Why is our honey not organic?

Because of the mild winters and rainfall, bee hives in Oregon are subject to mite infestations. Mites live on the body of the bee (much like a flea on a dog) and weaken the colony’s vitality. To control the mites, beekeepers use one of two approved miticide strips (Apistan and Checkmite). The strips are used in the fall and stay in the hive for six weeks. The bees are not making honey during this time, and consume the hive honey during the winter. Extracted honey for human consumption is made by the bees in the spring, minimizing the chance for contamination with the active ingredients in the mite control strip.

There are other control methods available to the beekeeper such as the use of Formic acid, but the alternatives require very specific timing or are difficult to handle, so that they are not widely used. In addition, organic certification for honey requires that bee hives be located within a minimum radius of two miles of certified organic land. The fees and process for certification are often prohibitive for a small beekeeper.

Hummingbird Wholesale has chosen to purchase from local beekeepers over importing organic honey long distances. We believe the cost of non-regional purchasing outweighs any potential risks to health from our local suppliers. We work closely with our suppliers and have confidence in their integrity.