It’s a little known fact, but allergy to honey affects around 2% to 3% of the general population.
Interestingly, the prevalence of this allergy among those allergic to the venom of hymenoptera – the order of insects that includes the great honey producers – is low. However, people who suffer from pollen allergy tend to be particularly at risk.
The most allergenic proteins found in honey are in fact pollens and, to a lesser extent, the proteins contained in the salivary secretions of bees. With honey allergy, as indeed with all other food allergies, the only effective treatment is to remove the allergen. This means avoiding eating honey in any form and probably also avoiding all contact with it.
For those of us fortunate enough not to suffer from honey allergy, it is worth remembering that honey is full of good things. It is rich in polyphenols, and therefore antioxidants, and it helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and certain forms of cancer. But don’t forget that however good and healthy it may be, honey is also very sweet… so to be eaten in moderation only.