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About

Honey Traveler is meant to be a useful resource about honey, particularly interesting to the honey lover, but also a travelogue of the colorful and fascinating places where honey is locally produced around the world. This is a non-commercial site, but I welcome posts from beekeepers and their distributors especially if they provide contact information as this will help people find local honey.


New Top Bar Hives

New Top Bar Hives – Click photo to view bee cam

New top-bar hives (started April 13, 2012)
The hives were completed April 13—Just in time! The two packages of bees ordered Dec, 2011 arrived two days before! I am transfixed by these industrious creatures. So much so, I thought others might be too. Check out the live bee cam!

HoneyTraveler.com started by Scott Forler March 2010

 

16 comments to About

  • Alan

    Hello there,
    My name is Alan and I am in the process of opening a production brewery in Miami, Florida. Part of our rotational limited beer I wanted to incorporate honey into the mix. Ive been searching online for info on honey and I came across your site. It is a good source of information.
    So I have made beers with honey in the boil but I was curious about barrel aging it and then aging a bourbon in the same barrel and then a nice stout to age I’m that same beer. I have done the same with maple syrup and it held up nicely making a tremendous beer.
    What do you think? Would barrel aging honey so that the oak absorbs some of the flavors seem like nonsense? It worked well with maple syrup so I figured it was worth a shot.
    Also would the honey spoil if kept in a barrel? I did a brief search and came across a massive amount of honey styles. Which one would be ideal to achieve the deserved taste profile? I look forward to speaking with you if you have a moment. I appreciate your time.
    Alan

  • HT

    Hi Alan:

    I have some experience with wine and beer making, but for your questions, I would recommend dropping by one of the mead forums and asking for their advice. There is a good chance you will find the answer you are looking for. http://www.gotmead.com/forum/ or http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/

  • Hi Scott,

    I love your site! It’s a treasure trove/ honeypot for beekeepers and honey tasters like me :-) I have a (much smaller – only 100!) site, http://www.100DaysofHoney.wordpress.com reviewing honeys and honey recipes, covering some but by no means all of the same ground. I’m based in Kosovo and last year my book, ‘Travels in Blood and Honey; becoming a beekeeper in Kosovo’ was published by Signal Books in Oxford. Of course I’d love it if you’d review the book (let me know how I can get you a review copy) and/ or if you’d write a guest post on my blog, or let me write one on yours.

    In the meantime I am going to spend a happy weekend looking through all the links you’ve brought together – this really is a fantastic resource. Thank you!

    Elizabeth

  • HT

    Hi Elizabeth:

    Thanks for dropping by. I would love to read your book and share your adventures! I am putting a top bar hive in my back yard this spring in the hopes of supporting my own little herd of bees. I have honey from many parts of the world, and am always excited to try new ones, but I consume so much I need my own supply! LOL :) I am very interested in cross posting.

    Scott

  • I am the owner of Hard Times Honey, which uses using honey from Argentina and Brazil. I’m looking to buy directly from producers in those countries. Do you have any recommendations as to organic and/or small-batch, high-quality producing honey producers in those regions?

  • Scott,

    I was amazed to find the site, is so informative. There is so much need for a good public forum the importance of quality honeys.

    I just wanted to let you know in case someone asks you that my company is a small importer/wholesaler of varietal raw honeys from Greece. We currently have 4 varieties in stock: Fir honey, thyme/flowers honey, heather honey and wildflowers from Greek Macedonia.

    Our website is is http://www.demeterspantry.com

    Thank you,
    Maria

  • Hi Maria:

    I might soon be a customer!

    …Scott

  • Poonam

    Hello Scott,

    Thank you for this great blog!!!

    I am fairly new to US. In my home country Nepal, there are many great honeys. Coming from the plain areas as well as the foothills and high altitudes of the Himalayas. I am planning to introduce a very exotic one to the US. We call it cliff/rock honey. It is harvested from wild bee colonies as high as at 9000ft.
    I am sure that you are familiar with it but whoever does not, please take a look at these photos by:

    Eric Valli:
    http://www.ericvalli.com/index.php?/stories/honey-hunters/

    AND
    Eric Tourneret:
    http://thebeephotographer.photoshelter.com/gallery/Nepals-Tiger-Men-Hunt-For-Honey/G0000DQ0X0XgzhDk/

    Youtube:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t70b4xAdE7Q

    Everybody finds it fascinating!

    As I mentioned I am new and unfortunately I am not able to find solid information on US honey import regulations.

    Would you be so kind and drop me an email that I could get in touch with you and ask you some questions.

    Thank you much,
    Poonam

  • valiha

    Dear Scott,
    Dear bee friends!

    Scott informed me he will come visit South East Africa and may be our endemic flora honey island MADAGASCAR, especially our apicultural struggles;

    Scott, looking forward meeting will be done, do discover what could be done and protected in our island and share it to the world!!! Thank you for this website!

  • Hi Valiha:

    And quite excited about it too!

