Honey is a sweet substance that has been enjoyed by humans as a source of food for thousands of years. There are countless varieties of honey produced all over the world. We’ve collected some interesting and fun honey facts for your enjoyment:
- Honey is one of the very few products that can last effectively forever, providing it is well sealed: Bacteria can’t grow in honey, so a sealed jar could still be quite edible for centuries or longer.
- There is evidence that honey has been used by humans for thousands of years: A cave painting found in Spain believed to be 8,000 years old depicts ancient humans looking for honey.
- While bees are typically the insect type most commonly associated with honey production, other insects can also make it: These include certain varieties of wasps often found in South America.
- China leads the world in terms of honey production, with a total of 462,000 tonnes produced in 2014: Other major players include Turkey, the United States and Russia.
- Mead – effectively honey wine – is one of the world’s oldest fermented drinks: Yeast is added to honey, and the mixture is left to ferment over several weeks or months.
- Turkey produces a variety of honey considered to be the world’s most expensive: The so-called elvish honey is extracted from a cave in northeastern Turkey and sells for around US$6,800 per kilogram.
- One of the world’s more famous beekeepers was a man named Ormond Aebi, from the US: In 1974, he set a world record after harvesting 404 pounds of honey from a single hive. That record has since been comprehensively beaten, but Aebi wrote several memoirs of his career as a beekeeper.
- To put the above fact into perspective, a standard hive typically produces only 50 pounds of honey per year: On average, it takes around 2 million flowers to produce just one pound of honey.
- It takes a lot of bees to make honey: Over the course of a bee’s life, it produces no more than 10% of a teaspoon of honey.
- While not directly related to honey, an odd practice known as bee bearding exists which involves people ‘wearing’ bees on their face, similar to a beard: The world record for the largest bee beard was set in 2014 with an estimated 637,000 bees surrounding the challenger’s face.