The Buzz About Honey

Cathy Farley sells her sweet products at a stand in Kilauea every afternoon — bee there!

Cathy Farley
Beekeeper and owner of Cathy Bizzy Bees

Please introduce us to your business. Cathy’s Bizzy Bees started selling honey from our roadside fruit stand using local honey from our own hives and our neighbors’ four years ago. What we do is provide the freshest, purest honey without processing or adding anything to it.

Where did your interest in honeybees and harvesting start? Our interest in honey naturally grew as exposure to beekeepers and honey consumers opened a whole universe of knowledge concerning our food consumption and environment. I grew passionate about honey as I learned about the inner workings of the amazing beehive communities that have provided humans with high-quality liquid gold for thousands of documented years.

What’s the nutritional benefit of consuming honey? Honey makes a healthier community all the way around! If there is anything bad to be said about honey I want to hear it, because I admit I am totally biased about it, hopelessly. And the more I learn, the more one-sided I become! Honey is a pre-digested natural sweetener provided to us directly from the queen bee and her loyal followers. Honey is a quick energy source rich in carbohydrates, antioxidants and a wide array of vitamins such as B-6, thiamine, riboflavin and pantothenic acid. It also contains the essential minerals calcium, copper, magnesium,

Keya Guimarães photo

Cathy Farley sells her sweet products at a stand in Kilauea every afternoon – bee there!

manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc. Honey also is an effective antimicrobial used for treating minor burns and wounds. Scientifically researched and published documentation concludes that honey is effective in the treatment of MRSA (Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and other antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. The antibacterial properties of honey include the release of low levels of hydrogen peroxide. Only honey that is unprocessed, nonpasteurized, in its pure form should be used medicinally. Studies have shown

that honey may lower plasma prostaglandin levels in normal individuals, and may also lower plasma insulin levels in healthy and diabetic subjects. Honey has no fat or cholesterol, and it provides us with quick, healthy energy without the associated fears of sugar. It also can be stored indefinitely without the need for refrigeration.

How does your family play a role in this business? We home-school our children, so this is a continuous project for them. They help in gathering, harvesting and packaging the honey. They also come to

sell with me as well. This daily exercise in conducting business affairs gives our children the opportunity to use their personal communication skills as well as receive rewards directly associated with hands-on work. The mutual respect generated through our business has brought us all closer together, and in part has helped to relieve increasing economic pressure. It is an incredible opportunity to strengthen bonds within my community.

How do you prepare your product? The process is very simple as there is no processing other than pouring honey into sterilized jars and sealing the jar with a sterilized lid. Our honey comes from Kaua’i bee-keepers only. We are providing a unique North Shore product that is free from GMO pollen – not many places left that can claim that, unfortunately.

Where are you from and why did you move here? California, to live our dream!

Who buys your honey? Anyone who stops by, mostly locals who know the product.

What has been the greatest challenge in starting and managing your business? It’s only been a great opportunity for us. But the health of the bees is very important, and the epidemics concern us. There simply have not been enough studies to determine what the effects would be if the bees stopped producing – it may unleash a travesty upon our food chain.

Only through educating ourselves thoroughly will we be able to circumvent and prevent future threats (such as the Varroa mite), and hopefully repair some of the damage already done. In addition to the medicinal qualities of honey, the bees have a profound effect on the planet’s ecosystem, so the more everyone learns about bees and honey, the better off our environment will be.

What would you be doing if not this? There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing. I’m passionate about this. I’m buzzed about honey!

Where do you see your business a year from today? I’d love to see more people aware of honey’s nutritional properties and therefore buying more honey!

What have you learned from working with bees? Patience and gratitude.

What is your business motto? Thank God for Bizzy Bees!

How can people buy your family’s honey?

We sell our honey in various sizes from our stand in Kilauea, across from the Shell station, next to Shared Blessings Thrift Store every day, noon to 4ish.

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