local honey

ABC’s of the Beez Kneez: A Mission for Sustainability.

Lesson #1: Antennae

Three years ago, I attached some antennae to a bike helmet, painted my bike black and yellow, and started The Beez Kneez. At the time, I had no idea where it would take me. What I was aware of was my motivation, and it was two-fold: I wanted to work with bees, and I was very concerned about their struggle to survive. 



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Sticky Fun Yields Honey to Die For (At Least if You're a Bee)

The sugar house is stacked high with honey super boxes full of ripe frames of honey. The hardest step in harvesting honey is behind me, so now the sticky fun begins.

Each frame of honey is comprised of an intricate network of honeycomb with each individual cell is filled with honey and the entire frame is sealed with a wax coating. So how does the beautiful block of wax-covered honey get into a jar?

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Honey Harvesting 101: Smoke, Stink, Blow, Brush

I am so loving the “farm to table” movement that is helping us all better understand where our food comes from. Everyone knows that farmers grow food, but there is a lot more to the story about how that food gets to our tables. Taking that concept one step further, everyone know that honeybees make honey, but how does the honey actually get inside those bear-shaped containers?

Crops, we all know, are harvested whenever the vegetables, fruits, and grains are ripe. It is no different for honey. But since bees make the honey, how do we know when it is "ripe" and ready to harvest? Easy. The bees decide when it’s ready, and they seal the ripe honey cell with wax. They do this cell-by-cell until the entire frame is capped.

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Gifts From the Minnesota State Fair That Aren't Deep-Fried or on Sticks

It’s often difficult to remember that the fair is about more than just food. Because, well, we quite like the food. Local, ethnically diverse and deep-fried qualities notwithstanding, we simply love the food at the state fair. And we all justify our indulgence with the knowledge that it’s just a one-time-a-year fling. Yet, there’s more to the fair than just food. So, what if we wanted to enjoy the fair more than just once a year?

Short of winning yourself a blue ribbon for a baked good or a prize hog, what else can you take home from the fair? Better yet, what kinds of gifts can you find that can deliver the essence of the fair to someone you love? I decided to poke around and find out. Here are my favorite food and food-related gifts to find at the Minnesota State Fair:

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Road Trip Granola: For When You're "On the Road Again"

McDonalds, Burger King, Hardee’s, Subway, Arby’s, TCBY, Taco Bell, Sbarro. Anything sound good? Didn’t think so. When a family hits the open road in the U.S. of A. and the excitement of the first few hours of tunes, wind, and unfurling pavement has worn off to be replaced by boredom and hunger, it will have little choice but to pull into an oasis to eat. Unfortunately, our oases give oases a bad name. Far from a place to relax and replenish, our U.S. highways seem to be lined with not much more than loud flushing toilets and purveyors of junk food. I always fantasize about the small, family-run diners tucked into the towns we roll by; but realistically, when you have three kids and seven hours of driving ahead of you, there is no extra time to dilly dally in search of homemade chicken soup and apple pie.

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