Raw Honey vs. Organic Honey
I have been asked if raw, unpasteurized honey is the same as organic honey. No it is not.
"Raw, unpasteurized honey" is honey that has not been filtered nor heated to the point of killing off all the natural living elements that give it its health benefits and properties.
“Organic honey” is when the nectar the bees collect are from flowers that have not been sprayed with chemicals. Sounds simple does it? Well, as long as beekeeper can control where the bees go, they can claim they’re getting honey from organic flowers. Except it’s impossible to always know where bees go because they usually fly up to 5 km to look for flowers that are producing enough nectar. If needed, they will fly up to 8 km. So that means the "Organic" Quality Assurance Inspector must need to know for sure that all the flowers within a 2 to 5 mile radius from the beehive are organic.
Theoretically by placing the bee hive in the middle of a crop field that covers 25 square miles that is free of chemicals would produce organic honey. But how many large scale farming operations would risk planting that volume of crop without spraying insecticides or herbicides?
Just to show an extreme, the African Bee is known to fly up to 80 miles from their hive looking for a nectar source, if they have to.
There are some farmers who will unabashedly market their honey as being organic. This shows an extremely high level of confidence in knowing where their bees are going and have been. The only sure way to control which flowers the bees visit is to screen everything in, like butterfly sanctuaries, so they don’t fly past their invisible leash. But who would go through all that trouble for honeybees? It’s hard enough just to keep them alive these days.