Honey is the nectar collected from flowers by Honey bees. Honey is ordinarily liquid and dark gold in color. Honey is loved worldwide for its sweetness and aroma. It is used in many foods and recipes as an ingredient and dressing agent. The smell, color, and taste of honey vary based on the garden and the location from which the nectar is harvested from.
Five important species of honey bees found in India are as follows.
- The rock bee, Apis dorsata (Apidae).
- The Indian hive bee, Apis cerana indica (Apidae).
- The little bee, Apis Florea (Apidae).
- The European or Italian bee, Apis mellifera (Apidae).
- Dammer bee or stingless bee, Melipona irridipennis (Meliporidae).
Importance of Honeybee for The Earth and Human Existence
They help in Pollinating Food Crops: Honeybees always travel incredible distances to look for pollen. Pollination is critical as it allows plants to reproduce and grow fruits, vegetables, crops that humans need for a balanced diet. It is because of these amazing journeys that fertilization takes place between food crops.
They pollinate wild plants as well: Bees not only help with food crops, but they also pollinate wild plants. Wild plants play a major role in protecting biodiversity. They provide food to a wide variety of insects, birds, and animals that constitute nature. Without wild plants, these key players in the ecosystem would disappear. It is important to keep the honey bees around so that biodiversity would be protected.
They Produce Honey: All honey bees carry the nectar extracted from plants back to the hive. They mix the nectar with their saliva in a cell to produce honey. It is only bees who can produce honey for us. Honey is an important food that has immense benefits on our health. It helps prevent cancer, heart disease, gastrointestinal disorders, and diabetes. Honey also reduces coughs, increases athletic performance, heals wounds, and fights bacteria. Honey has antibacterial properties. We should be thankful for these relentlessly working creatures.
Bee Wax: Bees wax is a product derived from the honeycomb. Beeswax are used as a thickener, emulsifier, and as stiffening agent in cosmetics. Beeswax is used as a fragrance in soaps and perfumes.
Employment Generation: Beekeeping has been carried out across many generations in India. Honeybees might seem small and insignificant insects, but they play a huge role in food production, health and employment. Beekeeping is a low-investment and skilled Industry having the potential to offer direct employment to lakhs of people especially hill dwellers, tribal and unemployed youth, and farmers. India presently has as many as 35 lakh bee colonies, compared to 8 lakh during 2005-2006. The number of beekeepers, beekeeping companies, and honey societies has also increased year after year. The sustainability of this industry is therefore vital to the country’s economic well-being and development.
Present scenario of Honey Production in India and other nations https://msme.gov.in/sites/default/files/Beekeeping.pdf
India is among the major honey-exporting countries. The major markets for Indian honey are Germany, the USA, UK, Japan, France, Italy, Spain, etc.
India is at 8th position in the world for honey production.
Honey production is estimated as 35,000 MTs for 2005-06 which has now increased to the estimated 95000 MTs in 2017-18.
Health Benefits of Pure Honey
Honey, one of the most popular sweeteners used by people all over the world, comes with a bounty of health benefits. It has a number of potential health benefits and plays a role in many home remedies and alternative medicinal treatments.
Pure Forest Honey is rich in Thiamine, Niacin, Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, copper, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and zinc. This honey is power-packed with 22 amino acids. The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed honey for sore throat as an effective reliever. Studies have shown that honey works as effective as cough medications without any of the side effects.
Honey Immunity booster: A tablespoon of Wild Forest Honey (Stingless bee or little bee honey, sourced from the forests, and a glass of warm water. Drink this elixir regularly to see added benefits including a cleansed digestive system. It acts as a strong immunity booster for children and adults as well.
Honey is a good Medicine for Diabetes:
People who suffer from diabetes normally control and manage their carbohydrate and sugar intake but they can consume forest honey in moderation as it has anti-inflammatory properties that might also reduce diabetes complications. Research says that honey may support an increase in insulin, which is very important for controlling blood sugar.
Honey can reduce Sore throat: Honey is one of the best remedies for sore throat due to its natural antibacterial properties, offering immediate relief for pain while reducing inflammation. Honey can also kill bacteria, help fight off viral infections and also act as an effective cough suppressant.
Honey for Healthy Glowing Skin: One of the most effective ways to use honey for weight loss is by mixing half a teaspoon of Healthy Fibre’s Forest honey with a glass of warm water and a tablespoon of lemon juice. When you have this first thing in the morning, it helps you detox your body and energize your organs.
Honey for the good heart: Raw forest honey is a rich source of phenols and other antioxidant compounds which are linked to reducing risk of heart disease. Blood pressure is an important risk factor for heart disease, and research suggests that honey may help lower it, as it contains antioxidant compounds that have been linked to lower blood pressure.
Honey is good for digestion: honey is widely used in ayurvedic medicines, for all kinds of healing purposes. A tablespoon of forest honey or mix it with warm water will help with acid reflux in the stomach. Honey could also be used as a remedy for indigestion by taking raw natural honey with ginger tea.
How to test the Honey is pure or not
Water Test: In a glass of water, put a spoonful of honey, if your honey is dissolving in water then it’s fake. Pure honey has a thick texture that will settle at the bottom of a cup or a glass.
Vinegar Test: Mix a few drops of honey into vinegar water, if the mixture starts to foam, then your honey is fake.
The Heat Test: Honey remains unburned. To try the heat test, dip a matchstick in honey and light it. If it burns, then your honey is adulterated.