A Gift of Honey
One of the best gifts you can give a beekeeper is a bottle of honey, preferably from your own hives but a bottle of real honey nevertheless.
No two bottles of honey are the same, nor will they taste the same so giving honey is similar to gifting a bottle of wine. The soil terroir, what plants are available, weather conditions - all contribute to the unique taste of honey. It can also vary by time of year harvested and even by honey color.
As beekeeping friends, it's always a treat to have a honey jar gifted. My bee buddy David gave me a little honey bear of his 2016 honey harvest, raw strained honey with no other modifications. It's just like the bees made it.
In 2015, I was part of a Missouri State Beekeepers Association team working successfully with Missouri's Legislature to update the state's honey bottling law. Previously, honey was lumped in with jams and jellies, requiring beekeepers to invest in $30,000 commercial kitchens to be able to bottle honey for sale.
With the changes in Missouri's honey bottling laws, beekeepers can now bottle the honey in their kitchens and add labels with the honey source prior to sales. No need to build, or use, commercial kitchens. As beekeepers, we are not making the honey, as one does with jams and jellies. All beekeepers are doing is bottling what bees have made.
Sorry, this bottle of honey is not for sale. It was a gift and I fully intend to enjoy it over cold winter days.
Thank you, David, and please thank your bees. This honey looks more like Grade A+!