Six Tips for the Care of Honeybees

Honey Solutions pic

Honey Solutions
Image: honeysolutions.com

One of the largest industrial honey suppliers in the country, Honey Holding operates out of Baytown, Texas, and produces approximately 20 million pounds of honey annually. Honey Holding makes honey quality a high priority, which requires careful attention to the care of the honeybees that create it. The following are suggestions for the care of honeybees.

1. Plant bee-friendly plants. Favorites include fruit- and flower-bearing plants, such as fruit trees and bushes, lavender, and buddleia.

2. Avoid pesticides, as they can kill bees and other desirable garden creatures.

3. Allow propolis production. Bees use propolis for a wide variety of purposes: it mummifies invading insects that enter the hive, serves as an antibacterial agent, and helps keep the hive clean. It also offers a number of health benefits to humans.

4. Honey is the natural winter food source for bees, so make sure to leave behind enough of it for the hive to sustain itself during the winter months. You can also harvest honey in the spring rather than the fall to allow them to produce enough.

5. Ventilate hives for winter. Bees cluster together to keep warm, and clusters can easily reach 92 degrees Fahrenheit, which creates condensation when it meets cold. Improper ventilation can cause the condensation to leak into the hive and make bees wet, and even freeze them. To properly ventilate the hive, use porous wood that absorbs moisture or create a small ventilation slit on the side of the hive.

6. Stay vigilant about diseases. There are a number of bacterial and fungal diseases that pose a risk to the bee colony. Know the signs of each and take steps to prevent them. Also keep watch for signs of pests such as mites and wax moths, which pose a risk to the colony’s health by feeding on baby bees and adult bees.

Global Food Safety Initiative Works for Unified Safe Food Management

Global Food Safety Initiative pic

Global Food Safety Initiative
Image: mygfsi.com

Baytown, Texas-based Honey Holding processes and markets a variety of liquid and dried honey products to premier bakers and food processors across the country. Honey Holding operates with a focus on producing quality honey and participates in the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Standards, a leading certification program administered by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).

Launched in May 2000, the GFSI provides thought leadership and guidance for food safety management systems and works to ensure that supply chains deliver foods safe for all consumers. It operates with the mission of continuously improving food safety management and works toward four primary objectives: reduce food safety risks, manage costs in global food systems, promote effective global food systems, and facilitate international collaboration. Furthermore, the GFSI serves as a platform for leading food experts in multiple industries worldwide to share knowledge and establish a unified approach to safe food management.

Need for a recognized food safety management system rose in the 1990s, during which time a series of high-profile food safety crises occurred. Consumer confidence in the food industry fell due to instances of dioxin, listeria, and the bovine spongiform encephalopathy, otherwise known as mad cow disease. Food retailer CEOs worldwide decided to take action and collaborated through their own independent networks to create the GFSI, a nonprofit initiative that would be accepted everywhere once certified. In order to unify food safety management across the world, the GFSI networked with existing foundations that included the BRC, the Food Marketing Institute, and the Safe Quality Food Institute.

Today, the Consumer Goods Forum manages daily operations of the GFSI, and an industry-driven board of directors consisting of food service operators, manufacturers, and retailers provides its strategic direction.

The Many Ways Bees Help Humans

Honey-Bees Image: honeysolutions.com

Honey-Bees
Image: honeysolutions.com

 

A leading supplier of high-quality honey to the American industrial baking and food production markets, Honey Holding I, Ltd., recently formed a partnership with Beckert Bees in Vidor, Texas, to reduce dependence on foreign-sourced honey and to create new jobs in an economically hard-hit area. Honey Holding and Beckert Bees hope to provide direct and indirect employment in the southeast Texas region, and to actively promote beekeeping as a profession.

In the late 1940s, the United States was home to 6 million bee colonies, a number that has declined over the years to about 2.5 million. Honeybees play a vital role in the American food supply: Almonds and other major crops rely on pollination by honeybees for their propagation. Cross-pollination is responsible for the healthy growth of about a third of the world’s cultivated crops, and almost all of the world’s wild plants.

Bees also help the economy: Every year, Honeybees produce about $150 million worth of honey and pollinate a total of about $15 billion worth of crops. Any loss in the bee population means less American economic strength abroad.

Bees also serve as important early indicators that something may be wrong in the environment. When bee populations decline, environmental scientists know to look for causes that could affect many other species, including humans.

