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Honey, it’s cold outside

honey-bees-326337_640As I sit here looking at the snow covered trees outside my window, I am daydreaming about spring, flowers, bees and the honey they will make in the beehive I just ordered.  If you are ready for spring too, here are some honey experiments that are sure to sweeten the wait.

Honey Crystals
One of the most popular science fair projects is to make crystals from sugar or salts but have you ever tried making crystals out of honey?  This experiment explains how to make crystals from regular “runny” honey and creamed honey.  What other variables can you explore?  Does store bought honey crystallize the same way as honey straight from the beekeeper? Once the honey has crystallized can you un-crystallize it?  This article gives some ideas on what to do with your crystallized honey when you’re done.

Honey Flow
You can explore how well honey flows, or its viscosity, by filling a glass full of honey and then timing how long it takes a marble to fall from the top to the bottom of the glass.  Thicker, or more viscous liquids like honey will slow the marble more than thinner, less viscous liquids like water or milk.  This experiment looks at the effect of temperature on the viscosity of shampoo but you could do the same thing with honey.  What other factors do you think affect the viscosity of honey?  Do different types of honey have very different viscosities?

Honey Cure
Honey has long been used as a cure for everything from a sore throat to an infected cut.  Honey is also known to keep without spoiling.  What gives honey these amazing powers?  Simply put, there is very little water in honey.  Bacteria, the cause of spoilage and infections, needs water to grow.  With no water, bacteria cannot cause the honey to spoil.  And when placed on a cut honey draws the water out of the skin and kills the bacteria.  This process of drawing water out of cells is called  osmosis.  You can demonstrate the osmotic property of honey using a potato in this experiment.