How much honey does one bee make?
Well, you might be surprised – it’s 1/12th of a teaspoon!! Yep, that’s it, 1/12th of a teaspoon. That’s 0.013833 fluid ounces in a lifetime. That’s how much honey one bee makes in their lifetime.
There’s a few ways you can think about this. Firstly, if my expected work output over my lifetime was a 1/12th of a teaspoon then my life would be pretty cruisey. On the other hand, if I had to fly 366 miles in my lifetime only using my own energy to achieve 1/12th of a teaspoon, then life would be just plain hard work.
Because thinking in such small amounts is hard to digest, we’ll concentrate on some interesting facts and figures that contribute to making a pound of honey.
How Many Honey Bees Does It Take To Make Pound Of Honey?
Okay, calculators out everybody. If we have one bee producing 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey, that means we need 12 bees to make one teaspoon. All good so far. Then, if there are 96 teaspoons in 16 fluid ounces (1lb), we multiply 12 by 96 and, drumroll please, ta da! 1152 honey bees make a pound of honey.
One bee makes 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime
How Many Flowers Are Needed To Make A Pound Of Honey?
2,000,000! That’s a lot of flowers. Gives us a wake-up as to the importance of flowering plants. It’s easy to see why the seasons play such a significant role in the amount of honey each hive makes. A cooler than average spring and summer or a brutally cold winter can reduce honey output significantly. Large scale weather events like hurricanes can also decimate the honey produced in a season. A bit of handiwork around the yard and planting some seeds like these will help enormously.
If the answer to the question of how much honey does one bee make is 1/12th of a teaspoon, then the number of flowers needed is simply astounding.
How Far Do Bees Need To Fly To Make A Pound Of Honey?
Around 50 000 miles! Think, that’s the distance by car from LAX airport to JFK airport 17 and half times. 17 and half times! That would take you about 752 hours to complete in a car! The numbers here are astonishing.
Now let’s go back to the start and think how much honey does one honeybee make? 1/12th of a teaspoon! Really, this is why beekeepers have such a love for their honey bees. The amount of work needed for a simple pound of honey is nothing short of amazing.
What Factors Impact Honey Production?
Our little warriors work to exhaustion to produce honey. Some simple factors impact how much honey one bee makes, and indeed how much honey a single hive can make.
Given that bees will only collect nectar and pollen when air temperature is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the climatic conditions in your hive are paramount. The more sunny days with low humidity, the more honey each bee can make.
The closer the flowering plants are is a huge factor. Less energy is expended in flight, flight times are reduced and more flowers are visited. This means more honey. Obviously, the opposite is true also. Get planting friends!
Strong hives have more bees. More bees make more honey. Once again, another reason why beekeepers keep looking, keep searching for ways to make their hives the very best they can be.
What Happens Next?
So, the perfect world exists, your hives are humming along. The climate and weather conditions have been ideal, local flowers have profuse blossoms and your queen is fit, healthy and happy. It’s harvest time. This is the best! When you lift your harvest frames out of the hive and they are heavy – this is the best. You know how much honey each bee has made to make this happen. All those 1/12th teaspoons have added up. It’s time to put those plump frames into your extractor, get those frames spinning, and harvest the gold.
That’s A Wrap
So back to the original question, “How much honey does one bee make?” Let’s step away from the numbers for a second and flip the question, “How much happiness does one bee make?” That’s the way I like to think about things.