The benefits of honey go beyond its great taste, it is the original super food. A great natural source of carbohydrates which provide strength and energy to our bodies, honey is also antimicrobial and hygroscopic which makes it a popular food as well as a medicine. Honey also contains a wide array of vitamins, minerals & amino acids. The vitamins found in honey can include niacin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid; minerals present include calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium and zinc. Honey has a phytochemical profile which includes poly phenols and other natural health-promoting nutrients that can act as antioxidants.
Why unfiltered honey?
Bee pollen is full of easily assimilated protein and lecithin, it boosts energy and helps fight allergies.
Why unfiltered local honey?
Allergies arise from continuous over-exposure to the same allergens. Honeybees will collect local pollen from various species and it will be present in small amounts in honey that was gathered by bees. When people living in these same areas eat honey that was produced in that environment, the honey will often act as an immune booster. The good effects of this local honey are best when the honey is taken a little bit (a couple of teaspoonfuls) a day for several months prior to the pollen season. For the best allergy prevention, experts advise to get honey with a high pollen content that was collected close to where you live. We make a honey and pollen mix specifically for hay fever sufferers here.
Why raw unfiltered local honey?
All Bax Bees honey is unheated and unfiltered. It is not pasteurised like commercial honey producers do to break down the sugar crystals. That is why their honey will stay clear on the supermarket shelf. If you heat honey above 45’C it starts to destroy the antioxidants, important enzymes, vitamins, yeasts and other beneficial attributes. People often find that heated honey loses much of its natural aroma and flavour.
My jar of honey has become solid and opaque (crystallised), is it still good?
Yes your honey is OK! Crystallisation is a natural occurrence for all honey, the speed it happens at depends on the type of honey and the temperature it’s stored at. It does not affect the quality, taste (except texture), or the nutritional content. Because we prefer to keep as close to the way the bees made it as possible our clear honeys may granulate, however this is not a problem but a further sign of its natural quality. Should you prefer to return the honey to its original transparent liquid state then simply warm it gently & stir the honey until all the crystals have melted again.
Best before date?
The unique chemical composition of low water content and relatively high acidic level in honey creates a low pH (3.2-4.5) environment that makes it very unfavourable for bacteria or other micro-organism to grow. Thus, the “Best Before Dates” on the jar indicating honey shelf life are not relevant and are just a legal requirement so long as it is stored correctly. Effectively, honey should last indefinitely, even after opening; there’s a great website giving more detail on this here.
Honey is hygroscopic so will absorb moisture from the environment so should be kept well sealed in a cool place without direct exposure to sunlight, the shelf in a pantry is ideal. We take great care in gathering only fully ripened honey and use a refractometer to check that the water content at bottling is less than 19%. Due to this high sugar concentration, the natural wild yeasts present in honey will pose little risk of fermentation because osmosis will draw sufficient water from the yeast to force them into dormancy. In honey that has a higher proportion of water, the yeast may survive and cause fermentation to begin in storage which is another reason why many commercial producers pasteurise their honey.
No honey, beeswax or any other bee product produced in the UK can be labelled as ‘organic’. Even if the bee hive is positioned on certified organic land it is not possible to guarantee that everywhere the bees have been to collect nectar is also certified as organic. Obviously when we take the bees to forage on the heather in the Welsh moorland in August the chances are that the honey actually is organic, however it may not be labelled as such.
Some honeys, particularly those with a high glucose content such as oilseed rape or ivy, may have a white film or bubbles at the top of the jar. This is perfectly normal and an indication of high quality, raw, unadulterated honey. As it crystalises over time, honey will usually have a slight layer of white foam on the surface, marble-like swirling or white spots in the upper sides of the jar. This is caused by air bubbles that have risen to the top. It is a sign that the honey has been packed without heating. It is light, flavourful, and packed with air bubbles that have trapped some of the wondrous stuff that is in raw honey: pollen, propolis, wax, and, of course, raw honey.