It’s the bees that make honey special

December 26, 2017 7:55 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Honey sweetens things – but it isn’t simply sugar. And while we don’t have any objection to sugar at Naturally Good Food (we sell large quantities of high-quality, unrefined sugars), we have a special interest in honey too – and in the bees that produce it.

Honey is so much more than just another form of sugar.

What makes honey so special?

Foraging bees

In her wonderful book Wanderers in the New Forest, Juliette de Bairacli Levy explains how the bees around her New Forest home foraged among different plants to collect pollen and keep themselves healthy. She initially observed them ‘doctoring themselves’ with pollen from onion flowers when the colony was weak. Their first choice of flowers were those which, she says, herbalists know to be rich in medicinal properties. The very cultivated large flowers, with a weaker scent, were ignored.

Bees know instinctively the right plants from which to take pollen.

Juliette de Bairacli Levy explains how the bees in the New Forest forage amongst the best herbs, flowers and trees.

She gives a beautiful description of how the bees foraged, based on careful observation:

‘When first leaving the hive, our bees feasted themselves on willow blossom, which, apart from being rich in minerals, is also a gentle purge, needed after the long winter of inactivity. Apple and pear blossom, rich in nerve-tonic properties, is their next choice, followed by holly…one of the supreme herbs for building body structure…They crowd also upon the laurel flowers, that shrub-tree with great powers to increase the intelligence of the mind. Wild and cultivated raspberry, the great herb for the female body and of birth, is their following choice and from there they work with ardour kindred blossom ….which are further nerve tonic and blood-enrichening’.

Levy concludes:

‘from their deep, inherent, knowledge, and ability to work ceaselessly, they ensure that the honey for their colony is charged with health-giving qualities for the good of all members’.

She contrasts this ‘honey food so knowledgeably and diligently gathered’ with  the ‘lifeless, nerve-weakening and acid-producing concoction of man, white sugar’.

The bees' gain is ours too, as we share the results.

Bees follow their instincts to keep their colonies healthy.

Levy’s writing is perhaps the best advertisement there could be for eating honey. Humans may not themselves be able to feast on willow blossom and holly, but through the bees, we can benefit from all the properties of these many plants.

Our special honeys

At Naturally Good Food we stock honey that has something special about it. We have, in our range:

As well, of course, as a range of products made with or based on honey, all of which can be seen here.

At this time of year, with the shrubs and trees putting forth their last flowers and shoots, it’s the ideal time to reap the benefits of the bees’ harvest.

 

 

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This post was written by Yzanne

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