Frequently Asked Questions

ASK US ABOUT SAVANNAH BEE HONEY:

My honey is crystallizing in the jar.  What does that mean?

It's perfectly normal for honey to crystallize, it only means that the honey is higher in dextrose than in fructose.

All honey is primarily comprised of two types of sugar:  glucose and fructose.  Honeys highest in fructose rarely crystallize, like Tupelo Honey and Black Sage Honey.  Honeys higher in glucose have a stronger tendency to crystallize over time.  It’s perfectly normal and natural, and does not affect the flavor.  To store honey where it is least likely to crystallize, place in a room temperature spot, or in a warm kitchen window.  To re-liquefy your honey, place the tightly sealed jar into a container of warm water for 20 minutes, or run under a hot tap.  The honey will gently liquefy.  Remember that our creamed Winter White honey is meant to be fully crystallized, so store in a cooler location, but do not refrigerate.

Honeycomb is the most delicious allergy remedy around!

How should I store my honey/honeycomb? The best place for our raw honeycomb is in a room temperature cabinet or countertop, well-sealed to keep out any unwanted visitors.  Animals and insects love honey too!  Always avoid exposing your honey to water, so do not refrigerate–condensation can drip into your golden honey. Is the comb edible? The wax cells of honeycomb are not only edible, but very beneficial.  Honeycomb wax contains even more of the allergy-alleviating properties that honey is well-known for.  To reduce allergies, enjoy a daily regime of eating 1 tablespoon of raw honeycomb with fruit or on toast.  Swallow the comb, or chew like chewing gum for 20 minutes and spit out.

Honey was entombed with Egyptian rulers, for them to enjoy in the afterlife.

What is the shelf life of honey, and how can I tell when mine was bottled? Honey has no shelf life!  In fact, Egyptian tombs have been uncovered after thousands of years containing pots of honey that are still edible!  You can tell when your Savannah Bee Company honey was bottled by finding the small printed 5-digit code on each jar.  The first 3 digits are the day bottled, the last 2 digits are the year.  Example:  a code of 04511 means that the honey was bottled on the 45th day of the year 2011.   Why aren’t Savannah Bee honeys pasteurized? The process of pasteurization requires heating a substance to a temperature that is lethal to bacteria.  Honey’s saturated sugar quality coupled with its osmotic effect have a natural, strong inhibitory effect on the growth nearly all bacterial species. Pasteurization of honey will only serve to destroy the amino acids and enzymes in honey that are imparted to the product by the honeybees.  Those amino acids are part of the magical healthful properties of honey and the enzymes rapidly break down honey’s sugars after consumption. Pasteurized honey has a weak “sugary” flavor and maintains virtually no health benefits.

Honey gets its color and flavor from the nectar collected by bees

What makes one honey different from another? All honeys are produced in exactly the same way, worldwide.  The only thing that determines the color, texture, flavor, and fragrance of the honey is the flower nectar.  Buckwheat honey is black, acacia honey is almost completely clear and honeys run a wide range of golden and amber colors through that spectrum–the only difference is the species flower or flowers that nectar is gathered by the bees. So ultimately the flora of the individual ecosystem determines the color and flavor complexity of the honey! 

How can honey help my allergies? Local honey is great and by all means support your local beekeeper and perhaps it may be better for allergies.  The Apimondia world beekeeping congress believes that honeycomb (no matter the geographical origin) is best for allergies and asthma.  Ted believes both statements above: that honeycomb is best and that you should support your local beekeeper. If you have problems with allergies try the honeycomb first and if you can’t get it from your local beekeeper then buy any honeycomb.  To reduce allergies with honeycomb therapy, enjoy a daily regime of eating 1 tablespoon of raw honeycomb once in the morning and once in the evening.  Swallow the comb, or chew like chewing gum for 20 minutes and spit out.  Delicious!

