Almond Honey is produced in California, which is the largest US producer of this nut. The honey is sweet with a strong nutty aftertaste. Despite its sweetness, many find the nuttiness does not contribute well to a table honey. However, brewers and bakers find no shortage of foods that this flavorful honey complements well.
We are often asked if people who are allergic to tree nuts can eat this honey. We leave that decision up to you. The owner's daughter is allergic to tree nuts, yet is able to eat this honey. However, your allergy may be stronger, or have a different vector. Please use your best judgement.
We used to say that we do not carry Clover Honey. After all, Clover is a very common honey, found in all the stores, and much of it coming from overseas with questionable quality. Why would we want to risk being associated with poor quality?
Well, no more!
Arrowleaf is a type of clover, but much lighter and sweeter. It crystallizes quickly, with a beautiful white cast to it.
When crystalline, it goes great in tea. When liquid, it goes great in yogurt. Plus, we obtained this Arrowleaf directly from the beekeeper himself - we KNOW it was MADE IN THE USA!
Avocado trees originated in the state of Puebla, Mexico, but are now grown all over the world in subtropical and tropical climates. The word "avocado" derives from the Nahuatl word ahucatl (scrotum) - a descriptive of the shape of the fruit. (Gives a whole new perspective on the word "guacamole", hmmm?) On the other hand, the same plant is known as Butter Fruit in India, referring to the flavor of the flesh.
The average avocado tree bears 500 fruits each year. By placing 1-2 hives per acre, the production of fruit increases 350%, AND the fruit is heavier by 20%!
The United States is the third largest avocado producer in the world, behind Mexico and Brazil. California produces roughly 90% of the US avocado crop, most of which is eaten within the states. However, our Avocado Honey derives from Miami, Florida, which produces roughly 9% of the US crop. (Hawaii produces the remaining 1%).
Many varieties of blueberries are either cross-sterile or self-sterile. In order to maximize fruit production, farmers will rent beehives from pollination services.
Studies have shown that for each hive placed per acre, the farmer can expect another 1,000 pounds of fruit! Some farmers will rent as many as 5 hives per acre in order to grow the largest crop possible.
Our blueberry honey comes from Maine and has a wonderful blueberry taste that is perfect as a syrup on pancakes!
Honey Proves a Better Option for Childhood Cough than OTC's (over-the-counter medications) was published in December of 2007 in the peer-reviewed Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. The paper describes how honey, Buckwheat Honey in particular, significantly reduced the frequency, severity, and bothersome nature of nighttime cough from upper respiratory tract infection. Honey tested significantly better than standard cough medicine!
Buckwheat Honey is also known for being high in antioxidants. A study performed by the University of Illinois showed that the darker the honey, the higher the concentration of antioxidants. Buckwheat Honey had the same amount as a tomato! Plus, a University of California (Davis) study showed that eating approximately 4oz of Buckwheat honey a day boosts the antioxidant activity in plasma!
Buckwheat is grown both to add nutrients back to the land and for its seed. Buckwheat seeds can be ground into a naturally gluten-free flour. Buckwheat seeds can also be used in a gluten-free beer, being used as a malt similar to barley. Groats and farina are natural by-products of buckwheat flour production, and are used in instant cereals and as thickeners in gravies. Buckwheat hulls are used in the furniture industry as a natural fill for those who are allergic to feathers.
Buckwheat Honey is naturally dark and has a strong taste similar to raisins or molasses. HINT: See our recipe for Baklava!
When people ask us for "normal honey", they are usually asking for Clover Honey. However, we do not carry Clover Honey - much of the stuff on the market has been imported from China, who is notorious for cutting their honey with corn syrup.
Butterbean Honey is the next best thing! Butterbean Honey has a mild taste, and is not super sweet or super strong.
Butterbean Honey is a good base for everything from sweet cakes to gooey treats. If you are into brewing, Butterbean Honey is a good honey to cut more expensive honeys, or use it straight to highlight your spice mix!
You don't normally pollinate carrots. Like other root plants, once they are pollinated, the root turns woody and inedible.
Carrot Honey is collected after the pollination of carrots, and has a certain dark richness to it. This would be perfect for cooking any sort of root or tuber, or used as a sweetener in carrot cake.
We are all familiar with Cotton - that soft, snow white fiber highly prized as a breathable, natural fabric. I have driven through Virginia and wondered at the white bolls in the fields after frost kills the plant, waiting for the cotton pickers to scoop them up.
Remarkably, the honey tastes nothing like what you would imagine. Buttery, yet with a definite tang, the flavor makes you think more of a hard lemonade than a fluffy cloud!
Between American Foulbrood, two types of mites, and the recent hive beetle, there has been a dearth of bees. Many areas are reporting zero wild bee populations!? This makes the use of honeybees for pollination ever more important.
Without honeybees, cranberry bogs produce approximately 15 berries per square foot. With pollination, they produce up to 150! This makes a huge difference in the price we pay for our cran-fruit drinks and holiday cranberry sauce. Cranberry farmers typically lease 1-2 hives per acre for this increase in fruit production.
It can be tricky to get Cranberry Honey, since other plants with more abundant nectar bloom at the same time. Farmers will often mow the areas around their cranberry bogs to encourage the bees to work only the cranberries.
Cranberry Honey is prized for its strong berry flavor without the harshness of the cranberry. In addition, Cranberry Honey has a beautiful red cast when held up to the light!
All honey crystallizes naturally over time, usually producing large crystals akin to rock candy.
Creamed Honey is forced to crystallize such that the crystals are tiny. The end result is a smooth spread!
Creamed Honey is known by many names - Whipped Honey, Honey Butter, and Honey Spread are common. If you are purchasing these types of honey from other suppliers, check the ingredient label - sometimes butter is added to the mix.
