Frequently asked questions
Here are some of the most common questions we get asked.
Why is raw honey different?
Raw honey is unpasteurised, meaning it is not treated with an intense heat. Unlike milk, this is not done with the aim to sterilise the honey, which is naturally antimicrobial, but to prevent granulation. This chemically alters the natural sugars and in our opinion adversely affects the flavour just to make it look nicer for longer on the shelf. Similarly our honey isn’t microfiltered, and so retains all the pollen in natural honey.
Why has my honey granulated?
The granulation is simply the natural sugars crystallising, often starting the process around grains of pollen and then over time fully setting. It is still perfectly edible. If you wish to reverse this it’s easily done by gentle warming, at no higher than 50°c (or the flavour will be negatively affected). Placing the sealed jar in a bowl of warm water for a few hours will usually be enough.
is your honey organic?
In order to be certified organic in the UK all potential sources of of nectar the bees might forage on within their 3 mile range would need to be certified organic land. There is nowhere on the Isle of Wight that has 3 miles round of organic certified land and so our honey cannot claim to be organic. We do however specifically seek sites for our bees away from agricultural pesticides and unlike many other beekeepers actively avoid monocrop foraging which can in our opinion lead to bland flavoured honey.
Is honey vegan?
No. Honey by any strict definition cannot be considered vegan. We have the very highest regard for the welfare of our bees and abstain from any practices that put profit ahead of bee welfare. We also abstain from practices like queen-clipping or drone-culling, where bees are mutilated simply for the convenience of the beekeeper. We are open about our ethical positioning, and are happy to respectfully discuss this further factually and without judgement if it helps you with your own ethical choices about honey consumption.
Do you do any other products?
All the bee products we sell are listed on the website. Bees produce more than honey, however:
- We save all our beeswax and use it to help establish new colonies as we grow our business;
- Pollen harvesting is not typically in the best interests of our hive health;
- Royal jelly harvesting is outside of our ethical standards;
- and no one has ever actually asked for propolis.
Is your honey in any shops?
We are still a very small business and are not yet in an economic position to offer a wholesale price, so our honey can only be purchased direct from ourselves.
Can i collect my honey from you?
Again, as a small business just starting out we are working all hours out at our hives or on deliveries, and we don't yet have a shop or business premises. As such we offer free delivery to island addresses because we are likely to be passing all points on the island in our typical week.
DO you want my jars back?
It is not hygienic for us to risk the problems around reusing jars. Our lids and glassware are all recyclable when separated and can go out with your normal recycling.
I have bees on my property, can you help?
Until very recently we would come out for swarms, but as our business has grown we find ourselves no longer able to offer this service. Swarms happen at the busiest time of year and we are working flat out to keep our own hives from flying away and in the time spent out catching one new swarm we risk losing two of our own. We can signpost you to the Isle of Wight Beekeepers' Association, who have a circle of excellent beekeepers who volunteer their time where they can, but they may also find themselves unable to help for similar reasons to us and I’d ask you to be understanding: they take no payment for this service.