Honey-Making, How is Honey Made?

How is Honey Made?

The honey making process from start to finish.

Secret of ancestral beauty and powerful natural antibiotic, honey is an integral part of many of our cosmetic or wellness routines. If, like me, you are a fan of honey, and more specifically manuka honey , you have certainly wondered how this wonderful product was created. Manuka Matata takes you today to the heart of the hives to understand the honey making process!

In this article:

How is honey made?

Making natural VS industrial honey: what’s the difference?

Honey making: did you know?

The last word

How is honey made?

From the bee to the pot, let’s go back to the stages of making honey!

1st step: flowers to the hive

Pollination, or flower reproduction

It is mainly carried out thanks to the work of bees which transport pollen from flower to flower. For the flowers to be pollinated , the stamens (which are male elements) of the pollen must be deposited on the pistil of the flowers (which is a female element).

Nectar, the secret of flowers to seduce bees

To attract bees essential for flower reproduction, flowers produce nectar, a sweet substance irresistible to bees. Their trunks allow them to recover the nectar from the heart of the honey flowers and it is in their crop that it transports it to the hive. honeydew , sweet droplets attached to the leaves of plants, is also appreciated by bees. Small insects, such as aphids, are responsible for its production. They feed on the sap of the plants and then reject the excess in the form of droplets.

2nd step: the production of honey by bees

The process of making honey

Filled with nectar and honeydew, the bee can return to the hive. She then mixes these two ingredients with her saliva and then chews the whole thing. The bee transmits its preparation to another bee, which in turn mixes it. Over the exchanges, the mixture is enriched, evolves to become honey.

The other products of the hive

Honey is not the only ingredient that is harvested from the hive and appreciated for its benefits:

  • beeswax : made by the wax glands, it is used for the construction of alveoli serving as a nest for young larvae and storage for honey.
  • the propolis : it is a vegetable resin picked up by bees on the buds of trees. Bees use it to protect themselves from germs and bad weather, and to repair cracks in the hive.
  • royal jelly : the foster bees secrete this substance which nourishes the larvae and the queen.

3rd step: the role of the beekeeper


Who is he?

A beekeeper is a person in charge of several bee colonies. This professional ensures the good health of bees by providing them with the resources necessary for the production of honey. Sufficient water, many flowers and no danger nearby: these are optimal conditions for obtaining a quality product. When necessary, he sets up more hives to accommodate the new swarms.

Harvesting honey

You have to wait until summer to proceed to the honey extraction . Harvesting takes place when the honey is ripe, at the end of the sealing phase . At this time, the honey contains only 18% of water. The beekeeper makes sure to leave enough honey in the hive for the bees to survive and reproduce.

Making natural VS industrial honey: what difference?

Supermarket shelves are not always filled with healthy and natural products. Honey is no exception to the rule and rare are the quality products marketed in supermarkets. It is estimated that 30% of these honeys are actually not real honeys.

Fake honey, real honey, how to recognize them?

If we look a little more closely at the composition of cheap honey , generally from China, we find:

  • 80% sugar
  • 18% water
  • 2% of various products.
  • hydrolyzed starch
  • industrial syrups

Most of these ingredients are not observed in the composition of 100% natural honey. This not only alters the taste, but also the properties for which you buy this product.

How to buy good honey?

The label remains a key element to consult before going to the crates. Leave aside the “honey mixes” and other modified products and turn to locally produced honeys . Ideally, going to a beekeeper is a perfect solution to obtain a quality product and sound advice on its use and its benefits.

Find my favorite on Amazon!

manuka honey

Bonus: honey bee recipe

Do you love honey but do you work to preserve the environment and bees? This very simple homemade honey recipe will delight young and old with simple ingredients!


  • 2 glasses of sugar
  • 1 glass of water
  • a few drops of organic lemon
  • a few drops of aroma: vanilla, acacia… (optional)
  • Process

    1. In a saucepan, add a glass of sugar and the glass of water.
    2. Let it melt over medium heat.
    3. Meanwhile, in a second saucepan, add the second glass of sugar and moisten everything with two tablespoons of water.
    4. Let set over high heat then lower the temperature to caramelize the preparation. Be careful not to burn your mixture!
    5. Pour the preparation of the second pan into the first, mixing well.
    6. Add a few drops of lemon with the chosen flavor.
    7. Put everything back on low heat for a few minutes.

    Is the result a little too runny? As it cools, your homemade honey will thicken!

    Honey making: did you know?

    honey making

    Depending on the distance from the hive and the flowers, a foraging bee can make up to 100 trips per day. At this rate, the bee runs out very quickly and its life expectancy does not exceed 5 days.

    A bee must travel around 40,000 kilometers, the equivalent of circling the Earth, and gather around 800,000 flowers to produce 1 kg of honey. This hard work will take him around 200 days.

    The work of a hive produces about 20 kg of honey each year. Not bad is not it ?

    The last word

    You are now unbeatable on the secrets of honey making . The amazing work of our dear bees offers us an exceptional product with multiple virtues . In sandwiches, in cosmetic treatments or to boost your immune system, we love it in all its forms! And you, how do you prefer it?

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