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Posts Tagged: honey

Why This UC Davis Conference Is Sweet

Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology faculty and director of the California Master Beekeeper Program, opens a hive. She will provide a UC Davis reserach update on Friday. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

You've heard of "all systems are go." In this case, "all systems are sweet." The UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center will host a Sensory Evaluation of Honey Course,...

Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology faculty and director of the California Master Beekeeper Program, opens a hive. She will provide a UC Davis reserach update on Friday. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology faculty and director of the California Master Beekeeper Program, opens a hive. She will provide a UC Davis reserach update on Friday. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology faculty and director of the California Master Beekeeper Program, opens a hive. She will provide a UC Davis reserach update on Friday. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

'Bee-ing' There at the Dixon May Fair

Dixon 4-H'er Ryan Anenson of the Tremont 4-H Club created this award-winning educational display,

"You can learn a lot from these displays," a fairgoer at the 144th annual Dixon May Fair commented. She was looking at an educational display with the catchy title, "None of...

Dixon 4-H'er Ryan Anenson of the Tremont 4-H Club created this award-winning educational display,
Dixon 4-H'er Ryan Anenson of the Tremont 4-H Club created this award-winning educational display, "None of Your Beeswax" for the Dixon May Fair. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Dixon 4-H'er Ryan Anenson of the Tremont 4-H Club created this award-winning educational display, "None of Your Beeswax" for the Dixon May Fair. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Dixon 4-H'er Madeline Giron sketched this color pencil drawing of a bee, on display in the Youth Building (Denverton Hall) at the Dixon May Fair. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Dixon 4-H'er Madeline Giron sketched this color pencil drawing of a bee, on display in the Youth Building (Denverton Hall) at the Dixon May Fair. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Dixon 4-H'er Madeline Giron sketched this color pencil drawing of a bee, on display in the Youth Building (Denverton Hall) at the Dixon May Fair. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This photo by Markus Taliaferro of the Suisun Valley 4-H Club shows a honey bee sipping nectar.
This photo by Markus Taliaferro of the Suisun Valley 4-H Club shows a honey bee sipping nectar.

This photo by Markus Taliaferro of the Suisun Valley 4-H Club shows a honey bee sipping nectar.

Just add pollinators! Katelyn Nipper of Fairfield created this innovative illustration of brightly color flowers and crayons.
Just add pollinators! Katelyn Nipper of Fairfield created this innovative illustration of brightly color flowers and crayons.

Just add pollinators! Katelyn Nipper of Fairfield created this innovative illustration of brightly color flowers and crayons.

U.S. honey industry contributes more than $4.7 billion to economy, according to Ag Issues Center report

The U.S. honey industry is thriving, according to a new study from the University of California Agricultural Issues Center (AIC). The research found that the U.S. honey industry in 2017 was responsible for more than 22,000 jobs and its total economic output was $4.74 billion. Total economic output includes direct effect, such as workers hired to move beehives, indirect effect, like packaging supply companies for honey products, and induced effects, the wages honey industry workers spend at local businesses.  

The study was directed by Daniel A. Sumner, an economist and director of the AIC, an institute which has studied the economic impacts of many farm commodities. The U.S. honey industry is made up of beekeepers, importers, packers and processors.

"The U.S. honey industry contributed significantly to jobs and economic activity across many states and regions in the United States," Sumner said. "In addition to its direct economic contributions, as an important ingredient, honey contributes flavor to a wide variety of food products and stimulates demand across the food industry."

In 2017, the honey industry employed more than 22,000 individuals across the U.S. in production, importation and packing jobs. (Photo: USDA)

The honey industry contributed approximately $2.1 billion in value added to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017. For scale, Vermont Maple contributed $34 million to the Vermont economy in 2013.

"While beekeeping is a labor of love and the true essence of a craft industry, the honey industry's size and scope shows that honey production makes a significant impact on our nation's economy," said Margaret Lombard, CEO of the National Honey Board. "From beekeepers in Washington state to packers in Maine, the honey industry's impact is evident across the country—as well as in the overall U.S. GDP."

In 2017, the honey industry employed more than 22,000 individuals across the U.S. in production, importation and packing jobs. The Vermont Maple industry employed 4,021 in 2013.

In 2017, Americans consumed 596 million pounds of honey or about 1.82 pounds of honey per person. (Photo: Pixabay)

In addition to a thriving industry, the American appetite for honey is growing. In 2017, Americans consumed 596 million pounds of honey or about 1.82 pounds of honey per person, which represents a 65 percent increase in consumption from 2009 to 2017.

To learn more about the University of California Agricultural Issues Center, visit https://aic.ucdavis.edu. Find the full "Contributions of the U.S. Honey Industry to the U.S. Economy" study here. For more information on the National Honey Board, visit www.honey.com.

About National Honey Board
The National Honey Board (NHB) is an industry-funded agriculture promotion group that works to educate consumers about the benefits and uses for honey and honey products through research, marketing and promotional programs. The board's work, funded by an assessment on domestic and imported honey, is designed to increase the awareness and usage of honey by consumers, the food service industry and food manufacturers. The 10-member board, appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, represents producers (beekeepers), packers, importers and a marketing cooperative. For more information, visit www.honey.com

About University of California Agricultural Issues Center at UC Davis
The University of California Agricultural Issues Center (AIC) was established in 1985 to research and analyze crucial trends and policy issues affecting agriculture and interlinked natural and human resources in California and the West. The Center, which consists of a director, several associate directors, a small professional staff and an advisory board, provides independent and objective research-based information on a range of critical, emerging agricultural issues such as food and agricultural commodity markets, the value of agricultural research and development, farm costs and returns, consequences of food and agricultural policy and rural resources and the environment. The audience for AIC research and outreach includes decision makers in industry, non-governmental organizations and governments as well as scholars, journalists, students and the general public.

Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at 8:31 PM
  • Author: Kylie Banks, National Honey Board, Kylie.Banks@porternovelli.com, (310) 754-4126
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture Food

Something Sweet and Something Neat: Entomological Holiday Gifts at UC Davis

Sweet! The UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center is selling honey and offering free recipes.

Just call these "something sweet" and "something neat." Yesterday on Bug Squad we featured holiday gifts available at the Bohart Museum of Entomology at UC Davis--from...

Sweet! The UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center is selling honey and offering free recipes.
Sweet! The UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center is selling honey and offering free recipes.

Sweet! The UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center is selling honey and offering free recipes.

UC Davis Entomology Graduate Student Association (EGSA) offers t-shirts year-around and they're especially popular during the hoidays. From left are president Brendon Boudintot, t-shirt coordinator Jill Oberski and Corwin Parker with their award-winning shirts. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
UC Davis Entomology Graduate Student Association (EGSA) offers t-shirts year-around and they're especially popular during the hoidays. From left are president Brendon Boudintot, t-shirt coordinator Jill Oberski and Corwin Parker with their award-winning shirts. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

UC Davis Entomology Graduate Student Association (EGSA) offers t-shirts year-around and they're especially popular during the hoidays. From left are president Brendon Boudintot, t-shirt coordinator Jill Oberski and Corwin Parker with their award-winning shirts. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Honey: Nothing short of miraculous

A taste of honey: dipping fingers into the honeycomb. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
“Honey, please pass the honey!”

That simple request, prefaced with a term of endearment for good measure, means there's honey on the table.

And well there should be. As the daughter, granddaughter and great-great granddaughter (and beyond) of beekeepers, I grew up with honey on the table. (And on my fingers, face and clothes.)

My favorite then was clover honey from the lush meadows and fields of our 300-acre farm in southwest Washington. My favorite now is Northern California yellow starthistle honey, derived from the blossoms of that highly invasive weed, Centaurea solstitialis, which farmers hate (and rightfully so) and beekeepers love.

“Almost every honey has its own unique flavor-- even when it is the same varietal,” says Amina Harris, director of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center. “There are characteristics we learn to look for, but even within that variety, the honey will differ from each area collected. For instance: avocado honey is known for being very dark amber with a flavor reminiscent of molasses, licorice or anise. However, once you start tasting a selection, some will taste like blackstrap molasses and very black licorice. Others will have almost a fruity flavor like dried figs or prunes. Most folks can't tell the difference – and then there are the honey nerds, like me!”

A beekeeper at UC Davis holds a frame of honey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

“My favorite all-around honey is one I keep returning to. I love sweet clover from the High Plains with its cinnamon hit —the spicy characteristic is just something I love,” Harris said. “My favorite ‘shock honey' is coriander. Collected near Yuba City, this seed crop gives us a honey that is like walking through a spice bazaar with hints of cardamom, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, coriander and — chocolate.”

The UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, located in the Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science on Old Davis Road, periodically offers courses on the sensory evaluation of honey, as well as honey tastings. Next up: the center will host free honey tastings at its home base during the 105th Annual Campuswide Picnic Day on April 13, and at the California Honey Festival in downtown Woodland on May 4. Another popular honey tasting: California Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño, based in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, hosts a honey tasting at Briggs Hall during the annual Picnic Day.

There's more to honey than meets the eye — or the palate. The Honey and Pollination Center recently hosted a three-day Sensory Evaluation of Honey Certificate Course last October, using “sensory evaluation tools and methods to educate participants in the nuances of varietal honey,” Harris said. Northern California public radio station KQED spotlighted the course on its “Taste This” program.

And we owe it all to honey bees.

Pollination ecologist Stephen Buchmann of the University of Arizona (who received his doctorate in entomology from UC Davis, studying with native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp), writes in his book, Honey Bees: Letters from the Hive, that each worker bee “may make four to ten or so flights from the nest each day, visiting hundreds or many thousands of flowers to collect nectar and pollen. During her lifetime, a worker bee may flown 35,000 to 55,000 miles collecting food for her and her nest mates. One pound of honey stored in the comb can represent 200,000 miles of combined bee flights and nectar from as many as five million flowers.”

Take a 16-ounce jar of honey at the supermarket. That represents “the efforts of tens of thousands of bees flying a total of 112,000 miles to forage nectar from about 4.5 million flowers,” writes Buchmann.

Of course, we primarily appreciate honey bees for their pollination services (one-third of the food we eat is pollinated by bees) but honey is more than just an after thought.

It's been described as “liquid gold,” “the nectar of the gods” and “the soul of a field of flowers.” Frankly, it's nothing short of miraculous.

And well it should be.

A honey bee sips honey from honeycomb. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A honey bee sips honey from honeycomb. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A honey bee sips honey from honeycomb. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A honey bee sips nectar from a lavender blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A honey bee sips nectar from a lavender blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A honey bee sips nectar from a lavender blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

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