By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician
I have a love-hate relationship with bees. I love the bees at my farm! It is a symbiotic relationship farm to bee. The bees especially love the red raspberries. Not much beats a warm fall day with a breeze, listening to the bees at work. It is Zen-like. And let me tell you, my customers love honey!
I have however, had quite a few funniest home video adventures with bees, with one last week being among the most memorable. I’ve mowed around the hives, weekly for 13 years with only one incident. But somehow last week some bees got caught in my hair. I was wearing ear plugs but I’m sure I was screaming. They began to sting my scalp because they couldn’t get out of (as Paul says) my mass of hair! I high-tailed it, pedal to the floor to my mom’s next door about 800 feet away. I arrived at her door with my new “beehive” hairdo, created not from a 1960s beauty parlor but due to my erratic and wild driving trying to out drive the bees.
“Free the bees” I yelled!
Between my mass of hair, my mom’s eye issues and the bees loving my hair, it took some time before I was bee free. It sure wasn’t pleasant at the time but I wish I had it on video. I’m sure it would’ve won the big prize!
There were 7,644 beekeepers registered with Ohio Department of Agriculture by the beginning of 2019, with an estimated 4,700+ colonies. In 2015, Ohio produced 850,000 pounds of honey. The American Beekeeping Federation (AFB) states that there are over 300 unique varieties of honey in the United States, each originating from a different floral source. It is estimated that a third of all foods, either directly or indirectly, need honey pollination. The world’s oldest honey was discovered about 7 years ago in the country of Georgia and estimated to be over 5,500 years old.
It is certainly buzz-worthy to note that the honeybee is an interesting sort. They love to fly. Bees are generally home foraging in a 2-mile radius from their hive, though they have been known to fly up to 6 miles. On average a worker bee only lives 6 to 8 weeks in the summer. Their main cause of death is that they have worn their wings out. In that short lifetime, they produce one-twelfth of teaspoon of honey and fly the equivalent of one and a half times the circumference of the earth.
Honey adds a unique rich flavor to your recipes. A quick and easy way to get every tasty drop of honey is to spray utensils with cooking spray before measuring. Honey has 22 calories per teaspoon compared to sugar with 16 calories per teaspoon, so you won’t need as much to sweeten your foods. You can substitute honey for sugar. This being true, ABF suggest you can substitute honey for up to half the sugar in the recipe, reducing liquid by one-quarter cup per 1 cup of honey used. You should also reduce temps by 25 degrees F when baking to prevent overbrowning.
All honey will naturally crystalize, especially if you are not a huge consumer of honey. You can liquify in the microwave with the lid off. First, get a micro safe container and be careful not to boil the honey. Start with 30-second increments and stir between. Speaking from personal experience, honey bears are NOT, I repeat not micro safe. One suggestion given to me was to pop your honey bear in the top rack of your dishwasher. Run the cycle and voilà — beautiful honey in a non-deformed bear!!!
September is a great month to celebrate honey! The bees begin to prepare for the winter and beekeepers are collecting their sweet harvests. Use it to top your fruit, bread products, yogurt or try one of the recipes below. It’s bound to BEE a tasty treat!!
Eat well and healthy
No bake chocolate peanut butter energy bites honey.com
This is one of National Honey Board’s most requested recipes.
1/2 cup peanuts, finely chopped
1 1/2 cup old fashioned Quaker oats, divided
1/3 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup almond flour
3 T unsweetened cocoa
2 T peanut butter powder
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips, divided
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup + 1 T honey
2 T milk
Line a sheet pan with parchment or wax paper.
In a food processor, combine 1 cup of the oats, flax seed, almond flour, cocoa, peanut butter powder and 1/3 cup of the chocolate chips. Pulse several times until it resembles coarse meal.
Add the peanut butter, honey and almond milk to the oat mixture and process until the mixture comes together.
Transfer the oat mixture to a large bowl and mix in the remaining oats and chocolate chips, your hands work best for this!
Scoop out 1” clusters of the mixture and roll into a ball with your hands. Then dip the bites in the finely chopped peanuts. Place each ball on the sheet pan and chill in the refrigerator. When the bites are chilled and set, store in an airtight container for up to a week. Makes 15 balls NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per serving) Calories 214 kcal; Fat 13 g; Sat Fat 3 g; Carb 23 g; Protein 6 g; Fiber 4 g; Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 48 mg; Potassium 182 mg; Calcium 34 mg; Iron 1 mg; Vitamin D 1 mcg
Honey beets old favorite honey recipes abfnet.org
6-8 young beets
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. onion, chopped finely
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 cup water
2 Tbsp. Honey
2 Tbsp. Vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Wash and cook 6 young beets. Drain and peel skin. Cut in slices or cubes.
Melt butter in saucepan, add onion and sauté slightly.
Add cornstarch, water, salt and pepper. Stir until thick. Stir in beets, vinegar and honey. Eat soon.
Honey-roasted vegetables marthastewart.com
2 medium sweet potatoes (1 pound total), peeled, halved, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup walnut halves
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 to 5 sprigs thyme
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a 3-quart baking dish, toss together sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, walnuts, honey, and oil; season with salt and pepper. Top with thyme sprigs and roast until vegetables are browned at edges and tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour.
Honey and cinnamon nighttime drink https://infotopharian.blogspot.com/
It’s a little hot to enjoy this drink tonight but this website claims it is the ideal method to unwind and destress during the evening! I’ll let you know in the morning.
1 cup milk
1 tsp honey
2 drop vanilla extract
1 pinch ground cinnamon
Pour milk into a microwave safe mug and place in the microwave. Cook on High until the milk is very hot and begins to foam, about 3 minutes. Stir in honey and vanilla, then sprinkle with cinnamon before serving.
Whipped cinnamon honey butter houseofnasheats.com
This is similar to the butter served at steakhouses!
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup honey
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat the softened butter until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes, in a large bowl with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Add the remaining ingredients and beat again until smooth. Transfer to jars or other storage containers. Serve at room temperature.