After seeing the Boston Globe article, Mike Graney, a local beekeeper with beehives in Mattapan and Jamaica Plain contacted us. Mike has been beekeeping as a hobby and passion for over ten years. Though his honey is not certified organic, we’re now offering it as an add-on item. You can order it in the Snacks and Specialties section here.
In addition to supporting a local business, and urban food production, many claim local honey helps to boost the immune system against allergies and asthma.
Bees also play a critical role in the food chain. According to the US Department of Agriculture, bees pollinate 80% of our flowering crops which constitute 1/3 of everything we eat. For some unknown reason, the bee colonies are vanishing at an alarming rate. Their loss could effect not only dietary staples such as apples, broccoli, strawberries, nuts, asparagus, blueberries and cucumbers, but may threaten our beef and dairy industries if alfalfa is not available for feed.
Not Certified Organic
Of all food items that can be produced and grown locally, honey is one of the most challenging if not impossible to certify organic. Probably the greatest challenge for local honey producers to get certified is that the bees need access to a large geographic area of uncontaminated land to forage.
“Organic honey must be produced by naturally foraging colonies that are located at least 2 miles distant, in straight-line flight, from any pollution source which could cause the honey to become contaminated by, or as a result of, returning foraging bees (e.g. synthetic-chemical sprayed agriculture, industrial centers, urban centers, etc.).” (http://www.beekeeping.com/articles/us/organic_standards.htm).
Even though Mike’s honey is not certified organic, we feel it is important to support him given the unique challenges to beekeeping and the perilous times bee populations are facing.
You can learn more about Mike’s local honey on his website.