Local Hive Highlight: Montana

Honey Facts

From the Rocky Mountains to the Great Plains, Montana’s geology is incredibly diverse, with miles of gently sloping badlands and forests scattered among its winding rivers. With the Continental Divide splitting the state in two, Montana combines Idaho’s mountainous landscape with grasslands that sprawl into the eastern Dakotas. This gradual, flat-to-rocky transition paints a scene that has long been a popular playground for our favorite pollinators.

As the fourth-largest state, Montana has plenty of room for our bee friends to roam on their pollen pursuits. Though a variety of wildlife have long called Montana home because of its vast natural beauty, early settlers were more interested in its mining opportunities. They discovered a multitude of minerals, including gold and silver, which earned Montana the nickname “The Treasure State.” However, Montana’s greatest treasure has to be the local, raw honey made from the wealth of wildflowers that call this unique corner of the Pacific Northwest home.

On average, this honey haven supplies about 15 million pounds of honey every year. With that kind of quota to reach, Montana’s bees stay plenty busy buzzing about its vast vegetation. They fill our local Montana hives with a mild, light-colored honey that has a touch of cinnamon sweetness. These mellow flavors originate from the bees’ favored regional nectar sources:alfalfa and clover.

Alfalfa is one of the most heavily cultivated crops in the nation, joining the ranks just behind corn, soybeans, wheat and cotton. Tons upon tons of this hardy legume are harvested yearly to feed cattle and other animals. However, it’s not just for animals:alfalfa sprouts can also be found on human food, like turkey sandwiches, adding an earthy flavor and plenty of nutrients. When alfalfa pollen makes its way into honey, it gives off similar vegetal, woody and floral notes with a warm, spicy aroma.

Like alfalfa, clover has a deep root system, allowing the plant to thrive during seasonal droughts while other flowering plants struggle with thirst. Clover shows soil its gratitude by giving back nitrogen, which has the ability to turn eroded land back into fertile soil. Montana’s soil appreciates clover, and so do its local bees, who transform clover nectar into honey with familiar floral flavors, including notes of warm beeswax, cinnamon and vanilla. While white sweet clover is the clover king, found in just about any honey you’ll see in a grocery store, the best clover honey comes from a local source like our 100% pure, raw and unfiltered Montana honey.

Year after year, Montana holds its spot as one of the nation’s top ten honey-producing states, and once you taste our local Montana honey, it’s not hard to see why. As if supplying tons of pure, local honey to the region isn’t enough, Montana’s bees also contribute to the state’s agriculture by pollinating some of its most beloved crops. Thanks to our local bees and their keepers, alfalfa and clover make a perfect pair in our humble yet hearty Local Hive Montana honey. We’re grateful we get to dip a spoon in Montana’s jar, and we hope you enjoy its subtle sweetness just as much as we do.

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