What Is Lavender Honey?

Christina Edwards

There are two main types of lavender honey: natural and man made. Bees that collect nectar from lavender plants can make a delectable honey that smells and even tastes like lavender flowers. Since this can be somewhat expensive, however, some people make lavender-infused honey. This is usually done by cooking lavender flowers in honey and allowing the flowers to sit in the honey for several days before straining it.

Piece of a honeycomb, with lavender honey.
Piece of a honeycomb, with lavender honey.

Natural lavender honey is a monofloral honey. This means that the honey is made from mostly one type of flower nectar, in this case, lavender nectar. Beekeepers who wish to harvest this type of honey generally place their bee hives very close to a large field of lavender flowers.

Lavender flowers.
Lavender flowers.

When worker bees collect the lavender nectar, it is transferred to an organ called to honey stomach. This is not a true stomach, however, and the nectar is not digested unless the bee absolutely needs it. Once the bee returns to the hive, the nectar is passed from bee to bee.

Saliva in the bees' mouths contains a special enzyme that breaks down the sugar in the nectar. The nectar is then spit onto the walls of the honeycomb. After this, the water in the nectar begins to rapidly evaporate. This evaporation makes the lavender honey thicker, until it is eventually removed from the hive by the beekeepers.

Natural lavender honey is usually very light in color, and it is considered to be very high in quality. It has a distinct lavender aroma, and it also tastes a little like lavender. Although homemade lavender honey is generally not as high quality as natural lavender honey, it is often much less expensive.

When making lavender-infused honey, most culinary experts recommend using a light-colored honey. Fresh or dried lavender flowers can also be used. The flowers are usually stirred into the honey, and the mixture is then simmered at low heat for several minutes

The honey and the flowers are then transferred to glass jars and sealed. For extra flavor, the flowers should be left to steep in the honey for a couple of days. After this time is passed, the flowers are then usually strained out of the honey. The new lavender-infused honey can then be transferred to clean glass jars.

Individuals who enjoy cooking with honey or baking with honey will often love lavender honey. This type of honey is very versatile, and it can be added to many types of food and drinks. It can be drizzled over hot pancakes, for example, or it can be used to sweeten tea. Honey can also be used as a meat marinade, or it can be added to baked goods, such as breads or muffins.

Bees can collect pollen and nectar from any type of flower, including lavender.
Bees can collect pollen and nectar from any type of flower, including lavender.

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