Honey. It is one of nature’s most versatile, natural foods and is very important to Rosewood. After all, our family are 3rd generation beekeepers, with over 75 years of beekeeping experience. Today, we have over 250 hives scattered across Niagara’s Escarpment & Greenbelt.
Our unpasteurized, hand-crafted honey has a delicate wildflower flavour. There is a reason for that. By adhering to natural and sustainable beekeeping techniques, our honey reflects the environment where hives are located as wells as the delightful local flavours of Niagara, while preserving all of the natural health benefits.
The manufacturing process is rather simple and dual purposed. Honey begins as flower nectar collected by thousands of honeybees (apis mellifera). As the bees collect the nectar, they pick up pollen and transfer the grains along their journey, pollinating as they go. Back at the hive, the bees produce an enzyme that transforms the composition of the nectar. As moisture in the transformed nectar evaporates, it slowly turns into honey.
Many may be unaware that during a honeybee’s lifetime, each will visit 1 million flowers to produce a pound of honey. The typical bee travel travels a distance that equates to 4 times around the world to produce one pound of honey. That's a lot of air miles and the mileage provides a little insight into the well-known cliché, "Busy as a bee."
Based within the rich Greenbelt of Niagara, our bees fly up to 2 or more miles from their hives to collect nectar. Bees are extremely important to the area as their pollinating work is essential for several varieties of fruit trees in the Niagara region including yellow plums, peaches, and cherries.
Honey is known to provide us with many health benefits. This remarkable product is comprised of a complex mixture of sugars, enzymes, proteins, organic compounds and trace minerals that also happen to taste great. Honey is naturally anti-septic, proving useful on wounds or against infections and, when consumed, provides a fast burning source of energy. As the world’s first natural sweetener, honey can also be used extensively in cooking, even replacing sugar in recipes.
Natural unpasteurized honey does not require refrigeration and will never spoil if stored correctly. To store, simply tuck it in your pantry, away from light, being carely to avoid mixing with water or other ingredients before storage. Honey is porous and should be stored away far from other foods that “gas off” such as onions, garlic or potatoes.
Over time, unpasteurized honey will eventually crystallize. To re-liquify, gently warm it in a microwave or place it into a warm water bath. Fresh honeycomb will keep for up to 6 – 8 week before it begins to crystallize, especially when kept cool. You can also freeze honeycomb for longer storage. Fresh honeycomb is typically ready at the end of July to early September.
An observation hive is set up at Rosewood, by our beekeepers, in our retail shop during the summer months. A standard ‘nuc’ hive is placed in a rotating window, allowing observers the opportunity to watch the bee’s tireless work or to try and locate the elusive Queen in the hive.
We welcome you to stop by and take a look. While you are observing, don’t be afraid to ask us any questions you might have about these interesting creatures. We love to talk about them.
And PS, beekeeping produces another natural product: beeswax. Visit "Our Candles" page for more information.