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nurturing and selling a crop; he simply doesn’t need to own all the land to do so. He is fortunate enough to have neighbors who allow him to keep his hives on their property. Of course, the neighbors’ crops also benefi t from the increase in pollinating activity. “With bees you don’t need large tracts of land,”


Brining explained. “More people ask me to set hives on their land than I have bees for.” George will split his hives this spring and double


his operation. He credits the Neuenschwander broth- ers for teaching him much of what he knows about the beekeeping craſt . “I’d go down there and help them with their hives.


I’d work for nothing, but the experience was valuable. It was a essentially a free education,” Brining said. So what makes Gold Standard Honey diff erent?


Well, unlike commercial honey, which may be heated, diluted with corn syrup or stripped of nutritive con- tent, honey bottled under the Gold Standard label is not fi ltered, cooked, cut with syrup or compromised in any way. “All of the natural pollen and enzymes are re-


tained in our honey – not fi ltered out – giving it the maximum health benefi ts,” said Brining. “Our honey simply fl ows from the comb into the jar. Health is wealth and we actively promoted this dimension of raw honey.” As is the case with many other products, China is


the world’s largest producer of honey. At one time, the U.S. was importing a substantial amount of Chinese honey. When it was discovered that the Asians were shipping the product in lead-lined barrels, a tariff was placed on Chinese honey. T e Chinese circumvented the regulations by using a third country where its hon- ey was ultra-fi ltered. “What was leſt was just syrup,” explained Brining.


“T e USDA couldn’t trace the origin so this adulterat- ed honey was being sold to big industries.” Brining added: “T en you have big honey buy-


ers who buy it from all over the country. T ey blend it, heat it, bottle it and sell it so it all tastes exactly the same.” True honey, Brining says, is like fi ne wine. Every


year is “vintage” and will have its own unique color and fl avor. T at’s why you’ll see the “vintage year”


printed on each bottle of Gold Standard Honey. ▶ November 2013 - 5 A large number of Brining’s hives are situated


along Rock Creek in northern Mayes County. Here they face acres of vetch pasture and have to themselves endless miles of wildfl ower fence rows. “T at’s why our honey tastes so much diff erent,”


said Brining. “It is truly a full-fl avored, full-bodied lo- cal honey that possesses a one-of-a-kind fl avor profi le that is unique to this area.” To illustrate this point, Brining likes to show cus-


tomers the diff erence between Gold Standard Honey bottled in 2012 and 2013. T e 2012 honey is much darker. Both years are delicious but there is a distinct diff erence in taste.


Wine storage inside the winery


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