Forests function like the heart in our environment. There are many environmental benefits and supplies we get from forests. And not to maintain a pollination chain where the reproduction of plants within the forest is very important. The birds and bees are the two important agents of pollination in the forest.
Pollination is a process that happens when bees feed on flowers. They collect the nectar from the flowers and produce honey. Forest honey is considered one of the purest and healthiest types of honey.
It is one of the foods with high cultural and religious significance. In India honey is considered so pure that we give honey to newborn babies as a tradition.
Formation and extraction of honey
Honey has been serving as both food and medicine since ancient days. Bees collect the sugary nectar from flowers to produce honey which is twenty percent complex sugar and rests water. Once the nectar is collected several regurgitations take place to make ripe honey.
If the honeycomb is unsealed fermentation of honey takes place and the eighty percent of water content in the ripe honey will evaporate leaving raw honey behind. There are many websites that sell raw honey online in India.
There are two ways to extract honey from the beehive.
In this method, the beekeeper calms or chases away the bees from their hive with fire or smoke then takes the hive down and squeezes and extracts the honey out.
They use a mechanical honey extractor and extract the honey without destroying the honeycomb. The mechanical extractor works by centrifugal force.
Different types of honey
There are more than 300 varieties of honey available in the market today. The types basically differ and are characterized by flower source, consistency, flavor, and color(dark and light).
However, they generally share the same ingredients which are sugar and nectar collected from different flowers which is the reason for the color difference and flavor.
The consistency depends on the sugar level present in it and the way of processing the filtration and heating. Honey can be classified into three basic categories:
- Single-origin: The nectar is collected from the same plant.
- Multi-origin: The nectar is collected from different types of plants.
- Local: The nectar is collected from a specific region. Example: Mountain area.
You can buy honey from honey online shopping stores, departmental stores, and supermarkets. Or you can directly buy it from the beekeeper.
If you are confused about what type of honey to buy, refer to the different types of honey and its properties below.
- Regular honey
- Raw honey
- Organic honey
Regular or pure honey is the type of honey without any added ingredients such as corn syrup or sugar. These types of honey are what you frequently see in markets. Regular honey is lighter in color because of pasteurization.
Pasteurization is a heating process that kills and destroys any bacteria or yeast found in honey to extend the shelf life. Then it goes through filtration to remove debris and air bubbles to make the honey stay clear for a longer time.
These processes remove nutrients and antioxidants from the honey-making it less to no actual medicinal or nutritional benefit.
Raw honey is the purest form of honey. It is directly extracted from the beehive, strained with nylon to remove dirt and dead bees, and has not been heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit.
This does not undergo any filtration preserving the nutrients, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals with it. So raw honey contains bee pollen, propolis, and many antioxidants giving full benefits when you have it.
Raw honey is generally cloudy looking because the above-mentioned particles are present in it. It tends to have a darker color and a stronger taste. You can directly buy raw honey/forest honey online or from the store.
Benefits of raw honey
- Raw honey is more nutritious as it contains amino acids, vitamins, and a wide range of minerals
- It contains polyphenols which act as antioxidants and these antioxidants have many health benefits such as reducing inflammation, lowering the risk of heart disease.
- Raw honey contains bee pollen that helps improve liver function and gives a lower risk of a heart attack.
- It contains hydrogen peroxide which acts as antibacterial property and kills germs and fungus.
- Soothes sore throat
Types of raw honey
- Acacia Honey
- Alfalfa Honey
- Aster Honey
- Avocado Honey
- Basswood Honey
- Beechwood Honey
- Blueberry Honey
- Bluegum Honey
- Buckwheat Honey
- Clover Honey
- Dandelion Honey
- Eucalyptus Honey
- Fireweed Honey
- Heather Honey
- Ironbark Honey
- Jarrah Honey
- Leatherwood Honey
- Linden Honey
- Macadamia Honey
- Manuka Honey
- Orange blossom Honey
- Pinetree Honey
- Sourwood Honey
- Sage Honey
- Tupelo Honey
Organic honey is produced by taking nectar from organically grown plants. The beekeepers make sure that the plants are not sprayed with any kind of pesticides.