Types of Honey- Wildflower
Wildflower honey is the base that makes up the majority of flavors of raw honey beekeepers produce. Excuse me, the bees produce and which makes up the majority of honeys on your local grocery shelf.
What is Wildflower Honey?
If you where to gather up all the honey sold in stores approximately 95% or more of that could be classified as wildflower honey. Wildflower honey is not necessarily influenced by the processing after the hive extraction and can be in raw honey format or in a higher processed format. Learn the difference between raw honey and "regular" honey. For the sake of this post we will focus on raw honey.
What makes honey wildflower honey, is a bit of a technical topic and what makes it a more formal classification, may come down to the state you live in. For instance, we operate most of our operations out of West Central Wisconsin, where we can see the skyscrapers of St. Paul, MN. In Wisconsin the state mandates per the DATCP website:
" You can label your honey by predominant flavor or main source if people in the business could clearly distinguish the flavor or source. You can’t name more than one flavor or source, or name the honey by season."
This leaves a pretty wide range for interpretation and who exactly is "people in the business". Especially after Covid-19, that is leaving people with lower tasting ability. Either way wildflower honey is the safest way to identify your honey as being from different sources all in the same jar or bottle.
What Classifies Wildflower Honey?
Not all wildflower honey is going to be the same. And will likely vary from season to season even with the same beekeeper. Why? Because wildflower honey is simply honey that comes from bees and their hives placed in areas that do not have a primary single source or pulled after a specific seasonal window.
Bees can be placed on tracts of land where there are more of a single source of nectar. Take for example, Canadian honey in BC or Alberta. A lot of that honey comes from canola oil producers, so that honey is primarily canola honey, or the same with sunflowers. However those plants only provide nectar for short periods throughout a season, so the bees are foraging on other types of nectar sources. If all the honey was pulled after a full season you have a good blend of honey and this would likely qualify as wildflower honey.
If the honey was pulled just after a large nectar source such as the canola, then you would have canola honey. The same would go for buckwheat honey, dandelion honey, clover honey, and similar. These are traditionally called single source honey's. And according to Wisconsin, must be determined by taste by people in the business. Single source honeys will have other nectar sources but the primary nectar source is that of which it is selected for.
Wildflower honey comes from all types of nectar sources and are really dependent upon the location of the hives. Our wildflower honey is made up of some intentional blends by selectively sourcing the location of our hives. So our honey has a unique flower essence that comes from clover, dandelion, maple trees, black locust trees, apple trees, other fruit trees, buckwheat, basswood, and other wildflowers.
Depending on the year our honey may have a slight taste difference, but all of our honey is coming from a full season or wide spectrum of nectar sources that bring out a flavor we feel is difficult to mimic. The name "wildflower honey" simply identifies the honey as not having a single source and is blended with the surrounding areas nectar sources. Each area of the country or globe, has its own signature wildflower honey taste, and in our biased opinion, nothing beats our wildflower sources on flavor.
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