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Why does taste of honey differ

Why does taste of honey differ

Why does taste of honey differ after every season

Pure honey is manufactured by bees by foraging on different flowers. The nectar is ingested by the bees and its saliva is mixed with the nectar to create honey. The nectar from the flowers have different taste and texture. As different flower’s pollen have different taste ranging from sweet to sour to bitter, the honey created also will have the relative taste of the flower.

The plastic jars you find in grocery stores are labeled as ‘honey’ but contain a homogenized product void of nuance. In an effort to offer a consistent taste, color, and viscosity, anything that might reflect a unique time of season in a specific place is melted down and processed to create a mediocre syrup everyone has grown accustomed to. 

Foraging from the flowers

Flowers produce a sugary fluid called nectar as a means of attracting all sorts of insects for the purpose of pollination. As bees search for the nectar in the flower, the flower’s sticky pollen catches on their bodies and gets transferred to the flower’s stigma. The meeting of the flowers pollen and its stigma starts the process of pollination or fertilization, enabling the plant to make seeds for its next generation.

Honey is made mainly by bees from the species Apis mellifera – fondly known to everyone as honeybees. Honeybees eat nectar straight from the flower, but they also bring nectar and pollen back to the hive where the pollen, high in protein and fat, is stored as bee bread and is fed to the hive’s brood, and the high-energy nectar is stored as honey for times when the weather is not conducive to foraging such as the harsh winter months, rainy seasons, and times of drought.

Turning nectar into honey

While out foraging, honeybees mix the collected nectar with enzymes in their mouth, then store the nectar solution in a special pouch inside their abdomen called a honey stomach. The enzymes break down the sugar into simpler forms which resist bacterial growth. Back at the hive, these worker bees start to dehydrate the nectar/enzyme solution by moving the nectar around in their mouths then deposit it into hexagonal cells that make up the hive. The dehydration process is then continued by the house bees. The house bees fan the filled hive cells with their wings in order to bring the water content below 18% at which point the cell is capped with wax and its contents are considered honey. This honey stays unspoiled and unfermented for years…even ancient Egyptian tombs have been found to contain unspoiled honey!

Tracing the honey back to its origin

Where bees get their nectar and pollen depends on the season and the available blooming plants in the area. This all contributes to how the honey tastes, as well as to its color and texture. When the honeybee is wrestling in a flower collecting nectar and pollen, she gets covered in pollen granules which inevitably find their way into the finished (capped) honey. This pollen not only adds to a honey’s unique characteristics, but it is the traceable indicator, not nectar, to which flowers the honeybee visited during her foraging.

A honey’s unique taste

Most honeys are a blend from various hives and many varieties of flowers that are in a certain radius of the honeybee’s hive at a certain time. There are also honeys referred to as “univarietal”, such as blueberry honey. Univarietal honeys are created by placing a hive in a spot where, within about a 3 miles (4 km) radius, there is an abundance of one type of plant blooming. On average, honeybees will travel up to 3 miles (4 km) in any direction to forage, therefore much of nectar and pollen collected will be of one particular plant whose nectar and pollen will be dominant in the honey (at least 45%) to producing a distinct flavor. These honeys are harvested right after a particular flower, usually a crop, is done blooming. 

Honey’s taste and look correspond to the dominant plant it was foraged from. For example, murunga honey has strong tasting notes of murunga and even an green tint  to the color. But often a honey does not have an obvious correlation to the flowers it was foraged from. Coconut farm honey does not really taste of coconut .When extracting honey sometimes small amount of resin ends up in the honey. Bees forage resin from tree trunks to seal the hive from the elements. When tree resin makes contact with a bees mouth parts, it is considered propolis. When opening a hive the propolis seal is broken. If some of the propolis gets in the honey a light pine or nutty taste may add to the flavor profile of the honey.

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About Let’sLive

Let’sLive is a social empowerment enterprise committed to enhancing and improving the livelihoods of tribal and farming communities. We work directly with small-scale farmers so that our customers can get access to products that are natural, pristine, and picked from the lap of nature. We encourage and provide advice for practicing ethical farming and eco-friendly methods to all those who partner with us.

At Let'sLive we are passionate about bringing in 100% all-natural and healthy products directly from the farming and tribal communities to your doorstep like Pure Raw Honey, Traditional kinds of rice, etc. We want our consumers to enjoy and have direct access to the products that are pristine and picked directly from the lap of nature. The mandates by which we operate are:
* Value every life around us by encouraging ethical farming
* Leverage local knowledge and promote legacy harvesting practices with high hygienic standards
* No preservatives or artificial processing on any of our products
* Each product can be traced to its origins and the people involved in its making
* Educate consumers on the importance of consuming rich and natural local produce

Due to above mentioned vision, we are committed to protecting all the stakeholders involved in the process. Consumers, farmers, and ofcourse the ecosystem. 

We take great care and pride in educating our farmers and providing the necessary technology to harvest and market the produce in its pristine form, so that our consumers are assured about the quality of produce that gets shipped from Let’sLive.

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