I have a couple of comments that I would like to make on this subject. I am a beekeeper, and in fact beekeeping has been in my family for four generations. Wherever people work honey bees around the world, you will find differences in what the bees can and can not do naturally.
First and foremost I need to comment on 'Aleksandr the Beekeeper's post on the 15 Sep 2011'. The first comment Aleksandr made was that many colonies in one yard = the need to feed bees because there will not be enough nectar for all the bees naturally. This may be the case in his part of the world, however where we keep bees in Canada our season is so intense that 50-75 colonies could easily be sustained in one yard naturally. (I say our season is intense because we only have about 2 months where our bees can produce honey. In this short period of time a good, strong hive on a good year can produce up to 400 lbs of honey.) It is the beekeeper that choses to have a smaller yard so that it is easier on themselves. Ourselves for instense do not like to work yards with more than 20-30 hives because we feel it is best for the bees and the beekeeper if we are in and out of a yard in a timely manner.
The second comment that Aleksandr the Beekeeper made was that "If the beekeeper has more then 500 hives and uses limited help to maintain them (only 2, 3 people)there is a great chance they are cutting corners." This is simply NOT TRUE. My husband ran 500+ hives this summer doing ALL the work himself. My father before him ran 1000 hives himself, only recruiting 1-2 people for the summer to help him with the harvest. Please speak for yourself because we work very hard and DO NOT 'cut corners'. In fact, if anything we work even harder then the average beekeeper because we produce Natural Comb Honey Rounds. In order to produce this type of honey we must spend a lot more time with our bees to ensure we get strong honey producing hives.
The last comment I need to make about Aleksandr the Beekeeper's post is his 'opinion' about pollination. Again his opinion, I assume, is based only on his limited experiences. We do not participate in pollination ourselves however we have very close friends who do in our part of the world. As I mentioned earlier, our season is very intense and pollinators in our area are able to pollinate as well as produce a sizeable honey crop without even trying (because that's what bees do - make honey).
Moving on, I would like to say a little something to those who were concerned that when they put their honey in the fridge it crystalized and so it must not be pure honey. This is a common misconception and in fact it is the opposite that is true. You see, ALL natural honey will granulate, it is simply a matter of when this will happen. There is a certain temperature range in which the granulation proccess is accelerated and the temperature that the refridgerater is set at is exactely the perfect temperature to speed up the granulation process. So the people that posted below that when they put their honey in the fridge and it granulated right away, they probably had very pure honey.
I mentioned above that all natural honey will granulate, it is just a matter of when. Granulation timing differs because of the different nectars that the bees work to make their honey. Some honey's will stay liquid for generations before they begin the granulation process while others may begin to granulate within several months. It is simply an issue of which flowers are in your local area and what the charicteristics of the nectars from those flowers may be. Granulation is a problem that we personally deal with quite a bit because as I mentioned above, we produce the specialty honey product of Comb Honey and the nectars in our area tend to granulate more quickly than some other areas. To solve this problem we keep our honey comb in a freezer that is set to -15C until we are ready to sell our honey. This prolongs the liquidity of the honey in the honey cells. We tell our customers to keep the honey comb in the freezer until they are ready to sell it or to leave it on their counter as they eat it, and to NEVER refidgerate it.
Thank you for providing people with such an interesting and informative site about honey products. As honey and other products from the hive truely are nature's most bountiful gifts to mankind.
Summit Gardens Honey Farms, Canada
18 Nov 2011