Frequently Asked Questions

Why buy local raw honey

Buying local Harborough honey is not only good for supporting a local business, but is suggested that there are some health benefits too. Some people don’t realise this, but local honey is made by local bees, from local plants. This means that the pollen they collect is all from local plants. If you have seasonal allergies caused by plants, by eating local honey it is suggested it can help control these allergies. The purer the honey, the better the medicinal benefit will be.

Why has my honey crystalised?

If your honey has crystalised, don’t worry, this is quite normal, in fact its quite nice to spread on toast as it doesn’t run off so easily.

At some point in a pot of honey’s lifetime, it will crystalise, basically it has turned into sugar crystals and slightly set. You can infact buy honey already crystalised, it is generally called granulated honey, as said, granulation is a natural process of honey.

Granualted honey is comprised of lots of tiny crystals, these crystals can be big or small, gritty, smooth, a bit like sand or even creamy. The size of these sugar crystals varies depending on the type of flower the honeybee has visited whilst gathring nectar. Honey, generally speaking will remain as a liquid for quite some time where others will turn more solid quite quickly, it all depends on the source of the nectar.

If you do not want your honey to be crystalised, fortunately its a easy job returning it to runny again. You can either warm the honey in warm water, not boiling as this is too hot, or put the jar complete with the lid on in the oven and set it to 50 degrees celcius and leave it, depending on how many jars you are putting in the oven and how granulated the honey is, expect this process to take 24 hours to return it fully to liquid again.

Why is Harborough honey more expensive than supermarket honey?

The reason Harborough Honey is more expensive is because it is a premium quality local product that is not mass produced.

There are a couple of reason why supermarket honey is cheaper, one being because it is generally mass produced and supermarkets buy 1000’s of units at a time. The majority of cheap supermarket honey contains a legal percentage of added syrup and it can still be called honey, so basically its not pure. Also the origin of the honey is after from other parts of the world.

Most honey that you buy in a supermarket is pasteurised which means it has been heat treated to 161 Fahrenheit or higher. This is to help stop fermenation and also to be be able to strain it it to make the honey completely smooth. Heat treating and straining honey to this degree also takes out all the tiny bits of pollen.

What is the best way to store Harborough honey?

We find that the best way to store Harborough honey is in a cool dark place and kepy at room temperature. A kitchen cupboard is often the best place. Once opened, there is no need to store the honet in a refrigerator.

Does honey have an expiration date?

No, but honey is required to have a Best Before End date. Honey, if stored correctly in a sealed container can remain stable for decades! However, honey does got through some physical and chemical changes during storage regardless of how you keep it. So keeping it in an appropriate container with a lid on prevents too much moisture from getting into the honey, which would allow the yeasts in the honey to begin fermentation, which is not good!

Generally speaking the longer you keep the honey, it tends to darken and lose some of its aroma and flavor, or mentioned above, it might crystallise. Harborough Honey like the majority of other local honey has a set shelf life of two years from the date it was harvested. Harborough honey is always processed and packaged in a way that should mean your stored honey retains its quality for a long time.

The general rule of thumb is so long as it has been stored properly, any quality honey that has gone past it’s best before date will still be perfectly safe and great to eat.

Why can’t I feed honey to infants under 12 months or age?

It has been documented that honey on rare occasions can contains Clostridium botulinum spores that can cause infant botulism. This is a rare but serious disease. This disease affects the nervous system of young babies (generally under one year old). These spores are present throughout the environment and may be found in duch things as dust, soil and improperly canned food products. Adults and children over one year of age are routinely exposed to to the spores, but not normally affected by it. Honey is safe to consume during pregnancy and lactation. While infants are susceptible to the infant botulism, adults, including pregnant women are not. Infants lack the fully developed gastrointestinal tract of older humans which is why there is some concern over this. Since the mother is not in danger of developing this condition, the unborn baby is well protected.

What is the difference between clear and set honey?

Clear and set / granulated honey is actually the same thing in the way it all started as honey from a comb, however, the more fructose in the honey the longer the honey will remain as a liquid more so. Honey that contains more glucose than fructose and because of this is very likely to cristalise a lot quicker.

There is no difference in the way it tastes, or even the nutritional value. It’s a bit like when Cadbury’s changed the shape of a sqaure of dairy milk from a more square shape to a smooth curved shape, it is the same product but some say it tastes slightly different this is down to the shape / texture.

Soft set honey which is a a mix of both clear and granualted honey, again is the same thing but is clear honey mixed with some crystalised honey then creamed together, the end result is a soft set honey.

What is honey exactly?

Honey is a complex mix of the following items:

  • 80% – Natural sugars
  • 18% – Water
  • 2% – Minerals, vitamins, pollen and protein

From the 80% natural sugar content, around 70% of this is is made up of fructose and glucose. It is this special balance that determines if you end up with clear or set honey. This is why if you put your bee hives on the edge of a oil seed rape field, you are likely to get a harder early honey.

People say local honey is good for curing hay fever, is this true?

Currently there is no widely-accepted scientific research indicating that local honey, or any honey, has positive effects on allergies. Due to this we nor anyone else can make a health claim to say that it is good for hay fever.

We would advise people to do their own research on the internet, or better still buy some of our local Harborough honey, and find out what other people think as a lot of people have reported the benefits of taking local honey. Why not try it and let us know how you get on.

How recyclable are your products?

The jars that the honey comes in, including the lid and the label are all 100% recyclable, so we encourage people to do their bit and dispose or resuse of them appropriately.

Our cut comb container is made from food grade plastic, as much as would like to package this in a more eco friendly way, currently we are sticking with this packaging as it best suits this type of product. We are always looking for ways to improve on packaging, but some things are not quite so straight forward to change.

Where are you located? Is it possible to visit?

We live locally to Market Harborough, and operate from premises locally. We have hives dotted in and around Market Harborough and surrounding area, all within 5 miles or so, as much as we would like to take people to show them off, we do try to keep the locations secret as do not want to attract attention to them as hive theft is a problem unfortunately.

You may be wondering what the address in Coventry is. This is just a service address we use for the little correspondence we get. This is to help protect our privacy.

What is the typical nutritional makeup of honey?

The approximate nutritional composition of traditional English honey is as below, please note these are approximate figures and should only be used only as a rough guide as are not necessarily 100% accurate.

Per 100g

Energy (kjoules)

1405 kj

Energy (kcal)

325 kcal



    of which Saturates




    of which Sugar









18 – 21%