Apicultural Review Letters

Letter # 8
2005 December 19


Honey Science I

Surely, most of you are aquainted with culinary delights of honey - at least of common extracted honey. But the real honey specialities are comb in the comb or comb-honey: they are the best prophylactic against a cold. Eating honey during engagement was considered in former times to be useful in order to have strong and well shaped children later.

Honey is known at least for 12.000 years. Especially in Egypt a honey culture was widespread. Honey was used for ritual and medical purposes. From Greece we know by Hippokrates about 300 diferent honey remedies.

Honey contains up to 30 different kinds of sugar like fructose and dextrose and nearly 200 recorded substances. For instance organic acids, ferments, vitamins, aromatic substances und minerals like phosphor, iron, calcium, copper, manganese, magnesium, sodium, potassium, as well as many antibacterial pharmacologically active ingredients (Inhibines with antibiotic effect).

The point in the German honey regulation: honey is a natural sweet substance which is produced by honeybees while collecting nectar from plants or secretions from living parts of plants or excretions on plants from insects succing on plants, converting it by combination with their own specific substances, by storing it, by dehydrate it (reduce water content) and by storing it in the combs of the beehive and let it ripen.

Germany is worldchampion in honey consuming. The annual per-capita consumption is about 1,5 kg. But only a quarter of the german honey consumption is from own production. Pure German honey is being produced according DIB-standard. Pure German comb in the comb and run-honey is best produced according standards of ecological beekeeping (Centre for Ecological Apiculture); this comb- and run honey fulfill special requirements which exceed requirements from German honey regulation, German beekeepers association (DIB), organic rule and German organic associations.

If honey is correctly stored it is durable for many years. You should take care about a dry, dark and cold storage (15-18°C). Honeyjars need always to be closured propperly as honey adopts very quickly humidity and disturbing odours.

Crystallization has no influence on honeyquality; it is a natural process. Some kinds like clover honey crystallize immediately after honeyharvest. Others like fir honey, crystallize after years. It depends on different proportion of fructose and dextrose. Is the part of dextrose higher, the honey crystallizes faster and firmer. Honeyjar superscripts like „selection", „selected", „beekeeper’s honey" are only empty phrases.


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Copyright: Centre for Ecological Apiculture | Centre for Food Safety and Food Quality | Natural Apitherapy Research Centre