Honey FAQ

Honey Composition

Honey is a natural source of carbohydrates. It is about 38.5% fructose, 31% glucose, 17.1% water, maltose, sucrose, and other complex carbohydrates. Honey also contains many vitamins including B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid. Important minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and sodium as well as several amino acids are all found in honey. Antioxidant compounds which can delay damage to cells and tissues, are also found in honey. So far, chrysin, pinobanksin, vitamin C, catalase and pinocembrin have been identified. Generally, darker honeys have higher concentrations of antioxidants than lighter honeys.

  • One tablespoon of honey has 64 calories, 0.1 grams of protein and 17 grams of carbohydrates.

Honey Storage

Honey should be stored at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. Over time honey will crystallize. This does not spoil the honey. Placing the bottle in warm water for a few minutes will reverse crystallization.

How do bees pollinate plants?

As bees travel from blossom to blossom in search of nectar, they brush against the pollen-bearing parts of a flower (anther or stamen) and pick up pollen. When the honey bee goes to another flower for more food, some of the pollen from the first flower sticks to the second flower. In this way, the flowers are pollinated. Almonds, apples, avocados, blueberries, cantaloupes, cherries, cranberries, cucumbers, sunflowers, watermelon and many other crops all benefit from honey bees for pollination.

Why can’t I feed honey to my baby less than 1 year of age?

Honey may contain Clostridium botulinum spores that can cause infant botulism - a rare but serious disease that affects the nervous system of young babies (under one year of age). C. botulinum spores are present throughout the environment and may be found in dust, soil and improperly canned foods. Adults and children over one year of age are routinely exposed to, but not normally affected by, C. botulinum spores. Honey is safe to consume during pregnancy and lactation. While infants are susceptible to the infant botulism, adults, including pregnant females, are not. The concern for babies stems from the fact that infants lack the fully developed gastrointestinal tract of older humans. Since the mother is not in danger of developing this condition, the unborn baby is protected. Spores are inactivated when manufactured food products (such as cereals or nuts) receive a roasting heat treatment. Graham crackers or cereal, for example, would not contain any viable microbial spores.

Why is some honey darker in color?

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 Blossoms.  In general, lighter colored honeys are mild in flavor, while darker honeys are usually more robust in flavor.

Honey is made by bees in one of the world’s most efficient facilities, the beehive. The 60,000 or so bees in a beehive may collectively travel as much as 55,000 miles and visit more than two million flowers to gather enough nectar to make just a pound of honey!