The Different Types of Honey

Honey is a delicious addition to any dish (or even on its own), with so many different sources of nectar based on the variety and location of the flowers and honeybees (see here for our article on honey production). There are a myriad of different honeys to try with their own unique colour, flavour and even health benefits (see our article on medicinal honey).

Short-Tongued Bees

Bees are a critical part of the world’s ecology, although very few people appreciate how important bees are. Bees are classified based on their taxa but can also be distinguished by their tongue size, which is proportional to a bee’s body size. For “short-tongued” bees (see here for our report on long-tongued bees), they are well adapted for extracting nectar from shallow or shorter flowers but can collect nectar from deeper flowers although in this case, pollen will remain undisturbed. In this way, short-tongued bees can be considered as “generalist” bees, being able to extract nectar from a variety of flowers.  

Plants for Honey Making?

In Australia, there is a large variety of honey available to consumers, and multiple plant sources are often utilised for production. However, according to the CSIRO, most honey made in Australia is sourced from Eucalyptus trees (Milla et al., 2021). Given that Eucalyptus trees are full of molecules of interest to human health, Australian honey products may be providing us with more than just a sweet treat!  

Medicinal Honey: Yapunyah 

Eucalyptus honeys are among the most produced honeys in Australia, due to the high proportion of Eucalyptus trees found in the environment and the affinity of bees towards them. While there are multiple sources of Eucalypt nectar available within Australian botanicals, here we will focus on amongst the most popular variety in the form of honey derived from the Yapunyah Eucalypt.  

Medicinal Honey: Introduction

Honey has been a staple of human diets worldwide for centuries. From the recorded mentions within “the land of milk and honey” in religious scripts, to the use of honey in medieval times as a remedy for a multitude of ailments, it has been an important foodstuff throughout human times. 

Long-tongued bees

There are an enormous amount of bee varieties worldwide, with one such variety of bee classified as “long-tongued” (in comparison to the “short-tongued bee”). All bees share a common ancestor, however – this is the reason for their classification into “clades”, which are taxonomic groupings based on sharing a common ancestor. In the case of...

Different botanical sources of honey

In previous articles, we’ve introduced the topic of how different plants can be used in honey production, and that honey produced from differing plants will have differing nutritional compositions, potentially providing us with different tastes, health or medicinal benefits. Table 1 below display a small selection of some of the more popular plants used for honey making in Australia.

Australian Bees

There are approximately 20,000 species of bees known to the scientific world, and they are spread around the planet to varying degrees. But how many of those species can be found in Australia, and how many are natives to our Great Southern Land? According to the most recent estimates, approximately 1,700 species of native bees...