How Much Honey Does One Bee Produce?

One worker bee produces 1/12 of a teaspoon (0.4 mL) on average in its entire lifespan. Honey is produced when bees collect flower nectar and store it in honeycombs. The design of the honeycombs allows for air flow from outdoors and the beating of the bees wings. This lets the nectar liquid evaporate while the sugars break down, resulting in sticky honey. During a trip to collect nectar from flowers, a bee will visit from 50 to 100 flowers. Collectively, honey bees must extract nectar from around two million flowers and travel over 55,000 miles (88,513 km) to produce one pound (0.45 kg) of honey.

More about honey:

  • The average American consumes 1.3 pounds (0.67 kg) of honey every year, according to assessments from the National Honey Board.
  • Worker bees are estimated to have been producing honey as far back as 20 million years ago.
  • Pollination, in which male parts of flowers are transferred to female parts in order to fertilize and grow a plant, is a major role of honey bees. It’s estimated the insects are responsible for one-third of the food crops humans eat.

Discussion Comments


Reading the third paragraph reminds me of a movie I once watched called Bee Movie. It was made by Dreamworks, and it came out in 2007. To give a brief synopsis, the story revolves around a bee who decides to sue the human race when he finds out that they're using honey for consumption and medical products. More importantly though, the ending really stands out. After winning the court case, honey and pollination are banned, and we find out just how important life is with bees. We even get a glimpse of many withered trees and plant life. Even though it's fictional, it's a realistic depiction of the roles that insects play in the human population.


Considering how worker bees have been producing honey for hundreds and thousands of years, it really shows that honey has been around for a long time as well. This is further emphasized by the fact that even though many honey related products weren't around during the time, it was still being used as a remedy of sorts. Back then, it may not have consumed as much as it is in this day and age. Regardless though, it didn't have to be. After all, many other foods that we consume have been used for medical and research purposes as well.


In relation to the first bullet point, I think one reason why Americans (and just humans in general) consume so much honey is because of how many uses it has. Not only does it go very well on food, such as in cakes, coffees and desserts, but even more so, it has been known to be a remedy for years. Having been used on wounds, and as an ingredient in cough drops, it's not hard to see why honey is so popular. On the other hand, it's good to know that bees are able to produce so much of it. Without them, the production of certain products wouldn't be as stable as they should be. As an example, honey scented bathroom products.

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