The British Beekeeping Association (BBKA) is trying to encourage the public to appreciate the benefits of British honey. As part of their campaign they have set up National Honey Day. This will be an annual event, the first will be in just over a week on the 21st of October. This is a great thing for small-scale beekeepers like us. We’ve put together 4 reasons why you should support this special day.
1. A great deal of “honey” that is imported into this country isn’t real honey
Honey is said to be one of the most adulterated foods in the world. Unscrupulous sellers have been found to cut honey with things like corn or rice syrup to make it go further. There is an excellent episode in the series called Rotton available on Netflix about this shady business. Buying directly from your local beekeeper means that you can ask them in person about how their honey is produced.
2. Honey is poorly labelled
At present, the rules about labeling honey for sale mean that the country of origin can be a complete mystery. Putting a jar of honey in a shop with a label that says “A blend of EU and non-EU honey” is perfectly acceptable. This gives no information about where the honey originally came from. The BBKA has started a petition to try and get honey labeling changed. You can sign it here: /https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/honeycake_67599
3. Learn to taste unblended honey
A lot of commercially produced honey is a mixture of honey from various places. The goal of these companies is to produce a consistant product. If you buy a jar of honey of theirs from anywhere in the country it’ll look and taste the same.
I think that this is such a shame – one of the great delights of honey is noticing the variation of flavours, textures, and colours from hive to hive and season to season. I always think that it’d be like collecting all the grapes in France to make “French Wine”. It would be crazy, yet this is exactly what happens with honey.
If you buy honey from a local producer it is likely that you are buying honey that has been made locally. You can always ask them where the honey is from. Lots of small-scale beekeepers now put the postcode of where the hives are situated on their labels, so you can see for yourself.
4. Support a small business
For National Honey Day the BBKA is encouraging everyone to buy a jar of local honey from the UK. If you do this, you will be supporting UK beekeepers, many are small businesses that will be so happy to introduce you to your local honey.