Why Does Honey Crystallize? (page 2)
The honey without water will crystallize first.
When we think of crystals, we usually think of precious jewels—but the truth is that many things crystallize. In fact, salt and sugar are both crystals.
When you stir salt into water, it looks like it disappears—but in reality, it’s still there; it’s just dissolved into the water. Let that water dry out, and salt crystals will be left behind. Like salty water, honey is a solution, which means that bits of sugar are spread throughout a liquid. When honey crystallizes, the honey molecules spread throughout the liquid come together to form solid crystals, and the more dissolved bits of a solute there are in a solution, the faster that solution will crystallize as it cools down. Mixing more water into a solution makes it crystallize more slowly.
Heat also changes how quickly crystals form. Every solution has a temperature at which the solid is spread throughout the liquid. For honey, this is around room temperature.
Honey is made up of a lot more than just sugar and water! Raw honey contains many different nutrients and may even contain bits of pollen. Some honey comes the nectar bees gather from specific flowers, such as clover, while other honey is a mixture of different nectar sources. Try this experiment again, using honey from the nectar of different flowers. Do the flowers make a difference when it comes to honey crystallization? Why? Do some flowers have sweeter nectar than others?
Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state’s handbook of Science Safety.