November 6, 2008

Staying up late

To jar my HONEY! I recently extracted the honey from my beehives – forty-nine pounds, to be exact!  The yield filled many, many jars – half-pints, full-pints, and twelve-ounce.  I used canning jars, all washed and sterilized first.  The honey is a delicious and flavorful mix from flowers and fruit and vegetable blossoms from my garden.  Come and have a look at this lovely, golden treasure.  Plus, here’s some information about honey that you might find interesting.

Honey is a delightfully tasty, sweet substance produced from flower nectar by honeybees.  Humans have been using honey since ancient times.  In fact, apiculture, the practice of beekeeping, can be traced back to around 700 BC.  Honey can be enjoyed today in a variety of forms and flavors, but in early times it was a rare commodity.  Regarded as a symbol of life and wealth, its use was reserved for religious ceremonies and for medicinal purposes.  It was used as a purifier, an antiseptic, a skin toner, an aid to digestion, and as a sedative.  Rarely was honey eaten just for pleasure, except, of course, by bears.

Honey’s reputation as a cure-all is a subject of debate among scientists, but much contemporary research supports this folk wisdom.  Honey inhibits bacteria growth and contains disease-fighting antioxidants.  It can serve as, among other things, a natural remedy for digestive problems, and as a quick energy source.  It can also be used as a dressing for wounds and burns, and even as an ointment for many skin conditions.  Despite all of its good qualities, honey shouldn’t be fed to babies under 1 year of age.  All types of honey contain spores that very young bodies can’t tolerate.

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The honey will be stored in my basement pantry. Many jars will be given away as holiday gifts.