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Honey Buyers Guide

If you are expanding your knowledge of honey, or you’ve heard about a delicious honey, or you are interested in the health benefits of honey, then your next step is to learn enough to judge how to select a honey to buy and try. What types of honey are available? Where do you look to find good honey? Are there different grades of honey? What honeys offer the best health benefits?

In general, for flavor, aroma and health benefits, the best honey is raw honey, this is honey produced with minimal processing and has nothing added or removed. Raw honey created with minimal levels of chemical additives is known as organic honey. To help protect the consumer, many countries have developed honey standards so people can reliably know and trust what they are getting.

Types of Honey:

1/ Basic Types: If you are familiar with wine, then you will quickly pick up the important factors affecting the selection of honey. Just as wine comes in two basic types, white and red, honey comes in two basic types, also from biological origin.

  • Blossom or nectar honey: The honey produced mainly of nectar from flowers
  • Honeydew, fir or forest honey: The honey produced mainly from the sweet excretions of insects (honeydew)

2/ Varieties of honey: Like wine, honey is differentiated by the source or plant varietal (as well as location). This is the actual source of the nectar or honeydew used by bees to create honey. Just as flowers have different colors, forms and aromas, so does the honey. Honey produced from the nectar of orange blossoms looks, and tastes entirely different from honey produced from the nectar of chestnut tree blossoms or from honey produced from the honeydew from aphids (yes, aphids) on pine trees in Turkey. Depending on the proportions of flowers in the area where bees collect nectar and the timing of the collection of honey from the hives, honey may be either:

This is a surprise to many people because most honey purchased in supermarkets in the United States is made from unidentified blends of honey with a similar taste and appearance between brands. Once you have tried unblended honey from a single flower source or location, you will discover the variety and taste sensations that will amaze and delight. The United States, although relatively new to honey production compared to the rest of the world is the source for many of the finest single flower honeys.

3/ Presentation: The next factors in the types of honey are the presentation of the honey, assuming minimal heating and processing

  • Comb Honey: This honey is sold packaged in the beeswax comb. This is freshest and purest form of honey you can get as it has never come into contact with air. Some producers put the comb packaging containers in the hive so that no cutting is required to create smaller size pieces for sale. The comb is edible. Kids and older kids like to eat the honey and wax together and spit out the wax! My favorite way is to eat the comb with cheese and bread or on toast.. the combined textures and flavors go together well.
  • Chunk Honey or Cut Comb: This is pieces of comb honey cut up and added to the honey in a jar or container.
  • Drained Honey: The honey is obtained by draining the honey comb by gravity.
  • Extracted Honey: The honey is obtained by extracting the honey from the comb by centrifuge. This is the most common method.
  • Crystallized or Granulated Honey: Eventually the glucose in honey will crystallize. This is a natural effect. Honeys with a greater glucose to fructose proportion and higher water content will crystallize faster. Because of its high fructose ratio, Tupelo honey may resist crystallization for years while canola honey might start crystallizing in the hive! This does not affect the taste or quality of the honey. To reliquefy, simply put the jar in warm water for an hour or two. It will remain liquid even after it has cooled.

4/ Common Processing: Honeys that have been changed through processing.

  • Filtered Honey: This is honey that has been filtered in such a way as to remove a significant amount of pollen from the honey. A common method of ultra-fine filtering is to add diatomaceous earth (DE) to the honey. This absorbs fine particles, then it is filtered out through a series of progressively finer filters to remove the DE and any other particles. This produces a very clear honey that appeals to many consumers. It also removes the benefits of pollen but if the honey is not heated as part of the filtering process this is not otherwise harmful. Most honey made by small honey processors or packers will strain, rather than filter the honey to remove larger, non-honey particles, but not remove pollen. Strained or unfiltered honey will crystallize more quickly but is easily reliquefied with no loss of quality by putting the jar into warm water. For most honeys, crystallization is a good sign that it is unprocessed. Use of a microwave to heat is not recommended. Another practical drawback of removing the pollen is that it makes identifying the source of the honey very difficult, the most important factor for identifying the composition of a particular honey and establishing the credibility of the source.
  • Creamed honey: Also called “Whipped Honey”, “Candied Honey”, “Churned Honey” or “Honey Fondant.” This is Honey made by controlling the crystallization process to produce very fine crystals resulting in a pleasing, soft honey that spreads easily and doesn’t harden even at cool temperatures. It is a low temperature process which leaves all the healthful benefits, taste and aroma unchanged. This doesn’t mean that all creamed honey is unheated—the process also works with honey that has been heated first then cooled. The first practical process was developed by Dr E.J. Dyce a professor of Apiculture at Ontario Agricultural College—now University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario Canada (my hometown I’m proud to say) in 1928. The process begins with starter crystals made from honey (ideally the same kind of honey) that has crystallized naturally and been ground or pulverized to a fine grain. This mixture is then stirred at a constant temperature. The size of the starter crystals, the moisture content of the honey, the stirring temperature and stirring time are all variables that effect the final product. Creating a smooth, finely textured creamed honey is an art and the result of fine beekeeping skill. Creamed honey is generally preferred by Europeans because of its spreadability and texture.

Next: How can we be sure of the honey we buy? Honey Standards.

