Honey has been celebrated for centuries as a delicious dessert topping, sweetener and medicinal ointment. Not only useful as a natural and healthy sugar-replacement, honey is a remedy for skin ailments such as infections, wounds, cuts, scrapes, dryness and even arthritic pain. When ingested, honey also has been known to promote immune system health, digestive health, a cure for seasonal allergies and even works as an anti-inflammatory agent. Honey is delicious topped on toast, muffins, cakes, yogurt, blended drinks and hot beverages. There is everything to like about this scrumptious product of the natural world. When you are on vacation in Hawaii, take advantage of this opportunity to check out the abundance of honey producers in the Aloha State.
One of the most valued Hawaiian honeys is sourced from the blossoms of kiawe tree. The kiawe, a tree native to South America and related to the mesquite found throughout the mainland southwest, flourishes in the drier, leeward areas of the Hawaiian Islands. This kind of honey is regarded by many as one of the best and most unique honeys in the world. The milky white honey is raw, unrefined and organic, having subtle floral and tropical notes. To render the honey to perfection, it must be harvested in the right season, so as to avoid either a hardened or fermented product. Kiawe honey is an absolute must-try for anyone’s vacation in the Hawaiian Islands and is would be a valued gift to anyone receiving it back home.
Rare Hawaiian Honey Company: Situated snugly by a 1,000 acre of kiawe forest land, this company produces some of the rarest kiawe honey in the world. In order to preserve the natural for of the honey’s natural form, the company specializes in selling raw and unfiltered kiawe honeys that are unflavored, as well as those infused from the flowers of the ginger, lilikoi, lehua, lavender and macadamia. They also make good use of the extra beeswax by selling candles, lotions and body oils with a light kiawe blossom scent.
Manoa Honey Company: Like many of the Hawaiian honey makers, the Manoa Honey Company offers a variety of flavorful honeys. The products are sourced from wide range of blossoms creating an array of deeply flavored honeys like the ohia lehua, wilelaiki (Chirstmas berry) and mixed blossom varieties as well as lighter ones such as their Crater Kiawe and Manoa Meli brands. The company also offers raw honeycomb, fresh bee pollen (which is an excellent addition to any fruit smoothie) and beeswax candles.
Maui’s Best Honey: This company produces kiawe honey that is expertly made without any additives. Providing of the most authentic raw honey products, the honey is harvested naturally and the trees are cultivated without the use of any pesticides. The product as a result is a rich and buttery honey which can be purchased in bulk at 22, 9 or 3.4 ounce jars.
The Big Island Bee Company: The Big Island Bee Company has been family owned since 1972 and offers tours of their hives and museum for any visitors stopping by. Their 100% certified organic honeys are distinctly light and fresh, as they have neither been heated, filtered or blended. In addition to their specialties such as ohia lehua, plumeria and cinnamon honeys, the company also sells moisturizing hand soaps and miniature gift collections.
Molokai Meli: Harvested in the remote island of Molokai, this delightful family-owned bee farm is known for their dedication to creating gourmet raw kiawe honey. Their colonies have protected from mainland diseases or mite infestations and only bees are native to the island are used to produce honey for Molokai Meli. Aside from their kiawe honeys, the company makes and sells lip gloss, salad dressings, healing salves, candles and even surfboard wax. These specialty products are only sold at their store, so you must visit the farm in person to purchase these items.
North Shore Hawaiian Honey Bee: Travelers staying on Oahu can visit a honeybee farm at the North Shore Hawaiian Honey Bee. Here the products are priced for affordability, as one of the company’s main initiatives is to put healthy honey into as many hands as possible. Their honey is made from mango, lemon, papaya, kiawe, eucalyptus and banana blossoms. Customers can purchase a wide range of honeys including dark shade, light floral and sweet tropical (mango flavored or papaya flavored) honeys.
On your next vacation to Hawaii, take the opportunity to admire the hard work of the people who founded and operate these companies and sample some of the islands’ finest honeys, including the rare and opulent kiawe honey.