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Honey Flavors: It Depends on Where the Bees Buzz.

Updated: Mar 22

Did you know honeybees travel up to 3 miles in any direction to forage, gathering nectar and pollen from 50 and 100 flowers during each collection flight? To produce one pound of honey, bees from a hive will fly 55,000 miles and visit 2 million flowers. These numbers are more impressive when you consider a single honeybee will make only 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey during its short life. A single hive consists of 10,000 – 60,000 bees and will produce up to 100 pounds of honey. But what about different flavors of honey? In the grocery store, there are a bunch of flavors, are they human-made?


Did you know honeybees travel up to 3 miles in any direction to forage, gathering nectar and pollen from 50 and 100 flowers during each collection flight? To produce one pound of honey, bees from a hive will fly 55,000 miles and visit 2 million flowers. These numbers are more impressive when you consider a single honeybee will make only 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey during its short life. A single hive consists of 10,000 – 60,000 bees and will produce up to 100 pounds of honey. But what about different flavors of honey? In the grocery store, there are a bunch of flavors, are they human-made?


We are glad you asked. There are actually over 300 different kinds of honey in the United States. Each one has a unique flavor and color, depending on the blossoms the honeybees foraged. Most honey flavors derive from a blend of flowers (multi-floral or wildflower honey) within the hive's three-mile radius. There is also single-flower honey, also known as unifloral or varietal honey, where the nectar is collected predominantly from one type of flower. Since bees cannot be trained to forage a specific type of blossom, to produce varietal honey, a beekeeper must move the hives to an area where the targeted blossom is in abundance and season. Each varietal honey will possess a distinct flavor and color. Generally, light-colored honey is milder, and darker honey is more robust, but the best way to delve into the world of honey flavors is to start tasting them.


Humans experience thousands of flavors with our noses; however, we are only capable of experiencing four basic tastes— sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. Of our five senses, our sense of smell is approximately a thousand times more sensitive than our sense of taste. Therefore, it is equally important to use your sense of smell and taste when exploring honey. The best way to sample honey is a side-by-side comparison. Take in the aroma of a half teaspoon of honey, let it melt on your tongue, and slowly absorb the subtlety in its flavors. Eat plain bread or crackers and wash it down with unflavored water to cleanse your palate between tastings.


One last, but very important piece of advice. When shopping for honey choose raw honey. Much of the regular honey found in grocery stores is pasteurized - heated at high temperatures to kill the yeast, increase shelf life, and make it look more transparent. This can also affect the honey’s taste. Raw honey is not heated or pasteurized, it is straight from the hive, just as the bees made it. Raw honey maintains its natural vitamins, essential minerals, enzymes, phytonutrients and other nutritional elements.


The next time you are shopping for honey, consider what the bees went through to deliver the delicious jar of liquid gold. You may want to consider shopping at your local farmer's market or directly from our website at honeymountainhoney.com. We will deliver premium raw honey directly to your door.

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