Geeky Educational Link-Up Honey Bees


 

 honeycomb3

 

North Carolina designated the honeybee as official state insect in 1973. Bee pollination is critical to plant and human survival – beeswax and honey are just surplus gifts from this tiny wonder of nature.

More Interesting Facts About Honey Bees:

  • 80% of the pollination of the fruits, vegetables and seed crops in the U.S. is accomplished by honeybees.
  • Honey bees have five eyes
  • Bees have been producing honey for at least 150 million years
  • A cave painting depicting an androgynous figure robbing honey out of the hive was found in the Cave of the Spider in Valencia, Spain. It is estimated to be 15,000 years old.
  • Honey stored in air tight containers never spoils. Sealed honey vats found in King Tut’s tomb still contained edible honey, despite over 2,000 years beneath the sands.
  • A queen is the largest bee in the hive. She can lay up to 2,000 eggs per day, twice her own body weight per day.
  • Drones have no stinger. They do no real work. Their only purpose is to mate with virgin queens.
  • The area now comprising Israel and the Palestine autonomous region is often referred to as “the land of milk and honey.” (Exodus 3:8)
  • German peasants were required to give their feudal lords a payment of honey and beeswax.
  • Europeans brought the European Honeybee to America in 1638. The Native Americans referred to the honeybee as the “White Man’s Flies,” because wild swarms always preceded the arrival of the white man.
  • Bees must visit approximately 2 million flowers to make 1 lb. of honey.
  • Bees have to fly over 55,000 miles to make 1 lb. of honey.
  • On average a worker bee will make 1/12 teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.
  • Two tablespoons of honey would fuel a honey bee flying once around the world.
  • Honey bees will visit between 50-100 flowers during one nectar collection trip.

 

Fun Ways to Celebrate National Honey Bee Month:

Danielle’s Place offers several simple art projects for younger aged children.

 

Here We Are Together shares a wonderful tutorial on Beeswax Lanterns.

 

Mother Earth Living gives simple instructions to create your very own Lavender Beeswax Hand-Cream

 

How about a Honey Taste Test?  This is a wonderful activity to do with your co-op group.  Let the kids try the honey on bread or on a teaspoon. You can also use the honey in a recipe for cookies, bread or other baked goods. Another option is to bring in a honeycomb for the kids to inspect and try. Check with your local beekeepers and find out types of honey they carry; they might even offer a taste testing class. (Yeah Field Trip)

Here’s a list of the most common US Honey

Following is a look at some of the most common U.S. honey floral varieties. To learn more about available types of honey in your area, contact a local beekeeper, beekeeping association or honey packer.

ACACIA
Acacia honey is very pale. In its pure form it may be as clear as liquid glass. It has a mild, sweet, floral flavor and is a popular honey variety. It is a good choice for mixing with beverages and for cooking, because it mixes well with liquids and sweetens with a mild flavor.
ALFALFA
Alfalfa honey, produced extensively throughout Canada and the United States from the purple blossoms, is light in color with a pleasingly mild flavor and aroma.
AVOCADO
Avocado honey is gathered from California avocado blossoms. Avocado honey is dark in color, with a rich, buttery taste.
BLUEBERRY
Taken from the tiny white flowers of the blueberry bush, the nectar makes a honey which is typically light amber in color and with a full, well-rounded flavor. Blueberry honey is produced in New England and in Michigan.
BUCKWHEAT
Buckwheat honey is dark and full-bodied. It is produced in Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as well as in eastern Canada. Buckwheat honey has been found to contain more antioxidant compounds than some lighter honeys.
CLOVER
Clover honey has a pleasing, mild taste. Clovers contribute more to honey production in the United States than any other group of plants. Red clover, Alsike clover and the white and yellow sweet clovers are most important for honey production. Depending on the location and type of source clover, clover honey varies in color from water white to light amber to amber.
EUCALYPTUS
Eucalyptus honey comes from one of the larger plant genera, containing over 500 distinct species and many hybrids. As may be expected with a diverse group of plants, eucalyptus honey varies greatly in color and flavor but tends to be a stronger flavored honey with a slight medicinal scent. It is produced in California.
FIREWEED
Fireweed honey is light in color and comes from a perennial herb that creates wonderful bee pasture in the Northern and Pacific states and Canada. Fireweed grows in the open woods, reaching a height of three to five feet and spikes attractive pinkish flowers.
MANUKA
Manuka honey, primarily produced in New Zealand, is used as a natural product both internally and topically on the skin. The bees gather nectar from the flowers of the Manuka bush, which is indigenous only to New Zealand. The honey making process is enriched by the pollution free environment of New Zealand.
ORANGE BLOSSOM
Orange blossom honey, often a combination of citrus sources, is usually light in color and mild in flavor with a fresh scent and light citrus taste. Orange blossom honey is produced in Florida, Southern California and parts of Texas.
SAGE
Sage honey, primarily produced in California, is light in color, heavy bodied and has a mild but delightful flavor. It is extremely slow to granulate, making it a favorite among honey packers for blending with other honeys to slow down granulation.
TUPELO
Tupelo honey is a premium honey produced in northwest Florida. It is heavy bodied and is usually light golden amber with a greenish cast and has a mild, distinctive taste. Because of the high fructose content in Tupelo honey, it granulates very slowly.
WILDFLOWER
Wildflower honey is often used to describe honey from miscellaneous and undefined flower sources.
HONEY BLENDS
While different types of honey are available, most honey, especially honey supplied in bulk, is blended to create a unique and consistent taste and color.

