Amber, golden, translucent, creamy, sweet, grassy, herbal, floral, there is no shortage of adjectives available to describe nature’s sweetest, purest candy: honey. For some, honey might just be the delicious bioproducts of the laborious honey bee’s life. To others, it can serve as a biological map identifying the health and verdure of an entire ecosystem. For all of us, the stunningly diverse and unique nectar is a gift.
To understand honey and its many benefits, we must first understand how it is made. Forager honey bees collect nectar from plants which they store in their stomachs and bring back to their hive. Once they’ve reached the hive, they transfer the nectar to a worker bee, who passes it along until it reaches the honeycomb. Fanning the comb with their beating wings, the worker bees help to evaporate water from the nectar to slowly turn it into the luxurious sweet honey we’ve come to love.
Serving as the primary source of protein for worker bees and larvae in the hive, bee pollen is essential for this production process. As foragers bring back nectar to the hive, they also transport plant pollen. In the process, the combination of their saliva and nectar stimulates a natural fermentation process and begins to break down the pollen granules, making the nutrients present more easily digestible. Each kernel houses over 250 biologically active substances including protein, vitamins, and carbohydrates, all of which keep the busy bees fueled throughout their working lives. Lucky for us, these tasty, nutritional powerhouse granules can be harvested to share the many benefits held within each kernel with us. Just a sprinkle of bee pollen in your morning smoothie is a great way to support your immune systems.
For centuries, humans have enjoyed the pleasures derived from both succulent honey and the powerful kernels of bee pollen, as well as the many health benefits they provide. Serving as good sources of antioxidants, offering antimicrobial benefits, used to heal wounds and burns, and to aid in relieving coughs and colds, honey and bee pollen are far more than just sweeteners. Antioxidants help to fight cancer causing free radicals in your body, lower LDL cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, and enhance liver function while antimicrobial properties can help to combat infection and bacteria.
Though undeniably delicious, honey and bee pollen also serve as symbols of environmental health and wellbeing. As bees collect plant nectars to deliver to their hives and produce honey, they naturally pollinate these same plants and uphold crucial levels of biodiversity by aiding in reproduction. The nectars they then bring home not only flavor the honey they’re producing, but also deliver key nutrients and compounds found within the plants from which they’ve been harvested, which are in turn transferred into their honey and bee pollen.
Home to an infamously wide variety of honey, Italy’s agriculture depends on the health of its bee populations. And while its rich and varied biodiversity produces a number of uniquely flavored honeys, they’ve primarily been used for medicinal purposes before being added to flavor cuisines.
Some honey varietals and their Italian homeopathic uses include:
- Lemon Blossom Honey - used to calm the nerves
- Pine Honey - used to reduce inflammation and to boost immune function
- Wildflower Honey - used to improve digestion and relieve seasonal allergy symptoms
- Sulla Honey - used to ease stomach pain
- Eucalyptus honey - used for its antibiotic qualities
- Chestnut honey - used to cure UTIs
- Orange honey - used as a sedative
- Lavender honey - used to aid in digestion
A window into the phenomenon of evolution, honey demonstrates the magic of the natural world at its best. While it delivers us incredible nutritional benefits, it is also responsible for keeping honey bees at work pollinating the plants in their environs, and keeping the health of their, and our, biodiversity alive and well. We're proud to introduce our honey line.