Buzzing by with Crystal’s Miss Bee-Haven Updates

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We have incredible news; one of our hives survived the winter!!! We were so excited to see bees buzzing around when we took off the protection we had around the hive during the winter. Talk about a happy surprise. Crystal’s miss bee haven is slowly taking off; we have about a quarter acre filled with flowers this year. As we are finding out, sometimes things take smaller steps to be successful. With the help of the flowers we have been able to actually get a small amount of honey from our hive this year. We are always hoping for more, but a good bee keeper knows that smaller amounts are better than no honey at all. Plus, we are of the belief that the more honey we leave behind for winter, the better off our bees are. We would rather find something else to eat then make our bees suffer by feeding them in the spring.

Earlier this month I was interviewed by the incredible Chef Stevie, of A Fresh Take!! She is a Registered Nutritionist, Healthy Chef, and Holistic Health Coach. She is all about healthy cooking, as well as education. On her show we talked about the bees, bee products, and what can be done with honey. As I tell everyone; I am still learning about bees and love sharing what I am learning with everyone. My favorite part was how to cook with honey and my favorite honey recipes! Here is the podcast: http://www.chefstevie.com/podcast.html. Just click on the link and then scroll down to The Buzz about Honey.

We are also very happy to say that we got a new extractor to get honey out of the frames!! This is very exciting for us because it gives us practice extracting honey and it now takes less time! We are hopeful that we will be able to get honey next year for The Honey Cottage. We are very pleased to say that it works well and has given us the opportunity to extract honey from the frames without destroying the beeswax completely. This saves our bees energy and helps them to put away honey faster instead of having to make more beeswax! We are hoping that the color changes here within the next couple of weeks so that we can show the differences between honey harvested at the beginning of summer and later in the summer.

We are in the process of revamping our website; to make it easier for customers to navigate! There have been a lot of struggles with it, so please bee patient as we repair our hive. Make sure to follow us on Facebook, twitter, and LinkedIn to get the best updates and information as to what is happening in our hive. Lots of surprises are still on the way!!!

Here are a couple of bee-autiful pictures of the honey we have so far!!

From our bee hive to yours,

Queen Bee

Honey in another light

At The Honey Cottage we strive to improve our customer’s knowledge. We feel that customers can make better decisions when they have good information. At The Honey Cottage we get super excited about bees and honey. It is very exciting to show customers new honeys and even more exciting when they do a taste testing. This then raises questions about how honey works in our bodies. This is one of the reason’s we work with Ron Fessenden MD, MPH, we like being able to answer questions with the facts. The internet is a great tool; however, there are too many opinions instead of facts. We have also run into the problem where someone wrote an opinion about someone’s blog. So trying to find the facts and the truth can bee a real struggle sometimes. At The Honey Cottage we do the best to control our opinions so that customers can make up their own minds.

A question that comes up frequently is; won’t honey raise my blood sugar? Dr. Fessenden and Mike McInnes, MRPS reply’s, in The Honey Revolution (abridged), with this; “a small dose of honey does not raise blood sugar as much as an equivalent dose of glucose or sugar (sucrose); it does not trigger a large insulin spike. Honey controls or regulates blood sugar and helps to stabilize it within a normal range.” Now we need to clarify this because honey is not just honey that you find in any bear. The honey Dr. Fessenden is talking about is raw straight from the hive honey. This means that the honey has not been adultered nor had anything added to it. The nutrients that are in honey are vital to the body and cannot be duplicated by man. The sugars in raw honey are all usable by the body and honey has minerals and trace minerals that are also used.

Now this leads to another question, which actually concerns us, we get. Is there such thing as sugar free honey? To answer this straight forward, there is no such thing as straight from the hive raw honey that is sugar free. The plain and simple answer is that the sugar free honey is an imitation product that is for those that are diabetic. Dr. Fessenden MD, MPH, and Mike McInnes, MRPS have answered this question in their book The Honey Revolution, “Honey consumption regulates blood sugar, reducing the highs and preventing the lows, and regular honey consumption results in lower average blood sugar levels (10 to 20 milligrams percent or more) and in lower HbA1c levels (0.2 to 0.4 percent). After ingestion, honey is rapidly absorbed and converted into glycogen in the liver, thus removing glucose from circulation and lowering blood sugar levels.”

