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Thanks to honeybees, humans have been consuming honey for a very, very long time. In fact, explorers found pots filled with honey in the tombs of ancient Egyptian pharaohs. And even though it was thousands of years old, it was still perfectly edible!
Honey has strong antibacterial properties — that means it kills germs. You can even use honey to help heal a cut or a scrape. Those same properties also mean that it never spoils or goes bad!
If your honey has crystallized, or gotten hard, it’s still good! To melt it back to liquid, simply place the bottle in a pot or bowl of warm water.
Besides pollinating 1 in 3 bites of food we eat, honeybees offer a bounty of other goods. Check out all of the surprising uses for the things busy honeybees create.
To make a pound of beeswax, honeybees visit over 30 million flowers. Beeswax flakes out from under the bees’ abdomens, and then they pack it together to construct a honeycomb. Humans use beeswax for everything from candles to makeup to medicine.
Honeybees mix pollen and nectar to make “bee bread” to feed to baby bees. Beekeepers collect pollen from hives, and some people take it as supplement to their food — or blend it into smoothies, yum! It contains lots of protein and more than 90 nutrients!
Sometimes known as “bee glue,” propolis is used to seal up cracks in the hive, or defend against other insects by creating a sticky barrier. No wonder this word literally means “protect the city” in ancient Greek. Propolis was used to care for wounds in ancient civilizations, and sometimes even for chewing gum!
The sweet stuff! Honeybees have to visit more than 2 million flowers to make a pound of honey. It’s important to remember that honey is actually bee food, used to power and sustain their hives. Humans are lucky that they make enough to share! We’ve been using it as a sweetener and medicine for thousands of years.
*Note: honey should never be given to babies less than 1 year old!
Beekeepers are experts at getting honey from the hive, and they’ve got few tricks up their sleeves! (Hopefully no bees up there, though.) Make sure to watch our Bee-Hind the Scenes: Beekeepers Tools 101 for tools of the trade.