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Reader Interactions


  1. As a lifelong beekeeper/breeder, my dad has also had some questions you can ask about how other beekeepers are maintaining their hives. Another thing to ask them is about how they are treating their bees for varoa mite, foulbrood, moths, etc. -if they are not using antibiotics. Also, if the beekeeper is sure that the wax you might be ingesting is chemical/pesticide free. Testing has shown that there is very little, if any, beeswax that is truly such because of the widespread chemical use in the industry.

  2. Hi,

    I have heard so much about the health benefits of honey, and want to start incorporating it into my daily diet.
    Do you have any links to a national honey board in the UK? I live in Wales (to the left of England lol) but I don’t mind buying online, I just don’t know where to start looking or who to trust.

    Any information would be much appreciated


    • I once knew someone who was from southwest England, and was asked, “Don’t people from southwest England usually say they’re from Wales?” His response was, “If they’re from southwest Wales, yes?” is what I would recommend. The association has all the educational materials related to beekeeping and bee conservation that should prove enlightening. They also sell some beehive products in their visitor centre, and could possibly set you up with individual beekeepers who may also sell their own harvests.

  3. I wondered if putting raw honey into a cup of tea or baking with it, would destroy the “raw” benefits of it? The fact that some people put raw honey in a microwave……….Yikes! I was so glad to get rid of my microwave!!

    • If you wait a while to add honey to your tea (like after you’re done steeping the teabag) or don’t use super-boiling to steep in the first place, the raw honey should still survive. Baking is slightly iffy, but it’s still a gradual heating compared to the microwave.

      I think the real issue is that many people think honey is just a sweetener, so as long as it’s “still sweet” — they don’t care what else is happening. But real honey is so much more than that!

  4. I just bought raw honey from Amazon. The jar says it’s unfiltered and unpasteurized (also organic) Should I be worried about bacteria or anything? I’ve been keeping it refrigerated since it hasn’t been cleansed of its bacteria and I didn’t want it growing.

  5. Hi Emi – I’ve been communicating with a raw honey seller on Etsy, and she mentioned that hive temperature ranges from 120-140 degrees F, which is quite higher than the 95 degree benchmark noted here. Is the seller perhaps mistaken in her figures, or is this variation from 95 degrees reasonable? Thank you!

  6. 140°F is an old industry standard for acceptable heating threshold that’s rarely questioned, but I disagree with it the way I would disagree with doctors who used to bleed people as a standard treatment. Having said that, it depends somewhat on where the hives are located — if they are in hotter climates, they will naturally withstand higher temperatures above 95°F (but they will also cool their hives by creating wind tunnels past that point).

    In other words, bees will heat their own honey up to about 95° and cool down to about 95°. There is of course margin for variation, though I’ve stuck my bare hands into hives many times and have never thought it was too hot to pull out. A minimum 120° hive temperature seems a bit high to me. I would ask that particular seller where the hives are located and what the outside temperatures were at their peak. Hope that helps.

  7. By the way, do you know anything about honeycombs? How healthy are they compared to honey itself, and what are the tings we should look out for when buying them? Thank you!!

    • Short answer: Honeycomb is a mixture of honey and beeswax (which is edible if it hasn’t been separated from honey). It counts as raw — it’s what’s ground up to make that really raw “paste”.

      Long answer is another article 🙂

  8. Should I go ahead and use the mass market honey for my baking? I’ve been using the good stuff up until recently when it occurred to me I was probably killing anything beneficial with the high heat. Thank you

    • I wouldn’t buy mass market honey anyway for the simple reason that the more I buy of that stuff, it creates a demand that would encourage those manufacturers to supply more junk. Baking is kind of a grey area because although the heat is high, it’s not as sudden as microwave or huge-bottling facilities. It’s that heat-shock that’s more destructive than anything.

  9. I appreciate the benfit of many years of bee-keeping by the above, and the many comments that have helped me to appreciate a little of all that is the Bee – a wonderful creature that we can and do learn and benfit so much from. Thank You.

