What Is Honey?

What is honey? – A Definition

Honey is a sweet product made from flower nectar, combined with an enzyme secreted by honey bees, then concentrated by reducing moisture in the honeycomb cells.

A basic scientific formula is as follows:

Sucrose (nectar) + invertase (bee enzyme) = fructose + glucose (honey).

Find out how bees make honey.

Beekeepers take this product from hives once they can see the honeycomb cells have been capped (sealed) by the bees.

Some beekeepers then treat it through heating and filtering before it is stored in jars.

The honey harvested and consumed by humans is made by the honey bee, and not solitary or bumblebees.

What is raw honey?
Raw honey is simply honey that has not yet been treated by the beekeeper through heating and filtering, as described above.

Honey Presentations:

  • Liquid Honey:
    This is the honey format most of us are familiar with: that is, the liquid ‘runny honey’ you get in jars.
  • Comb Honey:
    Did you know, even the beeswax comb can be eaten! This is honey, still in the comb.
  • Cut Comb:
    This is a combination of the two above! That is, liquid honey, with pieces of honeycomb remaining.
  • Crystallized Honey:
    This is where some of the glucose component within the honey has crystallized.  You can read more detail here.

    Buying Honey

    You can buy honey in various presentations.  I tend to recommend purchasing from smaller, local suppliers where you can.  In some countries, contamination and the practice of mixing honey with corn syrup has meant that the general public have not always been buying the pure, natural product they thought they were getting.

    Then again, buying organic honey is not necessarily so straightforward either.  See my tips about buying honey, whether it be from your local beekeeper or the high street supermarket.

    It is thought there are many benefits of eating honey. To find out more about honey and honey nutrition, click on some of the links below.

    Honey Vs Sugar - a comparison of honey with another common sweetener.

    Honey and diet - can honey  help you lose weight?

    Honey and Health - is honey a super food for humans?

    Why do Bees Make Honey? - information about why honey is essential for bees.

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