83 comments to Honey Buyers Guide

  • Debashis Ray, Kolkata, India

    Recently I saw a report on the net that no trace of pollens could be found in 70% of the honey sold in North American stores. The report suggested that what was being sold was not pure honey. After reading about the multistage filtering with diatomaceous earth, I am left wandering whether the survey report was a case of correct methods but wrong conclusions!
    Thank you also for explaining ‘creamed honey, honey fondant etc’. They are not commonly available in this country.

  • HT

    Yes, the lack of pollen doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t pure but it does effectively prevent identifying the source of the honey. One relatively benign reason for ultra filtering is to retard the crystallization of honey by removing tiny seed crystals and residue that help crystallization begin. Of course this also removes the healthful benefits of the pollen. The concern is that without pollen, it is basically impossible to identify the source of the honey, allowing honey to be cheaply produced from questionable sources. Even though there is research that has identified specific chemical markers for certain types of honey, pollen continues to be the best method.

  • Avik Saha

    Can you please tell me what is Royal Jelly and are there any side effects of having it? Also do you have any info on rewarewa honey?

    Thanks,
    Avik

  • HT

    Hi Avik:

    Royal jelly is a protein-rich substance secreted from glands in worker bees. It is the primary food of queen bee larvae; unlike workers and drones which receive a much smaller amount.

    Through a process called DNA methylation, royal jelly can actually affect the genetic makeup of the bee, turning the same larvae that becomes a worker bee, into a larger, egg producing queen. The amazing thing about DNA methylation, which may occur in invertebrates as well as insects is that is shows that genetic makeup may be modified by what we eat.

    Compared to normal worker bee food, Royal jelly is particularly rich in pantothenic acid and biopterin, but in spite of many claims to the contrary it is doubtful it has any special healthful properties.

    Rewarewa, Rewa Rewa or New Zealand honeysuckle (Knightia excelsa) is a native plant of New Zealand. It yields both pollen and nectar. The beautiful florets of the velvet red cluster burst open with quantities of nectar! This honey color varies from light yellow to dark amber. It has rich distinctive flavor described as, burnt, sweet like toffee, malty.

  • I bought a Mountain Ridge Pure Raw Honey from North Carolina, but now the label states pure honey from USA and Argintina. Is this a mixture of two different honeys? Is it a better honey?

  • HT

    Hi Cynthia:

    Blending generally results in a less distinctive honey, although there may be exceptions. If you have the exact web address of the company, I’d be happy to inquire as to the meaning of two country sources.

    Scott

  • We just spoke to our local beekeeper, who is also a well-known speaker when it comes to honey production. We heard from him that a majority of the honey you find in the store nowadays can contain up to 90% corn syrup in certain brands!

    I don’t see your articles reflecting this possibility and would like your input…

    Raw honey lover.

  • HT

    Hi Leland:

    That is an interesting possibility and one that, under the current lack of standards and enforcement, is entirely possible. In the United States, with the exception of Florida and California there is no legal definition of honey. See Senators Urge FDA to Adopt Honey Identity Standard. In practice, you needn’t worry though. By following a few simple buying rules you will seldom need to worry about “impure” honey. Buy honey that comes directly from a beekeeper, either online or directly at a farmer’s market, a road-side stand or the apiary itself. In the supermarket, don’t have high expectations for something called ‘honey’ that doesn’t identify the beekeeper, the location of the hives or the type of predominant flower, any more than than you would for a wine called simply ‘red wine’, with no other identification. It is likely a cheap blend of honeys at best, and at worst, your beekeeper’s declaration may not be too far off. For more info on lack of buyer protection in the United States, see Honey Standards.

    …Scott

  • I have heard that honey can “ferment”. Can you explain a little more about this please? I purchased a generic “organic” wildflower raw honey from a big-name healthfood store. When I got it home and opened it, I realized that it has an incredible amount of foam on the top. Its consistency is that of the head on a freshly poured dark amber beer! I have put my ear to it and it doesn’t sound like it is fermenting. I have collected a substantial amount of raw honey before from all over the world(even in the middle of the Yucatan jungle from beekeepers in huts where the keeper scraped it from combs into my plastic water bottle for lack of a better container). I am used to bits of flotsam which form a sediment (wax, bees’ legs)in my honey. I have never seen this foamy smut before in such quantity in honey. I can send a picture if you would like. Is this safe to eat? My gut tells me not to. Also, I wish I could “follow” you. Thank you for your site. I found you while searching for the leading country of lavender honey production. I was guessing France, but I wasn’t sure. Cheers!

  • Hi Nina:

    Fermentation in honey is the result of a high moisture content combined with temperatures between 52 and 73 degrees F. At moisture contents as low as 17.1%, sugar-tolerant yeasts can grow in honey, but at low concentrations of yeast, honey will generally not ferment until over 19%. If in doubt of the moisture content, then storing honey at less than 50 degrees F. will prevent fermentation.

    Fermentation results in the formation of ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide. Oxygen, acting on the alcohol breaks it down into acetic acid and water. This may cause fermented honey to taste sour, but not normally be dangerous. Crystallization of honey, a naturally occurring process, causes the moisture level to increase along with a tendency to ferment.

    The only honey I’ve had that fermented was the normally delicious Pitcairn Island honey. It took almost 3 months to get and I assume it may have been stored at higher temperatures and had the high moisture content often associated with ‘jungle’ honey. I simply store it in the fridge or freezer now where it lasts for years.

    Spoilage by bacteria and mold is prevented by the hygroscopic nature of honey. It absorbs water, including the water in bacteria and mold! This effectively neutralizes them and prevents spoilage.

