Can you eat honey if you are allergic to bees?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat honey if you are allergic to bees?” with an in-depth analysis of the honey venom and the symptoms of the allergic reaction to honey.

Can you eat honey if you are allergic to bees?

No, you can not eat honey if you are allergic to bees. That is because there are chances you may get an allergic reaction if you consume unprocessed honey. Unprocessed honey contains a little bit of venom, which is actually responsible for an allergic reaction.

Honey as an allergen

Honey is a naturally existing sweetener that is formed by honey bees. These honey bees use nectar from flowering plants. The major content of honey is sugar, while it also consists of other nutritional components such as antioxidants, vitamins, and amino acids. 

These all above-mentioned nutrients make honey a natural product that could also be used as a healing material. It is also most commonly used for cough treatment. 

Honey can cause allergic reactions since when honey is produced, it is likely that it became contaminated with pollen from bees or this pollen might be from the plant, which is harmful to human health. This pollen becomes the reason for allergic reactions. 

The trees or plants, whose pollen can react as an allergic agent are tulips, sunflowers, buckwheat, oak, eucalyptus, hackberry, and many other floral agents are also involved in an allergic reaction.

If you are allergic to any type of pollen, then it is clear that you are also allergic to honey. Because honey is extracted from plants and trees, it ensures that honey is a natural product that is used as a sweetener and itself is a safe material to consume but sometimes it becomes toxic to human health due to pollen.

Symptoms of Honey allergy

Honey is itself a natural product that fights against certain medical conditions, such as it works as an anti-inflammatory agent against the inflammatory condition, and also works as an antioxidant where it fights against certain radicals of the body that can harm the natural phenomenon of the human body system.

However, any of the symptoms which are caused due to honey is all due to the pollen that makes honey contaminated. This pollen is an allergy-causing agent. Some of the common symptoms that you may experience after eating pollen-contaminated honey include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose condition
  • Swelling in different parts of the body
  • At certain times, the eye remains full of water
  • Itching in throat
  • Cause rashes
  • Bumps on the skin
  • Hives

While these all above-mentioned symptoms can vary depending on the allergy conditions. If the allergy is severe then the most common symptoms are wheezing, headache, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, fainting, anaphylaxis, and irregular heartbeat.

If you experience any of these symptoms at any time after consuming honey, then you must consult with your dietitian or physician until or unless the condition becomes more severe. You should take allergies seriously because they might lead to serious complications for the patient if they do not get treated timely.

Honey and children

Honey is considered safe in many conditions but it is not recommended for babies who are younger than 12 months due to the reason of carrying the bacteria Clostridium. This bacteria is present in dust and dirt.

Clostridium does not affect the immune system of mature people, it is termed as a harmless agent in adults and also in older children. Because of their age factor, they have a mature immune system that can fight against this bacteria. Their potential for the immune system is stronger than younger ones.

It can affect young children in different ways, such as if it is ingested by the younger ones then Clostridium gets multiplied in their intestines and affects the other body parts such as the nervous systems. This condition is termed Infant botulism. 

Pollen-contaminated honey may be fatal because sometimes they cause serious complications that may be life-threatening including weakness of muscles in the body and difficulty in breathing.

Some other symptoms that could also be experienced due to these allergic reactions include:

  • Weak cry
  • Constipation
  • Decreases in movement
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Feeding becomes poor
  • Flat facial expressions

Infant botulism can be treated, but it is not recommended to give honey to babies. If you notice any signs and symptoms in children, quickly consult with the doctor. You should not be lazy, especially in the case of a baby’s health. 

Doctors also do not recommend giving honey to the baby until he crosses his 12 months.


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Can you eat honey if you are allergic to bees?” with an in-depth analysis of the honey venom and the symptoms of the allergic reaction to honey.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.