Raw Honey is an anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal substance. Because pollen is collected on the honey bees’ legs when they extract nectar from the plant, the honey is only as diverse as those plants. The honey found in most stores is typically processed which removes the pollen, along with phytonutrients found in raw honey as it exists in the hive. Raw honey also includes small amounts of complex resins which the honeybees use to seal the hive and make it safe from bacteria and other micro-organisms. When honey is processed for most stores the majority of the benefits are largely eliminated. Eating local honey can fend off allergies. Other than honey being a natural sweetener made by bees for their own nourishment, the process is quite interesting. Honeybees will move flower to flower collecting nectar in their mouths which mixes with special enzymes in the bee’s saliva, a process that actually turns the nectar into honey. The bees then carry their honey back to the hive where they put it into a cell on the hive wall and flutter their wings to reduce the honey’s moisture content making it a thick viscous honey we’re used to. Interestingly, honey can actually come in different ranges of colors and textures which will range based on the type of flower nectar from which it was made. Honey never goes bad- amazingly honey was actually found in the Egyptian pyramids, estimated at several thousand years old and it was not spoiled. Honey is the only food produced by insects that is consumed by humans.


Bees collect about 65 lbs of pollen per year per hive. Pollen is the male germ cells produced by all flowering plants for fertilization and plant embryo formation. The Honeybee uses pollen as a food. Pollen is one of the richest and purest natural foods, consisting of up to 35% protein, 10% sugars, carbohydrates, enzymes, minerals, and vitamins A (carotenes), B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (nicotinic acid), B5 (panothenic acid), C (ascorbic acid), H (biotin), and R (rutine).

Read more about Pollen here in our handout.


Beeswax is secreted from glands and used by the bees to build honey comb. It is used by humans in drugs, lotions, cosmetics, artists materials, furniture polish, wax for snowboards and skis, and of course candles. It takes six pounds of honey to produce one pound of wax.


Honeybees are not aggressive by nature, they only sting to protect their hive from an intruder or if they are provoked. The bees you are typically stung by are wasps and yellow jackets, these bees are non-honey producers! Honeybees are a highly organized society with bees having specific roles during their lifetime including nurses, guards, grocers, housekeepers, construction workers, royal attendants, undertakers, foragers, etc. The queen bee can live for several years. Worker bees live for about 6 weeks during the busy summer, and for 4-9 months during the winter months. The honeybee hive is perennial- although inactive over the winter, honeybees survive the winter by clustering for warmth by self-regulating their internal temperature of the cluster to 93 degrees regardless of the outside temperature. Given enough space, the queen honeybee can lay one to two thousand eggs per day.