Honey is the sweet substance produced by bees from the nectar of flowers or honeydew of aphids they collect and store in the cells of the hive. It is derived from domesticated bee hives high, or wild bees (known as wild honey, which the United Nations (FAO) classifies as forest products other than wood). It is often the only source of sugar indigenous withdrawn most of tropical forests.
The honey in the history
Present in the Nile Delta and Sumer, honey played the role of sugar. In ancient times, honey of Narbonne was considered one of the best.
In addition to its consumption as food or condiment, it has been used to heal, beautify the skin and embalm the dead among Egyptians. During the first and World War II, was used to accelerate the healing of wounds of soldiers [ref. necessary]. It was also used to confire fruits and vegetables by combining the vinegar and mustard, but also to sweeten the dish. From the Middle Ages in China and then Europe, it is used in the manufacture of gingerbread.
Beekeeping is to raise bees in order to harvest the honey. The first work of the beekeeper is to provide a hive of bees. Bees butineuses are in charge of supplying the hive. Each morning, the bee will browse in the fields of flowers where she worked the past day or participated in the discovery of new plants. Once placed on a flower, the bee in spreading petals, plunges his head inside, extends his trunk and aspires nectar it makes in its crop. After visiting several flowers and filled his crop, she returned to the hive, then depositing its load in the mouth other bees workers. In place of flower nectar, bees can harvest the honey, sweet excrement of aphids to be used in the same way that the flower nectar. This product which is used for honey pine.
The scientist Heinrich measured the volume of work performed by bees butineuses. Thus, to produce a jar of 500 grams of honey bees must make more than 17 000 trips, visiting 8 700 000 flowers, all representing more than 7 000 hours of work.
The warmth of the hive, and the air currents created by bees ventileuses are evaporate the excess water full of nectar. Moreover, thanks to the work of workers who aspire then recrachent, nectar, and mixed with saliva and digestive juices to, is ready to be then stored in special cells. It will turn into honey. When winter comes, the bees draw on these reserves to feed.
In the past, men gathering honey in tree trunks or in small cavities naturally inhabited by bees. They then arranged these trunks and other constructions rudimentary.
In the past century, France, bees were still high in hives straw. At that time, honey was consumed with wax or extracted by pressing.
It is the beekeeper François Huber of Geneva (researcher blind) which put developing the first model hive to mobile executives. The embossed leaf was discovered in 1858 by Mehring and centrifugal extractor invented in 1865 by Hruschka. These discoveries facilitated the work of beekeeping.
Beekeeping offers different types of honey origin, taste and appearance very varied. The honey is said monofloral when its origin stems largely from a single variety of flowers. The beekeeper has placed its rises just when the honey of the flower sought and has withdrawn soon after to make the harvest. The other honeys are known all flowers and can be nominated by their geographic origins.
Crystallization of honey
Sometimes honey crystallizes in its pot. The propensity of a honey to crystallize depends on its origin, but has no direct link with its quality. If a honey is heated to over 40 degrees during centrifugation or setting pots, it crystallizes slowly, coarse crystals. Just heat a crystallized honey in a bain-marie (40 ° C max.) For the liquid. Heat a honey at a higher temperature makes it lose quality.
At extraction, honey is clear and thick. With storage, it can freeze because it contains glucose which candit. Plus it contains glucose, it freezes more quickly (clover honey, for example). If the fructose is more abundant (acacia honey among others), honey remains fluid one to two years.
There among honey containing very little water forming a "flower" to the surface. It is a natural phenomenon that is not detrimental to quality.
The honey deemed
* Honey rosemary also known as "Honey Narbonne" was regarded by the Romans as the best honey in the world. From white and very rare in France, it is mainly produced in the Corbières.
* Honey fir Vosges is also highly regarded. Very dark in color, it is the result of honeydew accumulating on branches of trees.
Other types of honey
* The honey locust false acacia said acacia honey to taste sweet, is liquid, clear and does not crystallize.
* Chestnut honey to taste bodied, bitter, is viscous and more or less gloomy comes as nectar or honey.
* The lavender honey, very fragrant, cream-coloured presents a very fine grit.
* The honey rapeseed, with a mild cabbage flavor, color is clear, it crystallizes quickly due to high levels of glucose.
* Buckwheat honey wheat or black-bodied, brown is emblèmatique local breton.
