Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Day #428 Allergies? Don't Worry!

Tuesday night the Gwinnett Country Beekeepers listened to master beekeeper B.J. Weeks tell about his experiences running 500 hives in one season. Whew! Wouldn’t want to work the 40-hour days he works during a honey flow. That’s right. That’s what I said. A 40-hour day, meaning you get going and you don’t stop until the work is done.

He said one thing that floored most of us, though. He asked us why people should eat local honey if they’re trying to alleviate allergies. We gave the standard and well-accepted answer that beekeepers have been preaching for ages. Heck, I’ve even talked about it here in this blog. Pollen/honey made from local plants acts on the allergies that develop from that same pollen.

Nonsense (according to BJ Weeks). Local honey from ANYWHERE will help alleviate allergies. You could eat local honey from California, even though you live in Georgia, and it would still help you. The reason? It has nothing to do with where the honey comes from or what pollen was used in making it. Local honey is not highly processed. THAT’S where the value comes in. Heating and heavy filtering of honey is what takes out the beneficial aspects of the honey. Small local beekeepers don’t do all that stuff to their honey, so you get all the benefits.

Now, as to why if doesn’t matter if your “local” honey came from half-way across the continent—honey bees gather the heavy pollen that stays in the plants (until the bees remove it). Allergies are caused by types of air-born pollen that are much lighter than the ones the bees gather.

That makes sense. It goes against everything I’ve been preaching, but it does make sense.

So, from now on, when someone sends me honey from Arizona (thank you, Ellen), or Hawaii (thank you again, Ellen!), or Michigan (thank you, Donna), or Oregon (thank you, Marta), I will not only eat it with gusto, I will also be able to say, “Look how good this is for me!” at the same time.

BEEattitude for Day #428:
       Blessed are those who are willing to unlearn and learn anew, for they shall be constantly surprised.

The teeny details:
my books: Please buy them from an independent bookstore or directly from my website.


AggiePete said...

Wow - good to know! Not only tastes good but good for you too!

Fran Stewart said...

I hate to admit that sometimes, while traveling through other states, I've decided against buying local honey because I thought it wasn't "local" to me. Wish I could go back to all those roadside stands and correct my error!

The Cat Bastet said...

I've heard of this and wondered if it worked. Doesn't it have to be unpasturized (or whatever it is they do to make honey clear like the kind you buy in the store)?

Cathy AJ

Fran Stewart said...

Yes, Cathy. Commercial honey producers heat the honey to make it flow better through their machinery. There are conflicting viewpoints about the value of that heating and the super=filtration, but mostof us backyard beekeepers would not consider eating honey that's been heated like that. Destroys the good enzymes.