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The story of Tropic Bee Honey begins inside the beehive,beescrowd.gif (11876 bytes)where thousands of bees toil endlessly day after day to collect their golden bounty of nectar.  This nectar is converted by bees into honey.  To produce just one pound of honey, the bees must travel back and forth between the flowers and hive a distance more than three times around the world!

flower.gif (9114 bytes)Every variety of honey is as unique as the flowering plants the bees visit.   Honey ranges in color from almost clear to dark amber.  Generally darker honeys contain more valuable antioxidants than lighter honeys.

Of the many prized honeys, none is more unique than Orange Blossom Honey.   When Florida orange groves blossom in early spring, the air is filled with their perfume.  Orange flowerbee.gif (5457 bytes)Blossom Honey is fragrant, delicate and perfect when spread on toast, waffles, pancakes and other breakfast breads.  It makes a delicious topping for yogurt, ice cream and fruit salads.

Florida's millions of acres of forests and orange groves, plus its year-round warm climate, gives the bees a fantastic environment to create the world's finest honeys.

Commercial users of honey have discovered that orange blossom honey adds special flavor highlights to foods.  Meat glazes and coatings, yogurt and ice cream have all benefited from the unique qualities of orange blossom honey.

We've added just a hint of natural fruit essence to create our newest varieties -- Citrus Honey with Key Lime and Citrus Honey with Tangerine.  Imagine the aroma of a fresh-peeled tangerine and the bright sparkle of a real Key Lime twist.  Both are great in hot tea and drizzled on fruit salads.  Add to barbeque sauces and create your own tropical honey mustard.  So good squeezed right from the bottle and on hot biscuits.

 

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Beneath the canopy of Florida's vast sub-tropical forests and pine woods, honey plants grow in profusion, particularly trees.gif (27810 bytes)gallberry (Ilex glabra) and saw palmetto (Serenoa repens).   This
acreage is not cultivated, fertilized or chemically sprayed, and the honey produced there is Tropical Wild Honey.  This honey is bottled without filtration and at moderate temperatures to insure its full nutritional spectrum of natural pollens, enzymes and antioxidants.  Tropical Wild Honey is perfect in any recipe using honey.

 

palmetto.gif (21111 bytes)One hundred years ago, our area of Central Florida shipped the honey and berries of the Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) to the capitals of Europe for their health-giving qualities.  Today, Saw

Palmetto is again the source of health supplements.  This bright, distinctive honey is particularly good in desserts.

 

Tupelo Honey is one of the worlds's rarest honeys.  Produced along the Appalachicola River basin and surrounding swamps in Northwest Florida, tupelo honey is naturally higher in simple sugars such as fructose.   Because of this, tupelo honey never granulates and it tastes sweeter, so you can use less of it to achieve the same level of sweetening.
 

 

Some Consumers prefer Honey with Comb.   A piece of pure honeycomb, cut from the beehive in its original state, is surrounded by either Florida Orange Blossom Honey or Tropical Wild Honey for a double honey treat.

Tip: Spoon a small chunk of honeycomb from the jar and chew it like chewing gum, discarding the wax after the honey is gone.

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Storage Tips for Florida Honey:

Store honey at room temperature, never in the refrigerator.  The countertop or a pantry shelf is ideal.  If honey turns cloudy or crystallizes (a natural process), simply place the honey jar in warm water and stir until the crystals dissolve.  Or place the honey in a microwave-safe container with the lid off and microwave on HIGH, stirring every 30 seconds, until crystals dissolve.  Be careful not to boil or scorch the honey.

More information on Honey Crystallization (Granulation)

Sooner or later anyone who deals with pure honey will encounter "granulation", or "crystallization", when the honey takes on a semi-solid state.  One of the biggest misconceptions is that something is wrong with the honey, either it is not pure or it has spoiled.

Crystallization is a natural phenomenon that happens when glucose, one of the three main sugars is honey, spontaneously precipitates out of the honey and takes the form of a crystal.

Many factors influence the crystallization of honey.  Some varieties of honey almost never crystallize, such as sage or tupelo, because of their low natural glucose content.  Other honeys, such as alfalfa, cotton, mesquite and rapeseed, crystallize extremely quickly.

Controlling crystallization is accomplished mainly through proper storage, with emphasis on proper storage temperatures.  Taking the honey through wide temperature fluctuations, such as from a cool storage room to a warm retail shelf, back to a cool store room, should be avoided.

Generally, temperatures from 45-60 degrees F. encourage crystallization.  Storage temperatures from 70-80 degrees F. discourage crystallization.

It is important to remember, however, that honey does not spoil, as many foods do.   It remains wholesome after decades.  Crystallization is a natural physical change in the honey.  It's main fault if that honey loses consumer appeal.

Liquid honey that crystallizes can easily be reliquified following the tips noted above.   The best practice, however, is to avoid crystallization by proper storage at even room temperatures.

More tips, recipes, research topics, and everything else you ever wanted to know about honey is available from the National Honey Board's award-winning website.

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