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Life and Religion

All abuzz about bees' sweet role in honey production
Exhibit at Discovery Place Nature
 
Published Saturday, July 13, 2019 12:00 pm
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

PHOTO | ASHLEY MAHONEY
Discovery Place Nature's beekeeping program produced double the amount of pure honey as last year.

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Honey never spoils.

The Buzz About Bees exhibit at Discovery Place Nature highlights the significance of local beekeeping. The four hives located at Discovery Place Nature—three outdoor and one inside for visitor observation—produced double that of last year.

“This is our second year we’ve got honey,” Discovery Place Nature Director Marvin Bouknight said. “We’ve kind of doubled our output this year. We’re really excited about that. The first year we did it we had 40 bottles, and we did a special event. When we did the special event, we had to do a raffle because everybody wanted honey. This year we hope to give everyone who wants honey this year honey.”

Why doesn’t honey spoil? Bouknight explained that it is hydrophobic.

“It basically takes the moisture out of anything—any bacteria and stuff that gets in it, it drives it out immediately,” Bouknight said. It’s also got very high antioxidants. They found honey in the pyramids of Egypt, which is hard to believe. You can put your honey up on the shelf and leave and it will be fine. If it crystalizes, just put it in warm water, and it’ll dissolve those crystals, and it’ll go right back to being honey.”

Consumers often turn to local honey during allergy season as a natural remedy. While it helps alleviate symptoms, it is not a cure.

“It does help you with a little bit of resistance,” Bouknight said. “I’ve had people come and go, ‘oh my gosh, I’ve got allergies so bad. I’ve just got to get as much local honey, as much as possible,’ and it helps a little bit, but it’s not going to be that catchall cure for your allergies. It certainly does help. It’s the antioxidants and the other health benefits of honey that far outweigh any of the other stuff people say about not getting local honey.”

Not only is the product local, it is entirely pure.

“In North Carolina, you have pure honey, it’s certified as pure honey,” Bouknight said. “If you go to the grocery stores, who knows what you’re going to get. You could get half honey, half high fructose corn syrup. You could get compromised honey that comes from another country, because we have no idea the quality. Support your local beekeepers, because not only are they providing you pure honey, but they’re also providing the pollination for fruits, vegetables and wildflowers around the area, and that’s extremely important as well.”

PHOTO | ASHLEY MAHONEY
A sign at Discovery Place Nature details the work bees put in to pollinate flowers.

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