Pearlescent honey glimmers from within

Robert Lunsford from down in Louisiana wanted to know what was up with his honey, so he sent the following three photos of shimmery, iridescent honey that seems to glow from within. Awesome looking stuff!

My theory is simply this: I think he had at least two different types of honey in the pot. One of the types was much higher in glucose than the other, so it began to granulate much more quickly.

It looks to me like they were not thoroughly combined, but just stirred a little bit—the way you would make a marble cake or strawberry swirl ice cream. The result was ripples of granulated honey suspended in liquid honey. Because honey becomes lighter in color when it granulates, the nearly white but opaque crystals could easily be seen through the darker, but still translucent liquid honey.

I figured that it would all soon granulate, especially since it was now seeded with crystals. Sure enough, by the time I requested permission to use the photos, Robert reported that it had all granulated into a fine-grained, silky smooth, and creamy consistency.

Has anyone else seen this? I thought the photos were great.

Thanks, Robert!


An extrator filled with pearlescent, shimmery honey.

Iridescent honey. © Robert Lunsford.


You can see the swirls where it was stirred. © Robert Lunsford.


It seems like magic. © Robert Lunsford.

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  • Rusty, I originally stirred it was because it looked like the honey was in a white container. You could see the reddish hue in the honey Aguistin what appeared to be a white background. The pan is obviously black. It did appear to have separated into two separate strata. I wish I had taken a before picture.

  • I’ve seen something similar when pollen is added to honey on purpose, what Johns says is a very good idea, and if it doesn’t get clearer, a microscopic examination would put some light on this curious phenomenon!

  • I extracted 2 supers of honey this weekend from hives next to one another. First was the usual, lovely golden color we are familiar with. Second super’s honey came out looking like it was already crystallized. In the jar, it appears as if it were frozen ginger ale! Four days later, still the same. Soaked one jar in 100-degree water for 6 hours. NO difference. It tastes amazing. 99% sure it’s sourwood, but why did a super that was literally 100% capped have honey like this? Anyone ever has seen this and resolve it to have clear honey? If it weren’t for the fact there are 3+ gallons of it (which I’d like to sell) I wouldn’t care, but eye appeal to the consumer would turn them away from buying. Any suggestions?

    • Brenda, I’m sorry this is too late for your last summer question, but I know there are consumers who would not turn away from crystalized honey, because I used to be one before I got my own bees. Slap a pretty label on it and charge extra! Also, I’ve read that a lot of buyers now believe that granulated means it’s pure, all natural, raw honey. Which isn’t exactly how it works, but it might make it easier to sell than you think.