Monday, May 21, 2012

Know Your Beekeeper


My Honey Bees
Aren’t my honey bees adorable? You can see the various colors of pollen and the nectar stored in the cells. Eventually they will cap these with wax and it will be honey. The grey pollen is probably from blackberries. I observed a bumblebee pollinating the asparagus and it had such bright orange pollen sacs. I’m not sure if asparagus is the origin of the orange pollen in these cells, though.   

I recently purchased a jar of honey from a local produce stand. I didn’t pay much attention to the label other than it supposedly sourwood honey and it was produced in Asheville. It is the wrong time of year to purchase fresh honey, so this honey is from last year. I know most of the local beekeepers, but I do not know the people who have the bees which made this particular honey. I tried a spoonful as soon as I brought it home, but it doesn’t taste like the honey I’m used to. I did a little research about who the beekeepers are and discovered that there were many complaints about the honey. It turns out the label says “Packed for” which can mean it is not local honey or even sourwood honey. I don’t know of any beekeeper that has someone else pack honey for them. It would be somewhat of an inconvenience to ship the honey away just to have someone else put it in bottles when most beekeepers have their own extracting equipment. In the case of the beekeeping club I belong to, the extracting equipment is available for a small fee.

Moral of the story: Know your beekeeper.

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