pure honey test

Pure Honey Test Methods – Validate These Postings (Since 2008)

Below are pure honey test posts made by readers of our page: Are These 4 Ways of Testing for 100% Pure Honey Valid? suggesting how honey can be tested for its purity.

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Do you agree? Honestly, I find some of the methods very bizarre and questionable. People seem to have different ideas of “purity” in their posts. Well, just try and judge for yourself to see if the method works! And if you have a great method to test for unadulterated honey, why not share with us! 

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My Pure Honey Test – Postings

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Deb, United States     12/11/2019 11:48:08

Hi, in your article on whether honey has been adulterated by adding sugar, you state that ” Comb honey is sealed in the hive by the bees; therefore consumers can be confident that the honey has not been adulterated with sugar water. However, to boost honey production, some beekeepers feed their bees with sugar syrup so that the bees can convert the syrup to “honey”. Do such practices have any implications on why some honey appears to be very clear and runny, just like syrup?”

My answer:

Most good, responsible beekeepers ONLY feed their honey bees sugar syrup to stave off starvation. You would not be considered a good beekeeper if you let your poor bees starve. No one that I know does this to boost honey production. And honey bees can invert sugar water to “honey” (18% moisture and under) and cap it when reduced to the appropriate percentage of moisture. And there is no guarantee that in the cut comb product you don’t have sugar syrup honey along with nectar honey. A refractometer will tell you moisture content only.

As for “runny honey”, most early Spring honeys have a thinner viscosity than other seasonal varieties (at least in my area, all beekeeping is local), it doesnt indicate that it is sugar syrup. Some honeys are clear, does not indicate sugar water, again, depending on locality.

What I am saying is find a local beekeeper, talk to them, look at their hives and learn some facts. Most store honey is imported, even changing the Country of origin, or heating honey to a degree of losing any healthy value; it is OK to have your honey crystallize, a warm water bath will take care of that if you want it liquid.

I know of no way to test honey by the consumer, but finding that local beekeeper is the way to go.        

Doyle Pruitt, United States     09/10/2019 10:19:38

I have found that most pure honey (raw honey) has a higher viscosity and is slow to pour. I tested this may years ago when I used to be a small bee keeper and used most of the honey for my own or acquaintances use. I never sold any of my honey.        

Ian Delaney, United Kingdom     10/03/2019 20:15:34

Hey, nice article, an interesting read. As a Beekeeper myself could I offer my 2 cents worth? The industry is thick with fraud, its true but i must say that what you spoke about with Beekeepers adding sugar syrup to hives to create fraud honey is a possible misconception. I believe all Beekeepers do this to some degree but not to fat out honey stores as such but to feed the bees and, well keep them alive. Due to a great degree to the loss of natural forage, due to man. If Beekeepers didn’t feed bees sugar syrup or sugar fondant Bees would have died out long ago and everyone and thing you know would also be dead.

The other thing is “Ants” , I can say Ants Love Honey they invade Hives all the time any beekeeper would say the same. This then would also not be an indicator of Honey purely.

Anyway that’s my 2 cents hope it helps the subject. By the way i operate YorkshireHoneyFarm.com and work with Bees everyday. We do produce Honey but be warned as with every other producer i feed my Bees 🙂        

Don Swingle, United States     18/02/2019 @11:37:18

Hi, the granulation test you talk about is backwards. Honey will granulate, corn syrup won’t. Just a recent test from local honey, Warwick NY. My father was a bee keeper from 1975 to 1990 or so. Had anywhere from 100 to 200 hives any given year. We extracted about 4 tons a year, I know what real honey tastes like. Now have to buy chunk [comb] honey. What a shame !!!        

Ruth, Benefits of Honey     31/01/2019 @ 10:14:12

It is actually not so easy to use the criterion of viscosity to judge if the honey is raw or pure. For instance, most honey harvested in all year round tropical, hot and humid climate tends to be thin and runny, but they can be raw, totally unheated, 100% pure, unadulterated, full of floral fragrance, and thoroughly delicious too!        

Rena, Israel     30/01/2019 @17:25:08

Actually, pure, raw honey is thick and crystallizes. Depending on what season the honey was produced (winter/summer), many times raw honey has to be scooped out with a spoon – it has the consistency of wet cement. Raw honey has a strong taste and each type of honey tastes different, based on the types of orchard/flowers that the bees were exposed to. Honey that is thin and runny and looks like corn syrup was heated and thus all of the healthful enzymes have been ruined by heating.        

Ruth, Benefits of Honey     14/11/2018 @ 01:05:30

Dear You Dunno, do take some time to get an idea of what you are commenting on. The article Are These 4 Ways of Testing for 100% Pure Honey Valid? is a critique of the various popular ways of testing for pure way from home that are commonly suggested by others. They are not methods recommended by Benefits of Honey. Also, be specific and clear about “the many that formed these fundamental ways of testing for pure honey”. Please share the methods that form the fundamental ways of testing pure honey?        

You Dunno, United States     14/11/2018 @00:24:45

I think the author is little too skeptical in the basic ways of testing for pure honey. For instance honey will always sink to the bottom before dissolving easily in a glass of water, no matter what variety it is. So instead of breaking down these ways of testing for pure honey, try giving more ideas. And remember this is only 1 single person opinion versus the many that formed these fundamental ways of testing for pure honey. I mean whose side is really being helped with this article, hmmm, yep some food4thought.        

