Beekeepers get two products from bees. The first is honey, and the second is beeswax. Today we will focus on the honey. 

It is a safe bet to assume everyone listening knows that bees make honey. Today beekeepers remove a number of honeycombs from the hive, leaving enough for the hive to eat during the winter. They scrape off the caps and place the frames of the combs into a centrifuge, where they spin the honey out of the combs. Afterward, it is strained to remove any bee legs or things of this nature. Depending on the person or professional, will decide if it is then boiled before being bottled. Although if your character lives in a place that requires it to be pasteurized, it will be boiled. 

Honey doesn’t go bad and has an indefinite shelf life if it is stored correctly and is not contaminated. There are recorded cases in Egypt of thousands of years old tombs being opened, and the honey found inside was still good. It can, however, crystallize. My grandmother would always warm it in a pot of water, like a baby bottle. After a bit, the crystals would look like they melted back into honey, the same way ice melts. I don’t think it is frozen, but I remember it looked similar as a child. 

While honey is a natural sweetener, it has many other uses. Historically, it has been used to treat burns, wounds, skin ailments, acne, dandruff; as a cough remedy, a sleeping aid, and much more. It is also used to help with pollen-related allergies. This works best if the honey is local to the area where the person lives. It is believed to be a natural energy supplement and is said to boost memory. It is said to do more things, but not all of them are verified. Make sure you do some research for any dubious claims. 

Fun fact: There are over 300 different kinds of honey in the United States alone, each with a unique flavor, taste, and color depending on flowers where the bees collect nectar, but also on the climate, season, and type of the bee. 

What could possibly go wrong? 

Likely to go wrong: 

The honey crystallizes. This is fairly common and easy to fix. 

Likely to go wrong: 

 Your character makes the face mask, lip balm, or whatever they are making, and they make it wrong. It happens, but they can’t get the honey back. This can be wasteful if there is not have a lot of honey. 

Possible to go wrong:

Your character’s child learns that honey makes a sore throat feel better or gets rid of their cough, and they drink/eat all the honey in one setting or a very short time frame. 

Possible to go wrong:

An animal gets into the honey and eats it. 

Unlikely to go wrong: 

The honey gets contaminated and makes everyone sick. 

Improbable but technically still in the realm of possibilities:

Someone could be allergic to honey, or more likely, the pollen the bee collects in the honey. I have never heard of this happening, but in theory, it is possible. 

Helpful Links to Learn More:

Uses of Honey:

Harvesting honey:

Harvesting and Processing Honey Video: