About Our Honeys
All of the honeys we sell here at Golden Rule Honey are raw, unfiltered, and never heated above the temperature inside the beehive. Besides killing naturally occurring enzymes, heat destroys the esters of the plant nectars that give honeys their complex flavors and can also make the honey taste bitter. We have invested in special equipment that allows us to bottle our honeys without going beyond hive temperature, even when the honeys are crystallized.
Because the honeys are unfiltered, they contain traces of pollen, propolis and wax.
For detailed descriptions of each of our honeys, including the practices of each beekeeper, please visit our online shopping page located in the menu above and click on the individual products.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Are these honeys organic?
A. None of our domestic honeys are certified organic. For honey to carry an organic label, it has to be produced and packaged according to organic certification standards. One of these standards is an 8 square mile fly zone around the bees that is either land that is managed according to organic standards, and/or land that is completely wild. We have very few areas in the U.S. that can both support bees and meet these standards. This is why most certified organic honey comes from Canada, Mexico, or Brazil where these standards can be met.
Our Costa Chica honey is certified organic, but does not carry the label, as our bottling facility is not certified. We do take care to always keep our different honeys separate while bottling to maintain their integrity.
Q. Why are your honeys different colors?
A. Honey is basically concentrated plant nectars (with the addition of some enzymes and microbes by the bees). The color of the honey depends on the plant nectars that the bees collect at particular times of year and geographic locations.
Q. Why aren't these honeys clear?
A. Honey is a supersaturated solution. It is supposed to crystallize. Heating and filtering prolong the time that honey remains clear but heating and filtering kill the live enzymes and remove the pollen particles in honey, impacting the nutritional content and subtle flavors. We do not heat or filter our honey above the temperature of the hive and it often crystallizes quickly. These are not the hard, sharp crystals of processed honey. If you have never had raw, crystallized honey you are in for a treat!
Q. Which of these honeys are better?
A. They are all excellent! Because the bees forage on different plant sources in different geographical regions of the country, the flavors and textures are unique from each other. People also have unique responses to the different honeys. While you may have a favorite, all of our honeys offer the highest quality honey experience. You have to taste these honeys to appreciate how special they are.
Q. Why don't these honeys taste like the honey I have at home?
A. Most honey is heated and filtered during processing. Our raw honeys are unheated and unfiltered from bees that are not artificially fed but allowed to consume the honey that they make. This ensures that what you are getting with our honeys is pure, concentrated plant nectars, unadulterated by any additives, BEFORE OR AFTER the honey is extracted. Many of our customers do a side by side taste test with our honeys and the commercial honeys they have at home and end up tossing the commercial honey. We welcome you to do your own taste test!
Q. Do bees eat honey?
A. Yes. Honey is made and stored by the bees as their carbohydrate source. They consume the honey for the energy they need to use their wings and flight muscles for flying, heating and cooling the hive and evaporating nectar. Honeybees are the only bees that overwinter and make excess food to survive between seasons. Our beekeepers are careful to leave plenty of honey with the bees for their needs and only take the excess.
Q. Don't crystals mean that the honey has gone bad?
A. No. Honey is the only food that never spoils. Crystallized honey will dissolve by submerging the honey jar in a hot water bath.
Q. How do I remove the last bits of honey from the jar?
A. A narrow spatula works perfectly for the half pound, one and two pound classic jars. A large, long handled spatula is best for the half gallon Ball jar. You should be able to scrape out almost every bit of honey. Make use of the rest by swishing hot water in the jar to sweeten your tea or cooking, or add olive oil and rice vinegar or lemon juice for a delicious vinaigrette.
Q. How can I get the honey to pour?
A. Submerge the jar (to just below the cap) in vessel of hot water. Hot tap water will usually do. Wait for the honey to liquify. If necessary, replace the hot water. You can also liquify smaller amounts by scooping a desired amount of honey into a ceramic cup or glass and submerge in a hot water bath.
Resist the temptation to microwave the honey. Microwaves can create hot spots and ruin your honey.
Q. Why is it so important to not overheat the honey?
A. Raw honey has live enzymes that are destroyed by heat. Too much heat also destroys the subtle flavors in honey and can change the composition of the natural sugars, producing a bitter aftertaste. Our honeys are the best that money can buy. Treat them with the patience they deserve!
Q. Does honey need to be refrigerated?
A. Only if the temperature in your home exceeds 90 degrees F. The bees prepare the nectar so that honey can be stored indefinitely at normal room temperatures.
Q. How should I keep the honey?
A. These honeys are so delicious that you may have to hide them to keep them from disappearing. We have customers who lock their honey in file cabinets and leave an inferior decoy honey in the pantry or on their desk. Whether you have to hide it or can leave it in sight, any place out of direct sunlight is fine. In hot weather, keep the honey below 90 degrees F. Raw honey is not harmed by freezing. Keep the honey capped when not in use.
Q. What temperature should I keep the honey?
A. Our raw honeys change texture and release different subtle flavors at different temperatures. Experiment and see what you like. Anything up to 90 degrees F. is fine.
Q. What makes honey "crunchy"?
A. Plant nectars contain different balances of fructose and glucose. Honeys with a higher glucose level have bigger crunchier crystals when they crystallize. Enjoy all the textural variations!
Q. Are the "smooth" honeys "creamed"?
A. No. Commercially creamed honey is generally heated, filtered honey that is seeded with particular crystals to create a desired texture. The creamy texture of our Vermont, New York, and some of our Massachusetts honeys is from naturally forming crystals that are so small your tongue doesn't feel them. You have to taste them to believe how yummy they are.
Q. What do people use raw honey for?
A. Everything! Our raw honeys are delicious as spreads and as ingredients in many foods and beverages (see Recipes). They make great facial masks and cleansers at full strength and fantastic hair rinses when diluted (about ½ teaspoon per quart of warm water). Honey is used topically to treat resistant bacterial skin infections and diabetic skin ulcers. Many people take a spoonful of raw honey each day for good health or just to enjoy the honey in its pure form. Honey has been recognized to be just as effective as cough syrups, minus the high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners found in most commercial cough syrups.
Q. What is your favorite way to use the honey?
A. While we use these amazing honeys with almost everything, we never get tired of eating them right from the spoon. Let us know YOUR favorite ways of enjoying them!