Yes, our Rose-infused honey makes a Brie cheese spread spectacular and is a savory addition to tea, yogurt, ice cream and your morning pancakes. BUT rose is also known for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties, which can increase dopamine and help with anxiety and depression. Rose is also helpful in sickness and cancer prevention, especially breast or cervical cancer, and helps reduce inflammation, pain, and menstrual cramping. Think about that extra punch of antioxidants, vitamin C and vitamin E the next time you pour rose honey in your afternoon tea.
Now, our Dutch Chocolate-infused honey – that is something that satisfies our sweet tooth AND our body’s natural “feel good” chemical, serotonin. Have you ever taken a bite of dark chocolate and felt instant happiness? That instant joy and satisfaction comes from an increase in serotonin due to the chemical make-up of tryptophan (amino acid that helps make serotonin), phenylethylalanine (natural anti-depressant), and theobromine (mood relaxer and stress reliever) – all of which are found in dark chocolate.
Additionally, the flavanols in dark chocolate are also known to help with cardiovascular disease and improve metabolic health, which can lead to lowering blood pressure and LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and alleviating diabetes. Dark chocolate is also high in antioxidants, which can enhance insulin secretion, improve insulin sensitivity, prevent inflammation, and create a fat-lowering effect. It is also rich in nutrients, including fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium. Go ahead and pour our Dutch Chocolate infused honey on, well, anything, and get a dose of sweetness while also packing in some nutrients.
Don’t have our Rose or Dutch Chocolate honeys? Check out our varying sizes of infused honey here.
Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Great Lakes Bee Company Owner Genji Leclair and General Manager Stefan Braun talked with FOX 17 Morning Mix and WOOD TV8 about how bees can make the perfect last-minute holiday gift.
“Bees are fascinating,” Leclair told FOX 17. “They’re important and have such a contribution to farming, agriculture, our food supply and they’re fun to take care of.”
Braun, who admits to being fascinated by any “creepy crawlies,” told FOX 17: “Bees carry a special place for me. I’ve been around them since I was a little kid. Once I became an adult, I dove in head first and learned everything there is to know about bees and want to continue learning about them.”
Leclair shared that if you’re thinking about giving the gift of bees for any occasion, there are some things to take into consideration, Leclair and Braun said.
“To take care of a domesticated animal – that is the honey bee – that’s something that can’t be taken lightly,” said Braun. “It is a chore and it is a job – and I love doing it.”
“When giving bees as a gift you want to make sure the person you’re giving it to – it’s like giving a puppy or any kind of animal – that they’re up for the challenge and the long-term commitment,” said Leclair. “A lot people think bees, because they’re wild insects, you can put them in their hive and they’ll be okay. But that’s not the case. In choosing a gift like this for someone, you want to make sure that this is something that they’re up for and would be committed to.
“You also want to make sure that they’re not allergic to bees,” Leclair added. “Bees do sting and some people are allergic, so you want to take that into consideration as well. Other than that, there’s some ongoing costs. Just like taking a dog to the vet and getting those vaccines, there’s care for the hive as well because there are different things that can happen in the hive – you might have to replace your queen, you have to treat the hive for certain things. Other than that, it’s fascinating and it’s so fun and amazing to be in the bee world.”
Great Lakes Bee Co. also wants to help beekeepers – new and experienced – with their bees. They’re offering beekeeping classes on March 9 and March 23. Classes are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and are $50. Online registration is open.
“It’s a beginner bee class that will tell people how to prepare their location for the bees, how to maintain their bees, what kind of elements to look for in their bees and, of course, the most important part, how to harvest their honey; and how to make it a relationship between the beekeeper and the hive,” said Braun.
“A lot of times when people want to start beekeeping, they don’t know exactly what they need to have to start beekeeping, so we thought it would be a good option to allow people to purchase their bees, their hives and all the accessories they’ll need to go with it,” Braun told WOOD TV8. “It’s really handy for newbie beekeepers to know what they need to start out.”
“When I moved to Michigan and started to get into bees, I had no idea where to start,” Leclair said during her interview with WOOD TV8. “I just knew I loved honey and wanted to do something great for the environment. A lot of people just don’t know a lot about the importance of bees, what they do for the environment, how they impact the local ecology around their areas, the agriculture and their own garden. Beekeeping is one way you can really support your local farmer or even your own local grower, and also get some honey.
“Having access to information and someone who can mentor and demonstrate what it’s like to interact with the bees, how to set up a bee hive, how to protect yourself when you’re working with bees and some of the ins and outs of beekeeping is a great way to start your adventure in beekeeping, and have a little confidence in going into getting your bees started,” she added.
