Raspberry honey and Whatcom County are one word. When it comes to commercial quantities of gourmet raspberry honey, the golden nectar can be found all over the world but the capital remains Whatcom County, Washington.Even Skagit County to the south that has loads of raspberries does not have the conditions to equal the raspberry honey output of its northern neighbor.
Gourmet raspberry honey has its Pacific Northwest beginnings in the first and second week of May. Raspberries bloom the first of May with the bees descending upon the white spring raspberry flowers. The raspberry honey nectar is a large nectar flow that is brought in by the bees in a very short period of time. Like all nectar, raspberry honey nectar is first evaporated to get the water content below 19%. The bees aerate the nectar after it is in the comb to reduce the water content. After the nectar is properly evaporated, it is then moved to fill every cell and then capped. Only after the wax cap is put on each of the evaporated cell in the honey comb, can the nectar be called raspberry honey.
Every honey source determines the characteristics of the liquid honey. Raspberry honey has the unique characteristic of crystallizing (turning to a solid crystalline, sometimes called sugaring) in a short period of time after the honey comb has been capped. The beekeeper who sells jarred honey avoids raspberry honey because the visual appeal of liquid verses solid honey outsells solid every time. THIS DOES NOT MEAN that raspberry honey should not be included in your lists of gourmet honey! Raspberry has a milder taste than blackberry honey and is used in creamed honey because it is lighter in color.
Even if your raspberry honey turns solid on you, just place the glass jar of honey in a warm pan of water until the honey re-liquefies. If the heating of the water is kept below 125° the beneficial live enzymes will not be harmed in this raw honey.