What is honey?
Honey is a sweet liquid substance, produced by honeybees. The “worker bee” or “forager” flys from the hive and sources nectar from flowers and plants. They collect the nectar by sucking it through their long tube shaped tongue and storing it into their special “extra” stomachs. When it returns to the hive, the honeybee passes the nectar to other bees by regurgitating the nectar. This process is repeated until it reaches storage quality, where it places the honey into honeycomb cells. The bees work beat their wings in a fanning process to help evaporate the water in the honey. Once the water content is evaporated to around 18% the bees then cap the cells with a liquid which eventually hardens to beeswax.
Raw Vs Processed Honey.
Raw honey can be defined easily – it is, as it is in the hive. It is strained to remove any beeswax and dead bees.
Pasturized or processed honey involves several further steps before it is packaged. Heat treatment and filtering are part of this process. All honey producers have reasoning behind their heating and filtration process. Some of the reasons we use heat in our processing system is to:
· Make a change in flavour
· De-crystalize honey
· Change the sugar composition
· Decrease yeast activity
It is important not to over heat honey as this can eliminate the antibacterial and healing properties by killing the bacteria, enzymes and antioxidants naturally contained in honey.
Some producers believe consumers are more attracted to honey that does not contain any particles. Therefore they use fine filtering or “micro filtering” in their processing to remove particles such as pollen, beeswax and propolis. However fine filtering often requires a high heat treatment to reduce the viscosity (thickness) of the honey so that it can pass through their systems. Honey produced in such a manner should not be called RAW although it often is.
Our filtering process is kept to a minimum to remove beeswax, or debris that may collect on the frames but still retains all the natural goodness.
Honey has been linked to some very impressive health benefits and advantages. If you are wanting to get full health benefits then you should choose a RAW honey.