As pollen season is here in Houston, our website is flooded with inquiries about the availability of our small batch, neighborhood honey.
The truth is... we sold out of our neighborhood honey earlier this year for many reasons. Let me explain!
First, HONEY IS SEASONAL. Honeybees forage year-round in our warm climate, but only have a surplus crop for human consumption when there is a surplus of nectar available. They then cure the nectar into honey inside the hive, which is a longer process in our humid climate. Many commercial beekeepers only harvest once or twice a year. Since we do small batch, we have the unique ability to harvest from late spring to late fall. It is dependent on the weather, but we typically harvest from May to December. If you have March and April spring allergies, your best bet is to have honey from the previous spring. Honey from this pollen season will not be ready for 4-6 weeks after it's collected!
Second, our harvests are extremely small batch. We typically harvest 10-50 pounds of honey at a time. In turn, the Collective only receives 35% of that harvest. 65% goes to the backyard beekeeper. As ethical beekeepers, we are quite conservative with our harvests - we leave a lot for the bees to get through winter and we also share honey among hives in the same apiary. So if one colony had a surplus and one did not in the same yard, we would share the wealth among the colonies so the bees have plenty to eat when there is not much for them to forage.
Third, 2021 was a terrible year for honey in our area. Due to the freeze in February as well as the rains in May during our heaviest nectar flow, our harvests were down severely in 2021. Many commercial beekeepers in the area reported that their harvest was 70-80% less than in 2020. We fared better in general, but were definitely well below 2020.
Finally, Bee2Bee honey is popular! We had a ton of interest and demand in 2021. We often kept the honey we did harvest exclusively for our three farmers markets
. Our twenty retail partners
also scooped up honey when it was available to them and it rarely made it to the website. It was here today, gone tomorrow. I did my best to communicate this through our social media channels - every Friday I would announce what neighborhoods we were bringing to the market and would honor any online requests for the neighborhoods.
However, all is not bleak. Some of our retailers still have neighborhood honeys! As do some of our backyard beekeepers - some do sell their honey (remember, they get 65%!). If you are interested in a particular neighborhood, please send in an inquiry and I can connect you to the Collective.
Thank you for your understanding and please keep an eye on our social media to see when our first harvest happens! We want neighborhood honey back as well.