SueBee is a combination of the misspelled word Sioux, the Indian tribe for which Sioux City, Iowa, is named, and the word bee, the insect that makes honey.
Honey is the sweet liquid produced by bees from flower nectar. The source of the nectar determines the color and flavor of the honey. Most honey in the United States is produced from clover or alfalfa, yielding light-colored and delicately flavored honeys. Other common honeys are made from basswood, buckwheat, eucalyptus, fireweed, orange-blossom, sage, tulip poplar, tupelo, and wildflower.
Honeycombs are harvested, placed in honey extractors which whirl the honeycombs around, forcing the honey out. After the honey is extracted, it is pasteurized, strained, filtered, and vacuum-packed into jars, poured into squeezable bottles, or “spun” and packed in serving tubs.
In 1921, in Sioux City, Iowa, five men pooled $200 and three thousand pounds of honey to create the Sioux Honey Association. Today, hundreds of members market their honey worldwide through the Association, which oversees the consistent flavor and premium quality of Sue Bee Honey.
In ancient times, women were advised to put honey in their vaginas for contraceptive purposes. The stickiness was thought to prevent sperm from entering the uterus. It doesn’t.
Anthropologists believe that ancient Egyptians used honey in embalming and to feed sacred animals.
Honey is alluded to in the Sumerian and Babylonian cuneiform writings, the Hittite code, the sacred writings of India, the Vedas, and in Chinese manuscripts. In the bible, Israel is called “the land of milk and honey.” Egyptian tomb reliefs from the third century B.C. depict workers collecting honey from hives, and archeologist T. M. Davies discovered a 3,300-year-old jar of honey in an Egyptian tomb.
In ancient Greece, mead, an alcoholic beverage made with honey, was considered the drink of the Greek gods.
Honey contains more nutrients than refined sugars, including traces of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin C, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc.
Since honey absorbs and retains moisture, it is commonly used in the baking industry to keep baked goods moist and fresh. Honey's high sugar content and acidity make it an excellent food preservative and sweetener. Honey’s unique properties also enhance salad dressings, sauces, dressings, candies, dairy products, spreads, fillings, cereals, cured meats, beverages, and snack foods.
Vegans are strict vegetarians who eat only foods from plants, avoiding all animal flesh and animal products, including milk, cheese, eggs, and honey.
The proverb “More flies are taken with a drop of honey than a tun of vinegar” first appeared in Gnomologia by Thomas Fuller in 1732.
Beekeepers are called apiarists.
The queen bee is the only sexually developed female in the hive. Worker bees (sexually undeveloped females) select a two-day-old larva to be the queen. She emerges from her cell 11 days later to mate in flight with approximately 18 drone bees (males), receiving several million sperm cells, which last her two year life span. The queen starts to lay eggs about ten days after mating. A productive queen can lay 3,000 eggs in a single day.
The honey bee’s distinctive buzz is actually the sound of its wings stroking 11,400 times per minute.
“If you want to gather honey,” said President Abraham Lincoln, “don’t kick over the beehive.”
The scotch liqueur Drambuie is made with honey.
“The only reason for being a bee that I know of is making honey,” said Winnie the Pooh in The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne. “And the only reason for making honey is so I can eat it.”
Store honey at room temperature away from direct sunlight. Refrigeration speeds crystallization. To avoid sticky drips, place honey jars and bottles on a saucer or disposable coaster.
Honey never spoils. Crystallization does not affect the taste or purity of honey. If honey crystallizes, just pop it in warm water or in the microwave in a microwave-safe container on high for one to three minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.
Sue Bee Honey is the only nationally advertised brand of honey in the United States, and the Sioux Honey Association is the largest honey marketing organization in the world.
In 1994, more than 217 million pounds of honey were produced in the United States, valued at $111 million.
The International Trade Commission estimates that there are an estimated 211,600 beekeepers in the United States. An estimated 200,000 are hobbyists with less than 25 hives. The approximately 2,000 commercial beekeeping operations in the United States (with over 300 hives each) produce about 60 percent of the nation’s honey.
Many commercial beekeepers rent their colonies during the year to pollinate crops for farmers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that about 2.8 million acres of almonds, apples, melons, plums, avocados, blueberries, cherries, cucumbers, pears, cranberries, kiwi, and other major crops in the United States depend on insect pollination from honeybees.
Utah is known as the beehive state, despite the fact that in 1994, North Dakota led the nation in honey production with more than 32 million pounds, followed by South Dakota, California, and Florida with more that 19 million pounds each.
The National Honey Board’s honey bear logo appears on over 390 food products that contain high levels of pure honey used according to the board’s strict standards.
Every year the average American consumes 1.1 pounds of honey. That’s one honey bear per person. To make one pound of honey, a hive of bees must tap two million flowers, flying over 55,000 miles. The average worker honey bee makes 1/12 teaspoon of honey in her lifetime, flying about 15 miles per hour and visiting between 50 and 100 flowers in each collection trip.
SueBee makes Clover Honey, Sunflower Honey, Natural Pure Honey, Orange Honey, Sage Honey, Spun Honey, Aunt Sue’s Raw Honey, Squeeze Bears, Premium Barbecue Sauce, and Louisiana Style Premium Barbecue Sauce. SueBee Honey also packs a variety of Private Label products including Clover Maid, Super G, Fred Meyer, Grand Union, Stop & Shop, Western Family, Village Park, National, and North American.