Why is Raw Honey Sooo Special?
In many cultures across the planet honey was considered sacred just a couple of generations ago, bees wax and honey was used in countless medicines and even collected by governments as taxes.
Raw honey is essentially Real honey. Only bees can make raw honey, you cant manufacture it! Raw honey is straight from the bee hive into an extractor, then a pourer, and then into the jar inside your pantry.
But 70% to 90% of all honey sold on the planet is syrup or syrup added with heated honey. With the shortage of bees in many countries there’s just not enough real honey left. Its often a pretty yukky substitute like corn or rice syrup, high fructose, from overseas, sold wholesale at around USD$1.00 per kilo, so a great business for some!
In fact you can put up to 50% non honey into a jar and still call it ‘pure honey’. Raw honey naturally goes hard or crystalises. It goes hard like this in the bee hives and in the jar in your pantry in colder climates. Honey liquifies in the combs and in your pantry in warmer to hot weather. You can guess why supermarket honey never goes hard, and
raw honey is the only food on the planet that wont go off – there’s no need for an expiry date.
People who buy those squeezy honey packs for easy pouring for their kids are usually feeding them cheap syrup from overseas. Raw honey will is often unfiltered, and can contain hive sediment, and the ocassional bees knees…seriously!
Even if there is no syrup in it, unless buying from a smaller local beekeeper, honey is often heated to have it run quickly for scale of economies in a production line into thousands of jars. Then a micron filter removes any remaining nutrition and pollen residue so lab tests cant pick up the origin of the honey or country of origin. Its called ultrafiltration and pasteurization. And we still hand pour each jar!
How can you tell if you’re buying raw real or fake honey?
At a simple level, raw honey in cold climates will go hard or crystallise. And, syrup non honey substitute is usually the the always same colour and tastes especially sickly sweet.
There a couple of simple tests you can do at home with your kids. Buy some supermarket honey and also some from your local beekeeper:
Test 1: With your finger or a knife, smear a tiny bit of both honeys each, seperately, onto a piece of paper. Then store that paper in the pantry or cupboard away from ants. The syrup will evaporate, and the raw honey wont.
Test 2: Like above, with your finger or a knife, smear a tiny bit of both honeys each, seperately, onto a piece of paper. Then burn the paper. The syrup will burn through, but will burn around the edges of the raw honey.
Whats the difference between Melbourne suburban honey, bush honey and organic honey?
Different views have bees flying between 6km and 13kms to forage nectre and pollen to produce honey.
A suburban hive will be multi floral, from your front yard grevillia, to Susie’s down the road’s lavender patch, to the gumtrees in the local park, and can help with hayfever, sinus and even pollen asthma.
Suburban and city honey can taste divine, but in Canada, the US, and the UK, bees have been used to monitor environmental pollutions, because accumulations of heavy metals and other substances can be measured in pollen, honey as well as bees themselves.
Smaller scale and larger commercial beekeepers migrate hives from the outskirts of Melbourne to central and regional Victoria and interstate, and often follow seasonal budding such as almond and orange pollenation.
We search for budding forests such as yellow box, grey box, peppermint, messmate – stringy barks, yellow gum amongst
others, and hope to have our bees safely close by when the forest blooms.
We think that there’s no such thing as organic honey, just clever marketing, as you just cant control where your bees fly, unless deep in the desert or on an island. You might come close to organic when for example working bees next at a national park, but
there’s no organic guarantee.