If honey is labelled “Meadow Honey,” that usually means that the area(s) that the bees collected nectar from was in a meadow. Meadows are open fields that host a unique variety of plants and grasses.
What Is Meadow Honey?
Meadows are located in a variety of environments. These include alpine meadows, located in the mountains at high elevations, coastal meadows that are sustained by saltwater sprays, desert meadows, prairies, and wet meadows.
Any of these meadows may support a colony of honeybees if there are enough plants to provide a sufficient amount of nectar.
Where Does Meadow Honey Come From?
Meadow honey can come from a variety of areas, as meadows are found all over the world and in many different climates.
Most meadow honey comes from areas with alpine meadows or prairie meadows.
How Is Meadow Honey Produced?
Meadow honey is produced much the same as any other type of honey.
The moment the honey bee collects the meadow flower nectar it is mixed with an enzyme within the bees mouth. The enzyme itself is otherwise known as invertase or the “bee enzyme” which is secreted from the bees glands.
When the honeybees return to the hive they will pass the nectar they have gathered between themselves further mixing the nectar with the “bee enzyme” reducing the water content and converting the nectar to honey.
They will then deposit the meadow honey into wax cells, but at this point the water content will be too high. In order to reduce the water content the honeybees will fan their wings above the wax cell, this in turn will evaporate some of the water.
Once they’ve finished the process the meadow honey will have a water content roughly below 20%. It will then be capped and the honeybees will repeat the process all over again.
The only difference between meadow honey and other honeys is that meadow honey is produced by bees who forage for nectar in a meadow setting.
The Best Environment for Producing Meadow Honey
The best meadows for honey bees are ones that have plenty of pollen and nectar for the bees to collect. Meadows full of clovers or wildflowers are perfect for the colonies to collect large amounts of nectar in order to create a surplus of honey.
It is also important that the meadows the bees are foraging in are free from harmful pesticides and chemicals.
What Are the Benefits of Meadow 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.|
This is based on raw honey, filtered or pasturised honey will break down and diminish these benefits.
Meadow Honey vs Regular Honey
Local meadow honey will contain pollen from plants that are in your area. It’s often advised to consume local honey if you have seasonal allergies to help alleviate your symptoms over time.
Thus consuming local meadow honey is certainly a recommended option when choosing a honey to combat your allergies. This is because it will contain the pollen and nectar of various local plants and flowers – some of which may be triggering you. Consuming mass-produced honey will not have the same effect on your hay fever / seasonal allergies as it isn’t tailored to your local environment.
Meadow Honey as an Antiseptic
Honey has been touted for its medicinal properties since ancient times. Meadow honey, like any other raw honey, is antimicrobial and can be used as an antiseptic.
Raw honey can be used topically to treat burns, ulcers and heal wounds.
When You Should Avoid Meadow Honey?
Raw honey of any kind, including meadow 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 stronger immune systems and the risk of eating raw honey is reduced.
Is Meadow 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.
What Is Meadow Honey Used For?
Meadow honey has increased in popularity due to its unique, delicate taste that differs from the overtly sweet taste of commercial honey.
Raw Meadow honey is perfect for adding to delicate loose leaf teas, putting on toast, or enjoying over plain or vanilla yogurt.
Is Meadow Honey Expensive?
Meadow honey may be more expensive than the honey you may be used to seeing in the supermarket, perhaps in a plastic bottle.
This is because specialist honey like meadow honey takes more time and care to produce.
Finding meadow environments that are free from pesticides, close enough to clean water, and produce enough plants that are rich in nectar and pollen is difficult, and meadow honey may not be available everywhere.