As I am sure you’ve seen in the last week or so, there is a lot of news going around about illegal/ impure/ adulterated honey from various places. I’ve definitely read the articles on honey in big grocery stores not being real honey. This news is not new information to me, as I’ve kept up with all the goings on in the honey world over the last 30 years or so.
Our honey comes from tried and true suppliers that we have worked with for many years. In the beginning it was me making all the honey. As Savannah Bee Company grew, I had to get some other beekeepers to help supply the demand. I’ve been very careful about whom I choose and I still check the honey quality before we buy it. In the past, I have also spot checked the beekeepers by sending a sample off to labs in Germany that specialize in testing honey. In Germany, they check many different things like: geographical origin (they can tell what area of the world it came from), pollen analysis to determine what the floral sources were, if contaminated with chemicals, dilution by added corn or rice syrup, antibiotic levels etc.
ALL of the tests have come back super clean and clear.
We do run our honey through a filter, but not like ones mentioned in the various articles. Our filters remove the splinters of wood from the honey frames, wax, and pieces of propolis. While we do lose a little bit of the pollen in the process we do not filter all of it out. We use the largest micron strainer possible. If you keep a bottle of our honey around for a year or two, you’ll see a ring of pollen settle out on the top of the honey.
If you want the purest honey possible, then our honeycomb is as raw as it gets. Nothing is done to that except cut it from the frame and put it in the clear box we sell.
Next best is our tupelo and sourwood which we filter at about 100 degrees F. A beehive is continuously 94 degrees in the brood nest (where baby bees are raised) and in the warmer months the honey supers (where honeycombs are created) are around that same 100 degree temperature.
Some honeys we quickly heat to around 135 and then cool down. Technically we could call it raw, but we don’t. Usually the honey must pass the 140 degree temperature level to officially kill all the enzymes. We do this to ensure that the honey will not crystalize for a couple of years.
Thanks to everyone- all of the people that have emailed, called, and Facebooked- for caring. Hopefully this will shape up some of those big buyers to begin doing what I have been telling them for years: Don’t trust any honey that is sold at the low prices you are getting, because something is wrong when the price on the shelf is below the world market price for bulk honey.
At the end of the day, our mission has always been the same at Savannah Bee Company: to bottle the purest, best honey available. Buying a bottle of Savannah Bee honey does so much more than help grow our company- it helps support the dying artisan beekeeping lifestyle, who are helping keep our honeybees healthy and populous.