Honey

 

Most honey produced in Canada comes from huge fields of flowering monoculture like clover, canola, blueberries and alfalfa.  In contrast, much of Salt Spring Island is forested and, therefore, the number of flowers available to bees is much less, so Salt Spring bees collect honey from wildflowers and blooming trees instead.

 

This means that Salt Spring Island bees don’t make much surplus honey, but it also means that their honey and pollen is not as exposed to all of the harmful things that come along with modern intensive farming.

 

Island Bees honey is raw, unfiltered and collected entirely from flowers on Salt Spring Island.  You may find it is not as clear as regular store-bought honey and it may have occasional specks of hive materials that you would not see in honey that is more refined and processed.  All the enzymes, propolis, and pollen grains are retained, so Island Bees honey is in the same state as you would find it naturally in the beehive.

  • Can I expect liquid honey to stay liquid and what can I do if it does granulate?

    Most honey granulates eventually and, depending on the source of the honey, it might take a month or it might take years.  For example, Maple blossom honey stays liquid much longer than other types of honey.  If your honey granulates, that does not mean it is going bad.  Many people prefer granulated honey to liquid honey and in most cases granulated honey is soft enough to be spreadable.

    If you still want to melt your honey, you can put it in hot water (maximum of 37C) to bring it back to liquid with minimal change in taste or aroma.  If you put honey in the microwave or in boiling water you are almost certainly going to see some decrease in enzymes, flavour and aroma.

  • What does the term "raw honey" mean?

    Raw honey means honey as you would find it in the beehive. Raw honey is never heated to temperatures hotter than the bees would naturally experience it in their hive environment.  Honey not marked as raw honey is frequently heated before putting through a fine filter to make it look more appealing.  That means that you can expect raw honey not to be as clear as honey that has had all of the pollen and propolis filtered out.  High heat and filtration tend to extend the amount of time honey takes to granulate, so you can expect raw honey to possibly granulate a little faster.

  • What does the batch and source information on the label actually mean?

    Island Bees honey comes in small batches with each batch having a different floral source, aroma, moisture content, and color.  The batch and source information on the label helps us keep track of various details about that particular jar of honey, including where on Salt Spring Island it was collected.

  • How do you have fresh honey to sell all year round?

    We bottle and freeze our honey at -18C shortly after extracting it. Freezing stops the honey from granulating and keeps it smelling and tasting fresh. If you are not going to use your honey right away, ask us to sell you frozen honey and you can store it in your own freezer until you need it. Keep in mind that we freeze our honey without the label because the resulting condensation damages the label.