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Basic Information

Honey is a concentrated sugar syrup produced by several kinds of eusocial insects (mostly bees) as a food store. Honey stores are usually produced by foraging members of the community regurgitating nectar that they have swallowed into a collective store, although some species of ant have a specific caste that store honey in their abdomen instead.

As a high energy food that appeals strongly to the evolved taste preference for sugars, honey has long been a prized commodity amongst human communities. Prior to commercial sugar farming, honey was the sole source of sweetening for most of the world. It also has natural antibacterial properties that make it an effective antiseptic dressing for wounds and preservative for some foods.

Most human communities that collect honey do so by farming bees (a process known as apiculture or beekeeping) - the wax storage combs that the bees built to store the honey can also be eaten or harvested for commercial wax (e.g. for candle making). More primitive communities (and pre-sapient animals) raid wild beehives for honey and where bees are not available some hunter-gatherers are able to harvest honey ants.


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • Honeymaking might be a useful characteristic for fictional eusocial animals as well.
  • Giant bees and ants might well have giant honey stashes.
  • Also don't neglect the related ant behavior of farming aphids for honeydew.
  • As usual, as a trade good, this probably counts as a treasure.
  • Also a likely basis for herbalisitic remedies and possibly even primitive first aid
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