The power of local honey never ceases to amaze me! For centuries humans have relied on honeybees for pollination of our food crops and harvesting the many surplus healing products that come from the hive such as honey, propolis, wax, and royal jelly. It has been found in ancient Egyptian tombs and is still palatable after thousands of years. Why? Because honey has NO shelf-life. Honey has been a crucial part of the survival of the human race. Without bees the human race would CEASE to exist!
Honey is made by the bees for the bees. It's one of the two primary food sources (Honey and Pollen) used during times when nectar sources are scarce like during winter. They make honey by gathering nectar from flowers during their blooming phase with a long tube-like tongue called a proboscis. They store the nectar in one of their stomach cavities until they return to the hive where they regurgitate the nectar to worker bees who then transfer it into the honey comb where it will remain until harvested. During the regurgitation process (Yes it sounds nasty, but tastes yummy!), the nectar is then mixed with enzymes that alter the chemical composition of the nectar turning it into honey.
However, in its current form, its not the honey you know it to be, a thick viscous liquid but rather a sweet runny liquid. After the nectar has been transferred from bee to bee and finally to its home in the comb, it has to be dehydrated for long term storage to keep it from fermenting. The bees manage to do this by flapping their wings (fanning) in an effort to dehydrate the partially digested nectar turning it into the liquid gold we love so much! Keep in mind this process doesn't happen over night, its a drawn out task that can take a while (days to weeks) for the bees to complete. After they've dehydrated the honey, they seal it up with wax, a process known as "capping".
Honey get its sweetness from monosaccharides, fructose and glucose. These natural sugars are low on the glycemic index making honey a safe natural sweetener alternative for people who suffer from diabetes!
The color, taste, aroma, and even the texture of honey is highly dependent on the many varieties of flowers the bees forage upon. You can take honey from two hives, located directly next to each other and they can have different flavor profiles, colors and even granulation characteristics.
So what is Local Honey? Due to the many different contexts in which the word "local" can be used, it could mean many things. It could be local to your region (possibly from a hive a few hours away), local to your town (within 5-25 miles), or even local to your neighborhood (the closer the better!)
Whenever you purchase local honey for seasonal allergies, be sure to ask them where they keep their hives at. If your consuming honey that's labelled as local honey but then you come to find out their hives aren't housed anywhere near where you live, then you aren't getting any of the allergy relieving benefits that local honey has to offer. Fortunately for all of our customers, all of our hives are located within Destin city limits.