Björn’s Colorado Honey is a small-batch, local honey producer based in Boulder, offering American and CBD honey, CBD skincare, plus European-made, bee-based skincare featuring beeswax, honey and propolis. Its beekeeper, Pontus, grew up in Sweden and learned the practice from his grandfather Björn, the company's namesake.
Pontus takes great pride in continuing his family’s tradition of beekeeping and has worked hard over the last nine years to build up hive yards on private land and organic farms in Boulder County and Northern Colorado, which allow the company to source honey from the Front Range. This means it’s truly local honey.
Their littlest beekeeper, Ester, helps her dad in the beehives regularly, performing hive inspections and helping split hives in the springtime. Pontus’ wife, and Björn’s Marketing Director, Lara Boudreaux says Ester’s had her own bee suit since she was old enough to walk and loves being able to taste the fresh honeycomb straight from the hive.
We sat down with Lara to learn more about beekeeping.
How long have you been in the honey business?
Pontus, our beekeeper, started Björn's Colorado Honey in the spring of 2013, but he grew up as a third-generation beekeeper in Sweden. His parents and grandfather are still beekeeping in Sweden today.
Does Colorado honey taste different from other honey?
Honey’s taste and color change depending on what types of flowers the honeybees have pollinated. In Colorado, we primarily have alfalfa, clover, and wildflower honey. Those are the plants that grow naturally or are cultivated in large numbers on the Colorado Front Range so that is the type of honey varieties that can be found here.
All honey tastes different, but in general, the Colorado honey types have classic honey flavor and are not thought to be dark or bitter nor are they thought to be light and super floral. We tend to have what is thought of as classic tasting honey at Björn's and it's delicious!
Your honey is produced in a Swedish fashion without any additives, fillers or preservatives. Does that change its consistency at all?
The focus of Björn's Colorado Honey is to provide top-quality local Colorado honey produced in our Swedish family tradition. It can be said that Swedes typically enjoy their honey crystallized, as this version is smooth, spreadable and possesses a texture that is not too thick. It’s a wonderful way to enjoy honey, a fantastic natural sweetener. We also offer a traditional version for customers who prefer the fluid variety.
You sell different types of honey but offer so much more than that—wildflower seeds, beeswax candles and even a skincare line. Would you say you use honey in as many forms and derivatives as possible?
Honey (and all the amazing substances that bees make) holds so much potential and has many wonderful uses for our society. We love featuring honey, beeswax, royal jelly and propolis in our health and skincare line. We also sell bulk beeswax to other skincare companies and even local bakers in Colorado. Honeybees do so much for us and we're very excited to be able to leverage the wonders of the hives not only for delicious honey but for healthy skin and immune systems, too.
What is propolis honey and how is it beneficial for your health?
Propolis, an age-old remedy made by the bees from tree and plant resins, is known to bolster the immune system and contains antifungal and antibacterial properties. Björn's Colorado Honey is the only producer in the USA that sells a propolis honey, meant for people who eat honey to stay healthy. Our Propolis Honey was created by Pontus’ father Torbjörn in Sweden, and it quickly became a hit. When Pontus moved to Colorado, he couldn’t resist whipping up his own batch. By blending Colorado honey with high-quality propolis extract, we boost honey's health benefits.
Honeybees use propolis to fill gaps in the hive and dampen vibration. They also use it to keep germs out of the colony. They even coat the front entrance of the hive with propolis so that as they come in from outside, they walk through the propolis and it "cleans" their feet much like a doormat would but with antimicrobial properties.
You can find Björn’s Honey at our farmers’ markets and in retail stores in Breckenridge and Steamboat Springs. There are also two small kiosks at the Denver International Airport.
Pontus finds it fulfilling to be a part of the food cycle and natural world here in Colorado. Supporting local beekeeping helps support area farmers, open space and ecosystems.
Did you know you can easily support honeybees and native pollinators in your garden? One simple way is to eliminate the use of herbicides or pesticides in your yard. Lara says these chemicals can be very hard on pollinator populations and can even cause beehives to collapse. The company also encourages people to let the dandelions grow in the spring because they provide a crucial source of nectar and pollen at the beginning of the summer season when honeybees need it most.
She also suggests putting out a source of water for honeybees, since local water sources can sometimes be difficult to find. She recommends filling a small birdbath or ceramic saucer, like the ones that go under flower pots, with water and a few rocks so the bees can land on the rocks and drink safely. “It's a simple way to support honeybees and makes for a great place to observe them at work,” says Lara.