Honey Facts

Honey is essentially a highly concentrated or a supersaturated solution of sugars from flower nectar gathered by honeybees. The complex flavors of a local honey are a unique combination of the flora within a geographic location along with the influences of climate and soil. Flower nectar is the treat or payment to bees provided by plants in trade for pollination. Honeybees drive off the water concentrating the nectar which accomplishes two major objectives of saving space and naturally creating a substance that protects the sugars from spoiling. This honey is placed into a matrix of storage cells made of wax called honeycomb mostly for future consumption in winter where the carbohydrates are essential for heat generation protecting the queen from the cold.
Honey Care: Pure honey is fairly resilient. To protect the delicate flavors of your honey store at room temperature away from direct light in the pantry or cabinet protect from temperature fluctuations. Pure Honey will never spoil or need refrigeration and actually refrigeration may increase the natural crystallization process. Only pure natural honey will crystallize and can be made liquid again with gentle, slow warming however never warm above 95° F (35° C) as it will compromise the chemical composition actually making the honey susceptible to spoilage.

  • Honey is a natural sweetener, has antioxidants, and is fat free and cholesterol free.
  • Honey is flower nectar that has been processed by bees. The bees ingest the nectar and enzymes break down complex sugars into simple sugars. The bees then place the honey in a wax cells and fan it with their wings to remove the excess moisture. Honey is 80% natural sugar, mostly fructose and glucose. Honey is much sweeter than table sugar.
  • Honey contains vitamins B6, niacin, riboflavin, pathogenic acid. It also contains minerals and amino acids.
  • Each tablespoon of honey contains about 60 calories. Honey has a healthy gylcemic index (GI) because its simple sugars are gradually absorbed into the bloodstream. It may be better than some other sweeteners for those who need to watch their sugar intake.

Here are the nutritional facts for our 12oz bears of honey.

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  • Honey has many, many health benefits, but remember that honey is 80% natural sugar. Honey is completely natural and healthy, but it is still sugar. If you should not eat sugar, you should not eat honey.
  • Although diabetics should limit their sugar intake, including honey, your doctor may tell you that honey could be a healthier choice than table sugar in a diabetic diet.
  • Honey has been shown to reduce fatty accumulations in our cardiovascular systems.
  • Honey does not ferment in the upper digestive track.
  • Honey has been shown to be more effective in treating children’s coughs than over the counter cough medicines.
  • Honey is the only thing in your kitchen that does not go bad. Honey can last for centuries if stored properly.

Honey is a natural antibiotic and honey has been used for treating wounds since pre-history. Honey in modern medicine has been used to treat wounds. The natural properties of honey help clear infections and reduce inflammation, and may stimulate re-growth of tissue according to some studies.

Because my honey is untreated, unheated and unaltered, it may contain organisms that are naturally present in raw honey. Honey is a natural antibiotic and it is safe to eat raw honey, but the FDA advises that infants not be given raw honey. It should be heated first to kill any organisms. Some cultures feed newborn babies honey even before they are given milk. There is pasteurized honey that is available for this. Raw honey is not for infants.

Holistic Honey and Allergies

There are many claims on the holistic benefits of Honey. Honey has been claimed to slow aging, prevent hair loss, improve digestion and reduce hay fever symptoms. Some have these have been scientifically proven.

The connection between allergies and honey is that honey is made from the very things that cause hay fever. Bees collect Pollen and Nectar from trees and plants – all the things that make us sneeze. These are treated and altered inside the bee and turned into honey. Honey has small amounts of pollen proteins and other stuff of flowers.

It has been reasoned that these fragments of pollen proteins and complex carbohydrates can cause a tiny reaction in our bodies that will stimulate our systems to learn to tolerate the allergens.

Local honey is made from the local flowers that cause hay fever. In the Spring bees harvest the pollen of Maple, Oak and other trees that cause Spring hay fever. In the Fall, bees harvest rag-weed, goldenrod and queen anne’s lace.

Eating local honey every day is supposed to be a kind of immunotherapy, not very different from the series of shots that an allergy doctor might give you to reduce reaction to allergens.

I have hay fever in the fall and I think that honey may have reduced my reactions, but it is hard to tell.