Tagged "Honey Facts"

Real Versus Fake Honey


In an interesting article written by Food Safety News, they tested honey from major grocery stores all over the U.S. and found that 75% of the honey tested contained no pollen in it. The problem with this is that most world food safety agencies state that honey that contains no pollen is not true honey. NPR’s food blog, the salt, posted a rebuttal to this article stating that some honey companies choose to ultra filter their honey to remove the pollen to keep their honey from crystallizing. Therefore, the pollen test is not a fair way to test whether honey is really honey.

What is Ultra Filtering?

Ultra filtering is a high-tech procedure where honey is heated, sometimes watered down and then forced at high pressure through extremely small filters to remove pollen, which is the only foolproof sign identifying the source of the honey. It is a spin-off of a technique refined by the Chinese, who have illegally dumped tons of their honey – some containing illegal antibiotics – on the U.S. market for years.” -Food Safety News.

What's our take on all this?

Honey is nectar from flowers mixed with bee enzymes and pollen. When you pasteurize honey, the enzymes are killed. When you ultra filter honey, the pollen is removed. What you are left with is not honey, but a sugar syrup variation of honey.

How to know what's in your honey

Buying organic honey, raw honey and/or local honey is always the best way to go. “Raw” is the term beekeepers use to let the consumer know their honey has not been pasteurized or ultra filtered. If you’re not sure if the honey is raw or had the pollen filtered out, contact the company and ask them. Most beekeepers are happy to explain how they harvest their honey.

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Raw Hawaiian Honey Versus Processed Honey

The attached audio news report, which Brownfield Ag News has generously allowed us to use, provides an excellent summary of the benefits of raw honey, and an interesting anecdote about raw honey found in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs.

Our Hawaiian organic Lehua honey, organic Wilelaiki honey, and Macadamia blossom honey, are all raw honeys.

In the near future, we plan on broadcasting videos demonstrating the difference between raw and processed honeys. In the meantime, please listen to this informative report:

Raw Honey

For the full article please see:


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Honey Quality: Do You Know What Your Bees Are Eating?

Most of us have heard the old adage: You are what you eat. And many people recognize that the quality of meat and dairy products is directly related to how animals are raised and what they eat. But did you know the quality of honey is also predominately influenced by what bees eat?

We are fortunate in Hawaii to be able to produce honey year-round, in three separate seasons, during which our bees collect and consume the nectar from one type of blossom: Macadamia Nut Blossom during winter; Ohia-Lehua Blossom during spring; and Wilelaiki Blossom in autumn.

But what about between these honey flows? What do the bees eat then?

Our practice is to leave each hive with about 20 to 30 pounds of honey to consume between honey flows. In addition, we reserve 5 percent of each hive’s production of honey as a backup food supply.

While feeding bees honey might sound obvious, many commercial beekeepers use sugar-water and corn syrup substitutes, either because they are less expensive or they don’t have the benefit of managing in an area with year-round operations.

We believe that only using nectar and honey to feed our bees produces healthier bees and better honey.
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Summer Vacationing to Hawaii-Do You Know How to Travel with Your Honey?

As a reminder, we’ve been told informally that Big Island Bees’ honey is one of the most frequently confiscated items for travelers returning to the mainland from Hawaii. We receive a number of emails from vacationers about confiscated honey, including a honeymooner checking on the cost of mailing replacement Wilelaiki blossom honey to Australia , because TSA wouldn’t let her honey make the trip back with her.

Please remember that honey is considered a liquid subject to the TSA’s 3 ounce rule and, unless purchased at the airport, should be packed in checked luggage only.
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Lehua Honey is for Lovers

Lehua blossom on Ohia tree
The Lehua blossom, the source of Ohia-Lehua honey, inspired an Hawaiian legend of love and fidelity and is based on the story of two Hawaiian lovers, prince Ohia and princess Lehua, and their commitment to one another. Ohia-Lehua honey is a popular wedding favor in Hawaii and is an inspired gift for any romantic occasion. For a more complete complete discussion of the legend, and to learn why picking a Lehua blossom allegedly causes rain, see our Lehua page.
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