We are so sorry if your favorite honey is out of stock at the moment! Please allow us to recommend a few other types of honey that you might like just as well. All honey varieties are unique, but this post will give you a few options that have a flavor profile similar to your favorite.
We will also explain a few common reasons that honey shortages happen, one of which is likely why you can’t find the honey you are looking for. Supplies of honey can be limited by a wide variety of factors that are beyond the control of any beekeeper. In a nutshell, climate and health of the bees are usually the two biggest factors that cause shortages of honey.
Causes of Honey Supply Shortages
Honey is a precious natural resource. Bees transform flower nectar into honey. Each type of blossom produces a unique nectar that turns into a distinctive honey. For that reason, each monofloral honey has its own flavor, color, and texture (mouthfeel).
Beekeeping is a type of agriculture. Beekeepers collect monofloral honey by placing their hives near blooming trees and flowers that produce the nectar they want the bees to use to make that type of honey. Sourwood trees bloom in June and July when not many other flowers are blooming. If a beekeeper keeps hives in a field of sourwood trees, that’ll be the nectar most of their worker bees will feast on in those months. As long as the weather and the health of the bees all line up together, then sourwood honey will flow copiously by August. If there are problems with either of those, then sourwood honey stocks, which is our favorite local honey, might be low.
Like all types of farming, the amount of food the farmer (beekeeper) can produce depends on natural forces outside their control. Here are a few of the biggest factors that influence honey yield:
The amount of honey produced by beekeepers’ hives in a given season will be dramatically altered by local weather patterns. Too much rain or drought, excessive heat or an unseasonable frost or freeze, can all cause honey supplies to be much lower than normal.
A great example for how weather affects honey production is what happened to the supply of tupelo honey in 2015. Tupelo trees grow mostly in the Apalachicola (northern) region of Florida and some parts of southern Georgia. Those trees typically only bloom for about three weeks, even in the best of conditions. During the 2015 tupelo blooming season, it rained for the entire three weeks. Tupelo blooms are notorious among local beekeepers for soaking up rainwater and taking a long time to dry. Bees aren’t able to collect nectar from wet tupelo blooms. All that sweet nectar got washed away. As a result, the amount of honey produced was critically low and a lot of tupelo fans were disappointed that year.
Bee Predators, Diseases, and Parasites
Colony Collapse Disorder, mites, beetles, and other diseases and predators all hurt honey bee populations. Honey production depends on a healthy population of bees. And despite beekeepers’ best efforts, sometimes hives are lost.
Amount of Nectar Available in a Region
The number of blooms on the flowering trees and plants near the hive can be affected by all sorts of things, including natural “boom and bust” cycles and, of course, weather patterns.
Substitution Recommendations by Honey Flavor Profile
Our Queen Bees Kim and Jill source honey for Asheville Bee Charmer from beekeepers all over the world. If one is out of stock, we probably have a similar honey available now. You probably won’t be able to find an exact match of your favorite honey, but it is likely that one of these alternates will be so delicious that you won’t mind one bit. Here are a few of our most popular monofloral honeys and infused honeys categorized by flavor profile. If your favorite is out of stock, try another with the same type of profile:
Toasted Marshmallow or Vanilla
- Vanilla Bean Honey (one of our own infused honeys)
Buttery or caramel
- Orange blossom
Herbal, Woody, or Smoky
- Corsican Blossom
- Tasmanian Leatherwood
Chocolate or Malt
- Cocoa infused
- Smokin’ Hot Chipotle Infused Honey
- Rosemary Infused Honey
- Mint Infused Honey
- Ghost Pepper Infused Honey
- Firecracker Hot Infused Honey
- Chai Infused Honey
For other great honey tips and recommendations, pick up The Asheville Bee Charmer Cookbook or visit our honey tasting bar at our Asheville, NC, shop!