Seller finds many uses for honey

16 Apr

Published: February 26, 2014 3:00 a.m.


Diana Parker | The Journal Gazette


Fort Wayne – Cindy Sheets, 48, and her daughter, Sadye Howald, 23, run Sweet Life Honey Farm and The BeeHive in Huntington County.

Sheets, a surgical nurse at Dupont Hospital, says the business was created in order to help her fruit trees.

“There’s a few fruit trees planted in the front yard,” she explains. “We had blooms but no fruit. Someone suggested bees. We fell in love with the bees, and it took off from there. The bees right now are in Texas. They’ll be here in April. We spread them out around here, close to home and surrounding counties.”

And the choice of the business name says a lot about the women. “We decided we wanted to live a sweet life from now on,” Sadye says.

Sheets says the business was formerly known as Majenica Creek Honey Farm. They started in 1991, but The BeeHive has been open since June, she says. “I’ve wanted to do it for years and things fell into place. We have a lot of things (on to do) list.”

Sadye laughs.

Sheets’ looks over at her daughter and says, “We have a huge list. We want to add a fruit market and tours.”

“Something educational, more classes,” Sadye says.

Sheets’ daughter also raises queen bees and ships them all over the United States.

“I’ve been doing it a while. I just never knew how much I liked it until last summer,” she says.

In addition to honey, patrons will find honey flavored candies and baked goods at The BeeHive (5386 W. 200 S. in Huntington) for sale. There are also honey and beeswax soaps, lip balms, lotion bars and other body care products.

Not all the honey on display is the same color. Sheets says that honey may come in different colors because of the seasons. While spring is a light shade, fall is darker and summer is usually a medium shade.

“All honey can be different colors, but last year it was too dry and we didn’t have any fall honey. But we had spring and summer,” she says.

In baking, Sheets replaces honey for sugar.

“To substitute honey for sugar in baked goods we suggest starting with only substituting half of the sugar,” she says. “Start with decreasing the sugar by half and using honey in (its) place. You should also decrease liquids by 1/4 cup for each 1 cup of honey used and try adding a 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for each 1 cup of honey used. Honey will often cause things to brown quicker so the oven may need to be adjusted along with the baking time. We like to start by decreasing the temp in the oven by 25 degrees.”

Q. What’s your favorite cookbook?

Cindy: Our house burned down three years ago. I used to have a cookbook filled with favorite recipes by ladies of the church I used to go to, but I lost it in the fire.

Q. What do you do to keep meals healthy?

Cindy: We eat lot of vegetables. And we try not to use oil in our cooking.

Sadye: We cook our vegetables in a little honey and garlic powder.

Cindy: Instead of using margarine, butter or oil, while making vegetables on the stove top try using 1 to 2 teaspoons of honey. This really brings out the flavor of the vegetable and it takes out the fat.

Q. Who would you say is your cooking idol?

Cindy: I always said my grandma, the late Charlotte Goodwin. She taught me to make noodles. She made Lefse, it’s a Norwegian recipe according to my grandma. My mom, Charlene Sheets, continues that tradition and makes that for my birthday.

Q. What’s something people would not find in your refrigerator?

Cindy: I don’t know what’s not in our refrigerator. Fish. I know it’s healthy, but it never tastes fresh to me. I like ocean fish, if it’s fresh.

Q. What one word would describe your cooking style?

Sadye: You’re a country cook or homestyle.

Cindy: From scratch.

Q. If you were stuck on an island, what’s one food you would have to have?

Cindy: I want a coconut tree so I could survive for the rest of my life. Coconut milk, toasted coconut, coconut shrimp. Or honey bees because they would be producing honey.

Q. What advice would you give beginner cooks?

Cindy: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. If you burn one sheet of cookies, oh well, dog biscuits.

Honey Sweet Green Tea

6 green tea bags

Water, for steeping and mixing

1/2 cup of raw honey


Steep green tea bags for about 20 minutes. Remove tea bags and while tea is still warm, add raw honey. Mix and add ice and water to make one gallon. Serve. Makes 1 gallon.

Honey Mustard

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup honey

1 tablespoon mustard

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Mix all ingredients together. Makes 3/4 cup.

Honey Butter

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup honey

Whip with electric mixer until blended well. Makes 1 cup.

Honey more effective to heal wounds than betadine

14 Apr

16 FEBRUARY 2014 – 06:25AM GMT



Dr Pillai uses a locally-manufactured ventriculo-peritoneal (VP) shunt to drain out fluid from the brain.

