How Far Do Bees Fly to Make One Pound of Honey?

Honey bees fly about 50,000 miles (80,000 km) in order to make one pound (454 g) of honey. This amounts to the bees tapping into roughly two million flowers in order make this amount. A hive can produce 60 pounds (27 kg) during a really good season, but on average a hive will produce 20-30 pounds (9-13 kg).

More about bees and honey:

  • Not all bees are honey bees — with a recorded number of nearly 20,000 species of bees, only the Apis bees collect honey.
  • The oldest recorded remains of honey have been found in the Eurasian country of Georgia from a tomb dating back to 4,700-5,500 years ago.
  • Royal jelly is used to feed the queen and larvae. The jelly is a creamy white and produced from the mouth of young bees. In modern medicine, royal jelly is used to treat conditions such as asthma, stomach ulcers, insomnia, and skin disorders.
More Info: Canadian Honey Council

Discussion Comments


I keep bees and I am ceaselessly impressed by their obsessive activity. I am a somewhat lazy beekeeper; I do the minimum of work for my honey crop. But the bees, they slave for me, relentlessly.


Honey absolutely does have curative powers.

Back in the early '70s, I had some Ethiopian in-laws staying with us after the overthrow of Selassie.

Ethiopia, until that time, had always been "the breadbasket of the Middle East" and honey figured largely in that; they even have their own mead, called Tej, a honey-based wine.

I struggled a lot with asthma in those days, and early in her visit as I stood gasping one day, an elder auntie marched up to me with a big soup spoon heaped with honey and slammed it into my mouth! I was instructed to just hold it in my mouth and let it slide down slowly as it melted. By the time it was gone, so too was my asthma attack - and to this day I use spoonfuls of honey, to clear a phlegmmy cough.


@RoyalSpyder - You make an excellent point about bees. However, one thing I think you're forgetting is that they always travel in groups, most of the time. Don't forget that bees also don't operate and think in the same ways that humans do. Unlike us, who would need directions if we were to travel long distances, they use their sensors and sense of time to keep track of their hives and destination.


Reading some of these tidbits really has me wondering how bees are able to fly so far in order to produce honey. In this area, there seem to be several factors that could cause trouble. Between the distance, weather conditions and other insects, do most of them even make it back on time? And also, considering how they fly so far from their hive, I'm guessing there's also the possibility of them getting lost.


Speaking of royal jelly, it's interesting to note that a lot of bee products can be used as a form of medicine, even more so than we think. For example, many years ago, and even in this day and age, did you know that honey was used as a spoon medicine, and to treat some sores as well? Royal jelly and honey alike, they have some great properties that are for more than just eating.

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