Meet the Maker: Björn's Colorado Honey
A sweet addition to our Denver Flea vendor family, Björn's Colorado Honey is a small batch, local honey producer based in Boulder, CO. Björn's provides high-quality Colorado honey produced in the Swedish tradition of crystalized honey, which has a smooth, spreadable texure that is not too thick - making for the perfect sweetener and addition to cheese plates, tea, and other treats.
what does your brand mean to you?
We are small batch honey producers based in Boulder, Colorado. Pontus, our beekeeper, grew up in Sweden and learned the practice from his grandfather Björn; the company namesake.
The focus of Björn's Colorado Honey is to provide top-quality local honey produced in our Swedish family tradition.
Pontus has worked hard over the last four years to build up hive yards on private land and organic farms in the Boulder County and Denver area. These hive yards contain over sixty hives and allow us to source honey from the Boulder/Denver metro area, which is important to customers looking for truly local honey.
We love being Colorado beekeepers and pride ourselves in our handcrafted honey and bee-based products!
first product you created?
The first product we created was our Propolis Honey. We are the only producer in the USA that sells a propolis version, meant for people who eat honey to stay healthy. 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 we boost honey's health benefits. 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.
how has your PROCESS evolved over the years?
In the beginning, we only had a few hives, as it takes time to build up a good number of them. At that point, we could only sell at a couple markets on the front range. Over the four years, we have been in business, Pontus, our beekeeper, has split hives that are healthy, which is the beekeeper's way to increase the number of hives they have. He is now able to get more honey each season! More hives are important for our business because they allow us to have enough inventory to meet the demand, that said, more hives mean more work! We have had to figure out ways to be more efficient, like having a honey tapping machine instead of tapping by hand. We also use a thirty-six frame honey extractor instead of a four frame one like we used in the beginning.
Growth is good but growing smart is important. Efficiency can have an up-front cost but is often well worth it if done correctly.
what materials do you work with?
Honeybees! It goes without saying that honey comes from honeybees and they are the bread and butter of the business. These little creatures never cease to amaze us. They do so much! From making honey, an age-old treat, to making beeswax, bee pollen and propolis, they provide so many useful substances for humans. Honeybees are the only insect that makes an edible substance and they do it all while pollinating our crops and flowers.
These important creatures have had a partnership with humans as far back as prehistoric times. We have found evidence of honey and beeswax collection from over 9000 years ago. We are so grateful to be carrying on that legacy today, here in Colorado.
what's your favorite product or collection you've created?
Propolis Honey is such a special product, and it is certainly our favorite and bestseller, but our Summer Honeycomb is a customer favorite. Honeycomb is most often eaten by the spoonful as a novelty treat. It can also be used as a sweet accompaniment to a cheese plate and is super yummy on warm bread with butter. It can also be served as a topping for ice cream or with fresh fruit.
We harvest honeycomb in late August or early September and it only lasts a couple weeks before it sells out. We even have customers who wait all year to grab a box or two!
Honeycomb is how the honeybees store honey in the hive. The package the honey inside the iconic hexagonal shaped cells for use in the winter months or when their nectar flow slows. We cut perfect rectangles of this fresh comb and package it in boxes for our customers. It’s the freshest and purest honey available on the front range.
why do you do what you do?
Pontus, our beekeeper, cannot remember a time when he was not helping his grandfather Björn in the hives and at the markets in Sweden. He has grown up beekeeping and it is truly a part of his soul.
What was your inspiration for starting your brand?
We wanted to honor the Swedish and family ties Björn’s Colorado Honey has. We wanted to honor Björn, Pontus’ “farfar,” or grandfather because he taught Pontus beekeeping, honey production, and sales. We wanted to honor our roots.
what's the best part of your day?
Beekeeping is always special. It’s both a science and a craft. Each beekeeper does things his or her way, and that's how it should be. Getting to see the hives at work, enjoy the incredible things they do and being a part of keeping them healthy is an awesome feeling and one we wouldn’t trade for anything.
best part about being a colorado maker?
Beekeeping is Colorado is tough. Honeybees like having humid and temperate climates and Colorado is certainly “high and dry.” That creates temperature swings that can be tough for the colonies. That said, Colorado is a special state. From the amazing mountains to the kind people, Colorado is tops and even though beekeeping here is a bit harder, it’s totally worth it.
on the denver flea wish list:
Bjorn's Clover Blossom Honey, which is no longer just seasonal, but available year-round! A lovely mild honey, we'll be drizzling the Clover Blossom over our breakfast granola and afternoon tea.
Follow Björn's colorado honey:
QUICK FACT #1
“Björn” means bear in Swedish but it’s also a common men’s name there. Bears do love honey!
QUICK FACT #2
Pontus’ parents and grandfather in Sweden run a honey business. His grandfather still keeps bees even though he is 86 years old.
QUICK FACT #3
In Colorado, honey is typically wildflower, clover or alfalfa. Our honey is all three varieties mixed!