What is Raw Honey?

Beekeeper with honeycomb

Honey is a natural product, and it’s not going to be totally uniform every single time. The small variations are actually a benefit to you, because that’s how you know you’ve found an honest source.

Honey is the sweet substance we all know made by honeybees. Bees collect nectar from flowers, mix it with unique enzymes, deposit it into honeycomb and let it “ripen” until it contains only about 18% moisture. It is essentially highly concentrated flower nectar.
Beekeepers use centrifugal force to spin the honey from the comb during extraction. At that time, pollen gets mixed in with the honey as bees store pollen alongside honey in the honeycomb cells.
The liquid honey is then strained to remove wax particles. At this point, we have what the bees produced- raw honey. It is a living food as the enzymes honey contains are active and beneficial to human health.
Much commercially-available honey, however, is highly processed. It is filtered to remove pollen and heated to pasteurize it. This is done to preserve the shelf-life of the product. If the honey contains pollen and is not pasteurized, honey will crystallize much more quickly. Most people expect their honey to remain liquid and squeeze from a bear, and this presentation will not work with raw honey.
Our honey is bottled in a wide-mouth jar so you can reach the bottom once the honey crystallizes inside. We do not filter or pasteurize our honey. It is warmed to a maximum temperature of 110 degrees F to make it flow more easily during bottling, but that is all.
When honey is raw, it has a much richer, nuanced flavor than processed honey does. Honey may vary in color and look cloudy as it crystallizes and solidifies. That is completely natural and fine – honey is a natural product, and it’s not going to be totally uniform every single time. The small variations are actually a benefit to you, because that’s how you know you’ve found an honest source.

Note: There is no federal standard for raw honey. We follow the simple principle that our honey should be as close to the way bees made it as possible. However, the state of Utah did pass a Raw Honey Amendment, defining raw honey. We applaud their effort and mirror and exceed their standard.

About royalhawaiianhoney

Rebeca Krones, Owner, Tropical Traders Specialty Foods My love of food began while growing up in Costa Rica and the rainforest of Peru, where I was exposed to many varieties of exotic fruits, vegetables and cuisine. My dad, Michael Krones, was a beekeeper back then and still is. When I was 16 my family and I spent two years living and sailing on a boat, and I was the designated cook as we traveled from San Francisco, CA, down the coast of Mexico and eventually to the Hawaiian Islands. This experience taught me a lot about sourcing local foods and ingredients. After earning a degree in Art History from Oberlin College in Ohio, I worked at several fine arts museums and galleries before returning to my love of food while working at Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, CA. I founded Tropical Traders with the intention of introducing the incredible honeys my dad produces to other people. My unique life experiences have made this possible. Aloha!
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7 Responses to What is Raw Honey?

  1. Ornella says:

    I came across your company info due to the amazon raw honey products.
    I am looking to buy raw, organic wild flower and single source honey.
    I am bit confused since your website says that none of the bees are used for pollination, but the macadamia nuts honey is from orchards…are these orchards organic?
    I am looking to avoid any type of pesticides or treatments of the flowers.

    Or do you recommend a honey product of yours that is:
    Raw, un heated, unpasteurized, single sourced, wildflowers. Looking for honey and honeycomb also. Do you have a link for amazon with such products?

    Thx a lot!

    • Hello,

      Thanks for your question.
      We produce two brands, the Royal Hawaiian Honey and the Bee Well Honey. Both are raw honeys.
      Royal Hawaiian Honeys are single-source conventional varietals, while the Bee Well is certified organic wildflower.

      We only harvest honey with our bees, we do not use our bees for commercial pollination like many beekeepers do, which means they move their hives around the country pollinating orchards for a fee. That is what is meant by “not used for pollination”. The Macadamia Nut orchards are conventional, and they are located close to our farm in Hawaii which is why our bees happen to forage there.

      I hope this answers your questions!


  2. Hi Ornella,

    Yes, we sell Bee Well Honey on Amazon.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00UY3Z5EO/ref=s9_acsd_hps_bw_c_x_1_wYou can ship to anywhere in the U.S. from Amazon.


  3. My husband and I love your honey! And love that you wrote on the label about *Honeybees are healthy and abundant and *Beekeeepers make a fair and prosperous living from their craft. Both are so important for producing a product ethically and safely, with everyone happy. My only question is why the label states to store the honey at room temperature… I can understand if this is to reduce the odds of it crystallizing. However, I really like my honey cold from the refrigerator, and hope that doesn’t affect any of the enzymes and goodness in the honey, especially since it will take a few months to get through the jar. Cheers, aloha!

    • Hello Kari!

      So glad you like our honey!!
      You can absolutely store honey in the fridge is you wish, especially if you prefer it cold and more crystallized. The only reason we say “room temp” on the label is to advise that honey doesn’t need to be refrigerated like some other goods once opened. It will not affect the enzymes or any other properties of the honey.

      Hope this answers your question!


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