Talk:Honey/Archive 1

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Types of honey

This text is overly slanted towards New Zealand honeys. While the information itself is fine, it either needs to be balanced with roughly equal coverage for other countries, or the NZ content needs to be drastically reduced.

Also, there was some inconsistency in use and capitalization of the word honey, so I deleted the superfluous ones, and unified capitalization to lowercase. Godfrey Daniel 20:03, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Nutritional information, mineral content and fermentation

Could anyone add nutritional information for honey? What is in it aside from water and sugar? Are there minerals in honey for example?

It depends on which type of honey you're referring to. The refined stuff that you get in stores is nothing but sugar and water with perhaps a few enzymes. Raw honey, on the other hand, contains a great deal of minerals and enzymes. The best kind of honey is the kind that has not been refined or processed. The mineral content can be increased by fermentation (so I've heard, I've asked about this. Please see my comment below.) Scorpionman 21:20, 4 November 2005 (UTC)
References? Vitamin and mineral breakdown of common types of honey? While it seems probable that honey would contain some vitamins and minerals it also seems quite likely that these would be present in extremely small trace amounts. Certainly too little to be of any practical value.

I've heard that you can ferment honey to increase its mineral and enzyme content. Wouldn't this affect the taste? How would it taste after fermentation? Scorpionman 21:21, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

Fermentation does not increase mineral content. Mineral content is what it is. Mineral content is independent of chemical bonds. Any sudden appearance of minerals that are not in the honey would be alchemy. Minerals are either there or they are not. Fermentation may change some of the mineral bonding so they become nutritionally more accessible but I don't know that to be fact. Shoefly 15:43, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

Well, fermentation only turns sugars into alcohols. It doesn't even affect molecules that include minerals, unless the presence of alcohol somehow makes minerals contained in the honey more available to human digestion. This seems extremely unlikely, especially since the chemical conditions in the gut lumen during digestion are not going to be affected very much by any potentially slight alcohol content of honey. After all, how much honey do you eat in one sitting? Mixed in with all the other food you've eaten and all the juices of your gut, a little bit of alcohol in your serving of honey probably won't change things significantly. Besides, I can't think of any reason to think that even a lot of alcohol in your gut would make honey's minerals more accessible to your digestive system. In short, unless a very reliable citation is available, don't say this in the article.

Ventifact 00:46, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
Well I don't really eat fermented honey, I just heard on some health-nut's website that it's better if fermented. I don't like fermented honey and prefer it in its sweet form. I don't need the alchohol in it. Scorpionman 19:33, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Oldest found honey and spoilage

"Honey is apparently the only food that does not spoil. (Um...while this can be found on the inside of a Snapple bottle cap, Im not quite confident in the validity of this "fact").

Sugar doesn't 'spoil' either. Honey is basically a mix of sugars with some water. Honey can and does ferment under the right conditions.

As a beekeeper and someone who has been producing and learning about honey for close to 30 years, I can confirm the "fact" that honey does not spoil. Honey is naturally antibiotic and antiviral. The only way that natural airborn yeasts can become active is for water to be added to honey. As long as the moisture content remains under 18% nothing will grow in honey. Natural, raw, honey varies from 14% to 18% moisture content. Raw honey also contains enzymes that help in its digeston. Honey was found in one of the Egyptian pyramids, estimated at several thousand years old, and it was still good."

Antibiotic, yes. Antiviral, highly unlikely.
It can be easily verified that honey does not last indefinitely. It may remain edible, but it changes.

These 2 passages need to be merged, de-personalised and edited to read in a more encyclopedic way I think quercus robur 18:40 Feb 7, 2003 (UTC)


I removed an erroneous implication that pasturization makes honey safer from botulinum sprores. The amount of heat that would be required to kill the spores would ruin the quality of honey. It would also be futile, since these spores are widely present in our environment. Pollinator 14:13, 4 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Honey was found in one of the Egyptian pyramids, estimated at several thousand years old, and it was still good.

