Thank you, honeybee.
Bees work hard to make honey. A bee visits 50 to 100 flowers per trip to take nectar and pollen to the hive. In her lifetime —about six to eight weeks —a worker bee will produce one-twelfth of a teaspoon of honey. Thousands of bees in a hive fly more than 55,000 miles and visit about 2 million flowers to make one pound of honey — about the amount one American will consume in a year.
Honey may have some health benefits. It’s been said to help heal some burns. It’s thought to increase the good bacteria in the intestinal tract. It’s used as a cough suppressant. There are many other health claims. Just be cautioned that it is not for children under 1 year old and some people are allergic to it.
We depend on honeybees for much of our food. They pollinate more than $14 billion worth of seeds and crops nationwide each year, mostly fruits, vegetables and nuts, according to Zac Browning of the American Beekeeping Federation.
“Every third bite we consume in our diet is dependent on a honeybee to pollinate that food,” Browning said.
Local farmers benefit from the bees pollinating squash, apples, avocados and raspberries as well as vegetables and flowers to produce seeds.
For the past several years, bees have been on the decline.