I have been reading a lot of books about bees and beekeeping. In one of them a stat was provided which I, quite frankly, didn’t believe. The author stated that a honeybee produces 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in her entire life. I thought perhaps it was 1/12th of a teaspoon per day, or maybe 12 teaspoons in her entire life (though 12 cups sounded more like a life well lived to me). I was a bit embarrassed for the author and I wondered if her editor had been fired.
Then I picked up another book which proclaimed that a honeybee will produce 1/10th of a teaspoon of honey in her entire life. Okay, that is more than 1/12th but … seriously?
I jumped online to see what the consensus is and found that most sources quote the 1/12th figure but I’m going with 1/10th because I want to give my bees the benefit of the doubt and any less is just too
daunting frightening overwhelming (I don’t think there’s a word to express my level of awe here) to contemplate. I suspect this stat may only be the honey I harvest in excess of what the hive uses, as if that makes the number less mind-blowing.
In our household we don’t waste honey. Frank rinses the dregs (a.k.a. several life’s work worth) from each honey jar with a cup of hot tea to get the last goodness out. Now our habit of avoiding waste will become my obsession. Any wasted honey is simply too disrespectful of a hive full of ladies who spend their ENTIRE LIVES manufacturing it.
But I eat honey like it flows freely out of a tap. I have even been known (often) to take a dollop on my finger which I savour for the few seconds it lasts on my tongue.
How much is that? 1/2 teaspoon maybe? The ENTIRE LIFE’S work of 5 or 6 bees? It quite honestly freaks me out to think about. I take multiple fingers full before I am sated. Am I being evil? decadent? selfish?
Wow, one-tenth of a teaspoon is the ENTIRE LIFE’S work of a bee.