Had John Wayne been a beekeeper instead of a gunslinger, he might have sauntered into town and declared, “I take my honey raw and local.” Today’s hearty beekeepers would rally to him in agreement.
There’s no fancy name for people who hang out with bees. They’re just called beekeepers and they can be a bit cultish. At certain time of the year, they huddle on the Internet, sending cryptic notes to each other concerning activity within their hives. “The bees are swarming” they whisper among themselves like members of the French Underground, passing on a secret message.
All of this is just a playful front, because the beekeepers I know are ordinary people, who are a bit more health and ecologically conscious than most and willing to dress up in funny little outfits and play with insects. No harm there.
The Benefits of Honey
They reward your friendship with a Mason jar of honey from time to time, which is very sweet of them (pun intended) and are willing to spend some time acquainting you with the benefits of raw, local honey. Now, I understand the local part—honey made from nearby plants that cause allergies can help “inoculate” the sufferer if consumed a few months before the ailment kicks in.
But why raw? My beekeeper friend, Michael Dee, shown here in full beekeeping regalia, says the stuff on the shelves has been cooked to death—literally. Raw honey is unheated (unprocessed), so the goodies are still intact. (I could explain that it has 18 amino acids and powerful antioxidants, but most of you would wander off to another site before I could finish.) Suffice it to say, store bought honey is just another sugary product.
My friend held up a jar of raw Black Locust for my inspection. It looked like Champagne and tasted divine. No wonder the early Egyptians considered honey the “nectar of the gods.”
Proponents claim that a couple of spoons a day can increase athletic performance, improve sleep and relaxation, reduce allergies, heal small cuts and scrapes, treat sore throats, indigestion, dry skin and, even, reverse hair loss and increase sperm count. What’s more, it’s cheap, sweet, and cholesterol-free.