What Are The Most Expensive Types Of Honey In The World?

Most Expensive Types Of Honey
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Honey has been used for thousands of years as a natural medicine and sweet treat. This delicious syrupy substance has a myriad of health benefits, so by investing in expensive, quality honey, you are really investing in your future health.

The aspects that make honey types differ from one another include the kind of bees, the vegetation they pollinate, where the bees feed and live, and how the honey is harvested. With 195 countries in the world - each with unique flora and bee species - it is no surprise that there are hundreds of different honey varieties.

Each of these factors influences how the honey tastes, how rare it is, and how expensive it is to purchase.

Read on to learn about the world's most expensive honey and how these honey types differ from the conventional honey found at your local supermarket.

How is Honey Made?

Before we dive into the priciest honey produced in the world, let's take a look at exactly how money is made:

It begins with the bee

Bees fly between flowers, trees and bushes, collecting nectar as they go. This nectar is returned to the hive, where it is stored inside the waxy honeycomb. Within the honeycomb, the nectar is broken down into simple sugars.

The hexagonal design of the comb, coupled with the constant fanning by the wings of the bees, causes the nectar to evaporate, leaving behind a thick, sticky, and sweet substance that we know as honey.

Inside the hive

An average hive can produce 55 pounds of extra honey each year that is not used by the bees. Beekeepers collect honeycomb frames inside the hives and use a special tool to scrape off the wax caps produced by the bees. These wax caps are used to seal the honey inside the honeycomb cells.

Once the caps have been scraped off, the honeycomb frames are placed within an extractor that uses high speeds to extract honey from the combs.

Into your home

Once the honey has successfully been extracted from the comb, it is strained to remove wax and debris particles. Depending on the honey producers, the honey may be heated during this process to sterilise it; however, this alters the composition of the honey.

Honey that is not heated or irradiated is considered "raw" or "pure" honey.

Next, it is time for bottling, labelling, and shipping the honey to the consumers. Honey can be purchased at most grocery stores or farmers' markets, however, the honey on our list of most expensive kinds of honey will have to be specially ordered!

Consumers should read the labels to see where their honey was sourced from and which flowers provided the nectar. If the label reads "pure honey" or "organic honey", you can rest assured that no additives were included from the bee to the bottle.

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What Makes Some Honey More Expensive Than Others?

Different types of honey are priced differently due to a variety of factors regarding the honey:

  • Organic, raw honey will always be more expensive than inorganic or irradiated honey.
  • The scarcity of honey will make it more expensive. This includes the difficulty of harvesting the honey or the location where the honey is produced.
  • The origin of the honey also influences the price.
  • The colour of the honey can make honey more expensive.
  • The vegetation that the nectar is sourced from can determine the price. Honey made from rare flowers will cost more.

Generally speaking, raw honey is expensive because it takes a long time to produce, and it is a finite resource. This is exacerbated by the increasing demand for honey and the reduced number of bees that are still struggling to survive in the changing climate and environmental conditions.

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The Most Expensive Honey Types in the World

Below is a list of the most expensive honey types in the world. These prices may make you do a double take, but there a good reasons for these lofty price tags!

Yemen Sidr Honey

Price per kilo (in Canadian dollars)

$377 per kilogram

What makes it special

This special honey found in Yemen is produced by bees who source their nectar from the Sidr tree.

Yemen Sidr honey is considered among the most expensive honey in the world because it is so incredibly rare. This honey is only found in the Do'an Valley, in the southern region of the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen.

This liquid gold is only harvested twice a year by Hadramaut beekeepers, who gather together and trek into the harsh mountainous terrain to source the honey by hand and without any chemicals. 

It is rumored to have amazing health benefits, including acting as an antioxidant and bolstering the immune system. The scarcity of this honey, coupled with the artisanal way it is harvested and its amazing health benefits, makes this one of the most expensive kinds of honey in the world.

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New Zealand 32+ UMF Limited Reserve Manuka Honey

Price per kilo (in Canadian dollars)

$134 per kilogram

What makes it special

Manuka honey is produced from the nectar of the Manuka bush, in the genus Leptospermum scoparium. These bushes grow wild in northern New Zealand.

The healing properties of New Zealand Manuka honey were discovered thousands of years ago by the oceanic Maori people, and today this honey is exported across the world.

