How much do you know about honey bees? As we approach the autumn equinox, honey bees are already preparing for winter.
While outside temperatures are still warm enough, honey bees will continue to collect nectar and pollen from fall flowers like goldenrod, aster, and beebalm.
Over the next several weeks, temperatures will decline and food will become scarce as the days grow shorter.
The queen bee will begin to slow down her production of eggs as the colony prepares for winter.
Drones (male honey bees) are evicted from the hive. They do not perform hive maintenance duties or collect nectar or pollen, so having less mouths to feed strengthens the colony's chances of lasting through the winter.
Honey bees do not hibernate. However, when temperatures are lower than 50 degrees F, they stay clustered together inside their hive for warmth. The colony acts like a tiny furnace by pumping their flight muscles all winter long, maintaining a temperature of 95 degrees inside the hive.
As winter progresses, the cluster of bees will move up through the hive as a unit, slowly eating through their honey stores.
Once the colonies sense the days are getting longer, the queen will begin laying eggs again to prepare for spring.
The spring equinox officially begins at 5:24 p.m. EDT on Monday, March 20. It brings warmer weather, refreshing sunlight and the opportunity to witness a new start with our outdoor surroundings. So, why is spring important?
The word “equinox” comes from the Latin for “equal” and “night.” The event marks the astronomical start of a new season when the sun is positioned directly above the Earth’s equator, allowing an equal amount of daylight and darkness at all latitudes.
Spring is the busiest time of year for honey bees. In the spring, bees stay busy foraging for nectar to create honey for their colony. One honeybee may visit about 100 flowers in a single foraging trip. The bee may make 10 to 15 foraging trips, visiting at least 1,000 flowers in one day. One bee can produce up to 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.
While honeybees are working hard in the springtime to create a wonderful superfood, they’re also pollinating the flora around us.
Get ready to gather up the family and enjoy some outdoor time in the strawberry patch. Here in Texas, strawberry season begins in late February and lasts through May. Check out a few of the sweetest spots for fresh strawberries in Texas!
There are so many ways to enjoy fresh strawberries. Try this fun and delicious recipe using our Lucky Lime & Sea Salt honey!
1 cup fresh strawberries, quartered or sliced
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Lucky Lime & Sea Salt honey, or Tuscan Blue Rosemary & Pepper honey
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
In a small sauce cup, combine balsamic vinegar, sea salt, black pepper and your choice of either Lucky Lime & Sea Salt honey or Tuscan Blue Rosemary & Pepper honey. Stir to combine. Place fresh strawberries in a medium-size bowl. Drizzle the honey sauce over the strawberries. Gently stir them for one minute to coat them evenly. Set them aside at room temperature for 10 minutes. Repeat this stirring process two more times. Store these macerated strawberries in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to the three days.
Serve these strawberries straight out of the bowl, or over shortcakes, ice cream, yogurt, or oats. Shake them with ice and alcohol to create a delicious cocktail.
Our Tuscan Blue Rosemary & Pepper honey is out of this world in this recipe. It's a delicious iced coffee that will no doubt become your favorite this fall!
1 cup brewed medium or dark roast coffee (lukewarm)
4 tablespoons Tuscan Blue Rosemary & Pepper honey, or more to taste
2 tablespoons oat milk, or more to taste
Pour coffee into a glass, then add honey. Stir until honey is completely dissolved. Add ice cubes, leaving room for oat milk. Top off with oat milk.
Follow these instructions carefully. The brewed coffee should be warm enough to dissolve the honey, yet cool enough not to melt all the ice cubes. Serves one.
Our Tuscan Blue Rosemary & Pepper honey is the toast of the town with two top-notch awards; the Specialty Food Association's 2021 sofi™ Awards (New York) receiving the New Product Award in the sweeteners category, and the 2022 Mediterranean Taste Awards (London) receiving the Gold Award in the excellent taste category. Both are top honors in the international food industry.
Visit our "Shop Online" page and discover all of our honey flavors and select the honey product size that best suits your needs.
Here are a few ways you can pay honor to the insect responsible for more than one-third of the food we eat.
Plant native flowers
The human-dominated landscape no longer supports functioning ecosystems. You can use Audubon's handy database to discover native plants in your area. Just enter your zip code. It's as easy as that. Not only does a yard full of native flowers look beautiful, but it's also an open buffet for bees and other pollinators to feed on nectar and pollen. Once established, native plants generally require little maintenance.
Keep the mowing to a minimum
A neatly kept lawn is nice, but letting it grow a bit long invites bees to visit dandelions, clovers, and other flowering plants that might grow in your yard.
