The importance of honey production in South Dakota

Published: Nov. 11, 2015 at 12:29 PM CST
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Many people aren't fond of bee's, but the insects really have a lot of benefits here in South Dakota. Gabrielle Hemesath is the American Honey Queen, and says she became interested in beekeeping at a young age and began working in a commercial beekeeping operation in 2008.

Through her work, she could tell it was a passion of hers and now she owns two hives of her own. Right now she is a student at Iowa State University.

She visited the KSFY Morning News to tell all about honeybees and their benefits.

Honeybee facts:

Honey stored in air tight containers never spoils. Sealed honey vats found in King Tut’s tomb still contained edible honey, despite over 2,000 years beneath the sands.

Honey is the only food that includes all the substances necessary for life, including enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and water.

The average worker makes 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.

One third of food consumed in the United States is dependent upon honeybee pollination. That amount of food is worth $15 billion to the United States economy.

Honeybees are the only insects that produce food for humans.

Honey has different flavors and colors depending on the location and kinds of flowers the bees visit. Some popular types of honey in South Dakota include clover, alfalfa, and wildflower.

Honey has the ability to attract and absorb moisture, which makes it remarkably soothing for minor burns and helps prevent scarring.

There are over 100,000 beekeepers in the United States. South Dakota beekeepers care for 280,000 colonies.

Honey is nature’s energy booster! It provides a concentrated energy source that helps prevent fatigue and can boost athletic performance.

The U.S. consumes more than 400 million pounds of honey each year. In 2014, hives in South Dakota produced over 24 million pounds of honey making South Dakota the second highest honey producing state in the county.