Thursday, October 21, 2010
LESSON 84: FALL COOKING WITH HONEY & MOUSE PROOFING YOUR HIVE FOR WINTER
Hello from David & Sheri Burns at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms in central Illinois. In today’s lesson, Sheri will be giving insights into cooking with honey. Now that it’s fall and the holidays are approaching and holiday meals to plan out, why not spice things up with some honey?
Then I’ll share some techniques to mouse proof your hives. Mice in the hive can be a real problem, so be sure to put up a good defense. You can have great bees that are healthy and ready for winter, but the mice can take them out.
We are in the news again. FULL ARTICLE
In this photo I’m talking with Dr. Jeff Harris of the USDA BEE LAB at Baton Rouge, La. Dr. Stu Jacobson, Phil Raines and myself continue to lead the way for the Illinois Queen Initiative, a program designed to promote the development and adoption of disease and mite resistant honey bees and queens that survive well and are productive under Illinois conditions. We had our yearly meeting at the Grand Bear Lodge in northern Illinois over the weekend and we enjoyed Dr. Jeff Harris as our main speaker. Jeff first worked on the Suppress Mite Reproduction (SMR) honey bee along with Dr. Harbo, which are now called VSH, Varroa Sensitive Hygienic bees. These bees are able to detect mites under sealed brood and remove the mite infested pupa. Jeff continues to preserve and research the VSH queens.
LESSON 84: FALL COOKING WITH HONEY & MOUSE PROOFING YOUR HIVE FOR WINTE
Hi, it’s Sheri and I want to talk to you about cooking with honey.
Don’t you just love this time of year? The leaves are turning brilliant colors, pumpkins and colorful gourds adorn porches, the fields are being harvested and the sky is crystal blue and the air crisp. You, the beekeeper, have just finished extracting that liquid gold. You have gallons of it. What do you do with it now? Sure, you know it’s great in your coffee, tea, and toast, but what else?
October autumns are a great time to talk about cooking with honey. This time of year comes with lots of special treats like apple cider, pumpkin pie and caramel apples. Some of our most favorite foods for this season can easily be made with honey. Any recipe that calls for sugar can be substituted with honey. It isn’t an exact ratio, i.e.: if your recipe calls for ½ cup sugar, then you use ½ cup honey. But with a little tinkering, or a really good cookbook, you can make delicious fall-time foods.
Honey, in its unadulterated, raw, pure state is a superior food. It is all natural, loaded with great enzymes and antioxidants (as long as it’s not heated up), tastes sweeter, and makes foods more moist. Foods made with honey also last longer and freeze nicely.
Give the trick-or treating kiddies a treat with these popcorn balls:
¾ c sugar
1 tsp salt
½ c water
¾ c honey
3 quarts popcorn
Cook sugar, salt and water (stir until sugar is dissolved) to a very brittle stage of 300 degrees. Add honey slowly, stirring until blended. Cook again until thermometer registers 240 degrees. Pour over popcorn and form into balls. Wrap in heavy waxed paper.
Who doesn’t love pumpkin pie? Piled high with whipped cream, it is the symbol of autumn. Try this one at your next gathering:
½ c dry milk powder
½ tsp ground ginger
1-1/2 c cooked pumpkin
1-1/4 c water
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs beaten
1/3 c honey
Mix dry ingredients. Add pumpkin, eggs, water, honey and vanilla. Pour into unbaked pie shell, bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 30 – 35 minutes longer.
Baked Boneless turkey breast
Boneless Turkey breast
½-1 c honey
breading of your choice
Pound turkey breast until thickness desired. Roll in honey. Coat with breading. Bake or fry as desired.
½ c honey
½ c brown sugar
2 tbs mustard
½ c ketchup
Juice of 1 lemon, or orange
¼ c olive oil
Mix all ingredients. Feel free to add other ingredients as you wish, such as salt, pepper, parsley, onion flakes and chives. The more the merrier when it comes to marinade.
This is great grilled!!
Experiment with honey instead of sugar in your favorite wheat bread recipe. Chocolate chip cookies made with honey instead of sugar are moister and keep longer. Add it to Greek yogurt or drizzled over ice cream. Heat up a mug of spiced cider with honey. Experiment this winter with your fudge and candy recipes. Whatever you do, it’s good!
Thanks Sheri, and now you know why I have to run 3 miles a day to stay in shape. Sheri is certain one day to have her own cooking show.
While Sheri’s been cooking great fall treats, I’ve been working out in the bee yard getting the hives to bed for winter. One of my “must do” chores is to secure the hives against mice. Why do mice love hives so much? A hive is a cozy winter shelter and bees and honey makes for a nice snack on cold winter days.
Occasionally, mice co-exist and do not bother the winter cluster of bees. However, that usually is not the case. It is more common for mice to chew up comb, eat honey, bees, and pollen, then eventual kill the hive. Mice will urinate on the combs which will discourage the bees from using that comb again. Comb that has been chewed by mice is usually repaired by the bees, but made into drone sized cells.
Mice will use hives to raise their young, usually nesting on the bottom board and slightly up into the comb. If the bees remain healthy through the winter, they will take revenge on the mice in the spring and run the mice out of the hive. 10 – 20 stings will kill a mouse. But during the winter, bees are too cold to defend the hive against the mice. I’ve heard some say that in the spring if a hive cannot remove a dead mouse from the hive they will mummify the mouse with propolis, encasing it to prevent any bacterial growth in the hive.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So now is the time to keep the mice out. The most effective way to prevent mice from entering the hive is to restrict the entrance. Entrance reducers (cleats) substantially reduce the entrance restricting mice from entering. Choose the smallest size opening on your entrance reducer. There are many different styles of mice guards for hives. Some are made of metal and have small round holes where the bees can go in and out, but the holes are too small for mice.
When do you restrict the entrance? When nights get cold and fields are harvested, mice seek new shelter, so here in Illinois we have to place our reducers on the hive late September or early October.
WARNING: Be sure a mouse is not already in your hive before you restrict the entrance. You may have to choose a warm day and lift up the hive from the bottom board and verify that no mice are in the hive. They will hide between frames.
So be disciplined. Protect your hives from mice and enjoy your honey crop in some good fall food.
Hope you can join us here on December 3rd for our 2 hour course mentioned above. We’d love to meet you.
OUR WEBSITE: www.honeybeesonline.com
David & Sheri Burns
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms
14556 N. 1020 E. Rd
Fairmount, IL 61841
217-427-2678 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org