4 Reasons to Always Buy Honey From Your Local Beekeeper
A few weeks ago, and for the first time in almost two years, I bought a jar of honey from the supermarket. Up until that point, I had been well-provided for by a small, family-run beekeeping business in the small university town where I lived. The biyearly harvests and relatively low demand meant that not only was there always honey to be had when I came knocking, but that it even overflowed into the following year.
You’ll notice I’m speaking in the past tense. That’s because much has changed, both for me personally as well as for my beekeeper friends. As for me, I’ve completed the master’s degree I’ve been pursuing for the past three years and promptly moved out of said small university town. In itself, this is not necessarily a huge impediment to continue getting that quality honey, but it certainly made it less convenient.
The bigger change, and main reason why I’m forced to use the past tense, is that the honey stopped flowing. That is to say, for reasons I won’t get into here, of which some are personal and others that remain unknown to me, the local beekeeping business, which has kept me well-supplied with sweet molten gold for the past two years, has come to an abrupt end.
And so, this got me thinking the other day about all the reasons I decided to start getting locally sourced honey in the first place, why I believe these reasons remain just as valid, and how others may find them to be so as well.
The honey we get at the supermarket goes through a few processing steps on its way from the hive frame to the store shelf. While this is also true of smaller-scale operations, like your friendly neighborhood beekeeper, not all processing is equally harmless.
After the frames are taken out of the hives, the wax caps covering the cells are lopped off, allowing the honey to ooze out. To accelerate this process and enable a thorough extraction, the frames are placed in extractors that spin them at high speeds, generating the centripetal force which hurls the honey out and into the awaiting containers. The Honey will then be stirred to prevent the build-up of sugar crystals. Without this, it would…