Frequently Asked Questions
Why has my honey crystallised?
Honey contains a natural sugar called glucose. When glucose separates from the water in honey, small crystals form. If the blend of honey contains more glucose and less water, the crystallisation process happens faster.
All types of honey will crystallise over time, but there are things you can do to keep it runny for longer. We recommend storing your honey at room temperature – don’t put it in the fridge, as it crystallises faster at low temperatures.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with crystallised honey – some people prefer it! You might find that it’s easier to spread on your toast in its crystallised form, and some recipes specifically call for crystallised honey.
How can I make my honey runny again?
If you prefer your honey runny, you can return it to its original state by filling a large bowl with warm (not boiling) water and allowing the jar to sit in the bowl until the crystals have dissolved.
Will my honey expire?
Due to the high natural sugar content in honey, it never expires. As it is a natural product, it may crystallise or change in appearance – but it is still perfectly safe to eat. We print best before dates on the lids of our products; however, this is only a recommendation.
Where should I store my honey at home?
We recommend that you store your honey away from sunlight, and at room temperature. In a cupboard would be ideal!
What is the difference between organic honey and non-organic honey?
We have the EU organic logo on our organic products. To use this logo, the products must be certified as organic by an authorised body – passing strict conditions on production, processing, transportation, and storage. At least 95% of the product must be made up of organic ingredients, and the remaining 5% is subject to stringent conditions.
Why is Meadows Honey blended?
Because honey is a natural product, availability from season to season can differ. In other words, because bees in one country do not make honey all year around, we work with beekeepers in different locations to maintain a steady supply of batches.
One of the advantages of blending different batches of honey is that the resulting blend has a standardised taste. This means that no matter what time of year you buy your honey, you are guaranteed the same delicious taste that you expect from each pack.
Is Meadows Honey suitable for vegetarians and vegans?
Our honey is suitable for vegetarians. However, as honey is created by bees, it is technically an animal by-product so whether it is vegan is a matter of debate.
Is Meadows Honey gluten free?
Yes, all of our honey is gluten free.
Why is Meadows Honey unsuitable for infants under 12 months old?
It is not recommended that honey is served to infants under the age of 12 months old. This is because their digestive tracts have not developed enough to process some of the natural bacteria that is occasionally present in honey. Despite this, honey is still widely regarded to be safe to consume during pregnancy.
Is Meadows Honey pasteurised?
No, Meadows Honey is never pasteurised.
How do bees make honey?
Worker bees go out foraging in the area around their hive. They collect nectar using their proboscis (a long tongue) which acts as a straw, allowing them to suck nectar from deep inside the flower. They store this in a second stomach which acts as a carrying purse.
When the worker bee returns to the hive, they transfer the nectar to a house bee who chews it for around half an hour. This adds enzymes to the nectar which breaks it down and turns it into a syrup. It also reduces the water content, which makes it easier to digest and harder for invading bacteria to live in it.
Once this is done, the bee distributes the syrup into the cells of the honeycomb in the hive. Distributing it across a large surface area encourages the thickening of the honey through further evaporation of water. Other bees in the hive will help with this process by using their wings to fan the honey.
When the honey has reached the correct consistency, it is capped with beeswax so that it can be saved for later consumption.
How is the honey collected from the hive?
Beekeepers harvest honey by lifting the honeycomb frames out of the hive and scraping off the wax caps that hold the honey in. Next, the frames are moved into an extractor which spins the frames at a rapid speed so that the honey comes out of the honeycomb.
Bees use a lot of energy – they flap their wings over 11,000 times per minute. They are also highly proactive. They ensure that they produce enough honey to raise their young, sustain the colony throughout the cold winter months, and still have some left over in case of an emergency. On average, the bees produce around 65 pounds of extra honey every year. This means that there is plenty to spare, and the colony is not harmed when the beekeepers harvest the honey.