It takes a lot of bees to produce enough honey for human consumption. In fact, during its lifespan of about six weeks, the average worker bee produces less than a gram of honey, according to How it works on a daily basis. This means that it takes around 12 bees to produce a single teaspoon of honey. So it’s pretty amazing that in the United States alone, bees can create over 155 million pounds of honey in a single year, per Bee culture.
Even more surprising is the fact that several other insect species also produce honey. According to Reverse: “By definition, honey is a sweet, sticky substance that insects make by collecting and processing nectar from flowers.” This definition, you will notice, says nothing about bees in particular. Some of the bee’s closest relatives also produce honey, such as the bumblebee and some species of wasps. Then you have the honey ants, like the ones Gordon Ramsay sampled in Mexico. Rightly called “tucks” and often referred to as honey pot ants for the way they carry honey in their bellies, these ants are very productive honey producers and able to inflate their abdomen to several times their normal size. .
Conversely, some aphid species can also produce a honey-like substance, commonly called honeydew. Although it has a different consistency than traditional honey, the liquid is soft and sweet and is often eaten by bees and honey ants and later turned into real honey.