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Honey Day

"🎶 She's as sweet as Tupelo honey
She's an angel of the first degree
She's as sweet, she's as sweet as Tupelo honey
Just like honey, baby, from the bee"

~ Tupelo Honey, Van Morrison, 1971

Buzz, buzz, busy bees! Honey figures in many holiday recipes, bringing the sweetness of summer to wintry candlelit desserts of honeyed cookies, honeyed mead wines and honey cakes. As one of the first and most widespread sweetener used by man, honey was highly valued and often used as a form of currency, tribute, or offering. Peasants even paid their feudal lords in honey and beeswax! The bards of old called Britain the “Isle of Honey” due to the sheer number of wild bees flying to and fro. Bees figured prominently in the ancient folkore of Britain, and particularly Scotland, in the concept of "bee souls." It was believed that the soul could leave the body in the form of a bee while a person was sleeping! Whether used for cosmetics, recipes or beverages, wild harvested honey is imbued with the essence and therapeutic properties of the flowers from which the bees visit, including acacia, tea tree, Mānuka, clover, sage, thyme, orange flower, and others, each with its own properties, delicate scents and flavours. With a dollop of honey and butter on toast, muffin or scone, one can enjoy one of life's more delectable of simple pleasures. Thank you, bees! 💛 🐝 🍯

Neque mel, neque apes,  a Latin phrase for "No bees, no honey" means  “every convenience hath its concomitant inconvenience.”  The modern, English rhyming version (cited in print since at least 1889) is: “No bees, no honey; no work, no money.” 


Cultures throughout the centuries have valued honey for its wide array of uses.


Archaeologists have discovered honey combs buried with Egyptian pharaohs in their tombs. In Greek mythology, honey was often considered "ambrosia", a food or drink of the Greek Gods.  Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, championed honey not only for its nutritional benefits but also for its medicinal values.


The Romans even used honey as a topical medicine for healing their wounds during battles. Napoleon revered honey so much that he had bees embroidered onto his clothes and the flag of his army. 

This tartan, by designer Carol A.L. Martin, uses colors from the full spectrum of wildflower honey. Honey color ranges from nearly colorless to dark brown, and its flavor varies from mild to strong, depending on the source.  As a general rule, light-colored honey is milder in taste and dark-colored honey is stronger.

The color and flavor of honeys differ depending on the nectar source (the blossoms) visited by the honey bees. There are hundreds of unique types of honey originating from different floral sources. 

Some common types of single-blossom honey cultivated from all over the world are: acacia, apple blossom, alfalfa, arbutus, avocado, blueberry, blackberry, borage, buckwheat, carob blossom, carrot blossom, chestnut, coriander blossom, cherry blossom, clover, cotton, dandelion, eucalyptus, fireweed, gallberry, goldenrod, hawthorn, heather, hedgerow, kamahi (Hawaii), kiawe (Hawaii), lavender, lehua blossom (Hawaii), lime tree, longan, linden blossom, Manuka (New Zealand), mesquite, onion, orange blossom, rapeseed, rubber, rosemary, sage, sunflower, sir (Yemen), sulla (southern Italy), sumac, thistle thyme, and Tupelo (Florida).

For an interesting video on the mathematics of honeycomb construction and the honeycomb cell's distinctive hexagonal shape, click the honeycomb.  

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