 

Honey Recipes:

Pumpkin Honey Bread

In large bowl, cream honey with butter until light and fluffy. Stir in pumpkin. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly incorporated. Sift together remaining ingredients. Stir into pumpkin mixture. Divide batter equally between two well-greased 9 x5 x 3-inch loaf pans. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let loaves cool in pans for 10 … [read full recipe below]

Yield: 2 loaves

Ingredients

  • 1 cup – honey
  • 1/2 cup – butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 can (16 oz.) – solid-pack pumpkin
  • 4 – eggs
  • 4 cups – flour
  • 4 teaspoons – baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons – ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons – ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon – baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon – salt
  • 1 teaspoon – ground nutmeg

Directions

In large bowl, cream honey with butter until light and fluffy. Stir in pumpkin. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly incorporated. Sift together remaining ingredients. Stir into pumpkin mixture. Divide batter equally between two well-greased 9 x5 x 3-inch loaf pans. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let loaves cool in pans for 10 minutes; invert pans to remove loaves and allow to finish cooling on racks.

Spiced Honey Echinacea Cooler

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add tea bags, cinnamon, and cloves ; let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove cinnamon and cloves and stir in honey and lemon juice. Place in refrigerator until chilled (approx. 1 hour). Pour over ice and garnish with fresh lemon slices. *May substitute chamomile tea for the Echinacea tea.

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 – Echinacea tea bags*
  • 4 – cinnamon sticks
  • 20 – whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup – honey
  • 1/4 cup – fresh lemon juice

Directions

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add tea bags, cinnamon, and cloves ; let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove cinnamon and cloves and stir in honey and lemon juice. Place in refrigerator until chilled (approx. 1 hour). Pour over ice and garnish with fresh lemon slices. *May substitute chamomile tea for the Echinacea tea.

Tip

Variations: Add 1 Tablespoon orange juice to each glass. Add 2 Tablespoons rum or whisky to each glass for a “spiked” version.

 

Fresh Tomato Chutney

Cut tomatoes in half and squeeze to remove most of the seeds and juice. (This may be done quickly on an orange juice reamer.) The juice may be used in sauces or soups. Cut tomatoes into small pieces and place in medium saucepan with honey, cloves and basil. Cook, uncovered, over low heat until thick, about 40 to 45 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add salt to taste. Chill. Makes 4 1/2-cup … [read full recipe below]

Yield: 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 lb. – tomatoes
  • 1 cup – honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon – cloves
  • 2 teaspoons – basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon – salt, or to taste

Directions

Cut tomatoes in half and squeeze to remove most of the seeds and juice. (This may be done quickly on an orange juice reamer.) The juice may be used in sauces or soups. Cut tomatoes into small pieces and place in medium saucepan with honey, cloves and basil. Cook, uncovered, over low heat until thick, about 40 to 45 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add salt to taste. Chill. Makes 4 1/2-cup servings.

 

All recipes courtesy of http://www.honey.com/recipes

I hope you enjoy National Honey Bee Month and take this chance to learn more about this AMAZING insect

 

geek link post

Geeky Educational Link-Up Last Weeks Favorites:

The Homeschool Scientist September Science Calendar has a myriad of wonderful Science experiments and more!

 

Meagan’s post on Dr. Geek’s Lab; great for the science lover in your home.

 

Benoit Academy shared a super fun post on Glow and Dark Science.

 

My esteemed co-hosts

Meagan from More Than A Coupon Queen

Dawnita from Fogelman Forerunner

Jess from Benoit Academy

Jodi from NY Homeschool

Adelien from Blessed Learners

Marie-Claire from Quick Start Homeschool

7 thoughts on “Geeky Educational Link-Up Honey Bees

  1. Pingback: Geeky Educational Link Up Week 21

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