We’re the first to give a big “hoo-rah” for honey: it soothes sore throats, diminishes allergies and even serves as a natural antibiotic. Those adorable squeeze-bears filled with our favorite golden treat are easy to snatch off the shelves and take home for a multitude of uses. But even the most avid honey lovers, like us, have to be smarter than the average bear when it comes to ensuring the honey we buy is the real deal.
The typical grocery store honey is the first place to be somewhat speculative. Its origin is rarely stated, it can have added sweeteners, and most of the time, the majority of it has been highly processed, leaving behind precious minerals and enzymes. All of these factors call into question whether or not the “honey” you’re buying is as beneficial as it could be.
Luckily, the plight of the bees has brought some attention to their by-product, making it easier than ever to find locally-sourced, pure honey.
Given the wide range of options that are popping up, when it comes to buying honey, local is best — plain and simple. Typically available in farmers markets and small health food shops, local, raw honey contains the pollen that’s said to help with allergies on top of all of its other benefits.
If you’re in a pinch for time and have to buy from a big chain store, there are a few ways to tell if your honey is the real deal:
Still not sure? Take matters into your own hands and test your honey at home with these simple tests:
If you’re thinking it may just be a better option to go directly to the source… bee the source!
Flow-Hive was designed to bring bee-keeping to the average person. After its record-breaking Indiegogo campaign, it’s clear that there’s a demand amongst honey-lovers for some home-grown authenticity.
The small-scale design of the Flow-Hive allows for easy honey collection, so there’s no need for massive bee-keeping suits. By having a mini hive of your own, it just takes a simple crank for pure, homemade honey to come flowing out. Learn more here about how Flow-Hive works.
While there are some concerns over bringing bee-keeping to the public in a plastic hive, it does increase awareness of how beneficial pure, straight-from-the-source honey is, and encourages average people to learn more about keeping and protecting bees.
Here in San Diego, we have Girl Next Door Honey Hilary Kearney, who is more than just a raw and local honey maker — she’s integrating bees into the local ecosystem through a network of backyard hives. The bees in her network live as they would naturally and their benefits reach more people than they could on their own. Hilary and her team’s hope is that the backyard hives will facilitate a dialogue amongst neighbors, friends and family, as well as the community, about the importance of bees.
Girl Next Door Honey offers raw, natural, uber-local honey, beekeeping classes and workshops, one-on-one consulting, a host-a-hive program, and provides local bee removals. Kearney, a San Diego Native, began her beekeeping journey in 2008 and hasn’t looked back since.
Whether you’re sourcing honey yourself or buying it as part of your weekly shopping regimen, do yourself a favor and find the real thing in order to reap the total rewards honey has to offer.