    I will see about updating the blog to let people follow. You can also become a friend of http://www.facebook.com/honeytraveler. I would love to hear more about your adventures in the Yucatan. Was it stingless bee honey you tried?

    …Scott

  • M.ILYAS

    i want to sale my hony.interesed are contact by mail?????

  • Hi M. Ilyas:

    I am happy to help, but I it would be very helpful to people looking for honey if you could provide more details of your honey.
    For instance:

    • What kind of honey are you selling?
    • Where are you located?
    • Do you have a website?
    • Do you belong to a bee keeping association?
    • How do you process your honey?

    …Scott

  • Abrosia

    I got here due to searching for info on fermented Honey. I tasted some partially fermented honey originating from a small private source in Myanmar. The bees collected the nectar from a Plum orchard. The fermentation is enough to give distinct sophisticated bouquet of brandy tones but not enough to cause any intoxication. I have been told that this jar of Honey was further aged for 17 years in a Monastery. This Honey makes any other I have ever tasted PALE in comparison. Unfortunately it will be impossible to acquire more from the same source. I DO want to attempt to copy it to the best of my ability though. From what I read here, it seems my best avenue would be to acquire some totally raw honey of various specific Floral origins, and then add a small amount of distilled water to bring the water content to approximately 20+% and then store it at the temperatures listed, but with a small bubbler airlock to let out excess CO2, but to not let in Oxygen? This would prevent the acetic acid from forming and going sour? What do you think? Any final advice would be appreciated before I give this a try.

  • Hi Abrosia:

    I would have loved to have been in Myanmar (Burma) with you! Trying that fermented honey sounds like an amazing experience. Not exactly mead, but then again maybe it is! I suggest looking here for information. Got Mead is a deep repository of mead making information. I’m sure you will get some good direction there.

    …Scott

  • hugo

    helloo Scottt

    my namew is hugo i recently got into honey business and try to learn

    i have a business partner who helps me he has been doing it for 10 years.

    his honey is raw multifloral i try to help him to export the producdt but we do not know the price of our product i understand you are not financial adviser it is just we do not want to be taken advatage of by the exportes so could you plz send me your advice about the price

    best regARDS HUGO CASTRO

  • Hassan

    Dear Scott,

    Thank you very much for all these valued information and website!

    I just would like to ask you about the the most famous German brand Honey “Langnese” which is so popular in Europe and the Middle East markets, so do you have an idea about the floral source/combination for one of their brands that is ‘ Summer Blossom honey – Golden Clear ‘ ?

    There are another kinds which are ‘ Wild blossom Honey’, ‘ Mountain blossom ‘ and the ‘Black forest Honey’ .

    However, on their website, there is no mention for the floral source/combination for all these multi-floral honeys.

    Also , I read on the website that ” Langnese” company had its own bee farms in Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador, since few decades ago, so does this mean that their honeys are imported from theses countries and blended or bottled in Germany ?? although on the label the word ” product of Germany” is very clear ? … Is it a German source Honey ?

    I hope to find an answers for all these questions by your great experience and knowledge of Honey .

    Thank you so much in advance.

    Cheers….

  • Where can I purchase Yellow Box Honey in the U.S. I live in WA St., and have not found any, unless it is packaged under different description ? Thank you

  • Eva Trice

    Hello Scott, where can I buy Melcalfa pruinosa (Say) honeydew honey? I would like to buy about two dozen bottles. Is it available online? Regards, Eva

  • Hi Eva:

    I haven’t purchased Melcalfa Honeydew online. I purchased it on a trip to Italy. It is available widely in Europe, but as you know, not here in North America. One of the outstanding brands from Italy, available world wide and online is Miel Thun. They produce Forest Honey (Melata di Bosco). Try looking online for a credible store Google Search for: Melata di Bosco Thun. Let me know how it turns out!

    …Scott

  • Hi Hugo:

    The prices for premium gourmet honey range from $12 to $22 per kilo on average. Of course this is market/demand dependent. If selling to tourists and your beehives are located in the heart of a tourist mecca, it could sell for quite a bit more. For instance, I just came back from British Virgin Islands where I met with a native beekeeper on Jhost Van Dyke, a popular tourist island. He had no charging $20/ 12 oz jar for “Island Honey”.

    Good luck with your honey business!

    …Scott

  • BozemanHoneyHunter

    Is there a large market for US clover honey in Europe? Where can I find European honey wholesale prices per country. Thanks

  • BozemanHoneyHunter

    Also… Any leads on trusted German honey packers.

  • I am Abu Nasher from Satkhira Agro & Beverage. (under Satkhira consulting firm Ltd.) Dhaka Bangladesh.
    We supply pure wild (Sundarban) honey & Cultivation honey of Bangladesh. We know that your company still
    interested to pure honey. For that can we share our honey business with your company?

    Thanks…….
    Md. Abu Nasher
    Satkhira Tour & travel
    Dhaka, Bangladesh.
    Call +88 01193 275 443. +88 02 8189819.
    eM-info@scflbd.com, http://www.Scflbd.com

  • Burt Swan

    February 1213 we purchased four 500 gram bottles of honey in Cancun Mexico.
    We are fond of this honey and have been bringing it home for years with no problem.

    All bottles are labeled: ‘Miel de Xtabentun y Dzidzilche, 2012 Producto Artesanal Miel Maya Coba’ with various lot numbers.

    On opening one of the four bottles there was a slight release of pressure and a layer of foam began to appear. I poured a small quantity into a glass and after 10 – 15 minutes it turned completely to foam.

