Have you ever been "busy as a bee?” It’s doubtful; not to degrade your industriousness, but bees are, by most measurements, the hardest working creature alive. Just take a moment to consider some facts about bees.
1. Bees are the only insects that produce food consumed by humans.
2. They not only have six legs, two compound eyes with thousands of lenses, three single eyes, two pairs of wings, a nectar pouch and a stomach, but they also have 170 odorant receptors.
3. Their wings beat an outstanding 200 times per second.
4. They can fly 5-6 miles at up to 15 miles per hour.
6. During one collection trip on any given day, a bee will visit up to 100 flowers.
7. A bee’s brain is about the size of a sesame seed, yet it can differentiate and remember all flowers in its range, calculate distances, and communicate all that information with the other bees in its hive.
8. They communicate all of the above by dancing.
9. They can sense an air pressure change so as to know if it is wise to go and forage or better to stay in the hive.
One of the most interesting honey cookbooks is the 2010 publication Honey, I’m Homemade, edited by May Berenbaum, published by University of Illinois. Packed with honey information and loads of recipes from around the world, the book is perfect for getting to know a sweet that we may take for granted.
From the office shelves here at the Moore household, here are a few of our favorite recipes.
Fruit Juice Dressing
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tablespoon orange juice
2 tablespoons pineapple juice
2 teaspoons warmed honey
Combine all ingredients and whisk. Serve on fresh fruit. Any combination of juices will do; use your favorite. This dressing is also good on fresh salad greens. Recipe source: An Apple A Day, Loma Linda University, School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 1967
Honey Bee Cookies
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup honey
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cream butter, brown sugar, honey and egg. Sift together dry ingredients and beat into creamed mixture. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake until just set and light brown on edges, 7-9 minutes. Let stand on cookie sheets about 5 minutes, then remove to cooling rack. Makes 3 dozen cookies. Recipe source: Alpha Bakery by Gold Medal Flour-General Mills, 1987.
½ cup butter, room temp.
½ cup honey
Cream the butter well. Gradually beat in the honey. Mixture should be light and fluffy. Spread on hot biscuits, toast, graham crackers, pancakes, waffles. Recipe source: family recipe box.