Will Eating Local Honey Help With Seasonal Allergies? [HBM Transcript 8]

The following is a transcript of the retired podcast Honey Bee Man, Episode 8 – Will Local Honey Help Allergies – MarkZ:

Today we’re going to talk about a question that I’ve been asked many times. Is eating local honey beneficial to allergies? We’ll talk a brief bit about that today.

I also want to point you to some more information on this subject. There is a gentleman named Tom Ogren who runs a website at www.AllergyFree-Gardening.com. Tom is the author of five books, many of them on allergies and allergy free gardening. I would highly recommend you check that out and learn a little bit more about this topic.

[title card] Will eating local honey with with allergies?Honey contains bits and pieces of pollen. As an immune system booster these small bits of pollen ingested over a long period of time on a daily basis can be very powerful to knock down allergies. Basically what happens is if you have local pollen in your area, for example if you live next to a corn field you’re going to have corn pollen, if you live next to a clover field you’re going to have clover pollen nearby, and that over-exposure of that particular pollen will make your allergies go crazy.

If over a long period of time, if you ingest little microscopic particles of pollen in your honey, it can build up a tolerance to this over population of pollen in your local area. What you can do to try to help your allergies out is buy your local honey. You can get that through your local farmer’s market, and you want to buy that directly from the beekeeper himself.

You want to ask some questions about that local honey.

You want to ask the beekeeper if that is fresh raw honey. You don’t want honey that has been heated up and reused.

Honey will crystallize. If you have honey sitting in a jar, if you keep it long enough and don’t use it, it will crystallize over time. Crystallized honey is not bad and there’s really no reason to throw it out. It’s perfectly good. You can heat it up to about 150 degrees and it will liquefy again and be just as good as new.

But, for the purposes of eating local honey you want honey that is not processed in any way. The only thing you want is a filtered honey that has been run through a filter. The filtering of the honey is not necessarily going to get rid of this pollen. The pollen is still going to be in that honey in little microscopic particles that are going to go right through the honey filters. You don’t have to worry about the filtration, because the filtration is not going to be small enough to get rid of these microscopic little pieces of pollen.

Over a long period of time this is going to be a beneficial thing. If you do have allergy problems, this is a pretty easy thing that you can do to alleviate some of those issues. This is not going to happen overnight, this is going to be over a long period of time. Don’t expect this to be the silver bullet that is going to solve your allergy problems overnight. Just get in the habit of taking a spoonful of honey every day and hopefully over a year or two the allergies will be a lot better.

Get local honey, take a spoonful every day, hopefully that will help out.

You Can Even Eat Small Amounts of Pollen

Another thing you can do is after you’ve taken this local honey, a spoonful a day, for awhile and you know that you’re not having any reactions to that, there is another product from the hive that you want to ask your local beekeeper about.

Beekeepers can trap the pollen as the bees bring the pollen in from the fields. We can actually separate out this pollen and many beekeepers sell jars of pollen. What you can do is take a very small amount of this and also eat that every day.

Now, if you’re allergic to this that’s not something that you want to do. You want to be really careful about doing this.

But, I know a lot of people who will collect the pollen from the hive and take a really small spoonful of this stuff and they’ll eat it with their cereal or whatever. It’s little small granules, it’s bigger than ground pepper but still pretty small granules. You can take this pollen, just natural right out of the hive, you collect it with a special pollen trap that you mount on the hive.

You can take these tiny pollen particles, put it in your mouth and eat it, and you can do that every day as well. I have to think that would be more beneficial putting more pollen into your system, but I think you have to be very careful about ingesting pollen. If you were allergic to that, then it could cause some issues. I think if you started small and made sure that you didn’t have an issue with it, then you would probably be okay. I know a lot of people that do take a small spoonful of that stuff as well.

Now, I’ve tasted pollen in this raw form before and I’ve tasted honey; and I’ll vote for the honey any day. The pollen is not really a good tasting thing to eat. I don’t think I would want to do that every day. But, the honey, I don’t know too many people that don’t like honey.

One word of caution. Don’t feed honey to babies under one year old, their stomachs aren’t established enough to fight off the enzymes in honey. That’s a pretty well known thing that doctors tell parents nowadays, so it’s a point of safety I want to mention.

Other than being cautious and mindful on those points, local honey might help you as far as your allergies.

About Honey Bee Man Transcripts

I first found this podcast via http://kiwimana.co.nz/top-free-beekeeping-podcasts/

This is a great podcast series that MarkZ the Honey Bee Man recorded back in 2007 where he goes through his 10-minute-lessons in beginner beekeeping.

It's a great resource for anyone getting started and the audio from the episodes are still hosted on TalkShoe and iTunes, but it's the internet and information can disappear into the void at any moment, especially after a podcast has been retired, so I wanted to make sure this information was available for everyone to use. I know our community has several folks who are hearing impaired that might be interested to read the info as well, so I've transcribed them and posted them here as articles for everyone.

Episode 1: Introduction to Beekeeping
Episode 2: Pollination
Episode 3: Where to Place a Backyard Beehive
Episode 4: The Best Plants for Your Bees
Episode 5: What Beekeeping Equipment is Needed to Start Keeping Hives
Episode 6: Is It Important to Buy Local Honey?
Episode 7: Basic Protective Gear for Beekeepers
Episode 8: Will Eating Local Honey Help With Allergies?
Episode 9: How to Install a New Package of Bees
Episode 10: Honeybee Hive Inspections - What You Need and What to Look For
Episode 11: Possible Concerns with Used Beekeeping Equipment
Episode 12: How to Avoid Getting Stung By Your Bees (or other stinging insects)
Episode 13: Talking About Colony Collapse Disorder
Episode 14: Different Types of Honey
Episode 15: Extracting Honey from Hives

Organic Backyard Beekeeper is not officially associated with The HoneyBee Man in any way, these transcripts are being provided freely without payment to share and preserve them as a resource. © This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License - Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike - http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/