Every week I speak with the public regarding local honey, its benefits and qualities to look for. I wanted to write a tidbit on this because there are a few misconceptions about raw and local honey. People of which suffer from seasonal pollen allergies often look to local honey as a remedy to get their immune systems used to the pollen in their surrounding area. This is a great natural remedy and some swear by it, however local honey does not mean just one or two miles away. Local honey can be a hundred or so miles within your home as long as you have the same plants and wildflowers in your climate blooming throughout the season. In the Hudson Valley we sell to Long Island, NYC, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We also bring in local raw honey from these states and surrounding communities as an option for our customers. Wildflower raw local honey is best suited for those seeking allergy relief and even changes flavor and color throughout the season.
Another question we often receive inquiries for is crystalized honey. Some people think that only crystalized honey is the raw unprocessed honey. Others think that crystalized honey is honey gone bad. Just to specify, crystalized honey is a quality of a real raw honey. Different varietals of honey crystalize at different rates. Depending on the pollen and nectar sources in your area and around the world, some honey varieties crystalize at a much quicker rate than others. Keeping your honey jars warm can sometimes slow down the crystalizing process. If your honey is extracted properly by your beekeepers, they are extracting when the bees have capped the honey with wax meaning that the bees know the honey is at 17-18% moisture and will not ferment. If you extract too soon before the nectar has been properly dehydrated by the bees, you may end up with a fermented bottle after some time passes due to its high moisture content. If you are looking to de-crystalize your honey, put you GLASS jars in a couple inches of warm water, medium on the stove and stir for abour 30-40 minutes and your honey should melt itself down. Do not heat your honey over 95-100 degrees or it may start to lose its nutritional value. The hive keeps its honey comb at roughly these temperatures and you want to keep this honey and comb in its most natural state. If you are adding honey to coffee or tea, give it a few minutes to cool before scolding your honey and losing the benefits we are seeking.
I have also had some people ask about the frothiness of honey on top of the bottles. It is true that this is a nice sign to see a bit of froth on a real raw jar, however if your jar does not have this do not necessarily be alarmed. Sometimes when i am pouring out a batch, only the first few bottles will have this froth and the next few bottles coming off of the same tap may not have the luxury of this content. This does not mean that it is not raw honey, it is just the nature of pouring a few dozen jars at a time.
Now lets talk about honey from around the world. Many do not realize there are all different types of honey. Beez and I carry our own local honey from the Hudson Valley, other wildflower local varietals I mentioned above, as well as other blossoms from around the country and around the world. Currently we carry Orange Blossom from Florida, Blueberry Blossom from Maine, Raspberry Blossom from Washington, Avocado Blossom from Mexico, Buckwheat Blossom from Montana and occasionally Eucalyptus Blossom from Australia and Tupelo Honey from the Florida Panhandle. This honey is not to be confused with honey infusions of which other elements are added to honey. We bring in only raw unprocessed honey from different farms of which are specific to a fruit or vegetable where the varietal nectar originates and gives the honey a specific note of berry or citrus or nuts just as an example. Like wine varietals, honey also contains a palate to be enjoyed. Some honies are better than others for cooking, for tea and coffee, for baking etc.
Many of the bee and honey community are aware of the benefits of specialty varietals such as Tupelo honey from down south and Manuka Honey from New Zealand. These honeys are said to have additional medicinal properties based on the blossoms they are coming from. Be sure that when shopping for these honey varietals that you do your research and the honey has proper ratings of which verify the honey is truely from the sources you are seeking. Tupelo honey is known for its availailty to diabetic because of the way this carbohydrate is digested, it can be a safer source of sweetener than other sugars. Manuka honey from the Manuka tree has over four times the antibacterial properties of average honey and is used on burns and for wound care amongst other things.
There is more to dove into but for now we will leave it here and if you have any questions please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.