    This behavior seems like dissolved gas coming out of solution. This is the first time I have seen this in Yucatan honey.
    Have you seen anything like this? I have eaten some of this honey and suffered no ill effects. Would it be better to discard it?

    Thanks,
    Burt

  • Hi Burt:

    It sounds like your honey fermented. It is not uncommon for honey that has a higher moisture content, especially if it is stored in a warm environment. I had the same thing happen with (otherwise) excellent honey I purchased from Pitcairn Island. It can happen for a variety of reasons:

    - bottling uncapped honey being the common one – the honey has not been dehumidified by the bees sufficiently and therefore not capped with wax for storage
    - crystallization can also increase the moisture content, as the moisture carrying capacity of the honey lessens with the change brought on by crystallization
    - Some environments tend to produce higher moisture content honey.

    Honey produced in tropical environments can have a higher moisture content (greater than 18%).

    With the Pitcairn island honey, I opened it and tasted it. It was excellent! It had a wonderful fruity flavor. I took the jar to my office to share with my coworkers that day, and was surprised that their response was not so hot. :) I tasted it myself and it was not very good. It was foamy and had fermented! I took my other bottles and put them in the freezer before opening them. They are still good… very thick, but delicious.

    As you probably know, mead is made from fermented honey and is not dangerous to drink. Some people actually let their honey ferment before eating it because they prefer it that way. Since it is wild yeast, the flavor may or may not be good. I would store it in the fridge to inhibit other bacterial growth. I think the risk is low of ill effects.

    To avoid fermentation of your other bottles, assuming they came from the same batch/hive, I recommend storing them in the freezer or fridge.

    …Scott

  • Patrick Taloboe

    Dear Sir,
    We are from Malaita, Solomon Islands and we have good quality natural honey. Can we export to Australia at a better price per kg?
    Thanks

  • Hi Patrick:

    You will need to provide more information if you expect to get a useful response. Better price than what, for instance. You may have trouble exporting to Australia. They are restricting imports of honey in response to the uncertainty over bee death world-wide.

    …Scott

  • Helen

    I’m a beekeeper and I love reading your well-written articles–and the resulting posts by honey connoisseurs! Keep up the good work. I’m sharing this site with friends & fellow beekeepers. It is mid-July and I am harvesting clover honey with a dandelion base note, and some with a strong sage component. Fabulous.

    -Helen, in Colorado, where the mountains rule, the sun shines, and the bees are having a great summer!

  • Hi Helen:

    Sounds wonderful! Thanks for your generous comments. If you have pics I would love to post them.

    …Scott

  • Hi Hassan:

    Very good questions about a large multi-national company.

    I don’t know the answers to your questions specifically, but according to bee keepers I know who have tried to import honey to Germany, it is one of the toughest countries to attempt importing honey. They have very high standards and testing protocols.

    Langnese says specifically on their website that they import honey from around the world, so this is not a secret. If they monitor their suppliers carefully, as they say they do, then I would imagine the honey is good.

    They have varietal honeys which, by EU law must be only “mainly” comprised of the nectar of the target plant and must be labeled as such, and their blends likely come from a variety of sources. I would be very surprised if they did not identify the countries of origin on their honey, or state they are a blend of non-EU honeys, as this is an EU council directive (COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2001/110/EC of 20 December 2001 relating to honey).

    Essentially you are asking if we can we trust what they say. I would hazard to guess that they are leaders in their field and that for the most part, their intention is to provide a consistent, high quality honey product.

    …Scott

  • Daniel

    Hey!
    So i’m doing a research paper on the health benefits of honey, more specifically how it combats certain bacteria (e coli).
    Right now however i’m looking at what the colour of the honey says about its components (does the colour of honey suggest certain health benefits, compounds?). We’re new to honey making, but we still managed to get 8 kg of honey from our hive, and when we did collect it, it was a dark brownish colour, although that was when it was collected as 8kg. i scoured the area to see where the honey bees were most likely to get this honey and i found a massive field of daisies only 1km from our garden. I couldn’t find any other flowers in large amounts anywhere nearby so its safe to assume that most of the honey cam from the daisies right? Is there anything typical of daisy honey that i should look out for? I ask this as i know part of the source of the antibacterial properties of honey comes from the flower its taken from. Most honey i have read about use hydrogen peroxide to kill bacteria, but some honeys ( like manuka honey) already have potent antibacterial properties, so the bees don’t need to produce hydrogen peroxide.Is there anyway you can test to see where your honey comes from? Thanks for your help!

  • Hi Daniel:

    Thanks for your questions! 8 kg is quite good for your first harvest. First off, because of the dark color, my first suspicion is that your honey may be largely composed of honeydew, see Honeydew Honey. Honeydew honey comes from the honeydew produced by aphids mainly in trees. Do you have any forests nearby? If you would tell me exactly what date you harvested your honey and the nearest town or city and province/state your hives are located, I might be able to help determine the source of the honey. The scientific method for determining the source of honey is to look at the pollen contained in the honey itself. The proportion of pollen within a sample will give you a very good idea of the predominant flower nectar used in the honey. Can you tell me the type of daisy you found? Was it a Bull’s eye daisy?

    Unfortunately, it is not a simple job to prepare the honey sample to be viewed under a slide. Here is the lab procedure. METHODS OF MELISSOPALYNOLOGY. You can get your honey analyzed too, for a fee ($100 or so). Here is an article about a palynologist that may be able to help. Top Pollen Detective Finds Honey a Sticky Business. A palynologist studies pollen and spores, and melissopalynology is the study of pollen from honey.

