Saturday, October 31, 2015

National Honey Week

Last week, on facebook, I wrote a series of posts to celebrate National Honey Week. They received lots of positive feedback and knowing not everyone uses facebook, I've repeated all the posts here.

Honey facts from the British Beekeepers Association:

  • The honeybee is the only insect to produce food we eat.
  • Bees have been producing honey the same way for over one hundred and fifty million years.
  • The harvest from honey bees of honey, pollen, wax and propolis has nutritional, craft, manufacturing, and medical applications.
  • Bees fly about 55,000 miles to make just one pound of honey, that’s 1½ times around the world!
  • Honey flavours will be different according to what the bees have been foraging on.
  • It is possible for bees to fly as far as 5 miles for food. A strong colony flies the equivalent distance of to the moon every day!
  • Bees are pollinators vital to our food chain. One third of the food we eat would not be available but for bees.
  • Bees are totally red blind. Their eyes are sensitive to the blue end of the spectrum and into ultra violet. Flowers reflect large amounts of ultra violet light and to a bee will be very bright.
  • There are over 25,000 beekeepers (like Windsor Honey) in the UK, many of whom sell their honey at local markets, shops (like Tastes Delicatessen) or from the gate all around the country.
  • Worker bees can flay as fast as 15-20mph when flying to a food source and about 12mph when returning laden down nectar, pollen, propolis or water.
  • Bees don't sleep, but during the night most bees remain motionless reserving their energies for the next day.
You can learn a lot more about bees from the British Beekeepers Association website.

The Bee Buzz Game.

This is a game in which you take turns with your friends to throw a dice and draw a bee on a piece of paper. Any number can play. To play, you need only a piece of paper, a pencil and a six-sided dice. The winner is the one who first completes drawing the bee, like the drawing here.

You throw the dice in turn and have one throw per turn. Depending on the number indicated on the dice, you can draw a part of the bee. To start your drawing you must first throw a “3” because all the other parts of a bee come off the thorax. If you have already drawn the part indicated by the dice on your turn, then you cannot draw anything. You must wait until your turn comes round again to throw the dice and maybe you will be luckier this time

How to play:
  • To start to draw get a “3” 
  • For a first “1” draw either the head or the abdomen 
  • For a second “1” draw the one you didn’t draw last time 
  • For a “2” draw the two antennae but only if you have drawn the head
  • For a “4” draw the four wings 
  • For a ”5” draw the 2 big eyes on the side of the head and the 3 little eyes on top of the head (only if you have drawn the head)
  • For a "6" draw the 6 legs
Our Local Bees.

We sell honey from local hives, each with its own unique flavour, which varies from one year to the next.  You can read about my visit to the bee hives in Windsor in a previous blog post. For up all the latest news on what is going on in the hives, have a look at the Windsor Bees & Honey blog.

Honey Week inspired Kid's Craft Activity - Bee Finger Puppets!

Finger puppets are easy to make and you can have lots of fun with them pretending to collect pollen or nectar from flowers. You can get together with your friends and make a swarm of bees.

Of course there are many different ways of making bee finger puppets. You can use different colours and materials, even paper. You can also cut up an odd glove to make the finger cosy.You might like to give the bee a more human looking face.

Here's a suggestion from the British Beekeepers Association.

Show me the Honey.

We have a wide selection of yummy honey at Tastes Delicatessen and lots of other delights which use honey to make them yummy. Here are some favourites:
Olive Branch Red Wine Vinegar with Cretan Orange Honey
Susie's Preserves Honeyed Sliced Pickled Onions
Mr Filberts Moroccan Spiced Almonds
Tracklements Spiced Honey Mustard
The Coconut Kitchen Honey, Garlic & Pepper Sauce (best sticky ribs!)
Midfields Granola range of honey baked granolas
Moore's Biscuits Oat & Honey biscuits (also happen to be wheat free)
Mighty Fine Chocolate Salted Caramel Honeycomb
Granny's Secret Orange & Honey Fruit Spread
The Bay Tree Food Company
Quaranta Soft Italian Nougat.

If you're feeling inspired to make your own delights using honey, here's a nice little recipe from the British Beekeepers Association for children to make their own honey gingernuts. Perfect for an autumnal Sunday afternoon. Enjoy!