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History and Facts:
Bees make honey from the nectar of flowers, which gives honey its delicious flavor. To produce one pound of honey, bees might travel as far as 40,000 miles and visit more than 2 million flowers. There are more than 300 unique types of honey. Several common types of honey are liquid honey (free of visible crystals), creme or spun honey (finely crystallized), comb honey (honey in the comb - both are edible), and cut comb honey (chunks of comb in the jars). Most honey in the United States is sold in the liquid form.

There are about 1,500 commercial beekeepers with 240,000 colonies in Florida, and another 5,000 "hobby" beekeepers with five or less "backyard" colonies.

Floridas honey crop slumped sharply in 1997. Plagued by bad weather, Varroa mites and flooding, the sunshine state dropped to third behind California and North Dakota after bounding to the top after a record year in 1996.

The 1997 production dropped by 36 percent to only 16 million pounds.

The average yield per colony was only 60 pounds in 1997, falling from a record 105 pounds in 1996, and the lowest level since 1987. Florida producers received an average 73 cents per pound, down from 86 cents the previous year. The value was only $11.7 million, down from the record $21.7 million in 1996.

Nutritional Value:
As a carbohydrate, honey is a good supplier of energy at 64 calories per tablespoon. Honey contains small amounts of riboflavin, thiamine, ascorbic acid and small
amounts of minerals. The nutrients supplied by honey and other sweeteners are too low to be considered as practical sources of these nutrients.

Honey should be stored at room temperature. All forms of honey, including liquid honey, will crystallize naturally over a period of time. The crystals can be dissolved by placing the jar in warm water, or by microwaving 1 cup of honey in a microwave safe container on high for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.