Do you buy honey locally? How and why?

I have seen plenty of random articles that say honey never expires. But then I heard a few preppers say you should only buy local because some of the cheaper honey you find in stores is fake or has bad chemicals.

Is that true? Do you buy local and if so, how? Is it more expensive?


  • Comments (18)

    • 10

      Honey does go bad, but it’s still edible for a very long time. Years? Decades? The main reason it doesn’t go bad quickly is the high concentration of sugar, which sucks the moisture out of microbes landing on it (due to osmosis). There are other factors as well, but the simple answer is that if you want the longest shelf life, get a bag of sugar. If you want to extend that even more, seal the sugar up in a mylar bag (no oxygen absorber).

      If you really want honey, not sugar, you should be able to get local honey at a farmer’s market. Make sure it’s a reputable one; some allow vendors to repackage stuff they didn’t grow/raise themselves. Also, keep in mind that local, natural honey can still be toxic if the beekeepers aren’t careful, as there are some plants that produce poisonous and/or hallucinogenic honey. Also, farmer’s market honey will be maybe 3x more expensive.

      If you really want honey and you have more time than money, you can fake it by making your own dandelion syrup, which looks, smells, and tastes almost exactly like honey, and is made from sugar (cheap), water (free) and dandelion blossoms (free).

      Hope that helps!

      • 6

        Any advice on how to easily find out if what’s at a local farmers market isn’t actually local or is toxic? I don’t necessarily trust the person at the sales booth to answer accurately.

    • 8

      Still blows my mind that little bees can make something so awesome that never goes bad.

      I leave my honey at room temperature. You can put it in the fridge but crystals will form. The crystals arent bad and you can warm the honey to melt the crystals back. But I still try to avoid them.

    • 9

      Once, years ago, I was regaling my students with details of glorious farmer’s market honey, the different varieties, and giant honeycomb. Fantastic. Until my mouthiest and most amazing student pipes up, “Yuck! I will never, ever eat honey–it’s disgusting!!!” To which I respond, “Well, this farmer’s market honey is the best you’ll ever taste” Her retort: “I’ll never taste any honey because it’s all disgusting–honey is the spit of the bees!”

      Checkmate, kid.

      • 5

        Should tell the kids about the government-approved ratio of worms in their applesauce 😂

    • 6

      Brother in law is a beekeeper. I know he sells jars of honey to people and says you shouldn’t buy the Chinese stuff. Not sure why though.

      • 6

        I buy local. Live in an area with Amish nearby. We buy honey, meat, and cheese from them. Always a better quality and we know where it comes from. OP, not sure about how it compares to store prices. I’m okay with paying a little more but don’t think it’s a silly amount extra.

    • 6

      I’ve heard one specific reason for certain people to buy local honey is that local bees use local pollen, and people with pollen (and maybe other?) allergies can use it to help build up resistance. I’ve heard it but I don’t know if that’s true or not.

      • 4

        Hi! this topic engaged me here of why and why not local honey. Well in my case, I will do prefer local honey. Local honey is not that bad. You would get good honey and pure honey if you have your own bee farm or you have a trusted person. In UAE it’s all pure. I thought if you cann’t support your local products, It means you are not supporting your country. I love to buy royal honey in dubai

    • 4

      Sometimes I will buy honey at a farmer’s market, but have also heard of it being repackaged from wherever. More frequently, I buy it from local stores, grocery Coops, or a local CSA.

      It is more expensive than the Kroger honey bear. In my area, southwest US, I pay about $20 for a pound of local, raw honey. 

    • 7

      I buy honey direct from a local apiary about 30 miles from our house.  My last buy was five 1 gallon jugs. They give a substantial discount for buying 5 gallons or more.

      They charge $32 for a gallon (12 pounds) of wildflower honey when you buy 5 gallons, instead of $40 for a single gallon.  It works out to $2.66 a pound.

      Other local honey sold by the pound at the local ace hardware costs about $8.50 a pound. 

      • 5

        WOW! What I would do with 5 gallons of honey! haha.

        Do you find that the honey crystalizes and hardens over time? I don’t see you eating 5 gallons of honey fast enough to prevent that.

      • 7

        It hasn’t been an issue.  My wife make a gallon of iced tea sweetened with 1/2 C honey every 1-2 days. 

      • 4

        Looks like you will be needing those 5 gallons! 🙂

    • 7


      Liz, This link doesn’t directly answer your question but gives background.

      I buy raw honey from my local Aldi discount grocery store.  Raw honey costs ~ $1 more than the “processed” honey.

      Besides using only raw honey, my criteria for purchasing it are specific:

      –  Always seek the honey in plastic container with squeeze spout having a pop-close lid. Had been advised glass is best container but my food stockpiles factor intomy evacuation plan and plastic is much ligher.

      – Costs govern my purchasing and Aldi is lesser cost than colonial downtown with local merchants’ store (akin to satellite farmers’ market).

      –  Getting to store, open for business hour (I’m an early riser), parking availability and personal safety are 3 major factors re honey and much else.

      “Honey: the nectar of the gods”

      • 5

        I have to agree with you that honey is the nectar of the gods! I love it. 

        I see why you like plastic containers, I however am switching more to glass containers though. My honey always crystalizes and hardens, and I’ve heard that warming up plastics can be harmful and even melt the plastic container onto your honey. The glass containers are so much easier to double boil to turn your crystalized honey into liquid goodness again.

      • 6

        The biggest reason to avoid honey from China is that it typically is mixed with corn syrup or other additive.  Many honey suppliers have a True Source label on their product to show it is pure honey.  Honey and olive oil are two of the most “counterfeited” products out there. 

      • 5

        Yuck! That sounds so disgusting! I’ll definitely be looking for that True Source label on my next bottle. And even better, buy locally.