Raw honey became popular during the raw and organic food movement. Raw foods tend to be foods that have not been prepared for the use as food by the action of heat and most commonly it is uncooked. Raw honey is a variation on that rule, and has an official definition that is a little more detailed. The official definition of raw honey is ‘as it exists in the beehive’. It can only be filtered through mesh or cloth, and cannot be heated at all.
To remove the impurities within honey (dead bees, dust, pollen, dirt etc), honey has to be heated slightly so that the honey can move through a mesh filter and remove these impurities. Raw honey cannot be heated at all, which means anyone claiming to sell raw honey may well not if they heat their honey to strain it in any way. As a result people have been mislabelling pure honey raw honey. HOWEVER, honeys that are pure are as good as raw honey - it’s as close as you can possibly get to what it is like within the hive, the only difference is that it has been heated slightly to remove any impurities when it is filtered.
The reasons people like the idea of raw honey are true, but they aren’t specific to the world raw. PUrE honey is just as good as raw honey. It has been untampered with and contains natural goodness with antibacterial and anti fungal properties. It helps to fight infection and boost immune systems. When the honey is over filtered, boiled and added to it loses and dilutes a lot of it’s natural goodness - pure honey is still exactly as it is within the hive.
If you’re unsure about a certain honey, it’s always best to check the labels to find out exactly what process it has been through, or to email the company directly. At the Scottish Bee Company our honey is essentially what you mean when you ask for raw honey. It is filtered simply, and to do so is slightly heated but never higher than the temperature within the hive - essentially it exists 'as it does within the hive’.