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  1. Default Newbie

    Hey all, newbie here! I've just started to make a few gallons of mead and so far it seems to be going well. For the guys in the UK - where's the best place to buy bulk honey? Its damn expensive to buy in small jars! Thanks in advance.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Saratoga Springs , NY
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    1,400

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    Hiya DangerClose - and welcome from Upstate New York.

  3. Default

    Thanks BernardSmith. Appreciate it.

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  4. #4

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    what about apiaries?
    "Shouldn’t we say wine is a mead-like beverage made with grapes substituted for the honey?" - Steve Piatz

  5. Default

    Its a possibility but I don't think the local ones would have the variety. Don't be me wrong I'll always use local if I can.

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Saratoga Springs , NY
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    Certainly here in the states , those beekeepers who hire out their hives for pollination purposes don't make a great deal of $$ from selling honey (they rely on renting their bees rather than selling the honey), whereas beeks who sell their honey at farmers' markets are more dependent on selling honey but both kinds of beeks have honey they are happy to get off their hands...

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by DangerClose View Post
    Its a possibility but I don't think the local ones would have the variety. Don't be me wrong I'll always use local if I can.

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    Sorry, I wasn't clear with my earlier comment.
    It's not yet clear what you mean by bulk honey. I think you mean 5, 10 or even 25kg buckets of honey. If you want to barrel amounts of honey so as to go commercial I would not know anything about that.
    Up until the 25kg range I have been successful buying from apriaries. The apriaries do not necessarily need to be local as long as I trust them....
    Start rant:
    ...although it's much easier trusting someone local than someone from abroad because of the simple fact that I can see where the honey bees live, the area surrounding the hives, I can see the beekeeper and his equipment. Last time I bought from someone locally I could see the beekeeper's equipment sticky with honey, I could see his jars which were full with honey and other jars which were still in the process of being filled with the honey extracted from the hives. It was very nice to see quite a bit of his bees coming to visit us because his hives were not too far off from where he extracted the honey (the bees were attracted because the honey smelt so good)

    It has been worth buying this medium sized amount of honey in bulk because it is quite cheaper than buying small jars of honey. First because the beekeeper does not need to fill, label and clean many small jars, and second because I helped the beekeeper avoid dozens of trips to farmer's markets to get rid of those 50kgs of honey. So it was cheaper but within reason.. I'll never get close to the cheap prices you find in supermarkets with some honey 1/3 or even 1/4 the price of common varietals from a beekeeper.
    If you're looking for those low, low supermarket prices, I can't find those prices without sacrificing quite a bit of flavor. Meanwhile, direct from beekeeper is reasonably cheaper (and more trustworthy) for me than buying jars from farmer's markets.
    P.s if honey is in particularly low supply you will always have to pay premium for local honey. This happened when this country suffered from 2 consecutive dry winters.
    "Shouldn’t we say wine is a mead-like beverage made with grapes substituted for the honey?" - Steve Piatz

  8. #8

    Default

    I almost never buy less than 60 lb buckets. This is the first place you might expect to get a discount in the US. If a honey supplier doesn't sell in this volume they are only interested in selling small batches for high retail prices. These are not very conducive to making mead. The quality of honey, along with the rarity/scarcity of the varietal will drive the price. I get great wildflower for $185 for 60 lbs. But I also just spent $740 for the same amount of really great Tupelo. It varies.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squatchy View Post
    I almost never buy less than 60 lb buckets. This is the first place you might expect to get a discount in the US...
    Yeah oops. This country is much smaller than the U.S so we definitely have smaller amounts before discounts kick in. Often they won't even sell me honey over 25kgs because they want to keep some of their honey to sell in small batches at higher prices
    "Shouldn’t we say wine is a mead-like beverage made with grapes substituted for the honey?" - Steve Piatz

  10. Default

    Thanks again for the replies guys. I'll try and get hold of a few local apiaries and see what the prices/quantities are like.

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