“Traditional shunts made abroad are 10 times costlier  the ones we use cost Rs 3,000 per unit,” says Pillai.

In dealing with severe head injuries and disease of the nervous system, it is crucial that the pressure inside the brain be measured accurately.

An intra-cranial catheter is inserted and the reading taken on a monitor. The catheter usually costs Rs 30,000 and the meter is worth about Rs 10 lakh.

Pillai instead inserts a simple sterilized rubber tube, filled with water, inside the brain and then connects it to any pressure monitor in the OT.

“The tube costs just a few rupees. Whenever there is an effective local option, which has been documented and proven to be safe, we try to use it,” adds Dr Pillai.

In 2012, surgeons at AIIMS published a paper in the Indian Journal of Surgery, which showed that using honey (procured from beehives on neem trees) healed wounds better and faster than povidone-iodine (betadine), standard ointment used in such cases.

Dr Anurag Srivastava, head of surgery at AIIMS, says that there was significant decrease in the surface area of the wound and pain in the group, where honey was used as wound dressing.

“As long as you follow basic principles of sterilization and operative technique, and provide good post-op clinical care, it is safe to use low-cost substitutes,” says Dr Satish Shukla, an onco-surgeon based in Indore and president of ASI.

He further points out that although the US FDA doesn’t allow the reuse of catheters in cardiac and renal surgeries, surgeons in India safely recycle them for cost-effectiveness.

In 2003, the Indian Journal of Surgery published a paper by Dr Ravindranath Tongaonkar on the use of the mosquito net in treating adult groin hernia.

Traditionally, a polypropylene mesh is used to fix the ruptured tissue but it is an expensive material. So Dr Tongaonkar replaced it with mosquito net cloth.

At the time, a meter of mosquito net cloth cost Rs 40 while the imported surgical mesh cost Rs 9,430 for a 30 cm x 30 cm patch. Dr Tongaonkar has used the mosquito net mesh in more than 500 hernia operations.

Similarly, instruments used in a range of expensive cosmetic procedures can be replaced with common household items once sterilized properly.

Dr Shibu Thomas, a senior cosmetic surgeon who runs the Inceptor cosmetic surgery and skin institute in Mumbai, uses 24-inch household electric ties (used to hold wires together) as a substitute for surgical tourniquet to put compression at the base of the breast during breast reduction surgery.

While surgical tourniquets are imported from the US and cost Rs 3,000 to Rs 6,000, a pack of electric ties comes for Rs 500.

He also uses a stainless steel kitchen strainer(Rs 350) to filter fat harvested for grafting instead. The medical version of the strainer can cost up to Rs 12,000.

“Most conventional surgical devices, in keeping with the US standards, are disposable.

Given the cost of these devices they simply do not fit the Indian business model,” says Dr Thomas. However, he also cautions that such ‘jugaad’ should never be used as implants because that could lead to serious complications.

Honey Bees have been Twerking for Centuries

13 Apr

Jane Atkinson February 25, 2014


More effective than the Sat Nav in your car and without the nauseating voice, bees use the Waggle Dance to effectively communicate the whereabouts of nectar and pollen

( – February 25, 2014)  –


‘Twerking’ has been around for a couple of decades now and the definition of it is “a type of dancing in which the dancer, usually a woman, shakes her hips in an up-and-down bouncing motion, causing the dancer’s buttocks to shake, “wobble” and “jiggle”.


Well so what, that’s nothing new!  Bees have been doing this for centuries and it’s called the Waggle Dance.  Not only is the Waggle Dance (in my humble opinion) far more attractive, it is also extremely ingenious.  More than we can say for twerking I think it is safe to say!


Waggle Dance is a term used in Beekeeping also known as Apiculture and it describes a very particular figure of eight dance that bees perform for other members of their colony so they can communicate the direction and distance of the flowers which are yielding the most nectar and pollen.  There is close correlation between the duration and direction of the waggle run and the direction and distance of the resource being described.  They use the hive and the angel of the sun to pinpoint direction and the distance is dictated by the length of the waggle, the longer the waggle the further the distance.  These clever little creatures even adjust the angel of the dance if they have been in the hive for a while, to accommodate the changing direction of the sun.


Bees of all types play a huge role in the pollination of crops and as explained in a previous article in this  series A third of what we eat is reliant upon these little creatures.  It is crucial therefore that we discover as much as possible about these complex insects.


Honey Bee Waggle Dance

Scientists have started to track honey bees, but a single bee can visit several thousand flowers in one day and travel several kilometres, not to mention being impossibly tiny.  So, how do you track a bee?


