Frequently asked questions

General Questions

1Does the Beekeeper get stung often?
Out in the apiary beestings are expected. We try to breed bees with a gentle temperament so they are not bad tempered when the hives are handled. However, sometimes the bees are not happy that you are robbing their spoils and will manage to sneak a sting in even with protective gear on!
2How to store honey?
Store honey at room temperature – your kitchen counter or pantry shelf is ideal. Storing honey in the refrigerator accelerates the honey’s crystallization. If your honey crystallizes, simply place the honey jar in warm water and stir until the crystals dissolve, or place the honey container into near boiling water that has been removed from the heat: 1. Bring a pan of water to a boil 2. Turn off the heat 3. Place the honey container in the water with cap open 4. Leave until both have cooled 5. Repeat as needed
3Does honey have a use by date?
No, honey is the only food that does not spoil. Bacteria cannot grow in honey so it lasts forever. Honey has been found in the Egyptian tombs and was still edible 1000’s of years later.
4Why do bees collect honey?
Bees collect nectar from flowers and transport it back to the hive in their honey stomach. In the gut the sugars are converted and honey is created. Honeybees collect as much honey as they can when the flowers are blossoming. They store it in the hive in wax cells and eat it when they are hungry. The hive is their pantry of food.
5What is pollen and how does it help Hay Fever?
Bees gather pollen by coming into contact with the stamens of flowers. The pollen grains stick to the bees body hair, they then scrape and pack the pollen grains into their “pollen baskets” which are located on their legs. Bee pollen is a high natural source of protein and it an important part of their diet. It has been reputed that a natural way to desensitize yourself to pollen in the air is by eating pollen. Consider purchasing pollen from your local area as this will help as a "desensitizer." We are most likely to suffer hay fever and sinusitis symptoms from the pollens which we are exposed to the most i.e. pollen from your local area. By eating this pollen, your immune system should eventually get used to the pollen in the air. Consequently, it may be possible to avoid hay fever and sinusitis symptoms by eating local pollen. Asthma sufferers should first check whether they are allergic to pollen as a severe reaction may result.
6What is Propolis?
Propolis is a natural product of the beehive which is made up of resins collected by the bees from leaf buds and the bark of trees. This is then mixed with beeswax and enzymes from the bee. The properties of propolis include antibiotic, anti-bacterial, anti-septic, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and aesthetic. Propolis is rich in a certain group of antioxidants called flavonoids (also known as bioflavonoids). Flavonoids are powerful free-radical scavengers that give strong support to the human body’s natural immune system at the cellular level and assist with cell regeneration.


Crstallization and Granulation

1What is crystallization?
Crystallization or granulation is a natural process that occurs in honey. It does not indicate spoilage. In fact this is nature’s way to preserve honey. Honey is a supersaturated sugar solution out of which the glucose tends to crystallize. Honey is produced from various types of flower and blossoms. Some honeys crystallize quickly – others much slower.
2Can I prevent the crystallization of my honey?
Some preventative measures may be taken, including: (1) Storing your honey at room temperature will deter crystallization. Crystallization occurs most rapidly at cool temperatures (40º - 57ºF) therefore honey should never be stored in the refrigerator. (2) Preventing absorption of atmospheric moisture by tightly closing containers during storage. (3) Do not contaminate the honey with toast crumbs etc. (4) Use more honey! As honey ages, it will start to crystallize.
3My honey has crystallized. Do I need to throw it away?
No. Crystallization can be reversed by heating. The primary means to heat the honey to remove the crystals is to place the honey container in a warm water bath for a period of time to return the crystals to liquid.


Health & Nutrition

1Honey & Allergens
Honey is a wholesome product created in a natural process by honey bees from the nectar of various flowers. Honey, when not fully processed, may contain residual proteins containing pollen from the plants the bees have visited. Proteins are associated with most true food allergies, and are found in peanuts, soybeans, milk, eggs, fish crustacea, tree nuts and wheat. Honey itself contains very little protein. The major components of honey are simple sugars.
2Is Honey Gluten Free?
Honey does not contain gluten. Honey is a wholesome product made by honey bees from the nectar of various flowers. The nectar, from which the honey is produced, does not contain any gluten. It is a pure product with no additives. Gluten comes from wheat, rye, barley & oats.
3Honey & Trans Fat
Honey is a wholesome product produced by bees from the nectar of flowers. Honey is predominantly carbohydrate and does not contain any fat. Because no fat is present, there can be no trans fat.
4What is Organic Honey
Organic honey must come from organic bees. Hives that have existing honey in them are forbidden to become organic. Organic honey must be produced from naturally foraging bee colonies that are located at least 2 miles (straight-line flight) from any source that could cause the honey to contain pesticides or herbicides. Within this 2 mile radius no pesticides or herbicides may be used, and must not have had any chemical application in the previous 3 years. Feeding of bees is prohibited. If feeding is necessary to prevent starvation, the honey produced is not organic. Hives need to have all of their parts (supers, queen excluders, etc.) numbered to prevent accidental use in non organic hives. All hive parts must be made of wood. Comb foundations must be made from organic beeswax. The extraction facility must be certified organic.