Frequently Asked Questions

What does "Raw Honey" mean?

Honey that is unpasteurized and unfiltered. We don’t heat our honey, even during uncapping. Check out this video to see how we get it honey of the hives.

Is honey good for you?
Yes; honey is loaded with micronutrients, probiotics, vitamins, and minerals.

Is honey better than sugar?
Absolutely. Honey is a complex food that contains antioxidants and plant compounds. Additionally, honey has a lower glycemic index than regular cane sugar.

Can honey help with my allergies?
Yes- depending on where you live. Local honey micro-doses your immune system which helps your body become adjusted to the pollen in your area.

Do you, as a beekeeper, get stung a lot?
Yes, but the nice thing about getting stung so often is you lose your sensitivity to it. The stings only hurt for a few seconds, then it feels warm, and finally it will itch like crazy!

What kind of bees make Honey Next Door honey?
Apis mellifera is the species of bees that produce honey. It is also known as the European Honey Bee- however there are many subspecies.

Can you really put honey on wounds?
Yes- many cultures still use honey to help wounds. Honey has really low PH and super high osmotic pressure which can soothe and help heal wounds. However, we recommend that you consult your doctor for a specific wound.

What about grocery store honey- is that the same as local honey?
No, about two-thirds of honey consumed in the US is imported. Imported honey comes from countries with different agricultural and food safety standards which allows companies to adulterate their honey with rice syrup and malt syrup. Grocery store honey is typically not authentic honey.

Brazilian organic honey is notorious for being fraudulent honey. China is illegally laundering honey through countries like Ukraine, India, Malaysia, Argentina and others. The fake honey business is bigger than you would think!

Why can I buy organic honey from other countries in the grocery storebut not from the US?
The United States does not have standards set for authenticating organic honey. The best place to purchase authentic and organic honey is from your local beekeepers- and ask us questions!

How much honey does each bee make?
Each honeybee produces about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey.

What do bees eat?
Honeybees eat nectar and pollen provided by flowers.

What are bees favorite flowers?
In Georgia, they like tulip poplars, blackberries, maples, holly, black locust, dandelions, dutch clovers, and privet.

How do bees find flowers?
There are 'scout bees' that find flowers based on ultraviolet patterns and electric fields coming off of the flowers (which is awesome). The scout bee will perform a little waggle dance to tell other recruiter bees when it has found flowers.

How long to bees live?
On average, about 40 days in spring, summer, fall, and upwards of 5 months in winter in Northern parts of US and Canada.

How many bees are in a hive?
We estimate, on average, about 60,000 bees live in a hive in spring and summer.

How much honey does a hive produce?
Depends on the climate- in the Northern states of the U.S. a single hive can produce over 200 pounds of honey. Typically, you will see less honey in hives the further south you go: in Atlanta a good hive will produce around 60-100 lbs.

How long does it take to make honey?
The bees in Atlanta start in February and we harvest honey in June.

Do the honeybees die when you take their honey?
No. Ethical beekeepers leave plenty of honey to keep the bees full throughout the winter and fall seasons.

Can you harvest honey more than once per year?
In Atlanta, we are usually able to harvest only once per summer. Fall harvests can happen, but we leave it for the bees to use over the winter months.

What do you do with the frames you take out the hive?
We uncap with a cold knife and put it in a centrifuge to spin all of the honey out.

Are there larvae in the honeycomb?
Not in the comb that we use to harvest honey. Beehives are organized to have the larvae live in the broodnest on the lowest honeycomb/frame. We only pull frames from the honey supers above the brood supers- far from the larvae.

Does the hive die in the winter time?
No, the bees enter torpor (kinda like hibernation) where they use their wing muscles to create heat.

How many queens are there in a hive?
Normally one, unless she is being superseded in which case there can be two.

Are honeybees aggressive?
Honey bees are only aggressive in defending the hive; they will almost never sting you away from the hive.

Do other bees and wasps produce honey?
No other bee creates honey. However, some species of bumble bees collect honey in small pots for their underground nests.

Are honeybees native to America?
There were honey bees in North America which went extinct approximately 14 million years ago, but European honey bees were re-introduced over the last few hundred years.

Do honeybees die when they sting?
Yes, if they sting humans or thick skin animals. Honeybees can sometimes sting other insects or thin-skinned animals (e.g. frog) and not die. Queens can sting multiple times, but they only sting other queens.

Why do you blow smoke into a beehive- what does the smoke do?
Smoke masks the alarm pheromone for bees and they think a fire is near their hive and gorge on honey. Honey is their most precious resource and they can use to make wax to start a new hive. When the bees are engorged with honey, it is difficult for them to sting.

What chemicals do you put on or near your hives?
Our hives are treated with formic acid, which is a flash treatment for the Varroa Mite. This is an organic approved miticide.

Do you teach about honeybees?
Yes, I have worked with a few local schools and organizations, like Wylde Center, to help teach kids and adults about bees. Contact me at if you have a specific questions.