FAQ about honey. How much do you really know?
The American Honey Tasting Society is the only organization in the United States to teach the methods
of sensory analysis of honey developed by The Italian Register of Experts in the Sensory Analysis of Honey.
1. HONEY NEVER SPOILS.
When sealed in an airtight container, honey is one of the few foods known to have an eternal shelf life. There are even reports of edible honey being found in several-thousand-year-old Egyptian tombs. Honey’s longevity can be explained by its chemical makeup: The substance is naturally acidic and low in moisture, making it an inhospitable environment for bacteria.
A lot of hard work from bees goes into imbuing honey with these magical properties. While transforming nectar (honey’s main ingredient) into honey, bees flap their wings so hard that they draw excess moisture out of the initially water-filled substance. Bees also have a special enzyme in their stomachs that helps to break the nectar down into gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide, the latter of which acts to further prevent the growth of bacteria and other organisms in the honey.
2. BEES MAKE A LOT OF HONEY.
A typical beehive can produce anywhere from 30 to 100 pounds of honey a year. To produce a single pound of honey, a colony of bees must collect nectar from approximately 2 million flowers and fly over 55,000 miles. This amounts to a lifetime’s worth of work for around 800 bees.
3. HONEY IS MEDICINAL.
Evidence of honey being prescribed as a medical treatment dates back as far as ancient Mesopotamia. Because the substance is so inhospitable to bacteria, it was often used as a natural bandage to protect cuts and burns from infection. Today, honey is still used as a natural treatment for dandruff, stomach ulcers, and even seasonal allergies.
4. THERE ARE DIFFERENT FLAVORS AND COLORS OF HONEY.
Honey’s depth of flavor is determined by the source of the nectar it was made from. Linden honey is delicate and woodsy, buckwheat honey is strong and spicy, and eucalyptus honey has a subtle menthol flavor. The darkness or lightness of certain honey varies as well. Bees in the southeastern U.S. have even been known to produce honey that’s deep purple in color, though scientists can’t agree why.
5. DOES LOCAL HONEY HELP WITH ALLERGIES?
Honey has been anecdotally reported to lessen symptoms in people with seasonal allergies if using a true raw honey. You can find this from any local beekeeper. It does not have to be in you area either. As most of the the allergies we suffer from, bees don't even visit. For example grass or hay. But TRUE, RAW honey will help with symptoms. So, do not be afraid or bullied into only having what's in you back yard, try the locals honey when traveling. You will be in for a delicious surprise once you find out how different honey taste around the world.