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I chose a picture of a bee instead of a spoonful of honey because honey is really all about the bees.  I am not a beekeeper,(although that is my fantasy job!) and I cannot tell you the ins and outs of beekeeping but if you are interested there are a lot of sources to help get you started.  Not surprisingly, Martha Stewart keeps bees so even her sight has helpful info.  And you may have heard about the bee crisis which they don’t yet seem to know the cause of but assume it has to do with pesticides.  One answer to the bee crisis is more local beekeepers.  The huge industrial beekeepers (like the ones that serve the California almond growers) are the ones in trouble, so it stands to reason that encouraging small, healthy local bee populations would be a good start.

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This is a picture of Andrews Honey NYC… LES (lower east side), Queens, Brooklyn, WSP(Washington Square Park)… Yes, Andrew keeps bees on rooftops in NYC!  And these honey are awesome.  Check out his website for products and tons of info and photos.  I was at the Union Square farmers market about a month ago and bought a jar of Andrews ‘Ambrosia’ which is a mixture of raw honey, bee pollen, royal jelly, and bee propolis… WOW! Not only ambrosia but probably the elixir of life!

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I first started taking local bee pollen when I moved form dry arid climate to humid green climate and for the first time in my life experienced allergies.  The effect is similar to an immunization in that you take a teaspoon of local pollen and your body acclimates. Here is a list of bee pollen benefits from foodmatters.tv –

1. Energy Enhancer – The range of nutrients found within bee pollen makes it a great natural energizer. The carbohydrates, protein and B vitamins can help keep you going all day by enhancing stamina and fighting off fatigue.

2. Skin Soother – Bee pollen is often used in topical products that aim to treat inflammatory conditions and common skin irritations like psoriasis or eczema. The amino acids and vitamins protect the skin and aid the regeneration of cells.

3. Respiratory System – Bee pollen contains a high quantity of antioxidants that may have an anti-inflammatory effect on the tissues of the lungs, preventing the onset of asthma.

4. Treating Allergies – Pollen reduces the presence of histamine, ameliorating many allergies. Dr. Leo Conway, M.D of Denver Colorado, reported that 94 percent of his patients were completely free from allergy symptoms once treated with oral feeding of pollen. Everything from asthma to allergies to sinus problems were cleared, confirming that bee pollen is wonderfully effective against a wide range of respiratory diseases.

5. Digestive System – In addition to healthful vitamins, minerals and protein, bee pollen contains enzymes that can aid in digestion. Enzymes assist your body in getting all the nutrients you need from the food that you eat.

6. Immune System Booster – Pollen is good for the intestinal flora and thereby supports the immune system. According to holistic health expert Dr. Joseph Mercola, bee pollen has antibiotic-type properties that can help protect the body from contracting viruses. It’s also rich in antioxidants that protect the cells from the damaging oxidation of free radicals.

7. Treats Addictions – Used holistically for healing addictions and inhibiting cravings by suppressing impulses. Because bee pollen crashes cravings, it is a very useful research is needed into this benefit, particularly when it comes to weight management.

8. Supports the Cardiovascular System – Bee Pollen contains large amounts of Rutin; an antioxidant bioflavonoid that helps strengthen capillaries, blood vessels, assists with circulatory problems and corrects cholesterol levels. Its potent anti-clotting powers could help prevent heart attack and stroke.

9. Prostate Aid – Men who suffer from benign prostate hyperplasia can find relief by using bee pollen. Bee pollen can help reduce inflammation to stop frequent urges to urinate.

10. Infertility Problems – Bee pollen stimulates and restores ovarian function, therefore may be used to assist in accelerating pregnancy. As well as being a hormonal booster it is also a great aphrodisiac!

Royal Jelly is just like the name implies, the stuff of royalty!  The Queen Bee actually…

It is mostly taken internally but also known to be a bit of a miracle worker topically. Here is a segment from an article I found on beealive.com:

Benefits of Royal Jelly:
· A body balancer that optimizes physical and mental energy levels
· Supports healthy, balanced cholesterol and stress levels
· Analytical testing has shown that Royal Jelly is composed of many biologically active compounds, including B vitamins, such as pantothenic acid (B5) and B6, proteins, amino acids, peptides, fatty acids and biochemical cofactors
· Nature’s only source of Royalactin, which is responsible for the Queen Bee’s development and longevity
· Contains Acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved with learning and memory, making Royal Jelly a true brain food!
· Consists of nutrients, such as B vitamins, flavonoids, nucleic acid, decanoic acid, enzymes and hormones, thought to support skin renewal and collagen production for firmer, youthful looking skin
· Ideal for lethargic, run down or fully scheduled, maxed out individuals
· A vital supplement for menopausal women and women at the peak of their childbearing years
· The ultimate addition to your healthy diet and lifestyle!

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Raw Honey!!!   So good!  Raw honey is honey that has not been heated, pasteurized, or processed in any way, so it is full of all kinds of vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants, and nutrients (heating and pasteurizing destroys these).  From naturalnews.com –

Raw honey has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. It promotes body and digestive health, is a powerful antioxidant, strengthens the immune system, eliminates allergies, and is an excellent remedy for skin wounds and all types of infections. Raw honey’s benefits don’t stop there. Raw honey can also stabilize blood pressure, balance sugar levels, relieve pain, calm nerves, and it has been used to treat ulcers. Raw honey is also an expectorant and anti-inflammatory and has been known to effectively treat respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma.

The picture of jars above is from a site called Bee Raw that, in addition to a gorgeous product line, has a vast collection of gourmet honey recipes here.

I feel like this post is already a lot of info and I haven’t included any DIY beauty recipes of which there are many… But that is just a click away, so have at it and bee beautiful!