Don't call pest control if you see a swarm
When a colony has too many bees, the hive will split in half. One half will swarm and travel together to find a new home, white the other half remains in place. Swarming bees take time to group up before leaving and will usually take off to find a permanent home within a few hours or up to a couple of days. Read more about swarming bees here: Bee Not Afraid of Swarms
If you use pesticides, apply them when plants are not in bloom
Honey bees, bumble bees, mason bees and other pollinating insects pollinate your plants and are critical for our environment. Avoid applying any pesticides, including insecticides and fungicides, while the plant is blooming. Bees and other insects may be harmed if they consume nectar or pollen containing pesticides.
Honey bees are like no other insect. We all know how tasty their honey can be, but their brilliance goes well beyond that!
Great news, friends! We are a 2022 Scovie Award Winner!
We are thrilled to be recognized by the Fiery Foods Show for our Fiery Sweet Mesquite Honey as it has claimed 2nd place in the Sweet Heat - Unique category.
The Scovie Awards honor the memory of Wilbur Scoville, the scientist who invented the Scoville organoleptic test in 1912 to determine the heat scale of chili peppers.
Thank you to the judges and thank you to the Fiery Foods Show for this special regcognition!
Friends, we are pinching ourselves! We're thrilled to receive not only one sofi Award, but two!
It's an honor to have won the New Product Award for our Tuscan Blue Rosemary & Black Pepper infused honey as well as the Gold Award for our Lucky Lime & Sea Salt infused honey. We are proud to be recognized by the Specialty Food Association (SFA).
The SFA is the leading trade association and source of information about the $158.4 billion specialty food industry. Founded in 1952 in New York City, the SFA represents makers, importers, retailers, distributors, and others in the trade.
The sofi Awards competition is open annually to members of the Specialty Food Association. The Awards have been given each year since 1972. They recognize extraordinary specialty food and beverage products and the people who create them.
The SFA's 2021 sofi™ Awards included a total of 130 winners selected from nearly 1,500 entries across 49 product categories. Products were judged in an anonymous sampling for taste - including flavor, appearance, texture and aroma - ingredient quality, and innovation. The sofi judging was held at the prestigious Rutgers Food Innovation Center in April following strict safety guidelines.
Friends, we're excited to tell you about our latest creation! We proudly collaborated with Patty's Herbs in Pearsall, Texas and used their fresh cut rosemary to create this infused honey...and it's quickly becoming a favorite.
Our new Tuscan Blue Rosemary & Pepper infused honey is small-batched in 10-gallon batches and has a piney aroma with a distinctive sharp flavor. Just a hint of black pepper gives this honey an added earthy tone. It has a use in everything from meat and poultry, to vegetables, cheeses, baked goods, and even cocktails. It can be added to a marinade or combined with butter to melt over many finished dishes.
Check out our recipe page and you can create your own fantastic dishes using our Tuscan Blue Rosemary & Pepper infused honey this holiday season!
It's been awhile since I've posted to our blog, but it's not because we don't have much to talk about...we've been staying pretty busy and that's a great thing.
One of our latest adventures has been making new friends at The Chopping Block Premier Meat Market, located southeast of Houston in the town of Webster, about halfway to Galveston. Just recently opened, this market caters to folks who enjoy grilling and cooking all types of meats at on their own. If you're new to grilling or want to expand upon your robust cooking talent, you'll find comfort with the knowledgeable and very friendly staff. They offer a large variety of meats to select from and the enticing aroma in the store will get your creative grilling juices flowing for sure. This place has it all.
Daily discounts are available to military veterans, first responders, nurses, teachers, and senior citizens. Stop in and say "hello" to the folks at The Chopping Block (14020 Galveston Road) and pick up our infused honeys while you're there!
For the past couple of years, we’ve been making our way throughout the Great State of Texas to spread the word about our tasty infused honeys. And now we are super excited to tell you that our Fiery Sweet Mesquite and our Lucky Lime & Sea Salt honeys are available at each of the Whole Foods Market locations in the entire state of Texas!
This is a big deal for Lone Star Bee Company because it's now easier for YOU to get your hands on our delicious honeys. It's also a big deal for us because we enthusiastically appreciate and support Whole Foods Market's core values.
These are great traits that we can all appreciate. Click on our “Retailers” page to find the Whole Foods Market nearest to you!
Nicki Praiswater is co-founder and co-owner of Lone Star Bee Company alongside her life-partner, Mark Crippen. Together, they both enjoy beekeeping, traveling and eating great foods.