Rare Hawaiian Organic Honey
To maintain Kiawe honey's wonderful taste, texture and nutritional qualities Rare Hawaiian Organic White Honey is offered in its pure, natural state - unfiltered and with no heat ever applied to it. The collection and extraction process is accomplished organically, using no poisons, chemicals or additives. Rare Hawaiian Organic White Honey is as close to its natural state as possible except that it is in a jar.
There is an intricate, interconnected process and circumstances that are essential to maintain the natural excellence of Rare Hawaiian Organic White Honey.
The honey must be kept free from not only the nectars of other flowers but also any impurities. Impurities in the honey can form nuclei around which large crystals will grow and destroy the naturally creamy texture of pure Kiawe honey. This requires that the honey comb in the hive be kept meticulously clean of all impurities and especially all old crystallized honey.
In order to extract the honey, the combs must be brought to the honey-house, but the bees must be left behind at their hive. VIHC employs no artificial or toxic substances or violent methods to harvest our honey. Rare Hawaiian Organic White Honey is collected by using a one way door (called a "bee-escape") to allow the bees to leave the box of combs and rejoin their colony, but not re-enter the combs of honey to be harvested. VIHC does not use toxics or chemicals to treat diseases in the hive. Using natural methods to promote strong colonies keeps the colonies healthy.
Obtaining Kiawe honey in its natural state - unheated and unfiltered - is a process that must be timed exactly, making it a virtually "hand-picked" honey. The honey cannot be harvested too early or too late.
Bees collect nectar (a sweet, fragrant liquid produced by flowers to attract pollinators) from flowers and bring it home to the hive. On the flight back to the hive the bees add enzymes to the nectar. After the nectar is deposited into the wax cells in the honeycomb, it is ripened into honey by the bees fanning it with their wings until the excess moisture is evaporated. They then cap over the honey-filled combs with wax to preserve it.
If the honey is harvested too early, before it is ripe, the water content in the honey will be too high which can cause the honey to ferment in the jar. On the other hand, if the honey is harvested from the hive too late it will have crystallized (solidified) in the wax comb inside the hive. Since Kiawe honey has a strong, natural inclination to form rapidly growing crystals, crystallized honey in the comb is a strong possibility. Once the honey is crystallized in the honeycomb, then the only way to extract the honey is to heat the comb until both the wax and honey melt and become liquid. This heating would radically alter the naturally exquisite taste, texture, color and nutritional qualities of this rare honey.
So, there exists only a very small window of time between picking the honey too soon or picking it too late. Harvesting Rare Hawaiian Organic White Honey so that it will neither ferment nor have to be heated, and thus preserving its naturally delectable tropical essence is an example of the art of natural beekeeping.
CRYSTALLIZATION, HEAT and ENZYMES
Nearly all honeys crystallize naturally. Crystallization is affected by heat and impurities in the honey. It is the nature of pure Kiawe honey to crystallize very rapidly. The crystals formed by rapid crystallization are very tiny; and, tiny crystals are what give Rare Hawaiian Organic White Honey its firm, smooth texture. The crystals in pure kiawe honey are "alive" and active. The thick, viscous, liquid honey that goes into the jar is transformed within a few days into the firm, silky texture by the growing crystals.
Crystallization and heat:
Rare Hawaiian Organic White Honey never has heat applied to it at any stage of its production. Heating honey retards the natural crystallization process. If crystallization takes place slowly, the crystals grow to a larger size making the honey granular in texture, which is hard on the tongue and palate and crunchy like sand on the teeth. Any heat applied to pure Kiawe honey will slow down the crystallization process and increase the size of the crystals. Even in the jar, if it is melted (say inside a hot car), it can re-crystallize into large unpalatable crystals
All natural honey that has not been heated contains beneficial enzymes. Unheated honey is a live food because it has naturally occurring, living enzymes in it. The enzymes found in honey (which are not found in other sugars and sweeteners) help in the digestion of the honey and other foods . Heating honey will kill its naturally occurring enzymes. Although all honeys can be damaged by heat, Kiawe honey is particularly sensitive to heat.
We use a cold, centrifugal, extraction process to get Rare Hawaiian Organic White Honey from the comb into the jar. This cold extraction process allows the naturally occurring enzymes to remain intact and active in the honey. Even after bottled, these enzymes are actively transforming the constituents of the honey, in particular the sugars. Once in the jar Kiawe honey must be kept tightly sealed and away from high heat.
Rare Hawaiian Organic White Honey is strained through nylon mesh to remove large particles. This straining allows tiny pieces of pollen, propolis and wax that contain important nutrients and antibacterial qualities to remain in the honey.
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