December 3, 2014

The A to Bee of Honey

The humble honey bee has been doing its thing for the past 150 million years. A nod to the quality of its work, is that honey is the only food source produced by insects and eaten by humans – it must be good!

Spread on toast, mixed into cake, lathered over chicken – it’s a firm favourite. Although we’re not quite as keen as the honey badger!

In homage to the bees currently overwintering before another year being as busy as a … here’s the rundown of all you need to know about honey and the honey bee.

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The easiest way to determine the flavour of honey: lighter colour, lighter flavour. Darker colour, stronger flavour

A single jar of honey weighing 454g requires 22,700 collections by bees to fill it. TWENTY TWO THOUSAND!

Honeybees provide around a third of the UK’s pollination requirements, down from 70% in 1984

Its estimated bees provide UK farmers with £1.8bn of crop pollination services

The highest quality honeys have lower water content, around 17%. In very good years bees working in the hive become somewhat picky and reject poor quality nectar collected by foraging bees

Raw honey has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. In fact three-thousand year old honey discovered in the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs was perfectly edible

A single jar of honey requires bees to fly 55,000 miles to collect the required nectar

Reaching a top speed of fifteen miles an hour, bees can fly up to five miles from the hive

Poor summers in recent years alongside impact from mites and possibly pesticides have caused bee number to plummet in recent years

Bees won’t sting humans unless they feel severely threatened (so there’s no need to put your running shoes on)

In a good year the average hive produces 25lb of surplus honey

Thompson and Morgan, alongside many other suppliers, sell bee friendly seed mixes so you can turn a corner of your garden into a bee paradise. Please, please, please click the link and buy a packet – they only cost £2.19!

Fancy a jar of honey? Pop along to for their pure Teesdale honey and other seasonal produce.


Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Hi GT

    A great article, very informative! Shame I can’t really enjoy the subject though 😦

    Looked at the Thomson & Morgan site (done as I was told to do!) and see that a packet covers 1 sqM. We’d probably require 8-10 to sow the Yorkshire Bed and outside the workshop window.

    Have a great trip to The Big Smoke and your shoulder-rubbing with the rich and famous.


    Sent from my iPhone



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