What is Raw Honey?
Raw honey is pure honey that has not been processed so as to change any of the enzymes that are present when the honeybees actually stored that honey in their combs. The purest form of raw honey is honey comb right from the hive and the next best is extracted honey which is spun out from the comb. Our raw honey has not been heated or filtered. This means that it may contain some particles of pollen, wax or propolis.
What about Stockin’s Honey?
WILDFLOWER honey is our “catch-all” term for our various honeys, that are not gathered in a specific enough quantity to have its own label. Spring honey is usually light colored and will not crystallize quickly. Fall honey is usually darker and crystallizes quickly, sometimes even in the comb before it can be extracted. Therefore, our raw wildflower honey may vary in color and taste and texture, depending on the time of year it is collected, the floral sources available to the bees, and the length of time stored before it is bottled. The floral sources for wildflower are Dandelion, Wild Cherry, all kinds of fruit tree blossoms, Sumac, Locust, Tulip Poplar, Autumn Olive, Knapweed, Dutch clover, Sweet Clover, Basswood, Goldenrod, Japanese Bamboo, and Aster, to name a few.
Some people think all our honey is LOCAL honey, from Strasburg, PA, since we live and operate from here. We do have a nice crop of local honey, but we are not big enough to produce enough for the demand for Lancaster County Local honey. We are able to get much of our wildflower honey from Pennsylvania or New York area. If we run out of that, we also purchase sweet clover honey from South Dakota which has been a pleasing wildflower honey for our customers.
What about Crystallization?
When raw honey is first extracted off of the comb, it will be fluid. Soon after, it will crystallize. This is natural and does not harm the honey. Some people think that honey which has crystallized in the bottle has “gone bad” or turned to sugar, but this is not true, because almost all honey will crystallize naturally. Nectar from tree flowers often crystallizes less and slower than nectar from field flowers. Some honey such as tupelo, star thistle, sour wood, and gall berry might not even crystallize, while other honeys like goldenrod, buckwheat and aster will crystallize very quickly. Usually the first time honey crystallizes, it gets pretty hard, but if crushed or stirred after that, it will often stay somewhat creamy. Some honey will tend to crystallize in a coarse, rather than fine textured crystal, and when this honey is pumped into jars, it may separate into coarse crystals on the bottom and fine crystals or fluid honey on the top. This honey is still raw and still good, and may simply be blended by stirring it together.