How Is Natural Honey Made?
There are seven known species of the honey bee which are part of the genus apis and only members of the genus apis are considered true honey bees. A honey bee makes natural honey by collecting pollen from plants and depositing it in the nests which they make from wax, ingesting the pollen and regurgitating it until it is a desired quality. The moisture is evaporated down to approximately 17% during the process of making the honey and the honey bees aid in this process whilst inside the nest, by fanning their wings. In the process of making honey, the honey bees add an enzyme called invertase that converts sucrose into glucose and fructose, put in simple terms. The process of evaporation prevents fermentation and the enzyme that changes the composition of honey prevents bacteria and mold, etc from growing. Once the process of making honey is complete, the honey bees seal the comb with bee wax.
This honey can have various flavors and colors and these are a result of the location of the bee hive and the surrounding plants where the bees collect their pollen. The flavor of honey can also vary depending on whether the bees are mono-floral; collecting from only one type of plant or Poly-floral where the honey bees have access to more than one plant source.
What You Should Know About Honey
Aside from the various flavors and colors of natural honey the main thing to be aware of is the process of the removal and treatment of honey by honey collectors. Honey bees themselves also need to be left with honey they produce as they need it to survive.
It is not recommended to give natural honey to infants under 12 months. Honey naturally contains botulinum endospores and therefore infants can contract botulism due to the fact that they have an immature digestive tract. This point aside, honey has many health benefits that have been known for years.
If you are suffering from food intolerance symptoms that are related to salicylates, a naturally occurring chemical in honey, then you best use a pure maple syrup such as pure, organic maple syrup or golden syrup as an alternative. You will need to use the alternatives until you can sort out your food problems and learn how to heal yourself. For those suffering from food intolerance symptoms, you should be aware that natural honey is considered very high in salicylate content according to the Friendly Food cookbook.
Raw natural honey; honey that has not been heat treated, has a higher nutritional content than natural honey that has been heat treated. Many types of honey that are available through your grocer have been heat treated. The important thing to be aware of, is the temperature at which the natural honey has been heated. Honey that has been heated above 37 Degrees Celcius starts to lose its nutritional content as do all foods and the higher the temperature. Honey that is heated on a low setting still has health benefits. However, consuming raw, natural honey, is the best way to have your honey, honey 😉
Sadly, there are people out there that are making fake honey instead of letting the bees do their wonderful work to produce natural honey. If you are in doubt about whether you have natural honey or fake honey, you can do a couple of simple tests. Take a teaspoon of honey and drop it in water. If it dissolves, then it is not natural honey. You can also try a dollop of the honey on paper towel to find out if it is natural honey. If the honey is absorbed then it is not natural. Raw honey tends to have white bubbles around the top and has specks of dust because it is pure and due to the removal process.
I have one last point . Honey does have a tendency to absorb smells so be sure to keep it well sealed, preferably in a glass jar. The great thing is that it does store for a long time due to its properties, so there’s no need to refrigerate it.
Bee Hive Collapse Concerns
Unfortunately, not all is well in the bee world. There has been a spread of bee hive collapses, or what is called Colony Collapse Disorder and this in turn has a huge impact on the production of honey and also the food sources due to the lack of pollination. This is something we should most certainly be concerned about because without bees to contribute to the food chain, humans will cease to exist. With so much change going on with GMO going unchecked and pesticides being injected into plants and food sources, we need to look closely at this impact of GM on us and bees. You can read more about bee hive collapse by clicking here and I encourage you to make a donation at this website.
Health Benefits of Honey
The Farmacist Desk Reference has some great information about using honey to keep you healthy. According to the Farmacist Desk Reference, honey is good for the brain, heart and as a nerve cleanser. You can also use it for a sore throat, to apply topically and to simply put you to sleep at night. It is also good for those who want to get a better night’s sleep without the need for a midnight toilet stop.
Due to a large amount of research into the health benefits of honey, doctors are now coming to realize just how powerful it is and the many uses for it as a healer. I am hoping that more of these natural products come full circle as we start to realize the negative impact that pharmacy drugs are having on our health. Honey is a wonderful alternative to sugar and is often times added to tea.
You would no doubt have heard of Manuka honey which is primarily produced in New Zealand. Manuka honey is a monofloral natural honey with a high anti-bacterial potency. It can be used for acne, reflux, burns, ringworm and for Staph infections (MRSA).
The types of plants that the bees have had access to in their area and close to their hive, will determine what you will see on your grocer shelves.
So, are you ready to experience the wonderful health benefits of natural honey? Put it on toast, put it on your skin, put it on your sores (we do and it works a treat for fast healing), take a teaspoon a day directly or add it to your tea or second stage fermentation of water kefir. Click on the jar of natural honey on the right to make a start toward a healthier lifestyle.Your News On Food brought to you by Eileen Baudinette Food and Health Commentator. © 2009 – 2012 www.thenewsonfood.com ———————–
I’m no medical expert and information contained on this blog is written through my own experience with the aim of furthering your education on health. It is your responsibility as to how you use this information and I cannot be held liable for any misinterpretation or misuse of the information provided.