ESSAYS | Epiphanies From a Beekeeper

Give & Take

 

Honeybees teach us that we can share our resources but we must defend ourselves against exploitation. We all have an incredible amount of energy and we can pour off a significant amount of that energy to others. We can parent, we can hold friendships for a lifetime and we can help others build their dreams. But if we give away too much we will starve ourselves. Our time in this life is limited. If we become ill we must prioritize restoring our health. If our creativity abandons us we must make space for it to come back home. If we lose connection to spirit we must return to nature. The honeybees have tolerated human intervention for centuries but they will defend themselves against violent intrusions and in times where resources are scarce. If you are depleted in one or several realms of your life right now it is time to restructure and restore.

How honey fits into your diet

The most common thing I am asked when people find out I am beekeeper is, "Do you get lots of honey?!" At once sticky and silky, honey has seduced the human tongue since ancient times. Better still, modern science as proven that the gustative allure of honey is equal to it's health benefits which include:

  • Helping regulate blood sugar
  • Containing cancer fighting flavanoids and antioxidants
  • Treating gastrointestinal disorders with naturally occuring enzymes and probiotics
  • Delivering minerals including iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and selenium
  • Healing wounds and burns with it's anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties
  • Soothing sore throats

Sounds like honey belongs in your pantry, first aid kit and medicine cabinet.

One word I would like people to start associating with honey is medicinal. For one, honey has preventative and curative properties. Secondly, it is potent! To receive the benefits of honey you need less than a tablespoon a day. You can up the dosage if you feel a cold coming on or happen to visit the bee yards with me and we get carried away tasting ;) But in all seriousness, honey should be consumed in small quantities. A little known fact is that honey loses many of it's health properties when heated because temperatures above 110°F kill the antioxidant and probiotic content. Ayurveda, the ancient sister science to Yoga, goes farther and says that heated honey is toxic for the human body. For these reasons, it is not recommended to bake with honey. Don't worry, there are plenty of other natural sweeteners like coconut palm sugar, maple syrup and agave that have better baking synergy.

Let's not be gluttons...

Honey is precious to the 20,000+ honeybees that it takes to make just one jar of honey. Honey is what bees eat during cooler seasons and there is no nectar flow. If you take all of the honey from a colony of bees they will starve to death. Beekeepers in seasonal climates, like Colorado, have to be particularly sensitive to how much honey the bees will need to make it through winter and spring. In recognition for how hard honeybees work to produce honey and how essential it is to their survival let's be conscious about our consumer behavior.

  • Buy local and raw honey (avoid honey that is labelled by large corporations)
  • Consume less than a tablespoon of honey a day
  • Savor the taste of honey - it may sound woo-woo, but taking a moment of conscious gratitude and reverence for the work honeybees did to make the honey you are enjoying will shift your relationship to nature for the better and contribute to the collective consciousness that the natural world deserves our respect and utmost care

With all of this in mind, you have the beekeeper's blessing, "May you have a spoonful of golden goodness a day and plenty of health and wealth come your way".

With love and sweetness,

Caitlin Rose