Honey is "manufactured" in
one of the world's most efficient factories, the
beehive. Bees may travel as far as 55,000 miles and
visit more than two million flowers to gather enough
nectar to make just a pound of honey.
The color and flavor
of honey differ depending on the bees' nectar source
(the blossoms). In fact, there are more than 300
unique kinds of honey in the United States,
originating from such diverse floral sources as
clover, eucalyptus and orange blossom. In general,
lighter colored honeys are mild in flavor; while
darker honeys are usually more robust in flavor.
Honey is primarily
composed of fructose, glucose and water. It also
contains other sugars as well trace enzymes,
minerals, vitamins and amino acids.
Honey Bees' Second Shift
In addition to
gathering nectar to produce honey, honey bees perform
a vital second function--pollination. About one-third
of the human diet is derived from insect-pollinated
plants, and honey bees are responsible for 80 percent
of this pollination.
Pollination is the
fertilization of a flowering plant. It occurs when
pollen is transferred from the anthers of a flower to
the ovules of that or another flower. Honey bees are
responsible for pollinating a variety of fruits,
vegetables, legumes and more.
Delicious Forms of Honey
Most of us know honey
as a sweet, golden liquid. But, in fact, honey can be
found in a variety of forms.
Free of visible
crystals, liquid honey is extracted from the
honey comb by centrifugal force, gravity or
straining. Because liquid honey mixes easily into
a variety of foods, it's especially convenient
for cooking and baking. Most of the honey
produced in the United States is sold in the
(or Spun) Honey
While all honey
will crystallize in time, creme honey (also known
as spun honey, sugared honey or whipped honey) is
brought to market in a crystallized state. The
crystallization is controlled so that, at room
temperature, the honey can be spread like butter.
In many countries around the world, creme honey
is preferred to the liquid form.
Comb honey is
honey that comes as it was produced--in the honey
bees' wax comb. The comb, as well as the honey,
Cut comb honey is
honey that has been packaged with chunks of the
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