Different characters for every taste
The diversity of flora is reflected in its honey, as every flower or plant has its own special nectar or honeydew with an individual taste.
As a pure and natural product, each honey therefore has its own individual character. This is expressed in the typical taste, colour and consistency, as well as in the varying amounts of pollen.
The determining factor is the origin of the honey. What region does the honey come from? What plants have the bees visited? The most important distinguishing features of honey are explained below.
The honey colour palette is as varied as the range of different plants and flowers: from an almost- white rapeseed honey and an almost-clear-as-water, transparent acacia honey, through a buttercup-yellow mountain flower honey, a slightly-reddish orange blossom honey and a reddish-brown heather honey to a black fir honey. Only one element is responsible for the colour: the nectar in flower honey or the honeydew in fir honey.
Every natural honey becomes solid at some point. The beekeeper calls this candying. The speed of this process depends on the proportion of natural fructose and glucose in the nectar. And that depends in turn on the species of flower. The more grape sugar (glucose) contained in the honey, the faster it solidifies. Rapeseed, with its high proportion of glucose, crystallises already a few days after harvesting. If there is a higher ratio of fruit sugar (fructose), the honey remains runny - as in the case of acacia honey, which often only crystallises years after bottling.
Tip: When the liquid honey has crystallised, it can be carefully liquefied again in a pan of warm water. The temperature should remain under the beehive temperature of 40 °C in order to retain all the valuable ingredients.
Countries and regions
The climate, the plants, the natural fragrances and the traditions of each country and each region make it unique. The characteristics of the landscape and the flora, as in the case of wine, determine the taste and aroma of the honey produced there. If a honey is named after a region, it may only contain ingredients from this region. This can be clearly proven by a pollen analysis.
Monofloral honey is considered to be a rare speciality. In order to obtain this special honey, the beekeeper installs his hives in areas with a wide range of special flowers. The loyalty of the bees to a certain flower comes in very useful. Each bee gathers nectar or honeydew from the same plant until the supply is exhausted. Using its dance codes, the bee informs others about the source area. Monofloral honey must predominantly originate from the specified source and demonstrate the taste associated with the specific variety. This is checked with sensory tests, chemical/physical examinations and a pollen analysis.
Bees drink in nectar from many different flowers and process it into flower honey. But where do forest and fir honey come from? This is known as honeydew honey.
The basis of honeydew is the sugary juice from the sieve tubes of plants. Sap-feeding insects transform it into sticky-sweet honeydew, which the bees then drink in. Honeydew honey is therefore processed twice, which makes it darker in colour and gives it a stronger taste.
Most honey is extracted by a centrifuge. In this common process, the beekeeper first removes the wax caps from the honeycomb cells. In other words he rids them of the wax seals that the bees use to close up the honeycombs. The honey is extracted from the honeycombs by in a centrifugal honey separator, carefully and without heating. Comb honey is a particular speciality. This honey is presented in honeycomb cells built and sealed by bees. it is either sold as pure honeycomb pieces packed in cellophane paper or a plastic box or embedded in liquid honey. BIHOPHAR offers this speciality with its product acacia honey with honeycomb.