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What Is Sunflower Honey?

A sunflower.
Sunflower honey.
Bees can collect pollen and nectar from any type of flower, including sunflowers.
Sunflower honey tastes slightly floral.
Piece of a honeycomb with sunflower honey.
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  • Written By: C.B. Fox
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2014
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Sunflower honey is a sweet fluid that is made from the nectar of sunflowers. It is mild in flavor, and its color is a medium shade of yellow. At room temperature, this type of honey is a highly viscous, crystalline fluid. Though sunflowers are native to North America, they have been grown on other continents for hundreds of years, and it is possible to find sunflower honey in most parts of the world where bees are commonly kept.

In nature, bees collect pollen and nectar from any type of flower, but bee keepers can control the type of honey that their bees produce by placing bee hives within easy access to fields of a target flower. When their hive is placed in a field of sunflowers, bees will collect nectar from these flowers rather than going off in search of other species of flower. Once the field is no longer in flower, the bees must be moved to a new sunflower field in order to produce more sunflower honey. Bees that have been producing this type of honey will not show a preference for this type of flower but will instead start to collect pollen and nectar from other nearby flowers once the source of sunflower nectar is gone.

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All types of honey, including sunflower honey, are created by bees. Though humans have developed processes that allow us to extract the sugars from plants, the process used by bees is unique and cannot be replicated artificially. Bees are responsible for the distinctive flavor of sunflower and other types of honey because they mix nectar with their own secretions to make honey. Sunflower honey contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals and is known to be an effective antimicrobial. It is usually eaten or mixed with foods or beverages for its sweet flavor.

Many types of wildflower or mixed flower honey will contain some sunflower honey. On its own, it does not have a particularly strong flavor, which means that it blends in well with other mild types of honey. Sunflower honey tastes slightly floral and, like other types of honey, very sweet. The odor is sweet and fairly neutral as well. In terms of texture, sunflower honey can become firm and crystalline rather than gooey and fluid like many other types of honey. Raising the temperature of this type of honey by a few degrees will usually cause the crystals to break apart and the honey to transform into a less viscous liquid.

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