  10. I have a question regarding the safety of raw honey – is all raw honey safe to consume? I have been purchasing my honey from Trader Joe’s while I searched for a good source, and meanwhile my friend (in a different state) developed a serious case of botulism from eating raw honey. She was hospitalized and put on steroids, it was terrible, and she is still recovering. Which is why I am now scared to eat raw honey. Not sure if Emi is still following this thread, but I’m just hoping someone will have some information for all of us, otherwise I will need to avoid it for now. Thanks!

  11. Great artical, but… In Minnesota The US Grade is required on honey labels. Grade is primarily moisture; Grade A = 18.6% moisture or less, Ect…
    This is from the Minnesota Dept. Of Agriculture.

  12. As an industry standard and according to the USDA, definitions of “filter” and “strained” are:

    Filtered honey is filtered to the extent that all or most of
    the fine particles, pollen grains, air bubbles, or other
    materials normally found in suspension, have been

    Strained honey is honey of any type that has been
    strained to the extent that most of the particles, including
    comb, propolis, or other defects normally found in honey,
    have been removed.

    Knowing whether is was strained or filtered also effects how you are supposed to grade your honey

    You can download the USDA pamphlet at:

  13. As a certified organic bee keeper in Canada, I would like to clarify that organic honey is not only about where the bees are feeding, but also how we, as bee keepers are treating them. Unlike most conventional bee keepers, we do not feed our bees sugar syrup when they are low on their own honey stores – we feed them their own honey; we do not use antibiotics against diseases, nor do we supplement with synthetic pollen substitutes. Our goal is to support the bees in a manner as natural as possible which, I believe, creates a better product and a better environment for the bees. Great article…lots of info!

    • Why don’t you use organic sugar for your sugar syrap? What about you breeding varroa mites in your hives that can then get strong and spread. How do you treat against varroa, with so few avaliable organic treatments without getting a mite that’s resistant to it?
      How do you keep your bees from flying on flowers that been sprayed?

  14. It amazes me how people think all stuff on the internet is true. I am a beekeeper in South Africa who is marketing his honey in 500g jars. Our harvesting time for honey is between September and April. Therefore I have to melt honey regularly to bottle it. How? I put up to 15 buckets of honey of about 29kg each in an insulated box of about 2.4 cubic metres with 5 x 150W light bulbs that is working with a thermostat. When its warmer than 122 degrees it switches off and vice versa. The temparature of the honey when going in is about 50 degrees and after about 24 hours the cristillized honey is liquid and cooler than 122 degees. This is the “junk” Emi is talking about that is “heated quicker than your baking!!!” (or are you baking in the sun?)

    In the warmer areas in our country it sometimes happen that combs break in hives due to high temperature. Bee wax is melting at 145 degrees!
    The temperature in the brood box of a bee hive is about 82 degrees as written in our scientific beekeeping books.
    Get someone who knows something obout bees and honey!

  15. My honey production and consumption background is from a long time of assisting my grandfather, who as a farmer kept about 100 hives asa part of his farming, than helping my father, who kept few hives as amateur and than, finally-keeping few hives myself as an amateur. I also like honey and like trying great variety of it.
    So, few explanations are needed for a general public (and as I see in the comments for some professional beekeepers) to better understand the whole issue.
    First, as article focuses on raw honey and I am personally very interested in it, indeed a general agreement exists that raw honey is one that was not exposed to industrial processing level of heat and pressure. Most agree for temperatures less than 110F and absence of filtering (just straining of some kind). However, this process need not produce a type of honey author describes (cloudy, hard, easytocrystalize,…). Many of those characteristics appear due to the another relatively industrial but almost universal step in modern honey production-extraction by centrifugal forces/spinning. This process is quite violent and inevitably extracts more impurities from the honeywhich, without filtering remain in the honey. Example: my own raw honey I extract slowly, by gravity alone. It has clarity on par with processed honey and never in my life had it crystallized (and due to personal taste I actually keep it in the fridge… which increases chances for crystallization). But, in this example lies an explanation about the roots of honey processing-no commercial scale honey production can afford days of extraction versus minutes in the spinning machine…
    Now, both consumers and beekeepers must understand that “that is how it is done” honey processing originates in the industrial needs. Large scale beekeeper can’t risk his livelihood by not treating bees against parasites, preventively. They can’t afford extracting it slowly and gently. From the latter emerges need for filtering and heating-impurities are drawn in and to clarify honey to the type average consumer expects-some heating and for an even larger scale production, strong pressure filtering is needed. These two processes also prevent honey from crystalizing, which typical customer also finds unappealing.
    Next step that must be understood is that “what is good honey” is similar question as “what is good wine”. There are few measurable characteristics. Most honey quality competitions focus on exactly the wrong thing, but visible thing-how clear is the honey,… And, same as with the wine, the real solution for customer is to try a large range of honeys, experiment and find what he/she likes. For me it was a raw honey (and I like it cold), but for every person this might not be the solution. My wife likes highly processed one…
    Final small note: while USA does not have letter honey grading system, do not treat “grade A” as an certain distraction. Many countries have indeed standardized grading system with required labeling, mostly based on water percentage in the honey (ex A would mean 15.5-17.5% water…)

