Frequently asked questions

Answer to simple questions about Honey

1What is raw honey?
Raw honey is honey in the rawest form (straight from the hive). This means that the honey hasn’t been pasteurized.
2How can I make the honey runny again once it sets?
If the honey sets (crystalizes) please don’t panic as it has not gone off. Simply place your jar of raw honey in a glass bowl, quarter fill a pan with boiling water then place the bowl into the pan. The steam should heat the bowl, which heats the jar with out over heating it. Keep the water boiling by turning up the heat on the hob. Your honey should be runny again in 10 minutes or so.
3Does honey have an expiry date?
Officially for food standards honey needs an expiry date, however it is a well-known fact that honey doesn’t actually go out of date. The reason honey doesn’t go off is because of it’s high sugar and low water content.
4What is Crystallization & why does honey set?
For some reason, there is a perception that honey that crystallizes has “gone bad” or that it is a sign of contamination. No! It’s actually a sign of high quality honey. Don’t throw your crystallized honey out, unless you like to waste delicious food. Honey is a super-saturated solution of two sugars: glucose and fructose. Since it’s super-saturated, it’s a natural chemical process that some of the sugars eventually come out of solution. Honey will even crystallize when it’s still in the comb.
5Why can't I feed honey to my baby less than one year of age?
It’s recommended that honey should not be given to infants under one year of age because of the rare possibility of being infected with the bacteria that causes botulism (Clostridium botulinum). Once a toddler reaches one year old, their digestive system is mature enough to kill any botulism.
6Does honey contain pollen?
Yes, all honey contains traces of pollen. This is how it can help you hay fever and how companies can trace the origin of their honey as different countries have different pollens.
7What is creamed honey?
Creamed honey doesn’t actually contain cream, it is just the description of the state which the honey gets into. Creamed honey is honey that 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.
8How should I store my honey?
You should store you honey in a dry place at room temperature with the jar securely sealed. Once opened you should store the honey in the same way.
9How do beekeepers get the honey from the hive?
The bees put their honey into the frames of their hives and seal it with wax. The beekeepers then collect some of the frames full of honey from the hive ready for extracting but always leave plenty of honey for the bees with the beekeepers only taking the excess honey which they don’t need.
10How do the bees make the honey?
Bees start making honey, by collecting nectar from the blossom by sucking it out with their tongues. They store it in what’s called their honey stomach, which is different from their food stomach. When they have a full load, they fly back to the hive. There, they pass it on through their mouths to other worker bees who chew it for about half an hour. It’s passed from bee to bee, until it gradually turns into honey. Then the bees store it in honeycomb cells, which are like tiny jars made of wax. The honey is still a bit wet, so they fan it with their wings to make it dry out and become stickier. When it’s ready, they seal the cell with a wax lid to keep it clean. So that’s how bees make honey. They don’t make very much of it, though. It takes at least eight bees all their life to make one single teaspoonful. Fortunately for us, they usually make more than they need, so we can have some, too.

The Honey Process…