What Is Clover Honey?

Uploaded:  11th February 2021

image of part of a wooden honey dipper and honey jar of a white plate with orangey golden runny honey


Clover honey is one of the most popular varieties.  It is honey harvested from bee hives where the honey predominantly have access to clover fields and pastures.


What does clover honey taste like?

In research comparing the sweetness of different honey varieties, clover honey came 18th, and 'clover & blends' came 14th on the sweetness scale.  (Read about which honey tastes the sweetest).

Clover honey produced from a single source of clover may have a relatively strong flavor, but when sources from major suppliers it has usually been blended for consistency.  As such, the taste becomes somewhat milder.  If you prefer mild-flavored honeys, this may be the right for you.  Organic suppliers can be found if preferred.

Why do bees like clover?

Both red and white clover offer bees plenty of nectar.  whilst both red and white clover are attractive for bees, at least one study comparing sugar content of the two suggests that white clover offers bees a higher level of energy-giving sugars (1). 

Sugar content of nectars was measured on 3 separate occasions.  The levels for red and white clover were as follows:

Total sugars: g/100ml

White clover:
39.3g;  32.6g;  25.4g

Red clover:
29.6g;  8.3g; 15.9g.


What's so good about clover?


Clover is a popular arable crop for feeding livestock.  a member of the pea family, it is beneficial for soil as it fixes nitrogen and helps suppress weeds.  Elsewhere on this website I advocate the use of clover for council planting schemes.   It is low cost, and can be used around roads and highways where visibility for traffic is of key importance.  It is very drought tolerant, has a lovely delicate fragrance, and is beneficial for a range of bee species.  


Uses of clover honey

honey being trickled onto a pancake on a white plate

Clover honey is a good general sweetener for use on pancakes and crepes, baking and in honey glazes.


How does clover honey compare with other honeys nutritionally?


In terms of the human diet, I have seen no evidence that clover honey offers any particular benefit over other forms of honey.  Some specific types of honey such as Manuka are backed by research indicating special efficacy against MRSA.  

In terms of diet, clover honey is a high energy, high calorie food.  As such it is an appetizing sweetener but it is not suitable for diabetics.


References:

1. The Sugar Content of Nectars BY G. R. WYKES Bee Re8earch Department, Rothamsted Experimental Station; July 1952.




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honey and gloopy honey comb






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