How to Choose High-Quality Bee Products: The Guide

How to Choose High-Quality Bee Products: The Guide

Honey and other bee products—you’ve heard they’re better for you than most sweeteners, may assuage allergies, and that they tote a bunch of other health benefits. But that ain’t the end of the story. Because not all bee products are created equal. 

There’s an art to choosing bee products of superior quality. Don’t worry, though. We’ll set you up with the knowledge you need to make informed selections.

Understanding What's on the Label:

Apitherapy, the use of honeybee products for medicinal purposes, is becoming a super popular health trend. Have you noticed how honey’s in everything and everything’s in honey? 

With a growing number of bee products available, understanding how to choose high-quality options becomes crucial to ensure you experience the potential benefits.

Raw, Unfiltered, Unheated: These terms indicate minimal processing, preserving the natural enzymes, vitamins, and minerals present in bee products. Opt for labels mentioning these terms whenever possible.

Organic: Look for products certified organic by relevant authorities. This ensures the bees foraged from a controlled environment free from synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.

Note that finding organic bee products can be easier said than done (you go tell little Bella Bee that she can only source pollen and nectar from certain flowers and plants), so be diligent and consider carefully when choosing between organic and non-organic options. There are many non-organically sourced bee products that are still viable and safe for human use, but bee careful. We'll discuss more below.

Source and Origin:

Knowing where your bee products come from isn’t a small thing. It can tell you a lot about the quality. Think of how you might discern a good olive oil. Does it all come from the same orchard of olives (or a handful of different ones so that it’s harder to trace impurities and imperfections?) 

In the case of bees, bees grab pollen from different flowers, depending on their geographic location. (One hive of bees might live in a gigantic almond orchard for its entire lifetime, pollinating nothing but almonds.) Different pollen will naturally affect taste and potential health benefits. 

Secondly—and probably more importantly—not all bee-keepers are *ahem* doing it right. 

Commercial bees are kept in boxes that are driven around from orchard to orchard all over the country. These conditions promote the spread of disease, often killing millions of bees. While commercial beekeeping is necessary for the health of many of the crops we consume, it can be a dangerous game to play for honeybee, native pollinator, and human health.

Local Beekeepers: Purchasing directly from local beekeepers allows you to connect with the source and understand their practices. Beekeepers are passionate about their colonies and will be excited to answer questions you may have about the care of their hives, so don't be afraid to ask!

Beekeeping Associations: Look for products endorsed by beekeeping associations that uphold high standards and ethical beekeeping methods. These groups are compiled of local beekeepers doing their best to keep their colonies healthy to sustainably support their area.

Physical Appearance:

You can train your eyes to spot a not-so-great brand or faulty batch of bee products. Here are some tips:

Honey: High-quality honey has a natural range of colors, from light amber to dark depending on the floral source. It should be relatively clear and have a smooth consistency. Avoid honey that is excessively thick or cloudy, as this might indicate added sugars or processing. However, some types of honey, like that foraged from wildflowers in the Midwest, for example, crystalize faster than honey created from other types of crops. When in doubt, carefully read labels.

Propolis: This resinous bee product typically comes in a deep brown color and has a brittle, waxy texture and a distinct, sharp, natural scent.

Bee Pollen: Fresh bee pollen usually appears in the form of tiny granules ranging in color from yellow to orange-brown.


Pay attention, because the price tag might tell you as much as the nutrition facts. 

High-quality bee products often come at a premium due to factors like responsible sourcing, minimal processing, and adhering to stricter regulations. 

Be careful about any bee products that seem like a bargain. It could mean compromised quality or production methods. It could also mean that the honey has been blended with other "natural" sugarssuch as corn syrupto cut costs and aren't always required to be listed on the label.

Some Further Tips:

Direct from the Source: Consider purchasing directly from local beekeepers or smaller apiaries. This allows you to ask questions about their beekeeping practices and get a better understanding of the product's origin.

Certifications: Look for relevant certifications that guarantee the product's quality and adherence to specific standards (e.g., USDA Organic).

Customer Reviews: While not a definitive measure of quality, reading customer reviews can offer valuable insights from other users regarding taste, texture, and overall experience.


By prioritizing minimal processing, responsible sourcing, and clear labeling, you can make informed choices when selecting high-quality bee products. Remember, choosing high-quality options not only ensures you receive the potential health benefits but also supports sustainable beekeeping practices. It’s one more way you can help #SaveTheBees. :) 

At Honey Gardens, we’re always committed to providing high-quality, ethically produced honey, propolis, and other beehive treasures. Explore our range of bee products sourced from trusted beekeepers.

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