Our Neighborhood Bees - Creating Nectar for the Soul
In her book “Robbing the Bees” Holley Bishop notes bees are "always gracious, economical and neat”. They are also generous. Honey is the product of the nectar bees have collected and digested, a chemical process that creates liquid gold. There are many reasons to choose local honey; the following will outline some of the most important.
Good for you
Throughout history Honey has been used for it’s healing properties. The Global Healing Center outlines eight health benefits of honey. Among it’s list are: a remedy for morning sickness, with cinnamon; a cure for bladder infections, bad breath and arthritis, sore throats, eczema. Mixed with lemon or apple cider vinegar it is a tonic for stomach aches and thought to help boost metabolism. Most important; local honey contains properties to stimulate immunity and aid in adapting to environmental irritations.
Good for our flowers and crops
Across the country bee colonies are dying off due to colony collapse disorder. In fact trucking bees to blooming crops is a big business and how many industrial farms choose to operate. The lack of bees pollinating crops threatens our food sources. The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates the damage presently to be in the $15 billion range. They a have an abundance of tips and resources to make your own garden “Bee” friendly as a way to combat this potential catastrophe.
Good for the environment
The carbon footprint of purchasing honey from a non local source is high. Factor in the expenses associated with trucking bees across the country and distribution of finished product the food miles can be astonishing. According to the Center for a New American Dream, each time you buy one pound of locally produced food, you help keep 13 pounds of carbon emissions out of the environment. Considering the fact that to make 1 pound of honey the average bee can travel over 40,000 miles and sip the nectar of 2 million flowers with no fossil fuels involved.
Good for the local economy
Purchasing local honey supports local farmers and businesses. More than half of the honey sold in the United States comes from foreign sources. Locally produced honey is subject to strict quality standards and the transparency which goes hand in hand when knowing the source of your food. Honeylocator.com is a good starting point for finding local producers.
Where to Shop
- Atkins Farms, South Amherst, MA
- Rice Fruit Farm, Wilbraham, MA
- Nestrovich Farm, Granville, MA
- Red Fire Farm, Granby, MA
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