Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bee Watching, Be Careful

Ilog Maria Honeybee Farm has gotten me hooked that I have to have a post devoted to all things honey. I have been to the honeybee farm twice already, and that is just for this summer. On my last visit, I brought along my mother-in-law and sister-in-law with me. We filled our shopping baskets till they overflowed with homeopathic products which listed bee propolis as primary ingredient. I purchased a few more bottles of the Bee Propolis Spray as a reserved stock which I know would come in handy any time my throat starts itching again; Bee Propolis Linament Oil to be used for my next massage appointment; Bee Propolis and Honey Soap for when the kids’ get another dermatitis attacks; their Bee Propolis Ointment have worked wonders for my skin irritations.

For those of you unacquainted with bees, propolis is a substance produced by the honey bees, which they use to the seal their hives against predators and disease. It's made by collecting a sticky resinous substance collected from the buds and damaged bark of certain trees and mixing it with beeswax, pollen and saliva. Propolis does have proven antibiotic and antiseptic properties and may also have antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects. I consider it safe and useful as a home remedy. I highly recommend it as a remedy for mouth sores and irritations in the mouth.

I have what the Chinese call a high internal body heat, and often suffer from sore throat as a result of this. But ever since I purchased my first Ilog Maria Bee Propolis Spray early this year, I have managed to keep my throat in good condition so far.

I also love Ilog Maria’s honey because their honey product is raw natural honey with all the rich ingredients that have not been removed by heat or pressure filtration. Unlike the commercially bottled ones I buy from the grocery, theirs has a unique taste that is both delicately sweet and refreshing. I know it sounds odd to have those two characteristics belong in the same sentence and be used to describe a singular thing, but that’s what it does for me. I enjoy it whipped with butter as a sweet topping for my breakfast pancakes, or simply blended with warm water as a relaxing night cap, and sometimes I just simply pour it on a big spoon and eat it pure - as a mid day indulgence. Ahh! The simple pleasures of life.

I can remember when I was a little girl living in Davao, a certain bee-keeper was a perennial house guest, bringing along with him fresh honeycomb with every visit. He would bring the cut honeycomb and squeeze the honey out of it using a cheesecloth. Another finer-sieved cheesecloth would then be used as a filter to make sure that the strained honey is free from wax and other debris. Finally, it is poured into the mouth of a funnel with a huge sterilized jar at the bottom. Jars of these dark-colored honey were a constant fixture in our family’s kitchen. My dad always ate them right off the spoon as a nutritional supplement.

On an earlier visit to the bee farm, we were delighted to be served fresh honey right off the comb. The owner’s son instructed us: “put out your pinkie finger and press the comb.” We did just that and we were greatly rewarded with sweet, golden honey oozing out of the combs.

Still, others couldn't get enough of this ambrosia, instead of putting out a finger, they stuck out the whole hand instead.

The Bible couldn't have said it better:
My son, eat honey, for it is good, Yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste (Proverbs 24:13)