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PHOTO: Tessa Zundel
August means the honey harvest is nearly upon us for those of us who keep bees. Even if you don’t have your own bees, the beekeepers local to you will start pulling honey from their hives this month and next in most climates. It’s time to find an excuse to use up all the fresh raw honey you can find.
Honey Recipes for Treats and Health
1. Homemade Caramels
To learn more about the benefits of raw honey, to get the scoop on organic honey in the U.S., and to try a simple recipe for homemade honey caramels, visit my personal blog, HomesteadLady.com.
2. Peanut Butter Honey Spread
Mix honey with plain peanut butter and make it a magical sandwich spread.
Raw honey makes a great health supplement, from soothing a cough to relieving allergies.
4. Summer Foot Care
Give your kids’ feet some TLC with these recipes and tips—we adults aren’t the only ones who go barefoot this time of year, right?
5. Honey Tootsie Rolls
These candies are just like the ones you buy in the store, only they taste better and are better for you.
6. Violet Lemonade
This honey-sweetened drink turns a lovely shade of violet, as long as your violets are purple.
7. Vanilla Honey
It’s so simple to infuse your honey with vanilla beans or any other herb you can think of.
Also at this time of year, you or your local beekeeper may have extra beeswax on hand. If so, try these fun projects.
1. Beeswax Candles
Used for candle-making for centuries, beeswax produces a soft light and a sweet scent. For general tips on making candles with children—believe me, you want to be prepared—check out my previous Farm Sprouts post.
2. DIY Saran Wrap
If you’re trying to get your family away from plastics, food wrap is a good place to start. Learn how to make your own reusable food wrap with just some cloth and beeswax. The kids will love helping with this one because as they dip, they’ll inevitably get wax on their fingers. What is it with kids and getting warm wax on their fingers? They just seem to love it!
3. Custom Lip Balms—And A DIY Carrying Case
Use beeswax to make your own custom lip balms. I promise, this isn’t as hard as it may seem. My 6-year-old made lip balm recently, and the only thing she needed me for was to help read the recipe and supervise the hot pot. Here’s a DIY lip balm carrying case to make, too, that requires minimal sewing.
4. DIY Modeling Beeswax
Instead of Playdough, try beeswax created just for modeling. You can purchase modeling beeswax, but it’s much, much cheaper to simply make your own with the kids. Plus, here’s some advice on how to use modeling bees wax—it’s a bit different from something like modeling clay.
Would You Like To Keep Bees?
You might not have grown up thinking of bees as friends, but maybe your mind is being changed as you see how much they do for us in our world. From pollinating food crops to creating honey, there’s no more useful insect that I can think of—I must confess to being biased in favor of bees, though. I’ve been keeping bees on and off for about 20 years, and I started with them in high school. Perhaps your farm sprout has a similar bee-interest? If you’d like to know more about keeping bees, here are some helpful links, just to get your wheels turning:
- The Basics of Beekeeping
- 4 Ways To Keep Bees More Naturally
- 4 Tips For Keeping Bees With Children
- How To Harvest Honey With An Extractor
Even if you aren’t a bee keeper yourself, this may be an activity that your older children could really enjoy and even turn into a small side business. Now there’s a summer job you can get behind, especially if it means fresh honey and lovely beeswax in your home.