If your Eco Living Aruba Honey has crystallized it has not gone bad! Crystallization is a natural and normal process that occurs in real, raw honey. What should you do if your honey crystallizes? Eat it! It’s delicious and less messy. If you want to convert the crystallized honey back to a liquid form place it in a pan of warm water. If you use boiling water you will kill all the beneficial bacteria. If you see honey that is crystallized then you know its real honey. One of the reasons why we use wide mouth honey jars is to make it easier to take out the honey with a honey dipper or spoon but it’s also to stir the honey if you need to decrystallize it.
Crystallization is normal in REAL, RAW honey and even though granulation does alter honey color and texture, it does not change the honey quality or flavor. But why does my honey crystallize?
Pollen grains, pieces of wax and dust all serve as nuclei for crystal formation. Meaning it forms the core of crystallization. Raw Honey generally contains wax, pollen, propolis and other advantageous catalysts to encourage crystallization under certain circumstances.
What happened in our case? In taking care of our beehives we use different types of equipment. One of the pieces of equipment that we use is a queen seperator. The queen bee is nearly twice as big as a worker bee. By using a mesh frame in between the brood chamber and the honey super that can only allow worker bees to go through, but not the queen bee because of her size, you can limit the egg production in the top honey super.
The side effect of this is that the worker bees can go through it but any pollen that they are carrying will be scraped off their leggs while passing through the mesh frame. In the scenario where a queen seperator is used, all that is stored in the honey super is pure nectar which then turns into honey. On the flip side, if you don’t use a mesh frame on between the two boxes the queen bee can lay eggs but also the worker bees can place pollen in the nectar. This extra pollen leads to crystallization, the nuclei for the crystals that we talked about earlier. Since some of our boxes have this queen seperator and some do not some of our honey may crystalize while others do not, due to the lack of pollen granules since their bee hive uses a queen seperator.
Temperature plays a greater role in crystallization. This is why we recommend keeping our Eco Living Aruba Honey at room temperature. Crystallization is most rapid between 50-59 degrees F (10°C-15°C). Over 77 degrees F (25°C) Honey resists crystallization. Above 104 degrees F (40°C) crystals begin to dissolve but this damages the beneficial compounds of honey. One thing to point out, faster crystallization results in smoother honey, slow crystallization results in larger particles and thicker honey. Another thing to point out is that honey that is high in glucose will crytallize faster.
About Eco Living Aruba
Based on their shared passion for sustainability; syntropic agroforestry farming, small-scale husbandry and beekeeping, Rose and Daniel Barros founded Eco Living Aruba. Their bees now form the nucleus of their business. Since 2018 they have been practicing Ethical Beekeeping, currently they have about 50 hives spread out over about 20 different locations.
Eco Living Aruba now offers a variety of products, many which are an offshoot of their bee project, including honey, balms and soaps. All of their products are made by hand and they strive to have at least one local ingredient from Aruba in them. Through the purchase of these products, clients help support Aruba’s native bee population as well as Eco Living’s mission to build a greener Aruba.
Visit their website, www.ecolivingaruba.com, to find out more about purchasing their products or book a tour with them to visit the queen bee and learn more about the lives of our local bees. Rose and Daniel are always up to something new – stay tuned to their latest projects on Facebook or Instagram.