Commercial bottlers likely don't mess with it because of high ingredient cost and the difficulty of handling yet another viscous sticky liquid in addition to corn syrup. There are good sources of honey available industrially that are relatively consistent.
More than likely it's a honey flavor note that's in the natural and artificial flavor listed.
My question is, if you're making this at home, why would you want to get a honey flavor without using honey? There's nothing wrong with adding a little honey to your own root beer. There is such thing as too much, so use it sparingly, but apart from finding someone that can supply you with a natural or artificial honey flavor from an industrial flavor house, I think you're out of luck.
You could try and play with some Gambrinus Honey Malt.