(717) 823-1883Frequently Asked Questions

RAW HONEY

What is Raw Honey?
Raw honey is honey that has been unheated or strained.  Nothing has been added or taken away.  Raw honey has all of its enzymes intact when the temperature is under 108 degrees.  We place our honey in a warm room which is kept at 95 degrees or less before it is poured into the jar.  This is the temperature the bees keep their hives and it allows us to pour raw crystallized honey.  Raw honey may contain some particles of pollen and wax.  Most raw honey will crystallize which is natural.

 
Is Raw Honey better than Heated Honey?
Like any raw product, raw honey keeps its enzymes, proteins and minerals intact.  Honey that has been heated above 108 degrees is still a good sweetener but compromises some of these raw benefits.
 

Why does Raw Honey differ in color and taste? 
Honey colors and taste can vary depending upon the variety of flower that the bees are visiting.  The color and taste is all dictated by the flower, plant or tree from which the bees receive their pollen and nectar.  For example, alfalfa honey is often very light in color and sweet in taste.  Buckwheat honey is often very dark in color and strong in taste.


Why does the honey sometimes look heated when it is labeled Raw?
When honey is first extracted out of the bee hive, it always looks liquefied.  This is the state of the honey when spun out of the honey combs.  Depending on the kind of flowers, the honey will crystallize in various time frames.  For example, goldenrod honey can crystallize in 2-3 weeks and basswood honey 3-4 months.

 
Is your Raw Honey ever heated?
Our raw honey is never heated.  We place our honey in a warm room which is kept at 95 degrees or less before it is poured into the jar.  This is the temperature the bees keep their hives and it allows us to soften the sometimes rock-hard honey in order to fill our containers with crystallized honey.  We ensure that our raw honey is 100% raw.


Why does Raw Honey sometimes separate in the jar?
Sometimes Raw honey will separate in the jar in which the top part of the jar will look liquefied and the bottom portion will look crystallized.  This does not mean that the honey has gone bad.  There can be a few reasons for this to happen. 

First, it may be that the honey is starting to crystallize.  Honey that has not crystallized yet will start to do so from the bottom of the jar to the top.  This is totally natural. 

Second, some honey will naturally separate over time after crystallization.  This may be from the nectars from the different flowers interacting together.

Third, honey that is crystallized can liquefy again if it is in a warm place.


What are the small particles I sometimes see on the top of the honey?
This may be bits of honeycomb, propolis, wax cappings and/or pollen which is all natural and healthy.


Where does your Raw Honey come from?
We sell various kinds of raw honey which come from locations as described below.

Raw Wildflower:  Wildflower honey is our “catch-all” term for our various honeys that are not gathered in a specific enough quantity to have its own label. Spring honey is usually light colored and will not crystallize quickly. Fall honey is usually darker and crystallizes quickly, sometimes even in the comb before it can be extracted. Therefore, our raw wildflower honey may vary in color and taste and texture, depending on the time of year it is collected, the floral sources available to the bees, and the length of time stored before it is bottled. The floral sources for wildflower are Dandelion, Wild Cherry, all kinds of fruit tree blossoms, Sumac, Locust, Tulip Poplar, Autumn Olive, Knapweed, Dutch clover, Sweet Clover, Basswood, Goldenrod, Japanese Bamboo, and Aster, to name a few.

Some people think all our honey is LOCAL honey, from Strasburg, PA, since we live and operate from here. We do have a nice crop of local honey, but we are not big enough to produce enough for the demand for Lancaster County local honey. We are able to get much of our wildflower honey from Pennsylvania or New York area. If we run out of that, we also purchase sweet clover honey from South Dakota which has been a pleasing wildflower honey for our customers.

Raw Alfalfa Our alfalfa honey comes from beekeepers in Canada, and we find it to have a consistent flavor and texture. We know them and are very pleased with their beekeeping practices.

Raw Orange Blossom:  Bees working in Florida produce our orange blossom honey. Our beekeeper friends supply us with their good honey, and we sometimes get orange blossom honey from our own bees, if they have traveled to Florida.

Raw Buckwheat We are able to carry buckwheat honey from our suppliers in Washington State, and over the years have been pleased with the flavor and consistency of it.  This dark honey is high in antioxidants.  It is a kind of honey very hard to find.


Why is my honey sometimes stiff or solid?
Some honey can crystallize and become very hard.  This happens when the honey is poured into jars before it crystallizes and before the honey pump has broken up the crystals.  Goldenrod honey is known to crystallize very hard.  If this happens, we recommend heating a pan of hot water around 100 degrees, removing the pan from the heat and placing the jar in the water.  Be sure to place something under the jar so that it does not touch the pan.  Also, loosen the cap to release any pressure build up. You could also place the honey in the oven at a low heat until it is soft.  Avoid heating the honey above 108 degrees to avoid destroying any enzymes.  It might also help to store the honey in a warm place and stir it from time to time as it begins to crystallize.  Do not store it in the refrigerator.


 HEATED HONEY


Why is some of your honey labeled, “Pure Natural Honey?”
Our honey labeled, “Pure Natural Honey” has been heated to around 155 degrees and strained.  This will keep the honey liquefied for a period of time.  Some customers like it this way for hot tea, oatmeal, cooking, or for ease of use.

Much honey bottled or packed by larger companies is heated to higher temperatures and filtered under pressure.  This explains why it will not crystallize for a very long period of time.  We heat our honey as little as is necessary to preserve as much natural sweetness as possible.

Our honey is purely natural and never blended with other substances.  Honey does not spoil and can be kept indefinitely at room temperature.  This honey is made up of a combination of our 4 kinds of raw honey.


