Ask Dave: The Bee’s Knees

Posted on September 30, 2012 by


Dear Dave,

 Why is some honey solid while others are liquid?  I thought raw honey was always solid but I am seeing some liquid honey labelled ‘Raw.’

 Sue, NY

Dear Sue,

There are really three types of honey; commercial (heated & filtered), raw (not heated & coarse filtered), and raw unfiltered.

Commercial honey production focuses on efficiency over the myriad of health benefits that raw honey offers.  Commercial honey is heated to assist in the extraction and filtering processes.  Heating honey above 100〫destroys most active enzymes and prevents the crystallization that makes honey solid; hence this type of honey is always liquid.

Raw filtered honey is usually slightly heated but not to destroy any of its valuable properties.  This honey still retains much of its health benefits but has some of the other beneficial elements of honey removed.  It may crystallize with time but is usually found in liquid form.

Raw unfiltered honey has it all…propolis (an incredible substance made from plant resins), pollen, wax, royal jelly, and bee parts.  While I do not know much about the health benefits of bee legs – I know that the other stuff; especially propolis, pollen, and royal jelly all have powerful healing properties.  This type of honey is THICK and usually has ‘bits & pieces‘ on top.

I always choose the THICKEST honey with as many bits and pieces that I can find…I also strive to find as local a source as possible.  American bee producers face an incredible struggle keeping their hives healthy and need all the support that we can offer.


Always Unfiltered,


Posted in: Ask Dave