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How to Tell if Honey Is Raw

Updated February 21, 2017

Raw honey is honey that is bottle or jarred straight from the hive, and it is not processed or refined in any way. Eating raw honey is better for you because it is full of healthful propolis and bee pollen, which are thought to prevent disease and promote wellness. If you are unsure if your honey is raw or refined, there are a few ways to inspect your honey at home to identify some of the characteristics of raw honey.

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  1. Look at the appearance of the honey in the jar when held at arm's length. Note whether the colouration of the honey is light yellow, medium yellow, golden, yellow or slightly brown. Notice if the honey is sightly clear or more opaque. Raw honey will look lighter yellow and will be more opaque.

  2. Look at the honey at the top of the jar to see if it is clear, opaque or if it contains a thick crust of brown pellets. Raw honey will contain a thick crust of healthful propolis, which will look like small brown or tan pellets on the top of the honey.

  3. Scoop the top off of the honey in the jar to inspect. Notice if there is a demarcation between the top of the honey in the scoop and the bottom of the honey in the scoop. Raw honey will settle in layers, which will be the most noticeable at the top of the jar.

  4. Use a magnifying glass to look closely at the honey in the jar. Raw honey will display small particulates, which is the bee pollen mixed in with the honey.

  5. Taste the honey to see if it tastes crisp or creamy. Refined honey will taste more crisp and sharp, while raw honey will taste noticeably creamy.

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Things You'll Need

  • Honey
  • Magnifying glass
  • Spoon

About the Author

Kelly Sundstrom
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