Do you have a bee or honey related question? See some of the most frequently asked questions below.
If you can't find a question or answer you’re looking for, please email us your question at email@example.com, titled: Honey FAQ.
Q - My honey has turned solid - is it still good?
A - Yes. Natural, unpasteurized honey never goes bad. It is nature’s original sweetener, with the added bonus that it never spoils. If your honey has crystallized, slowly heat it up in a microwave (being careful not to burn) or place in a warm water bath until it reliquifies.
Q - I've heard there's problems with natural honeybee colonies/population. What can I do?
A - An easy way to help is to plant a honeybee friendly garden. Some very popular, and high nectar producing plants include roses, sunflowers, sedum, lavender, russian sage and butterfly bushes. You can also help by supporting your local farmers and producers. They work with local beekeepers and help promote hospitable environments for honeybees and other pollinators. Another way to help, is to abide by the ban in Ontario on lawn/ornamental pesticides.
Q - How many bees live in one hive?
A - On average, in the middle of the summer, it’s safe to estimate that each hive has between 50,000 to 125,000 bees.
Q - How long does a Queen bee live? What about a worker bee?
A - A Queen bee can live for up to 5 years. Most queens are replaced every 2 years due to productivity issues. During the summer, a female worker bee typically works for about 6-7 weeks and then dies.
Q - How do bees make honey?
A - Bees gather nectar from nectar-producing plants located close to their hives. An enzyme produced by the bees begins the transformation process. Then, as the water evaporates, the substance thickens into golden honey (No.1 Grade Canadian Honey has 17.8% water content). After the honey is “ripe,” the bees cap each honeycomb cell with a thin layer of beeswax. Once the honey is capped, we know that it’s ready to be harvested.
Q - Do different flowers make different types of honey?
A - Absolutely! Any nectar producing plant will have a unique flavour specific to it. Acacia, blueberry, buckwheat, clover, and orange blossom honey are among the favourite “varietal” honey types in North America.
Q - What is going on with Colony Collapse Disorder?
A - Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is a phenomenon occurring in the Southern United States of America. Beekeepers in the past few years have had bees seemingly vanish from their hives. Research indicates that some pesticides can contribute to CD and steps are being taken to decrease their usage.
In Ontario, there have not been any confirmed cases of CCD. What most experts agree on is that the issue is around a mite, the Varroa Destructor. Varroa is an aggressive and evasive honeybee-specific mite that severely weakens and kill hives.
Q - I've heard and read that Beeswax Candles “clean” the air - how exactly?
A - Burning a 100% beeswax candle releases negative ions into the air. These negative ions clean and purify the air. The ratio of negative ions increases in the air as the candle is burned. Through static electricity, the negative ions emitted charge allergens such as dust, various pollens and odors which then fall to the ground.