They also say this: “The effect of honey on blood sugar levels is due to its ideal combination of fructose and glucose- a unique composition that facilitates the direct formation of liver glycogen and lowers blood sugar levels. Lower blood sugar levels mean a lessened demand for and release of insulin, thus accounting for a stabilization of blood sugar within the circulation.”

Dr. Fessenden has been researching and testing honey for years, trying to find all of benefits of this liquid treasure. Honey can be a very valuable addition to anyone’s diet. Like everything, it should be done in small amounts. Everything should be limited and not over used. Feel free to pick up any of his books as well to see what we are learning from this local doctor and author. Bee Happy, Bee Well!

From our bee hive to yours,

Queen Beehk41.jpg

1-2-3’s to Save the Bees!!!

Did you know that there is a way for everyone to take part and help save the bees? It may not seem like a big difference this year, but it will definitely help get a good start for next year. Here are the top 5 things you can do to help bees: don’t pick the flowers, don’t buy corporate plants buy from your local garden clubs, plant a variety of plants; especially bee friendly ones, do co-planting instead of using pesticides, and spread the word!!!

Did you know that bees eat all season and that they need all flowers that bloom? Dandelions, peach blossoms and lilacs are some of the first flowers that start to bloom in spring. The bees need this first forage after their long winter in the hive. Store bought plants can have GMO pesticides and growth retardants on them when they arrive at the store. This is to keep the flowers looking nice by the time they make it to the store; however, the pesticides kill bees. Working with the local garden club can help the club and makes sure the plants are well taken care of and don’t have the pesticides on them.

Variety is the spice of life, so plant wildflowers. Just like humans bees need to have a variety of food in their diet to stay healthy. A wildflower mix of seeds can do that. They will bloom all season until fall, which is what bees also need to stay healthy and make bee-licious honey! The changing bee-auty will keep the neighbors and the bees buzzing about your garden. The greater the variety the greater the health!

Please don’t use pesticides on the plants!!! Bees pollinate all of our food; if it has nectar then it needs to be pollinated.  By killing our bees we are losing our food source to keep us alive and moving around. Do some co-planting instead; like planting peppermint, this will deter bugs from eating the plants. So it is time to share and get the word out to save our precious pollinators!!! Please plant, share and get out there to help protect our bees!

From our hive to yours,

Queen Bee

Do you know what you like?

There is nothing more frustrating than buying a product, getting home, and discovering that it does not taste good. That is what makes us different, we LOVE giving taste testings of different honeys!!

Do you know what you like? Your taste buds do! This has been my new catch phrase because your taste buds can tell you better than anything what you are going to find palatable. Honey is different depending on the time of year, what types of pollen were collected, and taste. No two honeys are the same and honeys change from one year to the next. So there are going to be different notes that people are going to notice that others may not. The tongue has a way to sense what is to strong and what is too light. Some honeys maybe sweeter than other honeys and some maybe too strong.

The joy of watching people light up when they try a new honey is indescribable. It is fascinating for so many customers to walk into our shop and see how many honeys there are available. We don’t even have them all; there are more than 250 honeys and that does not even count the small beekeepers that can have several types. Don’t bee fooled honey should not have the same consistency, flavor, and color all the time. Honey should be based on what is available for the bees to nibble on!!

It is fun to watch people who have not had the joy of experiencing raw honey straight from the hive. It is even more interesting to watch two people trying the same type of honey and watching their reactions. It is the realization that nobody’s taste buds are the same. So let us help you find what you like by buzzing by and doing a honey tasting the next time you are in Old Colorado City.

From our hive to yours,

Queen Bee