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Honey Facts
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These are some facts about honey and beeswax you should know when purchasing and eating honey or using beeswax.

Babies and honey: The American Pediatric Society recommends that babies under 12 months of age should not eat any kind of honey, raw or pasteurized. There is some debate about how much of an issue this is because most other countries feed babies honey from birth and this was done in our country until very recently. However, there is some risk at this young age of contracting botulism. So why take the risk? 

Crystallization: Nearly all honey (with the exception of Tupelo honey) crystallizes naturally - it's supposed to. Depending on what the bees were eating, it can crystallize within a few weeks, a few months or a year, and it may have small crystals (making it thicker or harder) or large crystals. "creamed honey" is just honey that has had micro-crystals purposely introduced to make a creamy looking appearance and texture.
 
Once it crystallizes, you can either use it as is, spread it on toast or cook with it, or you can reliquify it. You can do this by either placing the jar in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes or so, or you can use your microwave thaw setting, as long as it doesn't go above 105 degrees, which will kill all the good enzymes. 

Beware of fake honey: If honey is pasteurized or ultra-filtered, the FDA does not consider it classified as "honey".  This is because these processes remove everything that makes honey - honey. Such as small bits of pollen and propolis, and the antibiotic and antibacterial properties that reside in honey. So it ends up basically honey flavored glucose. According to Food Safety News, testing showed that over 3/4 of the stuff sold on shelves in grocery stores is not honey the way the bees produced it, nor honey as classified by the FDA.  The FDA doesn't regularly test honey. It's now coming to light that much commercial store honey is being "cut" with "honey products" from China and India that do not classify as honey, or cut with water or corn syrup to make it thinner and to stop crystalization. 
 
Whose to blame? Well, you might look at the American consumer. Most consumers want to see a product that is thin enough to squeeze out of a tiny hole in a plastic bear, that looks perfectly clear and never crystallizes. Which isn't actually honey.

Why is honey good for me? Raw, local honey contains bits of pollen, propolis (made from local tree sap), antimicrobials, enzymes and antiseptic and antiobiotic properties. Local allergists recommend to their patients suffering from allergies to integrate raw honey into their diet, and try to purchase honey produced within a few miles of your house so they pollen in the honey is the same stuff you're breathing. The reasoning is that these tiny amounts of local pollen act like allergy shots by injecting bits of the allergen so that your body can build up a resistance.

Healing honey: Honey has been used as a wound dressing for hundreds of years and is still used as burn and ulcer wound dressings in Europe, China and other countries. It was used heavily during the Civil War and WWI to dress amputations and wounds. This is because of the antibiotic, antimicrobial and antiseptic properties in honey. It's also one reason why you can eat and sell raw honey without having to pasteurize it (according to the FDA).

 This is one of the reasons why it really does help to eat a spoonful of honey when you have a sore throat. It doesn't just coat your throat, it can actually help heal your throat.

Beeswax is amazing. It has the same great properties as honey, but it's also an incredibly waterproof, yet flexible sealant. Unlike paraffin wax that is hard and cracks, beeswax flexes. It only takes a tiny bit to "harden" products. Beeswax was used in WWI and WWII to coat the field canvas tents and canvas ground tarps to keep the rain out and off the boys while sleeping in the field. The beekeepers back at home in the U.S. were kept very busy selling beeswax to the U.S. government.

Beeswax furniture polish (made with beeswax, linseed oil and turpentine) protects wood floors and furniture wonderfully, soaks in to the wood and imparts a satin glow when polished. It's the only polish allowed on the historical wood floors and furnishings at historical venues in Washington DC such as the Library or Congress, the National Archives and the White House. And of course, we know it's prized in skin products like lip balm and lotions.

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