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9 oz - Early Autumn Harvest Honey
The Early Autumn Harvest Story
Each of the three mono-varietal honeys that Big Island Bees offers has a distinct season in which it is normally produced. However, the weather conditions this past fall extended the pollination period of the Lehua blossoms well past the normal date, indeed, it extended into the Wilelaiki pollination period, a truly rare occurence. The result allowed the Big Island bees to gather nectar and pollen from both flowers during the same time period and create a truly remarkable honey.
Big Island Bees named it Early Autumn Harvest Honey, and it is a delight for the palate. Golden yellow in color - lighter than both the Wilelaiki and the Lehua - it is very thick and spreadable, and depending on the jar, its texture can range from smooth to lightly grainy. It's more floral than the Lehua and brighter than the Wilelaiki, and has similarities both to New Zealand meadow honey and Provence wild flower honey. It is truly marvelous on toast or scones.
About Big Island Bees Honey
Big Island Bees honey is produced on the island of Hawaii. The "Big Island" is the largest of the Hawaiian Islands, and it has an incredible diversity of micro-climates, from desert to rainforest, along with two of the tallest mountain peaks of the Pacific, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. The bees forage in the lush secluded 'Ohi'a forests and the open ranch lands along the volcanic mountain slopes throughout the island.
Big Island Bees is run by Garnett Puett, a fourth-generation beekeeper. The operations in Hawaii were started by Garnett's stepfather, Jim Powers, in the late 1970s. At that time, Jim was one of the largest honey producers in the U.S., and his Hawaiian apiaries were one of seven operations throughout the country. It is now the largest honey operation in the islands, with approximately 3,800 hives.
In the past, most of the honey was sold in bulk to processors on the mainland. Given the high quality of the Big Island Bees honey and its uniqueness, Whendi, Garnett's wife, began focusing efforts on selling honey under their own label over the last 2 years, and we're very grateful that she has. She now manages all operations and sales.
The hives are moved three times a year, corresponding with the blossoming of the different flowers, although there really aren't distinct areas of the island to which the flowers are limited. For instance, the apiaries for the Lehua blossoms can be found in North Kona, the southern end of Hawaii, and the area around Hilo. Similarly, the apiaries for the Wilelaiki blossoms can be found in the North Kohala District, South Kona, and the southern end of the island.
Each honey's distinctive flavor and color varies depending on the species of flower from which the honeybees collect nectar. Location, sunshine, rainfall and temperature influence a honey's character. Each of their varietals is derived from a single and unique type of flower blossoming at different times of the year and in different locations on the island.