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MedievalForester
10-21-2008, 11:01 PM
So while I was in the store this evening for the ingrediants of some JAO, I noticed that honey prices were very significant for good honey. Where do you all get your honey from and how much can I be expecting to pay for it for a 3-gallon batch?

Odinsson
10-21-2008, 11:12 PM
I buy mine from the LHBS, the most expensive that they have right now in Northern Florida is Tupelo at $4.99/lb.

punkideas
10-22-2008, 12:32 AM
If you have Trader Joe's in your area, they have mesquite honey for ~$4/1.5# container, which is a steal (it seems to be pretty popular around here). I've also found good honey is fairly inexpensive if you can find a large local supplier. If there are only smaller suppliers, prices tend to be higher. Internet honey tends to be pretty pricey, especially if not bought in bulk (at least a gallon), but you can get a wide range of varietal honeys. Some LHBS have honey at good prices, others have a high markup. Other places to look for cheaper honey are natural grocers, farmer's markets and food co-ops. The cheapest and easiest types to find tend to be clover, orange blossom and wildflower (which is a catch all for mixed variety). The biggest thing to look for is raw and unfiltered honey, varietal isn't super-important for a JAO first mead. I'd say paying under $5/pound for good raw honey is reasonable for non-bulk purchases. If you don't have access to cheap honey and you're still unsure you want to make that kind of investment, you can always use processed honey to use in a trial batch to see if you still want to make a larger investment. It will work fine, but the honey flavor will be a lot less distinct and lacking aroma.

MedievalForester
10-22-2008, 12:48 AM
I had forgot all about Trader Joe's, will definitely have to take a look there tomorrow. Thanks for the tip.

crowquill
10-22-2008, 06:32 AM
I've mostly confined myself to working with local wildflower honey so far. Buying directly from a beekeeper, I just paid $40 for a 25 pound bucket.

Angus
10-22-2008, 07:44 AM
MedievalForester,

Where are you? You may get a good tip on local honey from someone who lives in your area.

Check your local listings for a honey processor. You can usually get some very good prices from them as they work with large batches and are able to sell small amounts much cheaper than you can even get in farmers markets. In Wisconsin, Honey Acres and Kallas are the two places I get good prices on a number of varietals. This past weekend, I bought a 5 lb jug for $12. When I buy a 60# pail, it costs $85.

Angus

BBBF
10-22-2008, 10:00 AM
Angus,
What type of honey did you buy and from which place did you buy it?

I've bought from http://www.indiansummerhoneyfarm.com/
They're near Millwaukee. I think I bought 60lbs of wild flower for $90. I also bought a jar of their orange blossom, which I enjoyed. Although, it didn't make it into any meads.

Angus
10-22-2008, 10:53 AM
BBBF,

I bought a 5 gallon bucket of Orange Blossom and a 5# jug of White from Honey Acres. I have also bought 25# container of White honey from Kallas a couple of years ago, but I do not remember the price. It was competitive though. Apart from that, I get Wildflower and Buckwheat from Honey Acres, usually in the 3 lb jars, to add some depth to the honey when mixing it with other ingredients.

Angus

Kee
10-22-2008, 06:49 PM
The LHBS "gourmet" honey runs $50 for 12#. (It's very good quality.)

One of the local swapmeets has decent quality wildflower for $20-25 for 12#.

I haven't shopped around more than that.

valhallaorbust
10-22-2008, 11:30 PM
at my farmer's market we paid $17.50 for 2.5 lbs. i have since found many local places for much cheaper. i have a local place that i get honey for like 2.75/lbs and its from Wisconsin for my next one
also, i found most of my sources on craigslist

MedievalForester
10-23-2008, 10:46 AM
Well I looked on the Sam's Club website, and that seems to be the cheapest place to buy bulk honey. A 5 lb. tub of Clover honey can end up costing as little as 10 dollars, which would really save some money. But I just wonder about the quality of that honey, and do you think it would have a significant effect on the outcoming taste of the mead?

punkideas
10-23-2008, 11:12 AM
That stuff is almost certainly heated and filtered to the point where all it will add is a generic honey flavor. You really should try to get raw, unfiltered honey for the best results.

BBBF
10-23-2008, 01:34 PM
I've made meads with Costco honey and they came out good. If you are going to put a lot of fruit or spices into the mead, you can hide it's inferior taste. That being said, I'll never go back to using it. You can get higher quality for lower prices if you buy in bulk from a local beekeeper

jagmanvdp
10-27-2008, 03:49 PM
Local beekeeper here in south western Ontario sells for $2 a pound. (bring your own container) when we go to the farmers market (packaged) they tend to sell for $3 to $4 a pound. All is raw and unprocessed (well, they filter out the wax and bees legs etc)

Darren

errollo
11-01-2008, 12:12 PM
Honey has gotten more expensive since March - anywhere from 6.5% to 38.9% on the prices I track.

Costco is a good source. If you're wondering how it compares to honey from your local beekeeper or any other source, why not just try it? I made plain dry mead from Costco clover and from The Honey Store's raw clover (it wouldn't make sense to compare it to another varietal or wildflower). Both were very good. I didn't do a head to head trial, so I've only got casual observations and fallible memory to go on, but one didn't blow away the other.

Vino
11-03-2008, 06:45 PM
A local apiary in Central Alabama sells a box of (4) 1 gallon jugs for $80.00...I believe that comes to just south of $1.67/gal...I can do a lot of trial runs at that price. :drunken_smilie:

Vino

beekind
11-16-2008, 02:40 AM
i get my honey from the food co-op that i belong to. i can wholesale local wildflower honey (virtually organic) for about $125 for 60# (5 gallons). i can also wholesale through a distributor called Glorybee (westcoast only, i think) for about $100 (non-organic, but high quality) to $130ish (organic) for 60#.
we also have in washington state a lot of apiaries. one that i found online is silverbowhoney.com; they seem to have some great prices $80-$145 for 60# of honey.
so, i'd say check with your local co-ops or health food stores and see about special ordering things; i've worked at a lot of them and they generally will get bulk items for you for 10-20% over wholesale costs.
of course, bein' the long hair that i am, i'd also say to check out any local apiaries. it's best to support local.