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Exciting Recipes and Great Uses for Honey this Winter

The adage is true: summer bodies are made in the winter. If you are like many Americans after the new year, you might be trying to eat healthily and watch your weight this season. One way to achieve this goal is to eat natural foods over man-made or artificial products.

Honey is healthier than processed sugar

Sugarcane comes from nature, but it takes a lot of processing for it actually to become sugar. Honey, on the other hand, is made purely from bees – a natural product. So, honey makes a great natural substitute for white sugar and other sweeteners. Honey is sweeter than sugar and has more calories. A single tablespoon of honey contains 64 calories, with white sugar only having 49.

But because honey is a sweeter substance, you can use less of it to make something sweet. Sugar is higher on the Glycemic Index, this means it can spike your blood sugars more quickly than honey. Sugar is comprised of 50 percent glucose and 50 percent fructose. Honey, on the other hand, contains 40 percent fructose and 30 percent glucose, with the remaining elements being water, pollen, magnesium and potassium. The later ingredients being part of the reason why honey is also better for you.

How to substitute honey for sugar

It is easy to use honey to replace sugar in most recipes. Simply use ¾ cup of honey to replace 1 cup of sugar. Honey has more liquid than regular sugar so you may need to use less liquid in the recipe. The National Honey Board has great recipes using honey as the primary sweetener. These honey thyme cakes look amazing.

Honey can be used to make more than just desserts, though. It can also be used in savory dishes like these honey lime chicken skewers. In general, it makes a healthier replacement for sugar.

How does honey help a sore throat in the winter?

Honey has been used by many cultures for millennia to treat a variety of ailments. This knowledge has been passed down generation to generation and now science is catching up to explain why honey is so amazing. Most likely, you’ve tried honey in a sore throat remedy. Perhaps mixed with lemon and hot tea? It works. It has antimicrobial features, so it is killing bacteria that might be causing a sore throat.

Another key to honey’s medicinal properties is that it actually reduces the swelling. Bringing down the swelling makes your throat hurt less. Honey acts as a hypertonic osmotic, meaning it pulls water out. It helps calm inflamed tissue reducing the swelling, making it easier to swallow. Honey works wonders for a sore throat, it’s is not just an old wives’ tale.

Honey also has antibacterial properties

Honey is quickly becoming a staple in healthcare regimens thanks to its antimicrobial properties. Manuka honey, or honey from a tea tree bush, is very effective in this. This kind of honey is being used in a medical setting as a treatment against MRSA and staph. Some of the worst infections to get in a hospital setting. The healthcare industry is using honey to help clean wounds, reduce inflammation and promote new tissue growth. At home, simply put honey on the bandage and cover the wound. See for yourself if you heal faster.

Honey has also been proven to help burn pain and heal burns faster. From sunburns to kitchen burns, honey can help reduce pain and also make the burn go away quickly.

We hope you enjoy using honey in the winter as much as we do at Little Giant Beekeepers. If you have a hive you didn’t ask for please contact Little Giant Beekeepers and we can help you with a hive removal. Call 972-316-9135.

The Most Interesting Insect in the World – Honey Bee Facts

Facts About Honeybees

You may think you know a lot about honeybees, but there is always more to learn about this fascinating creature. Did you know that honeybees are the only insect that produces food consumed by humans? Or that honey is the one food that never goes bad?  Did you know that honeybees are responsible for one-third of our crops, thanks to their pollinating skills? Truly, honeybees are fascinating creatures.

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Tips for Honey Extraction

Have you noticed that beekeeping is gaining popularity as a hobby? You don’t have to live in the country or have a lot of land to raise bees, even in cities like Dallas and Fort Worth apiaries are popping up. Sure, it’s not the most accessible hobby to get started but it does bring in some excellent benefits. Beekeeping in Dallas, Fort Worth area is especially great because raw, local honey is known to help with allergies. Anyone who lives in the Dallas Fort Worth areas knows allergies are a problem, especially this time of year. Not only is local honey good for it also taste great. It tastes so much better than the store-bought stuff. And it even better knowing the bees you have been babying created it!

Besides the honey, there are other benefits to raising your own bees. Bees wax is actually quite useful around the house. You could make candles, lotion, polish furniture, and much more! You can get quite crafty with it.

End of summer is an excellent time for extraction because it is so warm, and the honey will flow better. Our first tip for honey extraction is patience. It takes time, and you need to be patient. It is not a quick job, and going too fast can get messy. Another tip is to make sure you have all the right gear before you get started. For clothing, jacket, gloves, hat, and veil is a good idea, especially if you are just getting started and do not know the personify of your bees. Better safe than sorry. Also, you will want to have all the possible tools you will need ready to go.

It is a good idea to try to do the extraction somewhere else besides your kitchen. It is a very sticky process! Nobs, floors, and table will be sticky. It best to try it somewhere more open with fewer things around. A garage might be a functional space or an outdoor shed. One unique issue is that bees will smell you working on an extraction. If you straight up just do it outside and it takes a while more bees are going to show up.

Another tip is an addition to all your other tools have a large bucket or bowl of water and some dish towels to wash off your hands when they do get sticky from the extraction. Again, it can be a messy job and best to keep water nearby for easy use.

One way to save some money on the somewhat expensive hobby is to share or borrow extractor’s, uncapping tanks and other extracting equipment. Since most hobbyists only use it once or twice a year it’s a good tool to share. In addition, you could also help each other since extracting honey is a two-person job.

Warm honey flows better than cool honey. It spins out of the comb faster and more thoroughly than cold honey in an extractor. It also strains more quickly through a filter.  Honey at 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 c) or higher will be extracted most easily.  Not a problem in Texas!

Bees are usually docile when beekeepers are extracting honey, but they will sting if you accidentally smash one.  Did you know that although its sweet, honey is highly acidic? So, you want to pick the right container to keep the extracted honey it.  Do not use aluminum and galvanized steel because that will react with the honey acids.  Stick with plastic, stainless steel or glass. Tupperware and Rubbermaid both make good plastic containers to hold honey and cappings.  Uncovered honey also catches insects, so keep the honey covered.

Enjoy your harvest and if you have a hive you didn’t ask for please contact Little Giant Beekeepers and we can help you with hive removal. Call 972-316-9135 for a free consultation.

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