Mead Lover's Digest #0272 Sat 5 March 1994


Forum for Discussion of Mead Making and Consuming
Dick Dunn, Digest Coordinator



Honey Prices (Eric L. Wagoner)
Honey Prices in Japan (Doburoku Jiji)
re: Honey Prices (Dick Dunn)
Light Honey (Alexander Kew)
re: Honey Prices ("Dave Polaschek")


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Subject: Honey Prices
From: (Eric L. Wagoner)
Date: Wed, 2 Mar 94 08:15:26 MST

I do my honey shopping in a tiny town named Escondida, just north
of Socorro.

One gallon of quite nice wild desert-flower honey sells for $8.00,
container included.

The honey is always fresh from the hive…


Today's sign of hidden brain damage:

I line my pockets with hot cheese.

Subject: Honey Prices in Japan
From: Doburoku Jiji <>
Date: Wed, 2 Mar 94 17:36:00 18000

Here's a data point from the other side of the world. No heart
attacks, please.

In Japan, where prices are high for *everything*, I buy a tasty
lotus-blossom honey (the standard light honey of East Asia) imported
from China for about $7 a kilo ($3.50 a pound). I can also get a
domestic buckwheat honey for about $8.50 a kilo from a local producer.
Believe it or not, these are bargain prices.

Dark honeys are treated as novelties and receive very little
distribution. Domestic light honeys tend to be insipid and expensive.
Health-food stores charge upwards of $27 a kilo for sweet,
blended-to-death, tasteless, yellow goops–but that says as much about
the gullibility of health-food aficionados as it does about honey
prices. Supermarkets usually sell their honey in 200-500 gram
containers for anywhere from $3 to $6. Have to be careful, though.
Unless the package explicitly says "pure" honey, it is probably a
blend of 60% honey, 40% fructose (found this out the hard way).

In terms of varieties, lotus is the dominant light honey. Acacia is
commonly available, but I've never found any that turns me on either
price-wise or flavor-wise. For darker honeys–buckwheat and wild
flower are the two I've found–you have to go to beekeepers, and even
then it's hit and miss. Clover, orange-blossom, heather, and other
standard Western honeys are only carried by upscale markets, and in
quantities too small and prices too high to make them attractive for

Doburoku Jiji
Fujisawa, Japan

Subject: re: Honey Prices
From: (Dick Dunn)
Date: 2 Mar 94 23:14:47 MST (Wed)

Aaron Morris <> wrote:
> In any event, I sell quart jars (12 pounds) of honey based on the price
> of honey at the supermarket…
(I think that should read "quart jars (3 pounds)"…)
>…One pound jars approximate $1.80 at the
> store, so I sell 3 pound jars for $5 (only slightly cheaper than the
> supermarket, but a far superior product – I'll admit to bias here).

This sounds right…one of my comments in the original note is that there
is an apparent "price point" right around 3 lb for $5. That doesn't feel
bad to me, as long as it's minimally-processed honey. (I'm just trying to
exclude the "Sue Bee" style.)

> Discussion has mentioned prices as low as $.75 a pound; that's a
> bargain, especially when one isn't buying in bulk!…

I'd like to find $.75/lb for good honey! But…What's "bulk"? Is that a
buyer's perspective or a producer's perspective?

I'm looking at it from a mead-maker's perspective. I know I buy a lot more
honey than the average user. [Digression–Fun skit for the health-food
store: If you buy a gallon or more of honey, the odds are almost even that
someone will ask you what you're going to do with so much. Choose either
(a) best lazy-eyed laid-back organo-head mellow look/voice or (b) sudden
fiendish wide-eyed intensity, and answer that you're going to *FERMENT* it
all and get *really* plastered…because it's good for a natural, organic
kind of orgy! Wait for the reaction, then back off, smile, and explain:-]

But when I buy honey, I'm buying what must be, to a beekeeper, a modest
amount. It's a lot more than a normal houspouse buying it for the table…
and I certainly don't expect the nice glass jars with the horizontal ribs,
nor the plastic honey bears! I'm willing to bring my own containers, or
cycle them back to the beekeeper. These are some reasons I think I want
a price break, but I can't kid myself that I'm making a big purchase.

It's useful for me, and for other mead-makers, to have some rules of thumb
on honey prices. What I'd felt before posting the first article and seeing
any responses has been roughly corroborated: down around $1/lb and below is
good; over $2/lb has to be something unusual.

> …The moral: shop around. There are deals to be had if
> you're at the right place at the right time.

Definitely. Hunt around a bit, get out into the country. Even if you
don't find a better price than in the supermarket, you'll almost certainly
find better honey (which is one of Aaron's first points). Plus, you'll
learn about your main ingredient.

Dick Dunn -or- raven!rcd Boulder, Colorado USA

…Mr Natural says, "Get the right tool for the job!"


Subject: Light Honey
From: (Alexander Kew)
Date: Fri, 4 Mar 94 01:12:41 PST

I have been experimenting with two types of light honey (clover &
fireweed honey) for the purpose of brewing mead this year. What
I have found with the clover honey is that it produces a light
coloured, light-tasting mead which is delicately sweet. (Okay,
the adjectives are weird but I'm trying to describe the meads
as descriptively as possible. Bear with me.)

The fireweed honey produced a mead which was a golden-amber
coloured mead, light-tasting but not as sweet as the clover honey.

Both mead types were brewed at 20 C, and with an SG of 1.070.
The FG for dry mead was 0.996, and the FG for sweet mead was
1.008. The must took two months before showing signs of clearing
and another month to be totally clear.

I would appreciate it if anyone else who has brewed mead or
metheglin with these honeys to post any of their findings on the
digest, and give their point of view.

Cheers, Alex Q


Subject:  re: Honey Prices
From: "Dave Polaschek" <>
Date: 4 Mar 1994 11:12:43 CST

In Mead Lover's Digest #269, (Dick Dunn) asks
about honey prices around the country/world:

Here in Minneapolis, I recently paid about $70 for a 60 lb bucket of
wildflower honey, bought from one of the local co-ops. Their clover
honey is the same price. They also have other varieties of honey, all
of which sell for more (I seem to recall the highest priced of the bunch
at something like $3/lb with the largest quantity sold being a gallon).
In short, this matches almost exactly with the prices Dick Dunn
mentions. I've also paid as high as $4 for a 2lb bottle of clover honey
when I decided I wanted to start a batch at about midnight one weekend
and had no ingredients on hand, so ran to Rainbow (warehouse grocery
store, open 24 hours) and bought the cheap stuff they had. Even at those
prices, I still got a pretty good value compared to some of the beer
recipes I've made in the past, where costs were over $40 for a 5 gallon
batch.————————Dave Polaschek, Mac software guy
AppleLink:LASERMAX————————-LaserMaster Corp.,7156 Shady Oak Rd,
ATTNet:6129439204————————————Eden Prairie, MN 55344 USA

End of Mead Lover's Digest #272