Honey ---AKA Liquid Gold--- is a food product with one of the highest nutritional value. It contains minerals such as iron, chloride, calcium, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium and vitamins (A,B,C,K,PP,H).
The honey contains 22 out of the 24 elements that makes up our blood."
It is the only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life, including enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and water and even more, it’s the only food that contains pinocembrin, an antioxidant associated with improved brain functioning. Honey is also the only food that doesn’t spoil. It was found in Tutankhamun’s tomb, ans it was still edible. It crystallizes in couple of months after harvest, but this is a natural process and it doesn’t alter its properties.
Honey bees collect the nectar from blossoms and put it in their special stomach. On the way back to the hive, they add invertase, an enzyme synthesized by the body of bee, and other digestive acids. They ingest and regurgitate the nectar many times, until it is partially digested. The bees work together as a group, and do the regurgitation and digestion until the product reaches a certain quality. Then the bees store the honey in honeycomb cells and left them unsealed.
Bees are Amazing: The Queen is Boss...
The most synchronized and synergetic society, the bees are the musketeers of the hive, they are “all for one and one for all”! It’s a feminist society as most of the colony is made of females. The hive gathers three types of bees:
1. One queen (which is larger than a regular bee)
2. 300 to 3,000 male bees (also called drones) which don’t work, in fact they don’t do anything, exist only to fertilize new queens.
3. 20,000 to 40,000 female worker bees.
The queen mates with several males, only once, and after that they are able to lay 2000 eggs daily. They can be fertilized eggs which will turn into worker bees unable to reproduce, and unfertilized eggs which will turn into males, which will be on stand-bye the whole summer, for mating a virgin queen, and then dying (with dignity!). The others are simply expelled from the hive during winter. And they don’t even possess a stinger. Quite Amazons those ladies! Learn about Health and Honey Here.
The benefits of honey:
- It is a very good painkiller of the nervous system;
- Consumed constantly it strengthens the immune system and destroys the germs of some of the most dangerous diseases;
- It energizes the body, reason why it is the ideal food for athletes, children, or people who has a rapid pace of life (stress, physycal and intellectual effort);
- It is the aliment that provides the amount of glucose needed for heart, for it’s daily labor, without stressing other organs (liver, stomach, kidneys);
- In combination with tea, the honey is used to treat bronchitis, cough and even arthritis;
- It has the outstanding capacity to nourish and maintain skin health.
Uses of honey:
Any kind of honey has specific properties:
- The lavender honey cures cough and throat ache;
- The linden honey relieves fever and gastric pains, it prevents migraine, and is good for both as a prophylaxis and cure in pneumonia, asthma, nervous states, tuberculosis;
- Pine honey is useful in respiratory diseases;
- The acacia honey is good as a painkiller and tonic;
- The horse chestnut honey increases the blood pressure;
- The edible chestnut honey has antimicrobial effect, especially in diseases of stomach, bowel and kidney;
- Mint honey is a good cure for pains, antihemorrhagic, and toning;
- The sunflower honey is useful in bronchitis and stomach diseases;
- The wildflowers honey has a powerful antimicrobian action;
- The orchard (fruit trees) honey cures kidney, lung and bowel diseases;
- Mountain honey has special qualities in diseases of respiratory tract and allergies, being a sum of nutrients and healing substances.
The honey is an effective remedy in various internal diseases and skin diseases – an excellent tonic for children, convalescents, pregnant women and for strenghtening the immune system.
By regularly eating honey – a teaspoon in the morning, with an hour before breakfast; a teaspoon at two hours after lunch and a teaspoon after dinner – normalizes the blood pressure and digestion, and reduces the quantity of gastric acid. In case of colitis and gastritis, the honey is assimilated better disolved in a little warm water. Read Complete Article Here...
Generally, honey is bottled in its familiar liquid form. However, honey is sold in other forms, and can be subjected to a variety of processing methods.
- Crystallized honey occurs when some of the glucose content has spontaneously crystallized from solution as the monohydrate. It is also called "granulated honey" or "candied honey". Honey that has crystallized (or commercially purchased crystallized) can be returned to a liquid state by warming.