    As for the health benefits. Notwithstanding antibacterial characteristics, but focusing on specific healthful characteristics. It is very important that the honey be raw to not damage the healthful characteristics of the honey (not heated nor finely filtered). I assume your honey qualifies. Pretty much all raw honey has some healthful/therapeutic properties. But most importantly, as you know, the actual flower that the honey derives from is the main differentiator for the actual healthful benefits. The color of the honey derives mainly from the flower /plant source of the nectar. Dandelion honey can be quite yellow. Generally speaking, darker honeys tend to have a higher mineral content (and stronger flavor) although there are exceptions. some light honeys do too. In Italy, one of the largest producers of honey, popularity of honey is tied mainly to its therapeutic properties. I first learned this visiting a drogheria near Milan in Italy.

    I look forward to your reply.

    …Scott

  • Daniel

    Thanks for the information!

    I would never have suspected that honey can be derived from other insects!
    53% of Sweden is covered in forests, so its no surprise that i’ve got a forest right next to the hive :)
    Most Swedish forests are basically comprised of two types of trees. The Swedish pine, Scots pine Pinus sylvestris. The pine being the most common by far, especially in the forest close to our home. I should also add we do have apple and cherry tress, but these flowered over before we got the hive.
    We’ve got two bulls eye daisy bushes in our garden, but the dominant flowering plant in our area at this time of year is undoubtedly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leucanthemum_vulgare

    Also i should add that there are an abundance of raspberry bushes close to the hive as well as quite a few dandelions. I’ve seen the bees pollinating these plants. Although the raspberry bushes have flowered over. I know its a lot to take in!

    I live a bit south of central Sweden in a province called “svealand” which is central Sweden. Closest town of note is “Gävle”

    And yes my honey has only been heat to allow it to run from the comb.

    I’m not sure of the exact date, but we collected the honey around the 20th of July.

    If you gave me some way to contact you i could send a picture of our honey!

    Thabk you!

  • Jim

    I’ve been reading a lot about the health benefits of honey. If much of the nutrients are destroyed by heating honey (in a tea). Can’t I just eat straight. Why do so many people talk about putting it in a tea format?
    Thanks
    Jim

  • Hi Jim:

    For people that use it in tea, it is simply a delicious way to sweeten the tea, perhaps not as healthful as unheated honey but much better than straight sugar. I use it in coffee, but not necessarily in a therapeutic way. I like the taste. For the healthful benefits, and for a delicious summer drink, try lemonade sweetened with honey. Juice of one lemon, a large glass of water, 2 tablespoons of honey, stir, then add the ice. And of course straight from the honey jar is always good.

    …Scott

  • Phil

    Hi Scott-just found your website and it is wonderful! This question may be answered somewhere on the site and I may have overlooked it-Sorry! Can you provide some brand names of honey you like that are store bought or even online? Thank you

  • OLUWOLE OLUGBEMI

    Hi Scott,
    I am a beekeeper in Nigeria with an apiary of about 2ooo hives, both kenyan top bar and Langtroth. The name of my outfits is HONEY D WORLD APICULTURAL ENTERPRISES, I produce multi flora honey, and am looking for the possibilities of acquiring more training in beekeeping in United States and exporting my product to United States of America. can you put me through via my email?

  • Scott

    So is creamed honey or whipped honey good for you? I’ve made the change from peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to organic peanut butter and whipped honey. Obviously it’s better for you than the honey in the little bear but I’m wondering if its worth to keep buying or just got for an organic honey?

  • Hi Scott:

    Creamed or whipped honey is simply a method of causing the honey to crystallize by introducing fine crystals of honey and stirring. Of course there is an art to it, some is much better than others. If the creaming is done under 95F then the honey is nutritionally identical to “uncreamed” honey. If the creamed honey is made from ‘raw’ honey then it will have the same nutritional properties as the original honey. If it is made from generic “squeezable bottle honey” from the supermarket, then it will be about as nutritious as that.

    I love creamed honey because it is less runny. And some beekeepers make truly sublime creamed honey with a “melt in your mouth” consistency that is wonderful!

    So if you are eating creamed honey only for the hope that it is somehow more healthful, then I would go back to the raw honey.

    Consider jam as an alternative to jelly too! Some jams are made from fresh berries/fruit, sweetened with honey, and not heated… which of course kills the beneficial enzymes and phytonutrients in the jam, just like in heated honey.

    …Scott

  • Hi Phil:

    There are many, many online sources to buy honey. My head is spinning at the thought of picking one over another. LOL!
    Here is one I haven’t mentioned in a while that I particularly admire for their dedication to varietal honey. http://www.beechamahoney.com Try the meadow foam, it is quite surprising.

    I buy honey from all over the world. Usually directly from the beekeepers themselves. There are literally thousands of places to buy amazing honey! But for a very unusual honey purchasing experience, try Pitcarn Island honey. Look at the bottom of the page for ordering info. Be ready to wait for your honey. It is coming from the most remote, populated island in the world. I also recommend refrigerating it when you get it.

    If you have some idea of what you would like in a honey, I would be happy to make some more recommendations.

