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September is National Honey Month!

 

National Honey Month, initiated by the National Honey Board in 1989, marks an important time for honey producers and beekeepers across the nation. In the United States, honey collection season typically concludes in September as bees begin to secure their hives and prepare for winter. In the spirit of celebration, here are a few fun, crazy facts you may not have known about bees, beekeeping, and honey!

  • There are nearly 20,000 known species of bees throughout the world; 4,000 of which are native to the United States (USDA, Bee Basics: An Introduction to Our Native Bees).
  • A single worker honeybee produces approximately 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime. That means around 22,700 bees are needed to fill a single jar of honey! (National Honey Board, Honey Trivia).
  • In 2012, archaeologists discovered "the world’s oldest honey"! It was found in ceramic jars in Georgia, the country – not the state, and is estimated by scientists to be about 5,500 years old!
  • Although Utah’s official state emblem features a beehive and enjoys the nickname “The Beehive State”, the 2016 top 10 honey-producing states include North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, California, Florida, Texas, Minnesota, Michigan, Louisiana, and Georgia.
  • Honey comes in a variety of colors and flavors – including blue or purple ! States located in the southeastern region of the United States are known to produce purple honey. Purple honey is an incredibly rare harvest – some beekeepers go their entire lives without ever encountering it. There are many different hypotheses on how purple honey gets its color, but scientists still cannot reach an agreement on the cause (April Aldrich, A History of Honey in Georgia and the Carolina).

Interested in learning more about apiculture? Stay tuned for more honey related updates throughout the month of September and check out some of our awesome resources – great for both in and outside of the classroom!

  • Literature – Read The Beeman book (K-2, 2014 Book of the Year) and journey into the world of a young boy who learns about bees from his grandpa, the town beekeeper!
  • Lesson Plans – Purchase The Beeman Educator Guide for 6 Common Core aligned lesson plans and activities. A free sample lesson is available for download.
  • Magazine – Read our "Bees & Other Amazing Pollinators" Ag Mag and explore the life of a bee!
  • My American Farm Game – Play The Buzz and learn how bees make great pollinators!

http://www.agfoundation.org/news/september-is-national-honey-month

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