How do bees make honey?
Discover our honeys
How do bees make honey?
Known for thousands of years, honey, a delicious golden nectar, delights our taste buds. A real culinary jewel, this product with its many virtues is consumed in cooking but is also used as a therapeutic and cosmetic product. The fruit of the hard, meticulous work of our charming little flying creatures, the bees, honey is one of the most natural and precious elements on this Earth.
Playing a crucial role in the production of liquid gold, bees travel hundreds of kilometres and gather honey from countless flowers. They also play a vital role in pollinating plants, guaranteeing the survival of numerous ecosystems and thousands of agricultural crops.
Fauchon plunges you into the fascinating world of bees and takes you on a detailed tour of how this sweet treasure is made.
Nectar is the essential raw material for making honey. Derived from flowers, nectar is a substance chemically composed of water and sugar, produced by the nectar glands and which attracts pollinators. In a meticulous process, these insects collect the pollen that sticks to their feet and deposit it on the flower pistil, enabling many plants to be fertilised and reproduce.
Foraging bees use their proboscis to suck up the nectar from the pretty flowers and store it in a pouch called the crop.
There's no one kind of honey! Depending on their location and the environment around them, different species of bees gather nectar from specific flowers such as lavender, lime, acacia or any other variety of flower to make a delicious honey with the sweetest flavours.
Turning nectar into honey
Once the flowers have been foraged and enough nectar has been collected, the bees head for the hive where the honey will be produced. The transformation process begins in the mouth of the forager bee which, after regurgitating the nectar stored in its crop, adds specific enzymes (invertase and glucose oxidase) which gradually transform the nectar into honey.
Storage in the honeycomb
Once the nectar has been processed, the worker bees store the honey in the hive's alveoli. The alveoli are small hexagonal cavities made of beeswax. As the nectar still contains a lot of water, the bees still have some work to do! It's time to transform the liquid into thick, sticky honey. This is the evaporation stage: the bees open their wings to ventilate the hive and create a current of air that will allow the water contained in the nectar to evaporate.
The ripening process
When the water content is below 20%, the bees seal the cells with wax to preserve and protect the honey. Sheltered from air and humidity, the honey then continues to ripen for a few days, during which its texture and flavour evolve. The enzymes added by the bees play an essential role in refining the honey, as they reveal the aromatic compounds that give honey its distinctive flavour.
Harvesting the Golden Treasure
The mature honey is finally ready to be harvested: the beekeepers, equipped with overalls, come to harvest the full cells by removing the wax covers previously created by our little bees. During the harvest, the beekeepers make sure that they leave enough honey to feed the bees when the weather does not allow them to leave the hive.
The final stage involves centrifuging to extract the honey, which is sweet and pleasant to the palate.
FAUCHON's incredible honeys
At Fauchon, we attach great importance to the quality of our products. Honey, found in the delicatessen category, is one of our flagship products. It comes in a wide range of flavours: lavender, acacia, chestnut, lime, fir, etc.
Succumb to the tasty Miel de Fleurs de France, creamy and golden, made from spring flower nectars for a taste rich in sensation.
Choose Fauchon Mini Chestnut Honey. Chestnut honey is one of the most distinctive and popular varieties with honey lovers, renowned for its full-bodied, intense flavours, it often has woody and slightly bitter notes. Unlike most honeys, it stands out for its dark colour.
Want to discover different honeys? Fauchon reveals its Assortiment Découverte de 5 Miels de France, a box of 5 honeys with rich, incredible flavours: floral, fruity, mentholated or woody notes, there's something for everyone!
For all your sweet pleasures, think honey: on toast, in yoghurt, in your herbal tea, it can be used in an infinite number of ways. Whether you're sharing it with the family, alone or with friends, vary the pleasures and savour the sweetness of what's nicknamed liquid gold.
The health benefits of honey
Much more than just a natural sweetener, honey has been recognised for thousands of years for its numerous health benefits. Made from natural sugars, it provides instant energy. Long used to treat sore throats and coughs, it has healing and antioxidant properties. Its natural antiseptic and antibacterial qualities have led to honey being used as a cosmetic treatment to nourish and moisturise the skin.
Honey, a pure treasure, is a truly complex process orchestrated by bees. To savour a spoonful of golden honey is to taste the sweetness of life and appreciate the determination and hard work of bees.