Bees seem to have a bad reputation for buzzing in our ears and stinging our skin, but it seems we have more to thank bees for than we realize.  The pollination of our flowers and plants by bees is a significant part of nature’s process of blooming and harvesting.  Without pollination, it would be difficult for many of nature’s harvests to keep reproducing.  In addition, bees provide us with nature’s sugar substitute, honey.

Honey is a sweet and natural sugar substitute composed of fructose, or “fruit sugar.”  Fructose is digested similarly to the way sugar is in our bodies, however fructose has a lesser effect on raising blood sugar levels than refined white sugar cane.  The honey in fructose is not the same as “high fructose corn syrup” which is a refined and processed concoction of fructose and sugar.   The fructose in honey is similar to the fructose found in fruits such as apples and bananas, natural and subtly sweet.

Honey comes in many colors and flavors depending on where the honey was harvested and from what plants the honey was harvested from.  Flavors of honey include clover, lavender, blueberry, and even some unusual flavors such as buckwheat or radish. Honey is a low-calorie sweetener at just 15 calories per teaspoon and can be used as a sweetener in tea, as a sugar substitute in baked goods, or as a sweetener in sauces and dressings.

Not only is honey sweet, but is also beneficial to our well-being.  If you consume just 1 teaspoon of honey a day from your local bee harvesters’ honey, you will ingest a small portion of your region’s pollen that will help you build immunities that will lower your risk for developing allergies.

Therefore, instead of reaching for your sugar jar or sweetener packet, reach for the sweet syrup of nature, honey!