A growing appreciation of the importance of honeybees and the role they play in the health of our agricultural systems finds a sweet spot at Bee Raw Honey, an e-shop devoted to the mellifluous nectar (and the artisanal beekeepers who promote it). The unprocessed, unblended honeys on its site are sourced from all over the US, the product of family-owned apiaries from Connecticut to California. Each honey is made from a single organic or wild flower type that yields a distinct flavour and hue. All are extraordinarily tasty and beautifully packaged.
The e-store’s Raw Honey section contains a robust and rare selection of single varietals – from a light amber Aster Honey ($15), with hints of thyme and eucalyptus, to Blueberry Honey ($12) from Maine and a dark, complex Buckwheat variety ($12) from Washington State, which is perfect drizzled over plain Greek yogurt. The site also provides information about each grower and the honey’s floral source, as well as offering inventive ideas for cheese, fruit and tea pairings.
In addition to unique honeys, such as Sourwood ($14), Star Thistle ($14) and Meadowfoam ($15), there is also a large selection of assorted packages that allow for experimentation. The 4 Cheese Complementing Varietal Honey Flight ($45) includes four hand-corked vials presented in a sleek oak block, while the Six Times as Fun gift set ($79) offers such honey highlights as Florida Orange Blossom and New York Basswood – all presented in an understated, elegant box complete with Bee Raw’s signature cherrywood dipper ($12). The pièce de résistance, however, is the 9 Varietal Honey Flight ($78, second picture), a cross-country sampler of 1oz honey-filled tubes that are sealed with beeswax.
Tea lovers will delight in unusual pairings such as Karigane Kukicha Green Tea with Colorado Yellow Clover Honey ($30) – plus lessons on how to steep the perfect cup – as well as a Mount Olympus herbal variety with Wild Black Sage Honey ($28) that perfectly melds mild, smooth sweetness and a slight pepperiness.
With recipes for everything from cocktails to honey-peppercorn duck, not to mention ideas for easy entertaining and a subtle education on helping the environment, its hard not to take up this inspiring site’s motto: “Bee inspired”.