But in my cupboard I’ve got a couple of jars of last summer’s nectar—honey from the Nixon honey farm near Innisfail, Alberta. When I spread it on my breakfast toast, it conjures a picture of blooming fields and hard-working honeybees.
Each hive consists of boxes stacked four high, on pallets. Each queen bee lays 3000 eggs per day. She fills up the lower two boxes with eggs. This is where the bees live and care for the developing young. The top two boxes are supposed to be for honey storage but sometimes the queen starts laying eggs in the upper boxes too. If she does, the box is set aside until the bees develop.
When the boxes are filled with honey, they are replaced with empty boxes and brought in to the factory. They are stacked in a “hot” room for several days while the wax softens and becomes easier to work with.
Nixon Honey Farm sells creamed honey, flavored honeys, and concentrated pollen. The beeswax is sold to people who use in in cosmetics, candles, and for other purposes.
Many people believe that honey is one of nature's most perfect foods. It never goes bad. Because of its antibacterial properties it has long been used for healing cuts and scrapes (or sore throats and coughs), and bee pollen can build up immunity to seasonal pollen allergies.
As if all this isn't enough to make us appreciate these industrious insects, bees also pollinate much of the food we eat. Without them trees wouldn't produce fruit and grains wouldn't produce seed.
And we wouldn't have the taste of summer to remind us that January won't last forever!