Can I eat honey if I’m allergic to bee stings? It is extremely rare for someone to be allergic to all forms of bee products:  honey, venom, bee pollen, beeswax, etc.  Rare like 1 out of 10 million rare!  However, with any allergies, one should always exercise caution, and consult a physician with any question.  Can I eat honey if I’m diabetic? Because some honeys are composed primarily of fructose sugars (glycemic index of 20), some doctors have recommended the occasional “sweet cheat” of tupelo honey for diabetics.  The average glycemic index of honey is closer to 70.  However, you should always consult your physician with questions regarding your personal health and wellness where diet and diabetes is concerned.

Is your honey from your own beehives? No. Savannah Bee Company bottles more than 300 55-gallon drums of honey (that’s nearly 100 TONS of honey) in a year!  We could never keep up with our own demand, so we buy our honey from ecologically responsible beekeepers who cherish their bees.

How do I reuse my no-drip honey pump? To reuse your pump, you may remove it from the exhausted bottle and run under hot water, pumping to pull the water through the pump mechanism.  Be sure to allow the pump at least 24 hours to air dry thoroughly before re-inserting into the new jar.

Today's Savannah Bee Body Care Line

ABOUT SAVANNAH BEE BODY CARE:

What happened to the other body care products that Savannah Bee Company made? The original body care line was co-created with Bath and Body Works in 2004 to great success.  However, the line was bigger than we felt was necessary, so we pared the line down to the basics and re-formulated to be all-natural and organic when possible.   New products are in the works.  Look for our fantastic liquid honey hand soap mid-2011, an organic foot balm and shimmer-free lip tints in 2012.  Can I use my body care product on my face? We do, but everyone’s skin is different, so we urge you to use caution and test a small area for reaction before applying to the entire face.  The ingredients in our body care products are pure and natural, using only non-harmful ingredients, but anyone with specific allergies should consult our body care ingredients list before applying.

ABOUT BEES:

When bees are swarming there can be as many as 60,000 insects in the bee ball

Help!  There’s a huge mass of bees in my tree/yard!  What do I do?  Are they dangerous? This bee behavior is called a “swarm” for good reason, but you may be surprised to learn what they’re doing.  Swarms are the way that colonies of bees “upgrade” their living conditions:  when the colony is living in a space (either a tree hollow or a beekeeper’s bee box) that has become too small for their numbers, scout bees are sent out to find a new location for the colony.  When the scouts find the new digs, the return to the hive to give directions, using their “waggle dance,”  a series of movements that communicates to each individual in the hive the exact location of the new spot.  When the Queen is ready to exit the hive to go to the new location, the worker bees swarm around her in a ball of living bees to protect her.  The resulting swarm is a non-hostile colony of bees protecting their queen as the old location is vacated, but before the new location is fully inhabited.  The scary-looking swarm will mysteriously disappear in about one week.  If bees have swarmed in an area of your home where children or pets can knock or disturb the swarm in any way, please find a local beekeeper to remove them, rather than an exterminator!  Help!  Bees have built a nest inside my porch/garage/attic wall!  Now what do I do? Please call a local beekeeper’s organization in your county!  The bees can either be replaced in the wild or they can be introduced to bee boxes and loved by a beekeeper.  An exterminator will only kill them (that’s their job, after all) and a colony of bees is a precious commodity!

Bee venom is useful to treat certain human illnesses, but the bees are killed in the process

What’s the best way to treat a bee sting? Be sure to scrape the stinger from your skin in a parallel motion- using a hive tool or credit card. When you squeeze the venom sack (attached to the stinger) between your fingers, you risk squeezing the venom into your skin even more! Read more at 

I hear that bees are disappearing, is this true? There has been quite a lot of buzz about the disappearance of honeybees, much of it very alarming.  The short version is that bees are experiencing dramatic population loss, and the most recent research suggests that it is due to a combined infestation of a mite and a fungus.  Pesticides, poor diet, and pollution don’t help too much either.  Read the long version here:

The honeybee's furry cousin, the lumbering bumble bee

What are bumblebees? Do they make honey? Honeybees have black and orange-yellow stripes, while bumble bees have black and vivid yellow stripes; bumble bees can appear a little fuzzier than honey bees; bumble bees are generally larger and have heavier bodies. Want to get technical? Check here: http://beespotter.mste.illinois.edu/topics/bio/

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