    …Scott

  • Mr TIti Dika

    Am mrs Titi from nigerian I have good natural pure honey,I need a buyer please if you interested contact me on my mobile +2347033078969 or mail me at jacksondavid69@yahoo.com.my God bless you as you do so

  • Muhammet Adem USTA

    Hi dear honey lovers,
    I am Muhammet Adem USTA, living among the highest montains of the Black Sea coast in NE side of TURKIYE.
    My village is in SENOZ VALLEY, RIZE.
    Almost everybody living throughout SENOZ VALLEY is busy with organic chestnut honey farming.
    We are actually not so much aware of the world market though some beekeepers produces honey just for her/his own consumption.
    I would send you some analyse results of the SENOZ VALLEY CHESTNUT HONEY. It is sugar free and can also be consumed by diabetics. There is written and proved by the analyses that so much benefits been in it.
    My aim is to market the SENOZ VALLEY CHESTNUT HONEY all over the world.
    Can you please advise me what kind of certification and process is needed to be in world market.
    FACEBOOK : Muhammet Adem USTA
    TWITTER : nighty

  • Hi Muhammet:

    Your village sounds wonderful! I would love to visit some day. :)

    Selling all over the world is a good goal, but like a long journey must begin with the first step. Every country has different rules about importing honey. What country would you like to start with? The EU is quite strict about honey importing, as is Australia and New Zealand. Perhaps U.S.A would be a good place to start, since you speak English and it is a giant market. But you would need to decide.

    Also, are you thinking wholesale (to businesses) or retail (direct to consumers)? Wholesale is probably easier, you could sell you entire production in one transaction, but you can make more money in retail, but it is more difficult since you have to bottle it, market it, handle customer service etc.

    Take a look at this company as an example of retail sales model. http://www.yemensidrhoney.com/ I have purchased their honey online. It was very good.

    … Scott

  • Martin Lalfeur

    Hello Scott. I would like to know if you could recommend some of your favorite exotics. If seen in one post Sidr honey from Yemen can you suggest any other. I guess my only criteria is that I prefer comb honey but other than that I’m willing to try anything regardless the cost. The most interesting offer at my local organic store is clover honey, boring. Hope to hear from you soon, you’ve done a fantastic job with this web site very impressive.

  • Ravikant Tripathi

    Hi Sott,

    I am looking to sell indian honey in the world market, the varieties which we could provide are Multiflora, Eucalyptus, Rapeseed or Mustard, Karanj, Lychee. I could provide all the certificates approved by EIA (the certifying agency in India),as of now I have 5 FCL ready for Exports, also one question :- Do this domain carry Freelancer sales consultant in the export market who do Facilitate for sales by finding the customer for Honey Export from their own side.

    Regards
    Ravikant Tripathi
    tripathi1534@gmail.com
    00917408675496

  • huda

    hi mr. scott

    i’m offering honey from indonesian forrest. it’s pure without any chemichal addictive.
    email me if you interest with it.
    regards

    huda

    hudathekaryawan@gmail.com

  • Hi Ravikant:

    Thanks for the info! Can you tell me anything else about your honey? The season, nectar sources, etc. can you provide a photo of your location?

    I am not a honey distributor, my interest is purely personal. Other readers may be interested though!

    …Scott

  • Ron Reams

    I just purchased mountain ridge honey at Lowes food market, my question is even though it says it’s distributed out of Winston Salam NC is it local bees producing it or is it from another state. My concern is I’m building up my immune system to allergies with local honey so far. Today I saw this brand and bought it. Was it a mistake?

  • on:

    That is a good question. Unfortunately it is impossible to know without contacting the company that bottled the honey. Some bottlers and even beekeepers blend in honey from out-of-state.

    If you are buying honey for allergies, then the best course is to buy honey from a local beekeeper who can tell you about the source and also confirm that it is raw (not heated over 95F and not micro-filtered).

    …Scott

  • Praveen pathak

    Dear Sir
    I am producer of raw honey in India, can you provide or help to provide me platform to sale this on international market. please reply on my mail id

  • Phillip Island Honey

    Hi Scott, Just came across this site and after reading many of the comments, I have become amazed how little people actually know about honey and other bee products. I am a commercial beekeeper in Australia who sells all natural products… nothing added, nothing removed. I export to Asia and sell locally. I will visit your site regularly to see if I can help answer some of the questions that I have seen here. Our government has banned all imports of bees and bee produce. This is due to the threat of Varroa and other worldwide diseases. We currently are the only country without Varroa and enjoy exporting our healthy bees around the world for the purpose of pollination. We have a problem with imported chinese hunny blended with Australian honey on our supermarket shelves. And the reason is simply cost savings. To any customer, the only way to know what you are really getting is to buy from the beekeeper or to buy a beekeepers brand of honey. If the brand belongs to a packing company, then you will find it hard to know exactly what honey you are getting. Unheated, course filtered honey is best as it contains traces of pollen, which assists people with allergy relief. Heated honey destroys the good bacteria that honeys are renown for. And the reason for heating honey is to reduce the crystallizing process and enable a longer shelf life, but to also fine filter the honey to give it a clear appearance. For allergy relief, buy a local honey, non heated, course filtered and preferably a garden variety that would contain a wide variety of pollens and nectar from a variety of local plants. Bees will collect nectar and pollen from a 3km to 6km radius from the hive.

  • Hi Phillip:

    Well said! I didn’t realize that Australia had no varroa mites. That is amazing! If you feel inclined to tell us more about Australian honey I think you would find an appreciative audience.

