Honey

Honey ( /ˈhʌni/) is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees (the genus Apis) is the one most commonly referenced. It is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans. Honey produced by other bees and insects has distinctly different properties.

Honey bees transform nectar into honey by a process of regurgitation and evaporation. They store it as a primary food source in wax honeycombs inside the beehive.

Honey gets its sweetness from the monosaccharides, fructose, and glucose, and has approximately the same relative sweetness as that of granulated sugar. It has attractive chemical properties for baking, and a distinctive flavor that leads some people to prefer it over sugar and other sweeteners. Most microorganisms do not grow in honey because of its low water activity of 0.6. However, honey sometimes contains dormant endospores of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which can be dangerous to infants, as the endospores can transform into toxin-producing bacteria in the infant's immature intestinal tract, leading to illness and even death (see Health hazards below).

Honey has a long history of human consumption, and is used in various foods and beverages as a sweetener and flavoring. It also has a role in religion and symbolism. Flavors of honey vary based on the nectar source, and various types and grades of honey are available. It is also used in various medicinal traditions to treat ailments. The study of pollens and spores in raw honey (melissopalynology) can determine floral sources of honey. Because bees carry an electrostatic charge, and can attract other particles, the same techniques of melissopalynology can be used in area environmental studies of radioactive particles, dust or particulate pollution.

Read more about Honey:  Formation, Physical and Chemical Properties, In History, Culture, and Folklore, Collecting Honey, Nutrition, Classification, Preservation, In Medicine, Honey-producing and Consuming Countries, Gallery of Honey Harvesting

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... Apiculture should be given more attention because honey as the main bee product is irreplaceable in nutrition ... Besides honey, bee products are considered to be wax used in chemical and pharmaceutical industry, propolis, royal jelly and bee venom ... Honey production is an additional activity of the population by which the family budgets are increased ...

Famous quotes containing the word honey:

    A kiss is but a kiss now! and no wave
    Of a great flood that whirls me to the sea.
    But, as you will! we’ll sit contentedly,
    And eat our pot of honey on the grave.
    George Meredith (1828–1909)

    I eat my peas with honey,
    —Unknown. I Eat My Peas with Honey (l. 1)

    Hoping that, when the devil days of my hurt
    Drag out to their last dregs and I resume
    On such legs as are left me, in such heart
    As I can manage, remember to go home,
    My taste will not have turned insensitive
    To honey and bread old purity could love.
    Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917)