As the bees slowly spread throughout the hive, gently return the frames you removed earlier. Kamal Boparai marked it as to-read Feb 21, Heather White added it Aug 21,
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Honey use and production have a long and varied history as an ancient activity, depicted in Valencia , Spain , by a cave painting of humans foraging for honey at least 8, years ago. Honey is produced by bees collecting nectar for use as sugars consumed to support metabolism of muscle activity during foraging or to be stored as a long-term food supply.
By contriving for bee swarms to nest in human-made hives , people have been able to semidomesticate the insects and harvest excess honey. In the hive or in a wild nest, the three types of bees are:. Leaving the hive, a foraging bee collects sugar-rich flower nectar, sucking it through its proboscis and placing it in its proventriculus honey stomach or crop , which lies just fore of its food stomach. The forager bees then return to the hive where they regurgitate and transfer nectar to the hive bees.
The hive bees then use their honey stomachs to ingest and regurgitate the nectar, forming bubbles between their mandibles , repeatedly until it is partially digested. The bubbles create a large surface area per volume and a portion of the water is removed through evaporation. The bees work together as a group with the regurgitation and digestion for as long as 20 minutes, passing the nectar from one bee to the next, until the product reaches the honeycombs in storage quality.
Another source of honey is from a number of wasp species, such as the wasps Brachygastra lecheguana and Brachygastra mellifica , which are found in South and Central America. These species are known to feed on nectar and produce honey. Some wasps, such as the Polistes versicolor , even consume honey themselves, alternating between feeding on pollen in the middle of their lifecycles and feeding on honey, which can better provide for their energy needs. Honey is collected from wild bee colonies or from domesticated beehives.
Wild bee nests are sometimes located by following a honeyguide bird. The bees may first be pacified by using smoke from a bee smoker. The smoke triggers a feeding instinct an attempt to save the resources of the hive from a possible fire , making them less aggressive and the smoke obscures the pheromones the bees use to communicate.
The honeycomb is removed from the hive and the honey may be extracted from that, either by crushing or by using a honey extractor. The honey is then usually filtered to remove beeswax and other debris. Before the invention of removable frames, bee colonies were often sacrificed to conduct the harvest. The harvester would take all the available honey and replace the entire colony the next spring.
Since the invention of removable frames, the principles of husbandry led most beekeepers to ensure that their bees have enough stores to survive the winter, either by leaving some honey in the beehive or by providing the colony with a honey substitute such as sugar water or crystalline sugar often in the form of a "candyboard".
The amount of food necessary to survive the winter depends on the variety of bees and on the length and severity of local winters. A wide range of species other than humans are attracted to wild or domestic sources of honey. Because of its composition and chemical properties, honey is suitable for long-term storage, and is easily assimilated even after long preservation.
Honey, and objects immersed in honey, have been preserved for centuries. In its cured state, honey has a sufficiently high sugar content to inhibit fermentation. If exposed to moist air, its hydrophilic properties pull moisture into the honey, eventually diluting it to the point that fermentation can begin. Long shelf life of honey is attributed to an enzyme found in the stomach of bees. The bees mix glucose oxidase with expelled nectar they previously consumed, which then creates two by-products: Adulteration of honey is the addition of other sugars, syrups, or compounds into honey to change its flavor or viscosity, make it cheaper to produce, or increase the fructose content to stave off crystallization.
According to the Codex Alimentarius of the United Nations, any product labeled as honey or pure honey must be a wholly natural product, although different nations have their own laws concerning labeling. The practice was common dating back to ancient times, when honey was sometimes blended with plant syrups like maple , birch , or sorghum and sold to unsuspecting customers.
Sometimes crystallized honey was mixed with flour or other fillers, hiding the adulteration from buyers until the honey was liquefied. In modern times, the most common adulteration-ingredient became clear, almost-flavorless corn syrup, which, when mixed with honey, is often very difficult to distinguish from unadulterated honey.
Isotope ratio mass spectrometry can be used to detect addition of corn syrup and cane sugar by the carbon isotopic signature. Addition of sugars originating from corn or sugar cane C4 plants , unlike the plants used by bees, and also sugar beet , which are predominantly C3 plants skews the isotopic ratio of sugars present in honey,  but does not influence the isotopic ratio of proteins.
In an unadulterated honey, the carbon isotopic ratios of sugars and proteins should match. In the United States, according to the National Honey Board  an organization supervised by the United States Department of Agriculture ,  "honey stipulates a pure product that does not allow for the addition of any other substance In , global production of honey was 1.
Over its history as a food,  the main uses of honey are in cooking , baking , desserts , such as mel i mató , as a spread on bread , as an addition to various beverages, such as tea , and as a sweetener in some commercial beverages. Honey barbecue and honey mustard are other common flavors used in sauces. Possibly the world's oldest fermented beverage dating to 9, years ago,  mead "honey wine" is the alcoholic product made by adding yeast to the honey—water must , followed by weeks or months of fermentation.
Primary fermentation usually takes 28—56 days, after which the must is placed in a secondary fermentation vessel for 6—9 months of aging. Mead varieties include drinks called metheglin with spices or herbs , melomel with fruit juices, such as grape, specifically called pyment , hippocras with cinnamon , and sack mead high concentration of honey ,  many of which have been developed as commercial products numbering in the hundreds in the United States as of The physical properties of honey vary, depending on water content, the type of flora used to produce it pasturage , temperature, and the proportion of the specific sugars it contains.
Fresh honey is a supersaturated liquid, containing more sugar than the water can typically dissolve at ambient temperatures. At room temperature, honey is a supercooled liquid, in which the glucose will precipitate into solid granules. This forms a semisolid solution of precipitated glucose crystals in a solution of fructose and other ingredients.
Below this temperature, honey can be either in a metastable state, meaning that it will not crystallize until a seed crystal is added, or, more often, it is in a "labile" state, being saturated with enough sugars to crystallize spontaneously.
Honeys that are supersaturated with a very high percentage of glucose, such as brassica honey, crystallize almost immediately after harvesting, while honeys with a low percentage of glucose, such as chestnut or tupelo honey, do not crystallize. Some types of honey may produce very large but few crystals, while others produce many small crystals.
Crystallization is also affected by water content, because a high percentage of water inhibits crystallization, as does a high dextrin content. Crystal nuclei seeds tend to form more readily if the honey is disturbed, by stirring, shaking, or agitating, rather than if left at rest.
Therefore, larger but fewer crystals tend to form at higher temperatures, while smaller but more-numerous crystals usually form at lower temperatures. Since honey normally exists below its melting point, it is a supercooled liquid. At very low temperatures, honey does not freeze solid.
Instead, as the temperatures become lower, the viscosity of honey increases. Like most viscous liquids , the honey becomes thick and sluggish with decreasing temperature. Below this temperature, honey enters a glassy state and becomes an amorphous solid noncrystalline. The viscosity of honey is affected greatly by both temperature and water content.
The higher the water percentage, the more easily honey flows. Above its melting point, however, water has little effect on viscosity. Aside from water content, the composition of honey also has little effect on viscosity, with the exception of a few types. Viscosity increase due to temperature occurs very slowly at first. A few types of honey have unusual viscous properties. Honeys from heather or manuka display thixotropic properties. These types of honey enter a gel-like state when motionless, but then liquify when stirred.
Because honey contains electrolytes , in the form of acids and minerals, it exhibits varying degrees of electrical conductivity.
Measurements of the electrical conductivity are used to determine the quality of honey in terms of ash content. The effect honey has on light is useful for determining the type and quality. Variations in the water content alter the refractive index of honey. Water content can easily be measured with a refractometer. Typically, the refractive index for honey ranges from 1. Honey also has an effect on polarized light , in that it rotates the polarization plane.
The fructose gives a negative rotation, while the glucose gives a positive one. The overall rotation can be used to measure the ratio of the mixture. Honey has the ability to absorb moisture directly from the air, a phenomenon called hygroscopy. The amount of water the honey absorbs is dependent on the relative humidity of the air.
Honey tends to absorb more water in this manner than the individual sugars allow on their own, which may be due to other ingredients it contains.
Fermentation of honey usually occurs after crystallization, because without the glucose, the liquid portion of the honey primarily consists of a concentrated mixture of fructose, acids, and water, providing the yeast with enough of an increase in the water percentage for growth.
Like all sugar compounds, honey caramelizes if heated sufficiently, becoming darker in color, and eventually burns. However, honey contains fructose, which caramelizes at lower temperatures than glucose. Honey also contains acids, which act as catalysts for caramelization. The specific types of acids and their amounts play a primary role in determining the exact temperature.
The amino acids form darkened compounds called melanoidins , during a Maillard reaction. The Maillard reaction occurs slowly at room temperature, taking from a few to several months to show visible darkening, but speeds up dramatically with increasing temperatures. However, the reaction can also be slowed by storing the honey at colder temperatures. Unlike many other liquids, honey has very poor thermal conductivity of 0. However, honey takes substantially longer to liquify when just above the melting point than at elevated temperatures.
However, many of the minor substances in honey can be affected greatly by heating, changing the flavor, aroma, or other properties, so heating is usually done at the lowest temperature possible for the shortest amount of time.
The average pH of honey is 3. However, the different types and their amounts vary considerably, depending on the type of honey. These acids may be aromatic or aliphatic nonaromatic.
The aliphatic acids contribute greatly to the flavor of honey by interacting with the flavors of other ingredients. Organic acids comprise most of the acids in honey, accounting for 0. Honey is classified by its floral source, and divisions are made according to the packaging and processing used. Also, regional honeys are identified. In the USA, honey is also graded on its color and optical density by USDA standards, graded on the Pfund scale, which ranges from 0 for "water white" honey to more than for "dark amber" honey.
Generally, honey is classified by the floral source of the nectar from which it was made. Honeys can be from specific types of flower nectars or can be blended after collection. The pollen in honey is traceable to floral source and therefore region of origin. The rheological and melissopalynological properties of honey can be used to identify the major plant nectar source used in its production.
Most commercially available honey is blended,  meaning it is a mixture of two or more honeys differing in floral source, color, flavor, density, or geographic origin. Polyfloral honey, also known as wildflower honey,  is derived from the nectar of many types of flowers.
The taste may vary from year to year, and the aroma and the flavor can be more or less intense, depending on which bloomings are prevalent. Monofloral honey is made primarily from the nectar of one type of flower.
Different monofloral honeys have a distinctive flavor and color because of differences between their principal nectar sources. In practice, because of the difficulties in containing bees, a small proportion of any honey will be from additional nectar from other flower types.
Some typical European examples include thyme , thistle , heather , acacia , dandelion , sunflower , lavender , honeysuckle , and varieties from lime and chestnut trees. Egypt , examples include clover, cotton , and citrus mainly orange blossoms. Instead of taking nectar, bees can take honeydew , the sweet secretions of aphids or other plant sap-sucking insects.
Honeydew honey is very dark brown in color, with a rich fragrance of stewed fruit or fig jam, and is not as sweet as nectar honeys. The production of honeydew honey has some complications and dangers. This honey has a much larger proportion of indigestibles than light floral honeys, thus causing dysentery to the bees,  resulting in the death of colonies in areas with cold winters.
Good beekeeping management requires the removal of honeydew prior to winter in colder areas. Bees collecting this resource also have to be fed protein supplements, as honeydew lacks the protein-rich pollen accompaniment gathered from flowers.
Generally, honey is bottled in its familiar liquid form. However, honey is sold in other forms, and can be subjected to a variety of processing methods. In the US, honey grading is performed voluntarily USDA does offer inspection and grading "as on-line in-plant or lot inspection Honey is graded based upon a number of factors, including water content, flavor and aroma, absence of defects, and clarity.
Honey is also classified by color, though it is not a factor in the grading scale. Other countries may have differing standards on the grading of honey. India , for example, certifies honey grades based on additional factors, such as the Fiehe's test, and other empirical measurements. High-quality honey can be distinguished by fragrance, taste, and consistency.
The honey, when poured, should form small, temporary layers that disappear fairly quickly, indicating high viscosity. Honey with excessive water content is not suitable for long-term preservation. In jars, fresh honey should appear as a pure, consistent fluid, and should not set in layers. Within a few weeks to a few months of extraction, many varieties of honey crystallize into a cream-colored solid. Some varieties of honey, including tupelo, acacia, and sage, crystallize less regularly.
