Apiary (Beekeepers Honey) vs Wild bee Honey

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Many people have a lot of confusion between Apiary honey vs wild bee honey.

Bee boxes or man-made house of honey bees is used to extract honey. Whereas, wild honey is extracted from the wild honeycombs by squeezing the whole comb.

Earlier as a general perception, we use to think that apiary honey cannot be as natural as wild bee honey. However, as we went deeper we found that only the boxes are man-made; the honey itself is just as pure as honey procured from natural beehives.

These bee boxes are man-made homes for bees where they store the honey collected from the neighbouring flowers. The process is the same except for the fact that they live in a bee box rather than self-made beehives.

They shift the bee boxes to a new spot when the flowering season ends, This method enhances the volume of honey produced. Moreover, honey produced this way is extremely hygienic. Because, Once the honey is ready to harvest, Beekeeper keeps each comb in the honey extractor. Extractor removes only honey by the centrifugal method without disturbing the comb. Following is the comparison between apiary & wild bee honey.

Nam & Size of the bees:

Apiary honey : Apis mellifera (12mm) Apis cerena indica (12mm)​

Wild bee honey: Apis dorsata (20mm), Apis florea (8mm)

Habitat or nature of hives:

Apiary honey: Bees make hives in a close dark place as multiple plates, hence they can easily be domesticated.

Wild bee honey: Bees make hives in open as a single comb, hence they cannot be domesticated.

Migration of bees:

Apiary bees: Beekeepers migrate their bee boxes (man-made homes of honey bees) through trucks to flowering areas. They migrate 3-6 places in a yearly cycle.

Wild bees: When the flowering season of one area ends wild bees migrate their colony to another flowering area, where they make a new home, before starting to collect nectar for honey.

Honey extraction method:

Apiary honey: Extractor machine is used to extract honey by the centrifugal method. In this process, Honeycombs are not harmed. Honeybees can start making honey soon after extraction. ​

Wild honey:  The whole honeycomb is broken and squeezed to get honey. Their habitat is completely destroyed by this process. For making further honey they have to make a new home (hive) from scratch which may take very long. This is the hygienic difference between Apiary honey vs wild bee honey

Quantity of honey​ produced in each colony

Apiary honey: The production of honey will be more because honey can be extracted from the same hive multiple times during the season.​

Wild honey: Production of honey will be less because every time the hive will be destroyed. Honey can be extracted only once.

Quality of honey:

Apiary honey: It is as natural as wild bee honey. It is a rather more hygienic practice of extracting honey. Hence honey will be clear and less cloudy.​

Wild bee honey: As this honey is extracted by squeezing the whole hive, it has been contaminated by many impurities like larvae and excess pollen. Hence it will be cloudy.​

Population (YoY production)

Apiary honey: increasing because beekeepers explore more and more areas to migrate and keep their bee boxes, whereas earlier only wild bees were present.​

Wild bee honey: Decreasing drastically, because beehives are destroyed each time during extraction. They have to make a new home every time which is not possible many times and they die out.


Myth: Beekeepers keep their bees boxes in one place, feed sugar and make honey.​

Fact: Beekeepers migrate to 5-6 different places to keep bee boxes in flowering areas. They only feed sugar when there are no flowers and the bees are dying. Bees do not store sugar as honey, they just eat it for their survival. Any trace of sugar found in honey can be identified by laboratory testing.

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