It is common to see honey in your local grocery stores. You might even have a jar or squeeze bottle or two in your pantry. It’s easy to take this usual pantry item, but a little research will tell you that there’s more to honey than meets the eye. The quality and flavor of honey is actually affected by several factors:
- the kind of floral nectar that the bees collect
- the floral source of the honey
- environmental pollution
One of the most prized honeys in the world is called pine honey. This type of honey enjoys a high demand in Europe and Asia. It has been reputed to have medicinal properties and is also used in cooking. The rich, yet pleasant aroma and flavor of pine honey makes it a great sweetener for black tea. It is also a perfect companion for hot scones and French toast. Some people also use this type of honey to sweeten their dishes.
Pine honey is also called forest honey, honeydew, or fir honey. It is interesting to know how pine tree honey production occurs. Bees make this forest honey by gathering honeydews from pine trees, instead of from the usual flower nectars. Tiny insects secrete honeydew as they begin to feed on the sap of pine trees. Since honeydew is a sweet sugary liquid, bees love to collect and process them into honeydew honey.
There are a lot of advantages for beekeepers who are harvesting pine honey. The harvest is stable throughout the year, the trees are not damaged by pesticides and crime-related robberies are very limited.
On the downside, bee colonies are so focused on collecting honeydew that they go into the winter months in a somewhat bad shape. Disease can be easily spread since these colonies are placed in a very large group. Beekeepers also face difficulty in determining when to move large bee colonies. Since the amount of honeydew that is produced depends on weather conditions as well as the robustness of the trees, beekeepers can be caught off-guard.
There is a lot that is happening in the world of honey, and Urbangrains is now producing a guide to understand this difficult process – stay tuned over the next days!