Bee honey


Bee honey



Bee honey is a product that is nectar partially digested in the crop of a honey bee. Honey contains 13-22% water, 75-80% carbohydrates (glucose, fructose, sucrose), as well as small amounts of vitamins B1, B2, B6, E, K, C, carotene (provitamin A), folic acid.

Honey is classified according to:
- botanical origin;
- by geographical origin; - by presentation; - by consistency (thickness); - by color and transparency; - by taste and smell.

By origin, natural honey can be flower or honeydew . Honeydew honey is honey that comes from animal honeydew (a sweet sticky liquid on plant leaves, which is the secretion of insects living on the leaves) or honeydew (sweet juice that appears on leaves or needles under the influence of sudden changes in temperature). Unlike nectar, honeydew does not contain phytoncides and other antibiotic substances that protect against the development of microorganisms. Honeydew honey is distinguished by its viscosity, stringiness and the absence of a 'honey' smell; it is rarely light brown, more often brown or dark in color, sometimes with a greenish tint (for example, from aphids on oak). It tastes very sweet, but without the specific taste of nectar honey. Also, honeydew honey is more hygroscopic than nectar honey and sours faster, especially after pumping from cells that are not sealed by bees.
Honeydew honey

Flower honey , depending on the honey plant whose nectar was collected by bees, varies in color, taste and smell. If honey is obtained from one specific type of plant, then it is called monofloral , usually it is given the name of this plant - for example, linden, fireweed, buckwheat, sunflower . If bees have collected nectar from different plants, then such honey is usually called polyfloral (mixed), or simply floral. It is necessary to realize that it is almost impossible to obtain honey from one honey plant - several honey plants usually bloom at the same time near the apiary, and when pumping out, old reserves of the bee colony, previously collected from other plants, may end up along with the freshest honey. Depending on the honey plant, there are many types of honey. Like, for example, linden, acacia, sunflower, buckwheat, herbs and many, many others. Less accurate, but quite popular, names of types of honey can come from the land from which the honey is collected by bees: meadow, field, steppe, forest, mountain, floodplain, taiga . Honey is often named after the geographical area associated with its origin, for example, Bashkir and Far Eastern linden honey, Siberian fireweed .
Acacia honey
Buckwheat honey

High-quality comb honey must have a continuous seal (all cells are completely sealed with wax caps). Not only the honey seal, but also the honey itself should be or light yellow. honeycomb​
Honey in combs (cellular)

The consistency of honey can be liquid or crystallized ('shrunken'). Liquid honey is the normal state of fresh honey after being pumped out of the honeycomb (usually honey from the current beekeeping season). Liquid honey has varying degrees of thickness (viscosity). The viscosity of honey depends on the greater or lesser water content in it and partly on the ambient temperature. Liquid honey can also be obtained by heating crystallized honey, but some of the beneficial properties of honey may be lost. Honey that is too liquid may indicate insufficient aging in the combs; it is called 'immature'. Crystallized ('shrunken') honey is formed naturally from liquid honey. Honey from dandelion flowers 'sets' most quickly (from about 2-3 days to 1 week), forbs (depending on the honey plants from which it was collected) 'sets' two to three months after pumping out from the honeycomb. Dried honey does not lose its properties as a result of crystallization. In dried honey, depending on the size of the crystals, a distinction is made between coarse-grained, fine-grained and lard-like honey. In coarse-grained honey, aggregates of sugar crystals are more than 0.5 mm in diameter, in fine-grained honey - less than 0.5 mm, but are still visible to the naked eye. Sometimes crystallized honey has such small crystals that the mass of honey seems homogeneous, lard-like .
Crystallized honey

