Honey, specifically raw honey, is considered to be a superfood, i.e. foods that are so superior in their nutrient and mineral content that they could single-handedly boost your health and well-being significantly. The apiculture industry is quite beneficial to the environment as well.
Honey is available in many types, depending on its source of nectar. Some examples include:
- Eucalyptus honey from the eucalyptus tree
- Acacia honey from black locust trees
- Manuka honey, quite rare yet potent honey extracted from the flowers of the tea tree plant
- Orange blossom honey from blossoming orange trees in warmer climates etc.
Each type of honey has its characteristic tastes, colours, thickness, fragrances, and most helpful, their therapeutic properties, depending on its source.
What is honey?
Honey is a thick, sticky substance composed of water, glucose, fructose and trace amounts of amino acids and enzymes.
Honey, in general, is known to contain many antioxidants, antibacterial, anti-fungal, immune-boosting and, in some cases, some anti-cancer properties as well.
Where is honey extracted from?
Honey is extracted from 2 types of sources:
- There is the sweet nectar that collects in the hearts of flowers
- There is the liquid inside the anthers of flowers that contains small grains of pollen
The type of flower the honey is stored in has a significant influence on its taste and other properties.
What is beekeeping?
Beekeeping, also called apiculture, is the intentional maintenance of beehives by humans to collect honey/ beeswax or encourage pollination.
The farm where bees are kept is called an apiary. They can be either urban or rural based on the purpose of apiculture.
Why is apiculture said to be good for the environment?
As aforementioned, beekeeping encourages pollination. When bees go to one flower to collect nectar, the pollen from this flower gets transferred onto the bees. When the bees go to another flower, they essentially act as vectors to transfer this pollen and fertilise the second flower.
This is an immensely important process in nature as cross-pollination is responsible for the survival of almost 90% of wildflowers and around 30% of food crops. Without bees, many of our food crops would have died off a long time ago.
What are some of the threats the beekeeping business is facing?
Many issues threaten pollinators, including bees. These include the clearance of green areas with a lot of flora, climate change, pollution etc., which endangers their habitats and threatens their survival.
Many consider apiculture to be a dying industry, which has probably contributed to its rise in popularity as a hobby.
What makes honey so healthy?
The nectar from these flowers is broken down inside the bees, and the addition of the enzymes etc., enhance the natural properties of the end product: honey.
Usually, processed honey commonly found in supermarkets is said to be the unhealthiest. Raw honey is much more beneficial to health than processed honey. However, many other types of more exotic types of honey, such as clover honey, manuka honey, etc., have quite rare and highly sought-after unique characteristics. It is advised to consume one spoon of such types of honey every day to boost your immunity.
Not just on the inside, but honey is said to be incredibly effective in treating skin problems and acne and is often an important ingredient in DIY face masks.
So take your time to choose the honey that best suits your needs and choose whether to consume it raw every day or get radiant and healthy skin!