Processing of Honey – How Honey is Made – Harvesting Honey Step by Step

What is processed honey, Types and benefits of processed honey, What are the methods of extracting honey, How honey is made 5 steps, Why honey processing is done, Raw honey vs organic honey, How is raw honey processed, How can you collect honey without an extractor, flow hive.

Hi, I am shamsul Arefin. So excited to show you, Honey! How Its Made? Also, Harvesting and Processing of honey Step by step – Everything from beginning to the end, help you to learn about different stages and methods of honey making.

01. What is processed honey, Types and benefits of processed honey:

Processed honey is an industry term for honey that has been processed to change the look, flavor, and/or color of the product. It’s important to be aware that “processed” doesn’t always mean unhealthy. Processed honey can offer several benefits over raw honey. It’s often lighter, and it tastes sweeter and more floral than raw honey due to the addition of propolis. Propolis is made by bees collecting resin from trees. It can also be used in place of sugar as a sweetener for tea, coffee, or baking. The most common types of processed honey are:

01. Some types of processed honey have been heated to eliminate bacteria, but many are heated only to extend shelf life or to improve color and flavor.

02. The other main concern with processed honey is filtering out pollen in order to produce a purer product. However, pollen doesn’t affect the quality of the honey and there are some beekeepers who don’t filter their honey at all.

Learn more: Health Benefits of Honey | Honey for Facial and Skin Care, Weight Loss, Acne and More.

Processing of Honey - How Honey is Made - Harvesting Honey Step by Step
Processing of Honey – How Honey is Made – Harvesting Honey Step by Step

 

How do you make processed honey?

Processed honey is made by adding enzymes or acids to honey to extend its shelf life. Enzymes and acids can be derived from a variety of sources such as fruit, vegetables, and even bacteria. Some of the main benefits of processed honey include its ability to extend the shelf life of honey, prevent the growth of unwanted yeast, and enhance the flavor profile of finished products.

However, these benefits come with a cost. Processed honey can increase the risk of food-borne illness and may affect color, flavor, and texture. If you are interested in using processed honey in your recipes, it’s best to consult with a trained professional first. Because of its high sugar content, processed honey can be harmful for diabetic patients. If you are diabetic or concerned about your sugar intake, it’s best to stick to unprocessed honey for recipes where authenticity is key.

There are two main types of processed honey: filtered and crystallized:

01. Filtered honey has been exposed to a process that removes the pollen, thereby reducing its nutritional value. The honey may have been heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit or 48 degrees Celsius, which can destroy some of its nutrients but does not change its basic properties.

02. Crystallized honey is simply heated to the point where it becomes solid at room temperature. Many people assume that processed honey is unhealthy or artificial, but this is not always true. While most processed honeys do not meet the standards set by the European Union or the United States, there are some exceptions. To produce crystalized honey you need raw honey that has been filtered or strained to remove unwanted particles.

02. What are the methods of extracting honey?

Extracting honey is done by a range of methods. There are two main methods: “hot” and “cold” extraction. Hot extraction involves heating the honey up to 190 degrees Fahrenheit. This is used for high-quality honey, and it allows the honey to be preserved without crystallization or enzymatic breakdown. Then the honey is extracted by a manual or electric extractor.

Cold extraction is the process of extracting from the honeycomb without destroying them. In bee farming, the comb is held in a wooden frame. A drum or container is designed to hold multiple honeycomb frames. The drum spins honey from honeycombs, either using an electric motor or a manual hand machine. The wax stays intact with the comb. So, it can be reused in the beehives and save time for the bees to make a new honeycomb. Most importantly, all the health benefits stay in the Honey, and preserves the honey’s color and flavor.

Manual hand machine (Extractor):

A Manual machine is very simple and spin out honey by rotating the handle. Since it’s manual, usually you can extract 2 to 4 honeycomb frames at a time. So, it’s perfect for the beekeepers with a few beehives. Before extraction, you should pull out the frame from the beehives and remove the bees with a soft brush. Don’t forget to wear a protective gear to save you from bee sting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9sk9xTKYFk

Honey! How Its Made? Harvesting and Processing of honey Step by Step
Honey! How Its Made? Harvesting and Processing of honey Step by Step

Vacuum machine: Honey with high moisture content cannot be filtered using normal filtration methods. So, scientists have developed vacuum machines that can be used to extract high-moisture honey. Vacuum machines are very expensive, but they are effective in extracting strong-flavor honey with high moisture content. Honey combs are placed in the jar and the plunger pushed down on top of the jar, creating a vacuum. These forces honey to drip through the funnel into a collection container. This method is very simple.

Electric Extractor:

For the ideal beekeeper, an electric machine will help him to extract numerous honey combs quickly. So, he can save time to take care his bees. He needs some helping hands to prepare the honey combs for extraction. They will remove the bees from the frame with a soft brush and carry to the extractor machine. After extraction of honey, put back the frames in the same place from where it was removed. Now it’s ready for the bees for storing honey again.

