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View Full Version : Another reason to Buy locally and know your source.



JSquared
08-19-2011, 02:49 AM
Well this was an interesting article. I'm already a big locavore and Urban homesteader, but this just reinforced those values!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/17/honey-tainted_n_929517.html

TheAlchemist
08-19-2011, 09:27 AM
Yes! Buy Local honey!

mfalenski
08-19-2011, 11:38 AM
Well this was an interesting article. I'm already a big locavore and Urban homesteader, but this just reinforced those values!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/17/honey-tainted_n_929517.html


For the Meadery I will only buy local honey. I have a very good arrangement with a great local beekeeper, Mark Bedillion, in Hickory, PA. His honey is really good and he doesn't use any chemicals in his process. I see the hives when I get the honey and it also feels good to help out others locally. I buy bottles locally (which is a plus for me, no shipping cost!) and get labels printed locally. I don't go through a huge amount of yeast or other chemicals (yet) so I will pay a little more and buy those at a local homebrew shop to help out more. I do worry that as we grow we may outgrow the LHBS but I guess we'll just play it by ear.

mccann51
08-19-2011, 11:57 AM
I've heard a lot about the low quality (or lack of any quality, because sometimes it's not even 100% honey) of imported Chinese honey. Nice to have a little proof beyond hearsay.

Thanks for sharing.

Riverat
08-19-2011, 07:24 PM
Multiple reasons to buy local, the smaller honey producers I fear are shrinking in number, it's serious work and they could use the support.
The price from many is at least competitive if not cheaper with any store and if you have to ship it's a deal.
Get to know a couple (check out your local bee keeper association, heck join) I met a couple they know I'm after Tallow, Saw Palmetto and Gallberry and one of them lets me know when they have a variential flowing. I imagine where ever you are you have some local varientials that are not widely known but worth trying.
You spend local, keep your money in your community, some of them even make mead and can point you toward something new.

AToE
08-19-2011, 09:35 PM
I imagine where ever you are you have some local varientials that are not widely known but worth trying.


Definitely, I'm a good example of that. In Canada (the prairies anyways) we have clover, clover/alfalfa, sometimes buckwheat as "varietals", the stuff sold in stores is pretty much all blended honey from across Canada, blended to hit "No1 white" colour (kinda amber though).

But, after getting to know a beekeeper I was able to get dandelion, canola, and some unique wildflower honeys. Might not sound like much exciting, but where I live that's as exotic as it gets! (To be fair you can track down imported varietals, but they're VERY expensive and only in small quantities).

fatbloke
08-20-2011, 03:44 AM
While I haven't seen any info about this issue within the EU, it wouldn't surprise me to find that it is.......

The issue with using local suppliers is more to do with, the more we use them, the higher the prices are liable to creep. Which in turn, will increase the differential of price between what we need and what is charged by the "brands" for so called "eating honey" that's blended for it's taste.

Of course, that also limits the types of honey that can be used in the knowledge that it's "safe" etc.

I'm all for using the local suppliers/services etc, but if the "local bloke" doesn't have what you want then you're more likely to have to resort to sources that might have honey that's "not right" in some way.

Most UK produced stuff would probably be OK but it would still only really qualify as "wild flower" as the size of the country precludes the production of "proper" varietals.....

Just my opinion/tuppence worth.....

regards

fatbloke

TheAlchemist
08-20-2011, 10:44 AM
But, after getting to know a beekeeper I was able to get dandelion...

I'd love to try a dandelion mead with dandelion honey!

mccann51
08-20-2011, 02:07 PM
The issue with using local suppliers is more to do with, the more we use them, the higher the prices are liable to creep. Which in turn, will increase the differential of price between what we need and what is charged by the "brands" for so called "eating honey" that's blended for it's taste.


To clarify, are you saying that if you support local producers the prices are liable to go up?

I agree with RiverRat, the prices of local honey are definitely comparable to quality honey (ie not blended and pasteurized crap from China or elsewhere) sold in stores. In fact, whenever I see the price of raw or unprocessed honey at the store, I can't help but scoff a bit. That people will pay 10-15$ for a pound or two of honey is ridiculous, when I go to the market and support the local beekeeper and pay a quarter that or better depending on how much I'm buying. Yeah, perhaps I'm limited to a few varietals, but whatever, at least I know exactly where the honey is coming from and I'm directly supporting it's production and insuring continued quality (this can be more broadly applied to buying food at the local farmers market as well).

JSquared
08-20-2011, 03:04 PM
Yeah, perhaps I'm limited to a few varietals, but whatever, at least I know exactly where the honey is coming from and I'm directly supporting it's production and insuring continued quality (this can be more broadly applied to buying food at the local farmers market as well).

I couldn't agree more! As well as knowing my local beekeepers, farmers, animal caretakers, et all. I create not only a bond of friendship and respect, but the ability to get the phone call before anyone else on the awesome deal they have! Also, because I take the time to know them, I've been able to trade labor for their products witch has saved me a few pennies before. Are they going to have a buckwheat honey for me for that special batch? Sadly no. Are they going to have some awesome honey for that daily after work glass of mead? Oh you better believe it!

Chevette Girl
08-20-2011, 05:45 PM
I do worry that as we grow we may outgrow the LHBS but I guess we'll just play it by ear.

Well, you can always talk to them. If you bring in a fair bit of business, and you give them some lead time, they might be amenable to ordering stuff for you, or even stocking more if they know you'll buy it.

Chevette Girl
08-20-2011, 05:53 PM
My own local honey source is big enough to sell in grocery stores, but they have three main varieties: white from clover (summer run), golden from goldenrod (autumn run) and they must have a few hives over buckwheat fields because they offer that too (in smaller quantities and more expensive).

I have to go a little further for other varietals, I paid $8 for a lb of this lovely aster and goldenrod fall honey from another apiary (at a mall kiosk) and it's my special tasty honey just for me... after a year and a half, it's half gone (I'm a hoarder, I admit it) and the aroma isn't what it was, but I can still pick out the asters and goldenrod in the taste. Problem is the hour drive to that place. One of these days I'll get out there, maybe when I outgrow my two main varieties :).

AToE
08-20-2011, 06:25 PM
Well, you can always talk to them. If you bring in a fair bit of business, and you give them some lead time, they might be amenable to ordering stuff for you, or even stocking more if they know you'll buy it.

I was going to say, outgrowing them isn't likely if you choose to keep buying from them rather than going more direct. I'm sure they can order anything you could possibly want in terms of yeats/additives in any quantity you want (as long as it'll physically fit into their building...). I can't imagine why they'd turn down massive special orders for a trusted customer.

mfalenski
08-21-2011, 09:45 AM
Well, you can always talk to them. If you bring in a fair bit of business, and you give them some lead time, they might be amenable to ordering stuff for you, or even stocking more if they know you'll buy it.

He buys his items through LD Carlson, I also have an account with LD Carlson so I can buy anything from them at a cheaper rate than he offers. I do buy my yeast from him and some cleaning chems, fittings and such. Also if I need something spur of the moment or something I might be out of. I am starting to need larger quantities though, but I'll still support him when it makes sense.