Beekeeping Wiki

The nectar of bee plants or honeydew is the initial product for honey production by bees. Besides, nectar of bee plants is the main component of honey, only some components get into honey from bee`s body.


Fructose and glucose

About 300 different substances form the honey composition, with such basic components as fructose (35%) and glucose (40%). The physical qualities of honey depend on ratio of fructose and glucose: by increasing of glucose level increases the ability of honey to crystallize, by increasing of fructose level honey is getting sweeter and more hygroscopic.

Complex chemical composition of honey is determined by following components:

  • * water (20%);
  • * dry substance (80%): grape-sugar (35%), fruit sugar (40%);
  • * saccharose (1,3-5%);
  • * maltose (5-10%);
  • * dextrins (3,4%);
  • * proteins in the flower honey (0,04 -0,29%);
  • * proteins in honeydew honey than (0,08-0,17%);
  • * up to 20 amino acids.


All types of honey contain about 0.3% of organic and 0.03 inorganic acids, which impart the taste of honey, they are:

  • * lactic;
  • * tartaric;
  • * oxalic;
  • * citrics;
  • * succinic and other acids.

The presence of free acids in honey is determined by indicator active acidity (pH), which has the following values:

  • * floral honey (pH) – 3.78;
  • * honeydew – 4.57.

Honey ash contents

Floral types of honey have significantly lower (0.14%) minerals (ash content) than the honeydew (1.6%).

Enzymes and vitamins

One of the most important honey components are enzymes such as:

  • * invertase;
  • * diastase;
  • * catalase;
  • * oxidase;
  • * peroxidase.


The composition of honey is also represented by small amount of vitamins, but in mixture with other components they are very useful for human organism, they are:

  • * B1;
  • * B2;
  • * B3;
  • * pantothenic acid;
  • * nicotinic acid(РР);
  • * ascorbic acid (С) etc.


Monoflora honey

The plant from which the nectar was collected gives the names to honey grades, for example:

  • * buckwheat,
  • * sunflower,
  • * esparcet,
  • * sweet clover,
  • * lime,
  • * locust,
  • * heather etc.

The honey produced by bees from one kind of plants has the name monofloral. Polyflora honey

Polyflora honey usually contains the impurities of other origin, which do not affect the quality of honey. For example: sunflower honey sometimes contains impurities of alfalfa.

Also the name of honey can be connected with the terrain or the land where the bees collect nectar, for example:

  • * Carpathian,
  • * Far Eastern,
  • * Bashkir,
  • * meadow,
  • * forest.

Honey color

The honey contains colorants in a small amount, which stipulate the main kinds of honey color:

  • * bright;
  • * medium colored;
  • * dark.

Transformation of the nectar into honey The first stage of transformation takes the origin from the bee`s body by running complex biochemical processes. The bees as highly organized insects are involved in the collection, processing and transferring the nectar at the hive.

The bees change the chemical composition of the nectar during honey production by evaporating, mixing and processing by enzymes. The bulk of the water evaporates from the nectar of the first day.

Honey maturity

One of the qualitative characteristics of honey is its maturity. After evaporating the surplus of moisture from the honey, bees seal it with wax caps. Water content in most varieties of mature honey is about 18% (depending on the terrain can vary from 15 to 21%). The honey maturity and pumping time are determined by the basis of this characteristic. Unsealed honey has higher water content (more than 22% of water) and contains many undigested sucrose that impairs its quality. Immature honey can be stored for a long time.

Aroma substances

The taste of honey also depends on aroma substances from different plants fall into the hive with nectar. Mature honey contains more aroma substances than immature one. The tight closure allows keeping the aroma of honey.

Autor Oleg