Crystallization of honey is not an indicator of naturalness!


Crystallization of honey is a natural physical process that begins sooner or later in any natural honey. At the same time, the chemical composition of honey does not change in any way.

What determines the crystallization of natural honey?

A lot of factors influence the crystallization of honey, unfortunately, there is a lot of false information, MYTHS on the Internet.

The main factors influencing the process of crystallization of honey in natural conditions are:

  1. Fructose and glucose content
  2. Storage temperature and humidity
  3. Physical influences (stirring, rest)
  4. Mass fraction of water
  5. Storage time
  6. Presence of foci of crystallization (starting crystals, for example, old honeycomb frames and pollen, for example, poorly filtered honey after pumping)
  7. Degree of maturity of honey

Fructose and glucose content

Glucose tastes sweet and crystallizes easily. Fructose is sweeter than glucose and does not undergo the sugaring process. If the percentage of glucose does not exceed 30%, then honey will hardly crystallize. Honeydew honey will crystallize very, very slowly because it has a high fructose content.

The rate of crystallization of natural honey depends on the honey plants from which the bees collected nectar. For example, honey from cruciferous plants (rapeseed, mustard), sunflowers, and cotton planted very soon. Then you can select such varieties of honey that also crystallize quickly, but slower than the previous ones: it is lime, buckwheat, but even these varieties have different crystallization times, everything will depend on storage conditions, and from which honey plant, nectar was still collected, because 100% honey from linden and buckwheat, no.

Storage temperature, ambient humidity and storage time

Storage temperature, ambient humidity plays a very important role in the process of honey crystallization. If you store honey at t +14 to +22 degrees, then the honey will almost not thicken. At t +6 and below, it begins to thicken, the processes of molecular diffusion slow down, and crystallization begins.

Remember, honey is a living product, sometimes it seems that it lives its own life.

Buckwheat honey is very critical to temperature drops, it can crystallize in a matter of days if it is changed in storage temperature, for example, stored in a refrigerator, transported at low temperatures.

Sometimes you can buy natural honey from beekeepers, both shrunken (crystallized) and liquid, from last season. The beekeeper stores honey after hauling in rooms with different temperature conditions, partly in a warm room, partly in a cool one, due to the lack of, elementary, industrial warm rooms. This does not mean that crystallized honey is bad honey, on the contrary, it is an excellent natural honey that is economically consumed, it is also better absorbed by the human body, because most often, the crystallized product is slowly absorbed in the mouth, it does not immediately enter the esophagus.

Physical influence (stirring, rest)

So we slowly moved on to another factor that affects the rate of honey crystallization. If you mix honey, then the intergrown crystals will disintegrate, while their number will increase, which will speed up the thickening process. Very often there is such a fact that most people stock up on honey from the beekeeper immediately after pumping out, it happens that these are 3-liter jars and not one. Put in a locker for storage, part of the honey remains untouched until the next pumping, i.e. the honey is at rest. The storage temperature does not change (18-22 degrees, at room temperature), humidity is most often not more than 60%, forest or meadow honey plants, which slowly crystallize, as a result, honey is in a liquid state for several more years. This does not mean that the beekeeper mixes something, dilutes honey with sugar. Such honey is also called ripe, mature.

From where then was born the MYTH that honey must crystallize by February?

I have been pumping this myth since Soviet times, not everyone understands what kind of honey was sold from state farm (industrial) apiaries. Friends, they didn’t sell freshly pumped honey to you, it was rare, any industrial apiary (100-120 bee colonies) of those times always, absolutely always, kept a rather large food supply, a strategic, reserve supply of honey in storage, for food for the spring development of bee colonies to the main bribe. They kept a supply for a lean year so as not to lose the apiary, the bees also want to eat and a lot. One bee family eats 150 kg of honey during the year. You were always sold last year’s honey, and the fresh harvest was stored or exported. Today, apiaries do not belong to state farms, but to small beekeepers (85-90%), who leave food reserves only for the spring. The principle of work of beekeepers now is as follows, despite the fact that counterfeit occupies a significant share of the presented honey on the market, thanks to them, the average retail prices for honey are 350-500 rubles per 1 kg. Believe me, the beekeeper will not reduce the price of natural honey, every beekeeper knows the price of his product.


Thus, if suddenly, in February, you see liquid sunflower, linden, buckwheat honey, please think about it! This means that, most likely, the product was heated up or food chemicals were added, which transforms honey from natural to confectionery.

Natural honey harvested from certain flowers may not crystallize for a long time. If it is collected by bees from fireweed (willow-herb), acacia, or honeydew honey, it remains in a syrupy state for years. Even if after 12 months, the varieties of honey that crystallize slowly become cloudy, this is an indirect indicator of the high quality of the product.

Apiary Palyok from Cherdynsky district wishes you successful honey shopping!


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