Today I’d like to touch on something that’s becoming more important by the day. Many of you can easily be forgiven for believing that the contents of your honey jar on your kitchen table are all natural. I know I was. But little did we know that long before the great push towards organic lifestyles and producing organic produce, our honey was far removed from nature than we originally thought. In this short post I’d like to investigate and share with you why I instinctively believed that organic honey was always going to be far healthier for human use than the processed versions.
WHY ORGANIC HONEY IS BETTER
The processed honey that we’ve become accustomed to reads like a horror story to me. First of all, the crops and orchids from which our industrious bees collect their pollen had all been sprayed with pesticides. If that wasn’t the case then there has been tampering by way of injecting antibiotics into the honey being produced. This is never the case with organic honey. It is naturally produced and is always free of pesticides.
This may shock you. You might believe that my beehive and its bees and the honey being produced by them are organic. After all, I’m not tampering with it. I am merely encouraging and nurturing the processes. But where have these dear little bees been? Do not for a moment think that they confine themselves to the sanctity of my little garden. They are as adept as ever and will go flying over the wall to explore new territory and taste new food.
And who is to say that anyone of my neighbors doesn’t spray his roses with pesticides? How are we to know?
HOW IS ORGANIC HONEY PRODUCED?
It is a matter of organic policy that organic beekeepers have to meet strict standards to ensure that their honey is naturally authentic. They do this by allowing inspectors to test their honey samples to ensure that they are free of any pesticides and artificial stimulants. These can be gathered up by bees from nearby crops or forests that have been sprayed to protect the natural environment from pests. The best way to successfully start up an organic honey farm is to be as far away from human habitation as possible.
The suggestion has been made that a five kilometer radius would be a good start because bees can fly up to 3km from their hives to search for new pollen. During the process of collecting natural honey, no sugar or antibiotics are injected into it. That’s why you’ll notice a distinct difference in taste when you pick up a jar of essentially raw honey.
CHECKLIST FOR SELLING ORGANIC HONEY
• All nectar, honeydew and pollen must adhere from entirely natural sources. These food sources must remain pesticide free. This criterion also applies to the areas in which the bees forage for honey. And for miles on end, there must be no human activity.
• Allow certified inspectors to regularly conduct tests to ensure that the honey is entirely organic. The standard test entails checking for environmental pollutants. Since organic beekeepers won’t be injecting these sources anyway, chances are good that inspectors won’t find residues of sugar or antibiotics in the natural honey.
• Beehives must be entirely organically composed. No non-organic materials which in actual fact attract pests such as mice must be used. We need to clean those darn hives too. And to this end, only non-organic cleaning materials may be used during the cleaning processes.
• When processed and packaged, no honey may be heated. This would rob it of its natural enzymes. Processing procedures are standardized by way of using gravitational settling and straining.
Just think of all the raw benefits that can be gained from only consuming raw and natural honey. It’s a raw deal of a different kind. Think what it does to your skin? Yes, raw honey can be added to your bath water and can be applied to your facial skin for medicinal and/or beautifying purposes. Say now you have acquired a taste for green, herbal or red bush, even chamomile tea. Imagine the healthy benefits you can gain by tipping a teaspoonful of raw honey into your tea.
Those who don’t enjoy the bitter taste can still add a dash of skimmed milk to their tea. I know, I do this and, boyo is it delicious. Never mind taste sensations and healthy benefits, it does appear that there are many challenges ahead if you want to become a strictly organic beekeeper. I’m thrilled with the idea but am not yet ready for all the hard work that may lie ahead. But to simply take a leaf out of the hardworking bees’ work manual, such things are possible.