Guest post by Samantha and Daniel Johnson
You’ll often see honey sticks for sale at farmers’ markets and specialty shops; they’re popular with customers because they’re fun, convenient, and inexpensive; usually 25 cents each or five for $1. Each “straw” of honey contains one serving, making them a perfect choice for an on-the-go addition to tea or other beverages. Fortunately for you, consumers love to buy honey sticks. Unfortunately for you, they’re not the easiest item to produce. Large scale producers of honey sticks use equipment and machinery that can efficiently make vast quantities of honey sticks in a short amount of time. This is typically not a feasible option for the average beekeeper, but the good news is that, with a bit of investment in small-scale equipment, it is possible to make honey sticks by hand.
To do this, you’ll need the following:
• Honey (You’d already figured that one out, hadn’t you?)
• Straws (Clear, straight straws are best.)
• Plastic condiment bottle (The kind they use for ketchup in restaurants.)
• Impulse sealer (You’ll use this to seal the sticks.)
Basically, you’ll fill the condiment bottle with some honey, then insert the tip of the bottle into the end of a straw and squeeze the bottle until the straw is nearly filled (leave a bit about 1/4 inch on each end). Then place the straw on the impulse sealer and seal each end of the stick. Sound easy? It is— except for the fact that it is a time-consuming process. But once you establish a rhythm, you’ll likely be able to speed things up and make faster progress. Once you’ve amassed a sufficient supply of honey sticks (a few hundred or so is a good start), offer them for sale at your next event and watch the honey sticks disappear into the happy hands of satisfied consumers.
Excerpted from The Beginners Guide to Beekeeping written by Daniel & Samantha Johnson. All rights reserved.