What Makes Herel Park Honey different?
The term 100% pure, raw, natural honey has been used throughout our explanations of our products, but to truly understand the importance of this distinction and how our product sets itself apart from so many others, we need to dive into our processing procedures, and common honey production practices further.
- First and foremost, every drop of HPCO honey is produced from our hives located in Central Tennessee. We do not purchase honey from other companies, domestic or foreign, therefore we produce every ounce of honey we sell. Our hive plot locations are strategically placed in very rural areas, primarily targeting trees and floral areas, avoiding row crop farm lands to avoid overexposure to pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides that are commonly used in many farming operations across the country
- Herel Park honey is not Pasteurized, or heated to a point that would destroy the beneficial compounds within the honey, in order to extend shelf life. Heating honey past a standard temperature is very frequently used by mass-producing honey businesses in order to delay crystallization. This process degrades its quality by changing honey's essential composition, partially destroying its beneficial enzymes and removing much of the internal compounds that account for its unique flavor. A common misconception is that crystallized honey means the honey has gone bad; this is untrue, and is the subject of another FAQ on this page. We also use 200 micron straining cloth to take out larger particles of wax and comb, which work their way through the extraction processes. This does not take the pollen out of the honey.
- A common practice in the honey industry is to directly supply the honeybees with food supplementation. This practice itself does have its place within a hive, specifically during the cold winter months when honeybees are not able to leave the hive to produce honey, and allows for bees to produce honey to prevent starvation. The issue with this practice however is that many honey producers have integrated this during the prime honey production months by supplying cheap High Fructose Corn Syrup or Sugar, to increase the volume able to be harvested from the hive at an extremely low cost. This process heavily dilutes the honey production coming from local blooms, which provide the taste and benefits that many people seek from honey. HPCO is proud to say that we do not feed our hives during in our production window, ensuring that our honey is 100% raw and natural.
- It is reported that many beekeepers keep honey bee hives on antibiotics such as Terramycin and Tylan. This prevents the honey bees from getting symptoms of American Foulbrood, the most virulent bacterial disease known to honey bees. While American Foulbrood is harmless to humans, it will decimate honeybee colonies. Often beekeepers keep their bees on these antibiotics when the hives are kept in close proximity in high numbers for pollination, as the disease is passed quickly from infected to non infected colonies. (ie Almond pollination in California. 90% of the managed colonies in the USA are shipped to California for pollination this time of year. HPCO does not participate in commercial pollination, as our hives remain at home in Middle Tennessee year round). At HPCO we do not use any antibiotics, and is why we do extreme diligence as to where our hives are located.
Herel Park is proud of the steps that we have taken in order to differentiate ourselves from the vast majority of ill-practices that run rampant in the world of honey production. HPCO is a turn-key business that manages every aspect of our production process, from the setup of our yards to our marketing and sales efforts. As part of our goal to spread the knowledge about honeybees and honey, we encourage you to look further into the honey process!
Why Bottle in Glass?
There are a number of reasons that we bottle in USA produced glass:
- To prevent the leaching of chemicals used in the manufacture of the plastic into the honey.
- Honey stays in bottles much longer then other food products
- If the honey does crystallize, a glass container allows it to be reheated at a warm temperature to re-liquefy the honey
- All bottles are washed in hot bleach water solution
- BPA free one piece lids for honey jars- safe & easy to use.
Where is the honey processed?
We produce through a family owned Honey Processing Facility, and do not provide access to others to process their honey with our infrastructure due to contamination concerns. The 'Honey House' as we have deemed it, is FDA registered, as well as permitted & inspected by the State of Tennessee.
- The Honey House is operated in the cleanest environment possible and process procedures are documented in writing and followed by all personnel
- All equipment used during the processing and bottling stages of our honey production cycle is food-grade quality.
What do I do if my honey crystallizes?
As I mentioned above, a common misconception is that crystallized honey is bad honey. In most cases, crystallized honey holds the exact same benefits as liquid honey, and is sometimes preferred by many people due to its ability to spread with ease. Don't fret if our honey crystallizes however, as it and can be turned back into liquid honey with ease, and is one of the reasons we bottle in glass.
- Do not microwave your honey, as it will destroy a number of the great qualities of the honey, similar to that described in the pasteurization process.
- Place your jar of honey into a saucepan of water, and slightly turn the lid of the jar to release any pressure built up in the jar during the process.
- Begin heating your saucepan of water on a stove-top, until the water is hot to the touch. Again, be aware not to heat the honey too much, as it will destroy the beneficial properties. After a bit of time at a warm temperature, the crystals will start to revert back into liquid. Please ensure that you do not leave your heating element unattended during the heating process.
- Please be aware that this process on bottles of honey packaged in plastic from other sources is not advised due to the heating of the plastic.
Please note that there is an advisory not to give honey to children under 2 years of age in some states. While some states have a labeling requirement, Tennessee does not; HPCO will label all products with this notice.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have, and we would enjoy conversing you!