Honeycomb is one of nature’s greatest gifts, but what exactly is it?
Honeybees construct honeycombs from beeswax to store the nectar they collect from flowers.
The structure contains multiple hexagon-shaped cells. Once a cell is full of nectar, the bees fan it with their wings to dehydrate it and create honey! But can you eat honeycomb?
The honey inside a honeycomb is raw, so it’s more textured than commercial honey from a bottle. So while most people stick to consuming the honey portion of the structure, others enjoy chewing the waxy cells like bubblegum.
Let’s talk a little bit more about the ins and outs of consuming honeycomb.
Do People Eat Honeycomb and Is It Safe?
So, can you eat honeycomb? Yes! Honeycomb is delicious and safe to consume, but some people are hesitant to eat it as it is fresh from the hive.
Because of this, the sweet treat contains small traces of bee pollen, but it is not harmful to human health.
Beekeepers ensure a sanitary snack by filtering out remnants of concern, such as body parts from dead bees.
Honey does contain spores from Clostridium botulinum—a bacteria that produces a botulism-causing toxin under the right circumstances.
However, honey is a highly acidic material that prohibits those circumstances in adults.
For reasons unknown, the spores produce the harmful toxin when they meet an infant’s digestive tract. Therefore, avoid feeding children younger than one honeycomb.
What Does It Taste Like?
Honeycomb tastes like regular honey but sweeter, more textured, and of course, with a bit of wax.
The sweeter flavor and textured composition are from a lack of pasteurization or exposure to high heat.
When heated, honey loses its natural properties, taking on a smooth consistency for longer shelf life.
However, store-bought pasteurized honey often contains sweeteners and additives. Therefore, you’re in for a pleasant surprise if you’ve never tried raw honey.
Much like regular honey, honeycomb taste varies by region. For example, Clover honey, mainly from Canada, is much sweeter than Buckwheat honey, primarily from the east coast.
Benefits of Eating Raw Honeycomb
Raw honey contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants. Therefore, it has countless potential health benefits.
Honey’s potential to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease is a frequently touted benefit. This capability comes from honey’s main antioxidant, polyphenols.
Studies show that polyphenols offer some protection against heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia.
Raw honey also carries anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Studies suggest that these properties reduce cough in children.
Honeycomb isn’t only for eating. Research shows that honey’s anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties are also a great way to dress wounds. This is a true superfood!
How To Eat Honeycomb
Honeycomb is a creative addition to otherwise simple snacks.
Enjoy honeycomb by:
- Spreading it on toast, pancakes, or waffles
- Breaking it up over a salad
- Pairing it with brie cheese
- Mixing it with yogurt
- Melting it in your oatmeal or tea
Is It Safe to Eat Honeycomb?
Not only is honeycomb harmless to consume, but it can also be beneficial! The delicious ingredient is a unique way to spruce up snacks while maintaining your health.
While honeycomb is a fun treat with potential health advantages, infants shouldn’t consume it.
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