> Here's why we're special. November 17 2011, 0 Comments

During an interview with a Bon Appétit writer yesterday, it came down to   this:

"What makes TruBee Honey unique?"

As I told her, there are two answers. 

First, it's about the bees and the type of honey they produce. We joke that     our honeybees are "free-range," as if you could tell a bee where to forage     for nectar, but in some ways this is true.

We offer wildflower honey, not honey from a single nectar source. (Think orange blossom, tupelo and sourwood, where bee hives are farmed out to "catch" the nectar flow.) There's nothing wrong with these types of honey, but a multi-source diet is healthier for the bees, and we like the unpredictable nature of each vintage harvest.

You see, since the location of our hives rarely changes, the variables affecting TruBee Honey are things like rainfall and heat. Simple forces of nature. Bees don't go out in the rain, so a wet, cold spring will limit their exposure to nectars from spring-blooming trees, like many fruit trees. But then there might be a lush wild clover crop later that summer, or abundant wild aster in the fall. So, each year is different.

The second way our honey is different is how we process it. In a nutshell, we don't process it. Sure, we extract the honey with a centrifuge, which slings the honey from the combs into a stainless steel tank, but we don't do much after that. We don't pasteurize or boil it, and we don't filter it. If you hold our glass honey jar to the light, you can see different-colored bits of pollen suspended in golden honey.

The pollen also seems to rise to the top and stick to the lid of the jar. We encourage you to lick the lid (like the old Yoplait yogurt commercials) so you get to enjoy every bit of pollen packed in your jar!

Of course, there are many other reasons why we're special. I have a knack for finding four-leaf clovers, and Jeff works harder than anyone I know. We also have a wonderful little girl who likes living in the country and an old dog good at finding skunks but not catching them.

While that's not what the Bon Appétit writer wanted to know, those things make our honey special too. We like living simply and providing a simple product that's unpredictable and ephemeral — each year and each vintage a combination never to be repeated.

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A few articles about bees and honey:

"Most store-bought honey isn't honey at all, tests show" / source: MSN

"Studio Libertiny's vase made by bees" / source: Inhabitat.com