Nearly everyone eats honey: honey desserts, sopapillas honey flavored cereal, honey butter chicken biscuits, honey in little disposable packets – but almost no one thinks about how it’s made or where it’s from.

Local Hive Honey is here to fix that. Not just by offering more kinds of honey, but by changing how we think about food – all of it, not just the sweet stuff. Because, while bottling nearly two dozen honeys seems like a new idea, it’s actually a return to the old ways.

Every honey starts with a beekeeper and some bees.

While making honey is a form of agriculture, beekeepers are more like winemakers than corn farmers. They would never call their honey a commodity, because every harvest is unique. The soil, weather and climate all change the flavor in ways that anyone can notice – just like a bottle of wine.

For decades, mass-market honey companies have been filtering and homogenizing honey, ruining its natural flavors in the name of consistency and efficiency. The beekeeper has become an afterthought.

We think they deserve better, so we deal with beekeepers directly, one on one. They know what we stand for: exclusively buying U.S. honey and protecting its integrity with zero filtering or mistreatment. By putting in the extra effort to bottle pure, raw & unfiltered honey, we’re giving beekeepers the ability to produce when and where they think is best: for their bees, their honey and their community.

Because honey doesn’t just help beekeepers.

As cities grow, more of our country becomes concrete, and beekeepers have to travel farther and farther out to find places to let their hives forage. In many cases, they settle near small, rural towns. They pollinate local crops. They bring in workers to help harvest and spend all summer there. One beekeeping crew in a 300-person town, going to grocery stores, contributing to the local 4H, buying cattle from auctions, can be huge economic boost.

This sounds like a small example – but it’s happening in every part of the country. Small, local economies are still a way of life for millions of Americans. And no matter how much we modernize and industrialize, there’s no replacing the people and places that make agriculture work.

“I was negotiating with a beekeeper one time. One handshake and we parted ways. No contract. He expected me to prove myself the old-fashioned way: by honoring my word.” – Local Hive CEO Tony Landretti

Over the last 40-odd years, we’ve lost trust in our food. By preserving the old school relationships with beekeepers, farmers and ranchers in every part of the food system, we can build back that trust. After all, it’s hard work to raise organic crops or grass-fed cattle or varietal honey, so those beekeepers and farmers have to trust that their effort will be worth it, that customers who appreciate quality food will seek it out.

As long as there are different communities, there will be different honeys.

Anyone can appreciate local honey’s flavor and color, but once you know how it’s made, you realize that it represents a community. Because here’s the thing: local honey could disappear any time. You simply can’t make it unless people trust each other. Farmers must rely on beekeepers, beekeepers rely on bottlers, retailers rely on customers, and customers rely on honey companies.

Right now, we could all use more of that connection. In a world that’s increasingly divided, labeled, organized and streamlined, we need to carve out and protect the old-fashioned things that have always brought us together, like trust – and local honey.

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