MY HONEY IS STARTING TO CRYSTALLIZE IN THE JAR. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

It's perfectly normal for honey to crystallize and does not mean that the quality of the honey has changed. All honey is primarily composed of two types of sugar: glucose and fructose. Honey varieties high in fructose rarely crystallize, like Tupelo Honey. Honey varieties high in glucose have a stronger tendency to crystallize over time. Crystallization is natural and does not affect a honey’s flavor. Honey is least likely to crystallize if stored at room temperature. To re-liquify your crystallized honey, stand the lightly sealed jar into a container of warm water for 20 minutes, or run under a hot tap. The honey will gently liquefy. You will want to stir it to speed even heating. Remember that our Whipped honey varieties are meant to be finely crystallized. Store it in a cooler location, but do not refrigerate or it may get too stiff to spread.

HOW SHOULD I STORE HONEYCOMB?

The best way to keep raw honeycomb is at room temperature in a cabinet or on a countertop. Keep it in the plastic box to prevent any unwanted visitors from getting into it. Of course, avoid exposing your honey to water. It does not need to be in a refrigerator, where it may begin to crystallize.

IS THE COMB EDIBLE?

The wax cells of honeycomb are not only edible but very beneficial because they contain natural vitamin A as well as healthy roughage.

WHAT IS THE SHELF LIFE OF HONEY? WHY IS THERE AN EXPIRATION DATE ON THE BOTTLE?

Honey never spoils! Pots of still edible honey have been uncovered after thousands of years in Egyptian tombs. We mark an expiration date on some of our bottles as required by food stores, but that date is simply to meet their regulations. However, honey, unlike wine, tastes best during its first few years.

HOW CAN HONEY HELP MY ALLERGIES?

There is some debate but many people tell us that eating honey reduces their allergy symptoms. Fresh, raw honey best preserves its natural benefits for this purpose. We once heard at a beekeeping convention that honeycomb is best for people with allergies and asthma. How and why we don't know, but the worst side effect is a little burst of energy, so why not try it? We suggest that you enjoy a daily regimen of eating 1 tablespoon of raw honey or honeycomb once in the morning and once in the evening.

HOW DO YOU GET BEES TO MAKE HONEY FROM JUST ONE KIND OF FLOWER?

Each of our honey types are derived from different flower species. Bee hives are moved to an area where there is an abundance of a specific plant that is in bloom – such as in the swamps where the tupelo trees grow. The bees will go back to the same kind of flower over and over (called “flower fidelity”) to bring back the nectar from that one plant. After the bloom ends – usually about two weeks – the beekeepers remove the honey boxes and extract that honey. Then the beekeeper can relocate the hives to a new area where another species is blooming.

WHAT MAKES ONE HONEY DIFFERENT FROM ANOTHER?

The species of flower from which the bee gathered the nectar determines the color, flavor, and sugar composition of the honey. Buckwheat honey is black and strong in flavor, acacia honey is almost completely clear and mild. We mostly sell monofloral honey – nectar from one specific flower species. We like to say all honey is good, but some honey is great. And believe us, there is a big difference. Common commercial honey is often blended for color consistency without regard to taste.

WHAT MAKES YOUR WHIPPED HONEY VARIETIES LOOK DIFFERENT FROM YOUR OTHER HONEY VARIETIES?

Savannah Bee Company adds a small percentage of finely crystallized honey to a very special variety of honey to encourage it to set up like frosted cream.

I HEAR THAT BEES ARE DISAPPEARING. IS THIS TRUE?

There has been quite a lot of buzz about colony collapse disorder and the disappearance of honeybees. Much of it is very alarming, and it is of concern to us. Things you can do: Start keeping some beehives. Do not use neonicotinoids or buy plants treated with them. Plant a diverse variety of flowers that successively bloom.

WHAT IS COLONY COLLAPSE DISORDER AND WHAT IS THE CAUSE?

