Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. This is called crystallization. Because honey is a sugar, it sets up a sugar crystal when it gets too cold. Gently warming the honey back up will melt the crystals back into a liquid honey. If you have time, placing the honey jars in strong sunlight usually does the trick. If you're in a hurry, put the honey in a glass jar, and place it in a pan with an inch of water on a low stove.
Honey's color, flavor, and consistency depends on the type of flower the bees visit. Honey from sage is much darker and thicker than honey from clover. They each have a distinct and wonderful flavor.
Yes! Honey can last forever if it's kept dry. Archaeologists have even found good honey in the Egyptian pyramids! Check out this National-Geographic article!
We don't. The bees do! The nectar from each type of flower is different, so when bees visit different types of flowers, they make different flavors of honey. We are able to 'sort' the honey by collecting from bees in different locations.
Yes, every bee has a name that we call back to the hive. Just kidding :)!
Since bees navigate by using the position of the sun (check out the bee dance!), the bees return back to their hive when the sun goes down. So when we need to move hives, we pick them up at night with a forklift, and put them on a semi-truck with a large net. From the bee's perspective, its a cloudy day (from inside the net) with a 50 mile/hour wind (from the truck moving), so they stay inside until they arrive.
This is our favorite question! We're making a video on this, but the short answer goes like this: the bees fill frames with honey, we take these frames and run them through a special centrifuge called a honey extractor, where the honey gets thrown out of the frames and pumped into barrels. From there, the honey is packed into beautiful little jars for our delight.
Get it directly from a reputable beekeeper. China has been dumping fake honey (corn syrup, rice syrup, etc.) into the market at an irresistible price for many honey packers - this gets bottled and sold to your local grocery store. Read this blog post for more information.
They are dying. Why? In short, because of modern farming practices. If you eat junk food every day, you get sick easily. When you're sick, you might blame it on a cold, but it's more of an excuse. Read this blog post for more information. In the past few years, the average national loss for beekeepers has gone from around 8% to over 40% of their hives every year. Think about if this were cows and you had 1,000 of them.
It's a process called 'splitting' the bees. We're writing a blog post about it here.
Every hive has a scent of its own. Kinda like when you go to your neighbor's place, and it smells a little different than yours. Bees have an incredible sense of smell (better than a blood hound!). So to keep bees from other hives from stealing their honey (beekeepers call this 'robbing'), each hive will have guard bees placed at the entrance to keep out bees with the wrong smell.
Insert medical, doctor, liability clause here... you know the one. Yes. But it takes a while, and only if it's local. Basically, allergies are an immune response - your immune system doesn't recognize the air-born pollen, and starts fighting it. By taking pollen orally, your immune system can get to know the pollen, and start recognizing it as benign. After the two become a little more acquainted, they decide they can be friends.