Manuka honey comes with a UMF number (Unique Manuka Factor) which is used to indicate the antibacterial properties of the Manuka honey. If the Manuka honey has a UMF, you can rest assured that this honey is pure.

This type of honey is incredibly rare - only around 1,000 jars are produced with each batch. The honey is buttery and very sweet and is prized for its amazing health benefits.

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Elvish Turkish Cave Honey

Price per kilo (in Canadian dollars)

$6,735 per kilogram

What makes it special

You may think that paying almost $7,000 per kilogram of honey is excessive, but Elvish honey is this expensive for a reason and is considered the most expensive honey in the world. It is known as the "true nectar of the gods" because of its golden glow and unique taste.

The reason why Elvish honey is as expensive as it is is because of where it is found - as the names suggest, it is found inside a cave in Turkey. These caves are 5,900 feet (1,800 meters) deep and are located in the city of Artvin.

Gunuz Gunay, a Turkish beekeeper, keeps his hives inside this Saricayir Valley cave, where 100% pure honey is produced. Each year, an entire team of mountaineers and cave experts decent into the depths to harvest the honey.

The minerals inside the cave are what make this exclusive Turkish honey so unique, as the minerals add properties to the honey that is found nowhere else. Additionally, the region around the caves has a lot of medicinal herbs and plants that are accessed by the bees, which is said to add to the amazing health benefits of this Elvish honey.

Those that have been fortunate enough to have tried this honey report that it tastes like nothing else on Earth.

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Honey from the island of Socotra, Yemen

Price per kilo (in Canadian dollars)

$148 per kilogram

What makes it special

Another honey from Yemen. Unlike the Yemen Sidr honey, honey from the island of Socotra is produced from the variety of native flowers on the island.

The inclusion of so many different wildflower nectars results in sweet and sour honey with several health benefits. It is said to help with chest conditions, is anti-microbial, and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Honey from Socotra is very rare, which is why it is as expensive as it is.

Interestingly, this honey is favoured by the French. In 2007, the French embassy in Yemen developed a natural honey centre in Hadiboh. Today this centre produces and processes 500 kilos of Socotra honey each year.

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Miel Lo Mejor del Bierz

Price per kilo (in Canadian dollars)

$202 per kilogram

What makes it special

This rare honey is produced by bees in Leon, Spain - specifically from the village of Campnaraya, El Bierzo district.

This honey is incredibly popular, especially in Muslim communities, because it is Halal. The high demand for this honey in Arab countries has resulted in extensive waiting periods - often exceeding a year.

To create just one kilogram of this honey, nectar from more than one million flowers is required, which means a standard jar of this honey requires bees to visit around 250,000 flowers - no wonder it fetches such a hefty price tag!

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What is the highest quality honey in the world?

Royal Yemen Sidr honey is considered the highest quality honey in the world. This unique and rare honey is only harvested twice a year from the Hadramaut Mountains in Yemen.

It is believed that this honey has unique medicinal benefits. It is produced by bees that feed on the nectar of the Sidr tree.

Where is the most expensive honey from?

The most expensive honey comes from Elvish, Turkey. At 6,735 CAD per kilogram, this honey far exceeds the cost of other expensive kinds of honey.

This Elvish honey is so expensive because it is challenging to harvest. It is found in caves in Artvin, Turkey, which are almost 6000 feet deep and requires a whole team of expert cavers and mountaineers to harvest this pure honey.

Which is the number one honey in the world?

The number one honey in the world is considered to be Manuka honey from New Zealand. Manuka honey is produced from the Manuka bush, a bush that grows wild in northern New Zealand. This honey is reportedly incredibly sweet and velvety and boasts many health benefits.

What is the rarest honey?

Pitcairn honey is reported to be the rarest honey in the world. This honey comes from the Pitcairn Islands, four islands in the Pacific Ocean. Pitcairn has a very small population, and the bees here are considered the healthiest bee population, meaning Pitcairn honey is of incredibly high quality.

Pitcairn honey has a fruity flavour thanks to the nectar sourced from various wild fruit trees, including mango, guava, and passionflower.

Which country has the purest honey?

China is considered to produce the world's purest and sweetest honey. China is globally known for its honey production and produces more than 650,000 tons of pure honey yearly. Although a lot of this honey is exported, the residents consume around 75% of it.

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V: 1.50.0 All rights reserved. January 2020