Is Honey Kosher?

In Judeism the  Mishnah states “that which comes from something which is not kosher is not kosher, and that which comes from something which is kosher is kosher.” So, for example, the milk of a camel or the eggs of a vulture are just as unkosher as the camel and the vulture.

Honey consists of nectar, which bees gather, store and transport to their honeycombs. While in the bee, the nectar is broken down and transformed into honey by enzymes in the bee. But it is not actually digested by the bee. So the honey is not a product of the bee itself as for instance milk is.

A brief entomological review of the honey bee might be in order to understand this better.  Bees suck nectar from flowers with their proboscis (mouth). The nectar mixes with saliva and is swallowed into the honey sac, where enzymes from the saliva break down  the nectar into watery honey. The nectar is never “digested” it is merely transformed into honey by the saliva. Upon the bee’s return to the hive, the honey is regurgitated and the water is evaporated by the bees fanning with their wings,  thickening it into honey which is then sealed in the honeycomb.
the purchase without a kosher certification 100% pure bee honey is allowed if the honey is 100 pure.  Flavored honey can be composed of various non-kosher ingredients. One should always check the label carefully to verify that the product is 100% pure honey with no added flavors.

Honey has the potential to be adulterated with additives, such as corn syrup. Corn syrup, sweetener, is derived from corn, which is a legume and may not be used . For example, soda companies must substitute this sweetener with liquid sugar when producing Kosher for Passover soda. Some honey producers have been found to mix the inexpensive corn syrup into honey and illegally label and sell it as “pure honey,” with no mention of this almost undetectable “filler.”

Some restrictions may apply for certain Holidays but for the most part one hundred percent pure, raw honey is actually kosher

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