Crimes on honey


A spoonful of cancerous tar

A poisoned honey was discovered and immediately withdrawn from sale. The quantity of cancerous oxymethylfurfural times exceeded the permissible norm. And what’s of that? Nothing! The sellers who called themselves a regional beekeepers society paid a small fine. The investigation that had been begun was closed by somebody’s order. How can we keep away from swindlers? Honey can’t be thin in winter. If you see such a beautiful fluid honey in bottles –pass! This honey has been heated, distilled, poured. You can eat this pasteurised product but it's of little food value - it's sweet and tasty but all the biologically active substances have been destroyed. If honey has been heated over 40C –bee gift turns into a poison, concentrating substances that lead to malign turmor. Be prudent! By its odour overheated honey resembles lollipop or grilled sugar. If you pour it into a saucer it forms a dimple. Natural honey in summer just out of a hive packs like tissue. True honey when tasted smarts a bit. This is the way people are used to determine honey characteristics. And scientifically the higher diastase number is the better the honey is. This is the way to test the presence of diastases: pour into a test-tube 10 ml of water solution of honey and add a bit of 1% starch solution, shake it and put on a steam (45C) for an hour. Drop some iodine into the test-tube after cooling it. If honey is natural the mixture will color blue. There are still rare sorts of honey –white acacia, mountain chestnut, that do not harden, but it’s almost impossible to buy them. Unless some generous beekeeper from his own stock will give it to you. But in sale you can find only sugared honey. Though this word - sugared - can't be used to describe high quality honey. If bees have been fed by sugar then honey won’t be medicinal. And there won’t be any biologically active substances, vitamins, ferments, and microelements.

What are other honey falsifications?

It is done like this: honey is heated, then aromatisers (now there are plenty of them for example "Zuko" - a Spanish substance), semolina, starch are added. Only ripe honey after crystallization will have a hard and homogeneous form, and won’t lose aroma. But unripe will divide into layers. Comb-honey is the most expensive and of high quality. But if a fluid honey is sold in winter and the seller try to assure you that they have just pumped it out –don’t believe them. A beekeeper will profit more by selling comb honey - it is 3 times more expensive than pumped honey. Closed ripe honey has a whitish covering. Humidity there shouldn’t exceed 18020%. Bees have stored it for themselves for winter and have conserved it. It’s biologically active, natural, delicious honey. Now there appear a lot of exotic names for honey such as sea-buckthorn honey. Presence of pollen of a definite plant determines its name.

So a bee has brought in its tongue a drop of nectar, its humidity is about 80%. It gives it to another bee that steams it in its mouth and seals it by special antiseptical ferments. Comb honey can be stored for thousands of years. Discovery of comb honey that has been kept for 2300 years is a good example. Honey preserved its aroma. There are no limits for keeping honey. It is like wine - the older the better. Some beekeepers store it for 5-7 years in linden barrels.


English translation © Irina Yelsukova