Our honey is simply the best. From breeding the best queens to buying locally sourced jars, we pride our selves by using the absolute best practices at every step of the process:
We have the best bees. I raise all of our my queens here in Michigan, focusing on stock that can handle diseases, requiring less input. I am working with some of the best queen breeders in the country to find the strongest bees that can thrive in Michigan. I am involved in multiple breeding programs, and have been focusing on raising hardy, local stock that is disease resistant, gentle, and can bring in plenty of honey.
We have great locations for our bees. In 2016 I had the pollen in our hives tested for a whole spectrum of pesticides including fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, and varroacides, and all of the samples came back clean - no pesticides were detected in our hives. All of my yards are in lands where they have plenty of clean, natural forage, and are buffered from pesticides. I am constantly monitoring and evaluating yards so that are bees are always kept in an area where they have access to sufficient nectar and pollen.
Our bees are kept under the best care. I manage only as many colonies as I can care for well, providing each colony with individual attention. My focus is on colony health and minimizing stress on the bees. My dedication to best management is unrivaled - I live for bees. I have kept bees for over 20 years, but I am constantly continuing to learn how to care for them. I read and write for the trade journals, attend and speak at conferences all around the country, carry out studies and experiments on bee health, and talk about bees and beekeeping every day. This effort shows, because my bees stay healthy and continue to thrive.
We handle and process our honey to the highest standards. We extract in certified facilities, and process everything according to state and federal regulations. Our honey is never heated above temperatures that it would reach in the hive, and it is strained just enough to remove wax, but not the pollen. My background is in public health and I have years of food handling experience. I take the quality of my product seriously, ensuring that you will be delivered a clean, quality product. We know that our honey is not only delicious, but also safe and pure.
Where can you buy our honey?
We sell 2 varietals of honey: our wildflower blend and special extractions from the hives at the Haehnle Audubon Sanctuary. Our blend honey is sold in quarts (about 3lbs), pints, and a small 12 oz size.
You can find our honey at the following locations in Michigan:
Argus Farm Stop, Ann Arbor ( Now at 2 locations - Liberty St. and Packard St.)
The Farmers Hand, Detroit
Sandhill Crane Vineyards, Jackson
Prime Cuts, Jackson
McPherson Local, Saline
NEW for 2018** I'll be selling at the Chelsea Farmers Market
Tentative Dates at the Chelsea Market - you can text to confirm
November 17, December 1, December 8, December 22
We will also sell directly to you! Please email us for pricing, and to set up a time for pick up. firstname.lastname@example.org
We also occasionally do market sales or delivery - sign up on our mailing list at the bottom of the page to see if we will be selling honey at a location near you.
Is your honey organic? Raw? Natural? Pasteurized? Local?
There are a lot of terms you will see on honey labels, and buying honey can be quite confusing. Most of the terms are not regulated, so seeing them on a label does not mean anything about the honey inside. The best way to know that you are getting the honey that you want is to talk to the beekeeper, and learn about their practice.
Our honey is not labeled organic. Organic certification is the only term that is regulated, so if a honey is labeled as organic, it has to be federally certified as such. In the United States, we do not have federally accepted standards for honey certification (though they are working on them). An operation can still be certified organic if a federal certifier believes that they meet the draft criteria. Because of this, there are very, very few certified organic honey producers in the United States; most organic honey comes from foreign countries. Even though we aren't certified, I make an effort to keep bees in line with organic practices. We don't medicate prophylacticly, and if an animal gets sick, we use organic treatments.
Raw is not a regulated term for honey, so it doesn't mean anything if you see it on a label. We put it on our labels to indicate that we use minimal processing. We never heat the honey to a higher temperature than it would reach in the hive on a hot day.
Natural is not a regulated term, so it also doesn't mean anything legally. We use it to indicate that our honey is completely unadulterated. It is pure flower nectar, dried down by the bees, with nothing added.
Pasteurization - There is currently no standard for honey pasteurization, but there are very few beekeepers who would even try to do this anyway. Some very, very large facilities will heat the honey to high temps to pass them through tiny filters to remove all the pollen, but this is largely done by big foreign companies, and the technology is not used by most beekeepers. If you buy honey from a Michigan beekeeper, it is not likely to be pasteurized.
Local - Many people want local honey for two reasons: for allergies and to support local farmers. From the allergy perspective, it is good to find honey from an area that has the same plants. You can choose what is local enough for you.
We hope that you enjoy our raw, natural, local honey! If you have any questions on production, don't hesitate to ask.