Is Honey a Liquid?

When you think of the honey you buy at the grocery store, you probably feel pretty confident in the answer to the question, “Is honey a liquid?” Of course! What else would it be? 

But the answer isn’t so simple. You may recognize liquid honey most often because of how you’re used to seeing it packaged. However, crystallized honey is a solid form of the same product. In this blog, we’ll discuss not only how honey comes to be (no pun intended!) but also how it crystallizes over time. 

How Do Bees Make Honey?

image of bees making honeyLet’s start at the beginning. How is honey — liquid or solid — made? Honey is one type of food for bees, and as a result, they produce it themselves through a series of steps. As they visit flowers, bees collect a sugary juice called nectar from the blossom by sucking it out with their tongues. 

The bees then store the nectar in their “honey stomach,” which is separate from their food stomach. This continues until their honey stomach is full. They then return to the hive where they pass this nectar to other worker bees to help “chew on it.” The real goal of this process is to reduce the moisture content. As the nectar is passed from bee to bee, its moisture content is reduced from roughly 70 to 20 percent. This helps change the nectar into honey. 

Eventually, the brand-new honey is stored in honeycomb “jars.” The final product is in a liquid state. In fact, it is so wet that the bees continue to fan the wax with their wings as it grows stickier. When ready, the bees will seal these honeycomb cells, or jars, shut with a wax lid to keep them clean. 

And while bees make honey as a food to eat over the cooler winter period when they are unable to forage for flowers, they do not make much of it. To make a single teaspoon of honey, at least eight bees must be involved. Miraculously, they get the job done and produce not only enough for themselves but extra for humans as well!  

Why Raw Honey Crystallizes

When you extract honey from honeycomb, the result is liquid honey. However, as time passes, your raw honey may start to crystallize because of the lack ofwhy raw honey crystalizes heating and filtering. 

The term “raw honey” simply means that it has not been heated or filtered. This honey was extracted from the hive and bottled. If you purchase commercial honey in a grocery store, honey packers likely heated the honey in the range of 160 degrees Fahrenheit to break down the natural sugar seed crystals and to force the honey through microfilters to remove pollen grains. This process helps to prevent crystallization. That said, when heating above 115 degrees Fahrenheit, it can also destroy the beneficial enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins, and aroma of the product. So, you can prevent crystallization, but in doing so, you’re likely to lose some of the health benefits that your honey has. 

How Will My Honey Crystallize? 

Not only can raw honey crystallize, but it can crystallize in a couple of different ways. Some kinds of honey will crystallize uniformly while others will crystallize only partially. There will be a crystallized layer on the bottom of the jar while it remains liquid on top. 

Among crystallized honeys, the size of the crystals formed can also vary. Some honeys form fine crystals while others form large, gritty ones. This is due to the timeline in which the honey crystallized. If the honey crystallizes quickly, then the texture of the crystallization will be finer in texture. 

Finally, crystallized honey also tends to have a lighter color than liquid honey, which remains darker brown in appearance. This is because glucose sugar is naturally pure white, and it’ll separate out in dehydrated crystal form. 

Can You Eat Crystallized Honey?

Crystallized honey has gone through the process of changing from a liquid to acan you eat crystalized honey solid. It is still safe to eat, even though it appears differently than you may expect.Instead of being a viscous liquid, it’ll be a thicker solid with the consistency of peanut butter. As a result, most people find that it spreads more easily on food and is generally easier to work with. 

How Do I Turn Crystallized Honey to Liquid Form? 

Not everyone prefers crystallized honey to liquid honey, or maybe you have a recipe that calls specifically for liquid honey. If you’re seeking a way to turn yourhow to turn crystalized honey back into a liquid honey into its liquid state, all you have to do is heat your honey past 110 degrees Fahrenheit. This can be done either in the microwave or more slowly using a double boiler. Keep in mind that getting above 160 degrees Fahrenheit means you’re pasteurizing it. 

Heating honey, even to return it to its liquid state, can cause it to lose some of its prime health benefits. If possible, leave your honey as is and enjoy it in its crystallized form! 

Why Crystallization Indicates High-Quality Honey

Ultimately, the ability for honey to crystallize in the first place indicates that it is a high-quality product that hasn’t been processed. The nutritious pollen hasn’t been filtered out and the important enzymes haven’t been damaged by heating. When honey crystallizes, it remains nutritious, sweet, and edible. Even if your honey begins to look like rock candy, you can feel confident that you have an excellent product on your hands. 

Final Thoughts 

At Florida Honey Pot Farms, our honey is hand-crafted by our women-owned and run team. As a company we are proud of the efforts we take to ensure our product is as pure and unadulterated as possible and take several measures to combat the risk of crystallization in all our products. Through precise temperature control and careful vetting of raw honey suppliers we have struck the perfect balance between providing our customers a delicious raw honey-based product and doing all we can to keep that honey fluid and stable. 

Visit here to learn more. 

Bee Chill Honey