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kuri
07-08-2013, 05:53 AM
I recently discovered a 6 to 10 business day option from the US Post Office under the category Priority Mail International Service. Still expensive, but now down to something closer to the price of the honey they ship. I contacted Draper's Super Bee Apiaries in Pennsylvania to ask if they would ship that way and they agreed to. So instead of the $450+ shipping that shows up on their web site for shipping 4 gallons of honey it will only cost around $180-$185. (This is for shipping to Japan -- your mileage may vary for shipping elsewhere.) That may not be enough to make it worthwhile for many other people here, but with the cheapest honey available in Japan going for about $20 a pound this makes economic sense for me. Still looking for better deals, but for now I'll probably go ahead and go with this unless someone scares me off.

joemirando
07-08-2013, 07:39 PM
I recently discovered a 6 to 10 business day option from the US Post Office under the category Priority Mail International Service. Still expensive, but now down to something closer to the price of the honey they ship. I contacted Draper's Super Bee Apiaries in Pennsylvania to ask if they would ship that way and they agreed to. So instead of the $450+ shipping that shows up on their web site for shipping 4 gallons of honey it will only cost around $180-$185. (This is for shipping to Japan -- your mileage may vary for shipping elsewhere.) That may not be enough to make it worthwhile for many other people here, but with the cheapest honey available in Japan going for about $20 a pound this makes economic sense for me. Still looking for better deals, but for now I'll probably go ahead and go with this unless someone scares me off.
If I remember correctly, Japanese honey bees make an exquisite honey, albeit in small quantities. That's probably what brings the cost up. Maybe that's why they, in the mists of antiquity, decided to ferment rice instead of honey. I'd be quite interested in the specifics of 'japanese honey' (as if there is only one flavor, heh heh), as opposed to the usual clover, buckwheat, wildflower, etc.

As far as shipping is concerned, when dealing with the USPS, I would recommend finding out if delivery is guaranteed.

I recently shipped some yeast samples across the pond, and despite the cost, the post office does not guarantee delivery even with priority service. And we're not talkin' Beirut here, we're talkin Stratford on Avon.

I guess they don't want to have to worry too much about putting packages back together again after 'examining' them to make our NSA/NIA overloards happy. As if signing off on a customs declaration weren't enough. <ggg>


Good luck,

Joe

kuri
07-08-2013, 08:22 PM
Joe, the honeys I've found in Japan so far -- all on the internet -- include:
Acacia, Apple, Cherry, Chestnut, Horse chestnut, Buckwheat, Wildflower, Rape (field mustard), Mikan and Lotus. The prices range from $20 a pound to $50 a pound in the closest they come to bulk, which is in jars up to 2.4kg (5.3 pounds -- roughly half a gallon). I haven't found anywhere that sells in larger quantities, and many of the places sell out within a couple of weeks of making the honey. I've tried the Apple and the Horse chestnut, and liked them both. I don't have much to compare with, but my impression is that the quality is very good.

And thanks for the tip on USPS. I've used them before and never had this particular problem, but it's worth checking on. If the package makes it as far as Japan there won't be a problem -- they're very efficient here. I may have to pay a 30% tax on the honey, however. Even so, it will still be significantly cheaper than what I could get locally, though.

fatbloke
07-08-2013, 10:30 PM
Well when it comes to shipping from the US it seems that the USPS is the cheapest.

A friend sent me a gallon of a nice Oklahoma wild flower honey. He got it in a nice screw topped plastic "can" (like you might get with cooking oil etc).

With the cap sealed down with duct tape, it made the trip fine. Yet here they tend to put honey into bucket type containers and while I haven't asked places like the beefolks what they'd put 5 gallons in (1 gallon isn't cost effective if buying the honey), I'd be a bit concerned about a bucket over a can/drum type container.

It does sound like the USPS have a similar rep to Royal Mail/Parcel Force and it'd likely need sealing in a plastic bag too as it'd just get dumped if it got squashed and was leaking.........

Altricious
07-14-2013, 05:58 PM
Sometimes the USPS really sucks. Other times it's just fine. As the cheapest option, I would still use it but make sure you get insurance.

As an example of a time that they sucked.... An event I attended this spring had commissioned hand made awards. The person who made them packed them well and shipped them in several boxes at the same time. One arrived fine. The worst box looked like it had been run over by a truck. It had been repacked with only about half of what should have been in there and a whole bunch of tshirts with some sort of religious theme that clearly did not belong with our stuff. I think almost all of the stuff that should have been in there was broken. A lot was lost completely.

Moral being... insurance is your friend.