- is this for real? any sources? 14:32, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I suspect "good" is in the sense of "edible" not "high quality." I find it believable with that qualification. It's part of beekeeper folklore. Pollinator 14:37, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)
- A cursory googling doesn't find any confirmation of this "honey in pyramid"   
 story. I do find a reference to a child preserved in honey, but this has no   
 confirmation and is actually mentioned on as likely an (early) 
 urban legend: User:Martijn faassen

Some more googling on honey in the pyramids shows up this page:

Not a pyramid (but valley of kings), and not honey (but initially misidentified as such). User:Martijn faassen

I just checked the latest edition of The Hive and the Honeybee, a voluminous standard reference on bees and beekeeping. It repeats the assertion, without attribution. Since there is a large panel of well respected scientists that put this together, I think they'd have dropped it, if it were merely a legend.
Quote: "...edible honey has been unearthed from the tombs of pharoahs after many thousands of years in clay pots"
Honey was a major part of the process of embalming, and was produced in large quantities in early Egypt, so it does not seem farfetched. Probably the best author to check for authoritative comment would be Eva Crane, who has done a lot of work on beekeeping history, but I don't have any of her works at hand. Pollinator 18:05, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)
A large panel of well respected scientists can still make mistakes, especially when it pertains areas not their own science, and especially when it involves "lore" knowledge. Note that 'tombs of pharaos' does not necessarily mean 'pyramids', as is asserted now on the article; I suggest we change that at least.
I see this piece of lore repeated over and over on web pages relating honey, especially when detailing the amazing properties of it, but I see anything ranging from 'small residues' to 'jars of honey' to 'honeycomb' as what was found, and so far no references to an authorative source. It's also listed on 'amazing factoid' pages.
One reference so far, is an archeologist T,M. Davies who is supposed to have found honey:
but on the previously listed page:
we see a reference to a certain 'Theodore M. Davis', and that's the page talking about a jar of something that is initially *misidentified* as honey. As evidenced at it turned out to be natron. Could that be the source of this bit of folklore? In that case honey wasn't found. Or was honey found on another occasion? User:Martijn faassen
Found some more information; this time "Small pottery flasks, which according to the hieratic inscriptions on the side originally contained honey, were found in the tomb of the boy-king, Tutankhamun", as mentioned here:
If that's true, then that implies there *wasn't* any honey there anymore to be edible. User: Martijn faassen

(A week later) Is any action going to be taken on this article? I think I showed convincingly enough there is no evidence honey was found in any pyramids, and that the claims in general about finding edible honey in Egyptian tombs are - while an oft-repeated fact - somewhat dubious.

My preference would be to change the article taking out the whole line referencing the archeological honey finds until more evidence comes along. If it turns out there were such finds, we can add it again. If we can confirm definitely that this is untrue, then I believe this should be noted too, in the light of the many claims to the opposite.

I don't want to change this page myself however, without at least some input from others.

User: Martijn faassen

Have you (or anybody) checked any of Eva Crane's historical works? She's about the most authoritative person on the planet as far as bee history goes. If it isn't there, delete. I suspect that there is some truth to the folklore, but the original reference would be old and would not be on the Internet. I'm sorry, I'm not near any university library, so I can't check the reference myself.Pollinator 20:50, 14 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I propose that while we're actually unsure about the tomb story, let alone the pyramid story, and this is stated as fact in the article but is based on hearsay but cannot be confirmed by either of us, we actually remove this. We can simply leave in that honey can be kept for a very long time, of course.

--Martijn faassen 21:45, 17 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Since nobody objected I've removed the "edible honey in Egyptian pyramid" reference. If someone can come up with evidence of course we should re-add it.