Anna-Kaye, Saint Lucia     20/09/2018 @22:32:52

I don’t test my honey because I get it from my neighbour and he produces it locally and organically. If fact, his bees forage in my fruit trees all the time. I’d just like to point out that the ants method is wrong. I buy and have honey all the time, and if even a little bit falls or is on the cap or some other surface, the ants instantly swarm in. Unless I have a different type of ants from the people who use this test. I would say though, the best way to know if your honey is real is to view or know your source.        

Royal Juelz, United States     06/05/2018 @21:49:05

I just bought some organic raw honey from the store and peeled the seal off and left it on the counter. When I returned hours later a few ants lay dead next to/on the seal. This worried me because I was thinking something was wrong with my honey and started looking online. I’d agree with Rom Riz possibly…        

Eden Albano, Philippines     08/04/2018 @03:19:59

If it has an expiration date, it is adulterated. Pure honey does not expire.        

Rom Riz, Pakistan     20/01/2018 @21:12:02

My way of testing honey is to give a drop to a ant it will die after eating pure honey, I was in my office and since I am a honey seller like you guys I use to wonder how one can define pure honey without high scientific tests. I saw a black big size ant we have in our grass fields in my office alone wondering here and there i thought it might be hungry so i gave one drop to it, with in no time it starts squeezing its body inside and after few minutes it dies.

This might be wrong way of identification I don’t know. I also believe that you should know your harvesting farmer good enough so people can trust you as a good supplier of honey.        

Sand Canyon Apiary, United States     14/01/2018 @06:21:20

Buy your honey exclusively from beekeepers not store bought honey. It’s the only reliable way to assure the honey is pure.        

Massoud Babaei, Iran     05/11/2017 @06:37:41

Here, it is very hard to find a pure honey. Honey is available every where; the sellers promise to deliver a good one. But I have not got an agreeable document on the bottles to assure its purity.        

Ron Bond, United States     22/10/2017 @05:38:12

I found that by reading the label throughly ( everything I eat/buy) is my best defense against fraud and misguidance by the corporation world. I grew up in the 70’s and a commercial statement from back then, still sticks in my mind today when I shop; ” Read the label and set a better table”. That’s my tool of defense, simple, ease of access and immediate info PRIOR to putting it in my grocery cart.        

Cheeky, United States     10/10/2017 @09:25:50

With pure honey, you practically need a blender to get it mixed with your coffee or tea. Plus, pure honey doesn’t freeze.        

David Xu, China     16/08/2017 @01:28:26

Dear, I visited your website, you are right, it is most difficult to different pure honey and adulterated honey, unless those kinds I am familiar with, for example Acacia, Linden, Date, rape, sunflower,etc.it’s been near 20years since I do honey business, for an experienced person, taste is the best way, but the adulteration is only 1-20%, I also can not different. the other way is analysis the importing price. of course,first you need to know the cost, if you import chinese honey, you just tell me the buying price and the honey kind, I can tell you it is pure or unpure. Best regards, David.        

Maqsood Mazhar, Pakistan     31/07/2017 @13:21:09

A Sure Test for Pure Honey. The method is slightly tricky. You need fast reactions and agility to do the experiment. Take an open mouth jar full of honey. Catch a common fly and dip it down alive in the honey filled jar. In case of adulterated honey, the fly shall be trapped inside the honey and shall die. If the honey is pure, the fly shall swim out of the jar and shall leave the jar alive.        

New Mexico Desert Farm.com, United States     20/03/2017 @13:23:54

I have 200 honey bee hives and sell 100% raw honey. For people to tell real honey from adulterated honey is by taste. (You should taste the flower first.) If you only taste sweetness then it is most likely fructose corn syrup added to honey. Stores buy honey from all over the world, so they heat the honey beyond 150 degrees to kill everything in the honey. You get only sweet syrup.        

Ruth, Benefits of Honey     30/01/2017 @ 17:49:14

As a consumer, I wouldn’t call your dad’s “honey”, honey because its source is not from the flower nectar. I am not sure how much floral nectar your dad’s bees are able to get, they are probably able to produce something from sugar water but it wouldn’t be real honey that has authentic flavor, aroma, and nutritional benefits for our body. The nutritional make-up wouldn’t be the same as real pure, unadulterated honey.        

Toni, Albania     27/01/2017 @15:21:08

My dad is a beekeeper and during winter he feeds the bees 1L water 1KG sugar mixed together in a watery syrup. Can bees turn the syrup into honey? In winter his honey turns thick and is crystallized. I want to know how pure my dad’s honey is, please?        

Ruth, Benefits of Honey     17/01/2017 @ 10:18:10

Interesting, Samy. I will be looking out for this honey. It seems that this honey has a low GI that is suitable for diabetics. Thanks for sharing.        

Samy Puru, Malaysia     14/01/2017 @08:24:25

I am a diabetic for 20 years. Thus I test my blood sugar every morning. I was very skeptical about wanting to consume honey as the reading would shoot up and it did. After experimenting with different honeys, I found one that did not increase my blood sugar readings – can this be attested as a test ? I dont know. The honey I use now is imported from China (scary eh !!) – Quing Hai honey and is not expensive. I get it from a local Chinese medicine shop. Your comments would be appreciated. I am 70. Thank you.

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