We’ve been almost as busy as the bees. Last week we harvested almost 500 lbs of summer wildflower honey!
You see quite a lot of honey on the store shelves (and ours will soon be among them!) It can be challenging to know what makes them different. You know, of course, to look for local producers (not just local distributors.)
But what else sets Gopher Knoll honey apart?
It is certified 100% pure, local, raw & unfiltered by the Real Texas Honey™ program of the Texas Beekeeping Association. Look for the seal on all our bottles of pure honey!
It is actually honey! As defined by the Real Texas Honey ™ program (and the Texas Agriculture Code), honey is “produced by honey bees strictly from plant nectar”. This means we do not feed sugar water to bees in production hives. Sharing honey and pollen resources among hives in our apiary as necessary keeps our bees healthy and our honey free of sugar-water supplements.
Our honey is RAW and UNFILTERED. We do not heat our honey to extract or bottle it, nor do we filter it through filters fine enough to remove pollen. Our honey is strained only one time through a simple screen to remove wax bits and other pieces from the comb while preserving the nutrient and pollen content.
It is LOCAL to Athens, TX. Our bees do all their work at home, in Athens, TX. Many bee hives are moved around the country to assist with pollination of almonds or other crops, or to take advantage of nectar flows from specific trees or plants. That honey will not consistently contain the pollens available in your home area. .
The flavor of each honey harvest is dependent on the specific plants the bees have been foraging. We plant several acres of pristine clovers, herbs, wild flowers, berries and fruit trees throughout the season. Our spring clover, spring wildflower and summer wildflower honeys each have unique flavor profiles that will bring a smile to your face!
Our bee-pasture, heirloom garden and orchard are never treated with toxic pesticides or herbicides. We use natural growing strategies such as crop rotations, cover cropping, companion planting, etc. to provide healthy forage for our bees (and healthy food for us!) We plan carefully to provide healthy, diverse and season-long forage.
Our hives are not treated with chemical miticides or antibiotics. Varroa mites are frequent parasites of honey bees and carry various bee diseases as well as weakening the bees directly. We treat our hives only when honey supers have been removed and only with products containing essential oils (thymol) or natural acids (oxalic acid.) Neither of these treatments leave residues in the honey comb that is exposed and since honey supers are not on the hives, there is zero possibility of contaminating the honey we harvest.
We always take care to leave the bees all the honey they need to stay healthy during summer droughts or winter cold. Many beekeepers remove as much honey as possible and then feed sugar water or corn syrup to the hives during breaks in nectar flow. Maintaining naturally healthy bees is our priority.
And our honey has now been tested Glyphosate-FREE!
You can find Gopher Knoll honey at the Athens, TX Farmer’s Market (behind Railway Cafe) as often as we can manage to be there and soon at Dana’s Health Foods in Athens!
Wishing you good health and great honey!