Brookside Bees Honey
We are very particular about our honey. We at Brookside Bees believe that honey should be pure, raw, and unfiltered. These terms are not regulated and there is a lot of “honey” sold in stores that use those terms to describe their honey. According to an article in “Food Safety News” in 2011, most honey sold in stores is not real honey. We typically harvest honey once a year, in mid-July or early August. This is the time of the season when the major nectar flow has ended. Honey that the bees store later in the season often is much darker and stronger in flavor, and we leave that in the hive for the bees to eat in the winter when no forage is available.
We strain honey at harvest time. This means we use a coarse strainer that removes things like bits of wax and the occasional bee wing or leg. We are careful not to use anything that might remove pollen from our honey.
All honey will crystallize at some time after it is removed from the hive. The time depends on the floral content, but honey sold in stores that never crystallizes has been processed is some way that effectively
damages the good properties of honey. When our honey crystallizes before it is sold, I gently warm it at just a few degrees above the temperature required to break down the glucose crystals. The term “raw” refers to the lack of heat applied to honey. A lot of the honey sold in stores has actually been pasteurized which retards crystallization, but kills all the beneficial enzymes in raw honey.
Our honey is pure. It has nothing added to it and has nothing taken away. When the weather is humid sometimes the bees cap honey around 19%. We make sure that that our honey meets the USDA requirement of 18.6% moisture content so sometimes we do need to evaporate out a bit of excess moisture.
We define “local” honey as honey that is consumed in the same eco-region in which it was made. Often you will see honey on store shelves that says it is “local” but it may be extracted from hives in another region of the state. To make sure that your honey contains the same pollens in it that you see in the flowers in your area, you should buy honey made by bees in the same area. There are roughly 12 major eco-regions in Texas and we will be glad to discuss whether our honey is suitable to meet your needs.