Tag Archives: geekery


Synopsis : How can you provide information about the origin and authenticity of your local honey? Labelling, logic and some geekery.


This is a follow-on from the post last week about the adulteration of honey. For those of you who gave up reading midway through those 3800+ words the abridged version goes something like this.

80-90% of the honey consumed in the UK is imported. A very significant proportion of this imported honey originates, directly or indirectly, from China. When tested, about 75% of Chinese honey contains markers of adulteration i.e. it’s not honey. All tested honey exported from the UK was considered adulterated.

Most Honey is ‘pHoney’.

This ‘pHoney’ is largely what consumers are purchasing. Their experience influences their expectations of what honey is.

If they are used to a sickly sweet, golden coloured syrup in a squeezy bear, they are unlikely to be tempted by your delicate pale, soft-set mix containing 20% heather, or your zesty lime honey.

The sweet spot ...

Where did this honey originate?

Of course, if they are used to the squeezy bear contents they might not like your honey.

But what about someone wanting to try something new, or to purchase honey as a gift?

Or who wants to purchase truly ‘local’ honey?

Someone who might not normally spend £9 on a jar of honey?

Or who just wants to find out more about the honey they have just purchased?

Read on.

Continue reading

Jar calculator

Assume you’ve got a 14kg bucket of honey ready to jar. You have an order for a dozen 454g (or perhaps 1lb now Brexit means Brexit) jars and a dozen 227g jars. How many additional jars can you prepare – in standard or custom sizes – from the remainder?

This Excel spreadsheet does the calculations for you. It couldn’t be easier to use (well, it could be, but life is too short).

Jars needed calculator

Jars needed calculator …

  1. Insert the total weight of honey (in grams) to the red coloured cell (B2 in Excel-speak)
  2. If you’re only using a single size jar you need to prepare the number indicated in the yellow cells
  3. Insert the numbers of jars needed of each size in the blue coloured cells
  4. The number of additional jars you have sufficient honey to bottle are shown in the grey cells

For example, using the figures from the opening paragraph (12 * 454g and 12 * 227g), you could choose to bottle the remaining honey in 12 * 454g, 17 * 340g, 25 * 227g or 51 * 113g jars. If you decide to also bottle a dozen 340g jars you can update the table in blue and the extra jars are automagically recalculated.

Custom weights

You can sell honey in any weights, not just the standard ones. If you use odd weights to bottle your honey this figure can be added to cell A15. Add the number required to cell B15. The extra jars of this custom weight are returned in cell D15. If you only want to sell your honey in a custom weight just set ‘Jars needed’ for all other weights to zero.

The whole thing is utterly trivial of course, but it might be useful to someone who – like me – has lousy mental arithmetic, uses a range of jar sizes and can’t find a calculator. It’s no use whatsoever if you jar everything in 1 lb rounds … or if you don’t have access to Excel 😉

 All calculations are rounded down. This is why it doesn’t suggest you can prepare 30.84 jars (total honey weight 13,620g) from your starting 14kg bucket.