About our honey cellar

Taste the landscape

With our Honey Cellar project, we would like to introduce you to the various beekeepers active in Berlin/Brandenburg, whose products you’ll now be able to sample through our shop. Or should we say: whose landscapes and cultivation areas you’ll be able to sample! After all, each honey is representative of its special location – but even the same type of honey from the exact same place will reveal subtle differences in flavour based on vintage and weather conditions. 

If you’re at all like us, you’ll find that you can obsess over honey just as much as over a good bottle of wine. It’s a truly fascinating product and a great way of taking a deep dive into the unique food culture of our region.

A natural product in the truest sense

People in Anatolia had it right about 7,000 years ago: that’s when and where people first started keeping bees. Small-scale, close to nature and with minimum intervention. Of course, honey was popular among foraging societies before that, with cave paintings in Spain’s Valencia province depicting “honey gatherers” about 8 to 10,000 years back. It’s safe to assume, though, that people went in search of the sweet treat long before that. 

Even today, honey has lost none of its fascination. Bees perform an impressive feat in a swarm. Not only do thousands of bees work together wordlessly to create intricate honeycomb structures and diligently collect pollen, but as the main pollinators of wild and useful plants, they are an essential part of regional biodiversity. 

With bees working perfectly well without human guidance, what then is the job of the beekeeper? 

Well, besides harvesting the honey, the beekeeper’s task is to give form the wonderful work of nature. Beekeepers who favour natural, gentle management of their colonies will pick out the ideal locations for their bees and take care of their health and well-being without harmful interventions such as antibiotics and other performance-boosting medications. Likewise, they make sure bees get through the winter in our occasionally harsh climes. And as far as the product is concerned, a beekeeper with an artisanal approach will process the honey only very carefully, leaving enzymes, propolis and pollen intact – which is great for your  health and wellbeing, too!

The dark side of the honey trade

If we were to pay bees the legal minimum wage, 1 kilo of honey would be worth about half a million – and not €1.20 as is the current world trade average. 

We doubt that bees are about to unionize, but even so, if you’re going to purchase your honey from a local beekeeper who cares about sustainability and artisanal production, you’re going to be forking out a few more Euros. After all, careful craftsmanship always costs more than mass production.

The latter certainly does exist for honey, even though it’s a natural product par excellence – or should be! In order to be able to sell honey cheaply, supermarket suppliers will source and mix various types of honey. Not just won’t you be able to taste any unique landscape, but as you can imagine, honey sourced for the mass market is not produced with a view to biodiversity and boosting of local economies. If anything, the bees also suffer in this type of honey farming. As with industrial meat production, maximum yield is achieved via drugs and interventions that ultimately prove harmful to both the long-term health of colonies and the consumer. (Yes, antibiotics show up on your spoon, too!) 

Aside from industrial honey, there is also fake honey, mostly from Asia (China). Such honey is stretched with rice syrup, which is difficult to detect in the laboratory. Check out “Rotten” on Netflix if you’re curious, the first episode deals with this very subject!

In conclusion

Shelling out a few extra Euros for good honey is a great investment. That money doesn’t just pay for more enjoyment and pleasure for you, but also supports local economies, biodiversity in the region, the health and wellbeing of our most important pollinator… and, like you needed any more reasons, it’s good for your health too! So do it like the Anatolians of yesteryesteryear and get your honey from your trusty local beekeeper. Just as well you’ve got a hookup right here!