What’s the difference between raw honey and conventional honey? Ron from Sherman & Cherie’s Beezy Bees explains raw honey in the video above.

What is raw honey?
Raw honey is as close to “straight from the hive” as it gets.

Bees produce honey by pollinating plants, including flowers, fruits, and vegetables. According to Sherman & Cherie’s, honey will vary from season-to-season and region-to-region. That’s because bees pollinate a wide variety of plants. Lighter-colored honey is generally produced in the spring, and darker honey is generally produced in the fall.

Raw honey is filtered and bottled. It is minimally processed, not pasteurized, and not heated to high temperatures. 

What is the difference between regular honey and raw honey?
The main difference between regular honey and raw honey is the amount of processing. Raw honey is filtered and bottled with minimal processing. Conventional honey is processed and pasteurized at a high temperature, which may kill the trace amounts of antioxidants and enzymes in raw honey. It is believed that some of these enzymes and antioxidants may have benefits linked to reduced inflammation and heart health. 

Is raw honey healthy?
Raw honey is delicious and can be enjoyed in moderation, but it is still a very concentrated sweetener. “Try choosing a whole fruit, like a plum, before choosing foods with added sweeteners like honey,” says Oldways Director of Nutrition Kelly Toups. While fruits do contain sugar, they also contain fiber (which helps create a gentler impact on blood sugar) and higher levels of essential vitamins and minerals.

Although it’s not a “savior food” that we should drizzle over all our meals, there are small amounts of beneficial nutrients and enzymes in local, raw honey. These may not be present in conventional honey, nor in most other sweeteners, like table sugar. (Read more about raw honey studies and health benefits.)

How do you store raw honey?
Raw honey should be stored in a clean, well-sealed jar at a stable room temperature. Do not heat raw honey to high temperatures—and you may want to think twice before adding it into steaming hot beverages! Says Ron of Sherman & Cherie’s Beezy Bees: “If you put it in your tea, make sure you let the tea cool down a little bit. Because if it’s above 170 degrees, you’re going to kill the enzymes.” 

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