Fast Facts

  • U.S. per capita consumption of honey is about 1.3 pounds per year.1
  • Honey production in 2012 from producers with five or more colonies totaled 147 million pounds, down 1% from 2011.2
  • Honey is produced in every state. The top 5 honey-producing states are North Dakota, South Dakota, Florida, California and Minnesota.3
  • About one-third of all food and beverages – one out of every three bites we take – are made possible by pollination, mainly by honey bees.4
  • Pollination, mainly by honey bees, contributes to U.S. crop production worth $20-30 billion a year.5
  • The production of most beef and dairy products consumed in the United States is dependent on insect-pollinated legumes (alfalfa, clover, etc.).6
  • There are about 120,000 beekeepers in the United States. Most are hobbyists with less than 25 hives; Commercial beekeepers have 300 or more hives.7
  • To make one pound of honey, the bees in the colony must visit 2 million flowers and fly over 55,000 miles; it requires the lifetime work of approximately 768 bees.8
  • Melittosphex burmensis, the oldest bee fossil ever discovered, dates to 100 million years ago.9
  • Fermented honey or 'mead' dates back to about 7,000 BC in Northern China.10
  • The largest food fraud case in the U.S. history is attributed to the illegal importation of honey.11
  • September is National Honey Month, designated to promote U.S. beekeeping, and honey as a natural and beneficial sweetener.12
  • Honey provides and maintains moisture to a variety of dishes and can even extend the shelf life of baked goods.13

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