What is the difference between Raw Honey and Regular Honey?


Raw Honey vs. Regular Honey

Let’s look at the source, color, processing and filtration to compare the two.

Raw Honey Fact #1

raw honey being harvestedRaw Honey comes directly from the honeycomb and usually a local beekeeper harvests the honey. Raw honey does not contain any ingredients other than the honey from the beehive. While there is no official U.S. federal definition of raw honey, the National Honey Board defines raw honey as “honey as it exists in the beehive or as obtained by extraction, settling or straining without adding heat.” This definition does not have any legal authority but is provided to help in the understanding of honey and honey terms. 

Raw Honey Fact #2

Raw Honey is never combined with water, sugar, corn syrup, or other additives. Raw honey is simply the honey removed from the honeycomb. Raw honey can be filtered to removed pollen, beeswax, bee parts, etc. however it is never pasteurized (heated above 160 degrees F/71 degrees C).

Raw Honey Fact #3

Raw Honey can appear cloudy or opaque because it has not been pasteurized or ultrafiltered. They honey will still contain pollen, enzymes and nutrients and enzymes. What’s most impressive about raw honey is that it contains nearly 30 types of bioactive plant compounds. These are called polyphenols, and they act as antioxidants (3, 8Trusted Source, 9).

Raw Honey Fact #4

Raw Honey will vary in flavor, color and texture. This is probably the biggest benefit of raw honey – the variety from which to choose!!! With over 300 different types of honey in the United States alone, there are all kinds of flavors, colors and aromas to explore! Check out more about five types of honey found in Florida, USA by reading the blog, “5 Types Of Florida Honey…And Why It’s The Best!” 

The color, flavor and aroma of honey will depend on the plants the bees visited when harvesting nectar. For example, tupelo honey is very special and can only be found in certain areas of Southeastern Georgia and the Florida Panhandle. The Ogeechee tupelo trees in this area bloom for two short weeks in the spring and they love the damp, humid, murky swamps. Tupelo honey will actually have a light green hint – especially right off the comb. Florida is also known for orange blossom honey, wildflower honey, saw palmetto and gallberry honey.

Regular Honey Fact #1

Often thought of as “regular” or “plain” honey, these consistent looking jars of honey regular store honeyare commonly purchased at a grocery store. Regular Honey can come from a variety of sources and be combined with other ingredients, resulting in something less than 100% pure honey. The CookingLight article by Jenny McCoy, “Why You Should Think Twice Before Buying Grocery Store Honey” explores the business behind “regular” honey.

This process of adulterating honey has been called honey laundering and “Some samples of Chinese honey have tested positive for illegal antibiotics and have also been watered down with high fructose corn syrup,” explains registered dietitian nutritionist and author Frances Largeman-Roth. “Honey imposters may also be made from cane, corn or beet sugar, rice syrup, or other cheaper sweeteners.”

Regular Honey Fact #2

Regular Honey has undergone pasteurization and /or an ultrafiltration process. As the name suggests, raw honey is never heated, but conventional supermarket honey is heated to about 155 degrees for three reasons: to kill any yeasts that might initiate fermentation and cause undesirable flavors; to make it easier to pass the honey through a very fine filter, removing all particles of wax, pollen, and even air bubbles (these particles are considered desirable features in many raw honeys); and to dissolve every last crystal, rendering the honey fluid and transparent. 

“It’s well-documented that China has been flooding the U.S. market for years with honey that has had its beneficial pollen removed through ‘ultrafiltration,’” says Largeman-Roth. Ultra-filtration is a process that does two things: it gives honey a longer shelf-life and also makes it impossible to trace the country of origin, she explains.

Regular Honey Fact #3

Regular Honey is clear and smooth with a consistent flavor. Due to the pasteurization and/or ultrafiltration regular honey is subjected to, along with the addition of other ingredients such as corn or rice syrup, sugar, etc. the honey can be blended and mixed until the desired product is made.


In summary, regular honey seems to be quite the opposite of raw honey. While raw honey is focused on retaining nature’s goodness and honoring the unique history of how each batch was made, regular honey seems to discard the good stuff, blend with undesirable ingredients and well….not really “bee” honey in the end at all! To get your hands on some REALLY GOOD raw honey, visit Florida Honey Pot Farms where they only use 100% RAW USA honey!

Bee Chill Honey