Our family has been blessed with the most amazing step grandpa! He is terrified of bees but incredibly proud of his hard working beekeeping new grandkids. He is also a scientist so he asked if the “genetic memory” of honey was a real thing, since we know without a doubt the authenticity of our honey we decided to put it to the test. (this is, admittedly, not a scientific science experiment, just having fun, and the light reflection on the water made it hard to see the honey, it just rippled)
I repeated the experiment two more times with honey from different years/hives, none of them acted the same.
The clip going around the internet says that real honey, when swirled in water will return to the hexagon shape of the comb and that fake honey (essentially corn syrup) will not have a hexagon shape. Check out results.
Honey is a controversial product and there are lots of ways producers can cheat the system. Honey has to have pollen in it. Very little of the honey available in grocery stores meets that requirement. Ways to cheat are
1. Ultra-filter all the pollen out for a clear appearance (we lightly filter to catch the occasional bee leg or wax chunk). This isn't cheating as much as it is removing the good stuff to cater to an audience obsessed with the image of their food. But you won't be getting the health benefits.
2. Cut real honey with corn syrup. This makes it cheaper and prevents crystallization. If your honey doesn’t crystallize it’s not pure honey. For a long time this was a legal practice, it could be cut up to 50% or more with syrup and still be labeled 'Pure Honey'. I wasn't able to find the article discussing this, so I'm hoping that with more awareness this practice is being phased out.
3. Feeding bees sugar water and harvest the “honey” for market consumption. Feeding bees is a legitimate practice, it helps them overwinter and keeps them fed when there isn’t enough nectar available, but the by product of this should be used by the bees themselves and not marketed as honey, it is adulterated. To prevent this a beekeeper simply takes the honey super (box) off the hive while feeding sugar water.
We feed our bees sugar in the winter as a back up, but we don’t harvest that honey. We only harvest honey that was collected and made by our bees in the summer months. The first 60-80 lbs is for the bees, the. Any extra is ours. It’s our reward for helping the bees to maintain a healthy home. Which now a days is needed!
If you want real honey, expect to pay more for it, but its worth it. It's healthier for you and you are supporting hard working beekeepers. Beekeeping is expensive and difficult. We rarely have enough honey to sell, but will occasionally sell a jar or three to offset the cost of a mite treatment. And by we, I mean my daughter, Little Red's Honeybees and Chapstick, and her support crew, myself, her 4 siblings, and when we need heavy lifting, we call out the big guns, Dad!
Support Local Beekeepers, buy their honey!!
Follow Along her beekeeping adventures on IG @Little_Reds_Honey_Bees! Her goal is to become an outreach teacher in the schools and pursue a career in developing life saving mite treatments for the amazing honeybee!