The Buzz About Honey


Did you know there are over 300 varieties of honey in the US alone?! According to the National Honey Board, the type of honey depends on the floral variety that the honeybee visits.


The differences between types of honey can be detected in their color, taste, or even odor. Colors of honey can range in dark browns, tans, golds, yellows, ambers, and even colorless. Their fragrance and flavor may be slight or extremely bold. The honey board also states that in general, the darker the honey, the more flavorful it is, while lighter varieties tend to be milder.

Honey is said to have allergy and asthma healing properties when consumed regularly. However, keep in mind the honey must be from your same geographical region for you to get any relief from these ailments. It can also be used as a natural cough suppressant and a sore throat soother.

Here are the most common honey varieties in the US that you may find at your local market:

Alfalfa

The most common honey floral in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon and most western states. It has a light color and flavor, so it is most likely to be used for everyday needs.

Avocado

As you may have guessed, California produces the most avocado honey. Just like the plants produce, the bees produce honey that is rich and buttery. It is typically a bit darker and stronger in flavor, so it’s best for sauces and marinades.

Basswood

A type of tree found in Southern Canada, to Alabama, to Texas that a leads to a clear honey. The honey is considered strong and has a bit of a bite to it.

Blueberry

A delightful light colored honey produced from blueberries found typically in Michigan and New England. Contrary to popular belief, blueberries are not added to the honey. It is simply the product of the bees pollinating and drinking the nectar from the small white blueberry leaves.

Buckwheat

Common in the south, buckwheat honey is dark and rich in flavor, similar to molasses.

Clover

Most often commercially produced honey that most people have in their homes. It is a mild and sweet honey that is the perfect table-honey.

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is known for its medicinal properties, interestingly enough, the eucalyptus honey has a slight medicinal aftertaste to it.

Fireweed

Grows in the Northern States and Canada, produces honey that is light in color and flavor.

Orange Blossoms

Orange blossoms bloom in March and April and are the leading honey source for southern Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California. They produce an amber color honey with a citrus aroma.

Sourwood

Found in southern states such as Georgia and known for a unique sweet, spicy, anise aroma and flavor. Often used in southern type glazes and recipes.

Tulip

Tulips blossom bloom in May all over the United States. The honey associated with them has a dark rich color but a lighter flavor compared to other dark kinds of honey.




11 Comments
boggett2001
Jennifer Blalock - Jul 21, 2018
Evadne Scaddon, AU produces some great honey as you know. I've been there and tasted it! Same cautions about purchasing it as I know that everybody has decided that manuka honey is the cat's meow and the price has skyrocketed. Get to know a local beekeeper. As far as flavors found in AU, you might try your local agricultural group's website, or your local beekeepers club, and there are MANY, and they can tell you what kind of honey varieties AU has local to you.
boggett2001
Jennifer Blalock - Jul 21, 2018
Tulip poplar trees are the first trees to bloom here in WNC and though the honey is really tasty, it's the locust honey that's the best by far, IMHO. Locusts don't bloom every season so when you get a super full of locust honey, it's liquid gold and is very expensive to buy. Sourwood is what's known here as the Cadillac of honey, but of course, it's all settled by your own palette. *** White clover that's found in your yard is very different than the larger purple clover. And the purple clover is where clover honey comes from. There isn't enough clover in NC to make a gallon of clover honey, though, so if you're looking at the honey with the "Indian" name in the grocery store that purports to be clover honey, you're looking at imported honey, mostly from China, and I would recommend you avoid it at all costs. The honey from these imported countries has usually been pasteurized/heat treated and there is no trace of pollen left in it. It's also been found to be adulterated with high fructose corn syrup, antibiotics, and sometimes molasses. To get the absolute best honey you can buy, check with your local bee chapter/club, get some recommendations, and develop a good relationship with a local-to-you beekeeper. Around here I tell folks to be wary of honey sold in grocery store chains as it's most likely to have been imported, then repackaged locally with a familiar name. In fact, we caught a local farmers market a few years ago telling customers that the State allows them to add up to 6 percent molasses and still call it pure honey. NO, that's a lie! So be careful - everybody's getting on the honey bandwagon and it's driving its popularity and price way up, and oftentimes you're not getting what you've paid for. Just be cautious.
happy_granny49
Evadne Scaddan - Jul 19, 2018
What about Australian honey. I'm very unlikely to taste American honey.
slo_cook805
SLO Cook - Jul 19, 2018
Honey from small white blueberry leaves huh? Well that's a new one on me.
Deety
Rebecca Essex - Aug 27, 2017
I'm in the DC Metro Area, specifically Maryland, and I get wildflower honey at MOM's (M y O rganic M arket) that is produced in Virginia. Love the stuff, and I always buy the bottle with the darkest honey I can find. M m, good!
Cheryl_Olson
Cheryl Olson - Jul 28, 2017
Honey is the only natural food that NEVER goes bad. When it crystalizes just melt it again in a double boiler. Good as new.
loveatfirstbite
Mary Ann Billeck - Jul 28, 2017
I live in Central Texas and my favorite is mesquite and cotton honey.
captgray2000
Mary Duncan - Jul 28, 2017
We bought the tastiest honey in the Bird-in-Hand Farmer's Market in Lancaster, PA! The one we selected tasted like the honey I ate as a child.
qz345
Barbara Ennis - Jul 28, 2017
The Natural and Raw Honey right from the Beekeepers have numerous health and healing properties as well.....check it out.....well worth the read up on its healing properties.....
zippity247
Emily- Lee Rzeplinski - Jul 28, 2017
My hubby is a beekeeper. Our honey is labeled as "Wild Flower" it may contain Tulip Poplar, clover, sourwood & buckwheat (if the deer don't eat it all first!) It is a darker and more flavor full than most. If you are looking for allergy relief you might try the pollen. He collects it and sells to the local health food store.
caroshina
Carolyn HSmith - Jul 28, 2017
Thank you for posting this- honey is a great food with a long shelf life.
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