What Is Wildflower Honey?

What Is Wildflower Honey?

Wildflower honey by definition comes from multifloral, or polyfloral sources. Meaning, it comes from a wide variety of flowers and blooms from an area within a three mile radius of the hive. Honey composition —flavor, taste, structure and texture, is mainly affected by its botanic and geographic origin. Lesser factors that can influence the composition of honey include bee keeping practices and storage.

Honey bees are generalist pollinators; they’ll source their nutritional needs from pretty much anything into which they can stick their short, stubby proboscis (tongue). As such, the quality and flavor of honey varies greatly depending on the foraging region and time of year. Its taste and strength represents a random selection of nectar from local flora and to some extent, the annual blossom preference of the hive.

Quality wildflower honey usually has a very bold flavor. Honey coming from the Western North Carolina foothills (like ours) is known for its expansive nectar composition and is considered one of the most robust. This is due to the extreme diversity of floral sources in the Appalachian Mountains. Honey bees in our apiaries have vast botanical choices ranging from ground covers of clover, dandelion, buckberry and wild blueberry. Gaining altitude, they can forage into trees like persimmon and tulip poplar. The late Dr. Vaughn Bryant at Texas A&M once counted over 211 different pollen markers in one of our wildflower honeys. Compare this to the usual 50 to 70 pollen markers in typical wildflower honeys and you can see how diverse the blooms are in our mountain top apiaries.  This is what makes wildflower honey so delicious and unique year in and year out, and what makes our wildflower honey even more robust in it's flavor and generally a bit different from year to year, based on what is blooming for the bees.