Is Domestic Honey Going The Way of Craft Brewing

Domestic or local honey is entering an new era of “craft” production and presentation. The degree of effort and ingenuity that many beekeepers are putting into their honey products is nothing short of amazing.

Most honey sold in the U.S. now is imported.  The majority of the honey you find on store shelves and baked into the foods that use honey comes from South America and Asia.  Yes, a lot of that “banned” Chinese honey still finds it’s way into the country via “honey launderers” in Europe and U.S. honey packers that really don’t care what is in the honey they import, as long as it’s cheap.  They are going to blend it all anyway.

Where does that leave domestic honey?   Some of it, mostly produced by commercial pollinator bee businesses, does find it’s way into the big honey packers.  It too gets blended into the job lots of imported honeys to add to the flavor and allows the packers to say that the honey they offer is also domestic.

What of the rest?  More and more, we’re beginning to see a rise of artisan honey.  Local producers working to time their harvests to get small but unique bouquets of nectar based honey that become sought out and bought by locals and new “Honey Connoisseurs” that live to experiment with honey the way other people collect and sample fine wines, scotch and spices.

C. Marina Marchese and Kim Flottum, both established beekeepers and authors, co-wrote a book titled “Honey Connoisseur” that has swept the imagination and taste-buds of beekeepers and non-beekeepers alike by introducing readers not only to the nectar sources that produce exquisite honeys but delightful ways those honey can be identified, matched with other foods and drinks and used in cooking as more than just a sweetener.

Other honey craftsmen are getting into the infused honey market and are delicately blending other, unique, flavors into their locally collected honey.  I know a beekeeper in New York State with a burgeoning side business that infuses some of the hottest peppers into his honey and is picking up like gangbusters.  It’s an awesome thing to experience according to those who rave and beg for more even when his supply is sold out for the year.

The mead makers are still out there making their finest honey wine and beer.  This is now even further accentuated with the explosion of craft brewing.  The possibilities now for honey based brews is staggering.  Alcoholic honey beverages aren’t alone.  There’s a slowly building community of honey based soda and non-alcoholic drink makers making an entry into the craft honey beverage realm as well.  Here in my own back yard  down in Bellevue, NE we have a fellow who makes a spectacular mead AND a honey root beer that is simply awesome.  His business has built quite a reputation for creative honey beverages.

As domestic apiculture moves further into the twenty-first century, we will see, I believe, an explosion of “craft” honey offerings.  Honey producing beekeepers, hobbyists and professional apiarists alike, have their work cut out for them to find ever creative and unique ways to expose new customers to not just local honey, but custom, crafted honey products and uses.

Quite a delicious problem to take on.

New Beeginnings for the Bee Joyful Apiary

We literally break ground this coming weekend to start setting hive stands at the new teaching apiary at Scatter Joy Acres up in Florence.

We are starting off with 2 new interns, 1 full apprentice and 2 volunteer assistants.

We are still encouraging people to donate materials and resources directly to Scatter Joy Acres and if you would like to support the Bee Smart beekeeping project effort to manage the apiary, train new Apiarists, and provide positive interaction opportunities for visitors, please consider supporting us over at my Patreon page for the Bee Smart beekeeping project. Our Patreon supporters will have exclusive access to video updates on the progress of the apiary throughout the year.

Part of the work I do is live bee removals around the Omaha metro area.  As I rescue these bees before they might be killed, I will start them in a process to hopefully end up at the Bee Joyful Teaching Apiary.  Again these live removal efforts are greatly helped by our Patreon supporters whose patronage helps to reduce costs of work for low income people.  Costs can get very high trying to open up and repair an opening where a bee nest is removed.

My goal is to help people bee better beekeepers and keep bee alive and thriving.  My apprentices want to to be that kind of beekeeper as well.  With projects like this that allow us to offer fun, informative and creative content to share with the world, everyone comes out a winner.  Your patronage at the Patreon page help create winners.

Notable and Notorious Beekeepers

The topic for the Bee Smart beekeeping project website this week is learning a bit more about the notable and notorious beekeepers that have moved the world of beekeeping over the years.

Some have given us great innovations in methods and equipment.  Others have increased our understanding immensely.  Still others have given us experience in what not to do rather than do what they actually did.

Let’s chat about some if the great minds and personalities that have helped modern apiculture become what it is today, shall we?

Honey Lovers Club @ Mangelsen’s

Do you love Honey?  Have you thought of yourself as a honey connoisseur or would like to be?  Terrific !

Come join us at the new Honey Lovers Club @ Mangelsen’s in Omaha, NE on Saturday afternoon, November 25th from 1 to 2 pm.