If it were a novel, people would criticize the plot for being too far-fetched – thriving colonies disappear overnight without leaving a trace, the bodies of the victims are never found. Only in this case, it’s not fiction: It’s what’s happening to fully a third of commercial bee hives, over a million colonies every year. Seemingly healthy communities fly off never to return. The queen bee and mother of the hive is abandoned to starve and die. Thousands of scientific sleuths have been on this case for the last 15 years trying to determine why our honey bees are disappearing in such alarming numbers. “This is the biggest general threat to our food supply,” according to Kevin Hackett, the national program leader for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s bee and pollination program. Until recently, the evidence was inconclusive on the cause of the mysterious “colony collapse disorder” (CCD) that threatens the future of beekeeping worldwide. But three new studies point an accusing finger at a culprit that many have suspected all along, a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids. In the U.S. alone, these pesticides, produced primarily by the German chemical giant Bayer and known as “neonics” for short, coat a massive 142 million acres of corn, wheat, soy and cotton seeds. They are also a common ingredient in home gardening products. Research published last month in the prestigious journal Science shows that neonics are absorbed by the plants’ vascular system and contaminate the pollen and nectar that bees encounter on their rounds. They are a nerve poison that disorient their insect victims and appear to damage the homing ability of bees, which may help to account for their mysterious failure to make it back to the hive. Another study published in the American Chemical Society’s Environmental Science and Technology journal implicated neonic-containing dust released into the air at planting time with “lethal effects compatible with colony losses phenomena observed by beekeepers.” Purdue University entomologists observed bees at infected hives exhibiting tremors, uncoordinated movement and convulsions, all signs of acute insecticide poisoning. And yet another study conducted by scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health actually re-created colony collapse disorder in several honeybee hives simply by administering small doses of a popular neonic, imidacloprid. But scientists believe that exposure to toxic pesticides is only one factor that has led to the decline of honey bees in recent years. The destruction and fragmentation of bee habitats, as a result of land development and the spread of monoculture agriculture, deprives pollinators of their diverse natural food supply. This has already led to the extinction of a number of wild bee species. The planting of genetically modified organism (GMO) crops – some of which now contain toxic insecticides within their genetic structure – may also be responsible for poisoning bees and weakening their immune systems

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS I CAN DO TO BE SUPPORTIVE OF BEES AND THEIR SURVIVAL?

  • Plant a Bee-Friendly Garden. For bees to carry out the pollination process, they need lots of nectar. One of the best ways you can help they honeybee population is by giving them more flowers! Honeybees love most flowers, but they’re particularly attracted to the following: lavender, sage, cilantro, thyme, fennel, crocus, buttercup, aster, hollyhocks, snowdrops, geraniums, Calendula, Alyssum, Poppy, Sunflowers, Zinnias, Cleomes, and Heliotropes. And don't worry about the "pesky weeds" in your grass (clover, dandelion, star thistle). These "weeds" are a very important early spring nectar source vital to honeybees.
  • Don’t use pesticides. Pesticides are thought to be the number one reason for Colony Collapse Disorder, a phenomenon where millions of bees have been disappearing all over the world. Before you spray your yard with harmful pesticides, think twice! You could be saving thousands of lives.
  • Support Your Local Beekeepers. By buying local honey, you’re helping out the beekeeper and honeybees! The more honey a beekeeper can sell, the more hives he will be able to maintain and take care of. Check out your local farmer's markets to find local honey.
  • Start Your Own Beehive: There’s no better way to help save the bees than to help increase the bee population! Keeping a beehive is not as labor intensive as you may believe. While you will need to read up and learn how to properly keep your bees, the actual process of checking a hive only needs to be done about once every two weeks. Plus, there’s nothing like having your own (EXTREMELY local!) backyard honey.
  • Spread the word. Honeybees can’t talk, so it’s up to you to help speak on their behalf! Tell your friends and family about he importance of honeybees or take a few minutes to sign some online petitions!

WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT STARTING BEEHIVES?

We send lots of people to a website that has all the beekeeping supplies for sale: Brushy Mountain Bee Farm. They have everything you need from veils to supers to smokers. We also tell them most major areas have a beekeeping association in that area that are more than welcome to answer any questions a future beekeeper may have.

WHY SHOULD CHILDREN YOUNGER THAN 1 NOT BE GIVEN HONEY?

Botulinum endospores are found in the natural environment of dirt and dust, and the spores can contaminate honeys. That is why children younger than 1 should not be given honey. The developed digestive system of older children and adults destroy the spores. Infants, however, can contract botulism from honey as well as other foods that have the spores. Infantile botulism cases rarely trace back to honey, but because the spores can be found in some honey, it is best to avoid giving it to infants.

CAN HONEY BE USED TO HEAL WOUNDS? IF SO, WHY DOES IT WORK?

Honey is antimicrobial. The sugars can kill bacteria, and there are natural peroxides that form when honey is put on the skin that also help kill bacteria. Honey is used in medical applications when conventional antibacterial treatment with antibiotics and antiseptics have failed, such as with diabetic ulcers or antibiotic-resistant infections. Numerous studies have shown these difficult-to-heal wounds respond well to honey dressings. Honey promotes rapid healing with minimal scarring. Honey also can be used as first aid treatment for burns, as it has potent anti-inflammatory activity. New research shows that bees make a protein they add to the honey called defensin-1, which could one day be used to treat burns and skin infections and to develop new drugs that could combat antibiotic-resistant infections. Scientists concluded that the vast majority of honey's antibacterial properties come from that protein. This information also sheds light on the inner workings of honeybee immune systems, which may one day help breeders create healthier and more hearty honeybees.

DO ALL THE BEES IN THE HIVE SURVIVE THE WINTER, AND IF SO, HOW DO THEY ACCOMPLISH THIS?

Honey bees are social in that they have specific roles and they cooperate for the good of the hive so that they, unlike most insects, can live through the winter. Honeybees produce and store honey in the hive’s honeycomb for consumption during the winter. It fuels their shivering movements that generate heat, much like it is on a crowded dance floor. They maintain the hive at around 90 degrees throughout the winter. The further north the hive, the more honey needed for winter.

HELP! THERE’S A HUGE MASS OF BEES IN MY TREE/YARD! WHAT DO I DO? ARE THEY DANGEROUS?

This is called a swarm, and the bees are not dangerous and are rarely defensive at this time because they have no home to defend. When a hive swarms, the queen bee and roughly half of the worker bees are moving to a new location to begin another beehive. They pile up and send out scout bees to find the ideal new home (a hollow tree for example). When the scouts determine the new home (they actually check out each other’s choices and make a communal decision) the entire swarm takes off in a “galaxy of bees” and flies to their new place. The scary-looking swarm will usually disappear in a day. If bees have swarmed in an area of your home where children or pets can knock or disturb the swarm in any way, please find a local beekeeper to remove them, rather than an exterminator! (Note: If you are in an area that has Africanized honeybees, then they could be dangerous.)

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO TREAT A BEE STING?

Scrape the stinger sideways from your skin using a hive tool, long fingernail or credit card. If you pinch or squeeze the venom sack attached to the stinger, you risk squeezing the venom into your skin even more! You will get 1/3 the bee venom with the scraping technique. After that, the pain will subside within 5 minutes and you can take an antihistamine to reduce swelling. Otherwise, there isn't much you can do to treat the sting itself.

HOW DO I INSTALL THE HONEY PUMP ON MY FULL BOTTLE OF HONEY?

Instructions are on the side of the box the pump comes in. Remove a spoon or two of honey so that the jar does not overflow when you insert the pump. Operate the pump as you insert it into the jar to begin filling the pump cylinder.

