WE NO LONGER SELL DIRECT RETAIL.   Please go to our sales locations web page http://www.bamboohollow.com/locations.php to locate a store that has our local, raw & unprocessed honey. We still keep bees exclusively in NJ, but no longer participate in farmers markets, festivals, or private sales.  We want to thank all of you who participated by purchasing our products or providing space for our bees on your property!  A MUCH HEARTFELT THANK YOU TO ALL!

Allergies & Honey

Can Local Raw Natural Pure Honey Help Alleviate Allergies?

Honey is produced by honey bees returning to their hives with nectar and pollen spores. The resulting honey that is produced by the honey bees is stored in covered wax honeycombs until the bees are ready to use it for food... or until a beekeeper enters the hive to remove the honey-filled combs found within.

Exactly what does this have to do with your runny nose, watery eyes and scratchy throat?

Almost all evidence regarding the immunizing effects of eating honey is anecdotal.  Even though there have been no significant scientific studies that have conclusively proven whether honey actually reduces allergies - these reports have proven persuasive enough for some people to try to fight their seasonal allergies by eating honey every day.

The prevailing theory is that eating local raw honey works like a vaccination. Vaccines introduce dummy versions of a particular virus or germ into the body and effectively trick it into believing it's been invaded, triggering an immune system response. This produces antibodies designated to fight off the foreign invaders. When the body is actually exposed to the harmful germ or virus, the antibodies are ready for them.

Honey may gradually expose the body to allergens, which could immunize a person against allergies. The idea behind eating honey is similar to gradually vaccinating the body against allergens, a process called immunochemistry. Honey contains a variety of the same pollen spores that give allergy sufferers so much trouble when flowers and grasses are in bloom. Introducing these spores into the body in small amounts by eating honey should make the body accustomed to their presence and decrease the chance an immune system response like the release of histamine will occur.

Since the concentration of pollen spores found in honey is generally low -- compared to, say, sniffing a flower directly -- then the production of antibodies shouldn't trigger symptoms similar to an allergic reaction. Ideally, the honey-eater won't have any reaction at all. As innocuous as honey seems, it can actually pose health risks in some cases. Honey proponents warn that there is a potential for an allergic reaction to it.  And since honey can contain bacteria that can cause infant botulism, health officials warn that children under 12 months of age whose immune systems haven't fully developed shouldn't eat honey at all [source: Mayo Clinic].

If a regimen is undertaken - local, pure, raw (unprocessed, i.e. unheated beyond 105-110 degrees F) wildflower honey is generally accepted as the best variety to use.  Local honey is produced by bees usually within a few miles of where the person eating the honey lives.  This proximity increases the chances that the varieties of flowering plants giving the allergy sufferer trouble are the same kinds the bees are including in the honey they produce.  After all, it wouldn't help much if you ate honey with spores from a type of plant that grows in Florida if you suffer from allergies in New Jersey.  There's no real rule of thumb on how local the honey has to be, but some proponents suggest the closer, the better.  Others claim that since flowering species in the northern 2/3s of New Jersey are pretty much identical, any pure, natural, raw  wildflower honeys from that region will do. 

A word to consumers... Honey that is sold locally (e.g. at farm stands, local shops) often has the name and address of the supplier (as required by law), usually a beekeeper, from which the honey was acquired.  The address is to be interpreted as a business address - and ALMOST NEVER the location where bees made the honey. Many beekeepers simply repack or purchase bottled honey from wholesale suppliers without the label indicating the true source.  If not specifically indicated on the label, the source of the honey must be ascertained separately by the consumer - unfortunately not always easy or possible to do.  A honey jar with a central NJ address may actually contain honey from New York state, for example.  Furthermore, for the purpose of allergy relief as described above, the honey must usually be "wildflower".   Honey jars simply labeled as "New Jersey honey" can and have been known to contain whatever was available at the time of bottling... blueberry, cranberry, clover, etc.  Such honeys would NOT normally contain pollens, etc. from the variety of flowers that may be desired.

It is recommended that you do some research yourself -- you can use any of the search engines to get relevant information from the internet... remember, much of what you'll see is anecdotal.