- Why did my honey crystallize?
Because our honey is raw, the bits of pollen can trigger the sugars to start binding to each other to form crystals. This is a similar process to how rock candy is made. If your honey crystallizes, it is still safe to eat and remains delicious! However, to return it to its liquid state, light heating will always do the trick. Some people like to put the bottle in front of a sunny window and let nature do the rest, but a bath in hot water works as well - just submerge the entire glass jar in a hot water bath. However, heating the honey too high should be avoided, as it destroys the enzymes and nutrients, so use discretion and try not to heat the honey hotter than needed.
- Your farm has a Mebane address, so why is your honey labeled with “Chapel Hill, NC"?
While our farm is in Alamance county, with a Mebane address, we are actually only a couple of miles north of Saxapahaw and within eyesight of the Orange county line.
We have hives spanning from our farm all the way through western Orange county, most of which are located at Chapel Hill addresses. As such, we felt that keeping Chapel Hill as the primary location of our honey production would be the most accurate representation of our products.
- What does it mean when honey is “raw”?
Raw honey is honey that has been minimally processed after coming out of the hive. Most commercial honey is pasteurized, which means that it is heated to over 150 degrees Fahrenheit, then forced through a fine filter, and cooled rapidly. This is done to rid the honey of any pollen particles, which helps to keep the honey from crystallizing on the store shelf and makes the honey seem clearer and more visually appealing. It also is done to kill any yeast spores that might be present in the honey. Raw honey, on the other hand, is extracted from the hive, and lightly strained to remove any wax cappings or other extraneous objects, but then left at that. All the pollen, enzymes, and yeast are left in the honey. Here at King Cobra Apiary, we only strain our honey with larger filters that just remove the wax, but leave all the pollen and nutrients in. We also do not heat our honey for this process. It takes a little longer, but we think it is well worth it.
- Is raw honey safe to eat?
YES! Raw honey is perfectly safe and healthy, though not recommended for infants or young children. The pasteurization process removes yeast, which prevents the honey from ever fermenting. This is important, BUT all honey should be at or below 18% water content anyway, which is too low for this yeast to reproduce. If you have heard the stories about honey found in the Egyptian pyramids that was still good, this would be why! Here at King Cobra Apiary, all of our honey is below 18% water content so it will never go bad or ferment.
- Why is raw honey better than pasteurized?
Pasteurization removes all the pollen from the honey, and kills most enzymes, including diastase (amylase), invertase and glucose oxidase. The heat from pasteurization also damages many of the vitamins and minerals commonly found in natural honey.
- Do you accept honey jar returns?
We sure do!
You can return your jars to us at our self-serve honey shop, at Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market, South Durham Farmers’ Market, and Fearrington Farmers' Market.
SHIPPING & PICKUP
- What is your shipping and handling time?
All orders are processed within 5 to 7 business days. Orders are not shipped or delivered on weekends or holidays.
If we are experiencing a high volume of orders, shipments may be delayed by a few days. Please allow additional days in transit for delivery.
We work hard to get orders to you on time. It's just the two of us - we care for the bees, we harvest the honey, we fill the honey jars, we hand-label the jars, we make the candles, we pack the orders, and we take the orders to the post office.
- Can I pickup an online order at your farm?
Select "Pickup at Farm" during checkout. After placing your order, please contact us via email or phone to schedule a day and time to pickup. This will ensure that your order is ready and waiting for you in our designated pickup spot in our self-serve honey shop.
- Can I pickup an online order at a farmers' market?
Select "Pickup at Chapel Hill Farmers' Market," "Pickup at South Durham Farmers' Market,” or "Pickup at Fearrington Farmers' Market" during checkout. Your order will be ready for pickup at market the Saturday (Tuesday for Fearrington) after you make your order. Cutoff times are 10pm the night before market.
FARM & BEEKEEPING
- Do you offer tours of your farm?
We currently do not offer tours of our farm.
If you are interested in touring local farms in the area, please check out the Piedmont Farm Tour Program. Depending on our workload and schedule, our farm may or may not participate in this program.
- In most of your beekeeping photos you're not wearing a suit or veil, why is this?
The honey bees that we work with (Apis mellifera) are considered domesticated livestock.
While there are certain tasks and times of years that warrant full gear, we are fortunate enough to have good genetics in our operation that allow us to beekeep without veils or suits. We still get stung a handful of times in a normal work day, but that’s usually preferred to wearing a full suit on super hot days.
- Do you offer beekeeping classes?
We do not offer beekeeping classes.
While we love talking about bees and beekeeping to anyone who will listen, we unfortunately do not have time to offer beekeeping classes to the public. We recommend checking out your county's beekeeping association for classes that they may offer. These classes are great for beginners as they offer insight into basic bee biology and all of the things you need to know to start your own hive at home!
- Do you make the candles? Are they 100% beeswax?
Yes! Alicia makes all of the candles right here on our farm. They are all made from 100% triple-filtered beeswax.
- Do you use 100% cotton wicks for your candles? Is the wick organic?
Yes! We use only 100% cotton for our wicks. The wick is not organic.
- Do you sell bulk beeswax?
Yes! We sell beeswax by the ounce or pound directly on our website.