Most people are aware that honey is used as a sweetener. It is made by bees, and it can be different colors - white, amber, dark. However, there are other interesting facts that may be less commonly known when it comes to honey.
The process to create honey starts when bees carry nectar back to the hive from plant blossoms. The nectar is mainly water and sucrose. While the bee transports the nectar, a special enzyme breaks the sucrose down into fructose and glucose.
Once at the hive, the nectar is passed from bee to bee, and the water is removed through the stomach of the bees. Water is also removed when bees vibrate wings to create air flow and heat within the hive. The nectar, which is stored in open cells, has water evaporated through this process.
The nectar becomes honey when it has enough water removed to leave about 17.8% in the mixture.
Once the honey reaches the appropriate level, bees cover the cells with beeswax to keep them at that level of moisture.
There are different types of honey that can be enjoyed by humans. Honeycomb honey has not been touched by humans. It remains in the honeycomb where the bees created it. Meanwhile, raw honey was extracted from the hive and cleaned. It may separate and tends to granulate quickly. Another option is liquid honey that has been filtered. This is usually done with minimal heat and takes longer to granulate (two to six months generally).
Creamed honey is another version of honey. This type is made when pure liquid honey is run through a crystallization process to produce fine uniform crystals. This has the same nutritional value as liquid honey. The final variety is liquid pasteurized honey, which is cleaned using flash heating to a high temperature and then cooled quickly. It loses a lot of the nutrition and natural benefits but will not granulate for nine months.