What’s Leclair’s favorite part about bees: Honey
“We have local, raw, unfiltered, unprocessed honey – it’s so healthy for you and it tastes so good,” she said. “Anytime you can get local, raw unprocessed honey do it from your local beekeepers. In addition to that, the hive has a lot of great byproducts like beeswax, and honeycomb and infused honey.”
Honey bees, honey and bee products and swag are available on the Great Lakes Bee Co. website. Beekeeping equipment will be available for purchase on the website in January 2024.
As the holiday season continues with parties and get-togethers with family and friends, Great Lakes Bee Co. Owner Genji Leclair shares how you can use honey to create a Honey Bloody Mary that’s packed with nutrients to kick any holiday hangovers or enjoy on National Bloody Mary Day, which happens to be Jan. 1, 2023 – New Year’s Day.
“Honey is a special sugar,” Leclair said during her live interview with GDNM on Dec. 16. “It’s very healthy for your body to absorb honey – there’s antimicrobial properties that create tryptophan (an essential amino acid that is necessary for making proteins) that help you calm down – and it’s quick to get to your brain.”
Leclair explained how a honey’s yellowy golden hue comes from the pollen on the plants the bees are foraging. For those living in West Michigan who are allergic to pollen, consuming trace amounts of the region’s honey helps build up immunity to the area’s pollen and will help with allergies.
“Bloody marys are on par with honey for me because they’re healthy and they solve a health problem: hangovers,” said Leclair. “When you have a hangover, blood sugar in your brain starts to deplete, which is what starts a hangover. It’s almost like inducing jet lag – you can’t sleep, you don’t feel good, and some people even get dizzy.”
In order to cure a hangover, you want to put nutrients back in your body, but the most important thing is putting sugar back in your brain, according to Leclair.
“A lot of people will do alcohol again because you’re literally putting sugar back in your system – and that’s where the alcohol comes in. If you’re not into alcohol, virgin bloody marys are a very healthy drink and by adding a honey to your bloody mary, you’re getting that sugar without the alcohol – but you can always double down and do it together.”
“I think this is the perfect thing to do for New Year’s Day because on New Year’s Eve, you’re out drinking all night and there’s a good chance you might not feel great on New Year’s morning,” said Leclair. “This is a perfect thing to put out for a New Year’s morning breakfast or brunch. But this is a very healthy drink – without the alcohol, of course – because you’re getting a lot of vitamins in your system.
“There’s a wide variety of bloody mary recipes, so go online and have some fun checking them out.”
In celebration of National Honey Month this September, Great Lakes Bee Co. Owner Genji Leclair recently shared her Habanero Honey Margarita and Healthy Honey Ball recipes on Good Day Northern Michigan on 9&10 News.
“Margaritas are basically just citrus and tequila, so you can get creative in how you make it,” Leclair told Good Day Northern Michigan hosts Sid Simone and David Lyden as she began mixing grapefruit, lime, lemon and orange juices with tequila. “What makes ours special is the habanero honey – it’s a great alternative to sugar.”
Great Lakes Bee Co. – producer of Hasselman’s Honey – was founded by Larry Hasselman in Newaygo in 1974. Leclair, who grew up on honey, took over for Hasselman when he retired eight years ago.
“I’m a honey person. When I moved to Newaygo, I popped into the local grocery store and bought the local honey. When I tasted the honey, I had to call Larry to find out why this honey was so good,” Leclair said during the live Good Day Northern Michigan segment. “From there I learned all about the honey.
“We do it exactly the same way as Larry’s done since 1974,” Leclair added. “We’ve changed nothing. It’s all delicately handled. We don’t overheat the honey at all – it’s raw right out of the hives and it’s very special because the microclimate in Newaygo is very unique with an unusual blend of flowers. We only collect and sell the honey from summer – and so you have this crazy good taste that’s different – very different. It’s just amazing honey out of Newaygo.”
For the Healthy Honey Ball • Leclair recommends having a base, such as oats (grinded) and a nut butter – peanut butter, almond butter or cashew butter. • Then pick what you would want to mix in: cacao, turmeric, cinnamon, chocolate chips, cranberry, raisins, apricots, etc. • Mix together – then add the secret ingredient: Honey • Stir and roll it into a ball with your hands, then roll a topping like, coconut shavings or pecans or other nuts, over your ball and voila!