--Martijn faassen 23:45, 19 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Found report in The Evolution of the Hebrew People and Their Influence on Civilization by Laura Hulda Wild c1917 (pp16)[1])
It seems to be related somewhat to the story about T.M. Davies.
Also found an earlier reference to the same in The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine By Roy J. Friedman c1906 (pp70)[2]
Found a reference to fresh honey found in an Egyptian tomb and witnessed by Gabriele D'Annunzio in Gabriele D'Annunzio: defiant archangel By John Woodhouse c1998 (pp180)[3]

-- Anonymous 03:27, 10 March 2007 (UTC)


There should be a section on veganism and honey, as it is a relatively contentious topic.--Skinjob 13:56, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

I have no evidence but does the average vegan actually avoid honey? The ones I have encountered either object to farming methods or have an ethical problem with either consuming any creature or using and pontentially interfering with animals which have a cognitive ability. I would estimate that vegans who avoid honey are a fringe, but I will bow to any evidence proving the contrary Dainamo 22:48, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)
The manufacture and/or development of the product, and where applicable its ingredients, must not involve, or have involved, the use of any animal product, by-product or derivative. Such as:
Bee Products - bee pollen, bee venom, beeswax, honey, propolis, royal jelly
Greyweather 23:47, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Furthermore, the vegan position on honey is definitive. Honey was prohibited for use by vegans according to the 1944 manifesto of the British Vegan Society (veganism's founding organization), a position consistent with the requirement for full (vegan) membership in the American Vegan Society since its inception in 1960.
Justinsomnia 04:02, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Of all the Vegan's I've known, including (for a time) myself, none have avoided honey. I've known some who avoided purchasing it at stores, but had an "organic beekeeper" whom they knew that they got their honey from. I think the above Societies do not speak for the majority of those who call themselves vegans. I would thus propose changing the article to read something like: "Some Vegans, including the British Vegan Society (veganism's founding organization), consider honey to be an animal product and avoid using it, instead consuming alternatives such as golden syrup." As it is, the article is inaccurate as it states that a majority of vegans have a view that they do not. Unless somebody can find a worldwide poll where people who called themselves vegans are polled, and agree that honey is out for a vegan, I will be changing the article in a few days (after further discussion, if any). Unless of course somebody beats me to it. The article on Veganism says, "The Vegan Society and many vegans include insect products such as silk, honey, and beeswax in their definition." This type of language I can agree with. LittleBrother 6 August 2005 02:02 UTC

It is clearly an animal product and must therefore be avoided.


This surely merits being removed to its own article. GraemeLeggett 10:44, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

Strike that, I see what actually needs doing is correcting it.

Oddball Qur-aan citations

I don't think this citation from Qur-aan is necessary: The Qur-aan states that the female bees are the ones who go out to collect nectar.

There's already a citation from Qur-aan in the part about using honey as a medicine, and it seems like a legitimate one, but this one seems odd. Yeah, so the Qur-aan states that they do, but do they actually? If they do, why is it necessary to tell that it's the Qur-aan which says this?

I'm planning to remove the "The Qur-aan states that"-part. Opinions? -- 17:04, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

It's all over, said and done, haven't you heard? We are living our last days on this world. Also, fixed larva plural and linked the different bee types. It seems that Naushad was a bit too eager to advertize the Qur-aan, see the diff. -- 03:42, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Just wondering about the osmotic lysis point, wouldn't a high solute concentration in the environment cause a cell to implode as opposed to explode? Turidoth 06:11, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

Right you are the osmotic pressure is in suction mode.

New culture and folklore section

I've started a new section about the cultural significance of honey. I've put in a few examples, but there could be tons more, so please help. Maybe the Qur'an quotations previously removed could go here. Perodicticus 14:54, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Featured article potential

This article has potential to become featured — does anyone care to second my notion? –Hollow Wilerding 02:33, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

I think it is safe to say that the standard of a featured article is higher on the English Wikipedia than on other Wikipedias. I do think it has potential, but at the moment it lacks references, could use better pictures and the introduction should be restructured. It is too long an contains an external link. —R. Koot 00:07, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

honey dipper

how about adding info about the honey dipper?