    • Your honey have more fructose then glucose if it don’t Crystalize. OMG what a joke this whole article suck and it feels like I’m peeing against the wind. People have no idea about honey and bees!!

  16. Please be careful with your posts. Microwave ovens do NOT produce “radioactive” heat.. They do use microwaves that are a form of radiation just as light from the sun or from your flashlight s a form of radiation. Radioactive implies an unstable atomic nucleus that is decaying to a more stable state and emits a radioactive particle to do so. Not even remotely related to a microwave. Using the term “radioactive” gives a negative connotation that is not appropriate nor applicable to this otherwise very useful blog.

    By the way, I love the discussion about honey!

  17. I recently bought raw honey that was solidified, I boiled my kettle and placed the glass jar of honey in a plastic measuring jug so that it would become runny, after reading about pasturization I feel like the honey is now no longer raw and of any nutritional health benefits…can anyone help?

    • This is down to the natural sugers present in the honey which have over time crystallised this is totally natural and by heating the honey all you have done is return the honey to its natural state. It will over time crystallise again.

  18. As a Beekeeper in the UK this post is misleading on many fronts. I would suggest the writer not assume anything. Most beekeepers I know do not and have never bought in any honey they sell. Selling only the honey from their own hives. And on another note ref organic honey….. Sorry have I missed something organic honey by its very definition is untreated/raw and has nothing to do with insecticide that has been possibly sprayed on a plant. Not a single producer can 100% know how far the bees have gone to collect nectar and then guarantee it’s from a pesticide free source. Claims like this are misleading. Happy to answer any questions you may have.

  19. Nice article,
    One question, what if I make a granola, and add a raw honey on it, then I bake it in a microwave. Is it still consider that my granola have a raw honey on it’s composition, or its just regular honey?


  20. I love Honey! Honey is the best sweetener and the only one that is 100% natural. It is unfortunate that some honey in the today’s stores is just fake… that’s why I prefer to use only good brands like Carpathian ( I sometimes use local honey but only in months like June to August. All the other months no, because the beekeepers take the set honey, heat treat it and make it runny again. When they heat treat the honey, all the enzymes and vitamins of honey vanish. However, my favourite place online is because they have a honey brought from the Carpathian Mountains… really tasty and yummy!

  21. I like honey it is god’s gift according to me…but today’s world many ingredients have mixed in the pure honey so it is difficult to take original honey.I want to get knowledge about homemade honey can we prepare this at home?

    • Honey can only be made by bees. Raw Pure honey, like the one offered by Carpathian it is what God intended honey to be. Which means the honey is 100% pure, 100% natural, unprocessed, unpasteurized, whole food, unfiltered. It is from the hive directly into the jar.
      You can call it homemade honey only if you add another natural product like: ceylon cinnamon, pollen, dried walnuts, hazelnuts, gojiberries etc. by the way, you can find all of these on Carpathian’s website.

  22. Hi,

    I have heard so much about the health benefits of honey, and want to start incorporating it into my daily diet.
    Do you have any links to a national honey board in India? I live in Bangalore, India but I don’t mind buying online. I just don’t know where to start looking or who to trust.

    Any information would be much appreciated


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Lauren Geertsen, NTP

I’m an author, entrepreneur, and nutritional therapy practitioner (NTP). I began this website at 19, to share the steps that freed my life of chronic disease and medication. Now, Empowered Sustenance has reached 30 million readers with healthy recipes and holistic resources.

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