National Honey Month: Everyone needs to embrace the local bee


Aaron Tressler

Local Beekeeper Aaron Tressler’s hive is trying to make a new queen. The small cocoons are actually the eggs of the future queen.

Did you know that September is national honey month! More than 600 million pounds of honey are sold in the USA. Honey has many benefits for the human body, and local honey can be used to help treat seasonal allergies. 

Making honey

The most important thing about honey would be the busy workers, the bees. Summer bees spend their whole lives (four to six months) making this delicious honey.

If a hive doesn’t have a queen, then the bees will start to make a queen themselves, since the hive cannot have success without the most important bee. The queen bee, alone, lays all of the eggs and makes the hive larger, which means there will be more honey in the winter, since the bees eat the honey in the winter to survive until spring.  Beekeepers feed their bees after harvesting the honey to ensure survival.

The bees are busy at work preparing to make food for the winter in Aaron Tressler’s hives. The bee with the green dot  is the queen.  (courtesy of Aaron Tressler)

Local beehives:

“Eating honey from local hives can help with seasonal allergies,” said Aaron Tressler, local Frederick County beekeeper. He has many hives around the county to help with pollinating his crops. 

Tressler has been a beekeeper for about five years. Tressler advises that interested future beekeepers join a bee club, and get more information to help the hive thrive. 

In Frederick County, says Walkersville beekeeper Jennifer Pralgo, interested people cannot purchase a hive without proof of completion of a beekeeping course.

Eating honey:

Who doesn’t like the taste of honey? Tressler eats his honey in baked goods, and his wife puts it in her tea since it’s a natural sugar. 

Tressler recommends honey on chicken. Since honey has a unique flavor (based on the local flowers) it’s really good with the savory flavor of chicken.

On TikTok the frozen honey trend is all the rage. In this trend, participants squeeze some honey into a disposable plastic water bottle. Then, they place the water bottle in the freezer until the honey is a jelly-like consistency. Once it reaches that consistency, they squeeze the bottle and bite off the honey. Be careful how much you eat–just 1 tablespoon of honey is equal to 64 calories. 

Arron Tressler’s frame before he harvests the honey for the 2021 harvest. (courtesy of Aaron Tressler)

Benefits of honey:

Honey, especially local honey, is good for its healing properties. It can help with a sore throat and can also build up the immune system. 

Raw honey (straight from the hive–study the label because it will say “raw”)can also help with the digestive system and gut problems. Honey also has many antioxidants which are good for the human body. 

Moisturizers and more . . .

Honey is not only able to be eaten but used as a natural moisturizer. The honey doesn’t leave an oily feeling after using it. It also helps with improving skin from any environmental stressors. Honey is good for sensitive skin since it is an all natural product. 

Honey can be used as a hair treatment, but be careful since it’s very sticky which can be challenging to get out after using. Honey will help retain moisture.

Honey is also pretty helpful since it can be used on mosquito bites since the honey has antibacterial properties. All that needs to be done is place a little bit of the honey over the mosquito bite. 

Save the bees:

Walkersville beekeeper Jennifer Pralogo encourages That everyone do steps to “save the bees.” Some of the ways that the community can help save the bees would be..

  • plant flowers (like sage,thyme, and lavender)
  • Plant native items
  • leave the lawn a little longer so small flowers can grow (like dandelions)
  • only use organic sprays outside or no pesticides at all

Making beeswax lip balm 

In Patricia Beachy’s second period class intro agriculture science made lip balm out of beeswax.  Student Olivia Esterly says,” It was really fun. My favorite thing was using the sents because they smelled good.”She enjoyed doing this activity in Beachys class. The lip balm will be entered into the community fair.

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