I second this, That device has always intrigued me.
LexieM 21:23, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
It is a honey dipper? I always thought that thing was a meat tenderizer JayKeaton 16:37, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Bee Propolis

Perhaps a short summary here w/ link? Mikehal 04:22, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Medical Use of Honey

It would be useful to expland these two sentances into a larger section. I hae actually deleted it and began a section for the medical uses of honey and the reason honey is a good microbial agent.

I deleted this:

Honey is also very efficacious at healing skin tissue, especially wounds such as burns. Raw honey and Manuka honey are better suited for healing skin than "regular"/processed honey. Manuka honey has even been proven in clinical trials to be superior to silver sulfadiazine in the healing of burns.

Honey has since ancient times been used to treat open wounds and burns. Honey also posessed the properties of antibiotics, yet is not an antibiotic. I think there is also some research going on in New Zeland with the goal of bringing honey into more mainstream medicine.

LexieM 02:12, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Tendancy of honey to crystalize

The fact that honey can exist in a crystaline form is mentioned in the article. Should it be expanded to possibly include more informaiton about the crystal structure?

Also, I believe it should be mentioned that honey that crystalizes did not go bad and simply need to be heated to reverse the process. LexieM 21:28, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

i am MRSM student. i make thesis about the potential of honey bee to be anti-septic. after i make some research, what i found is, the composition in the honey bee help to build a new tissues.... (user:scorpiogurlz14..)

Since were talking about this, should we add how honey NEVER spoils? Honey dosn't spoil, it crystalizes like you said. In order to revert it, you put it in the microwave.

Activated by dilution?

Under Medical Uses/Hydrogen Peroxide, it mentions that H2O2 is "activated by dilution". It isn't clear what it means by "activated" in this context. Anyone able to clear this up? Escuerdo 22:09, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Because honey is saturated, the water contained in it is not available for further chemical reaction. That is to say that the Gibbs free engergy, in this case, prevents a reaction that would further concentrate an already saturated mixture (by drawing water from the mixture) to form H2O2. When water needs to be added to the system from an external source thereby diluting it. This is how I understand it. LexieM 21:46, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
That section really needs brushing up, and the citation of sources. A good rephrasing of the above would be "While hydrogen peroxide is unavailable due to the lack of water in the honey, the addition of excess water (I'm not sure where the water's supposed to come from, the skin?) creates a hydrogen peroxide solution which can thus act as an antiseptic". Assuming it's true, of course. 13:32, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
If hydrogen peroxide is honey's 'magic' ingredient, then why waste time with honey when you can get hydrogen peroxide cheaply and easily?
Because hydrogen proroxide (~3% medical Hydrogen peroxide) distoryes living tissue and healing wounds. 21:22, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

'pollen allergies treatment' needs source

This needs a source!

Honey that is local to where one lives can also help with seasonal pollen allergies because it contains the same pollen that is producing the allergy--consumed in this way it can act as an immune booster. It's most effective to eat about a teaspoonful a day for a few months leading up to allery season.

LexieM 02:50, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Actually this text appears twice in the article. I deleted the first occurrence and kept the later one (in the Medical section). I also tagged it with {{fact}}. There was another statement about medical use, which I moved to the Medical section. -- Gyrofrog (talk) 05:12, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Winnie the Pooh

I have very mixed feelings about the addition of the Winnie the Pooh link. It is misleading to give the impression that bears raid beehives for honey, when the brood is what they are actually seeking. What think ye? Pollinator 02:50, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree, but that does bring up a good point. This is a relitivly useful culteral refreence, and maybe we should include the fictional / popculture refrences to honey. (did that make sense?) 21:25, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Infant botulism risk overstated?

A 2005 Gaurdian article casts the infant botulism warnings in a ridiculous light. I think it would be reasonable to restate the botulism text. Duodecimal 16:42, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

An anon added that section and I cooled it down somewhat [4]. If you want to rephrase, go for it. Sumergocognito 02:56, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Organic honey?