Based on color, honey is divided into light and dark with numerous transitional shades from to reddish-brown. The color of honey depends on the plants from whose nectar the honey is obtained: relatively light types of honey are obtained from the inflorescences of linden, sunflower, and acacia; relatively dark types of honey are obtained from buckwheat and milkweed. The transparency of liquid honey depends primarily on the amount of beebread ( pollen collected by bees from plant flowers, folded and compacted into honeycombs, poured on top with honey) that got into the honey during pumping out. Honey may also become cloudy as a result of the process of crystallization that has begun. Natural honey usually has a sweet taste. A sharp sour taste is inherent only in spoiled, fermented honey. The aroma (smell) of honey is determined by the characteristics of a particular plant. Honey collected by bees from one specific plant usually has its own characteristic taste and aroma. With a certain amount of experience, it is possible, for example, to accurately identify buckwheat honey. Linden and thistle honey , collected from sunflower flowers, has a unique aroma. The aroma of mixed honey is extremely varied and often makes it difficult to determine its origin.
Yellow honeycomb - with beebread

There are several areas for assessing the quality of honey and products called 'honey'. The basis for quality assessment are standards (national and international). In the United States, honey is graded on a number of characteristics, such as water content, taste and aroma, absence of impurities and clarity. Honey is also graded by color, although color is not a criterion in the grading scale.

'Artificial honey ' is produced using the inversion of sucrose in a slightly acidic environment (addition of citric acid, etc.), sometimes honey flavorings are introduced. Artificial honey is made from beet or cane sugar, corn, watermelon juice, melon and other sugary substances. Artificial honey does not have enzymes and does not have the aroma characteristic of natural honey. When even a small amount of natural bee honey is added to artificial honey, it will have a weak aroma and contain a small amount of enzymes. Tea leaves, St. John's wort flowers, and saffron are used to color honey. Watermelon, melon and other artificial honeys are prepared from the pulp of vegetables and fruits. After appropriate processing, a benign food product with a sweet taste and a pleasant specific aroma is obtained.
Watermelon honey

In addition to natural and artificial honey, there is falsified honey, which is passed off as natural. The most common impurities added to honey for the purpose of adulteration are: sugar and starch syrup and starch sugar; then, flour, tragacanth or glue and, finally, minerals: gypsum, clay, chalk and some others. In some cases, an admixture of flour can be easily detected by the physical properties of honey: from an excessive admixture of flour, honey becomes too and becomes slimy. However, to determine the 'naturalness' of honey, as a rule, it is subjected to certain laboratory experiments - filtration, heating, exposure to other substances, etc.

The world honey market is one of the most globalized food markets: out of 1.4 million tons of honey produced in the world, about 400 thousand tons are exported. Honey is one of the most frequently falsified food products, since its prices are 5-10 times higher than sugar and other sweeteners. At the same time, honey produced in violation of sanitary standards (primarily the standards for the use of veterinary drugs) can pose a danger to human health. For this reason, since the mid-1990s, international requirements for the purity of honey have been steadily tightening. Almost all developed countries are not able to meet the needs of their population for honey through their own production and are forced to do this through imports. The main importers of honey, the USA, Germany and Japan, annually purchase up to 250 thousand tons of honey from other countries. EU member countries collectively import 140-150 thousand tons. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for 2013, the four leading honey producers are as follows: first place is occupied by China, second by Turkey, third by Argentina, fourth - Ukraine.
The world's largest honey producers. China is marked with a green circle - 298 thousand tons of honey per year. Large producing countries (about 10% of the leader) are marked with yellow circles. Data for 2005

Liquid honey is best suited for use in various dishes and drinks. It is very useful to add honey to dairy products, as well as to chilled drinks, such as compotes and jelly. In addition, honey is great for marinades and for glazing vegetables: they not only become tastier, but also acquire a shiny crust. When using honey in cooking, you need to remember that honey is sweeter than sugar, so you need slightly less of it than sugar. The approximate ratios are as follows: 140 g of sugar can be replaced with 115 g of honey. In addition, if sugar is replaced with honey, the dish turns out darker.
A drink with honey and lemon is great for warming
Walnut praline with honey. This is a traditional French dessert in the form of nut candy. This dessert is named after the French pastry chef Plessis-Pralin , who created a dessert of grated almonds and other nuts mixed with candied honey, chocolate pieces and doused with burnt sugar.
Honey cake