Why diffrent colours of Honey?
Generally the type and number of flowers where bees collect nectar from,determine honey colour, aroma, taste and nutrient content of honey.Therefore honey colour depend on the vegetation (flowers) of the area where nectar is collected and forage season. Certain types of flowers may be dorminant for one season and less dorminant for another season resulting into honey from the same location to have different colours for different seasons. There are various bee honey colours ranging from water-white to deep brown or dark amber. For example honey from mango flowers is water white while sunflower honey is yellowish. Generally the colour of honey is not a determinant of quality although darker honeys are usually richer in nutrients than lighter honeys. Other factors which may slightly change the colour of honey are heating and long shelf life. In the worldmarket, lighter honeys are preferred for direct consumption while darker honeys are more often for industrial use. For example orange blossom honeys from Spain and Mexico are light coloured while blueberry honeys from parts of America or miombo honeys from western Tanzania are dark/brown coloured.
Why do honey form crystals?
It is a common phenomenon for raw honey to form solid sugar crystals.Honey contain two main kinds of sugars,fructose and glucose and normally the amount of fructose is greater than glucose.In some rare cases the amount of glucose is found to be more than that of fructose.This happens because some flowers produce nectar which is high in glucose than frucose. It is common in mountain thicket flowers. This kind of honey normally crytallize easily into sugar crystals.Therefore crystallization of honey is normal and do not indicate adulteration or low quality of honey. Thus,factors which accelerate crystallization of honey are high glucose to fructose ratio, presence of insoluble particles and low temperatures. Examples of honey varieties which do not crystallize easily because of low glucose levels are acacia honey,tupelo honey,sourwood honey,sunflower honey and honeydew honey.
(a) Put some water in a cooking pot, then put in the jar/bottle containing honey and gently heat the water for sometime.
(b) The crystallized honey will start melting slowly until all crystals disappear.
(c) While heating make sure the water temperature do not exceed about 650C so that the enzymes in honey are not much affected.