How it’s made honey: Honey is made naturally by bees, not by beekeepers. Beekeepers only keep and maintain the bees and help them to grow fast and produce more honey. Honey starts from collecting nectar or juice from flowers, most part of which is glucose. It becomes honey inside the second stomach of bees other than digestive stomach. Then they keep it in cells of honeycombs and cap with wax and seal off honey. The color and flavor of honey varies based on the type of flowers. Learn more: How pure honey is made?
How It’s Made Honey?
Honey of nectar collected from orange or mastered oil blossom might be light in color, whereas from avocado or wild flowers might have dark amber. Similarly flavor of honey from mastered oil is stronger oily flavor than lychee. It’s the composition of 17 to 20% water, and 76 to 80% glucose, fructose, pollen, wax, and mineral salts.
Watch Video: How it’s made honey
When honey is made in place other than apiary we don’t have any control over it. Usually it can be in any tall tree inside a garden or forest. But in apiary we know the number of hives, approximate number of bees in a hive and yearly production of each hive. Learn more: Benefits of Beekeeping – How Much Money Can A Beekeeper Make Each Year?
On average 65 pounds of surplus honey can be produced yearly from each colony of standard 8 frames or beehives. In traditional beekeeping beekeepers remove the honeycomb frames and cut the wax capping with sharp knife of electric knife. Then they place it on extractor, 3/4 pieces at a time to spin honey. A centrifuge spins the frames either manually or electrically forcing honey out the combs.
Extracted honey is strained to remove broken wax pieces and other particles like dead bees. For bottling some beekeepers or bottlers might heat the honey to make it easier. But that doesn’t alter the natural composition of honey. Some beekeepers do it in home by applying indirect heat and others use honey processing machine or plant to evaporate excess moisture. The standard range of moisture is 17 to 20%. If it’s more than that, it must be evaporated to maintain the quality before bottling.
This harvesting honey is the hardest work in beekeeping including chances of getting sting. When beekeepers remove the bee frames or honey combs to harvest honey, they also remove bees with soft brush to make it free from bees before spin honey. So, they feel disturbance and try to sting. Harvesting honey without bee sting is very rare case and complete bee suit, veil, shoes, etc are necessary to wear.
Innovation of flow hive
Recently there is an innovation of flow hive for harvesting honey by which you can directly collect honey without removing honeycombs or bees. Just to open the cells of honeycombs by an attached key and then all the honey will come out in a jar. After that Close back the cells by moving the key in opposite direction. That’s all. Learn more: Flow Hive Invention For HoneyBees Makes Beekeeping Easier Than Ever!
Bottling or packaging
Beekeepers bottle honey with glasses or plastics of different sizes and then supply to grocery market or farmers’ market. If the ingredient label says ‘pure honey’ that means nothing was added on it from beginning to the end. Sometimes they also sell raw honey which is without pasteurizing or evaporation. Learn more: How to pasteurize or process honey? I personally prefer processed honey as it scientifically controls the moisture level and heat damages many germs and unhealthy particles in raw honey.
Where to Learn More
My website http://thebeeinfo.com
Bonney, Richard E. Hive Management. Pownal, VT: Garden Way Publishing, 1990.
Diemer, Irmgard. Bees and Beekeeping. London: Merehurst Press, 1988.
Melzer, Werner. Beekeeping: A Complete Owner’s Guide. Hauppage, NY: Barron’s Educational Services, Inc. 1986.
Cyberbee. http://www.cyberbee.net/ (January 16, 1999).
International Bee Research Association. 10 North Road, Cardiff CFI 3DY, UK. (+44)1222 372409. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sioux Honey Association. Sioux City, IA. (712)259-0638.— Mary McNulty