How Honey Gets Its Flavor

To those who are used to buying honey from the grocery store, you might think that it only comes in one flavor and one color. Most mass-produced foods are designed to be homogenous, with no variations, and honey is no different. However, natural raw honey comes in many varieties of flavors, and has noticeable differences in color and texture, too.

Jake’s Bee Co. has 1,200 hives located throughout Central California, which not only helps us produce a lot of honey, but it means we’re creating multiple varieties that are nuanced and incredibly delicious. And giving bees a place to thrive! Shop our selection today.

Read on for more about what gives honey its varieties of flavors.

The Plants they Pollinate

In short, specific plants in the region provide the flavor nuances. You might already be familiar with wildflower honey, as well as sage honey, and other types. The flavors can take on multiple characteristics depending on the plants they pollinate. Some will produce much sweeter flavors, where others can bring forth citrus, herb, spice, earth, and even bitter flavors.

Wildflower honey is a general term, and encompasses a quarter million varietals of flowers, and just as each flower has a unique scent, each flower will produce a unique flavor. The types of flowers the bees pollinate will depend on where the colony is located, the types of flowers that are nearby, and the season. And fruits, whether orange, pear, apple, or avocado will add their own flavorful touch to the honey.


The region the local beekeeper is located in plays a role in flavors. For example, a flower species that grows in the Rocky Mountains at 7,000 feet altitude will have different characteristics than the same species grown in the South at sea level. Plants evolve to become hardy to their region, which can impact the way they look, smell, and flavor the honey.


Some flowers are early bloomers, where some are late bloomers. And some of them are far more flavorful at the beginning of the growing season than later, which will impact the taste as well. Local beekeepers will know where their bees are pollinating, as well as the species of plant that dominates the flavor, and they will plan their production schedule around the seasonal varieties. Ours rotate based on seasons, and you will know the species based on the name we’ve given it!

Keep in Mind…

You might not have a clue what to go with when you’re faced with a selection of varieties to choose from. You might decide to get a honey gift pack like ours, which allows you to sample our current season’s offerings. One rule of thumb is that the lighter the hue, the lighter and sweeter the flavor. And those that are darker are, of course, more robustly flavored.

Jake’s Bee Co. is a local beekeeper who produces all natural raw honey in the Central California region. If you’re interested in trying the various types of wildflower honey and others, we invite you to try our Honey Gift Pack, which has three varieties in full-size containers. Shop our gift packs and more at Jake’s Bee Co. today!

Jake's Bee Co

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