Wedderspoon Organic Beechwood Honey - 11.5 oz jar - New Zealand
Wedderspoon's Organic Beechwood Honey originates from the mountain-based beechwood forests of New Zealand's South Island. The sweet aromatic sap of the beechwood trees is the first step in nature's amazing honey-making process, and the source for this honeydew honey. The beech scale insect plays a vital role in the process; the native insect lives in the bark of beech trees, drawing off the sap. The insect then excretes sugary liquid drops known as honeydew.
The honeydew drops have a high sugar content, and are an important energy source for birds and lizards – but also a source of “nectar” for honeybees. As with nectar, once in the hive the bees begin the process of turning the honey dew into honey.
The apiarist separates the honey from the wax at very low temperatures. And, depending on when it is harvested, in the spring or autumn, color and taste can vary considerably. Unlike the Manuka honey, beechwood honey is liquid in texture.
Health Benefits of Beechwood Honey
Beechwood honey has one of the richest mineral contents of all honeys. Minerals present include Calcium, Zinc, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese, Iron, Selenium, Chromium, and Sodium.
Another feature of New Zealand’s beechwood honey is the presence of Oligosaccharides (complex sugars) in greater levels than the average floral honey. Oligosaccharides are known as prebiotics because they help promote the growth of friendly bacteria that help balance microflora in the human gastrointestinal tract, particularly after treatment with antibiotics.
Beechwood honey, like other tree honeys, are normally low in glucose and they are also lower in fructose than flower honeys. This low glucose and fructose is supplemented by higher levels of more complex sugars, such as maltose and melezitose. This has the effect of reducing the tendency to crystallize, and slowing the body’s sugar absorption. Beechwood honey is likewise very slow crystallizing and, in fact, some beechwood honeys will never crystallize.
New Zealand beechwood honey is known to have high levels of antioxidants than most other flower honeys. In a study at Lincoln University, NZ, forest honey had the highest levels of polyphenolics, one of the most significant classes of antioxidant compounds, using the ABTS and ORAC methods for antioxidant calculation. Forest honey consistently ranked near the top of 10 monofloral honey varieties tested, which means that New Zealand beechwood honey has one of the highest levels of antioxidants of all New Zealand honeys – up there with Manuka honey.