Bees, Honey, & Benefits

As a gardener I’ve always appreciated to gentle flutter of butterflies or the special appearance of hummingbirds, however bees aren’t exactly welcomed with open arms. That being said bees have a great importance in our gardens and our ecosystem as a whole. By holding back our instinctive reaction to swat at them we should really be doing the reverse and try to attract them to our gardens and reap the rewards of having an abundance of bees.

One of the greatest rewards of having bees as a mainstay in our gardens is that they are natural pollinators. With more pollination, you will yield more crop from a vegetable garden and more flowers in your flower garden. Another benefit of having or aiding bees in their journey back to the hive is for that liquid gold that they make. Both honey and bees wax have amazing properties that just can’t be reproduced by man and that alone is one of the main reasons bees are truly a treasure.

Basic Principals for attracting Bees to your Garden

  • Be willing to have some plant damage
  • Choose a pest management regime that does not include pesticides
  • Opt out on the bug zapper. If you have one, these generally kill more beneficial bugs than actual pests
  • Provide water source a small dish of water with some sand and pebbles so the bees do not drown preferably by flowering plants
  • Provide a diverse variety of blooming plants throughout the seasons for the long haul

Oh, HONEY! How sweet it is?

Honey has a long history of human consumption and is used in various foods and beverages as a sweetener. Honey is also used to treat many different ailments such as promoting a rejuvenating sleep. Strengthening those weakened by illness or stress, replenishing energy, enhancing physical stamina, soothe a cough and is also used to treat minor skin wounds and chapped lips.

When buying honey it is always best to read the label. Now days nothing is as it seems to be. Raw honey is the best kind of honey you could get. But why? Raw honey is honey fresh from the comb. It’s not pasteurized and it still contains the healthy enzymes that enable its medicinal properties.

It is said that store-bought pasteurized honey is no better than white sugar not to mention some of these retailed honeys actually water down their product or are artificially flavored. The heat from pasteurization kills the beneficial enzymes making them useless to the body. One thing to also keep in mind is raw honey does have variations in color, taste, and texture. This is because some species of bees only pollinate certain flowers, and also what sources of nectar producing flowers were available to the bees. Monofloral honey is made from the nectar of one type of flower. To produce monofloral honey, beekeepers keep beehives in an area where the bees have access to only one type of flower. Some examples of monofloral honeys are clover, orange blossom, blueberry, sage, buckwheat, mesquite and many more.