The Joy of Bees


 Photo: Pixabay, PoliDot

In celebration of World Bee Day (May 20) here are some fun facts about bees and bee products, easy and tasty recipes using honey, and how to safely coexist with bees.  

Bee Facts

Much has been written about the wonders and benefits of bees, including how these amazing pollinators are an important part of our natural ecosystems (crops, flowers, plants, trees), threats to bee health and habitats, and things humans can do to help bees.  Here are two great articles that provide a refresher on these topics.

 Food for Humans


Photo: Pexels,

Honeybees pollinate 80 percent of all flowering plants, including more than 130 types of fruits and vegetables. In the U.S, the average bee colony makes about 55 pounds of honey per year, depending on weather conditions, hive location, diseases and pests.  A single honeybee will produce about 1/12 teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.

Here are three easy, delicious recipes using honey…

Easy Honey Garlic Tofu with Soy & Sesame

Honey Mustard Salad Dressing

Baklava Granola (San Jose Mercury News, 3-9-2022)

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup pistachios, chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
1/4 cup peanut, almond or other nut butter
1/3 cup raw honey 
2 tablespoons coconut oil

Heat the oven to 250 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, pistachios, walnuts, sunflower seeds, cinnamon and cloves, if using.

In a small saucepan set over low heat, combine the almond butter, honey and coconut oil, stirring until the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated.

Evenly spoon the granola mixture over a large cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the granola from the oven and stir carefully to ensure even browning. Return to the oven for another 45 minutes.

Cool before serving. Stored in an airtight container, this granola will keep for up to 2 weeks.

 Other Bee Product Uses

In addition to being a natural food sweetener that is rich in vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants, honey also has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties that help combat infection.  Plus, honey promotes cellular growth and regeneration, which helps speed the healing process. Beeswax is used in candles, cosmetics, soaps, and wood polishers/lubricants.

 Coexisting with Bees

What should you do if a swarm of bees is nesting in or near your home?  Backoff, avoid swatting or flinging your arms, and avoid bright colors.  Check out this article for more tips on coexisting with bees, how to avoid getting stung, and what to do if you do get stung by a bee.

 Natural Bee Deterrents

Springtime blossoms naturally encourage more bees.  However, if you have a bee infestation forming under the roof of your house, inside the chimney, or elsewhere around your home, it is a good idea to have it removed by a bee professional as soon as possible.  The longer the bees linger, the more honey and pheromones (scents for communicating with other bees) build up, attracting even more bees.  The Mount Diablo Beekeepers association (, can help you find a bee expert to remove a beehive.  There are also a variety of natural bee repellent tips in these articles to discourage bees from building nests in and around your home, without harming them.


Learn more about beekeeping:

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  • Very nice article, Liza! Aren't bees great? I wanna try that delicious sounding baklava granola recipe!
    • Yes, bees are fascinating creatures and their honey if fabulous, too.
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