Recently, there has been development of “electric” extraction methods that use ultrasonic or electromagnetic vibrations to disrupt wax crystals into smaller ones; this method allows for easier separation of waxes such as carnauba wax and cera alba (beeswax).

03. How honey is made, 5 steps?

Honey is a natural sweetener produced by honey bees from the nectar of plants. Honey is made up of two types of sugars: glucose and fructose. The glucose in honey is what makes it sweet, while the fructose is responsible for its smooth texture. In order to make honey, bees collect the nectar from plants and then deposit it into honeycombs before sealing them with wax.

Honey! How Its Made? Harvesting and Processing of honey Step by Step
Honey! How Its Made? Harvesting and Processing of honey Step by Step

 

As the honeybees continue to visit these plants, they continue to add more nectar to the honeycombs, which allows them to produce more honey. As a result, each honeycomb has a different amount of nectar and honey. Honey is composed predominantly of glucose (about 95%). To this glucose, smaller amounts of fructose and other sugars are added. These other sugars include dextrose (sugar alcohol), levulose (sugar), and maltose. For making honey, there are five main steps:

#1. Collecting nectar from flowers:

Honey is made by bees collecting nectar from flowers and turning it into honey. Bees collect nectar from various types of plants, including trees, shrubs and grasses. The process of collecting nectar is called foraging. Foraging bees drink the nectar from flowers, store in their honey stomach, or honey sac, where different enzymes are added. These enzymes start the process of turning nectar into honey by breaking down the sugars into sucrose and fructose.

#2. Transporting it to the bee hive and store in honeycombs:

To begin with, collecting nectar from flowers, bees use their long tongues in order to get access to the liquid inside flowers. Once they have access to the liquid inside flowers or trees, they collect it with their long tongues and bring it back to the beehive and store it in honey comb cells.

#3. Evaporating moisture naturally:

Honey combs contain raw honey, moisture level of which is very high (above 22%). The excess moisture evaporate naturally, But it takes 2/3 weeks to come to an acceptable limit of 18% to 22%.

#4. Extracting and filtering honey:

After evaporation of excess moisture, the honey become mature and ready to harvest. Then the apiary beekeepers or natural bee hunters pull out honey combs from the beehive and remove the bees before harvesting. After extraction of honey, they filter it to separate unwanted particles from honey.

#5. Packaging:

Packaging is the final part of honey making. A good packaging is important for long lasting honey. Glass or ceramic is the best for keeping long time, but plastic container can be used for short period of time only.

Remember, Honeybees collect thousands of tons of nectar each year, and they use it to produce honey. But a million tons of nectar get damage due to insufficient bees, and they can’t reach at deep forest areas. We can get honey from natural beehives and also, from Apiary beehives. Apiary is the place of Beekeeping, and the modern style of producing honey scientifically. For more information, please visit our website, thebeeinfo.com.

 

04. What is Raw Honey? How is raw honey processed?

Raw honey is unprocessed, simply extracted from the beehive without any additional steps to enhance its shelf life. It remains raw at all times and does not undergo any heat treatment or filtration process before being bottled for sale. It’s ideal for those who want to avoid added sugars and other artificial add-ons. On the other hand, processed honey undergoes a variety of processing methods to ensure that it is safe to consume. This could include filtering, pasteurization, or other methods to help extend its shelf life.

Honey! How Its Made? Harvesting and Processing of honey Step by Step
Honey! How Its Made? Harvesting and Processing of honey Step by Step

 

Raw honey is processed in several ways depending on the type of honey. Raw honey, which is unheated and minimally processed. It lacks processing by heat or light, and contains all the nutrients it was produced with, in addition to small amounts of pollen. Raw honey has a high nutritional value due to its natural fructose content. Raw honey has been shown to have antibacterial properties, as well as an ability to help prevent bacterial growth in foods.

These factors make raw honey an excellent food for people who are suffering from infections such as colds. Heated honey refers to honey that has been cooked after harvesting. Heated honey is more commercially available than raw honey and has been heated between 160 °F and 212 °F, depending on the desired style of processing.

The most common way to process raw honey is by filtration. Filtering allows raw honey to pass through a mesh sieve or a filter such as a coffee filter or cheesecloth without being heated, which preserves the nutrients found in raw honey. To ease the filtering process some heating may be necessary. Heating will result in the removal of excess moisture and help reduce crystallization.

05. Why honey processing is done?

In apiary, Honey processing starts with harvesting. This is when bees collect the nectar from flowers and bring it back to their hives. In most cases, honey is collected by using a honey extractor. This machine is used to remove the honey from the comb in a controlled manner so that you have the best quality honey. Honey processing also includes a process called crystallization. This is when the extraction process transforms the liquid honey into a solid state.

