The bottle of honey you get from the Apple Barn does not just appear out of nowhere. There is more to it than just bees and flowers.
Flower nectar is the beginning stage of honey. It is stored inside the honeycomb and broken down into simple sugars. The color and taste of honey depend on which type of pollinated plant it came from. Avocado creates a darker color, while lavender creates lighter-colored honey.
A hive of honey can create as much as 65 pounds of extra honey that are not needed by the bees for survival. The honey bees use is needed to feed young and to help keep warm during the winter months. Beekeepers harvest the honey by collecting the honeycomb frames and scraping off the wax cap that the bees make to seal off honey in each cell. When the caps are removed, the frames are placed in an extractor that has a centrifuge that spins to force the honey out of the comb.
The honey then is strained to remove any remaining wax and other particles that may not be healthy for consumption. The honey can be pasteurized after this step to keep it safe for humans and then bottled. The pure honey sold at the Apple Barn is bottled at UNL from the honey the bees made from pollinating the plants here at Kimmel. Pure honey sold at any store means that there is only honey inside the bottle without added preservatives or added sugar. At the Apple Barn, the UNL honey is available in four sizes, including four-ounce baby bears and four-pound jugs.
Without pollinators, like bees, honey, and as much as 75% of the earth's current food supply would not be here. It is important to be kind to the bees and other pollinators to make sure we have enough food for each other and a growing global population.