We all have something in common with Winnie the Pooh: love for honey. Who does not love this thick, rich golden liquid? We use honey in so many ways: to sweeten tea, spread it on toast, top it on pancakes or simply consume spoonfuls of it. Women are especially fond of honey, because it can be utilized to beautify the hair and skin. We might be very familiar with its taste and multiple benefits; but, do we really know what is it and where it comes from? Here are some enlightening honey facts.
- The process of honey-making begins when a bee collects nectar from a flower. The collected nectar is kept in the bee’s “honey stomach” and transported back to the hive. In the hive, the collector bee passes the nectar to a worker bee, who “chews” on the nectar. While the nectar is “chewed,” certain enzymes in the worker bee’s saliva transform it into honey. The honey is then put inside the honeycomb, allowing water to evaporate to make the liquid more syrupy. The bees fan the honey with their wings to hasten the evaporation process. Once the liquid is thick enough, the bees seal the honeycomb with wax, storing it until it is ready for consumption.
- A bee colony, which can have as many as 50,000 to 60,000 bees, can consume up to 200 pounds of honey in one year.
- The composition of honey is 20% water and 80% sugar.
- Bees have been producing honey for millions of years.
- When archeologists unearthed an Egyptian pharaoh’s tomb that was thousands of years old, they were astonished to find jars of honey that were still good enough to eat. According to scientists, the combination of very low moisture, acidity and minute amounts of hydrogen peroxide work together so harmoniously in honey that it has no expiration date when stored in sealed containers.
- Honey is a one-of-a-kind food source, containing all the necessary substances in order to sustain life: water, vitamins, minerals and health-giving enzymes. In addition, it possesses anti-bacterial properties.
- Many medical experts acknowledge the benefits of honey as brain food. It has the antioxidant, pinocembrin, which improves cognitive function. It also contains the B-complex vitamins and the minerals, zinc and magnesium, which are essential for good memory and a sharp mind.
- Even if many refer to honey as a golden liquid, it can vary in color from white, brown, red, amber and black. The color, texture and flavor of honey largely depend on the type of flower nectar that was used by the bees to produce it.