Kosher Honey

Rosh Hashanah Evening Home Ritual

Apples and Honey

During Rosh Hashanah, it is traditional to eat apples dipped in honey, to symbolize our hopes for a “sweet” new year. The apple is dipped in honey, the blessing for eating tree fruits is recited, the apple is tasted, and then the apples and honey prayer is recited.

Why is Honey Kosher?

The rabbis of the Talmud discuss this question.1 The Mishnah states “that which comes from something which is not kosher is not kosher, and that which comes from something which is kosher is kosher.” So, for example, the milk of a camel or the eggs of a vulture are just as unkosher as the camel and the vulture.

Why then, since bees are not kosher, is the honey of a bee permitted?

Honey consists of nectar, which bees gather, store and transport to their honeycombs. While in the bee, the nectar is broken down and transformed into honey by enzymes in the bee. But it is not actually digested by the bee. So the honey is not a product of the bee itself–as is milk.

Honey consists of nectar, which bees gather, store and transport to their honeycombs. While in the bee,the nectar is broken down and transformed into honey by enzymes in the bee. But it is not actually digested by the bee. So the honey is not a product of the bee itself–as is milk.

We have an interesting article on honey and its role in Judaism here: Honey. Let me know if this is helpful and if I can be of any further assistance.

Mrs. Rochel Chein

FOOTNOTES 1. Bechorot 7b

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/712032/jewish/Why-Is-honey-kosher.htm

honey_kosher_honey

Health Benefits of Eating Raw Honey

Adopt a Honey Bee honey is raw and natural. I do not heat or process my honey in any way. It is as fresh from the hive as you can get. I extract the honey from the comb, pass it through a cheese cloth, and put in Mason jars. That is it, nothing more or less.

Many people claim and research has shown that eating raw honey has helped strengthen the immune system, treat allergies, aids in digestion, and even help heal burn wounds. Honey is full of natural enzymes and other biological compounds that have many positive effects on the body; inside and out. Honey also has anti-fungal properties and will never go bad. Honey as found in ancient tombs in Egypt that was thousands of years old was still edible.

My wife and I swear that since we have been eating our local raw honey that we have been sick less often than in past years. Try it for yourself!

The Buzz About Bees A Flush Fund of Fascinating Facts

Home sweet home

  • Bees do not create honey; they are actually improving upon a plant product, nectar. The honey we eat is nectar that bees have repeatedly regurgitated and dehydrated.
  • The average American consumes a little over one pound of honey a year.
  • In the course of her lifetime, a worker bee will produce 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey.
  • To make one pound of honey, workers in a hive fly 55,000 miles and tap two million flowers.
  • In a single collecting trip, a worker will visit between 50 and 100 flowers. She will return to the hive carrying over half her weight in pollen and nectar.
  • In a single collecting trip, a worker will visit between 50 and 100 flowers. She will return to the hive carrying over half her weight in pollen and nectar.
  • Theoretically, the energy in one ounce of honey would provide one bee with enough energy to fly around the world.
  • Although Utah enjoys the title “The Beehive State,” the top honey-producing states include California, Florida, and South Dakota. In 1998, the United States made over 89,000 metric tons of honey. China, the world’s top honey-producer, created more than 140,000 metric tons of honey in 1997.
  • While foraging for nectar and pollen, bees inadvertently transfer pollen from the male to the female components of flowers. Each year, bees pollinate 95 crops worth an estimated $10 billion in the U.S. alone. All told, insect pollinators contribute to one-third of the world’s diet.
  • Most researchers believe the honeybee originated in Africa. The first European colonists introduced Apis mellifera, the common honeybee, to the Americas. Native Americans referred to the bees as “White Man’s Fly.” Today honeybees can be found all over the world.

Busybodies

  • Bees are not fast fliers; while their wings beat over 11,000 cycles per minute, their flight speed averages only 15 miles per hour. In comparison, a true fly in the genus Forcipomyia beats its wings over 62,000 cycles per minute. The Australian dragonfly Austrophlebia costalis has been clocked flying at a speed of 36 mph.
  • Bees possess five eyes. The three ocelli are simple eyes that discern light intensity, while each of the two large compound eyes contains about 6,900 facets and is well suited for detecting movement. In fact, honeybees can perceive movements that are separated by 1/300th of a second. Humans can only sense movements separated by 1/50th of a second. Were a bee to enter a cinema, it would be able to differentiate each individual movie frame being projected.
  • While bees cannot recognize the color red, they do see ultraviolet colors.
  • Unlike the stingers in wasps, the honeybee’s stinger is barbed. Once the stinger pierces a mammal’s soft skin, the attached venom pouch pumps a mixture containing melittin, histamine, and other enzymes into the target. When the bee pulls away, the barb anchors the stinger in the victim’s body. The bee leaves the stinger and venom pouch behind and soon dies due to abdominal rupture. When a honeybee stings another insect, such as a honey-plundering moth, she does not leave her stinger planted in the invader. As she retreats from the insect victim, her barbed stinger tears through the insect’s exoskeleton.

Being the Queen

  • During the mating flight several drones will deposit upwards of 90 million sperm in the queen’s oviducts. The queen, however, will not use all the sperm. She stores about seven million sperm in a special pouch, the spermatheca.
  • In one day a queen can lay her weight in eggs. She will lay one egg per minute, day and night, for a total of 1,500 eggs over a 24-hour period and 200,000 eggs in a year. Should she stop her frantic egg-laying pace, her workers will move a recently laid egg into a queen cell to produce her replacement.
  • While workers select which fertilized eggs to brood in queen or worker cells, the queen decides the sex of her young. In a mechanism of sex determination known as haplodiploidy, fertilized eggs will become female offspring, while unfertilized eggs will become males.

Maureen Dolan, NOVA Online's intern, worked with a bee researcher from the University of Massachusetts Boston in the summer of 1998.