Tupelo Honey

grits honey

Tupelo honey

Tupelo honey is often referred to as Southern gold or the Queen of honey and rightly so. This velvety honey is the only honey diabetics can eat. Its high fructose content means that it is quickly absorbed by the body. Compared to other honeys it is has a longer release of energy making it also perfect for athletes. This also makes it the only honey that doesn’t crystallize, it remains liquid for years.

The Tree

The Ogeechee Tupelo tree was named for the river in Georgia where it was discovered by William Bartram, the Ogeechee River. It is also called sour tupelo gum, white tupelo, and bee tupelo. The trees grow in swamps. Therefore, the beehives are on stilts for them to gather the nectar from the female trees that have the blossoms. As the flower is like a magnolia, quite delicate, the hives have to be close to the trees. The red fruit of the tree ripens in autumn and can be made into jams and as a substitute for limes.

The Bees

Timing is everything with tupelo honey harvesting. And of course, the bees. Honey bees can produce about ½ tsp of honey in its lifetime and it take about two million flowers to produce one pound of honey. This is probably why they are called worker bees. Tupelo honey has always been my favorite especially in my grits honey scrub.

The Benefits of Beeswax for Skin

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The many benefits of beeswax for skin make it a powerful ingredient in several of HollyBeth Organic’s products. What exactly is beeswax?  Beeswax is naturally secreted by honey bees and used to line the inside of the hive to create honeycombs for honey storage. When beekeepers remove the honeycombs from the hive, the wax is cut away in the process of harvesting the honey.

Natural Thickener

HollyBeth uses beeswax to bring the rich, velvety thickness to her cream products, including her Eye Cream, Rose Geranium Moisturizer, Skin Therapy, Citrus Cream, and Body Balm. Beeswax provides a base for these luscious balms to keep their malleable structure.

The Benefits of Beeswax for Skin

Beeswax is a vitamin-rich, natural hydrator. It helps the skin lock in moisture while protecting it from the outside elements. Packed with Vitamin A and fatty acids, beeswax promotes the restoration of skin cells and a healthy, glowing complexion. Prone to dry skin or acne? Beeswax contains anti-inflammatory, skin soothing properties that help clean and soften the skin to promote healing and maintain balance.

Beeswax can do it all. We owe a great big thank you to those hard working honey bees!

*Did you know the honey bee population is declining every year? Click here to read about the importance of honey bees and the conservation efforts being made to improve their habitat.

Pumpkins and Bees

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Pumpkins and bees are heavy on my mind this morning. It is Saturday morning and I really didn’t intend to get on a soap box on a business page but it affects my business…. bees.

A World With No Bees?

Without bees we wouldn’t have these gorgeous blue, pink, red and orange pumpkins at Lucy’s market, unheard of colors when I was growing up as a pumpkin was always and only orange. No jack o lanterns, no pumpkin pies without the bees. Why? Because bees pollinate pumpkins. So the next time you think about swatting a bee think twice and kiss it instead. Without the bees you wouldn’t have 1 out of 7 bites of food or honey. Honey is the point of this tirade…. tupelo honey – found in our grits and honey scrub – is only found in the south… supposedly. However, as there was NO crop of tupelo honey this year I have to buy from last year’s supply. And here is where you, the consumer, might or should be upset: the farm I found is in Florida but the honey is shipped to Michigan – so I am buying from Michigan. Maybe I am the only person that finds this odd and/or carbon footprint crazy. The bees don’t have a carbon foot print only humans. The bottom line: we need the bees and unless you live under a rock you know we are losing them. So, I have decided to plant tupelo trees in the hopes that I can have bee hives…. if it is not too late. What are you going to do?

Bumble Bees

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Bumble bees, native to the United States, not like the humble honey bee that was imported in the 1600s from Europe are in danger. As with all 250 species of bees, they are in dire trouble and dying off. That is why I delight when my backyard is a bevy of buzz with all types of bees. I try and plant as many bee friendly plants as possible.

A bumble bee is differentiated from the carpenter bee by having a fuzzy, hairy body. They live in underground colonies, and die in the winter, except the queen. The wings beat 130 times a second. They pollinate plants that are eaten by humans, birds and insects, like cotton, apples, cherries and tomatoes. Unlike the aggressive yellow jackets, they will not attract and sting you. While I took the photo, they were all oblivious to me, intent on the lavender.

Plant native plants in your backyard and leave empty underground nests that have been vacated by rodents free for them. And of course plant more bee friendly plants in your yard. And please don’t use chemicals, your plants love coffee grounds and your roses will flourish with them.

apples

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Apples, did you know there are over 7500 varities world wide? It is the number one fruit eaten in the U.S. and rightly so. With no fat, sodium or cholesterol it is only 80 calories and 25% of it is water, that is why they float. It takes 36 apples to make one gallon of cider. And did you know the largest producers of apples is China?

This blossom is from one of my two apple trees in my backyard and it has yet to produce a harvest. It takes about 5-6 years to produce fruit, and as I am not quite patient, I do enjoy the beautiful blooms. Polinated by bees, I try and plant bee loving plants around the yard.

anise hyssop

Native to the Midwest, anise hyssop is a member of the mint family. Bees and butterflies are hovering over my anise hyssop that is flourishing in this heat wave. Aromatic of licorice and anise, it was planted in the 1870s to attract honeybees. Historically it has been used to guard against evil spirits, as a cough suppressant and as a wash against poison ivy and leprosy. Culinary uses include tea for digestion, salads, jellies and the seeds in cookies. anise

sunday blooming blessings

January 2013 and for the first time in my lifetime, daffodils, daphnes, lenten roses, camellias, mahonia are blooming and my holly tree is laden with berries waiting for the cedar wax wings in my backyard sanctuary. Bees are gathering pollen from my camellias and the birds are trying to nest… goodness and it will be going to the 30s this week. Visit my back yard on pinterest my backyard board for all the photos http://pinterest.com/hollybetha/ Enjoy!

 

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