Feel Like a Queen Bee with Moroccan Honey Mint Tea
September is the bee knees; that’s because since 1989, it has been recognized as National Honey Month. The National Honey Board initiated this awareness campaign to recognize and celebrate American beekeepers, honey production and honey’s benefits. Why September? Easy. It is the month that generally marks the end of the honey collection season.
Honey is versatile. Besides its obvious uses in food and drink, some people use honey in their beauty regimen as a hair conditioner, facial ingredient, acne treatment and skin moisturizer. Honey also is widely considered to have a multitude of health benefits such as:
- A natural cough suppressant
- A great workout fuel (17 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon)
- A healthier sweetener than sugar
Most importantly, honey is delicious. Americans consume nearly 450 million pounds of honey each year. That’s a lot of worker bees earning their wings and living up to that old adage, “busy as a bee.” Here are some interesting facts about bees and honey production:
- There are 20,000 species of bees; only four make honey.
- Science suggests honey bees have been making honey for more than 150,000,000 years.
- The honey bee is the only insect that produces food eaten by humans.
- A well-populated hive is home to one queen bee and between 40,000 and 60,000 bees during peak season.
- On average, a honey bee will visit 50-100 flowers each trip from the hive a day.
- The average honey bee produces 1/12 teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.
- Honey is the only food that has all the substances necessary to sustain life, including water.
- If you keep honey in an air-tight container, it will never spoil.
- For one pound of honey, approximately 770 bees will spend their lives visiting 2 million flowers and flying more than 55,000 miles.
- One hive can produce about 400 pounds of honey. (That’s about 308,000 bees visiting 800 million flowers and flying 22 million miles!)
In honor of National Honey Month – and with our thanks to hard-working honey bees everywhere — here’s a sweet suggestion for sipping your way through September:
Moroccan Honey Mint Tea
- 24oz water
- 4 tablespoons loose gunpowder green tea
- 2 large bunches fresh mint
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Boil water in a teapot
- Reduce heat and allow water to cool to 185°F-190°F
- Rinse gunpowder tea pellets and add to simmering water
- Add 1 1/2 bunches of mint and 2 tablespoons honey
- Steep for 5 minutes, or to your desired strength
- Pour through a fine-meshed strainer into your favorite mug
- Garnish with additional mint leaves
— P.J. Butland