Potato Pie | Homemade Honey Butter Recipe
Condiment – enjoy honey on bread, toast, biscuits, bagels, pancakes/waffles, or in yogurt and granola. Dip slices of apple in honey, or use it to sweeten a smoothie, coffee, or tea.
Salad Dressings – honey and dijon mustard are two of the most common emulsifiers used in salad dressings. Emulsifiers prevent the oil and vinegar from separating when blended together. Blend honey into salad dressings to provide sweetness and complement the vinegar or citrus base, while also helping to ensure that your dressing holds up.
Cough Suppressant – use it to soothe a sore throat or to help alleviate a persistent cough. In one study, honey was proven to be as effective as common, over-the-counter cough suppressants.
Sugar Substitute – honey is sweeter than sugar, therefore it requires less to achieve the desired sweetness. Use ½ to ¾ cup of honey to replace 1 cup of sugar. If baking, add ¼ tsp of baking soda for each cup of sugar replaced to keep the dough from being too wet. Honey will make your baked goods more moist and dense. When using honey, lower your oven temperature by 25°F to prevent browning.
Raw honey (unheated, unfiltered) tends to crystallize sooner than commercially-processed honey. To slow crystallization, store your honey at room temperature. Re-liquify your honey by gently warming the container in a hot water bath over low heat (do not boil water).