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willowhix
09-19-2015, 02:02 PM
Hello fine brewers! I'm new around here, as I'm new to homebrewing in general. I've recently been planning out my first go at making a 5-gallon batch of mead. I know where to get my equipment from. I know where I'm fermenting my mead. I thought I knew which honey I was using (the plan was orange blossom), but unfortunately, I don't seem to be able to find any raw honey (I've been told this is important) at a decent price in bulk. Though there are plenty of lovely little jars avaliable nearby me, it seems as though it's not worth the money when buying large quantities. Figuring my best bet was local small-business beekeepers, I contacted a facebook group of beekeepers in my city. What I was told is that the summer has been rough this year and the only honey people have been able to produce is most likely already promised to retailers.

So, a few questions to those more experienced - particularily those living in the UK or otherwise in Europe: Where do you get your honey from? How much money should I be expecting to spend? How worthwhile is it to get a particular kind of honey (e.g. Blossom or Clover instead of Wildflower)? Is it really that important to get unrefined honey?

Thanks in advance. Have a lovely day. :)

kalvaer
09-20-2015, 04:03 PM
What prices are you looking at?

Cheapest I could find so far is for €5/kg at the local super market, for what they classify as "raw" honey.
Best bargain price I could get from the local apiary is €10-12/kg, though the local is a lovely pine forest blend, compared to the normal orange.

This is France/Geneva area, so prices here are usually a lot more than any where else in the EU. though I made a deal today with a local Apiary, and I'll be trading some mead later on for honey if it turns out ok :D

willowhix
09-22-2015, 12:15 PM
I believe the best option I have been able to find as of so far (one which I hadn't found when I originally made this thread) is around 12.00 euro/kg of raw wild-flower honey from small-business beekeepers in Bulgaria. Though I have also seen 16.50 euro/75kg and 13.80 euro/kg options for big-business producers of "raw" orange-blossom honey, though I've been told that raw doesn't always mean raw when it's being produced on a large scale for supermarkets. I've not looked into that yet.

Though this is my first time buying quality honey in bulk, so I'm really not sure what is a good deal and what's a con. :P

That sounds nice though, trading mead for the honey to make it. Good on you!

kalvaer
09-23-2015, 12:50 PM
Wow... those prices are really high then. I guess I cant complain with what I have seen even in the supermarket.
I've used about 10kg's of Migros house brand honey for the last 2 batches and it hasn't been bad. Though I am looking at using some of the good stuff next week

fatbloke
09-27-2015, 01:34 PM
Dunno about any closer to Scotland, but I use these locally to me (about 10 miles along the road) http://www.paynesbeefarm.co.uk/ and for stuff a bit more specialised, I've used http://www.biohonig.eu/biohonig/ who're are in Bremen (Germany).

One thing I will say, is that the prices at Walter Lang are good - when I got a 12.5kg bucket from them, it worked out about the same sort of price (shipping included) as getting some decent stuff from paynes - but paynes don't do buckwheat, so..........

For closer to Scotland, have you tried the BBKA website to see if you can find a bee keeper closer who might sell you something raw ?

Or I just found this one.......http://www.honeybeehive.co.uk/honey/suppliers/ there's a whole chunk of possibles listed by county.......

willowhix
09-28-2015, 12:29 PM
Dunno about any closer to Scotland, but I use these locally to me (about 10 miles along the road) http://www.paynesbeefarm.co.uk/ and for stuff a bit more specialised, I've used http://www.biohonig.eu/biohonig/ who're are in Bremen (Germany).

One thing I will say, is that the prices at Walter Lang are good - when I got a 12.5kg bucket from them, it worked out about the same sort of price (shipping included) as getting some decent stuff from paynes - but paynes don't do buckwheat, so..........

For closer to Scotland, have you tried the BBKA website to see if you can find a bee keeper closer who might sell you something raw ?

Or I just found this one.......http://www.honeybeehive.co.uk/honey/suppliers/ there's a whole chunk of possibles listed by county.......

I have already seen the last one, and unfortunately not much came of it, but wow! Cheers for the resources man. :) I'll be sure to have a good look into these.

willowhix
09-29-2015, 07:11 PM
Dunno about any closer to Scotland, but I use these locally to me (about 10 miles along the road) http://www.paynesbeefarm.co.uk/ and for stuff a bit more specialised, I've used http://www.biohonig.eu/biohonig/ who're are in Bremen (Germany).

One thing I will say, is that the prices at Walter Lang are good - when I got a 12.5kg bucket from them, it worked out about the same sort of price (shipping included) as getting some decent stuff from paynes - but paynes don't do buckwheat, so..........

For closer to Scotland, have you tried the BBKA website to see if you can find a bee keeper closer who might sell you something raw ?

Or I just found this one.......http://www.honeybeehive.co.uk/honey/suppliers/ there's a whole chunk of possibles listed by county.......

Both of those links from the first line look great to me! So I feel I may as well ask you, since you've tried products from both. Which should I go for? I'll probably go for the orange blossom honey (which both companies seem to stock) since I've heard it's delicious and a good honey to start with. Also, do you happen to know if Paynes Bee Farm's honey is pasteurised or raw? I couldn't find that on the website.

willowhix
10-04-2015, 07:17 PM
Contacted Paynes asking about what pastuerisation processes they use. They responded within 3 hours with this:

"Many thanks for your email. We aim to keep our honey as unprocessed as possible, just the way the bees like it. We do not call our honey raw as we do strain the honey to remove large bits of beeswax, however, it is not a fine strainer so this process does not remove all traces of pollen. Although we do heat our honey gently during the bottling process, it is a very low temperature and the honey is not heat treated or pasteurised at any stage. In fact, the honey doesn't get hotter than 35 degrees which is the inside temperature of a bee hive and we believe if the bees are happy with that! then so should we. All the range of honey is processed in the same way with minimal heat."

Seems good to me! I'll probably choose this honey for my first batch.