Overheating is indicated by change in enzyme levels, for instance, diastase activity, which can be determined with the Schade or the Phadebas methods. A fluffy film on the surface of the honey like a white foam , or marble-colored or white-spotted crystallization on a container's sides, is formed by air bubbles trapped during the bottling process.
A Italian study determined nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy can be used to distinguish between different honey types, and can be used to pinpoint the area where it was produced. Researchers were able to identify differences in acacia and polyfloral honeys by the differing proportions of fructose and sucrose , as well as differing levels of aromatic amino acids phenylalanine and tyrosine.
This ability allows greater ease of selecting compatible stocks. In a gram serving, honey provides kilo calories with no essential nutrients in significant content.
One study found that mixed floral honey from several United States regions typically contains: A NMR spectroscopy study of 20 different honeys from Germany found that their sugar contents comprised:. This NMR method was not able to quantify maltose, galactose , and the other minor sugars as compared to fructose and glucose. Some evidence shows that sterilized honey may help healing in skin wounds after surgery and mild partial thickness burns when used in a dressing, but in general, the evidence for the use of honey in wound treatment is of such low quality that firm conclusions cannot be drawn.
Components of honey under preliminary research for their potential antibacterial properties include methylglyoxal , hydrogen peroxide , and royalisin also called defensin For chronic and acute coughs, a Cochrane review found no strong evidence for or against the use of honey.
The UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency recommends avoiding giving over the counter cough and common cold medication to children under six, and suggests "a homemade remedy containing honey and lemon is likely to be just as useful and safer to take", but warns that honey should not be given to babies because of the risk of infant botulism.
The use of honey has been recommended as a temporary intervention for known or suspected button cell ingestions to reduce the risk and severity of injury to the esophagus caused by the battery prior to its removal. No evidence shows the benefit of using honey to treat cancer ,  although honey may be useful for controlling side effects of radiation therapy or chemotherapy applied in cancer treatment.
Consumption is sometimes advocated as a treatment for seasonal allergies due to pollen , but scientific evidence to support the claim is inconclusive. Although the majority of calories in honey is from fructose, honey does not cause increased weight gain  and fructose by itself is not an independent factor for weight gain. Although honey is generally safe when taken in typical food amounts,   there are various, potential adverse effects or interactions it may have in combination with excessive consumption, existing disease conditions or drugs.
People who have a weakened immune system may be at risk of bacterial or fungal infection from eating honey,  although there is no high-quality clinical evidence that this occurs commonly.
Infants can develop botulism after consuming honey contaminated with Clostridium botulinum endospores. Infantile botulism shows geographical variation. In the UK, only six cases have been reported between and ,  yet the U. Mad honey intoxication is a result of eating honey containing grayanotoxins. Symptoms include dizziness, weakness, excessive perspiration, nausea, and vomiting.
Less commonly, low blood pressure, shock, heart rhythm irregularities, and convulsions may occur, with rare cases resulting in death. Honey intoxication is more likely when using "natural" unprocessed honey and honey from farmers who may have a small number of hives.
Commercial processing, with pooling of honey from numerous sources, is thought to dilute any toxins. Toxic honey may also result when bees are proximate to tutu bushes Coriaria arborea and the vine hopper insect Scolypopa australis. Both are found throughout New Zealand. Bees gather honeydew produced by the vine hopper insects feeding on the tutu plant.
This introduces the poison tutin into honey. Symptoms of tutin poisoning include vomiting, delirium, giddiness, increased excitability, stupor, coma, and violent convulsions.
Honey use and production has a long and varied history. It is frequently used as a talisman and symbol of sweetness. Honey collection is an ancient activity. The figures are depicted carrying baskets or gourds, and using a ladder or series of ropes to reach the wild nest. The greater honeyguide bird guides humans to wild bee hives  and this behavior may have evolved with early hominids.
The oldest known honey remains were found in the country of Georgia. Archaeologists found honey remains on the inner surface of clay vessels unearthed in an ancient tomb, dating back some 4,—5, years. In ancient Egypt , honey was used to sweeten cakes and biscuits, and was used in many other dishes.
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