What is Honey?

Small Story about Honey

Honey has been around since ancient times. As far as 8,000 years ago man had been on the hunt and search for honey for a variety of applications aside from its edible food uses. As recorded the oldest remains of honey inside a clay vessel in an ancient tomb was found in Georgia a country that lies between Eastern Europe and Western Asia. This ancient honey remains dating back to 5,500 years ago was offered to the dead during those times.

Ancient Egyptians used honey to sweeten their pastries and breads, and in other dishes. The Egyptians and Middle Easterns used honey to embalm the dead. Honey was also offered to ancient gods. While the Mayans used honey for cooking and up to the present they still utilize it for their food. The Mayans also believed that the stingless honey bee is sacred. In some cultures honey was used for its medicinal and healing properties and now in our present society honey is still widely utilized for its many benefits to health and its medicinal properties.

What is Honey?

Honey is made by bees mainly for food. Honey is a sticky brownish very sweet liquid with clear consistency. Bees collect honey through the nectars of certain flowers then transform them into their own food- honey by regurgitation process. Once honey production is completed the bees store this as their food into wax honeycombs in their hive.

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Where does honey come from?

Honey is made by the bees by collecting nectar from different flowers. Honey bees suck nectars from one to another then swallow it and store it in a special sac called honey crop which is located before their digestive track system. This is called regurgitation process and specialized enzymes from a special gland in their mouth is  added to the stored honey to process it.

The collected nectar is passed from one bee to another to add more enzymes to the mixture. Adding enzymes from the special bee saliva is essential for breaking down the complex sugar into simplified forms of glucose and fructose. During this process it will give this nectar mixture its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties to supplement the bees’ diet. When completed the bees store the regurgitated nectar substance by depositing it into each cell in the honeycomb in their beehive. Once stored in the honeycomb the water content is up to 90% and it is not very ideal for long term storage that is why bees have to ferment it by fanning (airing out) the honeycomb cells with their wings. Air is needed together with the heat inside the hive to evaporate the water content by about 16%. Upon reaching the 16% water content level of the nectar this substance is than officially considered as honey (bee’s food) with the cells will be sealed with beeswax caps.

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