Go Local: Advantages of a Small Apiary
When resources like money and time are available, consumers have become increasingly pro-active in their selection of the types of food they buy. While the decision to purchase more locally-produced food is often driven by quality and freshness, other factors including the desire to support local farmers, decrease the carbon footprint (by minimizing transportation costs), and eliminate the need for preservatives and processing (that degrades our food’s nutritional value) often play an important role.
With reports of food contamination featuring more prominently in the news—including the contamination of honey produced overseas—consumers are looking for alternative sources. According to sources at Food Safety News, “A third or more of all the honey consumed in the US is likely to have been smuggled in from China and may be tainted with illegal antibiotics and heavy metals.” (Asian Honey, Banned in Europe, Is Flooding U.S. Grocery Shelves, http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/08/honey-laundering/). The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) states that US beekeepers can only meet about 48% of our domestic need for honey—the remaining 52% is imported from 41 other countries.
In contrast, small, local apiaries can offer consumers the confidence of knowing exactly how the bees are treated, the nutritional quality of the honey, and how it was harvested. These boutique honey-producers can educate their customers about their bee management strategies and sustainable land-management practices. By buying their honey and honey products from these apiaries, consumers are making an environmentally-sensitive decision to support sources of natural ingredients.
This philosophy of sourcing local honey—both from our own apiary and distinctive regions across the United States—is at the very foundation of Bee America: great-tasting honey and a variety of flavors. This is sweetness that you can trust.