The “SCNAT knowledge” web portal provides guidance. The Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT) and its network report the state of knowledge, based on sound scientific findings and in regards to Switzerland – for the attention of politics, administration, business, science and practice.more

Image: Tobias Günther, SNSF Scientific Image Competitionmore

To bee or not to bee: the chemistry of honey

This activity was presented at the Science on Stage Festival 2022 and represented Switzerland.

Learn about a variety of biochemical aspects of honey through a series of simple experiments using the sugary product of bees.

Thomas Scheuber - 2023 Science in School 65

Chemically, honey consists of different types of sugars. These can be mixed and produced artificially. In terms of biology, enzymes and a lot of other molecules are added in the stom- ach of the bee. This makes honey a fantastic starting point for learning about biochemistry.

In a series of experiments, students learn methods to distinguish real honey from artificial honey, and they investigate different aspects and phenomena of honey and bees. The activities are suitable for secondary school students.


Thomas Scheuber is a biology teacher at the Gymnasi- um Kirschgarten in Basel, Switzerland. He represented Switzerland at the Science on Stage festival in Prague, Czech Republic, in 2022 with his experiments using honey, and he recently completed further training as a beekeeper.

Source: Science in School, Issue 65 - November 2023


  • High School II