    … Scott

  • Hi! So excited I found your site!! With flu season approaching I’m trying to find ways to increase my family’s immune system. I am making elderberry syrup which calls for raw local honey. I’m thinking of using Manuka Honey instead. My thought is that it will protect us more during flu season. Do you think this would be a good idea? I have a 2 year old and a 5 year old…is it safe for them to take medical grade manuka honey? Thanks so much for any guidance :)

  • Hi Larissa:

    Any fresh unprocessed “raw” honey taken daily should improve your kid’s immune system. See http://www.honeytraveler.com/health-properties-of-honey/. Some think that buckwheat honey is a good choice. I don’t think you need medical grade Manuka for the therapeutic results you are looking for. It is expensive I think would offer little advantage (for this purpose) over a good quality “raw” honey obtained locally.

    …Scott

  • Beverly

    I live in the United States USA. I enjoy reading your website. I am vegan and prefer RAW unprocessed honey from
    Australlia from local farmers. I am not into farmers who sell to corporations and the honey is filtered and processed.

    Where in Australlia can I buy RAW and unprocessed honey? Do they ship to USA ?

    thank you

  • Hi Martin:

    I have over 100 honeys that I regularly eat and am constantly trying new ones people send me or I buy on line or when I travel. I am a little bit of a fanatic! LOL. Some favorites, but not by any means the only honeys I would want to eat. Cretan Thyme honey, French Lavender honey, Sicilian Carob honey, Italian Strawberry Tree honey, Italian Dandelion honey, Indian Lichee Fruit honey, Pitcairn Island Honey, to name a few… if you ask me again in a month or two the list will be completely different.

    …Scott

  • Lalit

    Hi Scott, Thank you for sharing such a wonderful wealth of information on honey. I live in London and was wondering if you would like to recommend some honey brands that I could order online or buy from the stores here in London.

    You have addressed a similar question before but I’m looking for something more specific to London. My purpose of having honey is to have a serving each day with breakfast to keep myself and my family healthy and boost our immune systems.

  • Hi Lalit:

    I don’t have any particular experience buying honey in London. A quick search revealed this gem however. Next time I am in London, I plan to pay a visit to this honey store! The Hive Honey Shop

    … Scott

  • Beverly

    Scott,

    I am interested in buying RAW(unheated, no additives) and ORGANIC Honey. Need name of business in Australia that ship to USA

    Is this a hard question

  • Roncea Radu

    Hello,
    I am a beekeeper from Romania, I produced raw honey without additives, I want to sell my honey and Europe, can you help me find buyers?
    I have acacia honey, sunflower and polyfloral honey, which I can bottled according to customer requirements.
    I offer very good pricess.
    I look forward to your answers.
    Thank you!

  • Hi Roncea:

    Readers, contact Roncea if you are interested.

    …Scott

  • Karen Tan

    Hi Scott,

    I just returned from a holiday Eastern Europe & have brought back bottles of honey from the different regions I have visited. I am thinking of starting a retail business of selling different honey from all over the world but the freight cost of importing bottles of honey is a concern as I may have to price the honey at high retail prices and they may not sell well ? Any advice on this aspect ? And, are you able to introduce honey sellers to me ? thanks from Singapore !

  • Judi Castille

    Message for Roncea, We inport honey from Romania into London and are looking for local honey producers. We are looking for pure honeys, good flavour, and especially a good sunflower honey and any from pine. Please email back with your details, where in Romania, we are in Vulcea – my partner Romanian, I am English.

    Thanks

  • Nicole

    Hi Scott,

    I am in America and I asked my dad to send me some honey from my aunt which has bee farm in Germany. My dad would send the package from Germany to US.

    Could I run into problems with customs? What should I or my dad know before sending the package? Are there any websites I could read about it?

    My aunt has a legit business but did not export anything. She only sells it on the farmers market. And her honey is just the best, better than anything else you could buy and with a variety in flavor and consistence and color. Everything is natural.

    Thank you for your help.

    Nicole

  • Hi Nicole:

    I have never had any problems buying honey from all over the world and having it shipped to me in Illinois.

    I have also taken it over borders many times and have never had issues.

    Of course this honey was not for resale and in small quantities.

    Here is some information about bringing items into the USA.

    https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/83

    http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/id_visa/kbyg/send_to_us.xml

    http://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/plant_health/2012/fs_imp_food_ppq.pdf

    A simple method would be to simply mail one carefully packaged jar of honey from your aunt and see what happens.

    This would be the most expedient method in my opinion.

    …Scott

  • Hi Karen:

    That sounds like an amazing trip! In selling honey I think the most important factor is to sell the honey based upon its unique qualities and rarity in your country. In this case, price is not as important a factor as you are operating as a boutique rather than a variety store. I think a good strategy would be to identify honey lovers and gourmets and sell them different honeys as you get them in. Communicate via a newsletter. A Honey-Of-the-month club might work quite well, especially if you also provided background information about the country, flora and gastronomic details of the honey.

    …Scott

  • Larry Cole

    Here’s the website info for mountain ridge honey. The question was asked what “blended” honey meant. Is it stll pure-raw honey?
    mailto:information@goldingfarmsfoods.com

  • Lorna

    I actually like the taste of Mountain Ridge honey. It reminds me of the honey my dad harvested from trees in the wild. I don’t understand why straining the honey is such a bad thing. However, I don’t like the idea of the honey not being 100% from a single place. I am finding that honeys are like wines. It matters how the flavor was derived!

