Friday Fun Facts – Crystallization


Bees & Honey

As you can see in this photo bees like honey too!  If you look closely you will see their little brown proboscis engaged in retrieving honey from the section of this comb that was popped open.

With scarcely any exceptions honey will crystallize sooner or later.  Many of you are tempted to throw out your honey when this occurs.  The once liquid sweetness has turned into a solid mass, seemingly unable to be used.  Here is the good news – honey does not go bad.  It is in fact the only food for human consumption that does not spoil.

There are a couple of determining factors in crystalized honey.  One is the temperature at which we store our honey.  Never refrigerate a jar of honey or you are guaranteed to hasten the crystallization process.  Storing honey at room temperature is acceptable and a warm area will reduce the speed at which your honey turns to a solid form.  However, if storing it in a very warm zone may cause honey to darken over time.  You should know that the honey is not compromised if it darkens.

Another contributing factor to crystallization is the ratio of glucose to fructose in any particular honey.  Honey that contains more glucose than fructose will tend to crystallize faster.  Some plants produce nectar rich in glucose while others produce more fructose.  This is all dependent on where bees are foraging.  My bees have produced some honey which didn’t crystallize at all before I used it up, yet other years my honey has proven to crystallize rather quickly.

If you find yourself with a jar of pure honey that crystallizes here is the remedy.  Place your jar of honey in a deep bowl or pot, boil a kettle of water and pour the water into the container holding the honey jar.  (I always cover it with a clean kitchen towel to help retain the heat) After the jar begins to warm, take it out, open it up and stir.  Replace the lid and the jar of honey into the hot water bath, repeating the process until your mass of sugar has turned back into a liquid sweetness.

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About The Orange Bee

Food Blogger - Bee Keeper - Mom - Wife - Lover of Life
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