The variety produced by honey bees is the one most commonly referred to, as it is the type of honey collected by most beekeepers and consumed by people.
Honeys are also produced by bumblebees, stingless bees, and other hymenopteran insects such as honey wasps, though the quantity is generally lower and they have slightly different properties compared to honey from the genus Apis.
The history of honey is rich in tradition. This ancient substance has been used for food, drinks (mead!), medicine, gifts for the gods, barter, cosmetics, cooking, food preservation, cosmetics, art, etc…
It has been used in religion, art, mythology, legends and literature as well as studied by scientists.
The oldest written reference to the use of honey is thought to be Egyptian, of about 5500BC.
The ancients considered honey a divine substance. Mythmakers linked it to nectar and ambrosia, the heavenly dew that miraculously flowed from the celestial regions, dripped from the world tree, and fortified the gods.
In the Old Testament, the Promised land flowed with milk and honey. Clearly, ancient people connected the golden elixir to holy places.
In Ancient Egypt honey was the most popular medicament of all; it is mentioned some 500 times in the 900 remedies that are known. Honey was also a common ingredient of medieval medicines, for it was often the only substance available to make some of the more nauseating ingredients palatable.
There is a trivia quiz on the Internet that asks Which food doesn’t go bad? The answer provided is honey.
In 1800 some archaeologists working in Egypt found a large jar of honey. They opened it and found that it tasted perfect even though it was thousands of years old.
Honey keeps indefinitely as it is mostly sugar with some antibacterial compounds thrown in. If the honey was pasteurized and is not raw, it may change color and become crystallized but it will stay safe to eat. If your honey does become crystallized or harden, just place an open jar in warm water and stir until the crystals dissolve.
Honey is the only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life, including enzymes, vitamins, minerals. Does this mean it is totally healthy to eat just honey? Of course not. Honey has no fat or cholesterol, may sound great but having no fat or cholesterol is unhealthy.
Honey contains enzymes that help your body digest food, which in turn, helps keep our immune systems working properly. It is also good for many other bodily functions, like bowel movements, weight loss, and bone health. Honey is also a healthy alternative to giving yourself that energy boost when you need it!
Honey can be a powerful immune system booster. It’s antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties can help improve digestive system and help you stay healthy and fight disease.
Honey is a common remedy for insomnia, one of the main symptoms of anxiety. In fact, the University of Cambridge Counseling Service suggests eating bread with honey or drinking warm tea with honey before bedtime to alleviate anxiety.
It’s the only food that contains “pinocembrin“, an antioxidant associated with improved brain functioning.
Depending on what flowers a bee gathers pollen will decide the flavor your honey will have. Honey made from pollen gathered from acacia will taste different from honey made with the pollen of wild flowers. It will also affect its color.
Honey is sweet – that’s a given. But did you know that honey also adds a special touch to almost any recipe? It’s the whisper at a party.