Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Honey is the saccharine liquid which is secreted by the honey-bee and certain other insects of the same genus. By these it is obtained from the nectaries of flowers, and deposited in the honeycomb. It varies somewhat in colour, consistency, and flavour, according to the different plants from which the bees obtained the supply. It consists of a mixture of different sugars known as glucoses (q.v.), with small quantities of cane sugar and non-saccharine material, while it usually contains water to the extent of about 25 per cent. The purest honey is known as "virgin honey," and is a clear yellowish liquid of density 1-44, which does not alter in the dark but slowly thickens and solidifies if exposed to light. Honey comes into commerce either in the comb, or as run honey, i.e. separated from the wax cells of the comb, either by heat, pressure, or other means. It is frequently adulterated with the mixture of starch and grape sugar, usually obtained from potato starch by the action of dilute acid. It has been known since very early times, and before the introduction of sugar was of much greater importance than at present. It is used in the preparation of sweetmeats, in dietary dainties, and in medicinal preparations, for which latter purposes it is always purified by warming and straining through flannel.