Honey is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honeybees (the genus Apis) is the one most commonly referred to, as it is the type of honey collected by most beekeepers and consumed by people. Honeys are also produced by bumblebees, stingless bees, and other hymenopteran insects such as honey wasps, though the quantity is generally lower and they have slightly different properties compared to honey from the genus Apis.
Honeybees convert nectar into honey by a process of regurgitation and evaporation. They store it as a primary food source in wax honeycombs inside the beehive. Honey gets its sweetness from the monosaccharides fructose and glucose, and has about the same relative sweetness as granulated sugar. It has attractive chemical properties for baking and a distinctive flavour that leads some people to prefer it over sugar and other sweeteners. Most microorganisms do not grow in honey because of its low water activity of 0.6. However, honey sometimes contains dormant endospores of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which can be dangerous to infants, as the endospores can transform into toxin-producing bacteria in infants' immature intestinal tracts, leading to illness and even death.
This post is part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.