Humans value golden or sweet things a lot. But don’t ask me why! A mystery of life. Honey has both of these qualities, and that’s why you can’t stop licking your fingers after you’ve touched it. Have you heard about Heaven? I can share a bit. It’s called “The Land of Milk and Honey”, that’s according to the Christian Bible. In the past, honey was known to be food for the gods, and it used to be offered as a sacrifice to them. Well, hope you are not already salivating. Let’s cut to the chase, and you’ll know how this sweet thing is created, from the raw materials to double diaphragm pump phase.
The Raw Materials
Honey a sweet and syrupy substance usually made by honeybees from nectar obtained in flowers. Honey is usually made of around 20% of water, 76-80% of glucose, fructose, wax, pollen, plus various mineral salts. The composition and colour of the honey mainly depend on the flower type the nectar is obtained from. Let’s look at a few examples. Heather produces a reddish-brown colour, clover and alfalfa give white honey, lavender is for amber hue, whereas if you find straw colour honey, it’s from acacia and sainfoin.
A colony of bees, the normal size, can give 27-45 kilograms of honey annually. In a colony, the honeybees are grouped in three sections. First is the worker bees, consisting of roughly 50,000 to 70,000 bees. A worker bee lives for 3 to about 6 weeks. During this period, it’s able to collect almost a teaspoon of nectar. Keep in mind that to make a half kilogram of honey, you’ll need the nectar of quantity 1.8 kg.
After obtaining the nectar it’s poured inside empty honeycomb cells. Different worker bees will ingest the nectar, that’s in the honeycombs putting enzymes in it making it ripen to honey. After being completely ripened, the honey is poured again into the honeycomb and later sealed off.
The Manufacturing Process
The beekeeper is usually responsible for removing honey from the filled honeycombs. The beekeeper puts on protective garments, the protective gloves and a veiled helmet.
Once they’re picked, the honeycombs are put in an extractor. The extractor is designed as a large drum that applies the principle of centrifugal force to have the honey out. A single honeycomb may weigh almost 2.27 kilograms. The moment the extractor is spinning, the honey gets pulled out as it is pressed against the walls. The falls into the cone-shaped bottom, and later out of the extractor using a spigot. There is usually a honey bucket beneath the valve. The honey bucket has two sieves that filter the honey from the wax. One sieve is usually soft, while the other is coarse.
After extraction, the honey is taken to a commercial distributor. It’s then put in tanks heated to maintain a temperature of 48.9 degrees. The honey is made to stay in these temperatures for about 24 hours to eliminate impurities like pollen and bee parts.