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Handpicked from the Hive

These artisan honeys are packed with unexpected, delicate flavors

There’s plenty of buzz about artisan honey these days: Typically cultivated by local beekeepers, single-source honey from local bees is dramatically different from the type in the plastic bear that you grab at the grocery store. These sweet (and sometimes spicy!) syrups are full of nuance. They’re influenced by the flowers that the honeybees pollinate, then extracted in a way to let you savor the flavors of the areas in which they’re made.

Red Bee Honey’s Bamboo Honey

Each of Red Bee’s single varietal honeys is vastly different, so it’s worth trying more than one. This batch, harvested in New England, is dark and complex and has a pleasant caramel flavor. Slather it on top of a muffin for an unexpected, sweet treat. $14 for a 14-ounce jar, www.redbee.com

Big Island Bees’ Organically Wilelaiki Blossom

The tropical blossoms that can be found in the Hawaiian Islands’ rugged landscape are the essence of the honeys produced by this beekeeper. The purveyor offers three different varietals of raw honey, but we’re partial to this crystalized version cultivated from a tropical flower that grows only in Hawaii. Put a teaspoon in your tea and savor its flowery notes. $36 for three 9-ounce jars, www.bigislandbees.com

Raw Maine’s Wild Raspberry Honey

Intertwined with the aroma of cocoa butter, this Maine-sourced honey is mellow and smooth on the palate and has a raspberry finish. It’s a perfectly tasty accompaniment to tea, but can also be incorporated into a craft cocktail that calls for a subtle berry taste, like a raspberry mojito. $13.50 for a 10-ounce jar, www.beeraw.com

Savannah Bee Company’s Tupelo Honey

For a slightly herbal taste with a hint of sweetness, reach for this rare honey (it’s the only variety that doesn’t crystalize over time) from Georgia and northern Florida. Spoon some atop your overnight oats to add texture and taste. $18 for a 12-ounce jar, www.savannahbee.com

Ames Farm’s Buckwheat Honey

If you’re looking for big flavor, sample this variety, which has deep tones of plum, tobacco and cherry. The bold flavor pairs beautifully with blue cheese, or you can drizzle it over a Greek-style yogurt. $10 for a 9-ounce jar, www.amesfarm.com

© andy roberts