I wanted to make you aware of something I was completely unaware of until today. I was speaking with a man I had met in Whole Foods, who told me he was a beekeeper, when he saw me looking at the honey. I was not buying honey, but I was interested in what he had to say. He informed me to always make sure of where your honey comes from and how it is aquired.
I asked him what he meant exactly, because I did not really understand what he was getting at. You know those cheap versions of honey that are so often found in supermarkets and cupboards across america in those little bear jars? Apparently, those and many other brands, resort to feeding bees high-fructose corn syrup when pollen sources are not available. That explains the off-taste you often find with commercialized brands of honey.
He informed me that even some of the not-so-cheap brands use the corn syrup, or simple syrup solutions, in the off-seasons when plant sources are not abundant enough to keep up with production. He told me that any responsible bee keeper would never compromise bee health and honey quality just to keep pumping out the goods. In his own farm, when plant pollen is low, the bees hibernate and he stops selling the honey until the weather changes.
So, now I understand the importance of knowing where something as simple as honey, actually comes from. If you choose to buy honey, go local, you'll find the prices are more reasonable and the honey is usually of much better quality. As with any food, never buy from any producer that wouldn't welcome you on to their farm to have a look for yourself!