Greetings to everyone from Jazianzza and me in this month of September, which, as a friend recently pointed out to me, is National Honey Month. Jazi and I had an entirely different newsletter in mind until we found this out. She reread her copy of The Daily Bee and found the notice about it on the back page. She never got that far because she was so absorbed in reading about the upcoming publication of our book Bee-Coming Strong, which we are hoping will be out by the end of the year. She and her sisters are really excited about it, as am I. It has turned Jazianzza into a bit of a celebrity, but thankfully she is remaining her sweet, humble little self.
Now – about this being National Honey Month – it’s not surprising that it has its own month when we realize there are Stone Age paintings showing humans enjoying it 8000 years ago. In 2015 archeologists excavating some tombs in Egypt came across 3000-year-old honey that was still edible! How incredible is that? Jazianzza was just doing a little happy dance of pride as I wrote these words. I think she has good reason to be proud because that is an astonishing feat…these tiny little bee-ings can make something that is viable for thousands of years while all the food we humans make has a shelf life to it. Fascinating.
During the thousands of years honey has been around, people not only enjoyed eating it, but they also found it useful for their health. The National Institute of Health lists over fifteen uses of honey in traditional cultures to treat an incredibly diverse range of health problems. They note scientific research focusing on the positive effects honey may have in the treatment of disease conditions such as diabetes mellitus, and challenges involving the respiratory, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and nervous systems. Because of the many types of antioxidants present in honey, it may additionally be helpful in cancer treatment. You can find more information from the National Institute of Health about the uses of honey at this link: [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
As Jazi would say, “Phew!” That’s a lot of good that honey can provide, and that doesn’t even include using honey in our food, which I think many of us are most familiar with. I grew up eating a walnut and honey strudel that was heavenly. Unfortunately, the recipe my grandmother passed down to my mom has been lost, but I still fondly remember it. Are there any particularly delicious recipes you love that you’d like to share? Just let me know. Maybe one of the upcoming newsletters can be filled with recipes that include honey.
Here is a short video about how bees forage and then make honey. It’s a beautiful close-up of bees doing their thing… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAKkjD3nEv0
We wish you a honey-sweet month, filled with peace, joy, and renewed wonder at the beauty of nature. Maybe you could even stop by your local beekeeper and buy a jar of honey or pick up a local brand at a health food store or farmer’s market. Since we use the word sweet in describing someone who is kind and gentle, maybe we can use this honey month to look for new ways to be kind to others, as well as ourselves. The world is starving for kindness.
If you’d like a little coloring page of Jazianzza eating honey, click on this link and download it. Enjoy!
Stay tuned for next month’s newsletter on mindfulness vs. bee-fulness. Jazianzza is excited to share her thoughts on this with everyone.
I don’t feel very much like Pooh today”, said Pooh.
“There, there”, said Piglet. “I’ll bring you tea and honey until you do.”A.A. Milne