Raw Honey vs. Processed Honey: Which is Better?

Greetings, beekeeping enthusiasts!

It’s that time again to dip into the sweet world of beekeeping and indulge in a honey-filled discussion. Today, we will explore the age-old debate – Raw Local Honey vs. Non-Local Processed Honey: Which is Better?

Raw, Local Honey

Raw, local honey is the rockstar of the honey world! This liquid gold is essentially honey straight from the hive, packed with all the natural goodness Mother Nature intended. It’s like honey’s natural version, the real deal. When we say “raw,” we mean unpasteurized, unfiltered, and unprocessed. Just pure bee nectar, beeswax bits, and more good stuff.

Why Raw Honey Rules?

  • Nutrient Powerhouse – Raw honey is packed with various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It’s like a spoonful of nature’s goodness with every taste.
  • Allergy Alleviator – Many people use raw honey to help with seasonal allergies. For them, it’s a natural elixir that fights the sniffles and more.
  • Gut-Friendly – Raw honey can work wonders for your digestive system. Think of it as a probiotic that your taste buds love.
  • Flavor Fiesta – The taste of raw honey will vary based on the flowers the bees visit. It’s like a flavor adventure in every jar.
  • Downside – Raw honey will often crystalize in cool settings, making it flow more slowly; however, it does not change the nutritional aspects of the honey. We set a pot of water on the stove, heat it to boiling, turn the burner off, and set the jar in the water. Within ~15 minutes, the honey is de-crystalized – ready to go!

Processed Honey

You’ll usually find processed honey at your local grocery store, neatly squeezed into that cute bear-shaped bottle or something similar. In virtually all cases, pasteurization, ultra-filtration, and sometimes added sugars or syrups have put the honey through the wringer. It’s still honey – technically. In these cases, water volume is often 20% or more – our honey typically is in the 15% – 17% range which results in a smoother, flavorful texture that people notice.

Why Processed Honey Sells?

  • Long Shelf Life – Processed honey can have an extended shelf life due to pasteurization, so it won’t crystallize as quickly. Once again, crystallization does not change the shelf life – you just want to microwave it to make it smooth again!
  • Uniform Texture – Processed honey looks smoother and more consistent, good for drizzling – not unlike maple syrup.
  • Milder Flavor – If you prefer a mild, uniform taste, processed honey might be your choice.

Tips for Picking the Perfect Honey

Local is Good For You: Locally sourced honey often has the added bonus of helping with allergies, thanks to the local flora. Tiny bits of pollen from local flowers are sometimes found in the honey, and as you take it in, those little bits can gently desensitize some allergies for users.

Give It a Taste: Taste-testing is the best way to find your personal honey heaven. Most of our customers, conditioned by “store-bought honey” are surprised by the remarkable difference in taste and texture

Check the Label: Honey from some foreign locations is often diluted/watered down – yet still sold as “pure honey.” We try to discourage our customers from purchasing these versions of honey due to the way it is handled at the source.

Now that we’ve addressed the debate let’s not forget the bees!

Our buzzing buddies work tirelessly to bring us this liquid gold. Beekeeping is crucial in ensuring an ample supply of honey and thriving bee populations.

Consider supporting local beekeepers, attending beekeeping events, or even starting your own hive. It’s a sweet way to give back to our pollinator pals.

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We are always happy to receive ideas, suggestions, and questions about our operation, the bees, and the colonies we care for…so drop us a line. The bees will appreciate it, and we will, too!

Belmont Bee Company

Belmont, Massachusetts 02478



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