The Quality of Our Honey
Our customers quite rightly seek reassurance about the provenance and quality of the honey we use. We take this very seriously since it is of paramount importance to us too.
At Just Bee, our mission is to supply the highest quality honey that consistently delights our customers, whilst at the same time, achieving our social mission to help save the bees.
What honey do we use, and where is it from?
Our Raw Vitamin Honey (Original and Lemon & Ginger) is 100% raw polyflora honey. ‘Polyflora’ honey means the bees have foraged on a variety of flowers, blossoms and other plants to produce the honey. We choose this honey because it has a sweet but delicate flavour which is consistent all year round. We source our polyflora honey from carefully selected beekeepers across the UK and Europe.
Our Manuka Raw Vitamin Honey comes from New Zealand, and is high in antimicrobial activity, which means it is effective against a wide range of pathogens (organisms that cause disease). This honey is slightly darker in colour with 'woody' flavour notes.
Is our honey ‘raw’?
All the honey we sell is 100% ‘raw’. This means that it hasn’t been pasteurised since leaving the hive.
Pasteurised honey is honey that has been heated to over 38 degrees Celsius (usually way over 70 degrees Celsius). Pasteurisation damages honey because it removes natural flavours, textures, health boosting nutrients and antioxidant properties.
Much of the honey that you will find in supermarkets – especially the cheaper varieties - has been pasteurised and so won’t contains as many natural nutrients as raw honey and simply won’t taste as good!
What is ‘fake’ honey?
‘Fake’ honey usually contains some ‘real’ honey, but it has been mixed with cheaper ingredients - eg. sugar syrup, corn syrup or rice syrup to reduce its production costs. You may have seen a number of articles in the press about UK supermarkets selling fake honey.
We do not add any sugar syrup, corn syrup or rice syrup to our honey. We also carry out adulteration testing to ensure that our honey is 100% honey - see below.
What if my honey crystallises?
Raw honey generally crystallises more quickly than pasteurised honey, because it’s natural properties haven’t been destroyed by high production temperatures. Crystallisation is a natural process and is actually a sign of a high quality / raw honey! If you prefer your honey runny/uncrystallised, gently warm it in a bowl of hot water, but take care not to overheat. Click here for more information explaining this process.
What do we add to our honey?
We take raw honey and blend it with Vitamins C, B6, B12 and Echinacea to create Raw Vitamin Honey. This provides immune-boosting benefits. Every teaspoon of our honey contains 25% of your recommended daily allowance of these vitamins. Our Vitamins and Echinacea are sourced from leading suppliers of nutritional ingredients in the UK.
How do we ensure our honey is the highest quality?
We thoroughly vet our suppliers, all of whom are BRC food safety accredited and/or use GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) suppliers in their supply chains. These accreditations mean the beekeepers and all our suppliers have to meet internationally recognised food safety standards.
We also perform a series of tests to ensure all our honey meets our very high quality criteria.
These tests include:
- HMF testing – to ensure our honey is fresh and raw
- Antibiotic testing – to ensure our beekeepers are not illegally adding antibiotics into the beehives
- Water % testing – to ensure our honey is the right consistency and guarantee our shelf life
- Microbioligical testing – to ensure we can guarantee our shelf life
- Foreign sugars testing – to ensure our honey is actually honey and not fake!
- Activity testing – test the antibacterial levels of our honey (Manuka honey only)
- Vitamin testing – to ensure our products include the stated levels of vitamins