Is the honey you're buying the real deal? Follow these tips to make sure

25 August 2019 - 00:00 By Hilary Biller
Try whenever you can to buy your honey from a health shop, weekend market or directly from a beekeeper.
Try whenever you can to buy your honey from a health shop, weekend market or directly from a beekeeper.
Image: 123RF/Anawat Sudchanham

Did you know there's a massive shortage of honey at the moment in SA? Beekeeper Glen James explains that there are all sorts of reasons for this.

"In the Cape the bees are starving because there is no food due to so little water. Other parts of the country have been too wet or too cold or any number of things that prevented the honey to flow," he says.

"So with any shortage, people try to stretch a limited resource with all kinds of added stuff. Some not too serious: they mix their honey with commercial honey. Yet others add sugar water or other liquids to make the honey go further. Some beekeepers over-rob their hives so the honey hasn't had time to settle and age.

"Even the well-known commercial brands of honey are being forced to make their honey go further because they have to survive and some trusted brands can't be trusted."

As a beekeeper and someone who has eaten honey directly from the hive for many years, James says he's really surprised at the general poor quality of many commercial honeys on supermarket shelves.

His tip to make sure you buy only the best-quality unadulterated honey? "Try whenever you can to buy your honey from a health shop, weekend market, an independent honey merchant or directly from a beekeeper."

"If that sounds like too much trouble, it's not actually," he adds.

"Become aware of honey and you'll be very surprised how much real honey there is all over the place. Most of the honey is from specific plants or areas, each with its own taste and texture. Your eyes will be opened when finding and eating honey that came from the hive directly to your toast.

"Of course, the next best thing is to get a swarm to move into the bottom of your garden. Honey on tap, paradise."

subscribe

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.