By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer
Do different flowers make different honey? If you have ever noticed bottles of honey listed as wildflower, clover, or orange blossom, you may have asked this question. Of course, the answer is yes. Honey made from different flowers that the bees visited has varying properties. Here’s how it works.
Honey has terroir, a term used more often by wine makers. It comes from the French term that means “taste of place.” Just like wine grapes take on certain flavors from the soil and climate in which they grow, honey can have a variety of flavors and even colors or aromas based on where it was made, the types of flowers used, the soil, and the climate.
It may be obvious that honey made by bees collecting pollen from orange blossoms will taste different from honey that came from blackberries or even coffee blossoms. However, there can also be more subtle terroir differences between honeys produced in Florida or Spain, for instance.
Look for varietals of honey from local apiarists and farmer’s markets. Most honey you find in the grocery store has been pasteurized, a heating and sterilizing process that eliminates much of the unique flavor distinctions.
Here are some interesting varieties of honey from different flowers to seek out and try:
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Planting flowers for bees and other pollinators is a favorite pastime of many bee lovers. Remember, it is not only honey bees that you are helping. Designing a bee friendly garden aids a multitude of bee species in finding food and shelter. This includes our non bee pollinators too! Selecting the best perennial flowers for bees adds beauty to your landscape and provides food and shelter for a multitude of beneficial insects.
The very best bee habitats will have a mix of different kinds of plants. Annual flowers, perennials, trees, shrubs that bees like – all of these can provide shelter, food and nest materials for hungry pollinators.
1) If you are located in Singapore, you can now buy from us the different types of honey such as Yellow Box, Eucalyptus, Wildflower, Rainforest, Manuka, Macadamia, and Leatherwood: Buy Honey Online.
2) Dark bold honey may not be appealing to everyone in terms of taste. But health wise, it could be a more popular choice than light color honeys. More in: Dark Honey Boasts High Antioxidants.
3) If you think honey tastes horrible, don't give it up because there are so many floral varieties that it's impossible not to find something that can please your taste buds. Read: Taste Honey? No Way!
4) Ever wonder which types of honey varieties to buy so as to go with the kind of food you are preparing for the day? Click here to find out about the Uses of Honey Varieties in Cooking.
5) What is Cactus Honey Powder? Claimed to be all natural, cactus honey powder is marketed as all natural, healthy to eat, and an excellent sugar replacement suitable for the diabetic. And it's positioned as a brilliant ingredient for baking or drizzled on cereals, pancakes and waffles. However, what's the origin of this powder? Does it come from the bees? Find the answer in Who Says Cactus Honey Powder is Honey!
6) It is believed that organic honey is a healthier choice as it's tested to be free of pesticides or environmental pollutants. Some even claimed that it tastes better than conventionally produced honey. Read What Makes Organic Honey Different?
7) Ever eaten milky or white honey, or even heard about it or seen it before? Read Is Indonesia's White Honey Real?
8) Pineapple honey and durian honey, two very unique monofloral honey from Malaysia. More in: Truely Unique Honey from Malaysia.
9) Ever tried stingless bees' honey? Read: Stingless Bees are an Eye Opener.
10) Honeydew honey is the amazing combined work of two insects and is exceptional in its health benefits. Find out what this extraordinary honey is:Honeydew Honey - More Than The Spectacular Work of Bees.
11) What is wild honey? Is it more superior than cultivated honey? More in:Puzzling Wild Honey Questions. Need Your Help!.
12) Why are honey sticks so popular? More in:Happy Treats of Honey Sticks.
13) Only when you bite into a piece of honeycomb and taste the honey in it, you will probably never understand:Why You Must Experience the Taste of Honeycomb.
14). A question that mamy are asking: Do You Eat Honey From China?
Published: January 2, 2020
Last updated: August 13, 2020
Wine connoisseurs usually select the specific bottle that they’d like to enjoy with dinner. That’s because when they choose the vineyard, the varietal and the year, they’re confident that they’ll be getting the exact wine they want to drink.
Honey aficionados can do much the same thing when they want to buy a great honey. There is always a little variation in glass bottles or jars of varietal honey, even when they come from the same producer, but the color, aroma and taste will be predictable. Several bottles of Manuka or blueberry honey bottled by the same beekeeper will be virtually identical.
That’s not the case with wildflower honey, though.
