DAY 10 –BEE PROPOLIS is known as bee glue or hive cement; it’s commonly used to plug gaps and strengthens the beehive. Bees look for sticky resins and sap from the buds of conifer and poplar trees, which have natural germicidal properties. They carry the resin back to the hive in the same way as they carry pollen – on the hairs and hooks of their back legs. Worker bees chew and mix the resin with beeswax and the result is propolis.

Bee-Pollen-Propolis19Bees mix propolis with more beeswax to make caps for brood cells; these comb chambers are where bee larvae transition from pupae to a new bee. Beekeepers opening their hives in the spring will find the occasional intruder mouse entombed in propolis. Scientists believe the antibacterial properties of propolis keep the colony healthy. In a strong hive, up to a pound of propolis is stored for repairs and daily use.  For more great bee photos.

RECIPE 10 – HONEY POT COOKIES with Creamed Honey to lighten the impact of cabin fever.

INGREDIENTS: ½ cup butter / 1/3 cup of clover honey / 1 egg / ½ tsp vanilla / ¼ tsp salt / 1 cup of flour / any flavor of creamed honey or jam or jelly

DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to 375*F

12-Days-of-Cookies_thumbprintIn a medium bowl, blend together the butter, honey, egg and vanilla. Stir in the salt. Add the flour and stir until combined. When sticky, roll into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Place on a baking sheet and bake for just 5 minutes. Remove, and using the tip of your finger or a similarly sized object, indent the balls to about the center, leaving a fairly large hole. Quickly return to the oven and finish baking for another 7-10 minutes. Allow to cool. Fill with your choice of creamed honey or jam. Makes 12 cookies.

SOURCE: US National Honey Board recipe as interpreted by Kim Flottum for the Backyard Beekeeper’s Honey Handbook, Quarry Books 2009


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