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Oh, honey: Utahns helping bees survive by being backyard beekeepers

Published: Tuesday, June 26 2012 4:27 p.m. MDT

Makes: 21/2 cups

11/4 cups fat-free mayonnaise

1/3 cup honey

1 tablespoon vinegar

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon onion flakes

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons prepared mustard

In small bowl, whisk together all ingredients until blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

— National Honey Board

TYPES OF HONEY

RAW HONEY: This is generally regarded as honey that is unheated, unpasteurized and unprocessed. Most supermarket-style honey has been pasteurized (heated at 161 degrees F or more, followed by rapid cooling) and filtered so that it looks cleaner and smoother, more appealing on the shelf, and is easier to handle and package. Pasteurization kills any yeast cell in the honey and prevents fermentation. It also slows down the speed of crystallization in liquid honey. On the downside, when honey is heated, its delicate aromas, yeast and enzymes are partially destroyed. Hence, raw honey is assumed to be more nutritious than honey that has undergone heat treatment. Raw, unfiltered honey looks milkier and may contain particles and flecks of bee pollen, honeycomb bits and broken bee wing fragments. It also granulates quickly. You can re-liquefy it by putting the jar in a hot water bath. In March 2011, the Utah Legislature passed a state law to define and regulate the labeling of "raw honey" as "honey that is as it exists in the beehive or as obtained by extraction, settling or straining, that is minimally processed and not pasteurized." The honey can be heated to a lower temperature and still be labeled as "raw."

Comb Honey: Comb honey is honey in its original form; that is, honey inside of the hone comb. The beeswax comb is edible.

Cut Comb: Cut comb honey is liquid honey that has added chunks of the honeycomb in the jar. This is also known as a liquid-cut comb combination.

Liquid Honey: Free of visible crystals, liquid honey is extracted from the honeycomb by centrifugal force, gravity or straining. Most of the honey produced in the United States is sold in liquid form.

Naturally Crystallized Honey: Naturally crystallized honey is honey in which part of the glucose content has spontaneously crystallized. It is safe to eat.

Whipped (or creamed) Honey: While all honey will crystallize in time, whipped honey (also known as creamed honey) is brought to market in a crystallized state. The crystallization is controlled so that, at room temperature, the honey can be spread like butter or jelly.

Sweet facts about honey

Resources

Some resources for beekeeping enthusiasts and wanna-bees:

National Honey Board at www.honey.com

Utah State University's site includes Utah beekeeping laws, management practices, and a list of county bee inspectors and beekeeping associations at utahpests.usu.edu/bees/htm/honey-bees

Utah's Own lists honey producers in Utah at utahsown.utah.gov/list.php?id=68&name=Honey%20Producers%20and%20Products&user_type=Member

Frank Whitby's Beekeeping blog at www.bees202.wordpress.com

Wasatch Beekeepers Association at www.wasatchbeekeepers.com

Abeez Honey of Spanish Fork offers hobby beekeepers tools, equipment, bees, pollination services, and honey at Abeez www.abeezhoney.net

Utah Beekeepers Association at www.utahbeekeepers.com

Utah County Beekeepers Association at www.utahcountybeekeepers.org

Hansen Hives & Honey in Salt Lake City offers wildflower honey, comb honey, beeswax and bee removal services at hansenhives.com

Harvest Lane Honey in Grantsville offers beekeeping supplies at www.harvestlanehoney.comPollen sources

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