The human mind regards anything that’s either sweet or golden to be something of value. The good thing is that honey has these qualities. According to the Christian Bible, Heaven is referred to as ‘The Land of Milk and Honey.’ In the days of yore, honey was considered to be the nectar of the gods and frequently used as a sacrifice in homage to the gods. Now, before you begin salivating, let’s have a look at what is entailed in creating this natural product meant for the gods, from the raw materials to the Flux Pumps that extract the finished product.
Honey is the syrupy and sweet substance made by honeybees thanks to flower nectar. Honey consists of 76–80% glucose, 17–20% water, wax, fructose, pollen, plus other mineral salts. The colour, consistency and composition of the honey are contingent on the flower type from which the nectar was acquired. For instance, clover and alfalfa make white honey, lavender results in an amber hue, heather makes a reddish-brown colour. At the same time, sainfoin and acacia produce a straw colour in the honey.
Per year, an averagely-sized bee colony can between 27.2 and 45.7 Kg of honey. The honeybee hierarchical colony structure is three-tiered. One level consists of the worker class bees, about 50,000–70,000 bees. The lifecycle of a worker bee is three to six weeks, where every bee will gather about one teaspoon of nectar – 1.8 Kg of nectar translates to half a kilogram of honey.
The nectar is spurt into empty honeycombs from where other worker bees eat the nectar poured in the honeycombs, which adds more enzymes in the nectar and eventually ripen it to honey. When it has ripened wholly, it is then run back in the honeycomb for the last time before getting sealed away as honey!
Once the honey has filled the honeycomb, the beekeeper has to start removing the honey. The beekeeper will have to take proper protection and wear protective gloves and a veiled helmet.
The honeycombs are then put in an extractor. An extractor is a big drum that utilises centrifugal force power to draw out the honey. Every honeycomb can weigh as much as 2.27 Kg. When the extractor begins to spin, the honey is pulled away and pressed against the drum’s walls. The bottom is cone-shaped for it to drip down from the extractor with the assistance of a spigot. There’s a honey bucket positioned right under the valve. The honey bucket is made up of two sieves that will be used to filter the wax from the honey. One sieve is coarse and the other soft.
When the honey has been extracted, it’s shipped to a commercial distributor. There, the honey will be put in tanks and heated to 48.9°C. This temperature will be maintained for about 24 hours for any impurities in the honey, such as bee parts and pollen, to rise to the top and get skimmed off.