Our Creamed Honey is 100% pure honey, made with Orange Blossom Honey for a super-sweet spread!
Once, a man walked up to us and asked us about our show discount.
"What show discount," we asked, thinking we had missed something in the advertising.
The man proceeded to explain to us how the attendees at this particular show were very crafty, and could make most of the items displayed for much less. "Therefore," he continued, "most vendors here offer a show discount to encourage us to purchase from them instead of making it ourselves."
We looked at each other, then back at the man. "Well," we replied, "this here is Killer Bee Honey. We will be happy to tell you where the hives are, if you wish to collect it yourself...."
Killer Bee Honey is a wildflower honey produced by the Africanized Bees of Brazil. Therefore, the flavor varies a bit from year to year, but tends to be a nice natural caramel taste. This rich taste makes it suitable for everything from baking to teas and brewing!
Florida has roughly 550,000 acres of oranges and other citrus, most of it grouped in central to south Florida. Most varieties of citrus are self-pollinating, but the addition of honeybees does not hurt.
This creates a nice partnership between the orange growers and the beekeepers. The growers want the highest possible production in their groves, whereas the beekeepers want an early spring crop to build up strong hives for the upcoming pollination season.
The resulting Orange Blossom Honey has a light, citrus aftertaste that varies somewhat according to the variety of orange grown. In addition, Orange Blossom Honey tastes so much sweeter than other honeys (and cane sugar), that you don't need much of it to sweeten your teas and other treats!
Brazilian Pepper Honey comes from a plant native to Brazil which has invaded Florida as a noxious tree. In Hawaii, the same plant is known as the Christmas Berry.
This plant produces the pink peppercorns that you see in gourmet pepper mills. The honey, on the other hand, has a mild taste akin to sweet potatoes. This is a great honey to use in any pumpkin recipe!
Our Raspberry Honey comes from the New Jersey shoreline. Raspberries are popular in home gardens, but without pollination, are not worth the garden space.
Have you noticed how raspberries consist of small kernals? With pollination, you can see 45-90 kernals. Without you will see 15-27. Also, pollinated raspberries are 1/3 heavier than unpollinated fruit! Beekeepers typically place 1-2 hives per hectacre in raspberry fields.
Raspberry Honey typically has a nice amber hue and has a fruity flavor, very similar to the plant.
Before the White Tupelo starts to bloom, a hodgepodge of other plants all bloom all at once along the Apalachicola River on the panhandle of Florida. Ti-Ti, Black Tupelo, Black Gum, Willow, and other plants produce a dark, quickly granulating honey that is excellent for baking and many teas. We call this resultant wildflower Southern Belle Honey.
Surprisingly, this honey has a taste like peaches. Did the bees actually hit peach trees when they produced this honey? We do not know. However, it is surprisingly sweet for such a dark honey, with a rich taste that is not overpowering.
Thistle is a multi-faceted plant. A thorny plant with a beautiful flower, it is the national symbol of Scotland. In Christianity, it represents the suffering of Christ. In some cultures, Thistle represents strength, protection, hex-breaking, and healing.
In Maryland, Thistle is considered a noxious weed. Landowners can be fined if they do not keep this plant under control. Yet, it grows uncontrolled in the Western part of the state.
Local beekeepers place their hives near these hives in the Fall, capitalizing on acres and acres of wild Thistle. The result is a rich honey, reminiscent of molasses.
90% of the world's thyme oil crop is produced in Spain due to its favorable growing season. The plant itself is used in cooking, and the essential oil is used as an antiseptic in mouthwashes and cosmetics. Thyme oil is collected through steam distillation of the stems and leaves. Honeybees are brought in to pollinate crops that are allowed to go to seed in order to maximize seed production and fertility.
The tupelo trees along the Gulf Coast of the US require wet, swampy soils to thrive. Its popular name derives from two Creek Indian words meaning tree (eto) and water (opelwu), and its latin name, Nyssa aquatica, means Water Nymph.
The Apalachicola River is the center of Tupelo Honey production in the United States, with abundant growths of white tupelos. Each spring, beekeepers place their hives on stands or riverboats in order to access this wonderful, light-colored honey that contaings just a hint of lemon.
In order to get the highest-quality Tupelo Honey, ALL honey stores must be stripped from the hive just as the tupelo bloom begins. This causes high-grade Tupelo Honey to fetch a premium price, since the beekeeper must move the bees into the swamps and monitor the bees each day until the bloom starts.
White tupelo produces a honey with a high ratio of fructose to glucose, preventing this honey from crystallizing. If there is even just a few days of the previous wildflower remaining on the hive, it will cause the Tupelo Honey to crystallize. Purity is determined by pollen analysis by the Department of Agriculture. Anything greater than 50% can be declared as Tupelo Honey, but our supplier routinely falls in the 80-95% purity range.
Pure Meadowfoam Honey is hard to come by. The major crop is planted only once every five years (more or less). There are smaller crops planted in the off years. However, because of crop size, the bees may hit other crops at the same time.
Take a look outside your window. What do you see blooming? Dandelions, clover, and violets in the lawn, maybe some chickweed, too. Trees and bushes. Don't forget the herb garden in back. And down by the creek, there are probably plants blooming that most people have never heard of!
That is what Wildflower Honey is composed from. Wildflower Honey varies in flavor and color from location to location, or even in the same location depending upon time of year and growing conditions! Locally, depending upon when the rain falls in the Spring, you might have a light or dark colored honey, a sweet or a stronger taste!
Our Wildflower Honey comes from hives in the Southern Pennsylvania/Maryland/Northern Virginia area. This particular batch is a Fall honey, comprised of Thistle, Goldenrod, Milkweed, and Aster Honeys.