About Our Honey
Our Honey is Multi-floral
The bees that produce our honey at Little Farm are able to obtain nectar from a variety of wildflowers, perennials, and herbs. We pride ourselves in being able to produce Multi-floral honey.
In contrast, walk into just about any grocery store, and you will see rows of bottles of honey that all look the same. Check the labels on those jars, and you will see that the honey is produced from one type of flower. Such honey is called uni-floral.
Most often you will find clover honey – light amber to amber in color. That is not surprising, of course, since clover flowers – red, white, and yellow - contribute more to honey production in the United States than any other group of plants.
We are blessed that our nine acres of pasture and gardens nurture over 100 varieties of plants. The season begins with dandelions, whose nectar is the first significant flow here in northern New England. Spring continues with buttercups, common daisies, Indian paintbrush, and fruit tree blossoms. Mid-summer brings us the black-eyed Susan, day lilies, bee balm, oregano, and sage. As the summer winds down, the bees flock to sedum, golden rod, and finally Japanese knotweed.
The result is that our honey is never the same – year to year or even hive to hive. Depending on the interaction between the habits of the bees and the blossoming patterns of flowers, our honey may be dark one year and light the next – or a combination thereof in the same year.
Little Farm honey is always unique – but always loaded with the nutrients, vitamins, and anti-bacterial properties that make honey such a healthy alternative to processed sugar.
Our Honey is raw
At Little Farm, because we produce a limited supply of honey, we are pleased to be able to offer raw honey. Raw honey comes straight from the honey comb and is best described as honey “(like) it exists in the beehive.” It is simply extracted from the hive, strained, and poured straight into the bottle, bypassing all commercial processing methods.
Raw honey is traditional honey. It is the way people have been eating, cooking with, and benefitting from the medicinal qualities of honey for thousands of years.
Most honey you find on the grocery store shelf is pasteurized honey, which involves an intense heating and filtering process to prolong shelf life and improve product appearance. Studies have shown that pasteurization may remove or reduce some of the healthful antioxidants that non-pasteurized (or raw) honey offers. One study found that pasteurized honey contained 4.3 times less antioxidants than raw honey. Pasteurized honey may also contain added sugars.
When it comes to choosing a healthy honey, your best bet is to go raw, so you know exactly what you are getting.
How We make our honey
First of all, let’s be clear. We do not make Little Farm Honey. Our bees make the honey, and we simply remove it from the hive (always leaving enough for the bees to feed on during the long Maine winter), and bottle it for you. We do not process our honey, nor do we add anything to it. It is truly raw and pure honey.
The National Honey Board has summarized well how honey is made and brought to you:
Honey starts as flower nectar collected by bees, which gets broken down into simple sugars stored inside the honeycomb. The design of the honeycomb and constant fanning of the bees' wings causes evaporation, creating sweet liquid honey. Honey's color and flavor varies based on the nectar collected by the bees.
On average, a hive will produce about 65 pounds of surplus honey each year. Beekeepers harvest it by collecting the honeycomb frames and scraping off the wax cap that bees make to seal off honey in each cell. Once the caps are removed, the frames are placed in an extractor, a centrifuge that spins the frames, forcing honey out of the comb. (NOTE: Some extractors are electric. However, at Little Farm, we use the traditional hand-cranked variety.)
After the honey is extracted, it’s strained to remove any remaining wax and other particles.
After straining, it's time to bottle, label and bring it to you.
At Little Farm, our honey is labelled “pure raw honey”, so you can be assure that nothing was added from bee to hive to bottle.