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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    New Cumberland, PA
    Posts
    1,390

    Default How local is local honey???

    I have individuals who suffer from allergies who come to buy local honey from me and they immediately ask where is the honey coming from. I provide them the towns and zipcodes and it got me thinking how many miles must exist before it is no longer considered local. I am guessing 20 to 25 miles. So what do other people think?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Fayetteville, Arkansas
    Posts
    5,021

    Default Re: How local is local honey???

    Scientifically speaking, it doesn't actually matter. When people ask about local honey helping allergies, all I will confirm is that people claim it to be the case. However, if anyone asks for the real story, I tell them the scientific truth. Which of these is the case? Anecdotal evidence is often unreliable, however scientific studies rarely take all factors into consideration.

    I think I'd accept even up to 50 miles. Closer is better, and you can pay for whatever you want to buy.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    24,466

    Default Re: How local is local honey???

    Unless someone thinks that other than their own back yard isn't close enuf to be locally beneficial than I remind them that flora is quite similar across the State and what they are allergic to is found in the same places that my bees forage.

    I'm starting to hold back on my own opinions. Sell your customers what they want and let them think what they wish. Oft times telling them anything different than what they already believe causes confusion and they don't appreciate you telling them.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Reno, NV USA
    Posts
    2,310

    Default Re: How local is local honey???

    The problem is that customers have been conditioned, often times, to follow commonly used definitions for local produce which are based more on the degradation of produce during shipment and such. Local produce may be fresher but that has little bearing on honey. As Mark stated it has everything to do with the flora being common over a particular geography which can include a much greater distance than would be good for produce.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,453

    Default Re: How local is local honey???

    I know a lot of people who claim it works. I have no allergies and no personal experience to base an opinion on as far as it helping with allergies, however the theory is that you are getting a different kind of exposure to the local pollen. Assuming this theory is correct then what matters is the varieties of plants that bloom where the person with allergies gets exposed, matching the varieties of plants around the bees. Similar plants might exist for hundreds of miles in every direction or, in the case of a microclimate, may exist only in that one valley or other geographic feature causing the microclimate, of only few miles.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chesterfield, NH
    Posts
    464

    Default Re: How local is local honey???

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I know a lot of people who claim it works. I have no allergies and no personal experience to base an opinion on as far as it helping with allergies, however the theory is that you are getting a different kind of exposure to the local pollen. Assuming this theory is correct then what matters is the varieties of plants that bloom where the person with allergies gets exposed, matching the varieties of plants around the bees. Similar plants might exist for hundreds of miles in every direction or, in the case of a microclimate, may exist only in that one valley or other geographic feature causing the microclimate, of only few miles.

    Their are similar plants that do exist 400 miles or so from my house in Athol,Massachusetts 01331 USA


    BEE HAPPY Jim 134

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    24,466

    Default Re: How local is local honey???

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    however the theory is that you are getting a different kind of exposure to the local pollen. Assuming this theory is correct then what matters is the varieties of plants that bloom where the person with allergies gets exposed, matching the varieties of plants around the bees.
    Wehave had this conversation a number of times before and I'll say again, the pollen in the honey is not the pollen one is allergic to. So, it has been suggested that just being exposed to pollen in some way gives one a subliminal exposure to POLLEN which produces a bodily reaction which boosts one's resistance to that pollen one is allergic to.

    Personally I doubt that this is true. More likely what happens is the season passes. Otherwise, wouldn't one become fully desensitized to the allergan? That's what happens in allergy therapy. One does not have to go thru a series of allergy shots every year the rest of one's life, do they?

    Placebo effect.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  8. #8

    Default Re: How local is local honey???

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Otherwise, wouldn't one become fully desensitized to the allergan? That's what happens in allergy therapy.
    Or a more accurate analogy might be an allergy to bee stings. As one continues to get stung....does their reaction get less? Usually it gets progressively worse.
    This is not a simple issue.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    24,466

    Default Re: How local is local honey???

    If you are writing about someone who is truely allergic to honeybee sting than yes, getting stung is deadly and not something someone should treat on their own. There is a direct correlation of cause and effect. Not so w/ pollen causing allergic reaction and pollen in honey. And, one can be desensitized to honeybee sting by allergy therapy, under a Doctors care.

    One should never make medically related claims concerning honey. One should never lead someone to believe that you believe they should take honey for medicinal purposes. This could open one to legal action. Certainly never put anything on a label which would prompt someone to use your honey to treat their allergy.

    "Hi, I have heard that eating local honey will help me w/ my allergies. Is this local honey?" Answer, "Yes, it is. Would you like to buy some?".

    "Hi, I have heard that eating local honey helps relieve allergies." Reply: "Yes, I have heard that too? Would you like to buy some honey? What abouit this 5 lb jar?"

    "I have heard that honey made locally will help w/ allergies. How close to my house does this honey come from?" Reply: "Twentyfive miles." "Oh, that isn't close enuf." Reply: "What are you allergic to?" "I am not allergic to anything. I just want local honey because I have heard it is good for you."

    The last one was an actual conversation I had one time. People buy stuff for all sorts of reasons. Let them have what they want. Sometimes what they want is to be allowed their misconceptions. It's a sort of security.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    brownwood, TX, USA
    Posts
    676

    Default Re: How local is local honey???

    I'm and engineer, and the social studies are a mystery to me, but if someone thinks local honey helps with their allergies, humor them. There is an old friend of mine that thinks peroxide cures all ills. He is 90 years old and be is sure he is still here because of peroxide. I don't think that is the case, but bully for him if he believes it.

    I don't know anything about plants, pollen and bees, but I do know that certain soils in different locations bear different tasting veggies and fruits.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    3,998

    Default Re: How local is local honey???

    I agree its all about the plants. Where we live people 20 mile from us can grow plants that would die here. We have freezes in the winter, but its very uncommon for them to because of the ocean affect.
    Dan

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    151

    Default Re: How local is local honey???

    generally speaking "local" can mean what ever ecoregion you are in for planting...zone 1, zone 5,6 etc...they all have the same type of climates and will generally have the same types of plants growing. On the other hand, "Locavores" - people who only buy local foods have a defined zone of 120 miles. Ive ran into people who wont buy honey if it is further than 5 miles from their house...I then suggest they get their own hive

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