It’s time to make your favorite cup of tea and visit your local beekeepers, because September is National Honey Month! The National Honey Board is an organization that was created and is overseen by the Department of Agriculture, and they established National Honey Month in 1989 as a way to celebrate and appreciate bees and beekeepers. September is the end of the honey collection season in most places, so this is a great time of year to use honey in all of your favorite ways!
Benefits of Honey
There are plenty of health benefits that you can get from eating and using honey. Here are some of the plus sides to using the sweet stuff in your daily life!
Honey is great to use as a sweetener in drinks, foods, and baked goods, and it’s better for you than refined sugar! While honey still increases your blood sugar levels and should be consumed in moderation, it helps to keep your sugar levels more stable, and its antioxidants and other qualities help to keep you healthy.
Treats Coughs and Colds
Honey has been used to treat coughs, colds, and sore throats for centuries, and for good reason– it works! Some studies have shown that honey can be as effective as cough syrup in reducing coughs, and its anti-inflammatory properties can be good for reducing discomfort during a cold.
Natural Allergy Relief
While it hasn’t yet been proven in clinical studies, there’s lots of anecdotal evidence that consuming local honey from your own area can help relieve your seasonal allergies. Part of this could be due to honey’s ability to help with any nose and throat irritation, but it’s not so far-fetched to think that the trace amounts of pollen found in honey could offer small exposures to your allergen system and help to lessen your sensitivity.
Help Save the Bees
Bees are incredibly important to our ecosystem, and not just because they provide us with delicious honey. They pollinate our important food crops and keep the plants that we all rely on thriving! Bee populations are struggling these days, so here are some small ways that you can help.
Plant Pollinator-Friendly Gardens
One way you can help support your local bees is by giving them plenty of plants to work with! Most garden supply stores will sell “pollinator mixes” of seeds that are intended to fill your garden with lots of beautiful, bee-friendly flowers to encourage pollination and give the bees something to snack on. This can help the rest of your garden to flourish and become more vibrant overall by attracting vital pollinators!
Avoid Synthetic Chemicals Outdoors
One of the biggest threats to bees these days is chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. They can damage the health of a bee and even kill them, so it’s best to avoid using these synthetic chemicals in your garden if you want to help save the bees. Instead, use natural solutions like compost, organic bee-safe pesticides, and methods that attract insects that will control your other pests, like ladybugs.
Support Local Beekeepers
Some of the people who are doing the most work to keep bees happy and thriving are your local beekeepers, so take National Honey Month as an excuse to show them some love! Try to buy your honey from local beekeepers and farms as much as possible. It’ll be less processed, a great way to support local businesses, and will help save the bees!
Shop for Honey in Berks County
Here are some places in Berks County, PA that you can shop for local honey!
The Berry Farm and Orchard in Kutztown has a sister company called Honey Hollow Apiaries. Their hives are located in the Berry Farm orchards and they offer many honey-based products, including soaps, lotions, and furniture polish!
Oley Valley Organics in Oley, PA is a great place to do some local shopping. Not only do they have lots of fresh, seasonal produce, but they have honey as well!
Griesemer Beekeeping in Robesonia, PA offers a wide array of local, natural raw honeys, including clover honey and blueberry honey as well as convenient honey sticks, honey-based candies, and honey and beeswax based skin care products.
With these tips, you’re sure to have a sweet September as you celebrate National Honey Month and support your local ecosystem and community!