HOW DO I REUSE MY HONEY PUMP?

To reuse your pump, remove it from the empty bottle and run under hot water, pumping to pull the water through the pump mechanism. Allow the pump to air dry before inserting it into the new jar.

WHY ISN’T SAVANNAH BEE HONEY PASTEURIZED?

Pasteurization requires heating a substance to a temperature that is lethal to bacteria. Since honey’s saturated sugar quality and its osmotic effect inhibits the growth of nearly all bacterial species, pasteurization isn’t necessary. Pasteurization also destroys the amino acids and enzymes in honey. Amino acids are one of the healthful properties of honey, and enzymes rapidly break down honey’s sugars after consumption. Pasteurized honey has a weak “sugary” flavor and maintains few health benefits. For these reasons, we suggest you eat honey that has not been pasteurized.

IS SAVANNAH BEE HONEY KOSHER CERTIFIED?

All Savannah Bee honey is KSA Certified. All honey jar labels display the KSA certification logo. Please contact us for more information about our Kosher certification and other food safety standards and procedures.

HOW ARE QUEEN BEES MADE?

All of the bee larvae in the hive are fed royal jelly for the first few days after they hatch but only the queen larvae are fed the jelly exclusively. As a result of the difference in diet, the larvae chosen to become the queen will develop into a sexually mature female, unlike the worker bees. The Queen Bee is larger and lives longer than her fellow female worker bees.

WHAT IS ROYAL JELLY AND HOW IS IT MADE?

Royal jelly is 67% water, 12.5% protein, 11% simple sugars (monosaccharides), 5% fatty acids and 2-3% 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA). It also contains trace minerals, antibacterial and antibiotic components, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and trace amounts of vitamin C,[2] but none of the fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E or K. Royal jelly is a protein rich honey bee secretion that is used in the nutrition of larvae, as well as adult queens. This substance is beneficial for aiding in skin care because; Its primary components are major proteins: amino acids, including all the amino acids that are essential for human nutrition; sugars, mostly fructose and glucose; lipids; minerals; and vitamins. Royal jelly's fats, suspended as a natural emulsion, have moisturizing properties, protect skin from dehydration and reduce inflammation. Amino acids are a component of collagen, which keeps the skin firm. Cosmetic functions of royal jelly, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, include improving the appearance of wrinkles and stretch marks, boosting elasticity and firmness, and normalizing the fat secretions of skin glands to reduce oiliness. Royal jelly also has antibiotic and fungicidal properties.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE IN THE BODY BUTTERS?

With each body butter you are getting the strengthening, softening and protective ingredient Royal Jelly as well as many creamy butters to aid in softening your skin. Our Original Scented body Butter has an ingredient in it called Rose of Clay. Rose of clay adds the beautiful rosy hue to the product as well as aids in extracting impurities from the skin. This ingredient can be irritating to the most sensitive of skinned customers so we removed it from our Chamomile and Myrrh formula so that all of our customers would be able to use our signature product. The Tupelo Scented Body Butter has the same base as the Chamomile and Myrrh but the scent profile is on the sweet side, versus the herbal scent of the Chamomile and Myrrh.

IS THERE A SHELF LIFE ON YOUR HEALTH AND BEAUTY PRODUCT?

Unlike our honey's our Health and Beauty products do expire and due to not using synthetic preservatives most of our products self life is 2 years unopened and 1 year opened. This expiration is a soft expiration and many of our products will last longer than that due to storage conditions and climate. If you have any questions on batch codes, manufacture dates and expiration please contact our customer service department at 1-800-955-5080.

ARE SAVANNAH BEE RETAIL LOCATIONS DOG FRIENDLY?

The team at Savannah Bee Company loves pets of all kinds and sizes. They are an important part of our family, as we know they are part of yours too. Unfortunately, due to Health Code Regulation, animals are not allowed in our stores. Of course, all Service Pets and Assistance Animals are always welcome.