Raw honey vs pure honey

24 July, 2020


          
            three pure Scottish honey and raw honeycomb

Raw honey vs pure honey is one of the biggest debates in the honey world.

Estimated reading time: less than 5 minutes

Summary

Here’s a quick recap of the debate around raw honey vs pure honey.

  • Raw honey and pure honey are terms often used but they differ slightly. They are both taken directly from the hive but pure honey is gently filtered whereas raw honey isn't, its honey in its purest form.
  • Avoid honey that isn’t 100% natural meaning no additives or blending


First let's chat about a common question…

Is pure honey and raw honey the same?

Here’s a quick recap of our understanding of each one.

Pure honey is taken from the hive and gently filtered to remove all nasties (dirt, pollen, dead bugs), before being packaged.

three pure honeys

Raw honey however is taken directly from the hive without any filtration and placed into its packaging.

raw honeycomb


As all honeys need to be filtered to remove things that don’t belong in honey, one of the only true raw honeys is honeycomb. You can check out our raw honeycomb by clicking here. Many raw honeys are incorrectly labelled, and so we always recommend checking the label to see exactly what has been done to the honey.


Ultimately, nothing is added to either of them. They are both completely natural and have come straight from the hive. One has had a simple filtering, and heated (never above the temperature of the hive) to allow the filtration, and the other has been taken directly from the hive.


Is raw honey better than pure honey?

In terms of holding onto their goodness, nutrients and natural enzymes, they are both essentially the same. All it comes down to is whether or not you prefer honeycomb or honey?

Taste test them and let us know which is your favourite - try our raw honeycomb here, or pure honey here. Be warned, it’s hard to choose a favourite!

How can you tell if honey is raw?

It will be in honeycomb form. Honeycomb's texture is rougher - it is the product bees make to store all of their larvae, honey and pollen, and is made up of the small, waxy hexagonal structures (which are edible).


raw heather honeycomb call to action


Is 100% honey raw honey?

No, not necessarily. The term 100% honey means the honey hasn’t been blended with corn syrup or other additives, as opposed to filtered unfiltered. 

It is also important to note that around the world (and even in the UK), the definition of raw and pure honey can differ from producer to producer, and they will be labelling their honey accordingly. So what do you do when you find a runny honey that is labelled as raw?

If you are looking for a natural honey that has no additives and contains all the goodness from the hive, we recommend checking the label for these key phrases…

  • Never heated above the temperature of the hive
  • Straight from the hive
  • Unpasteurised

Check the ingredients on the jar; corn syrup, rape seed oil, sugar are all additives that dilute the pure honey. You want as few ingredients as possible - preferably one, and in our case, ‘100% Scottish honey’. Always check the website and drop them an email if possible.

What is organic honey?

In order to be certified organic honey, honey producers would need to prove that their bees have only foraged organically. As bees are estimated to fly in a 9-mile radius, it’s nigh impossible to ensure they haven’t picked up pesticides from a neighbours garden, for example. 

As we cannot be certified with any organic governing bodies, we stand by our provenance for producing pure, natural honey by testing all of our honey. Check out the results to see for yourself → LINK. Rest assured, none of our honey has GMO, pesticides or nasty additives.

This means all organic honey sold in the UK is imported, primarily from China and Mexico. Sadly, this has an impact on our local bee population and bee farmers.

So, what type of honey is best?

For you, the bees and beefarmers, honey that is 100% natural, where no additives or blending has taken place is best. This means you’re getting real honey without the need for importing other honey which in turn, supports local bee farmers and bees.


Interested in ways to use pure honey? Check out our recent blog on ways to use honey, from beauty hacks to medicinal uses. We would love to hear what you think of our selection of pure honey. Try our heather honey, blossom honey or signature blend and let us know your favourite!

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