Beyoncé’s internet-shattering British Vogue cover story is a lot of things: beautiful, inspiring, historic, the first time I felt alive this year, and more. In one of her most intimate portraits yet, the legendary entertainer pulled back the curtain on everything from navigating 2020’s relentless stress to her own creative process to...raising 80,000 actual bees?
Yes, to the delight of millions of fans and wordplay enthusiasts alike, Queen Bey revealed she rules over a literal hive—two, to be exact—and it’s for the sweetest reason of all. When asked what about her might surprise people, Beyoncé’s explained:
"I know it’s random, but I have two beehives. Real ones. I’ve had them at my house for a while now. I have around 80,000 bees and we make hundreds of jars of honey a year. I started the beehives because my daughters, Blue and Rumi, both have terrible allergies, and honey has countless healing properties."
And Mrs. Carter, as usual, is spot-on. While there’s no scientific consensus backing honey as an allergy season cure-all, humans have been using raw, local honey to combat itchy noses and throats, inflammation, and other pollen-spurred ailments since we first learned what pollen even was. In theory, local honey works the same way an allergy shot would. By exposing yourself to pollen allergens found in honey, you build up a tolerance that desensitizes your body's overreaction to said allergen. Couple that with evidence documenting honey’s effectiveness as a natural antibacterial and moisture-saving humectant, and you have an all-natural weapon against everything from winter dryness to a cough-ravaged throat.
The key for allergies, though, is to make sure any honey ingested is local and raw. Think about it: allergies pop up when we’re sensitive to something around us, typically some sort of pollen. Bees collect that pollen from flowers and some of it makes its way into honey that’s then bottled and sold—meaning the way to ensure you’re exposed to the kind of pollen in your area is to only buy local honey. Farmer’s markets and your hometown shops are an ideal way to make sure you’re getting the best honey possible while supporting your neighbors and local growers. Adding a spoonful to your morning or evening cup of tea is an easy way to integrate the good stuff into your eating habits, too. Blue and Rumi both clear the bar at ages 8 and 3 respectively, but please note that raw honey is only safe for children 12 months or older.
Honey doesn’t just help the inner workings of your body. We at Byrdie have long been proponents of honey’s beauty benefits, particularly on acne-prone skin: use it as a face wash, a mask, or even spot-treatment for a golden glow only found in nature. Plenty of brands, particularly ones focused on natural, clean ingredients and sourcing have products and even entire collections dedicated to beauty-boosting honey, like the best-selling (and aptly named) Farmacy Honeymoon Glow serum.
It's tough to find an all-natural ingredient that works harder than this one. Healing from the inside out, there's an iteration of honey out there for almost all that ails you. Plus, you can pretend like you're Beyoncé's daughter with every sweet, golden spoonful.