We adhere to the principles of the slow food movement and believe that foods should be produced carefully and savored. But, above all, we believe that nature's purest foods are also the healthiest and most flavorful. That's why we produce our honey artisanally and organically without heating, filtering or blending...because our top priority is to make the finest varietal, single-floral raw honeys.
Producing organically is smarter. Pesticide and herbicide residues in non-organic honey can taint the flavor. We only use organic compounds to care for our bees. Our 'Ohi'a Lehua and Wilelaiki honey varietals are certified 100% organic by the Internatoinal Certification Services, Inc.
Raw honey is a gift from nature that has been revered for millennia. Hippocrates favored honey as a medicine. The Mayans had a special god for beekeeping. The ancient Egyptians reserved honey for the wealthy. The Norse god Odin attributed his strength and wisdom to the mystical powers of honey. Early Christians saw the honeybee as a symbol of purity. And many cultures, including Celts, Slavs and Jews thought of honey as a food for the gods, while mead (honey wine) was a favored drink of mortals.
Honeybees make the world a richer and more colorful place. And, we aren't just talking about the raw honey that they produce. Bees pollinate flowers, allowing plants and trees to reproduce. Pollination provides us with 1/3 of the foods in our daily dietóand with beautiful flowers that are a feast for the eyes. In the US alone the crops that bees pollinate are worth upwards of $18 billion dollars! Without bees, there would be nuts and grasses, but few fruits or flowers.
The environment and its inhabitants must be protected. That's why we produce raw honey naturally and organically. And, it's why we have played a part in saving the 'Alala crow from extinction by working with the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center (part of the Peregrine Foundation). We supply the Center with bee larvae which is the perfect food for baby crows.
"Alala" Crow Conservation
The Hawaiian crow known as 'Alala is one of the many endangered birds in Hawaii. The word "'Alala" is taken from two Hawaiian words, "ala" and "la," which mean "to rise up" and "sun," respectively. The crow was given this name because it makes a great noise in the morning. Itís feathers are dark brown, its head and tail almost black, and its bill, legs and feet are black and iris brown. The ĎAlala soars quietly but its call sounds like a crying child. It eats the fleshy flower and fruit of the ieie vine, the ohelo berry, and other berries in the forests.
Prior to the 1890s, the 'Alala crow flourished. But, in the decades following, flocks disappeared, due to habitat loss and poultry farmers who saw the crows as a nuisance and hunted them down. Only solitary birds remained. Now there are less than thirty 'Alala left in Hawaii (15 in captivity and 14 in the wild). Despite the grim numbers, the 'Alala still has a chance!
Today, people are taking action. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service supports a captive breeding facility. The Hawaii Audubon society is trying to stop owners of the Big Island ranch from logging koa trees. And, about 10 years ago, we began supplying bee larvae to the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center in the town of Volcano, near Kilauea. The 'Alala babies love eating our bee larvae!