Raw honey is honey as it exists in the hive. Honey frames are removed from the beehive and placed into an extractor by the beekeeper. The honey is extracted from the frame. The unfiltered honey is then strained to remove bits of beeswax and or deceased bees from the extraction process. Once strained, the honey is then bottled without any pasteurization processes being involved.
Raw honey will contain some pollen, active enzymes and yeasts, air bubbles, antioxidants, and other impurities that were not trapped by the straining process.
Creamed or Spun Honey
Creamed honey is honey that has been processed in such a way to control the sizes of the crystals as the honey crystalizes. Honey, especially raw honey, naturally wants to crystalize. As the crystallization begins, the honey is slowly stirred in a tank over a period of a few days. This will control the sizes of the sugar crystals in the honey resulting in a nicely creamy finished texture.
Cut Comb Honey
Cut comb honey is raw honey still inside the honeycomb. The honeycomb is cut away from the frame by the beekeeper instead of extracted out of the frame then packaged. Some beekeepers package their cut comb honey as “chunk honey” with a chunk of the honeycomb submerged in the container with the liquid honey. Sometimes you will find cut comb honey as a simple block of capped honeycomb containing honey.
Processed or Regular Honey
Processed honey begins the same as raw honey however after extraction, the honey is heated with high heat to pasteurize the honey, thus removing any living enzymes, yeasts and other naturally occurring impurities. The honey is also filtered after the straining process to remove the impurities not caught by the straining process, and to remove any air bubbles and bits of pollen. Processed honey will still crystalize, however crystallization is much slower after processing and while in the liquid form it tends to be more appealing to the average consumer.