Why is honey considered more valuable in the comb?
In the comb, honey is hermetically sealed and less exposed to air, therefore, valuable substances are better preserved. Wax also has its value as it adsorbs toxins.


What are the light spots inside the top of honey jars?
These are air bubbles or small pieces of wax. It indicates that the honey was immediately jarred after extraction and stored in a cool place. This is done to minimize exposure to air and prevent stratification because if honey is stored in a warm place for a long time, the upper part can have a higher water percentage, leading to fermentation.


Why is rapeseed honey considered to be of lower value?
All honey is good unless tampered with by humans. Rapeseed, like other cultivated plants, is a monoculture, meaning that even if the soil is not depleted, which is unlikely, the biological activity will be significantly weaker compared to various flower honeys from less disturbed natural areas of conventional agriculture. Rapeseed honey has a high percentage of glucose. It crystallizes very quickly. It is suitable for adding to coffee or tea, as it does not alter the taste. The problem is that rapeseed is very susceptible to diseases. From the seeding stage, powerful chemicals are used. During flowering, it is necessary to fog with insecticides, such as zeta-cypermethrin, thiacloprid, and alpha-cypermethrin. How harmless is this chemistry? Can rapeseed growers always adhere to all agronomic requirements when spraying rapeseed fields over large areas in changing weather conditions? Does rain always wash away the residue from the leaves? Do these poisons decompose, and after how long? It is difficult for a beekeeper to answer these questions. In Europe, rapeseed honey was one of the cheapest, often used for culinary needs. Like other food products, honey is no exception; the latest absurdity is that advertising machinery has made rapeseed honey one of the most sought-after honey types in some Western European countries. Everything, as usual, is subjected to maximizing profits.

Due to the popularity of growing energy crops, there are many GM (genetically modified) rapeseed plantings worldwide. This can be tragic for bees. Collecting pollen from these plants often results in bees not surviving the winter. It is only possible to guess what can happen to humans.

As is known, honey is considered a slow carbohydrate that does not rapidly increase blood sugar levels, but there are exceptions. Rapeseed honey, compared to others, has a very high glucose percentage. Therefore, looking at the glycemic index, this product is considered a fast carbohydrate. Diabetics should consider that such honey will increase blood glucose levels.


What is honeydew?
On hot days and cold nights, it can be observed that tree leaves become shiny. If a car is parked under a tree, this sticky liquid drips onto the glass, making it difficult to see through. This is the so-called sweet plant dew, small droplets of liquid on plant leaves, which can be from tree leaves or pine and spruce needles. Insects living under the leaves (most often various species of aphids) feed on these droplets. When there is a lot of this dew, the insects cannot process it all and excrete it. Bees collect anything sweet, from needles or leaves, and bring it to the hive. They ferment it, reduce the moisture, and dew honey is ready. This type of honey is very beneficial for human health.


Which honey is better to choose?
This is a matter of personal taste. Honey often varies in color, taste, and smell even in hives placed next to each other, not to mention over greater distances. Bees, finding a better yield, inform the rest, so the colony goes to that place. This can be within a 3 km radius or a 28 km2 area. Each year has different weather conditions. This means a different yield from blooming nectar plants. The composition is different in each place every year. The diversity of honey in Latvia can be seen at summer beekeeper gatherings when about 100 samples from all over Latvia are brought to the best honey competition. The difference is huge. Therefore, before concluding that honey does not taste good, it is worth comparing other offerings. Like wine, honey can be very diverse. The greater the variety of flowers, the more valuable the honey is for health.


How to properly use honey?
Honey is very compatible with other food products, helping the body assimilate them. Honey should not be added to hot tea or coffee but eaten separately. During heavy physical exertion, honey helps quickly recover strength, and before going to bed, it helps calm down. If you have not yet given up consuming cow's milk, then at least do not use it with honey. It is recommended not to swallow honey immediately but to keep it in the mouth for a while, as some valuable substances enter the blood while still in the mouth. Honey also acts as a promoter of intestinal peristalsis.


Can honey cause allergies?
No! Allergies can only be caused by high molecular weight amino acid compounds, which are animal-derived proteins: in cheeses, cottage cheese, meat. Honey is a carbohydrate, so it does not cause allergies and cannot. Honey may only accelerate the start of the detoxification process, which is an energy-intensive process. Upon receiving this energy, the body begins the detox process, often referred to as an allergy. Switch to adequate nutrition and forget about allergies forever.


Can diabetics use honey?
Yes, because honey almost does not require insulin. According to the glycemic index, honey is considered a slow carbohydrate, which does not rapidly increase blood sugar levels. The exception might be honey varieties with a high glucose amount, such as rapeseed flower honey.


Where is the best place to buy honey?
This is for everyone to decide. Surveys and statistics show that in Latvia, most honey is sold directly, beekeeper to consumer (without intermediaries). Supermarkets sell about 8% of honey. Similar trends are observed worldwide.


How much honey should be consumed?
Honey is energy in a concentrated form ready for immediate use, so the amount depends on physical and mental exertion. Apitherapy doctors recommend consuming at least 5 kg of honey a year. According to statistics, the average sugar consumption in developed countries is about 70 kg per person. If sugar were replaced with honey, for example, a person would use 100 g a day, which would total 36 kg a year, but statistics say that in Latvia, this number fluctuates around 1 kg per person per year.


How should honey be stored?
Like any biologically active product, honey is safest stored in a temperature range from 0°C to +10°C in a constant temperature, in a dark place, in hermetically sealed containers. Containers can be made of glass or special food-grade plastic. Cold does not harm honey.

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Beeswax is a substance similar to fats, secreted by bees through their wax glands to construct cells for storing honey and raising brood. In its pure form, wax is white, but it turns yellow when it comes into contact with pollen.

In a standard Latvian hive frame for brood rearing, there are 15 frames, each containing about 9000 cells. To create one cell from wax, 40 bees must work.

Placing wax in a room can produce a pleasant, natural fragrance. It is a good alternative to chemical air fresheners with various artificial aromas.

At low temperatures, wax becomes very brittle, but it becomes liquid at above +65°C. When it comes into contact with fire, it burns. Pure wax without impurities burns off without residue. It is slightly lighter than water and can float on its surface.

The most popular use is for beeswax candles. However, it is widely used in the industrial and food sectors, as well as in medicine and cosmetics. Due to its wide range of applications, the demand for wax is much greater than the supply.

Capping wax, which bees use to seal full cells of honey, compared to the rest of the wax, is richer in biologically active substances. Sucking on wax cappings serves as an effective remedy (absorbent) in cases of respiratory colds against various bacteria and virus-induced toxins. The human body almost does not metabolize wax; however, as it moves through the digestive tract, wax can collect and absorb various harmful substances. Wax cappings are also useful in dentistry for strengthening the gums and cleaning the oral cavity.

In ancient times, people had neither bee frames nor honey extractors. Bees lived in tree cavities in the forest. Therefore, the honey obtained by people was consumed together with the cells, that is, the wax, along with bee bread and propolis. It is possible that they also consumed royal jelly, which is only present in the bee colony for a very short period of time. From a health perspective, this is a good combination. Honey – for energy, bee bread – as cell building material, propolis – for protection, and wax – as a toxin absorbent, but when working with bees, their stings and bee venom also served as an additional medicinal remedy. Nowadays, when we have learned to separate all these products, honey predominantly dominates.