Dean Nature Sanctuary Apiary

Honey Crystallization-Nature's Lie Detector

Crystallization is something that happens naturally and spontaneously in high quality, natural, and truly raw honey. Over time (sometimes a very short time), real honey will take on a pale appearance, develop a crunchy texture, or even become completely solid. This happens when the natural sugars in honey bind together and form crystals, which makes honey harder. Crystallization is not a sign of defective or spoiled honey. On the contrary, it is an indicator that your honey is pure, raw, and of the highest quality.

OH! Bee Parks Honey goes from the hive to the bottle. It is not heated or filtered. This leaves the natural properties of the honey intact, and preserves the natural pollen fingerprint that makes its flavor unique to Oak Brook. This pollen contributes to the crystallization process by providing a foundation for the crystals to form. It is also a sure sign that the honey is raw and 100% pure.

Processed honey may have a longer liquid life, but without the pollen there’s no way to know where your honey came from. You have no way of knowing if what you have is true honey, or a honey-flavored syrup.

Crystallized honey has all the health benefits and flavor of liquid honey. You can spread it on toast or add it to yogurt without the sticky drips, and it will melt in coffee or tea just like liquid honey. You can return honey to its liquid state by gently warming it in a bowl of water. Just remember, overheating or boiling honey will reduce its quality.

Dean Nature Sanctuary Apiary

The Dean Nature Sanctuary is home to Oak Brook Park District's own apiary. Home to several bee colonies, the apiary give bees a chance to establish themselves in a native prairie/grassland savannah. The Oak Brook Park District is working with Sweet Comb Chicago to establish a healthy apiary, or land for bees. Micro apiaries, such as the one here at Dean Nature Sanctuary, give honeybees vital access to native and nutrient rich pollen necessary to cultivate healthy colonies.

Honeybees pollinate many of the plants which produce the food consumed by humankind. Examples of plants pollinated by honeybees include almonds, apples, blueberries, cucumbers, melons, and pumpkins. A lack of feral honeybees over the last several years has greatly increased the need for managed honeybees to be used for the pollination of plants.

OH! Bee Parks Honey (On sale now!)

When the hives produce enough honey that it can be harvested without risking the health of the colony, the community will have the opportunity to purchase this hyper-local product through the Oak Brook Park District Foundation. The foundation will utilize the funding from honey sales to help to support the mission of the Oak Brook Park District, enhance the growth and preservation of parks, open lands, and increase recreational programming in Oak Brook. When available the honey may be purchased at the Family Recreation Center and Tennis Center. The cost for 1/2 lb of honey is $10. OH! Bee Parks Honey is 100% raw and all natural. It is harvested, strained, and bottled by hand at the Oak Brook Park District. Studies have shown that honey is packed with antioxidants, is a natural cough suppressant, has anti-inflammatory properties, may help lower cholesterol and help heart health, and provide a boost to the human immune system. It has also been shown that hyper-local honey may help alleviate the symptoms of seasonal allergies. It is important to remember that honey should never be given to children under 1-year.

Thank you to our generous Apiary Sponsors!

  • Oak Brook Park District Tennis Center

  • Oak Brook Park District Foundation

  • Millennium Trust Company

Are you interested in sponsoring a beehive? Contact Rachel Jones, Corporate and Community Relations, for more information at or 630-645-9521.