Honey Gardens Apiaries uses the synergy of raw honey, propolis, purple loosestrife (a wildcrafted herb) and Usnea (a lichen) in Propolis Spray With Purple Loosestrife & Usnea for maximum effectiveness. Propolis is a resin that honey bees gather from pine and poplar trees, and is used to coat the inside of the bee hive and protect if from intruders. The loosestrife is conscientiously wildcrafted, harvested at the peak of its potency, and extracted into pure grain alcohol and water.
- What is the shelf life of Honey Gardens products; do I have to keep them in the fridge? Honey is believed to keep for longer than any food (up to 4,000 years). As there is honey in all of our products, this helps them be naturally preserved. You should keep the honey and all other products at room temperature. Fresh bee pollen should be kept in the freezer.
- What do you use the honey for; can I use it in my tea? It is great in salad dressings & marinades or on toast, muffins, etc. as a spread. It is also good to eat a little bit plain as a dietary supplement. You can use it in tea but wait until your tea has cooled to drinking temperature so that you preserve as much of the live enzymes as possible. Heat has a negative affect on raw honey.
- Are your products safe for children and/or pregnant women? The FDA recommends that children under the age of one year old do not consume honey products. It is recommended that pregnant women check with their doctors before taking any herbal supplements.
- Why is the honey hard/that color? The color of raw honey changes with the seasons as the blooming wildflowers change. The different nectars that the bees collect affect the color and taste of the honey. We do not heat the honey at all so it retains bits of pollen, propolis and beeswax. It is liquid in the honeycomb and when we bottle it, and it naturally crystallizes in the jar into a spreadable consistency, usually around October.
- What are the wild cherry bark and elderberry sryups traditionally used for? The wild cherry bark is recommended for its support of the digestive system (licorice, ginger) to help speed detoxification. The elderberry is an immune supporter. It is used year round for any situation where the immune system is compromised or needs support.
- How much of the elderberry/wild cherry bark syrup should I take? For the elderberry and wild cherry bark syrup we suggest taking up to 3 teaspoons every hour as needed. For children 6 to 12, they can take up to 2 teaspoons every hour as needed. For children 2 to 5, they can take up to 1 serving every hour as needed.
- Why do you use organic apple cider vinegar?
- Natural preservative for the products
- Helps "pull" the good stuff out of the herbs and reduces the need for as much alcohol to do this
- Helps keep our truly raw honey, which naturally will crystallize by the end of September/October a liquid to pour out of the bottles
- It is a traditional tonic in the Vermont and Quebec region used for improving digestion and overall health. The "Vermont folk Doctor" Jarvis wrote of the benefits of using organic apple cider vinegar and raw honey
- Is your honey organic? While all but one of our honeys is not certified organic, we are increasingly searching for organic beekeepers. In order to be certified organic, all of the bee hives must be placed on and surrounded by certified organic land. We are happy to provide an organic honey in our raw honey selection.
- What is the difference between your honey and the "normal" honey I usually buy? The most common form of honey on the market is heated honey. This honey will generally appear golden brown and be in a liquid form. This honey has been heated to 120 to 180 degrees; this heating changes the chemistry of the honey. The wax, pollen and propolis will separate out, and live enzymes will die. The honey is left only as a sweetener, with no health benefits. Another common kind of honey is "creamed or whipped honey". This is honey that has been heated, as described, with a tiny bit of raw honey added and mixed. This crystallized raw honey starts a chemical chain reaction that crystallizes all of the honey it comes in contact with. The honey has none of the health benefits of raw honey. Our raw honey has never been heated. We extract the honey from the comb using centrifugal force and pour the honey into jars, where it crystallizes. The pollen, propolis and live enzymes are still intact.
- I have heard that local honey is thought to be helpful for individuals with allergies; can I use raw honey even though it isn't local? Only raw honey has tiny bits of pollen. Therefore, many individuals seek raw honey that contains the kinds of pollen that are where they live. Ideally, you would use honey that has been produced by bees that forage on local plants, but since raw honey is rare on the market there is not a lot of choice for consumers. Using raw honey from a different region can still be helpful (there are some common plants), whereas using local heated honey will not have this benefit. Using raw honey from a different region where you live is better than using heated honey from your own area.
- Where does the honey come from? The honey comes from local beekeepers as well as beekeeping friends across the country and sometimes Canada. We use honey from beekeepers in Vermont, New York, Michigan and Montana. Depending on the bees, the blueberry honey is from either Maine or Michigan. The orange blossom honey and tupelo honey are from Florida. The white gold is only found in Saskatchewan, Canada. Our organic honey is from the Quebec province. Some of these beekeepers summer in the south and travel to provide pollination services for these crops.
Live Foods, Enzymes, and Raw Honey
It is not fresh news that the standard American diet (acronym is s.a.d.!) is not health supportive. For all least four decades, we have been listening to the medical community's advice about the quality and quantity of fat and fiber in our diets, and the increased incidence of heart disease, diabetes (particularly Type II, adult onset), cancer, and obesity among our population. As a result, many people have shifted their dietary intakes toward a plant-based diet which is rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, just to name a few nutrients. We have improved our diets "in layers," meaning that the initial shift for some people is toward a plant-based diet. Subsequent layers or shifts include incorporating more organic produce and free-range poultry and meats, and what we call "superfoods." Superfoods are called such because they are foods that are naturally rich in vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals. Blue-green algaes (e.g., chlorella and spirulina), seaweeds (e.g., kelp and dulse), bee pollen, and raw honey are examples of superfoods because of their extraordinarily generous contents of beneficial nutrients.
The most recent layer of awareness that has resulted in a shift in dietary improvement is the knowledge that certain foods contain highly beneficial, therapeutic enzymes. Many of us are returning to a way of eating that incorporates The ways of traditional or native peoples. Not only are our choices minimally processed (considered "whole foods") and grown or raised organically, but equally importantly, many are vital, rich in, and alive with enzymes. In short, they are "live foods." Even though a traditional society/culture might not know what an enzyme is and how it works, these people benefit from eating foods that are rich in enzymes. Their low incidence of modern food diseases and their longevity are the result of eating health-supportive diets. Lower stress levels as compared to those of people living in the modern world are a factor we can't ignore as well.