Frequently Asked Questions
Why does honey crystallize?
The processes in which I use to obtain the honey from the honeycombs and into the jar is a relatively simple one. Once the honey is extracted it is gently heated to 38⁰C to allow it to filter easily without damaging the honey, it is then left for between 24 – 48 hours to settle and then poured into the jars. 38⁰C occurs naturally within the hive and gives you the customer the convenience of raw runny honey in a jar with the same quality as in the honeycomb. The drawback is that less processed and coarsely filtered honey is more prone to crystallization.
Honey produced on a commercial scale is typically heated to a higher temperature so it can be pressure filtered through very fine filters. This overheating will destroy the natural enzymes and yeasts within the honey and the fine filtering will remove all wax and pollen particles from the honey. At this point the ‘honey’ is essentially dead but it leaves a perfectly clear product that will not crystallize easily. This is not a criticism on the commercial producers as they are only doing these processes to supply the huge public demand for runny honey. In my opinion this honey is only a shadow of the original product before these processes.
Crystallized honey is perfectly safe to eat and in itself demonstrates the quality of the product. Another way the beekeeper can deal with crystallization is by controlling the crystallization process and turning the runny honey into softset/creamed honey. A butter like consistency is achieved by gently stirring the raw honey as it starts to crystallise. The end product is a luxurious creamy smooth honey with the same nutritional benefits as raw runny honey.
Why do I not treat my bees?
I am cautious of putting any type of chemical, anti biotic or organic acids into the hive as this has a negative effect on the health of the colony over time and could potentially end up with traces of these in the honey. Beeswax is an oily substance and absorbs chemicals easily, this build up of chemicals over time can even cause queen and drone infertility while also shortening the worker bees life. I try to selectively breed from my most hardy stocks of bees so that I never need to treat my bees. Chemicals are a short term solution but breeding resistance lasts and these genetics are shared throughout the apiary.
Why do I not artificially feed my bees?
I strongly believe in ethical farming practices and therefore I leave the bees an adequate amount of their own honey to sustain the hive throughout the year and only then take off any surplus. I could take off most of their honey harvest and artificially feed them sugar syrup or candy but I feel if this was as good we would not prize honey so highly and eat sugar syrup ourselves. The best food for healthy strong bees is their own honey and pollen which they have worked hard collecting.
Why buy my honey?
If you would like to support bees the best way is to purchase locally produced honey. I feel my honey is fairly priced for the level of quality I am offering. My ethical and sustainable beekeeping methods, ensures the uniqueness of my product guaranteeing that every product produced is exquisite.