Bless the Bees: The Many Benefits of Local Honey

“Save the bees!” We’ve heard it before, but truly, bees and their honey have kept us all sweet and healthy since ancient times. The Egyptians called it gold, we can assume because of the beautiful color as well as the multitudes of beneficial qualities and uses. Honey may easily be taken for granted when seen in stacked on grocery store shelves, but there are significant differences between commercial and raw honey from your local beekeeper. The latter is a collaborative labor of love from your community beekeepers, farmers, gardeners, and bees. Next time you see that the quart of honey on your kitchen counter, think it took the efforts of dedicated community members and 2,304 bees!

Honey is Enchanted

New deliveries of local Richmond honey grace the shelves of the Enchanted Nurseries gift shops and garden centers on a regular basis. Many customers are seen stopping by on a Sunday morning once a month or so to pick up a pint or quart of honey. One charming lady who named herself a honey connoisseur exclaimed that ours was the best honey she’s ever tasted! Beyond satisfying your sweet tooth, a heaping teaspoon of local honey (harvested within a 50-mile radius) will keep the doctor, the nurse, the dentist, and the beautician away!

We’ve curated a list of our favorite uses of local honey for our Enchanted journal readers.

Say Adios to Allergies

Bees do much more to help the body than to hurt it. The National Honey Board and the American Medical Association found through research that eating honey raised within a 50-mile radius of your home helps prevent allergies. Local honey contains bee pollen and propolis, substances created exclusively by bees that do many great services to the gardener’s body:

  • Reduces inflammation, a common allergic reaction

  • Boosts the immune system

  • Builds immunity to the pollen contained in the honey from the local plant culture

  • Stabilizes the cells that trigger allergic reactions

Nutritious and Delicious
Explore the culinary possibilities. Get creative.

  • Sugar replacement

  • Safe for diabetics

  • Antioxidants—fights off free radicals that can lead to cancer and heart disease

  • Re-hydration from the electrolytes—Make your own sports drink!

  • Vitamins and minerals

  • Take before bed for a good night’s sleep

Important note: Never feed honey to an infant younger than one year old.

Honey Heals
Combining honey with other natural remedy ingredients will fill your kitchen and bathroom with homemade organic products to cure common injuries and maintain an all-natural beauty.

  • Contains bactericidal properties

  • Reduces scarring

  • Removes debris from wounds

  • Treats antibiotic-resistant infections

  • Acts as an antiseptic

  • Dries into a natural bandage

  • Heals mild burns and sunburns

  • Soothes diaper rash

  • Soothes heartburn/upset stomach

  • Soothes sore throat

Read the full article for details on the above treatments before trying them at home: HONEY HEALTH BENEFITS, the Farmer’s Almanac.

A Beautiful Golden Glow
A little honey in your daily beauty routine can achieve big things.

  • Slows down hair loss

  • Contributes to maintaining healthy skin

  • Fights eczema, canker sores

  • Reduces bad breath

The Misunderstood Honey Bee: Notes from our Resident Beekeeper

Notes from Our Entomologist

  • Maintaining a clean water source such as a birdbath or fountain encourages bees and other pollinators to visit and revisit your landscape.

  • Carefully read and follow pesticide directions and precautions before purchasing: you want to hit your target precisely without hurting innocent bystander bees!

  • Use an integrated pest management approach: call or visit our nurseries to explore your options.

  • Apply pesticides in the evening when pollinators are less active

Garden BugsSarah Hudson