Honey is now expensive because of several things. One is that of the drought. Then many beehives were lost in the various bush fires. Also, the bees are disappearing overseas and the various pests of the bees are arriving here.
We export both hives and Queen bees to overseas countries.
Sorry but pure honey goes hard in the cold as it has the wax in it. The commercial honeys often have the wax removed as the wax is used in many products and is more valuable than the honey.
So by getting the honey at the various farmers markets is the way to go but you need to ask them. Some are useless at information but most know what they are talking about.
Editor’s Addendum: Most diabetics like me prefer to use honey as sweetener instead of artificial ones because honey is organic. It lasts without any preservative and is safe to use.