The Liquid Gold of Jacksonville – honey!

Spring Honey in Jackonsville Oh, Honey!

Liquid gold. Raw honey is called liquid gold because it is not only delicious but also antibacterial and antifungal.  It suppresses coughs and sooths throat irritation naturally. All while doubling as a super sweetener.

Spring honey is light in color and tastes like all the flowers the bees collected from – in North Florida, that is plants like holly, citrus, magnolia, azalea, maples, blueberry, oak, clover, vibernum, and others.

In the fall, the honey made is darker in color, made of nectar from Spanish needles, asters, clovers, mints, fall blooming trees like the Golden Rain trees. Interspersed in there are all the homeowner yards with their planted salvias and aloes and begonias, goldenrod, crape myrtles and other fall nectar bearing flowers. The flavor of honey varies depending on what flowers were visited to make the honey.

Jacksonville honeyHoney contains pollens, enzymes, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, making it a power boost addition to your toast, tea, cornbread or oatmeal.

What makes honey “raw”? Raw honey is taken from the hives, spun out of the honeycomb without doing much harm to the comb. Then the comb is returned to bees so they have a safe place to live and work.

Once the honey is taken from the honeycomb, it is filtered to remove bits of honeycomb from the honey. Once the honey is clear, you have edible raw honey. It still contains pollen, vitamins, and enzymes.

Honey that is not raw but pasteurized has also been heated. Once it is heated, it loses many of the natural amino acids and vitamins and enzymes found in raw honey. Commercial beekeepers often heat their honey to increase the shelf life.

Raw honey can crystalize, forming solid granules. Like granulated sugar only a golden color and sticky. It’s still fine to eat, and some people actually prefer it in crunchy crystalized form. You can return it to liquid form by putting the bottle in warm water for several minutes. If you have a plastic bottle, don’t use the microwave. The bottle is likely to melt. (It’s not pretty.) And remember that the heat can affect the enzymes, vitamins and minerals that help make honey so special. It’s very easy to use too much heat in the microwave. Heating on low in a saucepan works well.

Honey doesn't go off. It's been found in an Egyptian tomb.Although time may change the way it looks, honey doesn’t go bad. Honey has been found in King Tut’s Tomb in Egypt that was 3000 years old. Amazing.

Bees dry honey they produce by reducing the moisture to about 18% moisture and at that level it does not host bacteria or fungi. So, it doesn’t spoil. It keeps the same great taste, apparently over centuries. Don’t refrigerate it. Do enjoy it!

We have many local beekeepers in Jacksonville who have bees collecting nectar and making honey. Getting honey from one of them is one of the best ways to ensure you are tasting raw honey. You can check for local beekeepers with honey to sell.

For more information on the latest University of Florida’s honey bees research, please click the Bee Lab.

It should also be noted that many people say the way to relieve allergies is to eat local honey.  The bees’ process the local flora in such a way that when we humans ingest it, we gain immunity to the flora’s allergens.

This post was written by Becky Wern, MGV and beekeeper.



Posted: March 17, 2023

Tags: Honey, Jaxbees, Liquid Gold, Raw Honey, UF Bee Lab

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