  • Mohammad Ansari

    Hello. Im from Iran Tehran. Im beekeeping. Im producer and business man. I have best honey and organic natural. I have more than of 100 tones honey that these are of mountain jungle and drugs spesial honeys. Im waiting for business with you. I have jungle honey mountain honey and mixed honey . I can give representation to you for every things example queen, hive, honey pollen peropolise royal jelly Beekeeping Supplies & …. regards Mohammad Ansari. Mohammad.ansari504@yahoo.com

  • Eduard

    Hi Scott,

    First let me congratulate you for this lovely website. Well done!
    Came across your website because I am thinking about opening a business.Still thinking about what is best retail or wholesale but first my goal is to get a good quality of honey. My prime location for the hive would be about 1000 m above sea level, in a place which combines the alpine pasture and fir forest.Lots of flowers and away from pollution(a few houses here and there, and about 3 cars in 3 miles radius – basically is quite wild). Would definitely be categories as an organic honey.Which honey is the best honey in Europe in your opinion.
    Should I start my business with 100-200 hives ? Are there particular bees that give good honey? Special things I need to bear in mind about the location?Do you know how can I get the best honey there is on the market now? I am thinking the way the honey has to be processed, maybe bees need a little bit of help(thinking about vitamins?)
    All the best

  • G McIlvain

    May I ask contributors on experience of Royal jelly. For several years in springtime I would purchase a bottle . I am not prone to colds but I would get a real runny nose likewise visits to the toilets increased like I was getting flushed out . I also got pains like neuraligia.
    This for me is powerfull stuff and I gave up.recently I thought I would try again but the bottle if something like Epis was not on sale

    Any comments

  • David. Tirop

    a David from Kenya i have bulk acacia honey i am interested in getting to market in USA please mail me on daviiirop95@yahoo.com or contact me on +254728968943

    (Marigat Honeys)

  • Geezel

    Dear Scott,

    We have a honey processing and packing factory in Iran.
    Our main activity is to export bulk honey of Iran to other countries.
    The main problem that we face is the pricing. When we find a new customer and send them the price list, they say its high, normally we quote them $8.00 per Kg. our honey is 100% natural, 15% moisture, below 5% sucrose.
    Can you help us in pricing? how much is the standard price for bulk natural honey?
    Thanks.

  • Hi Geezel:

    Here are the wholesale prices as reported monthly by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): USDA National Honey Report (PDF). Of course there may be import duties to pay as well, so you have to be aware of your competition in other countries. Unfortunately this website doesn’t show the Iranian import duties. You will have to inquire. Honey Import duties to USA

    From the National Honey Report, wholesale price for comb and retail honey imported from Turkey this year has been approximately $6.30/kilogram (this does not include CIF – cost, insurance and frieght although this price is also shown in the report).

    …Scott

  • Abdul Ghani

    Mr scott

    I want 100% natural honey in yangon if u have any contact plz mail me

  • Hi Abdul:

    I don’t sell honey, but perhaps someone from Yangon will respond.

    …Scott

  • Stephanie

    Hi :) I was wondering if you know anything about ‘Buram’ honey? It says that it’s pure bee honey, and the comb is inside the jar. It’s also imported from Turkey. I’m just not completely sure it’s absolutely raw honey, with nothing added or taken out. The nutrition facts say that it has 16g of sugar, not sure if that’s ‘added’ sugar or its maybe just the sugar content of the honey?
    So yeah, thank you for your time : )

  • Hi Stephanie:

    I think you are referring to Buram Honey, a company started in Turkey, and now with a bottling plant in Germany. You can be quite sure if the honey is in the comb, then it is pure, unprocessed, raw honey. If the comb is floating in a jar of honey, then only the honey in the comb would be raw. You can’t really tell about the honey outside of the comb. If it doesn’t say unprocessed, raw, or unheated then it probably isn’t.

    The sugar content refers to the amount of sugar in 1 Tbsp of honey. This is pretty much standard for all honey – approximately 17 grams/tablespoon.

    …Scott

  • ali kwame

    What can you tell me about african honey,if you have any expertise in that field it would be nice to know. Thanks

  • Hi Ali:

    Africa has many nations with many types of nectariferous flora and therefore many types of honey. Generally speaking, most beekeeping is for local sale and consumption. Therefore little is known about it. Some African honey is exported and efforts are being made to help people support themselves through beekeeping. Bees Abroad is a great example of an organization helping people sustain themselves through beekeeping. It is working with, or has inquiries from community groups in Kenya, Uganda, Cameroon, Nepal, Ghana, Nigeria, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Sierra Leone.

    I am visiting Africa this fall for 2-3 months and as I learn more, I hope to share it here on HoneyTraveler.com.

    …Scott

  • Jastini

    My name is Jastin from EAST AFRICA- TANZANIA – NATURAL HONEY FROM TANZANIA. IF YOUR INTERESTED CONTACT ME universalj6@yahoo.com.
    Mr Scott please you may direct so people to contact with me by email then after i can send my send my phone number for more detail.

  • Nani

    Hi Scott,

    Thank you for the valuable info on honey. Do knou know by any chance where I can find natural unpasteurized honey wholesale,either in Europe or Africa?

    Thank you.

    Nani

  • PETER NDEGWA

    Thank you for your insights on honey.Kindly hook me up with NANI,who wanys honey from Africa or Europe. Am a member of a small C.B.O.in Kenya that deals in indegnious forests preservation through beekeeping.
    warm regards.

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