Honey Facts

Some general honey facts, but to learn more about facts about honey bees themselves, see the link below.

  • Honey is the wax-capped nectar food stores made by honey bees to see them through the winter.  The honey purchased by humans is the food stores harvested by beekeepers and put into jars.  Learn about why honey bees make honey.
  • Foraging bees have to fly about 55,000 miles to produce a pound of honey, visiting around 2 million flowers.
  • Honey is made from nectar and a bee enzyme, that has been stored in honey combs and has gone through a fermentation process. Read more about how bees make honey.
  • Natural honey also contains flower pollen grains.
  • Honey is the only food made by an insect, and eaten both by the insect and humans.  Read about buying honey.
  • Honey will keep indefinitely in a jar.  However, it can react to cool temperatures by crystallizing. Read about crystallised honey.
  • Honey has anti-bacterial and anti-septic benefits that are so effective, there is a peer reviewed, published paper demonstrating that honey is effective against MRSA – or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.  MRSA is ordinarily difficult to treat.
  • Bumblebees do not make honey in the way we think of it, but they do have their own version of honey.  Read more here.
  • Honey is used sometimes in beauty treatments, especially for its moisturizing and antiseptic qualities.  Read more here.


Historical Honey Facts

  • Perhaps one of the most bizarre honey facts relates to the Ancient Egyptians.  There are records from 1550BC, referring to the use by women of honey applied to linen to prevent pregnancy.
  • Rameses III, the ancient Egyptian pharaoh, offered a river god a honey sacrifice.  30,000 lbs of honey were dumped into the river Nile.
  • Alexander the Great died thousands of miles from his homeland.  The preserved body was carried home in a golden coffin lined with honey.
  • Ancient Greek civilizations regarded honey as a symbol of blessings, and happiness.  It was also used in funerals, when honey was offered to spirits of dead people.
  • In the 1650s in England, the gross national proft from honey was estimated by the polymath, Samuel Hartlib, to be worth £300,000, which was a fortune at that time.
  • In feudal times in medieval Europe, honey was used as a source of revenue in the form of a tax, and was gathered by the lords.  There are records of this practice in England in the Domesday Book, as well as records of the practice in Germany. Similarly, in France, lords collected honey from honey hunters and beekeepers.  In 1791, when the French government demanded a record of all hives for the purpose of collecting taxes, many hives were destroyed by their owners.  

Facts About Honey Bees

Further information about honey

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