September is National Honey Month and to celebrate the Northwest Missouri Beebusters had members bring samples of their honey, harvested this year, for everyone to try.
“It was fun comparing everyone’s honey,” Erin Mullins, Beebuster member, said. “Even though we all live relatively close to each other, the honeys all tasted a little bit differently. Many of our members are from Nodaway County but we also have members from Atchison and Gentry counties.”
The flavor and color of honey is determined by the flower sources which the honeybee visits. Things that bloom earlier in the year, like black locust trees and white clover, produce a lighter almost clear colored honey. Things which bloom later in the year, like buckwheat, can produce a real dark honey, almost like molasses.
In order for bees to produce one pound of honey, they would have to visit over two million flowers and one honeybee will only produce 1/12th of a teaspoon its entire life. This is why it is important bees are provided plenty of flower sources.
Honey has been used for thousands of years and has been considered a very special substance. In Egypt and Greek cultures, honey was offered up to the gods. Before cane sugar became a popular sweetener, honey was used in baking because it was more commonly found.
Honey has also been used for its medicinal properties. It can give a boost of energy, help immune systems, heal wounds and burns, aid in fighting allergies and help with a sore throat and cough.
For more information about honey, visit the National Honey Board’s website at honey.com.
“If you are interested in being a beekeeper, I invite you to attend a meeting of the Northwest Missouri Beebusters,” Mullins said.
The Beebusters currently meet at 7 pm on the second Monday of each month at the Nodaway County Ambulance Barn, 103 Carefree Drive, in Maryville.
For meeting updates, visit their page on Facebook.