Although there is still a lot of the technical aspects of the process I don't know, I certainly do have a new appreciation for honey; for the bees that make it and all the work that goes into collecting, preparing and bottling it.
Here on the property, we have 10 active bee hives. I guess in his earlier years, my father in law had about 200 hives spread across the valley. Just to give you some perspective, from our 10 hives, we extracted just about 500lbs of raw honey.
After those few days, we then bottle the honey. Our honey is raw because it never exceeds 90 degrees, which is the temperature that the bees maintain in the hives. We don't add anything or process it in any way, we just simply let it run through some mesh so there's nothing yucky in it, but all the goodness stays. Sounds like I know what I'm doing, doesn't it?
- Honey bees' wings stroke 11,400 times per minute, thus making their distinctive buzz.
- Honeybees are the only insect that produce food for humans.
- Honeybees are responsible for pollinating approx 80% of all fruit, vegetable and seed crops in the U.S.
- Honey is 80% sugars and 20% water.
- To make one pound of honey, the bees in the colony must visit 2 million flowers, fly over 55,000 miles and will be the lifetime work of approximately 300 bees.
- A single honeybee will only produce approximately 1/12 teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.
- Honey is the ONLY food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life, including water.
- Honey never spoils.
- Bees maintain a temperature of 92-93 degrees Fahrenheit in their central brood nest regardless of whether the outside temperature is 110 or -40 degrees.**
Pretty amazing, isn't it? I tell ya, I have a whole new perspective and appreciation. Now I just have to figure out what to do with all this honey....
**(Info gathered from Utah County Beekeepers Association)