- Pasteurized honey has been heated in a pasteurization process which requires temperatures of 161 °F (72 °C) or higher. Pasteurization destroys yeast cells. It also liquefies any microcrystals in the honey, which delays the onset of visible crystallization. However, excessive heat exposure also results in product deterioration, as it increases the level of hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) and reduces enzyme (e.g. diastase) activity. Heat also affects appearance (darkens the natural honey color), taste, and fragrance.
- Raw honey is as it exists in the beehive or as obtained by extraction, settling, or straining, without adding heat (although some honey that has been "minimally processed" is often labeled as raw honey). Raw honey contains some pollen and may contain small particles of wax.
- Strained honey has been passed through a mesh material to remove particulate material (pieces of wax, propolis, other defects) without removing pollen, minerals, or enzymes.
- Filtered honey of any type has been filtered to the extent that all or most of the fine particles, pollen grains, air bubbles, or other materials normally found in suspension, have been removed. The process typically heats honey to 150–170 °F (66–77 °C) to more easily pass through the filter. Filtered honey is very clear and will not crystallize as quickly, making it preferred by the supermarket trade.
- Ultrasonicated honey has been processed by ultrasonication, a nonthermal processing alternative for honey. When honey is exposed to ultrasonication, most of the yeast cells are destroyed. Those cells that survive sonication generally lose their ability to grow, which reduces the rate of honey fermentation substantially. Ultrasonication also eliminates existing crystals and inhibits further crystallization in honey. Ultrasonically aided liquefaction can work at substantially lower temperatures around 95 °F (35 °C) and can reduce liquefaction time to less than 30 seconds.
- Creamed honey, also called whipped honey, spun honey, churned honey, honey fondant, and (in the UK) set honey, has been processed to control crystallization. Creamed honey contains a large number of small crystals, which prevent the formation of larger crystals that can occur in unprocessed honey. The processing also produces a honey with a smooth, spreadable consistency.
- Dried honey has the moisture extracted from liquid honey to create completely solid, nonsticky granules. This process may or may not include the use of drying and anticaking agents. Dried honey is used in baked goods, and to garnish desserts.
- Comb honey is still in the honeybees' wax comb. It is traditionally collected using standard wooden frames in honey supers. The frames are collected and the comb is cut out in chunks before packaging. As an alternative to this labor-intensive method, plastic rings or cartridges can be used that do not require manual cutting of the comb, and speed packaging. Comb honey harvested in the traditional manner is also referred to as "cut-comb honey".
- Chunk honey is packed in widemouth containers consisting of one or more pieces of comb honey immersed in extracted liquid honey.
- Honey decoctions are made from honey or honey byproducts which have been dissolved in water, then reduced (usually by means of boiling). Other ingredients may then be added. (For example, abbamele has added citrus.) The resulting product may be similar to molasses.
- Baker's honey is outside the normal specification for honey, due to a "foreign" taste or odor, or because it has begun to ferment or has been overheated. It is generally used as an ingredient in food processing. Additional requirements exist for labeling baker's honey, including that it may not be sold labelled simply as "honey".
Instead of taking nectar, bees can take honeydew, the sweet secretions of aphids or other plant sap-sucking insects. Honeydew honey is very dark brown in color, with a rich fragrance of stewed fruit or fig jam, and is not as sweet as nectar honeys. Germany's Black Forest is a well known source of honeydew-based honeys, as well as some regions in Bulgaria, Tara (mountain) in Serbia, and Northern California in the United States. In Greece, pine honey (a type of honeydew honey) constitutes 60–65% of the annual honey production. Honeydew honey is popular in some areas, but in other areas, beekeepers have difficulty selling the stronger-flavored product.
The production of honeydew honey has some complications and dangers. This honey has a much larger proportion of indigestibles than light floral honeys, thus causing dysentery to the bees, resulting in the death of colonies in areas with cold winters. Good beekeeping management requires the removal of honeydew prior to winter in colder areas. Bees collecting this resource also have to be fed protein supplements, as honeydew lacks the protein-rich pollen accompaniment gathered from flowers.