Honey Buying Tips

Here are my honey buying tips, for purchasing quality honey.

UPDATE: Please note, the main text of this page has now moved.  This page now only features abbreviated information.
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1. Buy Local Honey

Why?  Depending on where in the world you live, there are some reports about contaminated honey, honey mixed with corn syrup and so on. 

By purchasing from a local beekeeper, you can ensure you are getting real honey, whilst supporting a small-scale beekeeper.

You can also ask them about the kinds of flowers the bees have been foraging on so you can learn a little more about the honey you are going to get (do they forage on farm crops or meadow flowers, garden flowers or a lavender farm for example?).

Honey bee on yellow Solidago flowerHoney bee on Solidago.

If you want the product to be as natural as possible you could also consider purchasing Raw Honey.

2. Buy Organic Honey if you want....but remember, it's complicated...

For one thing, standards vary internationally.  For more information, see my page about Organic Beekeeping.

3. Pay A Price That Represents The True Value Of Honey

Packaged honeycomb.Packaged honeycomb.

If it's cheap, then surely, some payment has had to be made somewhere along the line. 

  • Can you trust the supplier? 
  • Is it pure honey or does it contain corn syrup?  Have the bees been kept to a high standard? 

Cheap is not necessarily better, and if it's not honey you are buying, you may as well purchase something else.

As stated above, in some countries there have been a number of scandals regarding product labelled as honey, that is not pure, and which contains a variety of other sweet products and even chemicals.

Remember that the process of making honey involves thousands of bees harvesting nectar from flowers.  Anything labelled as honey which contains any cheap, sweet replacement, is a con.

4. Honey From The Supermarket

Look at the label before you buy.  Is there any indication that what is in the jar, is not pure honey?  Also, where does it come from?

See if the super market has been able to source any honey from a local supplier. 

Failing that, my next recommendation would be to choose a honey suggestive of bees being exposed to natural foraging areas, such as woodlands, hillsides or meadows.  You could also consider organic honey.

5. Alternatives To Honey

There are a number of alternatives to honey, depending on how you intend to use it:

  • maple syrup
  • dates pureed
  • sugar
  • treacle
  • syrup - including fruit syrup for pancakes

It is often proposed that honey is better for you than sugar, but do remember it is very high in calories.

Honey is not suitable for people with diabetes

You will find a comparison of honey and sugar here.

Did You Know?

Honey is food stored by honey bees
to see them through the winter?

Read about

Why Bees Make Honey

More resources

Cooking With Honey
Check these recipe ideas for using honey with food.

How Do Bees Make Honey and Why?
It’s a fascinating process. Learn about how hard bees work to bring liquid gold too your plate, and you’ll see why honey is precious.

About Honey
Lots of links to further information about honey

About Honey Bees
Learn about these amazing little pollinators!

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leafcutter bee on sweet pea plant sweet peas for bees