August holds two very important awareness days in National Honey Bee Day and World Honey Bee Day, but we think every day is a worthy day to learn about honey bees. Here at The Lodge at Woodloch, we love to educate our guests about honey bees and their significance to our business and to our environment. Guests can observe our hives, beekeeping tools, and hive components, see the bees in action in our Blackmore Farm-to-Table Garden, or spend some time with our resident farmers in discussion of the life cycle of the honey bee and their environmental importance. Fall is an especially fortunate time of year for us as we harvest and taste the year’s bounty. Many of our spa treatments and seasonal recipes here at The Lodge at Woodloch feature our very own honey from our mighty workers.
Often times with bees, honey gets all of the glory. We wanted to share the multitude of goodness that comes from our hard working friends at our Blackmore Farm-to-Table Garden.
First and foremost, it needs to be recognized (and screamed from the mountaintops) that our fruits, vegetables and flowers truly are a product of bees. More than one-third of all produce requires bees’ pollination in order to reproduce. Produce that would not exist without busy bees include: almonds, apples, cherries, blueberries, avocado, broccoli, most leafy greens, cucumbers, pumpkins, and many more.
In addition to the very food we eat, bees produce other miracles as well.
If you want to talk about food that is fit for a queen, than Royal Jelly is the source! Young nurse bees produce this nutritious substance that contains amazing amounts of proteins that are important for cell growth and reproduction. Similar to honey, it comes from beehives but this bee product is created for very different reasons. Honey provides food, energy and nourishment for the worker bees while royal jelly is the main food source for the colony’s queen.
Propolis is made from the buds of poplar and cone-bearing trees and is a resin-like material. Bees use this material to build their hives. This unique products is known to help fight against bacteria, viruses and fungi. It is also used as an anti-inflammatory and some use it to help heal skin ailments.
Bee pollen is a ball of pollen made by young bees when they land on a flower. The powerful mixture that makes the balls includes pollen, bee saliva, and nectar or honey. Honey Bees carry these balls back to the hive in their leg sacs to store them in the hive’s honeycomb. After time, the pollen is fermented and turns into “bee bread,” which helps sustain the bee colony.
Bee pollen contains vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, lipids, and protein. Some countries (German Federal Board of Health) even consider bee pollen to be so beneficial that it is recognized as a medicine. Bee Pollen is also often considered a “superfood” with health benefits including boosting liver health, strengthening the immune system and working as an anti-oxidant (among many more).
Beeswax comes from the glands of worker honeybees and is used to create the honeycombs to store honey for the winter. Humans often use beeswax in many products such as lip balm, skin care products, waxy coating for cheese, chewing gum, and even furniture wax.
We have a lot to be grateful for when it comes to our faithful workers, the honey bees of our garden.