A dark rich Oak honey has just arrived, harvested in the last month or so.
When Ramon the beekeeper told me that Oak honey comes from acorns I found this hard to believe.
How could bees make honey from acorns?
This I discovered is how...........
Oak honey is a type of honeydew. Normally honeydew is made from a sweet nutritious fluid collected by the bees from aphids, who process the sap/resin of the tree they are on.
But it seems with the Oak tree the bees collect a fluid weeping directly from the acorns. You can see in this short video exactly what the bees make the honey from. (Best to watch it in Youtube, to see it fullsize).
I asked Ramon (the beekeeper) to get a film of this. He wasn't able to get one showing the bees because it is too late in the season and the bees stop collecting the 'sap' in September. However, he did send this little film showing the sweet fluid on the acorns.
What makes the acorns weep the fluid? There is a species of weevil, which is known as the acorn weevil (Curculio glandium). This weevil burrows into the acorns which causes them to realease a sweet fluid, which the bees collect directly from the acorn and then convert it into honey.
This honey is high in oligosaccharides.
Oligosaccharides are helpful in maintaining and promoting beneficial bacteria in the gut (probiotic bacteria), particularly after treatment with antibiotics. As such oligosaccharides are classed as "prebiotics" i.e. a food for probiotics.
Honeydew honey is generally thought of as superior to nectar honey and is highly valued in Europe and Asia for its reputed medicinal value.
You can get the latest very fresh raw Oak honey here.