It seems anything that is either golden or sweet is inherently valued as something that is valuable by the human mind. Honey just so happens to have both qualities. According to the Christian bible, Israel is “the Land of Milk and Honey”. In ancient history, it was typically offered up to the gods because it was seen as such a valuable food item. Prior to continuing on and getting your mouth watering, let’s go over some of the things that are required to actually produce it.
Honey is the byproduct of honeybees. They gather the nectar of flowers and it is turned into a syrupy and sticky substance that is sweet and delicious. It is ultimately consisting of around 17 to 20% water, 76 to 80% glucose-fructose, wax, pollen, and various other salts. The properties and characteristics of honey including flavour and colour are largely dependent on where the nectar was taken from. For instance, clover products honey that is white. Whereas, heather produces one that is much more red/brown in colour. Lavender produces one that is much more amber.
An average-sized bee colony can produce anywhere from 27 to 45 kgs of honey on an annual basis. The structure of a colony is typically spread out into three ties. There are different classes including worker class bees. This class usually features anywhere from 50,000 to 70,000 bees. A worker bee usually has an average lifespan lasting anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks. Each bee is capable of collecting around 1 teaspoon of nectar during this time period. To produce just a half of a kg of honey, it requires as much as 1.8 kgs of nectar from the bees.
From there, the nectar is poured directly into the empty cells of the honeycomb. The other worker bees are tasked with ingesting the nectar directly from the cells in the honeycomb and adding more enzymes to it. This ultimately turns the nectar into honey. When the honey is fully ripe, it is poured back into the cells of the honeycomb and it is completely sealed and turned into the final form of honey.
As soon as a honeycomb is filled with a lot of honey, a beekeeper is tasked with removing the honey from it. To do this, a beekeeper needs to wear the appropriate protective gear including a veiled helmet and gloves that are protective.
From there, the honeycombs are sorted into an extractor, such as those used by Flux Pumps, which are a big drums that utilise centrifugal force. This is used to extract the honey out. Each individual honeycomb can weigh as much as 2.27 kgs. As soon as the extractor begins working, the honey is extracted and it is shoved against the walls. From there, it melts down the bottom of the extractor. A bucket is typically situated right under it to collect everything. The bucket usually has 2 sieves in order to separate the wax and the honey.
As soon as the honey is fully extracted, it is then shipped directly to a distributor. From there, the honey is directly placed into heated tanks and it is held at around 48.9 Celsius for around 24 hours to kill off any bacteria and other impurities including pollen and parts of the remaining bees.