Well apparently, with tiny antenna glued to the back of the honey bee which receives a signal emitted by a radar transmitter using harmonic radar technology.  This system was developed by scientists at the Natural Resources Institute and is operated by scientists at Rothamsted Research, a government-funded agricultural research centre in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom.


Scientists at the Berlin Free University are using harmonic radar pioneered at Rothamsted to see if neonicotinoids affect a honey bee’s navigation.  “Honey bees have an amazing ability to navigate,” says insect neurobiologist Prof Randolf Menzel, who is leading the research. “This kind of cognitive process requires the highest order of neural processing in this little brain. That means anything which is disturbing this fine network process should have a high impact.”


Scientists at Rothamsted are using the technology to study the flight path of honey bees infected with a virus transmitted by the destructive varroa mite. The tiny parasite has led to the spread of some of the most contagious and widely distributed viruses on the planet, killing vast numbers of bees.


Let’s hope this research can assist the honey bee’s survival, so that they can perform the Waggle Dance for centuries to come.  To read even more fascinating facts about honey bees simply click here.


13 Surprising Uses for Honey

12 Apr


  • a Care2 favorite by Katie Waldeck


It’s often said that the famed ancient beauty Cleopatra would soak in honey and milk baths. Well, whether or not that’s true, it’s certainly not surprising that the story has persisted for so long — honey has a tremendous effect on the skin. And that’s not all — honey is a powerful antiseptic and a fantastic natural sugar substitute. Keep reading for these and more alternative uses for honey.




1. Relieve Hangovers. Had a little too much fun last night? A few tablespoons of honey, which is packed with fructose, will help speed up your body’s metabolism of alcohol.

2. Heal Wounds, Cuts, Scrapes & Burns. Don’t reach for the Neosporin the next time you cut or burn yourself — simply apply honey to the affected area. Honey works as a natural antiseptic.

3. Soothe Sore Throats and Coughs. Combine honey with the juice of one lemon and drink. It works like a wonder!

4. Remove Parasites. Hopefully you’ll never have to use this trick, but if you do, combine equal parts honey, vinegar and water and drink. The combination of these three ingredients is the perfect parasite killer.




5. Moisturize Dry Skin. Honey is a fantastic moisturizer, especially on dry patches, like your elbows or hands — even your lips! Rub onto your dry, patchy skin and let it sit for about 30 minutes before washing off. Honey also makes a great lip balm!

6. Condition Damaged Hair. Honey is a great natural conditioner. You can simply add a teaspoon of the stuff to your regular shampoo to smooth your damaged locks. You can also combine it with olive oil for a deeper conditioning. Let it soak for 20 minutes with your hair wrapped in a towel before shampooing as usual.

7. Have an Amazing Bath. Relax your body and soak your skin in a soothing bath. Add 2 tablespoons of honey to 1 cup of hot water and let it dissolve for about 10 minutes. Add 2 or 3 drops of lavender essential oiland add it to your bath.

8. Remove Acne. Stubborn acne can really benefit from a small daily dab of honey. Place a band-aid over the pimple, and take it off 30 minutes later.

9. Give Yourself a Facial. Combine 2 teaspoons of milk with 2 tablespoons of honey. Cover your face with the mixture and let it sit for 10 minutes before washing off.




10. Boost Your Energy. Quit turning to coffee for your daily energy boost! Replace your cup of Joe with a cup of tea. Mix in a tablespoon or so of honey.

11. Substitute Honey for Sugar in Baking. For every cup of sugar a recipe calls for, replace it with 3/4 cup of honey. For best results, add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and reduce another liquid in your recipe by 1/4 cup. Also, reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees.

12. Make Almond Milk from Scratch. You’ll find a great recipe here.

13. Make Infused Honeys. Why have plain old regular honey when you can have ginger lime honey or hot pepper honey?! For these and more infused honey recipes, click here.

Recipe – Pork Fillet with Honey Mustard Sauce

11 Apr



Preparation method

1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.

2. Mix together the English mustard with the honey and dry cider in a bowl.

3. Using a sharp knife, remove any fat from the fillet and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

4. Place the pork in a baking dish, cover with the cider mixture and cook until tender and cooked all the way through – about 25-30 minutes. (There should be no trace of pink left in the meat.)

Why is the honey gone?

9 Apr


The Honey Hunter by Karthika Nair and Joelle Jolivet.


Craving for a bit of honey, one boy goes in search of it while another listens to his story.

Who doesn’t love honey? There are only a few people who don’t. Nature’s golden, syrupy goodness makes for a beautiful story in The Honey Hunter.

