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Honey has been used by humans for centuries, and the honeybee is an integral part of its production. From being helpful as a medicine since time immemorial to being recognized as a delighting super-food today, there is no denying that honey has been an essential component of our lives in more ways than one way. It has been a perennial favourite in many households around the world as it adds sweetness and flavour to our drinks and dishes but there’s more to honey that meets the eye. Honey is a well-known substance we all know and use, but rarely pause to think about.
Have you ever wondered where the sweet, golden honey that we put on our toast in the morning comes from? Or what about the small but mighty creatures that make it - honey bees? we all know that
honey comes from bees, but not many of us understand the fascinating facts behind both the process of making honey and the bees themselves.
In this blog, we will explore some of the amazing and rare facts about bees and honey that you may not have known before. So buckle up, and let’s dive into all the wonderful information on these fluffy little creatures!
You heard it right, honey is few of the rarest food that never spoils. Honey has been found in ancient Egyptian tombs, and it is still edible after thousands of years. Once nicely packed and stored in an air-tight container, honey can be preserved for an infinite number of years. This is because honey contains an enzyme that produces hydrogen peroxide, which acts as a natural preservative.
If you have only had plain normal honey, then you are missing the delight of several flavours. There are more than 300 varieties of honey each with its own distinct flavour, colour and experience. The flavour of honey depends upon the source from which nectar is collected. Honey varieties can vary in the dark or light shade and even on the strong and mild flavour profiles. Apart from the source, the taste of honey also depends upon the climate, rainfall and other environmental factors.
Just like the flavours and colours, types of honey are also not the same. Honey available in the market is mostly of two types, monofloral (aka unifloral) and multi-floral. Monofloral honey is sourced from a single-flower type, For eg: the nectar of Lychee honey is extracted from only lychee orchards. On the other hand, the nectar from multi-floral honey is sucked from different types of flowers, For eg: dark forest honey is a classic multi-floral honey that serves an exceptional flavour.
‘A busy bee’,’ As hard-working as a bee’, how many phrases, quotes and adjectives do we use praising the diligent nature of these little super creatures? Have you ever thought why?
An average beehive makes upto 30 to 100 pounds of honey in a year. For every single pound, a colony of bees has to visit 2 million flowers, travel 500 miles and work around the clock. This massive figure requires the collective contribution of over 800 honey bees. Aren’t these little insects super amazing?
Honey Bees, the hard-working creatures only make approximately 1/12 teaspoon of honey in their lifespan.
Honey is composed of fructose, glucose, and water, and it has a high concentration of antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, and nutrients. It is the storehouse of calcium, magnesium and iron. As per the National Honey Board, this sweet liquid is cholesterol-free, sodium-free and fat-free too.
Honey is an ancient remedy for treating sore throat and cough. Honey is an effective wound healer because it contains hydrogen peroxide, which helps prevent infection and promote healing. Its high glucose content makes it a
natural energy booster. Super-food honey is also great for improving immunity levels. Adding honey to warm water with a splash of lemon and drinking it on empty stomach in the morning can help you to shed some extra kilos.
Adding the goodness of honey to your skincare DIY routine or choosing products infused with it can even make the skin look more radiant.
Despite its sweetness, honey is actually low on the glycemic index, which means it does not cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Honey also contains antioxidants that can help to protect your body against disease.
Bees possess a unique ability to maintain the temperature of their hive at a desired 93-95 degrees, all through the year. This is possible due to their cold-blooded nature that demands a constant temperature inside the hive. On colder days, bees gather in hordes to generate body heat and fill cracks in the hive with propolis. However, to cool it down when it gets too hot, they collect water and fan it around the entrance until it evaporates, creating a pleasant breeze inside like a central air conditioning system.
Bees don’t have ears so how do they transport messages to their beehive mates? They communicate through special movements, popularly known as ‘Waggle dance’. Whenever they want to pass on any information such as where nectar is available, how distant the source is, warning of danger, and many others they dance to make others aware. For each message, they have different dance moves to differentiate.
Bees toil all summer to guarantee they have adequate honey reserves to maintain the hive in wintertime. As temperatures drop, they group around the queen and vibrate their bodies to create heat, burning through calories. As they burn so much energy, they need food that can replenish stamina and keep them working. Fortunately, honey is the ideal food for keeping up their energy level.
This makes honey the only food that is consumed by both Humans and Bees.
We have explored some of the fascinating and unique facts about honey and those who produce it. Honeybees are incredible creatures and Honey is a miraculous substance, with a multitude of health benefits and uses. So next time you consider buying a jar of honey or using it in your recipes, remember how hard nature’s tiny superheroes worked to get it there and don't forget how amazing this golden treat really is!