* The honey of scrubland and mountains are all flowers, their taste and appearance depend on their land.
* Clover honey; product from the latter, honey white.
* Honey blueberry, from blueberry blossoms.
Interest nutritional and therapeutic use
Its benefits are many and vary the type of honey.
The honey contains fewer calories than sugar (64 calories against 84 per 20 grams). It has the same glycemic index but provides more antioxidants.
During the Olympics, athletes drinking water honeyed to quickly recover their strength.
Source longevity, honey slows down physiological processes of aging, and reduces premature weakening of vital functions [ref. necessary].
Hippocrates (the largest physician of antiquity, 460/377 av. AD) said that the use of honey led to the most extreme old age, and mandated to combat fever, wounds, ulcers and purulent wounds.
Until the time of Paracelsus honey enjoyed a high esteem in medicine. It was used mainly as an antiseptic agent for the healing of infections and is effective for the care smooth warts, buttons infections, boils.
Recently, European researchers have decided to investigate more important honey as a healing treatment.
Composition of honey
* Carbohydrates (sugars) in bulk: 78 to 80%
o represented mainly by fructose (or lévulose): 38%
o glucose (or dextrose): 31%
o and maltose, sucrose (or sucrose) and other polysaccharides (mélibiose, turanose, ...).
* From the water: 17%
* Proteins: less than 1%, but containing a large number of free amino acids: aspartic acid, glutamic acid, alanine, arginine, asparagine, cystine, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, proline , Serine, tryptophan, tyrosine and valine.
* Minerals: 0.1% max. for honey nectar and other, up 0.5% (extract of the Codex Alimentarius) for honeydew honeys, with over thirty elements already inventoried: aluminum, silver, arsenic, barium, beryllium, bromine, calcium , Cesium, chlorine, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lithium, magnesium, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, gold, palladium, phosphorus, potassium, rubidium, scandium, silicon, sodium, sulphur, strontium, titanium, vanadium, zinc , Zirconium. These minerals are not always all in a honey determined. By cons, some are systematically in all honey and then often in large quantities, including potassium, the first cation intracellular essential to life. We must also know that dark honey are generally richer in minerals quantitatively that the honey clear.
* Organic acids, free or combined in the form of lactones: 0.3%, the main one being the gluconic acid.
* A large number of vitamins in quantities far to cover our daily needs, nevertheless appoint a non-negligible. The honey contains vitamins B1, B2, B3 (or vitamin PP), B5, B6, C, and incidentally vitamins A, B8 (or vitamin H), B9, D and K.
* Lipids (fats), a small quantity, in several forms:
o fatty acids (palmitic acid, oleic and linoleic).
* Many complex organic compounds:
o enzymes, which are the main amylases alpha and beta, gluco-invertase and gluco oxidase, and these enzymes (which help digest food and are causing some virtues of honey) are destroyed by heating exaggerated honey should therefore always be avoided.
o Several factors natural antibiotics, grouped under the generic name of inhibin, which are actually powerful bacteriostatic, ie they inhibit the growth of bacteria but does not kill.
o Many other biological substances varied:
+ A principle cholinergic close to acetylcholine,
+ A principle estrogen,
+ Flavonoids with many interesting and physiological properties,
+ Alcohols and esters,
+ Aromatic substances, which not only gives aroma (as phenylacetic acid) and the specific taste of honey, but also have therapeutic virtues,
+ Pigment materials specific to each honey, which give it its own color.
* And finally grains of pollen that sign the botanical origin.
* Honey berries Roses (false pepper): 80% of production
* Honey letchis: 15%
* The mythical honey green (Tan Rouge)
* The honey forest
* The honey all flowers
The Reunion produces 150 tonnes of honey. A production could increase by several tons, if the potential melliferous the forest could be exploited further. The Reunion has a thousand beekeepers, with a stronger presence in the South for about 20 000 hives spread over the whole island.
The current consumption of honey is estimated at 300 tons, of which 150 tonnes were produced locally and imported 150 tonnes. If honey on the island is good, however, few Réunionnais consume. This consumption reached 400 grams per year per capita, against 600 g in Montreal and many more in some countries in Europe such as Germany or Greece. But consumption tends to increase steadily. Indeed, it was just a few years ago of 300 g. For beekeepers, if the emphasis was on the quality of honey and their benefits, consumption could increase significantly.