welcome to eatlocalhoney.com

Jamaica Plain HoneyMy name is Mike Graney. I started beekeeping in 1997 with a single hive in my local community garden in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston. Ten years and hundreds of pounds of honey later, I'm still at it, quietly keeping honeybees in various sites throughout the city.

about me & this site

This site is a collection of the contacts and resources I've encountered working with honey buyers, sellers, and tradesmen, as well as to try to network with other beekeepers in the region and the nation. My hope is that by opening up the flow of information among fellow apiarists we can all work together to promote the consumption and enjoyment of one of Nature's greatest gifts.

I guess I would say that I owe my love of honey to my father John, who kept bees when I was a kid. Thanks to the steady flow of delicious honey to enjoy on toast, in tea, and even honey sandwiches, I quickly became addicted. And so when I moved out and was faced with the prospect of my honey supply being cruelly cut off, I learned to keep bees for my own selfish purposes.

Jamaica Plain Honey

What makes Eat Local Honey special?

I want to make one thing clear from the start: I bear no ill will toward supermarket honey. For the most part, the mass production of honey is a good thing, as honey competes in the marketplace with refined sugars, like high fructose corn syrup (yuck!). Thing is, large producers go where honey is the cheapest to make, like the miles of clover fields in the Midwest. The result is that people closely associate honey with the taste of clover honey, having never tasted the honey from their own region. Then there's the packing companies, who buy cheap honey from South America or Asia, to blend and repackage it as a "brand-name" honey. These companies have no contact with the bees, the flowers, or the elements that make every drop of honey unique. In New England, the sheer diversity of flora makes for honey that has a much more complex flavor profile than honey from anywhere else. Eat Local Honey is not meant to look or taste a certain way for mass appeal. In fact, the honey changes as the season progresses, and is a true taste of what was flowering at that point in time.

Eat Local Honey is used by some of Boston’s top chefs, including Chef Jim Solomon at The Fireplace restaurant in Brookline, in countless dishes from the kitchen at Cambridge’s Pemberton Farms, and it’s been featured in some of the fine beers created by the Boston area’s most innovative brewer, Will Myers, at Cambridge Brewing Company.

Some people say that Eat Local Honey is “the bomb”. Others love my “delicious Jamaica Plain Honey, made by bees that live in JP”.

It's the honey, not the money

I point out that I make nothing. I am merely the bottler of a gift of Nature that amazes me as much as it does you. I am most proud of how I take utmost care in preserving its purity. Enjoy it in good health!



The Honey Gatherers

One of my favorite sites of late resides at thehoneygatherers.com, and features a quirky layout but incredible content. Scroll left to right and then choose the country from the list on top.

The Vanishing of The Bees: "Do you like rice?"

This neat little video explains the potentially devastating consequences of Colony Collapse Disorder, something that I am asked about often and which I must confess that I am woefully under-informed. OrganicConsumers.org is a terrific resource for CCD-related information that has become this beekeeper's pet cribsheet.

A blurb is a blurb...

Here's a nifty little write-up about yours truly in one of my favorite mags, The Improper Bostonian. A quick excerpt:

"One spoonful and that teddy-bear squeeze bottle in your pantry will be long forgotten."

Ain't much, but like the header says...

Beekeeping in Slovenia & Elsewhere

Just got back from a trip to Eastern Europe, where beekeeping has long been part of the culture, as you can see in these rows of painted hives in an orchard in Transylvania, Romania. In Slovenia, early beekeepers believed that painting the entrances to their hives would help the bees return to the proper hive. The practice became a popular folk art, and various themes emerged, from humorous to religious. Although the painted hives are still a fixture in the Slovenian countryside, the practice reached its peak in the late 1800s, when particular detail was put into these panels.

A huge collection of these and other amazing bee-related items is held by the Apicultural museum near Lake Bled, Slovenia.

To see more pictures, including antique queen cages, a traditional wax press (used to extract honey from the comb before wood frames made the centrifugal extractor possible), and very cool life-size human and animal figures which are actually beehives, click here.

Look out, Yogi & Boo-Boo

If a bear should get into your honey, don't shoot it, sue it.

Bees on The Highway

What a mess. With gruesome pictures.

How not to keep bees

Listen, if you're gonna keep bees, don't do what this moron did.

Bees in the Key of A

Here are two trailers to this neat video my friend Brynmore made which features some local beekeepers.