Charcuterie, Cheese or Fruit Board • Add honey to enhance your charcuterie, cheese or fruit board flavors and pairings • Blue cheese pairs well with honeycomb • Goat cheese pairs well with lavender honey • Leclair recommends playing around with different flavors of honey: pepper honey, habanero honey, etc.
“There are different flavors in the region depending on the floral sources,” said Leclair. “You can go to northern Michigan and you’ll get a lot of star thistle, which is a little bit lighter honey, and as you head down south, you get different types of flowers so you’ll get darker and different blends. It’s fun to taste honey from all regions. I really enjoy honey – people send me honey from all over the world and it’s just crazy how different they taste from region to region.
“Even just here in Michigan, across the state from north to south, you’ll get different honey and its different in the spring than it is in the summer and the fall. You’ll get a great experience tasting honey all over the world, but especially here in Michigan, we just have a lot of flavors.”
Great Lakes Bee Co.’s Hasselman’s Honey can be found at Whole Foods Grand Rapids, Spice Merchants inside Downtown Market in Grand Rapids, Rockford Cheese Shop; and in area Spartan Stores soon. It’ll also be available at West Michigan Meijer stores starting in mid-October. All honey products, including beeswax, candles, balms, salves, can also be found line at www.GreatLakesBeeCo.com
Watch Genji Leclair’s full interview on Good Day Northern Michigan, here.
West Michigan bees have had a busy couple months making honey, and now it’s time for beekeepers to cash in on the gooey sweetness.
September is National Honey Month, or as beekeepers call it, “Harvest Month.” It’s a beekeeper’s favorite time of year as they visit their colonies and reap the benefits from the beehive’s work throughout the past couple of months.
Experts recommend that beekeepers harvest their honey crop when the hive is full of capped honey – or when a cell is completely covered in white wax and honey is not visible. In Michigan, this can happen anytime toward the end of August through the first frost – usually in early October.
Begin your honey harvest by clearing the honeybees off of the frames, then scraping the wax capping from the top of the honeycomb. (Don’t throw away the wax! You can do so much with beeswax – more on that later.) Once the wax has been removed, you are ready to extract the honey.
Trained beekeepers often use an extracting machine to get the honey out of the comb and into a jar. This helps to preserve the comb so the bees can still use it and fill it back up with honey.
If you don’t have a honey extractor, no problem. One of the more common ways to extract honey without an extractor is to crush and drain the comb. Using common household items, such as a wooden spoon or potato masher, mash the comb in a clean bucket and then strain it through a colander or smaller kitchen strainer.
We recommend feeding bees over winter and checking the sugar patties from time to time to make sure they have food. Enjoy your freshly harvested honey by the spoonful or drizzled on top of your favorite dish!
Chocolate does more than make our bellies happy. It also makes our brains happy! That’s right, dark chocolate has the ability to increase serotonin in the brain due to its chemical make-up of tryptophan (amino acid that helps make serotonin), phenylethylalanine (natural anti-depressant), and theobromine (mood relaxer and stress reliever). The increase is serotonin leads to a good mood and reduction of stress. Thanks to dark chocolate’s mood enhancing properties, chocolate can even reportedly reduce symptoms of depression. In one study of over 13,000 adults, individuals who reported eating dark chocolate within 2 days had 70% less likelihood of reporting symptoms of depression compared to those who didn’t eat any chocolate.
Rose petals have a long history of being used in homeopathic medicine. Today, roses still offer incredible health benefits, and we even create infused honey flavors from it. Roses can be turned into rose tea, rose hip oil, rosewater, essentials oils, and more.
Honey and cinnamon have a long history of being used in medicine. Honey is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and an antiseptic. Cinnamon has similar properties. It is also an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and an anti-bacterial substance. Combining honey and cinnamon could no doubt have major health benefits. That is why we created our Cinnamon Infused Honey. Not only does it taste great, but it’s packed with all the nutrients of honey and cinnamon combined!
Honey is a healthy substitute for sugar and great for diet conscious folk. However, honey is so much more than just a sugar substitute. It is actually an ideal source of energy, far healthier than sugar and other energy sources, making it a highly efficient way for athletes and other active people to fuel their bodies.
It’s springtime, which means it’s also allergy season. Cue long months full of incessant sneezing, running out of tissue boxes, and a non-stop itchy nose. For some people, their allergies get worse every year and medication doesn’t always cure-all. Looking to add a homeopathic method to your allergy treatment regimen and help “stop the snot”, so to say, caused by mild allergies? This is where honey comes in- yes, honey. According to some, raw honey can be used to alleviate allergy symptoms.