Nationally, the honey bees are dying at an unsustainable rate. I believe that the honey bee, because of its very short lifespan, is an early indicator for us as human beings with a much longer lifespan of our own future health. As such, the health and life of the honey bee is much more important than just as a pollinator for our fruits and vegetables.
This past year, our son Joel, lost most of his honey bee hives to various causes. At the peak last spring he had about 100 colonies. By the end of winter he had only 25 left. What is the point of having a business that is almost guaranteed to lose a lot of money each year? He was ready to quit. But… he decided to keep on for at least another year to see what he can learn from the bees and to give them a better chance.
One of the problems that honey bees face is a lack of food in summer and early fall. Because of the lack of food, they are attracted to commercially grown corn pollen, a protein source, that is also laced with insecticides and glyphosate. This is the same corn that is part of much of the American diet. To combat the shortage of food and to try to keep the bees from being attracted to chemically grown crops, we planted various plants in our pastures to provide food for them during the usual summer food shortage. We also plan to apply milk and honey to the pastures to help increase the brix (sugar) content of the flowers, to sequester carbon, and to increase the protein content of the pastures for the chickens and sheep.
Another food that we produce here on the farm that is important for school students for success in school is raw honey. On the containers of raw honey that we sell here on the farm, Joel has this quote: "Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good." Isaiah 7:15
I have often wondered why milk and honey would enable a person to be able refuse evil, and to be able to chose properly between right and wrong. The ability to make wise decisions is a skill that many children, and adults, lack today. Parenting would be a lot easier if you could feed your child food that would help them behave. School would be a lot better if kids didn’t have to be drugged so that they could sit still and behave. In Barnes’s Bible Commentary, commentator Barnes expresses what most people think: "As this translation now stands, it is unintelligible. It would ‘seem’ from this that his eating butter and honey would ‘contribute’ to his knowing good and evil. But this cannot be the meaning." But what I have found in my research is that milk and honey can have an effect on a person’s brain, and the brain’s ability to function properly.
Here are some pieces of the puzzle that I have been able to put together recently. I did a Google search for "calcium brain". What I found is that calcium is used by the brain cells to conduct the electrical signal using protein ions. Nitrogen (protein) is an electrolyte and conducts electricity in a liquid. Each brain cell has to have calcium in it for the electrical signal to work. Calcium is an alkaline earth metal and conducts electricity. The protein ions conduct the electrical signal from one brain cell to another to communicate messages. If there is not enough calcium, the brain will not function properly. If there is not enough protein the brain will not function properly. Raw milk is an important source of calcium and as such is an important food for brain function. So yes, milk can be a food that helps a person make wise choices.
I also learned that honey helps the body to absorb calcium. Therefore eating both milk and honey together helps the brain to assimilate and use calcium properly. The brain needs the calcium in order for it to make wise choices and decisions. One interesting piece of research that I found was on calcium and the affect of calcium on the honey bee in memory and learning. They found that calcium is crucial for long term memory in honey bees. When honey bees were deprived of calcium, they were not able to remember their food source. Within three days after receiving calcium, the bees were able to again learn and remember their food source. I find this interesting because this may be a clue for the decline of the honey bee in recent years. With Colony Collapse Disorder, the honey bees leave the hive and never return. It is possible that because of low calcium in the brain, the honey bee is not able to remember where home is. Because of acid rain, calcium is being depleted out of our soils. Our foods contains significantly less calcium than they did 60 years ago. It is likely that the honey bee is not getting enough calcium for it to function properly. I see what is happening to the honey bee is an important clue of what can be affecting us. They honey bee has a short life of only about 6 weeks. Our life span is closer to 70 years. Therefore affects on health will show up quickly in the honey bee, years before it will show up in our health. To read more about the honey bee and calcium:
After finding out about the importance of raw milk and raw honey in the ability of a person to make right decisions, I believe that the battle for raw milk is also a spiritual one, not just a legal one. Today, both milk and honey are pasteurized and the important function of helping teenagers and adults make right choices is destroyed or significantly reduced.
The take home message – Eat homemade ice cream made with raw milk and raw honey. Dessert is important! You need to eat your dessert so that you can make the right choices of what to eat and what not to eat!