There is no 100% sure definition of raw and unfiltered. Our interpretation: Hives keep their brood boxes at a comfortable 90-110 degrees. The frames where the honey is stored can reach up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. While we gently warm the honey to 90-110 degrees to re-liquefy and keep it flowing freely during the bottling process, these temperatures mimic those of the hive and do not cook the honey.
Properly sealed and stored honey can remain edible for years, even centuries. During storage, honey can become susceptible to physical and chemical changes which tend to cause it to darken, lose its aroma and flavor or crystallize. These temperature related changes make it difficult to pinpoint an expiration date. Two years is often stated as the shelf life.
Crystallization is the natural process where the sugars within honey begin to separate causing the honey to harden and no longer flow like a liquid. It is a natural process and one of the amazing characteristics of honey.
We recommend gently heating the sealed bottle in a hot water bath. Bring up the heat to 90 degrees (approximately the temperature of the hive) to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. We do not recommend heating in the microwave as it will cook the honey and melt plastic bottles.
Honey’s flavor, like wine, is greatly affected by location and weather but the majority of difference in taste comes from the variety of nectar the bees have collected. Honey made from a single pollen source ( Blackberry, Orange Blossom, Sage…) will taste dramatically different from honey made from many pollen sources (“wildflower”). The variety of nectars also make the color of honey differ from a clear light yellow to a very dark syrupy color.
We do not recommend storing honey in a refrigerator. Low temperatures can cause honey to granulate more quickly and increase the possibility of added moisture which can cause honey to ferment. We recommend storing honey in a kitchen cabinet or in any dry place.
Honey is naturally sweeter than granulated sugar so you’ll use less to achieve the same sweetness. You can substitute honey for up to half of the granulated sugar in any recipe. When baking you’ll want to reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees Farenheit to reduce over darkening; reduce liquids by ¼ cup for each cup of honey used; add ½ teaspoon of baking soda for each cup of honey used.
To identify different nectar sources, we use a few different methods in conjunction. First, we know what type of plants and trees are in the area and when they should produce nectar. Second, we can see honey bees visiting flowers and during hive inspections we can see new nectar being collected. When inspecting a hive, new nectar will fall out of a frame if shaken. We will give an uncapped honey frame a quick shake over the hive, and based upon the amount of nectar that falls out, we know how strong of a nectar flow the apiary currently has. Finally, since each nectar has a unique taste and color, we do a visual and flavor test.
First, we identify and separate frames in each hive that are mostly capped, indicating a completed transition from nectar to honey. Separated frames are then transported to our honey house. Once in the honey house, frames are decapped and placed in our honey extractor. The honey extractor uses centrifugal force to separate the honey from the frame by spinning the frames very quickly. Once honey is extracted, we immediately transfer it to our bottling tank or we put it in barrels to bottle at a later date.
The primary reason we only bottle varietals in glass bottles is to reduce the amount of plastic containers we use. We also believe glass bottles preserve the flavor of the varietal honey better and are much easier to re-liquefy honey once they granulate.
Since we are a food product, we do not generally accept returns for honey purchases. That being said, if you have a problem with your order or questions, we encourage you to email email@example.com and we will do our best to do right by our customers.
We currently offer free shipping on orders of $20 or more and standard shipping rates apply to orders under $20. We also offer free market pickup on orders of any size. The market pickup option is available once you begin the checkout process online. Market Pickup is available at any farmers’ market we attend and a full list is available on our Market page.
We try to process and ship orders the same day if possible. We are a small company, however, and sometimes, if we are at markets or if it is a busy time for our beekeeping operations, fulfillment can take up to a couple days.
We try our best to package orders as safely as possible but sometimes accidents happen in transit. If you have a problem with any products that have been shipped, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to correct the situation.