Honey is a sweet fluid nutritious substance produced by bees


Honey is an aromatic, sticky and sweet material derived from the nectar of plants which is collected by the bees, altered as their food to a denser liquid and finally stored in the honeycombs.


Bees collect nectar from flowers or juices and deposit it in their hive. There it loses moisture and humidity and arrives in the ordinary honey levels, from 14% to 18 %.

Honey contains 77-78 % sugars (mainly fructose and glucose) and because of its relatively low humidity favors the growth of microorganisms.

It is an acid reaction fluid in the original form, but altered in crystalline when left too long. It mainly consists of two simple sugars, dextrose and laevulose. In most cases there are complex carbohydrates, where the laevulose is the usual predominant. It always contains minerals, plant pigments materials, some enzymes and pollen grains.


The honey consumption is the main reason explained the longevity of famous beekeepers, ranging between 80 and 90 years old. Honeys with dark color have the most tonic properties. In this category we find the coniferous honey, which is rich in trace minerals.

Honey as human food is one of the most valuable, nutritious and healthy foods. It gives energy to the muscles, clarity in mind, disinfects and regulates the digestive system. Its frequent consumption gives vitality to the body and helps in longevity. Hippocrates and all the doctors of antiquity recommended it as a medicine in many cases. Today its therapeutic value in habitual constipation, heart disease, anemia, adenopathy, forfeiture cases and general inability of the organization is fully recognized.

This view is spread in all over the world and the most important is that it is documented by scientists too. Thus, in an effort to determine the effect of honey as food and medicine in various clinical cases, Duisberg (1967) distinguished the following cases:

     • Honey acts against stress and this is achieved by storing the fructose contained in

       the liver as glycogen. There it is converted to glucose by increasing its

       content to the blood. Facilitates the assimilation of calcium, activates ossification.

     • heals or relieves internal disorders, stomach ulcers, insomnia, sore throats,

       some heart diseases. Generally it has beneficial effects on the heart, it increases

       blood hemoglobin and muscle strength, etc.


      • When it is used externally, it heals burns, wounds and nasopharyngeal diseases

     due to inhidine (inhidine), which gives bacteriostatic properties. Thus honey, is

     the main product in beekeeping and a valuable ally of the human body.


Honey has a tendency to crystallize. In the beginning crystals are formed in the bottom and the walls of the container. Constantly new crystals are added. These give a rather pleasant picture in honey. Crystallization also makes cumbersome. The crystallized honey does not lose its properties. Due to the crystallization there is an imbalanced distribution of moisture. The result of this process is that the non crystallized honey has more moisture (more than 20%-21 %) and can lead to initiation of fermentation.

Recovery:  If your honey is crystallized/ drooled, do not worry! You should be happy because you have purchased an excellent honey. (The adulterated honey is not drooled.) You can bring it back to its original state by putting it in a benmarie. Put your honey in a boiling saucepan and in a few seconds your honey will be like when you bought it. Alternatively you can place on a heater (more time) and will revert it to its original fluidity.

There have been various attempts to predict the start time of crystallization. The ratio glucose /water is considered as the most critical factor. Usually the flower honeys are crystallized in few weeks while the coniferous honeys in few months. Furthermore there are several species such as acacia honey, which takes years to crystallize. In Greece the consumer prefers the liquid honey.

Various methods such as leptokrystallopoiisi are used in order to avoid the crystallization even temporarily. Most methods are suitable for very large quantities and need expensive equipment. These methods are used by companies only. Another method is to mix various kinds of honeys.