Why we are different
What makes our honey special is that we keep our harvests separate from each
microclimate in the five counties around the Bay Area instead of blending them like
most honey companies do. We appreciate that each hive, in the different areas,
produces a unique honey from the different local blooms, that is special in flavor,
texture and color. So we are the most local that a local honey company can bee!
Our mission is to produce the very purest honey, straight from the hive to you. That
means caring for the bees with natural methods, extracting and jarring honey that has
been unheated and minimally filtered preserving the honey in its raw and natural form
for your delicious pleasure! We place our hives near wild, all natural locations, as far
from industry as possible and we do not use harsh chemicals on or hives. We maintain
a sustainable apiary by doing our very best to prevent illness to minimize losses. Then
to minimize replacement costs of bee losses, we try to anticipate our losses by raising
our own queens.
The Bees and Sustainability
It is a very widely published fact that bees are struggling to survive due to many factors
which include diseases, mites, pesticides and increased winds due to global warming.
Our beekeepers have found the same results as the research, which concludes that
queen bees and hives imported from other states have much less likelihood of survival
than raising ones own queens, and placing them in local hives. There may be many
reasons why the local bees are stronger, to name a few, they do not have to withstand
the trauma of a long truck ride, and the local bees are accustomed to the climate and
floral blooms at the different times of year in the same, familiar environment where they
were raised. That is why we raise our own queens, and introduce them with local bees,
because it strengthens the hives, it is more sustainable to create new hives from your
existing ones, and thus DNA of the future generations will be stronger as well.
That is why we are an apiary committed to sustainability.
Our Carbon Footprint
Reducing our carbon footprint can be impacted for many more reasons than caring for
the bees. Since one of the company’s founders Helene Marshall passed away in 2016,
we have taken multiple steps to lessen our impact on the planet, such as changing our
packing peanuts from foam to biodegradable cornstarch ones. We have switched from
offering thirty some colored honey sticks with food coloring and flavoring to three
natural varieties of wildflower. And we have eliminated two jars sizes, one of which was
plastic. We continue to look for viable alternatives to plastics, and ways that we can
reduce our impact on the environment.
Health and Education
Honey has been used as medicine for thousands of years by many cultures around the
globe. They knew that raw, local, unheated, unfiltered honey has minerals, and
enzymes. They used it to boost immunity and as an aid in wound healing. Today our
customers tell us that our honey helps them with their allergies, and even their dogs
allergies. They are an educated group, who appreciate honey for its medicinal
qualities, aware that honey is so much more than a sweetener. They are willing to pay a
bit more for a product that they know is raw and pure and not watered down like many
imported honey’s. And actually a sign of a raw, pure, unheated honey is one that
crystallizes because crystals build on natural particles of pollen, vitamins, minerals and
enzymes and then build upon each other. It also depends on the ratio of glucose,
fructose, water and temperature. The more glucose the more it will tend to crystallize
and also if temperatures drop to 55 degrees. Remember honey never goes bad.
Community, Economic Development
Covid 19 has been devastating for so many. Our business was hurt as well because so
many of our customers were restaurants. Although we have worked hard to maintain
our footing in the market, we like so many small farms have had excess inventory. So
over the past six months we have donated over $10,000 worth of honey to Bay Area
Food Pantries and a struggling bar, California Gold Bar in San Rafael who use honey in
their cocktails, as they had just opened last year before Covid struck. Additionally our
Master Beekeeper Spencer Marshall planted vegetable gardens this year with more
peppers, green beans, kale, onions and swiss chard than he could use. So we invited
Marin Community Fridges to pick vegetables and stock their fridge which they have
available in a low income neighborhood for folks to come and grab food as needed.
We also donated a few boxes of jarred honey. And so we are doing all we can to
prevent waste and give to those who are struggling during these challenging times.
Our certifications include the GAP Audit, Food Safety Certification each year as well as
a Kashruth Kosher Certification. Additionally Alison Trotta-Marshall, Co-Owner has her
Manager’s Food Safety Certification.