Properties of honey

Properties of honey

Honey has extremely great advantages over other food products: having good taste qualities, it is also a valuable curative and preventive agent. Bee honey is a wonderful gift of nature, in the creation of which bees and flowers participate. Modern scientific research has shown that ancient doctors and philosophers gave such a high assessment to honey bees, considering it a diet of longevity.

Based on laboratory studies, experimental data and clinical observations, it is established that the composition of honey is very complex: it contains more than one hundred different components that are valuable for the organism: glucose, levulose, vitamins, enzymes, organic acids, trace elements, mineral, hormonal, antibacterial and other substance. This useful and delicious product is produced by bees.

On warm, sunny days, bees swirl over flowers, from which they collect droplets of sweet nectar. To create 100 g of honey, the bee should visit about a million honey-colored flowers. With her proboscis she gathers nectar until the honey stomach is full and flies into her hive. The bee flies at an hour of 65 km, that is, by the speed of flight, it can compete with the train. Even with a load equal to 3/4 of the weight of her body, the bee flies 30-35 km per hour. No wonder people say that the bee is flying like an arrow.

To collect a kilo of honey, the bee needs to bring about 150 thousand nectar burdens. If the flowers from which the bees take bribes are at a distance of 1.5 km from the hive, then the bee flying from each load and back 3 km, for a kilogram of honey will have to travel about 450 thousand km. This distance is 11 times greater than the circumference of the globe along the equator.

In the beehive, the bee penetrates through the chutes guarded by the bee guard, which does not miss the foreign bees or other insects-honey-lovers. A bee with a burden is met by other bees –

the adopters of nectar. They release the picker from the nectar and store it for some time in his honey stomach, where the nectar is subjected to a complex processing, which began in the stomach of the bee picker.

Periodically, the bee-receiver pushes the upper jaws and pushes her proboscis forward and down a bit, on the surface of which appears a drop of nectar. Then the bee again swallows this drop into the honey ventricle, and folds and hides the proboscis. This procedure is repeated 120 to 240 times. Only after this, the bee-receiver finds a free wax cell and releases a drop of nectar into it. But it’s not honey yet.

A complex work on the transformation of nectar into honey will be continued by other bees.

Properties of honey

If the receiving bees are loaded with work, the bee pickers suspend a drop of nectar to the top wall of the wax cell. This is a very interesting and practically important technique, since hanging drops have a large evaporation surface and moisture from the nectar evaporates more intensively. Nectar contains from 40 to 80% of water, in honey – 18-20%. To remove 3/4 of this amount of moisture, the bees each drop repeatedly transferred from one wax cell to another until the unripened honey (semifinished product) becomes thick.

A lot of bees laboriously work on one drop of honey. With the wings of the wings (each bee makes 26,400 strokes per minute) they create additional air circulation in the hive accelerating the evaporation process. In the honey ventricle of the worker bees, nectar thickens. The droplet of nectar decreases in volume due to the absorption of water by the cells of the honey ventricle. In the bee organism, nectar is enriched with enzymes, organic acids, antibacterial substances, etc.

Wax cells, filled to the top with honey, bees are sealed with wax lids, and in this form honey can be stored for many years. During the summer season, one bee family collects up to 150 kg of honey and more.

Even a simple listing of the properties that honey possesses is enough to understand its value.

Flower honey is monoflerny – it is processed from nectar of one kind of honey plants (buckwheat, linden, acacia white, kiprei, sunflower, sainfoin, phacelia, etc.), and polyflora, processed from nectar of various honey plants. Absolutely monoflerny sorts of honey, that is, collected from the flowers of a certain type of plant, are rare.

However, to determine this or that kind of honey, it is enough that the nectar of a single plant predominates, for example nectar lime in lime honey. Minor impurities of nectar of other honey plants do not greatly influence the specific flavor, color and taste of this honey. Polyfluvial mead includes meadow, steppe, forest, fruit, mountain-taiga, etc.

There are varieties of honey collected in different areas, for example, Far Eastern lime, Bashkir linden honey, etc.

By the method of production and processing, honeycomb and centrifugal (drain) honey are distinguished. Filled with honey and sealed with waxy lids cells are a honeycomb. It comes to the consumer in a natural container, in an ideally pure form, in a completely mature and sterile state. Centrifugal honey is obtained when pumping it out of honeycombs on a honey extractor. It is released to the consumer in the packaging – in banks or at the same time from barrels.

Some varieties of honey can be determined by color, flavor and taste. Different varieties differ from each other not only in color, but in a variety of different shades. Honey from a white acacia, for example, is completely colorless, i. e. light, transparent, like water. If you look at the honeycombs filled with this honey, they seem empty, and a glass jar with honey is shining.

It is generally accepted that light honey belongs to the best, first-rate varieties. However, it is believed that dark honey contains more mineral salts, mainly iron, copper, manganese, so it is considered more valuable to the body than light.

The grade of honey is also determined by its aromatic properties. Some honey varieties have exceptionally gentle pleasant aroma. N. V. Gogol describes the aroma of honey with the mouth of the beekeeper Rudy Panko: “… Imagine that as you bring honeycomb – the spirit will go all over the room, you can not imagine what it is: pure as a tear or crystal dear, what happens in earrings” ( “Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka”).

Most varieties of natural honey have excellent taste properties, which is reflected in the literature and especially in folklore. Thus, the great Homer, hearing the speech of the ancient Greek statesman Nestor, exclaimed: “Speech from the tongue, like the sweetness of honey, flies.” William Shakespeare likened the charming sounds of music to the sweetness of honey.

Remarkable doctor, writer and lexicographer VI Dal in the “Dictionary of the Great Russian Language” quotes the following sayings: “With honey and a chisel swallow,” “With honey and scraps you eat,” “A man with honey and bast shoes ate.”

From the currently known varieties of honey, we give a brief description of the characteristic properties of the most common.

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Properties of honey