We will sample various honey, talk about how to identify honey and beegin the journey to appreciate honey in all it’s culinary potential together.

Hosted by Tony “Big Bear” Sandoval of BBE-Tech Apiary Services and the Bee Smart beekeeping project.

Please register at the Mangelsen’s website to beegin this journey of honey appreciation with us.

 

The Bee Smart Topic for the week of 11-06-2017

Hey there folks.  We are still trying to maintain a certain focus on the things we post on here at the Bee Smart beekeeping project on a weekly basis.

This week, we’re going to pay a bit more attention to bees and pesticides.  Both the Crossword and Wordsearch puzzles are based on this topic and Big Bear will be doing a video doing a mini “class” on the subject as well.

Hop on over to the website forums and share your ideas and experiences having to do with bees and pesticides in your little piece of the world.  We’d love to see you there.

The Bee Smart beekeeping project podcast beegins again

Yes, things are getting back on track on especially awesome.

The Beehooligans Podcast will start recording again by the end of the Month and get at least one episode out by then.. We are jumping from being a weekly podcast to every two weeks instead.  

Also, we’re focusing on assembling a live, local group of beekeeperly people to a round table discussion and one or two of our alternately located Beehooligans via web conferencing in on the chat.

And hey, if you happen to be in the Omaha, NE area on one of the days we record, we’d love to have you sit in with us.

Yes! Bee Smart Bee Bringing The Crosswords

As promised, here at the Bee Smart beekeeping project, we want to always work to bring you new, original content that you aren’t going to find anywhere else and is going to help you bee Smart about bees and beekeeping and have fun while you’re doing it.

So, here come the Bee Smart Crosswords.  Every week, on Wednesdays, a new crossword puzzle based on something having to do with bees or beekeeping will be posted here on the website.

The first Crossword hits next Wednesday.  Bee ready to to buzz through this game like a pro.

Bee Smart is talking about…more bees!

YES!  It’s a great day to bee alive.

The Bee Smart beekeeping project is expanding it’s coverage of bees to actually fulfill the phrase “All things bees and beekeeping.”

This means that beeginning today, you will also see posts, videos, and hear podcast chatter about bees of all kinds but not just limited to honey bees.

We are so excited to bee all about bees of all kinds.  You name it, bumblebees, mason bees, leafcutter bees, miner bees, lots more bees!

Yes, we obviously are still bringing you plenty of content covering honey bees.  After all, they are the primary kept and managed bee out there.

Bees, bees, bees, bees, bees!

 

 

What’s the point?

So, the Bee Smart beekeeping project and that goes into it here…   What’s the point of it all when there are so many other beekeeping websites out there?  I ask myself this every so often.

I am always come back to the notion that I believe that there are things about bees and beekeeping that can be introduced and communicated differently, if not better in general.

The one thing about the web is that it contains so much information yet in many ways, so little context.  People can do a Google search on seconds to get information yet still not understand it because it lacks context and perspective.  In some cases, it does get presented with context and perspective but sadly, in a way that leaves people no better off or with any better understanding than before.  In some cases, even in a worse place.

Also, Bee Smart beekeeping project is here to entertain and inform anyone who wants to understand bees and beekeeping better not just a specific group.  I want to help non beekeepers understand every bit as much as I want beekeepers of any skill level to understand.

I just hope to do so in a way that isn’t necessarily the same way as everywhere else on the internet.  That is from the perspective of beekeeping as a professional trade.    The Point of presenting information to you about bees and beekeeping isn’t so much as to influence anyone to being pro this or anti that.  It’s more of a “here’s what it is, here’s how it works, here are the pro’s and con’s of it.”

The goal is to help people be successful.  To be successful in anything to do with bees or beekeeping, you have to be informed and you have to be interested.  The Bee Smart approach to achieving being informed is to provide you with as accurate and honest information as possible.

The way we address being interested is to present the information in an entertaining (we hope) way.  When people are having fun with something, they pay more attention and usually remember it better.

Anything you can access on this website is zero cost to you.  Listen to the podcasts, watch videos, read articles and posts, download useful documents, interact on the forums.  No charge.

I have a Patreon page for people who beelieve in what I am doing here and their support helps make it possible to make everything available at no upfront cost.  I hope to get more Patreon supporters so that I can offer better quality content and more of it.  In order to get more people to become Patreon supporters, they have to beelieve in the Bee Smart beekeeping project and what it’s trying to achieve also.

Thanks to everyone who is visiting us here and finding this content useful, informative and entertaining.  Thank you greatly to our Patreon supporters for continuing to help us make it happen.