There is a line in the article about so-called "organic honey". It basically says that organic honey is so-called because certain processes and regulations are observed in its production. This leaves the reader confused as to what the heck the difference is between it and regular honey, and why one of them should be called "organic" and the other not.

Unless additional information can be included on the real difference(s) between honey and "organic" honey, I propose adding "so-called" before organic, since according to the definition of the word organic, all honey is organic. Kasreyn 17:07, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

I can't find the USDA guidelines. Here's[5] the guidelines for organic honey in the UK.
Organic Honey is regulated by strict set of guidelines, which covers not only the origin of bees, but also the siting of the apiaries. The standards indicate that the apiaries must be on land that is certified as organic and be such that within a radius of 4 miles from the apiary site, nectar and pollen sources consist essentially of organic crops or uncultivated areas...
On non-UK produce, it states:
Each EU member state has its own national organic certifying authority which applies the EU regulation in that country...
...Food imported from outside Europe into the EU is subject to similar rigorous checks and standards. Imported produce must come either from countries recognised as applying equivalent standards and inspection procedures, or from identified supply chains where it can be verified that equivalent standards and certification criteria have been permanently and effectively applied at all stages. Importers and their storage facilities are also inspected and certified to ensure all their importing activities comply with the above.
--Dodo bird 04:54, 2 May 2006 (UTC)


I enjoyed reading this article. Very informative. Thanks. Dragons flight 05:26, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

"Medical Application" changed and citation deleted

The "Medical Application" section used to be: "Though widely believed to alleviate allergies, local honey has been shown to be no more effective than placebos in controlled studies" and cited

Someone has changed this to: "Widely believed to alleviate allergies, local honey has been shown to be more effective than placebos in controlled studies[citation needed]" and deleted the original citation.

Also, the added bit below about local pollen wafting in to honey seems highly unlikely and such a claim should again be cited or deleted.

There may be some anecdotal evidence "for" honey helping with allergies, but there's no excuse for deleting a citation you happen not to agree with.

Could someone with more Wiki knowledge than me fix this and if possible "lock" this section, as someone clearly has an axe to grind. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kempshott (talkcontribs)

The changes by anon user, who commented 'Corrected factual error regarding honey and allergies; citation referred to a small study regarding an eye allergy only.'. I reverted this as no citation has been given. GameKeeper 22:31, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

non-Apis honey

The intro states that this article is specifically about honey produced by the Apis genus of bees, not about honey produced by other types of bees or other insects. That's fine, but is there another article about honey more generally? If not, should we have one? --Delirium 20:50, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

H2O2 notes

In the Hydrogen Peroxide section it states: 'commonly 3% by volume, it is present in a concentration of only 1 mmol/l in honey.'

This isn't a particularly useful statement for nonchemists; these two units should be the same, either in mmol/l or % by vol, only then some sort of intuition can indicate the relation between the two.

WikiProject Beekeeping

I've put this article in WikiProject Beekeeping to help organisation and improvement of articles. I'm just trying to rustle up interest - if anyone is interested in being a member, please just sign up on the main project page - you can do as much or little as you like! Martinp23 17:08, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Precautions needs some balance

Reading the Precautions section could lead one to believe that eating honey is a dangerous practice. The information seems to be correct but it left me wanting to know just how real the risk is. I found a reference [1] which may be a source for the tutin poisoning information. This reference states that the last case of poisoning from commercially available honey was in 1974, although there have been some cases of people poisoned from honey self-collected in the wild since then.

It would seem that honey you might buy in a store is as safe as any other food (perhaps safer than unpasteurized orange juice), but you should be aware of this risks if you collect your own honey. Perhaps words to this effect could be added (and the reference[1]) after the opening sentence:

Honey is not always edible. Because it is gathered from flowers in the wild, there are situations in which it may be toxic.

