Texas-based Huney.net Raw Honey Varietals

Hi, my name is Joely Rogers and I am the president of huney.net, LLC, an online honey store that showcases unique raw honey varietals from the regional United States. I formed my company in 2012 after falling in love with honey and honeybees during a nine-month apprenticeship with a former beekeeper who taught me how to make honeywine (mead).

Since huney.net is based in Dallas, our honey selection is Texas-centric and includes five unique Texas varietals – Cotton, Huajillo, Wildflower, Sweet Clover, and Tallow Tree honey. Today I’d like to tell you a little about each of these Texas honeys.

Cotton – straight from the cotton fields of west Texas, this honey is naturally crystallized and spreadable like butter. It is very sweet with a mild creamy flavor and a clean, fresh smell. My favorite way to eat it is cotton honey and peanut butter sandwiches.

Huajillo – this honey comes from the huajillo plant, a shrub in the acacia family native to the southwestern United States. It has a deeply sweet taste with a delicate floral smell. Drizzle it over sopapillas or use it as a glaze for baked pork chops.

Texas Wildflower – in springtime the grasslands of Texas are covered with plethora of wildflowers such as bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, pink evening primrose, and horsemint. The bees forage for nectar and pollen from these flowers creating a flavorful uniquely Texas honey. Use it in place of the sugar in pecan pie recipes.

Sweet Clover – a beautifully clear honey made from north central Texas sweet clover blossoms. It is intensely sweet with a fragrant herbal smell. I like to use it as a dip for fried chicken.

Tallow Tree – a rich, spicy honey from the gulf coast of Texas. The tallow tree, also known as the popcorn tree, is a favorite of beekeepers in the south central and southeastern United States because of its abundant nectar flows. Pour it over French toast sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg.

In addition to our Texas varietals, we also carry Buckwheat, Sourwood, and Orange Blossom honey. We ship to all 48 continental United States and offer local pick-up at our Dallas facility. For more information visit https://www.huney.net, email [email protected], or call 469-834-0838.

Joely Rogers contacted me about mentioning her company on honeytraveler.com. I asked her to write up a description of the types of honey she produces. She promptly replied with this wonderful description. Please let us know if you try her honey, and what you think.

Indiana State Fair - A Palette of Honey

Delicious local honey is usually found during a pleasant drive in the country to visit a local market or roadside stand. But honey found this way offers little diversity of flavor as it comes from within a limited area. I wondered if I could get a wider selection at a state fair. I decided to visit the Indiana State Fair after a close look at their website. I’d also found a reference to a special honey ice cream made by the Indiana Beekeeper’s Association that was rumored to be available there.

As I drove south to the fair, I wondered how much focus would be paid to honey when compared to Indiana’s major agricultural focus of corn, popcorn, peppermint, chickens and ice cream.

As it turned out, even as a relatively small part of Indiana’s overall agricultural focus, it enjoys strong support and prominence because bees provide valuable pollination services, honey is a valued product and from my personal perspective, bees and honey are fun.

The fair was bigger than I’d imagined. It took me quite a while to find the building where the honey competition had been held, but once inside, the display of honey competitors was impressive. The darker honeys are grouped in the amber category and the light honey in the light category.
Honey Competition: Results – Agricultural/Horticulture – Apiary – (unofficial)
Category A (From honey exhibited and for sale at the fair – Cannot enter honey in category B) – Light Extracted Honey
1st – Phillip Juengel
2nd – Tracy Hunter
3rd – Duane Rekeweg
Category A – Amber Extracted Honey
1st – Duane Rekeweg
2nd – Tracy Hunter
3rd – Phillip Juengel
Category A – Chunk Honey, 24 – 1 lb jars
1st – Duane Rekeweg
2nd – Phillip Juengel
3rd – Tracy Hunter
Category A – Creamed Honey, 24 – 1 lb jars
1st – Duane Rekeweg
2nd – Tracy Hunter
3rd – Phillip Juengel
Category B – Light Extracted Honey
1st – John Hopwood
Category B – Amber Extracted Honey
1st – Skip and Luann Wile
2nd – Andrew Cook
Champion (Most total points in category B entries) – Category B
1st – Skip and Luann Wile
Grand Champion (Best single category B entry) – Category B Entry
1st – Skip and Luann Wile

The Indiana Beekeepers’ Association General store had honey and bee products from many beekeepers across the state. Notice the honey ice cream for sale!

The range of honey and bee products was staggering.

The best part of the store was the “try before you buy” free tasting. The range of flavors was impressive!

The ISBA also gave a series of presentations and information about beekeeping of great interest to visitors and future ‘beeks’ (beekeeping slang for ‘beekeepers’).

Tracy Hunter and his son, Ross pose in their booth. Ross is the 4th generation in the family honey business. Offering many different varieties of honey including, alfalfa, basswood, buckwheat, orange blossom, thistle, blueberry, spanish needle, goldenrod, sourwood and watermelon blosssom.

My haul of honey from left to right, mountain sourwood, watermelon blossom, alfalfa, creamed honey, thistle, multifloral and locust! I am still enjoying each and every one.

And the honey ice cream? I bought some pre-made honey but found this recipe over by the beekeeping booth. Let me know what you think!

Reference, Further Reading
Indiana Beekeeper’s Association Facebook
Apiary-Bees Honey Indiana State Fair Competition Rules 2012 (PDF)
Indiana Beekeepers’ Association, Inc.
Hunter Honey Indiana

Honey Competiton at the Morton Arboretum

Honey Competition in the Sequoia Room at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois, USA on October 7, 2010. Judged by Maggie Wachter of Senior Honey (on the right).

Thirteen entries. The first batch judged was the light, then amber and dark honeys. Initial observations were written on cards for each entry. Once all criteria was measured, the data was transferred to scorecard and added up.

The bottles must be absolutely clean. No fingerprints or smudges. Each entry has three bottles. All three must be perfect. Marks are determined by the poorest of the three. The flashlight is used to check the clarity of the honey, looking for particles. In a large show this is the first item checked in the culling process.

Check the jar lid, this must be spotless. The bottles must be filled to the fill line. Inside the rim must be clean, no wax particles, no bee parts, dust, foam or bubbles (of any size), some people pop any wayward bubbles with a toothpick prior to the competition.

Checking the moisture content of the honey with a refractometer.  15.1 to 17.5% is the target. Over 18.6% is a fail.

Taking notes on each honey. Aroma must have no chemical smell, including windex used to clean the outside of the bottle. No smoke or fermentation.

Light Liquid Honey winners. First place garnered 99/100 points! An excellent honey.
1st place: Rich Herout
2nd place: James Belli
3rd place: Corky Schnadt

Complete list of winners – Thanks to all competitors!
1st place: Rich Herout
2nd place: James Belli
3rd place: Corky Schnadt

1st place: Corky Schnadt
2nd place: Rich Herout
3rd place: James Belli

1st place: James Belli
2nd place: Charles Lorence
3rd place: Chris Albert

1st place: James Belli
2nd place: Rich Herout
3rd place: Charles Lorence

BEST IN SHOW: James Belli