Honeybees produce honey from gathering nectar from flowers and plants. Worker bees then prepare it for storing by adding enzymes. Honey has long been used as a medicine with its antiseptic properties used as a remedy for ailments from sore throats to burns and cuts.
You can use honey in cooking instead of sugar and as it is sweeter than sugar, you only need to use half as much. Honey attracts water so it is good for baking cakes as it keeps them moister for longer.
The distinct aroma, flavour and colour of honey is determined by the type of flower from which the bee collects the nectar. Most honey comes from bees foraging on many different flowers and are known as polyfloral. However some plants provide enough nectar during their flowering season so that a hive can yield honey from one single type of flower. This honey, known as monofloral.
In the UK honey is produced primarily for local markets. There are around 40,000 beekeepers harvesting honey from Apple Blossom, Cherry Blossom, Hawthorn, Lime Blossom, Dandelion, Borage and Heather. Beekeepers plays an important role in the pollination of fruit crops as bees help pollinate plants and trees. The UK does have an unpredictable climate however in a normal year as much as 4,000 tonnes is produced not enough to satisfy us though as we consume over 25,000 tonnes per year. The extra demand is therefore met from abroad.
UK Honey Labelling Regulations
For more detailed information - go to the website of the Food Standards Agency.
The Word "HONEY" is required.
The weight must be on the label - we will ensure it is the legal size and format.
You can specify the area where the honey is produced. For example, Lincolnshire, Forest of Dean, Scottish Borders.
You can specify the type of honey. For example, Heather, Borage. The honey must be at least 75% of that particular type.
If you are selling the honey, you must have your name and address on the label. It does not need to be complete but you should be able to be found from the information.
If you are selling the honey through a third party, you must have a lot number.
You must have a best before date on the jar. We suggest 2-5 years from now.
You must have a country of origin on the jar. For example - Produce of England, Product of Scotland, Harvested in Wales. Adding the country to the end of your address is not acceptable.