September 2020 Newsletter
It’s now officially Autumn and the time of year for harvest! We just recently harvested the honey from our many beehives and what busy bees they were this year! Here is a little info on how bees actually produce the honey we all love and enjoy.
Bees make honey from nectar, which is a special substance produced by flowers. Bees collect this substance by sucking it into their honey stomach, causing the nectar to mix with the bee’s enzymes. Bees do this so that they can convert the nectar to simple sugars: fructose, maltose, sucrose and glucose. After they have collected the nectar, the bees fly back into the hive where the honey is deposited into a hexagon-shaped cell made of wax, the honeycomb. They then dry the watery honey by beating their wings and creating a “wind” to evaporate the water. Once the honey is ready, they seal it with a thin layer of wax. When the honey is ready to be harvested, the beekeeper takes the honeycomb frames out of the hives and brings them in for extraction. First the thin layer of wax that the bees built on the hexagonal cells have to be removed with a special “uncapping” tool. Next the frames are placed in the extractor and spun at high speed to allow the honey to flow out. Once collected, the honey is filtered through a fine sieve and is now ready for consumption. This is considered raw, unpasteurized honey.
Raw honey has many nutritional benefits besides tasting great. Local raw honey has bits of local flower pollen, which some believe can help with seasonal allergies. Unpasteurized raw honey also has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. There are also wound dressings made with honey to help heal wounds. The many antioxidants and phytonutrients make raw honey a very special sugar substitute. Honey is also an amazing skincare ingredient due to its incredibly moisturizing properties.
Beeswax is made by bees in a special wax making gland. Bees use the wax to make cells for their honey and build their hive. In skincare products, beeswax is moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal. 100% beeswax candles are the healthiest way to light your evenings as they are all natural and non-toxic. For more information, please see the description on our 100% beeswax tealight candles product page.
Here at Healing Bees, not only do we use our own honey and beeswax in our skincare products (with other 100% natural ingredients), but we also have beeswax and raw wildflower honey available for purchase. This summer our bees spent the last part of summer up in the pristine mountains near Hope, BC. They collected fireweed nectar and made absolutely delicious honey with it! Fireweed honey is considered the “Champagne of honey” for its delicate flavour that is described as sweet, fruity, and with a delightful buttery finish. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
We hope you have a wonderful Autumn and stay safe and healthy!
The Healing Bees Family