What is honey

Honey is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees is the one most commonly referred to and is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans. Honey produced by other bees and insects has distinctly different properties. It is composed of nearly equal proportions of the simple sugars fructose and glucose, plus small amounts of other sugar and about 18% of water. In additional of over 180 different substances have been identified in honey, including 5 enzymes (Diastase, Invertase, Glucose Oxidase, Catalase, and Acid Phosphatase), 6 vitamins (Ribonflavin, Pantothenic acid, Niacin, Thiamine, Pyridoxine, and Ascorbic acid), 8 lipids ( Phospholipids, Glycerides, Sterols, Oleic acid, Linoleic acid, Lauric acid, Myristoleic acid, and Stearric acid), trace amounts of 12 minerals and 17 elements, 18 different acids, 18 amino acids (proteins), 18 bioflavonoids, and 26 aroma compounds.

Honey bees transform nectar into honey by a process of regurgitation, and store it as a primary food source in wax honeycombs inside the beehive. Beekeeping practices encourage overproduction of honey so the excess can be taken from the colony.

Honey gets its sweetness from the monosaccharides fructose and glucose, and has approximately the same relative sweetness as that of granulated sugar. It has attractive chemical properties for baking, and a distinctive flavor that leads some people to prefer it over sugar and other sweeteners. Most microorganisms do not grow in honey because of its low water activity of 0.6. However, honey sometimes contains dormant endospores of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which can be dangerous to infants, as the endospores can transform into toxin-producing bacteria in the infant's immature intestinal tract, leading to illness and even death.