Blackberry honey is a monofloral honey produced by bees collecting and converting blackberry blossom nectar into honey.
What Is Blackberry Honey?
Often blackberry honey is made from one or more of the bushes in the genus Rubus. This includes both red and black raspberries as well as blackberries. Sellers typically do not differentiate between these sources when labelling honey. Honey made from these sources may also be labelled as “bramble honey”.
Blackberry honey is a commonly available wild and organic variety. It is known to have a thick but smooth and creamy texture and a delicate flavour with a fruity finish.
Where Does Blackberry Honey Come From?
Blackberry honey is often produced in Ireland, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Greece and the United States with California, Florida and the New England States being prominent producers.
In Ireland blackberry honey tends to combine nectar from blackberry bushes with nectar from meadowsweet, giving it a distinctive flavour and unique health benefits. Blackberry honey from Portugal’s Alentejo region is among the most prized in the world.
France is known for its advanced approach to managing the production of blackberry honey, which results in a wide diversity and numerous combinations.
In the United States, the Pacific Northwest is the region that produces the highest volume of blackberry honey. California and the New England states also produce significant amounts of this variety.
How Do Bees Produce Blackberry Honey?
The moment the honey bee collects the blackberry nectar, it is mixed with an enzyme within the bees mouth. The enzyme itself is known as invertase or the “bee enzyme” which is secreted from the bee’s glands. When the honey bees return to the hive, they will pass the blackberry nectar they have collected between themselves further mixing the nectar with the “bee enzyme”.
This will reduce the water content converting the nectar into honey. They will then deposit the blackberry honey into wax cells, but at this point, the water content may be too high. To reduce the water content, the honey bees will fan their wings above the wax cell, this, in turn, will evaporate some of the water.
Once they’ve finished the process, the honey will have a water content roughly below 20%. It will then be capped, and the honey bees will repeat the process all over again.
Blackberry Honey Production
Both raspberry and blackberry bushes are known to have an extended period of blossoming flowers rather than a narrow and simultaneous window. Honey bees collect the nectar of blackberry and raspberry bushes from early April through late May and into June.
Blackberry honey production has a relatively small yield of 40-50 lbs./acre. This varies depending on whether the colony is harvesting from wild berry bushes or from fields cultivated for commercial production.
Many honey producers make the extra effort to transport colonies to an area that is densely populated by raspberry and blackberry bushes in the spring of the year in order to get a yield of this popular and sought-after variety.
Best Environment for Producing Blackberry Honey?
The best environment for producing this type of honey is one where dense thickets that are located and the honey bees do not have to cross barriers like highways and broad rivers.
Blackberry and raspberry bushes thrive on their own all around the world, this offers honey producers an exceptional opportunity to produce a product that is completely removed from insecticides, pesticides, and other man-made chemicals.
What are the Benefits of Blackberry Honey?
|Healing Wounds and Burns||There has been positive effects of using raw honey on wounds & burns reported.|
|Reducing The Duration of Diarrhoea||According the NCBI consumption of raw honey has been shown to reduce the severity & duration of diarrhoea.|
|Preventing Acid Reflux||Research has shown that with honey lining the oesophagus and stomach, it actually can reduce the upward flow of undigested food and stomach acid.|
|Fighting Infections||Scientists in 2010 reported that honey through its protein (defensin-1) has the ability to kill bacteria.|
|Relieving cold and cough symptoms||Its been proven that honey may prove beneficial in relieving cold and cough symptoms. The World Health Organisation actually recommend honey as a natural cough remedy.|
|Rich In Antioxidants||High quality raw honey contains many helpful antioxidants. These include phenolic compounds like flavonoids and organic acids.|
|Can Lower Triglycerides||Triglycerides are associated with insulin resistance and are a major driver of type 2 diabetes. Multiple studies have linked regular honey consumption with lower triglyceride levels, especially when it is used to replace sugar.|
Blackberry honey is noted for its exceptionally high levels of six important vitamins.
|Thiamin (Vitamin B1)||The nervous system, digestive system, heart health|
|Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)||Eyesight, skin, nails, hair|
|Niacin (Vitamin B3)||The nervous system, circulation, metabolism, sex hormones|
|Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)||Nervous system, epithelial cells|
|Pyridoxamine (Vitamin B6)||The nervous system, skin|
|Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)||Immune system, heals wounds, prevents scurvy|
This is based on raw honey. Filtered or pasteurised honey will break down and diminish these benefits.
Blackberry Honey as an Antiseptic
Blackberry honey has a relatively low water content (16-17%) and a low pH, making it good for topical use as an antifungal and giving it excellent antibacterial properties. Blackberry honey is an excellent antiseptic which helps to dry out wounds, aiding in the hindrance of growth of fungi and bacteria.
Blackberry Honey vs Regular Honey
Blackberry honey is most commonly sold in its raw form and has natural antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and antibiotic properties. It promotes faster healing for wounds, burns, and ulcers. It stimulates the immune system and promotes faster recovery from infections.
That means that it retains the bee pollen, propolis, and other beneficial compounds that are typically removed by fine filtering or destroyed by pasteurisation during the processing that regular honey goes through. In a raw state, blackberry honey will naturally contain many if not all of the benefits listed above.
Blackberry honey has a thick, smooth and creamy texture, and its flavour is delicate with a slightly fruity taste. In comparison, regular honey will hold that somewhat industrial standard taste and tends to be missing crucial benefits and nutritional properties of raw honey.
This is typically due to “regular” mass-produced honey being fine filtered and pasteurised. Which, unfortunately, destroys many of the antibacterial and active elements.
Research shows that the processing of honey can reduce antioxidant levels by up to (and even more than) 30%. The reduction of these antioxidant reduces blackberry honey’s effectiveness as an antibacterial and antimicrobial agent.
When You Should Avoid Blackberry Honey?
Like other raw honey, can contain bee pollen and propolis. That means that anyone allergic to the pollen of plants in the genus Rubus should avoid this particular type of honey. If you have an allergy to bees and you are unsure if you will react to honey, you should consult with your doctor.
Furthermore, raw honey of any kind, including blackberry honey, should never be given to a child under a year old. This is because raw honey can cause a rare but serious disease (Infant Botulism) caused by a specific type of bacteria. When children are a year old or older, they usually have more robust immune systems, and the risk of eating raw honey is reduced.
Is Blackberry Honey Vegan?
The Vegan Society do not consider honey vegan, this includes cornflower honey. They believe that because some honey farmers replace honey with a sugar substitute when harvesting, it will naturally lack the essential micronutrients of honey, thus being detrimental to the honey bees.
Furthermore, they believe that in conventional beekeeping, honey bees are specifically bred to increase productivity. Which they believe leads to a narrowing of the population gene pool and increases susceptibility to disease and large scale die-offs.
They also believe that many honey farmers will cull their hives post-harvest and clip the queen bee’s wings to stop them from leaving to start a new colony. Thus the Vegan Society does not consider honey vegan. That, of course, doesn’t stop some vegans arguing its fine if they source their honey from reliable sources that do not practice the above.
Is Blackberry Honey Expensive?
In the UK it can be found for £2.50 to £4 per 100g and in the US it’s typically around $2.5 to $3.5 per 100g.
Its worth noting its availability wholly depends on seasonality and location, it can even prove troublesome to find online.