Honey organic: good for humans, animals, the environment
Organic honey is honey that is made organically. To determine whether honey is organic, we look at the vegetation that bees eat to produce their nectar. If the planting is completely organic, it may be called organic honey.
Different types of honey
It is the beekeeper who determines, by placing hives, where the bees from can eat. Bees are known to stay close to their hives.
For honey to be called organic, it has to meet quite a few requirements. The main requirement is that the bees are kept in an area where there are no busy roads or industry within a radius of 3 kilometers, nor may chemical pesticides be used.
The luxury of 'bio bees'
The combs and parts of the hive in which biological bees are kept must not be chemically disinfected. If diseases occur among the bees, they are treated in a completely natural way.
Organic beekeepers are also not allowed to use chemical stains or paints in and on their hives. There is an important reason for this: bees are very sensitive to chemicals, which can easily negatively affect their health. Organic bees are spared in everything.
Why humans need the bee
Honey is naturally delicious, but a luxury. The pollination of food is something we absolutely need bees for. If bees couldn't pollinate, farmers' crops would suffer. That is why we should be 'kind' to the bee. Buying only organic honey ensures that the bee's well-being is taken into account. Moreover, organic honey is simply a lot tastier than other honey.
But we "steal" the honey from the bees, right? Don't the bees need their own honey? That's right, but we're certainly not the only ones trying to get bee honey. Various birds, insects and mammals cannot keep their hands off it either. Bees therefore naturally produce more honey than they need themselves.
What exactly is flower honey?
Talk to your children about 'flowers and bees': you probably know that statement. Of course, the statement does not come out of the blue. Bees are known to be very 'loyal' when it comes to choosing their flower: as long as it contains nectar, they will keep returning to it, even if there are plenty of alternatives.
Flower honey is honey that is made by bees that fly to a certain type of flower. For example, you have acacia honey and linden honey.
When can it be called 'flower honey'?
This has to do with the pollen in the honey. The honey must contain at least 90% pollen from a certain type of flower before it can be named after the flower. 'Flower honey' as a general term, you often see in the supermarket: this is honey from which the origin of the flower pollinated by the bees cannot be traced, but acacia honey comes specifically from the acacia flower.
What is cold swung honey?
It is often stated on labels: 'cold swung', but what do producers actually mean by this? You can only swing honey cold, not hot, because then the beeswax will melt. The beekeeper first removes the wax from the honeycombs with which the honey is sealed. Then the beekeeper removes the honey from the combs by placing the combs in a centrifuge. This then knocks the honey out of the combs. Nothing is heated in this process. So honey being swung always happens cold.
What is the added value of the term then? Well, often the honey is still heated after swinging. With the term 'cold-swung', a producer indicates that his honey has not been heated after being swung.
Why heat honey?
People are used to liquid honey. This is also easiest to spread on bread, or add to the tea. But honey crystallizes. This makes the honey hard and grainy. Honey is therefore heated to make it liquid and also to prevent it from recrystallizing again. However, there is a very big drawback. Honey naturally contains a lot of pollen grains, vitamins, proteins and enzymes. The pollen grains cause crystallization. Honey that no longer crystallizes has been heated at such a high temperature that all vitamins, proteins and enzymes have been lost. All the good qualities of the honey have been destroyed and what remains is just a syrupy sweetener without too much nutritional value.
Our honey is of course not heated, because organic, natural food is our top priority. So you will see that our honey crystallizes. Crystallization is not bad. It is a natural process and does not change the quality of the honey. In fact, you could say that crystallized honey shows that it is still full of vitamins, proteins and enzymes. Unheated honey (or cold-throwing honey) is therefore called raw honey.
How to heat honey
If you nevertheless like to spread a liquid, but raw honey on your bread or pancake, you can warm the crystallized honey in a responsible manner. Place the honey jar in a pan with preheated water of no more than 40 degrees and let the honey melt slowly. Top quality honey is not heated above body temperature. This is in fact the same temperature as that which is maintained in the beehive.
What exactly does organic honey contain?
Organic honey is extremely rare, because it has to meet strict requirements. But you can taste the quality of the honey right away. If honey is organic, it consists of about 80% sugars and 17% water. The three remaining percentages consist of pollen, vitamins, proteins, enzymes and other substances. Honey is a carbohydrate (singular) and can cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels. This is due to the Glycemic Value: honey is quickly absorbed by the blood, unlike other carbohydrates. So are other natural sugars, plus most sweeteners.