Honey Facts

Honey Facts

The effort that goes into making honey is quite amazing.  Never mind the complexity of beekeeping, the bees are doing the real work.

The Basics

  1. A hive can produce 27Kg (60lb) of honey or more in a good season, however an average hive would produce around 11Kg (25lb) surplus
  2. Bees fly about 55,000 miles to make 454g (1lb) of honey – that’s 1½ times around the world
  3. Honeybees will visit about two million flowers to make 454g (1lb) of honey (hhhmmmm …. I’m trying to keep these factoids metric)
  4. A honey bee will visit between 50 and 250 flowers on each foraging flight
  5. A honeybees will make 7-10 flights a day
  6. A worker bee weighs around 80 mg and can carry around 70mg of nectar
  7. A honey bee will collect 0.42 ml of honey (1/12 of a teaspoon) in her lifetime
  8. It would take about 30g (1oz) of honey to fuel a bee’s flight around the world

Honey Consumption & Production

  1. In 2007 the UK per capita consumption of honey was 600g (1.3lb)
  2. In 2010 global production of honey was 1.54 million metric tons
  3. 43,000 metric tons (MTs) was consumed in the UK in 2010.  Of this, the UK imported 36,000 MTs and produced 6,300 MTs
  4. In 2010, the most significant global producers were: China producing 398,000 MTs, or 26% of the global share by volume. The next largest producers were Turkey at 81,000 MTs (or 5.3%), US at 80,000 MTs (or 5.2%), and Ukraine at 70,800 MTs (or 4.6%)

Honeybee Facts

  1. There are about 60,000 bees in a strong hive (I have read up to 100,000).  This drops to 5,000 over winter
  2. A worker honey bee lives 42-45 days in peek season and 4-6 months over Winter.  The Queen lives up to 5 years
  3. Bees fly at about 15-20 miles per hour / 21-28 kilometres per hour (This drops to 12mph when laden with pollen and nectar)
  4. Honey bees have four wings, five eyes and six legs (but they do not have any knees!)
  5. Worker bees take 21 days to hatch out from when they were laid as an egg
  6. Honeybees are busy.  They do not sleep. They take mini catnaps. They work all day long collecting nectar, pollen, water and propolis. At night most bees remain motionless reserving their energies for the next day but others work in the hives building new combs and repairing old combs
  7. Bees do not hibernate.  They “over-winter”, clustered together, using their bodies to generate heat. The cluster is about the size of football, with bees taking turns to be on the outside.  Bbbbrrrrrrr
  8. Please visit my honeybee page for more information about honeybees and why they are the Angelina Jolie of bees

Man & Bee Facts

  1. There are 25,000 registered beekeepers in the UK (managing 3 billion bees)
  2. UK deaths: On the 24th October 2014 it was reported that a beekeeper (with known anaphylaxis) died of a honeybee sting and the article quoted an Office of National Statistics official that a man last died of a bee sting in 2012. Hence, fatalities due to honeybees are rare

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