One more thing: the information on infant botulism seems to be duplicated (or at least very similar) under two headings; "Honey and Infants" under "Medical Uses for Honey" and "Precautions". Maybe this could be brought together. Metajam 10:11, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

  1. ^ a b New Zealand Food Safety Authority Background on Toxic Honey

I read, but can't remember where, (oral rehydration therapy?)that Honey is a potential threat to infants because their body/water ratio is much lower than adults. Ingesting honey can unbalance electrolytes (or something) enough to induce shock in water deficient infants.Septagram 04:59, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Finland honey

The result of Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Finland honey was that Finland honey and Philippines honey are to be merged to Honey. Please add any relevant information from [6] and [7] to the article. Quarl (talk) 2006-12-10 21:41Z

==Soothing Properties The current article states, "Due to its antiseptic properties, honey (especially when combined with lemon) can be taken orally by Pharyngitis and Laryngitis sufferers, in order to soothe them.[citation needed]"

I have a hard time seeing how it's antiseptic qualities are related to honey soothing the throat for sufferers of Pharyngitis and Laryngitis. Soothing is a subjective feeling of temporary reduction in pain and is unrelated (though often the result of) the number of living infectious agents present. I suggest this mereley say, "many sufferers of throat infections find honey to be soothing if taken orally." or something to that effect. --Dwinetsk 06:16, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Types of Honey?

I'm just wondering if someone knows about the different properties of honey from different regions of the world. I have heard "Manuka Honey" from New Zeland has some different properties. I'm sure honey from areas of Africa may differ from Honey from Asia etc. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 23:31, 23 December 2006 (UTC).


I have moved the entire section tagged with {{Cleanup|January 2007}} from the article and placed it here, because the intent and meaning of the material is not possible to follow, I am assuming because it was translated from another language. If someone can make heads or tails of it, feel free to re-add the material. - WeniWidiWiki 03:57, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Removed material follows:

Generally Germanic names for honey are no etymologically connected to M-names spread from Indonesia to Spain. The older Germanic languages have also archaic M-names. While M name in numerous languages is similar to Me-da mean Me-yes/give then Ho-nay (Han no-more) mean semantically like drinking prohibition, overdose or refusal and is best attested in northmost word 'Hunaja'

  • language - native name for honey
  • Aragonés - Miel
  • Беларуская - Мёд
  • Bosanski - Med
  • Български - Мед
  • Català - Mel
  • Česky - Med
  • Cymraeg - Mêl
  • Dansk - Honning
  • Deutsch - Honig
  • Ελληνικά Μέλι - meli
  • English - Honey
  • Español - Miel
  • Eesti - Mesi
  • Suomi - Hunaja
  • Français - Miel
  • Gàidhlig - Mil
  • Galego - Mel
  • Hrvatski - Med
  • Bahasa Indonesia - Madu
  • Íslenska - Hunang, mjöð
  • Italiano - Miele
  • עברית - דבש (dbs (IPA[dbʃ])
  • Basa Jawa - Madu
  • Lëtzebuergesch - Hunneg
  • Lietuvių - Medus
  • Magyar - Méz
  • Nederlands - Honing
  • Nedersaksisch - Hoening
  • Norsk (nynorsk) - Honning, mjød
  • Nouormand - Honning, mjød
  • Occitan - Mèl
  • Oyghurque - Qaltis
  • Polski - Miód, (dilaects: Mjed , Mnjód, Miody)
  • Português - Mel
  • Română - Miere
  • Runa Simi - Miski
  • Русский - Мёд
  • Shqip - Mjalti
  • Slovenčina - Med
  • Slovenščina - Med
  • Српски / Srpski - Мед (med)
  • Suomi - Hunaja
  • Svenska - Honung
  • Türkçe - Bal
  • Українська - Мед
  • West-Vlams - Zêem, zjim, Meli
  • 한국어 - 꿀