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Littleover Apiaries explains why honey goes cloudy

Posted on 26/06/2014 by

In this month’s edition of ‘This Month in the Hive’, we have decided here at Littleover Apiaries to tackle the issue of what makes honey go cloudy. After reading the reasons given by a major “Brand Name” in the British honey market, we felt that we had to set the record straight.

This “Brand Name” say that it is tiny air bubbles which make the honey go cloudy. Well, we say bunkum! If there was even tiny air bubbles in the honey, then it would have been cloudy to start with and so would not then go cloudy. This can be prevented at the point of bottling honey by allowing the honey to stand in a “Ripening Tank” over night. This type of tank is very tall in relationship to its diameter and so uses its weight of product to push out the air. The down side to this is that it takes a little more effort and time to produce, one which we believe is well worth it.

Another cure to reduce air would be to use gravity to filter honey in the traditional way, the way which we have always done here at Littleover Apiaries. This introduces very little air into the honey as opposed to pressure filtration – which is much faster but does introduce both air and silica into the honey, neither of which will then be taken out. We hope that you can see that our process may not be as efficient, but that our honey is simply the best – and the 19 Gold, Silver and Bronze Great Taste Awards we have won would agree with us.

The usual reason for honey not to stay clear is due to granulation. This is a naturally occurring phenomenon is caused by the naturally occurring high glucose levels in honey crystallising,  with some honey crystallising faster than others. In the “trade” we look at the F/G ratio which is the Fructose Glucose ratio to each other. Honey with a high F/G will stay clear longer than one with a low F/G. Sadly some of the very best honeys around also granulate the quickest.

**BEWARE** Many bargain basement honeys are blended to give a high F/G to help keep them clear and/or are pasteurised. None of which is good for the product or for you the consumer.

The best honeys are monofloral honeys, which are those where the nectar is gathered from one predominant source. This results in a range of honeys which all have distinct tastes, smell and consistencies.  Polyfloral honeys are those honey produced from the nectar of many sources, and these types of honey can also be very very good. To get to know your honey, talk to the producer and see just what quality controls they have in place, how do you filter your honey, how do you warm it and why do you warm it.

If you have any other honey or bee related questions then please send them to and we will try to answer them in the next This Month In The Hive.

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