Knowing what types of flowers bees prefer will help guide you in your choices. Bees have color preferences. They don't see red, and prefer flowers that are yellow, blue or violet. They like flowers such as coneflowers (Echinacea spp.), U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9, which have flatter "landing strips" that make it easy for bees to get to the flowers. Flowers that attract bees tend to smell sweeter and have an abundance of nectar and sticky pollen.
There are over 300 types of honey and different honeys are good for different health issues. While alfalfa honey is good for cardiovascular health, manuka honey fights against helicobacter pylori which is involved in the formation gastric ulcer and cancer. Blueberry honey has the highest antibacterial properties and buckwheat honey is high on antioxidants and cleanses liver. Eucalyptus honey is good for your respiratory health.
There are over 300 different types of honey – and different types of honeys are good for different health issues…In general, we have the following:
1. Honey is antibacterial and antiseptic: Raw organic honey contains hydrogen peroxide, released when it comes into contact with moisture. Hydrogen peroxide is both antibacterial and fungicidal. Honey was originally used for therapeutic purposes, as it has antibacterial properties, but was replaced by antibiotics, such as penicillin and synthetic drugs in the 1940s and 1950s. Honey is also gyroscopic, which means that it naturally attracts moisture. Most bacteria breed in moist conditions and honey dries out wounds, preventing wounds becoming infected.
2. Honey as a sweetener: Raw honey doesn’t cause the blood sugar to spike. It allows a much healthier gradual increase in blood sugar levels. And we only a need a teaspoon to make a difference.
3. Dark honeys are high in antioxidants: The darker the honey, the more antioxidant which eliminate free radicals. Honey has a unique anti0oxidant: pinocembrin, an antioxidant associated with improved brain functioning.
4. Honey help you digest food better: Honey contains natural enzymes that assist the digestive process.
5. Honey is said to aid sleeping: The theory indicates that a spoonful of honey before sleep provides the body with enough glucose to ‘feed’ the brain during the night. This prevents or limits the early morning release of cortisol and adrenalin (stress hormones) which disturb sleep stabilises blood sugar levels contributes to the release of melatonin, the hormone required for recovery and rebuilding of body tissues during rest. (According to a recent study in Hershey, Penn, USA.)
6. Honey is good for your skin: Because honey attracts moisture, it helps to nourish the skin – that is why it is often used in skin care products. Also, honey’s antioxidants compounds help to fight free radicals, which can damage skin. Some people find honey is very effective for conditions such as sunburn, acne and eczema.
• Unpasteurized (which degrades the enzymes, minerals and vitamins).
• Not ultra filtered – which removes the pollen and its benefits.
• Not a blend of different honeys from different countries (which almost all supermarket honey is, even when it is organic).
• The bees aren’t given antibiotics.
• The bees are fed honey not sugar (many beekeepers feed their bees sugar in the winter).
The color and flavor of honeys differ depending on the nectar source (the blossoms) visited by the honey bees. In fact, there are more than 300 unique types of honey available in the United States, e ach originating from a different floral source. Honey color ranges from nearly colorless to dark brown, and its flavor varies from delectably mild to distinctively bold, depending on where the honey bees buzzed. As a general rule, light-colored honey is milder in taste and dark-colored honey is stronger….
Following is a look at some of the most common U.S. honey floral varieties. To learn more about available types of honey in your area, contact a local beekeeper, beekeeping association or honey packer. For help finding a honey packer or a specific floral source, visit the Honey Locator.
Alfalfa honey, produced extensively throughout Canada and the United States from the purple blossoms, is light in color with a pleasingly mild flavor and aroma.
Alfalfa is good for cardio issues…arteriosclerosis in addition to the anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial properties.
Avocado honey is gathered from California avocado blossoms. Avocado honey is dark in color, with a rich, buttery taste.
Avocado honey is rich with vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and offers many of the same medicinal properties as an Aloe Vera plant.
Taken from the tiny white flowers of the blueberry bush, the nectar makes a honey which is typically light amber in color and with a full, well-rounded flavor. Blueberry honey is produced in New England and in Michigan.
According to the Brock University Blueberry and Buckwheat honeys have the highest antibacterial anti-oxidants
Buckwheat honey is dark and full-bodied. It is produced in Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as well as in eastern Canada. Buckwheat honey has been found to contain more antioxidant compounds than some lighter honeys.
