How much does a gallon of honey weigh?
One-gallon of raw honey will average 12 pounds (5.44 kg). 8 fluid ounces of honey (1 cup) weighs 12 ounces (0.34 kg). However, there are factors that contribute to the varying weights of honey. These include; density, moisture content, purity, floral source, and more.
Plus, we must consider things like the packaging if delivery costs are what you’re looking to calculate.
In this post, we’ll dive into the varying contributors to honey’s net weight, a comparison of pure honey’s weight to other products, and things you may need to consider when shipping honey.
Factors That Contribute To Different Honey Weights
Honey is a natural sweetener that contains moisture; hence, it may surprise you to know that honey measures in weight and not a fluid ounce.
In most cases, honey will always have a different mass. Thus, there are specific aspects that determine honey density. These include;
Honey’s floral and nectar source is a very large contributor to the unique qualities of that specific honey.
Similar to the terroir of wine, honey has a “sense of place” and can take on the characteristics from which the nectar and pollen are collected. Add to this the varying natural events that may affect the health of a nectar source, each drop of honey you consume will be completely unique.
Additionally, varietal honey, also known as monofloral or single-source honey, occurs when the beekeepers ensure the hive’s worker bees only source nectar from that one floral type.
Here is a brief list of nectar sources that contribute to fantastic honey production;
- Mint spices
- Meadow flowers
- Orange Blossoms
- Fruit trees
- Wild berry
Here is how these honey types vary slightly in weight;
|Honey Type||Weight Per Gallon||Weight in Kilograms|
|Acacia||12 lbs||5.44 kg|
|Alfalfa||11.44 lbs||5.18 kg|
|Aster||12.28 lbs||5.57 kg|
|Avocado||12 lbs||5.44 kg|
|Basswood||12 lbs||5.44 kg|
|Buckweat||12 lbs||5.44 kg|
|Wildflower||12 lbs||5.44 kg|
Harvest Season & Temperature
Beekeepers may choose to harvest honey at varying times during the season. This means that temperature and humidity can affect the moisture content and therefore the density.
Honey Bee Type
The variety of bees may determine the difference in the weight of honey. Also, the quality of bee food will define the heaviness of the final product.
Any food ingredient needs to be in a safe and clean storage area.
To maintain your honey with the required density, store it in an airtight container, out of direct sunlight. This technique will arrest any moisture and prevent the start of fermentation.
Honey will pass through various manufacturing processes before it is placed on store shelves.
From the harvest, transport, processing, bottling, and additional transport, all these steps can cause weight fluctuations to the honey.
Location of Origin
The geographic location, i.e. Region, State, locality, and placement of the hive, can contribute to the weight of your honey.
Excessive wind, distance to nectar sources, proximity to water sources, etc… all can contribute to a hives output and honey density.
The higher the moisture content, the heavier the honey will weigh.
Ideally, raw honey should have less than 14% moisture and good quality honey being processed with 17-18% moisture.
If the moisture content of your honey is higher than 20 percent, there’s a good chance it will ferment.
How is honey’s moisture content measured?
The moisture in honey is measured using a device called a refractometer which views the refractive index of a substance.
Put short, the refractometer measures the speed at which light travels through different materials. This is done by measuring the difference between the angle at which light comes in (angle of incidence) and the angle at which goes out (angle of refraction).
The refractive incidence of honey will change based on the amount of solids in the honey.
Density of Honey
Like any other ingredient, it is vital to know the density of honey to determine its physical properties. Although honey has more weight than water, it floats because of its low density.
At a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius, the thickness of honey is between 1.38 and 1.45 kilograms per liter. Raw honey has a lower density of 1.11, while the commercial or processed type is 1.55.
Weight of Honey Compared to Other Substances
There are various honey types available in today’s market. Hence, the weight is not exact.
Honey dissolves in water, but not other substances like wax and oil. So, read on to find more on what other substances weigh compared to honey.
Here is a perfect tool to calculate the volume to weight of various substances. For instance, one US gallon of honey is equal to 12 pounds.
Methods of Shipping Honey
Honey products are delicate and tricky merchandise to transport and store. However, there are excellent methods of shipping honey around the globe. Note that not all couriers will ship honey or liquid items. Nevertheless, with proper packaging, you shouldn’t have trouble delivering bulk honey or small orders.
Bulk Honey – shipping bulk honey is best using 5 gallons, gallon, or pail size plastic buckets that have air-tight seals. Your local USPS, UPS, or FedEx will handle small quantity bucket shipments but if you’re looking to ship large quantities, we suggest going through a logistics company.
Small Orders – For small quantities of honey, air-tight glass or plastic jars work best. They can be boxed with enough padding to prevent breaking while in transit and USPS, UPS or FedEx will easily deliver this parcel size.
How much does a 5-gallon bucket of honey weigh?
Every gallon of honey will average 12 pounds. Hence, 5 gallons of raw honey weigh about 60.8 pounds.
How much does a 55-gallon drum of honey weigh?
55 gallons of honey is about 660 pounds. The 55-gallon drum will weigh up to 80 pounds. This means a full 55-gallon drum of honey could weigh up to 740 pounds.
How much does a half-gallon of honey weigh?
A half-gallon is roughly 6 lbs of honey.
The weight variations of honey may be insignificant to most beekeepers or honey lovers, but it’s important to understand how these contributing factors affect such a beautiful product.
Consider these factors as levers you can pull, which affect the final quality of your final product.
And if you’re a consumer, consider ways you can consume the fantastic varietals from around the world!