Six black and yellow bees, close up, crossing a bright honeycomb full of delicious looking golden honey.

Important Questions To Ask When Buying Wholesale Honey

Humans have appreciated this sweet treat for millennia. Therefore, carrying honey is a must, whether you run a health food store, farmer’s market stand, or similar venue that supplies the best in healthy, organic, and flavorful foods. However, be sure you know what you’re getting into before you go looking for a beekeeper selling honey in bulk. Unlike picking up a jar of honey or two from the grocery store, buying wholesale honey requires a certain level of knowledge, business acumen, and craftiness to ensure you get a great product for the best price possible. Here are several important questions to ask when buying wholesale honey. Study and commit them to memory before you sit down with the supplier.

Where Do They Source Their Honey?

Not all honey is the same, nor are all bees or beekeepers. You must determine the bulk honey supplier’s source to ensure it’s the honey you want and need. Demand proof of the source, rather than simply buying the honey sight unseen from an anonymous seller.

Ask the supplier where they produce their honey; what sort of flowers the bees draw their nectar from; and whether the honey comes from a single place or if it comes from several different areas. Having this knowledge is important for many reasons.

Your customers will want to know what makes “your” honey different. They may have experience with and preferences for honey from certain areas, bees, flowers, and so forth. Having the right honey reflects well on your brand.

What Is the Honey’s Purity Level?

People who buy special, artisanal, and single-sourced honey are particular about what they buy. Authenticity is a watchword in the honey-selling business. Many seek honey that is as pure and unadulterated as possible because of preference or health issues.

Confirm that the honey came straight from the hive and hasn’t been cut with materials that can raise red flags with buyers. Ask the seller to confirm that their honey is 100 percent pure by showing you its certification, and to clarify whether they’ve tested it for adulteration.

Often, third-party labs can provide proof that a honey passes the purity test. This proof will mean a lot to your customers who are looking for the right stuff, especially if “impure” honey can cause serious health issues.

Three tall stacks of sealed jars full of golden honey and honeycombs, all lined up in an eye-catching display.

What Is the Honey’s Official Grade and Quality?

The United States Department of Agriculture classifies honey into various grades. They base the grading on color, moisture content, flavor, lack of foreign substances, clarity, aroma, and caramelization. Familiarize yourself with these grades and what makes one type of honey inferior and another one superior.

Knowing this information is important when it comes to establishing price, taste, and salability. Ask the supplier to tell you the grade of the honey in question, and to provide proof. Higher-grade honey demands a higher price.

Understanding the different grades can also help with haggling and prevent a seller from tricking you into purchasing lower-grade honey. This understanding also helps you establish your sales prices.

How Do They Prepare and Package the Honey?

While honey can last a very long time, it still needs protection and preservation. Faulty processing and packaging techniques can interfere with its quality and shelf life. Make sure you’re buying honey packaged to last by asking the supplier whether they’ve pasteurized their honey to kill off yeast and make it last longer, or if it’s completely raw, which allows it to retain certain benefits.

Ask whether they’ve strained or filtered it to prevent foreign substances (such as pollen) from entering the honey and make it smoother. The packaging itself can also influence the customer’s expectations and satisfaction. Ensure it aligns with your branding to maintain consistency and prevent confusion.

What Are the Honey’s Certifications?

Many customers may prefer assurance that you, and by extension, your supplier, have ethically sourced the honey they’re buying. Fair Trade certification is vital—buyers want to know that you (your supplier) paid a fair price to the country you sourced the honey from. They want to know that you (your supplier) treat your workers well—the bees and the humans—and that the funds contribute to the country’s local economy.

Your customers may also prefer organically sourced honey with no additives. They may have some other dietary restrictions and requirements based on religion and other belief systems that prohibit them from consuming certain honey grades or brands. Find out what your customers are looking for and keep this in mind during your negotiations with the seller.

A happy beekeeper in a protective beekeeping suit holding a frame full of beeswax, honeycomb, and honey.

Do They Have Order and Pricing Limits?

Wholesale honey suppliers often require buyers to order a minimum amount at a particular price. Make sure you understand this going into the negotiations, otherwise you may find yourself with too much honey or too little money. Ask the supplier to outline what sort of deals they offer.

What is the minimum order quantity? Do they determine the price by number of units or weight? Often, buying more can earn you a bigger discount, but balance that against how much honey you can store and sell.

Every business deal comes with a few extra costs here and there. Ask for the shipping and handling costs upfront so you won’t run into any unpleasant financial surprises later.

Can You Trust Them?

That’s not really a question for the supplier. Rather, it’s one to ask of others who have dealt with them before. Is the supplier reliable or are they known for shady business practices and inferior products?

Find out how long they’ve been in business and request a list of references and testimonials from previous buyers. Look for reviews and ratings online and ask other folks in the business if they can recommend them in good conscience. Find a company that’s been in the business for years with few to no complaints.

Those are just a few important questions to ask when buying wholesale honey. Contact us for a consultation if you have additional questions about purchasing bulk wildflower honey and the honey-selling business. We have the track record and testimonials you’re looking for in a supplier!

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