Updated: Apr 12
What's all the buzz about? We've dedicated this month to sharing our love for honey bees and the incredible wonders they create.
Choice sources only the most conscious and sustainable purveyors for local raw honey and fresh bee pollen. We have the utmost respect for bee-free vegans and will always provide honey-free alternatives for our menu items.
Our local beekeepers who are featured below are truly stewards of the bees, by protecting and nurturing bee colonies on their homesteads. They care more than anyone about the health and wellness of the bees, those amazing tiny buzzing superheroes, who with their hard work as pollinators make any plant-based diet possible.
Compared to cane sugar in Hawaii, which has caused irreparable harm to the land, watershed and the native Hawaiian system of agriculture, the local honey economy perpetuates both the health of the honey bee and the ecology of our islands.
Raw honey and bee pollen are both valuable therapeutic food greatly appreciated by the natural medicine community for its anti-fungal, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and immuno-stimulating uses. In addition, raw honey has many topical applications, plus is a delectable natural sweetener that can enhance the natural flavors of any dish. The ancient Egyptians used honey as a wound treatment as early as 3000 BC and it has been found in Egyptian tombs.
One tablespoon of bee pollen contains:
250 types of nutrients, including vitamins and flavonoids
0.24 grams of fat
1.2 grams of protein
A short History of Beekeeping in Hawaii
Did you know that bees pollinate three quarters of the fruit, vegetables and nuts grown in the US? “Nalo Meli” in the Hawaiian language (“honey fly"), honey bees were introduced to Hawaii in the 1850s. Molokai was the first Hawaiian Island to be the major honey producer but after disease decimated the populations of honey bees, it was the Big Island that picked up production of bee products. Free from GMO's, the Big Island is an ideal environment for year round honey cultivation.
Sourcing the finest local ingredients
The honey used on Choice Health Bar menus is sourced from Hamakua Bees on the Big Island. A fourth-generation family of beekeepers, the Nelsons manage 800 hives to produce raw honey in one of the most beautiful landscapes on the planet. Hamakua Apiaries is able to harvest honey year round and provide queen bees to bee keepers around the world, thanks to the unique climate of Hawaii. They choose to store retail honey in glass jars to block any plastic chemicals from infiltrating their products.
Choice sources the Wild Flower honey from Hamakua Apiaries, which is touted for its sweet/tart flavor that accentuates the natural flavors of the ingredients on which it tops.
The blog on hamakuabees.com is a great resource for bee keeping, ordering bee products and learning more about the amazing health benefits of this superfood.
Integrating into healthy meals
If this were a blog about the health benefits of noni fruit, meal integration could be more of a challenge. Luckily, honey + bee pollen are absolutely delicious! Choice Health Bar serves up the best açaí bowls on Maui, all of which are topped with honey. The 'Superfresh' and 'Green Buzz' açaí bowls also are topped with bee pollen, great as a post workout recovery meal packed with amino acids. Not just for adults, honey is a great way to encourage the kids to eat nutritious meals. The 'Keiki Shake' contains honey, as does the 'Super C Soother' smoothie. Bee pollen is a key ingredient in the 'Innerspatial Facial' smoothie and can be added to any smoothie on the menu. We love it in the 'Super C Soother' as well. For a quick immunity boost in Lahaina, the 'Catalyst' shot balances noni and elderberry with the sweet taste of honey. In our Paia store, the 'Moroccan Mint Tea' provides a refreshing cool down with honey health benefits. Honey can also 'bee' added to your hot coffee or tea for a HI vibe sweetener.
Choice is proud to offer Maui Bees honey on our retail shelves, a local family business located in Kula. A stewardship model of farming techniques drives Maui Bees, along with a solid commitment to regenerative farming. The farm uses biodynamic sprays and preparations, builds all its own organic compost, inoculates the soil with beneficial microbes, uses cover crops and “no till” mulches to build carbon in the soil. They keep their honey pure, unfiltered and raw, using a 100% cold process ensuring the honey stays below room temperature. Visit the farm stand, book a tour or a private farm to table dinner on the Maui Bees website.
How ever you enjoy it, honey and bee pollen are a delicious addition to healthy meals. As a valued Choice Health Bar customer, you're offered $5 off your entire order using code BEEMINE from February 13-15, 2022. Valid for online orders only.