While strong and dark, it has a high level of anti-oxidants. It is considered one of the most valuable honeys native to Europe. In comparison to other bright honeys, it contains more magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, phosphorus, nickel, bohrium, iodine and cobalt. If buckwheat honey is freshly extracted, it has: 51.6% fructose, 46.59% glucose and 0.27% sucrose. There has been established that there is a lot of vitamin C (2.9 – 11.9mg %), B1, B2 and PP. When it comes to the enzymes, content of the buckwheat honey is the richest among other Polish honeys. It has very high antibiotic qualities. According to research, its antibiotic characteristic is slightly better than Manuka honey’s
It is recognized to have an impact on:
Clover honey has a pleasing, mild taste. Clovers contribute more to honey production in the United States than any other group of plants. Red clover, Alsike clover and the white and yellow sweet clovers are most important for honey production. Depending on the location and type of source clover, clover honey varies in color from water white to light amber to amber.
Again, there are many different types of clover and thus clover honey…but in general, clover honey is known for:
Eucalyptus honey comes from one of the larger plant genera, containing over 500 distinct species and many hybrids. As may be expected with a diverse group of plants, eucalyptus honey varies greatly in color and flavor but tends to be a stronger flavored honey with a slight medicinal scent. It is produced in California.
Eucalyptus honey is good for: respiratory, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, decongestant, deodorant, antiseptic, antibacterial and stimulating health benefits – not bad for a teaspoon of honey…but you have to take it regularly.
Fireweed honey is light in color and comes from a perennial herb that creates wonderful bee pasture in the Northern and Pacific states and Canada. Fireweed grows in the open woods, reaching a height of three to five feet and spikes attractive pinkish flowers.
There are over 50 types of Fireweed but they do apparently help to strengthen the immune system, respiratory system and improve the condition of the body.
Manuka honey, primarily produced in New Zealand, is used as a natural product both internally and topically on the skin. The bees gather nectar from the flowers of the Manuka bush, which is indigenous only to New Zealand. The honey making process is enriched by the pollution free environment of New Zealand.
Manuka honey has been found to be effective against Helicobacter pylori, which is pathogenic to the stomach and intestines and is involved in the formation of gastric ulcers and 12-duodenal ulcer, and gastric cancer. Helicobacter pylori taken from the ulcer with biopsies was sensitive to a 20% solution of Manuka honey. The growth of these bacteria was completely discontinued with 5-% solution of Manuka honey.
Neem honey is not in this list but I will put it in anyways. Neem is a well recognized Ayurvedic plant utilized to treat: allergies, diabetes, high blood pressure, dental & throat infections, skin conditions.
Orange blossom honey, often a combination of citrus sources, is usually light in color and mild in flavor with a fresh scent and light citrus taste. Orange blossom honey is produced in Florida, Southern California and parts of Texas.
Orange blossom honey contains: quercetin, hesperitin, luteolin, kaempferol, galangin, naringenin and isorhamnetin — antioxidants with anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy, anti-cancer and immune supporting effects in the body.
Sage honey, primarily produced in California, is light in color, heavy bodied and has a mild but delightful flavor. It is extremely slow to granulate, making it a favorite among honey packers for blending with other honeys to slow down granulation.
Sage honey is a very pale honey and has less than 20% of the anti-oxidants of its darker cousins…but it still maintains all the other benefits of honey: enzymes, antibacterial, antifungal, etc
Tupelo honey is a premium honey produced in northwest Florida. It is heavy bodied and is usually light golden amber with a greenish cast and has a mild, distinctive taste. Because of the high fructose content in Tupelo honey, it granulates very slowly.
As with most plants, there are a wide variety of Tupelos – the best for honey is said to be the pure white tupelo. Along with antibacterial and anti-fungal benefits, tupelo honey to soothe coughs, sore throats, burns and as an anti-inflammatory, but research about its health effects is inconclusive. But it does contain: ” 25.95 percent dextrose, 43.27 percent fructose, 1.21 percent sucrose, 7.97 percent maltose and 1.1 percent higher sugars. It also contains thiamine, riboflavin, ascorbic acid, nicotinic acid, sodium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, calcium and phosphorous”
Wildflower honey is often used to describe honey from miscellaneous and undefined flower sources.
While different types of honey are available, most honey, especially honey supplied in bulk, is blended to create a unique and consistent taste and color.
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.
Dr Holly practiced as a psychologist for over 20 years utilizing a variety of tools from EMDR – OEI – hypnotherapy, etc and then incorporated into her practice: Dr of Natural Medicine PhD Nutrition MA Herbal Medicine REBA & ASYRA homeopathy reflexology, laser etc. As such she is truly a holistic practitioner. She not only works with cutting edge science but teaches around the world. In addition, she has published 11 books with three more in process.