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There are more varieties than people imagine, and the Market features many of them.

Bees are magical.

Millions of years ago they were similar to carnivorous wasps, but when flowering plants appeared on Earth, they became vegetarians, eating only nectar and pollen taken from flowers. Many plants and crops depend upon bees to spread pollen, helping them to reproduce. Think of bees when you enjoy apples, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, cucumbers, melons, peaches, pears, plums, strawberries and many more.PHOTO COURTESY GINGER RAPPORT - Ron Stark of TbeeS is considered the master of all things honey

Native bees, such as Mason bees and Leaf Cutter bees, are those that have always lived in an area and are considered to be super pollinators. They are solitary bees, they do not form a hive, therefore they do not sting and do not make honey. Conversely, honey bees live in colonies where their sting serves as a way to defend against predators. Honey bee biology evolved so that they have a special tongue to suck up sweet nectar which they then store in a place in their throat until they get back to the hive where it is turned into honey.

Honey's taste profile is determined by the type of flowers visited by the bees. This is sometimes confusing because honey labeled as "blackberry honey" means that the bees gathered nectar from blackberry flowers. While blackberry honey has a characteristic flavor it will not taste like blackberries.

Ron Stark, the market's resident bee keeper and expert on all things "honey," explains that it is important to know where the nectar was gathered because it changes some of the qualities of the honey. For example, people who suffer from springtime allergies can improve their sensitivity to spring pollens by eating honey made from nectar gathered from spring flowering plants. Ron sells only raw honey which, unlike grocery store honey, is never heated or processed; both of which destroy many of the natural nutritional elements of honey.Honey

If you are interested in the medicinal uses for honey, Ron is the person to talk to. He can also tell you about other bee products such as royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and ambrosia (a combination of royal jelly, honey and pollen). A new addition to the TbeeS product line is honey containing CBD oil. CBD is a non-psycho-active compound found in cannabis plants, in this case from hemp, which is believed to have many positive health benefits. CBD oil is approved by the Oregon Department of Agriculture Food Safety division as an additive to food products.

If you buy honey simply because it is sweet and delicious, TbeeS has many tasty choices for you including creamed honey which is whipped to creamy perfection and comes in several flavors. They also make delicious honey-based condiments including honey mustard and barbecue sauce. Of course, you will find their 100 percent pure raw honey from various nectars including blackberry, wild flower, "Mystery Blend," blueberry, raspberry, pumpkin, buckwheat, plum, meadowfoam and fireweed.

TbeeS is very generous with samples, so don't be afraid to ask for a taste before you buy.

Ginger Rapport is market

master for the Beaverton

Farmers Market.

Contract Publishing

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