Processing of Honey - How Honey is Made - Harvesting Honey Step by Step
Processing of Honey – How Honey is Made – Harvesting Honey Step by Step

The crystallization process can be done by heating or cooling the honey. But it’s important to note that this process is not reversible. So once it’s done, there’s no way to turning it back! When you’re ready to make your honey products, you need to add processing time after harvesting and crystallization are complete. Processing time refers to the time needed for the honey to settle any other manufacturing processes or evaporation processes before exiting your production facility.

The honey undergoes various processes to achieve various desired characteristics. From there, the honey can be crystallized for use in a wide array of products, such as sweeteners, syrups and desserts. Additionally, some honeys are used for flavorings and extracts. Honey processing can also result in lighter honeys that contain higher levels of antioxidants. Finally, the honey can be pasteurized to extend its shelf life or be fortified with vitamins and minerals to make it more nutritious.

06. Raw honey vs organic honey

Raw honey is honey that has not been pasteurized (heated) above 45 degree Centigrade, and has not had its pollen filtered out. Usually, it crystallizes quickly due to its high pollen content. You can see raw honey sold on the internet, in independent food shops, at local honey shop and farmers markets. Supermarkets don’t sell raw honey, as they crystallize quickly. When honey begins to crystallize, most unaware consumers stop buying it and others are confused because they think it has had sugar added to it. Actually it’s crystallize honey looks like sugar.

What Is Organic Honey?

Organic honey is naturally produced honey and maintain a standard that is free of chemicals and antibiotics. Also, it has been independently certified that honey come from a bee hive that is 5 to 8 miles away from the nearest artificial chemical source, i.e. roads, factories, houses, etc.

Honey! How Its Made? Harvesting and Processing of honey Step by Step
Honey! How Its Made? Harvesting and Processing of honey Step by Step

 

No honey produced in the UK is organic, because it is not possible to place bee hives 5 to 8 miles away from pollutants in the UK due to the population density. It’s illegal to sell or market a honey as “organic” if it has not been certified by a government approved organic control body.

Organic honey should have the code of the certifier, e.g. GB-ORG-04, DE-OKO-001, etc. on the label. So, before buying, this code should be checked. Turkey is the top most and best honey-producing country in the whole world. They also received the certificate of one of the best organic honey producer in the world.

Iran is one of the highest producer of quality honey in the world, even among the top 10 honey producing countries. There are about 75,000 expert people who are actively working in this industry of beekeeping and maintain about 6.7 million colonies in the whole country. They produce around 79,000 tons of honey and exports each year.

07. How can you spin/collect honey without an extractor?

Before spinning honey, you should uncap the honey combs with a sharp knife or electrical cutter. Spinning honey can be done anytime of day or night and will continue until all honey combs are finished. Then keep your extracted honey into container and seal it tightly for future use.

When harvesting capped honey, you have three options:

1) break the wax cap off the comb; 2) scrape off the wax cap with a knife; or 3) cut the wax cap with an electric cutter.

Definitely, electric cutter is the best because its heated knife easily cutts the wax capping. So, for large amount of honey combs, it’s a perfect tool.

Processing of Honey - How Honey is Made - Harvesting Honey Step by Step
Processing of Honey – How Honey is Made – Harvesting Honey Step by Step

#1. Crush-And-Strain Method

01. “Crush-and-strain” is The simplest, and probably the oldest, method of honey extraction. Simply destroy each cell of honey combs by crushing them entirely in a bowl with a press tool or with your hands.

02. The next step is to strain the honey to separate from wax. The easiest method for most people is draining honey into a bowl through a kitchen filter. The filter or sieve has large enough holes to pass through the honey.

honey strain

03. A kitchen strainer may be slow, but it will at least work for you. You may need a few hours to drain the honey. The warm temperatures will speed up the process.

04. After extraction, use it whenever you need to add a touch of sweetness to your favorite recipes. This extraction method is not recommended as using hands is a question of hygienic.

#2. Flow hive in Modern Beekeeping:

Now you don’t need to buy a separate extractor to spin out honey. Because, the flow hive is specially designed to open and close the honey comb cells as required. Honeycomb cells are partly completed with high-quality, food-graded plastic.

Honey! How Its Made? Harvesting and Processing of honey Step by Step
Honey! How Its Made? Harvesting and Processing of honey Step by Step

The bees will complete the rest part with wax and store honey as usual. The Honeycomb cells are kept normally in closed position. When the cells are full of honey and ready for harvesting, beekeepers open the cells by a long key handle. Then the honey drain out through an attached pipe/tube into the bucket. It’s very easy method of harvesting honey without disturbing the bees and also, the beekeepers can avoid bee sting.

Learn more: Flow hive for Honey Bees Makes Beekeeping Easier than Ever, Harvesting honey without an extractor. For more information, please visit our website https://thebeeinfo.com/

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