    …Scott

  • Abe

    Hello Scott,

    Love the website! It is impossible not to come across your website when researching about honey on the net. Anyway my question to you is about a few particular rare honeys I have just recently tasted from abroad. The first one is called SIDR honey, and I was surprised of the medicinal value and sweet taste this honey carries. The second honey I tasted was from the Island of Socotra, a unique mildly sweet tasting honey that is unforgettable when you try it. The last honey was from kyrgyzstan. This honey is very sweet and thick. Let me know your opinions on these honeys as I was curious to see hear your opinion from a honey expert like you. And why are these honeys not found in the states?

    Thank You

  • Hi Abe:

    Many great honeys can be obtained via the Internet directly from the beekeeper. In some countries, selling via the internet and shipping honey internationally by the beekeeper is not uncommon (France, New Zealand, Tasmania, USA); especially in first world countries. But even then, quantities may be limited as they will usually sell locally first. The most difficult factor is often the expense of shipping and/or lack of knowledge of exporting which makes this a difficult path. Fortunately this is changing as the Internet becomes more prevalent and opens the world to everyone. Wholesale honey sales is also an issue. For many beekeepers this is the most efficient way to make a living. This honey is packaged in drums and shipped to large processors and distributors who process and blend it into ‘supermarket’ honey. A loss to be sure. Finally, some country’s honey is restricted from importing honey because of purity problems (use of drugs and chemicals that are unsafe).

    The best way, in my opinion, to try truly unique, rare honey is to buy locally. Whenever I travel, I make sure to visit a local market or beekeeper and try their honey. Sometimes I will make a friend who is willing to ship to me. Then I may be able to try honey from a different season or plant.

    Of the three honeys you tried, SIDR is the only one we can be fairly sure of. This is made from the Jujube or Christ’s thorn tree. It is a rich, thick honey with a classic “honey” taste. It is billed as one of the best honeys in the world (certainly one of the most expensive, with a 250ml jar selling for $80-$100).

    The honey from the Island of Socotra is likely a wildflower honey, made from the diverse unique flora of the Island. I would love to try this one myself. Did you have any trouble traveling there? Here is a documentary on the island itself, located in Yeman. Island of Socotra Documentary

    Finally the Kyrgyzstan honey: Kyrgystan honey did well in the XXXXIII International Apicultural Congress in Kyiv in 2013, winning silver in the category of dark honey. Was this honey light or dark? It could be any of a wide variety of honeys. Here is an interesting site selling Kyrgystan honey with a good description of many found there. It is translated from Russian to English. Aretel Honey LLC. Str. Sarbagysheva 76a Chui, Tokmak, Kyrgyzstan

    …Scott

  • abe

    Hi Scott,

    Well the SIDR honey taste was amazing. You’re right that in has a classic honey taste but it is a bit different in that it is a different kind of sweet and very viscous. The honey from Kyrgstan was sweet, thick and white – with a unique taste as well. Of all the honeys i tried, the socotra honey was unforgettable. Either you will love it or hate it. It tastes like honey mixed with some type of alcoholic beverage like Rum mixed with it. I still say the best tasting one was SIDR but it is so expensive and impossible to buy in this country unless of course you want to buy online and pay a ridiculous shipping fee for a jar of honey. It is a shame that many of these great honeys from around the globe are not found in the U.S. I’d like to see a bigger diversity of global honey in my local wholefoods. Thanks for the information and keep up the fantastic work Scott! love your website!

    Regards,
    A.A.

  • Hi Abe:

    If you live in the NY City area, try the Fairway Market. They have a wonderful variety of honey from around the world. See my story about finding honey in NY city

    I quite like strong, unusual tasting honey. I hope to try the Socotra honey someday! The alcoholic taste makes me wonder if the one you tried may have fermented! LOL This is not dangerous to eat, but another clue is that it will also be foamy or bubbly.

    …Scott

  • Abe

    Hello,

    Yes it does taste fermented- you’re right. But the honey tastes like that even in Socotra, directly from the tree. It wasn’t foamy or bubbly but it is not a thick honey and mixing it with a spoon and shaking the bottle a lot made the honey form small bubbles (not a lot). I definitely see socotra honey in the future in stores but it is expensive (maybe in gourmet shops). I would love for some lab to do some type of nutritional and chemical analysis test on socotra honey to see if there is any medicinal value to it like manuka or sidr honey since this island was weird and unique biodiversity unlike anything I ever seen.

    A.A.

  • Hi Abe:

    Interesting that you noticed it was not thick. This is another clue that it may have fermented. Fermentation happens in honey that has a higher water percentage. In fact if the concentration is over 20% it is quite likely to ferment if warm. High liquid concentration happens in humid environments, since honey tends to absorb water, but also if the honey is harvested before the honey cell is capped by the bees. Bees leave the honey cell uncapped so that air circulation caused with their wings evaporates the water out of the honey to “ripen” it.

    I am not sure if the lack of bubbles or foam is sufficient to eliminate fermentation as a possibility.

    Now I am really curious to try it! :)

    …Scott

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