What if my heated honey crystallizes?
There is nothing wrong with the honey, as crystallization is natural for honey.  Some people think that honey has “sugared”, and is no longer any good, but this is not true.  Our heated honey may crystallize faster than many store-bought honeys, as we do not heat the honey as hot or use a pressure filter.

If this happens, and you want to return the honey to a liquefied state, we recommend heating a pan of hot water around 120 degrees, remove the pan from the heat and place the jar in the water.  Be sure to place something under the jar so that it does not touch the pan.  Also, loosen the cap to release any pressure build-up. You could also place the honey in the oven at a low heat until it is liquefied.  

 It will help to store the honey in a warm place.  Do not store it in the refrigerator.


Why does your heated honey say, “Product of USA and Canada?”
Our heated honey is made up of our 4 kinds of raw honey.  Wildflower, orange blossom and buckwheat come from the USA and alfalfa comes from Canada.  Most of the time, the heated honey is made up of various wildflowers but sometimes there may be some amount of alfalfa.




GENERAL QUESTIONS


What is Pollen?
Pollen are the golden granules that are gathered from flowers by the bees as a food source for the bee hive.  You will often see them on the legs of bees. Bee pollen contains vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, lipids, and protein.  Pollen should be stored in a freezer.  Please use caution when eating pollen in case of allergies.

 
What is Royal Jelly?
Royal Jelly is a creamy substance that is fed to larvae to transform them into Queen Bees. If a bee receives Royal Jelly, she turns into a Queen, and if she does not, she remains a worker bee.  Royal Jelly contains a variety of beneficial vitamins.  Please use caution when eating Royal Jelly in case of allergies.

 
What is Comb Honey?
Comb honey is unprocessed honey exactly as the bees created it. Rather than extracting the liquid honey from the hexagonal beeswax chambers, comb honey is cut from the frames and sold intact. This is the purest form of raw honey, containing all the nutrients and enzymes.  Long before the extraction process was devised, people ate all their honey right from the comb.  Many people simply eat this with a spoon or place it on toast.


Does honey have a shelf life?
Honey has an indefinite shelf life.  The makeup of honey in the jar may change over time, though, because of temperature or moisture content. Raw honey has a very low water content and a fairly high acidic level, which makes it difficult for bacteria to grow. If bacteria cannot grow in honey, then it will not spoil.


How should I store my honey?
Honey is best stored in a warm place.  Room temperature is good.  Do not store the honey in the refrigerator. 

 
Is honey good for infants?
Do NOT feed honey to children under 1 year of age.


Should individuals with diabetes eat Raw Honey?
Honey is good for those with diabetes but blood sugar levels should always still be monitored.  Honey helps stabilize blood sugar and lowers HbA1c levels, something refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup cannot do.

 
Is honey good for my allergies?
Bees carry the pollen that aggravates seasonal allergies.  The more regional the honey that is taken, the better.  Consuming honey daily before allergy season can help your body grow accustomed to the pollen and immunize your body against it.

 
Do you have your own bees?
We normally have around 150-200 hives at a time.  They typically spend the winter in Florida making orange blossom honey, move up to Lancaster County, PA to make various wildflower honey, and move upstate to make goldenrod honey in the fall.  All of our honey is not from our own bees.  We also get honey from other honest beekeepers (who only sell to us) or with whom we have had a long standing trusted relationship.


How long has Stockin’s Apiaries been in existence?
Gary Stockin has been working with bees since 1975.  Stockin’s Apiaries was established in 1992.  See here for a detailed history:  https://www.stockinsapiaries.com/our-history.html


How do I purchase your honey?
We do not have our own retail store so we encourage our customers to visit the surrounding retail markets to purchase our products.

Some surrounding markets include:

Akron Nutrition Center 22 North 7th Street, Akron, PA (717)  859-4901

Community Natural Foods
128 E. Main St., New Holland, PA (717)  355-0921

Country Store
3140 Mt Joy Rd., Mt. Joy, PA (717)  653-2652

Country Sunrise Creamery
2210 Stiegel Pike, Meyerstown, PA  (484) 824-4417                   Also, sold by them at Roots Country Market in Manheim, PA.


E and A Candies  5030 Brown Station Rd, Upper Marlboro, MD (717) 823-1883

Also, located in Intercourse PA, across from Kitchen Kettle Village.

Glenwood Foods
1614 Division Highway, Ephrata, PA (717)  738-9086

Hershey Farm Market
959 South Octorara Trail, Parkesburg, PA  (610) 857-5053

Hillside Bulk Foods
1403 West Kings Highway, Gap, PA  (717) 442-5768

Kauffman’s Fruit Farm
3097 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird in Hand, PA  (717) 768-7112

Kitchen Kettle
3529 Old Philadelphia Pike, Intercourse, PA   (717) 768-8261


Lancaster Specialty Market 2E 28th Division Highway #10, Lititz, PA   (717) 568-8686

Maplehofe Dairy 799 Robert Fulton Highway, Quarryville, PA  (717) 786-3924

Miller’s Natural Foods
2888 Miller Lane, Bird in Hand, PA (717) 768-7582

Nickel Mines Health Foods
2123 Mine Rd, Paradise, PA  (717) 786-1426

Rt 10 Roadside Market
941 Compass Road, Honeybrook, PA  (610) 273-7793

The Pantry
110 N. Dupont Highway, New Castle, DE  (717) 201-3018


Weavers Orchard 40 Fruit Lane, Morgantown, PA  (610) 587-4931

There are also many other markets and road side stands in the area that carry our products.



You can also purchase online through Kauffman’s Fruit Farm at: 



If you are a business, you can contact us at orders@stockinsapiaries.com for information on how to carry our product.

 
How can I contact you?

4 Reservoir Rd. Strasburg, PA 17579

orders@stockinsapiaries.com

717-687-7816

Monday-Friday 8:30-5:00 PM

Closed Major Holidays