A story within a story, the bookstarts with a child asking for a little honey now that he’s eaten all his vegetables. But wait! They are all out of honey and will have to wait till after the winter. The busy bees are resting during this time and if you take the honey before it is ready, strange things happen, the child is told.

His curiosity leads to another story — that of the land of eighteen tides and “mangroforess”, the Sundarban, where gazillions of honeybees lived, and Shomu.

Shomu loves honey so much that he could have it all day. But his family is poor and they make a living off of selling honey that his father collects, and shrimp that his mother breeds. Then comes a year when the seasons go pell-mell. The erratic behaviour of the seasons has thrown off the natural cycle. The shrimps and fish have vanished, trees are uprooted and the forests are almost destroyed.


Hungry for honey

Shomu wonders why he can’t go to the forest and collect honey. Why would the seasons matter? His parents tell him not to go looking for honey before it is ready. Terrible things would happen. They also warn him about He-Whose-Name-Must-Not-Be-Taken, the Lord of the South and Defender of the Forest, and Bonbibi, the Guardian Deity of the Sundarban, between whom a pact exists. If the forests are harmed and plundered, the pact will be broken and there shall be no peace or safety. But Shomu’s longing for honey pushes his parents’ advice from his mind.

Shomu goes on a mild destructive rampage when he sees the beehives in the forest. But he soon finds out that his actions will have terrible consequences. He-Whose-Name-Must-Not-Be-Taken appears, and so does Bonbibi.

When He-Whose-Name-Must-Not-Be-Taken is mentioned, one can’t help but think about Lord Voldemort (I know I did!) from the Harry Potter series. But here, it isn’t a dark wizard, but Dakkhin Rai — a ferocious Royal Bengal Tiger. The Defender of the Forest won’t think twice before punishing those who harm the forest. Will Dakkhin Rai forgive Shomu? Will Bonbibi?

Karthika Nair’s narrative is simple, and evokes vivid and vibrant images. The highlight of the book is definitely the beautiful illustrations by Joelle Jolivet. It’s best read with elaborate gestures and sound effects. Trust me.

The Honey Hunter is a book for the honey lovers, bedtime storytellers, adults young and old, and anyone who can appreciate the many colours and illustrations that adorn its pages.

Honey collectors are busy as bees

7 Apr

Honey, a word that conjures up images of sweetness in your imagination and temptation in your heart. It is a term that takes you back down the road to the innocence of childhood and, in larger measure, to a significant part of the heritage you are heir to. Think of all the associations that come with honey. Your sweetheart is honey for you. For a newly-wed couple, intimations of a honeymoon are in the air. Flatterers and sycophants have an abundance of honey in their speech. There is too the honeysuckle. But it’s time to understand what honey is all about, really, away from the metaphorical aspects of it. The reality is what we have before us. So here goes.


Next time you dip your hands in that honey jar, stop to think about the hard working insect, that has brought you this delectable sugary feast.  The buzz is that while the busy bee has not lost any of its sting, there are many gutsy people who collect and market honey. Take the case of Hamiduddin and his colleagues for whom the advent of winter means another round of honey harvesting. Initially they took a crash course in honey collection from BSCIC back in 2000. From then on they have been in this trade which has benefited their family kitty to a great extent, he says gleefully.


According to Hamid, primarily they collect four frames of bees which in a matter of six months increase its number to no less than 20 frames full of buzzing bees ready to stock honey. The queen bee lays 2,500 eggs each day while her worker bees take care of her by feeding her “royal jelly” sucked from flowers. When the seasonal mustard or leechi flowers are in full bloom the worker bees go in search of honey, while the queen bee holds the fort– the baskets, set in the fields. It’s an amazing power of nature where each queen bee has different fragrance known as “queen scent” and is attracted by her particular swarm.


Just before the bees are set in search of honey an “intelligence group” first identifies the sites and decides where to strike for honey, continues Hamid. It’s equally unique how the male bees are there to increase the stock and during shortage of food they are stung to death by the female bees in the “brute chamber”.


“We don’t destroy the chak (honeycomb) but use centrifugal force to gather honey which is around 1 kg per frame, 50 kg per box. However, now is the time when honey collectors have started setting their boxes in different fields and are gradually moving towards Gopalganj, Faridpur. Soon they will move towards Sathkhira and Narail and ultimately towards the Sunderbans which is a storehouse of honey of the country,” he says.


The only problem these collectors face in terms of export is the preservation process. If that is taken care off, collectors will soon be busy as bees as orders pour in from different parts of the globe.


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