A Look at the Multiple Uses of Honey

Honey Solutions pic

Honey Solutions
Image: honeysolutions.com

Honey Holding was established in the 1940s under the name Hignite Packing Company. Today, Honey Holding provides liquid and dried honey products to bakers and food processors across the country. Regardless of its form, honey possesses numerous natural benefits that make it suitable for a variety of purposes and industries.

The natural sweetness of honey makes it a regular addition to a wide assortment of foods, both as a topping and as an integral ingredient. Its uses in baking are nearly limitless, ranging from salad dressings and dessert drizzles to baked goods and beverages. Its addition to pickles and sauces prolongs shelf life, and its ability to retain moisture enhances rich cakes and other pastries. Honey also works as an effective browning agent for glazing baked and roasted foods.

Furthermore, honey offers a number of health benefits, with the ability for use as a consumable supplement and as an application to wounds and skin conditions. Consuming honey helps quench thirst, boosts energy, and soothes sore throats, and locally produced honey may alleviate allergy symptoms caused by native fauna, as it contains pollen spores from various plants left behind by bees. Once introduced to the body through consumption, these spores possess the potential to alleviate allergy symptoms by enabling the body to build immunities against local allergens.

Due to its antibacterial properties and ability to retain moisture, honey can also promote the healing of wounds and improve skin conditions. It possess antioxidants and antifungal properties that fight infection and kill bacteria when applied to wounds, although its effectiveness varies according to country of origin and the exact flowers used in its creation. Its ability to attract and retain moisture also improves skin hydration.

New Verification Mark Recognizes Waste Reduction Efforts

As one of the most prominent industrial honey processors in America, Honey Holding (dba Honey Solutions) provides honey to food processors and baking enterprises around the nation. Honey Holding, which is based in Baytown, Texas, also works to reduce its environmental impact and waste by relying on reusable packing materials that clients return to the company.

According to a recent press release from NSF International, businesses in the food industry can now gain recognition for waste reduction efforts through the new NSF International Guideline 445: Landfill-Free Verification, which offers a framework for analyzing a company’s waste management practices. Companies that demonstrate sustainable waste management will be able to use the NSF International “Landfill-Free Facility” verification mark to communicate their efforts to stakeholders, employees, and consumers.

To receive the verification, companies must implement and maintain a number of waste management practices, including training programs and documentation and tracking processes. NSF International explains that the verification helps companies publicize sustainability efforts that are substantiated by an independent third party.

USDA Establishes Standards for Grading Honey

Texas-based Honey Holding Ltd, which does business as Honey Solutions, aims to provide a continuous supply of top-quality honey to the commercial food industry in the United States. All of Honey Holding’s honey undergoes stringent testing and processing to ensure it meets U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Grade A standards for honey. The USDA has published detailed guidance for evaluating and grading extracted honey.

By definition, extracted honey is honey that has undergone complete separation from the honeycomb. After extraction and processing, honey can be in a liquid form, a crystallized form with solid granules, or a partially-crystalized form that is a mix of liquid and crystal honey. To receive a Grade A rating, honey in any form must be practically free of defects and have a good flavor or aroma. In addition, Grade A honey must be clear and should not contain any bubbles that mar its appearance.

During the grading process, inspectors take note of the honey’s form and color. Inspectors also note the floral sources of the honey, either based on attestation by the producer or packer or through the inspector’s ability to identify floral sources in a sample of honey.

UK Food Safety Standard Earns Global Adoption

Based in Baytown, Texas, Honey Holding, Ltd. I operates Honey Solution, a premier US supplier of industrial honey. Honey Holding has earned Global Food Safety Institute (GFSI) certification, under the British Retail Consortium (BRC) standard. Originally established in the United Kingdom, the BRC standard has earned recognition as a global food safety standard.

Today, there are more than 17,000 BRC-certified sites throughout the world, along with BRC certification organizations in 90 countries. As consumer demand for safe and high-quality food grows, many retailers insist that their suppliers receive certification under a GFSI standard such as BRC. Achieving BRC certification demonstrates to retailers and consumers that the supplier maintains focus on continuous product quality improvements.

Before making a BRC application, organizations should understand all the steps required to secure BRC certification. Comprehensive preparation and a high-quality application are critical for success. All organizations that desire to become BRC-certified must acquire a copy of the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety and may also wish to purchase BRC’s Interpretation Guideline for BRC Food Safety Standard.