Woodside Honey


Several small colonies of bees can be found on a portion of our old family farm and namesake. Built in 1848 and standing proudly as the oldest home in Maplewood, Missouri it is notably listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Beekeeping was once considered a country enterprise but with the rich multiflora sources thriving in an urban landscape, the city offers a vast and nourishing palette for exceptional honey. And while one in three bites of our food depends upon the pollination of bees, urban beekeepers are contributing greatly to this process as an alarming number of bees are dying due to pesticides used in conventional farming, among other causes. Urban beekeeping is a niche practice throughout the United States and Europe where colonies of honey-bees flourish in major cities such as San Francisco, Manhattan and atop the Opera House in Paris.

Woodside Honey supports responsible practices that pay homage to the cultural traditions of food and their impact on the planet. Our efforts resonate with both a rich lineage of artisans and a contemporary consciousness. We believe that buying thoughtfully grown and locally produced food is a healthier alternative and simply makes good sense.

Beginning in February as trees start to bloom, our honeybees will travel upwards of two miles in search of early nectar sources and will continue their work until Autumn's end. Honey is collected in late Spring and Fall from the colony. Surplus honey is stored by the bees in smaller frames called "supers". Once collected, these frames are then placed in a machine which uses centrifugal force to extract the raw honey. It is then lightly filtered and packaged, with spring honey lighter in hue and the Fall a warm amber due to the differences in the seasonal flora. It takes the lifetime of nearly 300 hard-working bees to collect enough nectar to produce a four once jar of honey. And among the many benefits and delectable delights of consuming local raw honey, is the belief that it is an immunity booster for people with allergies. So enjoy your Woodside Honey, thoughtfully crafted with care for you.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Woodside Honey Availability

you can now purchase woodside urban honey at several more locations in st. louis:

josh allen of companion bakery has a opened a great new outlet at their baking facility; open on friday, saturday, and sunday mornings. called the "early bird outlet, it's a great place to pick up fresh bread and some honey to drizzle on it!

local harvest grocery store in kirkwood is now open, and carrying woodside honey. they are such a great supporter of fresh, local, and healthy food.

chef gerard craft has just opened pastaria restaurant in clayton and is carrying 4 oz. jars of woodside honey, along with his imported olive oil, and other great products. go eat there, they have great hand made pasta and pizza and definitely get some gelato to go!

the ritz-carlton in clayton has several cocktails on their menu featuring woodside urban honey as well.

Honey Crystallization

this year i had two distinctive crops of honey; the early spring honey was light and floral, and the later summer honey was much darker and rich tasting. both were very tasty, but what i noticed was that once bottled, it all crystallized and it did so at different rates.

honey is created from the nectar of flowers and depending upon the source,  consists of different levels of fructose, sucrose and glucose. the more glucose is saturated in the honey, the more crystallization occurs.

the lighter spring honey, once crystallized, looks almost white in the jar, because glucose crystals are white. darker honey will look slightly lighter but will still retain it's more golden color. sometimes, you will even see patches or streaks in the jar. this is just caused by crystals of glucose being drawn together into clusters. a few of my friends have asked if honey is still good when it is crystallized. the answer is yes, though it may be difficult to get out of the jar! none of this affects the quality of the honey, only the appearance.

from what i have read, this all happens more quickly when the temperature at which the honey is stored is around 60º F. just as a point of reference, the temperature within the beehive is kept at about 90º F.

gently heating the honey to about 120º F for a period of time will liquefy the honey but will not destroy the beneficial aspects. you can do this several ways, but what i do at home is remove the cap from the jar and place the bottle or container in the microwave. i heat it for about 10 seconds at a time, and check it's progress after each 10 second burst until it returns to it's fluid state.

another way to return honey to it's liquid state is to place the closed container in a shallow pan of water and heat the water on low, not exceeding 120º F. until the honey liquefied. 

then, as with all honey......just pour and enjoy!