come back honey

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Two more species of bees were listed as endangered by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, following a several year trend that has observed and predicted further mass declines in a myriad of bee species around the world. If bee’s contributions to ecosystem-wide stability isn’t enough to protect them, maybe we can use a more selfish concern to protect bees: they make honey and honey is good for us.

honey is good for us

Honey has several clinically proven antibacterial uses in humans. It is relatively acidic on its own (which gives it a very long shelf life), but when mixed with more base environments, it produces the antibacterial hydrogen peroxide. Historically, honey has been recorded as an aid in healing wounds inside and outside the body, especially on the skin and in the stomach. Recent studies confirm that applying honey topically can assist in treating (bed or recurrent) sores, burns, and wounds. Ingesting it has been proven to treat certain stomach ulcers and reduce systemic inflammation. It has been tested side-by-side dextromethorphan and Benadryl for easing nighttime coughs in children over 2. 

how good?

Studies of some more dramatic benefits of honey are undergoing but still have yet to reach human trial stages. These include one that demonstrated efficacy in assisting diabetic rats to regulate their blood sugar levels. Antioxidants in general have been proven to be useful in fighting inflammation and free radical production (oxidative stress), both of which contribute to certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases; honey is being explored in this regard as well.

* it should be noted that a lot of the studies mentioned above use either Tualang honey from Malaysia or Manuka honey from New Zealand. Because of the specific plants these bees pollinate, the honey from both is much darker than typical store-bought honeys, and are thought to be more antimicrobially robust *

spreads, dishes, and drinks

Honey is one of the easiest and most diverse sweetener out there. It’s easily to spread and to mix. Honey goes great with goat cheese, on bread or in a salad. If spreading it on bread isn’t enough, you can bake it into almost any bread loaf. It is an easy meat and vegetable glaze, especially good on roasted carrots, barbecued meats, chicken wings, ham, and shrimp. If you’re trying to consume honey more regularly, it goes well in black, green, iced, or ginger teas, as well as lemonades. Honey lemon water is good hot or cold, and again, studies are being done on its effectiveness in easing certain stomach pains. 

Pick up some (preferably raw) honey online or from the store—it never goes bad so you can eat it as quickly or slowly as you’d like.