Fawkham Bee Company
Fawkham Bee Company

Honey Granulation

From left to right - Clear, partially-set and fully-set honeys. From left to right - Clear, partially-set and fully-set honeys.

All good quality honey will in time granulate. This is a sign of good unadultrated honey. Only honeys that have been flash heated (pasteurised) remain runny - supermarket honey is one example.


A colony of bees will collect nectar from many different plants. This makes every jar of honey slightly different to the next one and therefore they will granulate at different rates. As a general rule of thumb, spring flowers give up nectar that is rich with glucose sugars. This produces a honey that crystalises and sets rapidly. Summer flowers generally give up nectar rich with fructose and the honey remains clear and runny. But as previously mentioned the bees from a single hive will visit many different plants so some honeys may have near equal amounts of glucose and fructose, meaning crystalisation can start to occur at any time after the honey has been bottled.


Some like the crunchy part-set honey and are pleased when the honey starts to set. If however you prefer your honey runny you can reverse the process of crystalisation by loosening the lid, standing the jar in a saucepan of water and gently heating until the honey returns to its liquid state.


Honey has an amazingly long shelf life. If kept in an airtight container it will remain in perfect condition for many years. When Egyptian tombs were opened, still-edible honey was found inside, left there as a gift to the gods of their time.


As honey has this shelf life we never rush to jar the honey. We store it for several months. This allows us to observe its glucose levels. Any honeys that show signs of setting are used to make our Soft Set Honey. Honeys that stay clear and runny are bottled as our clear (standard) Honey.


Our Soft Set Honey is produced from 90% honey rich in glucose mixed with 10% honey rich in fructose. The honeys are placed together in a tank and stirred for 20 minutes, 3 times a day for 5 to 7 days. This process allows the crystals to form but then snaps them with the stirring motion, leaving small fine crystals and a smooth soft honey, rather than large crystals which makes a hard honey.


While runny honey is golden in colour, soft set and set honeys are white in appearence. Yet they are actually both the same colour! The soft set honey only looks white due to light reflecting off of the crystalised structures within. This is easily proven by looking at them in a dark room, they both look the same.

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