Have you heard the buzz about Belicious? Are you interested in trying honey extracted from apiaries in Ontario? Well, we’ve got just the article for you!
As part of our brand interview series, we sat down with Freda from Belicious to learn all about our local worker bees and what “raw honey” really means.
The Belicious Story
The Belicious team is a family of beekeepers with a long-running heritage of producing pure, delicious raw honey.
Freda’s husband, Chris, is a third-generation beekeeper, rooting back to when his grandfather and uncle were dealing with honeybees back in Drama, Greece.
Freda explained that when COVID emerged, Chris’ painting company took a hit and it was then that he decided it was time to pursue his passion for raw honey.
With knowledge from three generations of honey producers, Chris began his venture with eleven beehives and his hobby soon turned into a growing business.
Chris now tends to the bees full time and his team of beekeepers are the best at producing high-quality honey at their apiary in Stouffville, Ontario.
As locals to the area, Chris and Freda were familiar with Maunders Marketplace, and once Chris reached out to Maunders and shared his story with us, a partnership quickly flourished.
Focusing on 100% pure, high-quality raw honey that’s made locally, the Belicious team also showcases their products at local farmers’ markets and fairs.
The Truth About Honey Bees
In our conversation with Freda, we learned that Winter 2021 was an extremely bad winter for beekeepers. She explained that most beekeepers lost anywhere from 60% to 80% of their bees, causing a honey shortage.
While some loss was due to weather, the bulk of the bee loss can be attributed to Varroa mites. This devastating loss not only takes a toll on honey production, but the health of bees is essential to our environment.
Luckily, Belicious lost only about 40% of its bees, and are continuing to repopulate.
Did You Know?
- Honey bees are among the most numerous and efficient pollinator species in the world.
- Bees pollinate billions of plants each year, including millions of agricultural crops.
- The average honey bee can visit more than 2,000 flowers in one day.
- Worker bees only live five to seven weeks.
- Each worker bee in its lifetime will produce only one gram of honey.
“If you’re doing like a kilo of honey, you need 1000 bees to die basically to make that one jar of honey.” – Freda
What Is The Difference Between Raw Honey & Commercial Honey?
Raw honey is best described as honey “as it exists in the beehive”, and it’s through Belicious products that residents of York Region and the GTA can gain access to pure, raw honey.
Freda explained that unlike commercially available honey (which has very few nutrients), Belicious honey is packed with nutrients including antioxidants, enzymes, antiviral, and antibacterial properties!
Freda also explained that Belicious Products are all unpasteurized.
“Pasteurized honey has been exposed to high heat destroying the nutritional properties which are antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals.” – Freda
To make sure you are buying raw honey, Freda encourages you to look at the label. It should clearly say “100% raw” or “unpasteurized”.
How Honey Should Be Stored
The Belicious team has just completed their annual harvest to collect honey for the season and are eager to prepare a new batch of products for the year ahead.
When we asked Freda about the best way to store Belicious raw honey, she gave us the tip of never putting raw honey in the fridge!
Instead, she suggests storing Belicious products in a dark cupboard to prevent crystallization.
Belicious are also stored in glass jars to slow down the crystallization process, as well as to help prevent plastic waste.
Buy Belicious Products At Maunders Today
The Belicious team is currently in the process of developing a honey barbeque sauce… so stay tuned for that! You may even see a hot sauce in the future.
As for their current lineup of products, including raw honey (Buckwheat Honey, Wildflower Honey, Clover Honey, etc.), artisan spreads (Balsamic Fig Marmalade, Bluebanero Spicy Preserve, Honey Mustard, etc.), body care, candles, maple syrup, and more, you can find them all on our Maunders Marketplace shelves!
Visit us in-store today to learn more about honey and to try Belicious products!
Thank you to Chris and Freda from Belicious for their support with this article and their continued loyalty! Be sure to follow Belicious on Instagram: @belicious.products.